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Luis Chanaga Discusses Transformational Leadership – Ways to Inspire Positive Change within Organizations

Luis Chanaga

Luis Chanaga is a business leader who is passionate about inspiring change within organizations. In the following article, Luis Chanaga discusses just that – the various ways businesses can inspire positive change.

To those not particularly well-versed in leadership strategy, the concepts of transactional and transformational leadership may sound closely linked. In reality, however, only one of these common leadership techniques wields the power to inspire positive change within business, social, or political organizations.

While transactional leadership typically focuses on positive and negative reinforcement to keep things running as usual, transformational leadership inspires change among participants at all levels. Transformational leaders use their innate stability and agreeability to empower others to adopt new modes of thought.

Luis Chanaga says that, although simple when taken at face value, these two leadership forms deserve greater analysis for budding leaders to truly understand why only transformational leadership will suffice for the long-term benefit of their organization.

Transactional vs. Transformational Leadership

Whereas transformational leaders often manage their organizations with an eye toward tomorrow, transactional leaders focus on maintaining the status quo of today. Leaders who lean toward transactional management styles exhibit a few readily identifiable personality traits and behaviors, such as:

  • Reinforcing successful performance with positive rewards
  • Punishing poor performance or failure with negative consequences
  • A tendency toward micro-management to ensure specific outcomes
  • Emphasizing completion of specific tasks rather than promoting new ideas

By contrast, Luis Chanaga explains that transformational leaders concern themselves less with micro-managing their employees or followers and instead promoting the concepts of change while encouraging others to try their own hand at seeking solutions. Rather than lead by instruction, they prefer to lead by example through their exhibition of five key traits.

Five Personality Traits of Transformational Leaders

Leaders who simply act in the way they think a transformational leader should act will typically not inspire positive change with effective results. To loosely paraphrase Gandhi, transformational leaders must embody the attitudes they wish to cultivate among their followers—they must be the change they wish to see.

Luis Chanaga says that those who practice transformational leadership most effectively often embody natural personality distinctions developed throughout the course of a lifetime. However, those who wish to develop their own ability to spark change in others may still begin by focusing on a series of personality traits commonly known as the Big Five:

Openness to Experience – A sense of curiosity combined with a healthy imagination
Extraversion – The ability to speak openly with others without losing energy
Agreeableness – The desire to support others in the spirit of cooperation
Conscientiousness – A habit of reliably keeping one’s word when given
Emotional Stability – Strength to keep negative emotions from affecting performance

Adapted from the Five Factor Model of Personality often used to assess various combinations of personality traits, Luis Chanaga says that this adjusted list accounts for the qualities most commonly shared among transformational leaders. While not all leaders will embody each trait equally, possessing some degree of each can make it much easier to inspire change in others.

How Transformational Leaders Inspire Positive Change

As previously noted, Luis Chanaga explains that transformational leaders typically lead by example. Their curiosity and openness to experience enables them to not only instruct their disciples in new ways of thinking, but to actively model these forward-thinking attitudes themselves. In short, they sell organizations on the value of transformation by simply being transformative.

Combining openness with agreeableness and extraversion, transformational leaders inspire change by operating outside of their own immediate circle. As noted in Harvard Business Review, leaders who lack inside knowledge regarding the attitudes of those outside their own inner circle are less likely to identify where change is met with the most resistance.

Transformational leaders then go beyond simply recognizing the attitudes of their associates and actively seek to empower them. If employees have their own ideas on how to foster creativity or promote positive growth, transformative superiors will give them the space and support they need in order to flesh those ideas out more fully.

Finally, Luis Chanaga says that having developed knowledge of the attitudes and core strengths of their followers, they share their leadership role by allowing others to take point when it most benefits the change they wish to cultivate. In short, they value the promotion of change above the protection of their own ego. For some leaders, this requires greater emotional stability than any other step.


At its best, Luis Chanaga says that transformational leadership is more than simply a leadership style or management technique. It is a way of being that forward-thinking leaders choose to model for and share with others. This promotes positive change not only within the organization as a whole, but also within employees and stakeholders who learn to embrace the same qualities demonstrated by transformative leaders.