7 Reasons Why We Need Transformational Leaders

Transformational leaders inspire transformational change, enabling people to adapt by simultaneously instilling confidence and motivating them. Among transformational leadership characteristics are the following:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Creativity
  • Adaptability
  • Genuineness
  • Open-mindedness
  • Support

Transformational Leaders build company culture by motivating employees – moving from a frame of mind of self-interest to a mindset where they work for the common good. They also coach and mentor employees, enabling them to make decisions and take ownership of work.


Why Do We Need Transformational Leaders?

The digital age requires DevOps leaders who can formulate, guide, and support technology-powered business strategies and products.

Companies across industries are embarking on ambitious digital transformations to become digital-first companies in the current digital age. As a direct result of this, there is a considerable increase in the demand for transformational leaders. These transformational leaders are able to fulfill both formal and informal job roles.

The reasons why organizations are now looking for Transformational Leaders are:

  1. Build and Drive the Culture of Change
  2. Reduce the High Failure Rate of Transformation
  3. What Worked in the Past May Not Work in the Present
  4. Master the Means of Production in the Digital Age
  5. Transform from Water-Scrum-Fall to End-to-End Business Agility
  6. Stop the Economic Bleeding
  7. Maximize Return on Investment in Digital Transformation

1. Build and Drive the Culture of Change

Leaders can drive cultural change in the organization by not just inspiring it, but by enabling it. Enabling people with the knowledge and tools empowers people and creates the right culture. It is easier for employees to master the hard and soft skills necessary to make the personal adjustments necessary to support the organization’s cultural transformation if, for example, learning and training are made a central component of the overall career development of the employee. Transformational leaders contribute to the creation and implementation of programs and activities that assist individuals in adapting to the various workplace cultures. They can also help break the silos across departments to smoothen the process of building high-performing teams and fasten the process of software delivery.

2. Reduce the High Failure Rate of Transformation

Recent McKinsey and Forbes surveys and research confirm the high failure rate of transformation. McKinsey estimates that nearly 70% of transformation initiatives don’t achieve their goals. Forbes has also reported a high percentage of transformation failures. Forbes estimates transformation failures around 84%.

3. What Worked in the Past May Not Work in the Present

The phrase “digitally disrupted VUCA world” is overused. It reveals why what worked in the past may not work in the present digitally disrupted business environment. Dr. Mik Kersten states in his book ‘Project to Product’ the world has transitioned from the industrial age to the digital age, where the capability to build and operate software-powered digital products at speed and scale is foundational to running a modern digital organization. However, developing and managing digital products and businesses is very different from producing widgets on an industrial scale.

4. Master the Means of Production in the Digital Age

Software delivery at speed and scale is the means of production in the digital age, whereas in the industrial age, it was mass production. This is the fundamental idea that differentiates these two technological ages. However, it has been poorly understood and internalized by organizations.

The digital age focuses on creating value in software and mastering software delivery at speed and scale. Organizations achieve mastery of software delivery at speed and scale by building a high-performing IT department through a DevOps transformation.

5. Transform from Water-Scrum-Fall to End-to-End Business Agility

Organizations either have moved away from the traditional waterfall software development methods to agile software development methods or aspire to do so. The vast majority of organizations that have switched to agile software development are still having trouble expanding agile beyond a few teams.

In a world of continuous software delivery that high-performing digital organizations practice, the definition of done is when the software release produces the desired business outcomes. At the same time, several organizations are still struggling with the water-scrum-fall limbo.

6. Stop the Economic Bleeding

High failure rates of digital transformations, accompanied by continued acceleration of investments in technology and digital transformations, produce enormous amounts of economic waste. The economic bleeding needs to stop. And the onus for stopping it lies with the leaders.

7. Maximize Return on Investment in Digital Transformation

The high failure rate hasn’t deterred organizations from making exponentially accelerating investments in technology and digital transformation. An IDC report has forecasted that global digital transformation spending will exceed $10 trillion over five years (2021 to 2025). Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, foresees the current technology spending of 5% of global GDP to double in the next ten years.


DevOps Agile Skills Association (DASA) provides transformation guidance to organizations looking to adopt DevOps ways of building a high-performing IT function to enable them to become a high-performing digital organization.

The DASA DevOps Leader program targets developing business and technology leaders, both formal and informal, who plan to leverage the power of technology to drive the digital transformation of their organizations. This transformational leadership training program aims to nurture and grow the new generation of digital age leaders who can build high-performing digital organizations. Learn more about the DASA DevOps Leader Program

Test your Leadership skills with this quick quiz.TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP QUIZ

This quiz is based on the DASA DevOps Leader course and speaks about Digital Transformations, the new generation of leaders, and Leadership styles.

Test your leadership skills with this quick quiz


  1. SNew IDC spending guide shows continued growth for digital transformation as organizations focus on strategic priorities.
  2. SMicrosoft sees double when it comes to partnerships.


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Irfan Shariff

DASA Research Director, Expert Program - Project Manager, Management trainer & Agile/DevOps coach, RTI Consulting Services

Irfan Shariff has extensive experience in managing strategic technology-based business initiatives in a variety of industries – Hi-tech, Financial, Retail. He has deep expertise and…

Jasmine Khurana

Jasmine is a technology enthusiast with a bent on creating and curating content. She is highly versatile, with over ten years of experience in content…