3 Weaknesses of Transformational LeadershipJust 4 min read

In this short blog about 3 weaknesses of transformational leadership, we will discuss top 3 weaknesses in detail and how to overcome them.

Transformational leadership is most effective to inspire and motivate others in the organization in such a way that they align their personal goals with organization’s success.

Contrary to traditional leadership style where external rewards and punishments are part of structure, transformational leadership uses internal rewards and self-motivation of the team.

Transformational leadership style makes a leader popular in his team, motivates, inspires and aligns the overall growth of team and the organization.

However, Like any other leadership styles transformational leadership also has some weaknesses. We will discuss 3 weaknesses of transformational leadership in this blog. 

What are 3 weaknesses of transformational leadership?

The potential 3 weaknesses of transformational leadership can be observed in any organization. Let’s discuss it in detail.

Overdependence on Leader

In a transformational leadership style, leaders develop good emotional bonds with their team to inspire them.

This emotional bond can lead to dependence on the leader at large.

Team members may rely overly on the leaders for decisions, directions and guidance. It can slow down many processes. 

Dependence on the leader can bring stress on the leader to be available every time for the team.


Organization also faces problems in the absence of this leader, as the team may not perform at their best or simply get stuck in trivial issues. 

To overcome this dependence on the leader, the leader can foster a culture of empowerment in the team. 

Encourage decision making in the team, bifurcate responsibility and communicate his expectation clearly to the team.

Overdependence on leadership is one of the 3 weaknesses of transformational leadership, now let’s see other weaknesses. 

High Risk of Burnout

It is observed that transformational leaders are highly motivated and passionate, they may set challenging or ambitious goals for the team.

Setting ambitious goals may be motivating for the team, but if not managed well it can lead to burnout.

In the organizations there is constant need for development, innovation and coupled with high expectations from management can bring some extra pressure on the leader and the team.

Excessive pressure with high expectations can lead to fatigue or burnout, which eventually decreases the morale of the team.

To overcome this weakness, leaders may set realistic goals and have practical expectations from the team. 


Leaders should have practice of celebrating small victories, communicate progressively, and support team members when changes arise. 

High risk of burnout is second in 3 weaknesses of transformational leadership, now let’s move ahead and see last weakness.

Overemphasis on Vision at the expense of Details

Transformational leaders are known to see big pictures and long term goals, they are usually visionary.

However, it becomes a weakness when a leader focuses only on the big picture and neglects the details and the daily activities that may be required to achieve those goals.


While being a transformational leader, you may tend to set higher goals that can be over ambitious for the team, and if the leader is not able to see the impact of these goals on daily function, the system will collapse for sure.

Overemphasis on Vision at the cost of details can lead to burnout, mistrust, and frustration in the organization.

To overcome this weakness, leaders can set open communication platforms where team members can share their concerns clearly.

Leaders must actively seek feedback, have engaging team meetings, town halls or anonymous feedback mechanisms. 

Leaders can also include everyone while setting vision for the organization, or use goal setting workshops to understand the details.

In this short blog about 3 weaknesses of transformational leadership, I have covered only 3 weaknesses that are most obvious about transformational leadership.

For further reading, I suggest reading the following books.

What got you here won’t get you there

Change the culture, change the game.

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