Sample Leadership Essay on Pseudo-transformational leadership

Definition and Examples of Pseudo-transformational leadership

Pseudo-transformational leadership is an antithesis of transformational leadership. It may be defined as the habit by some leaders to pretend to care about the progress and success of the employees. These leaders are characterized by behaviors such as being exploitative, manipulative, self-seeking, inspirational but with a hidden motive, and command respect by instilling fear in their subjects (Robertson, 2015). Essentially, transformational leaders ought to show genuine concern for the performance and welfare of employees, provide growth opportunities, respect differences in opinions, and seek consensus of views prior to decision making.

The first example of a leader in history who exhibited pseudo-transformational leadership is Adolf Hitler. Hitler was the leader of Nazi Germany who oversaw World War II during the rise of fascism among the European nations (Michael, 2016). He was an orator who as Chancellor convinced his followers that he would rescue the country from economic depression. Although Hitler was famed for his political prowess, he led his loyal subjects into executing one of the most heinous acts in world history – the holocaust. Millions of Jews were brutally killed as Hitler convinced Germans that Jews were enemies to the progress of the state.

The second example of pseudo-transformational leaders was Benito Mussolini who was a socialist and journalist prior to becoming an Italian leader in the 1900s. Being a member of the Fascist, Mussolini had a huge following. However, just like Hitler, he embraced anti-Semitic policies. Rather than portray good leadership skills with the future of his country at heart, Mussolini only sought more power and control of government resulting in him being a dictator. Besides his uncouth leadership style, he pioneered economic fascism which results in the growth of many economies including that of the United States in the 1930s (Powell, 2012). Thus, since Hitler and Mussolini did not provide transformational leadership overall and instead only sought what was best for themselves, they exemplify pseudo-transformational leadership


Michael (2016). Adolf Hitler Leadership Profile. Leadership Geeks. Retrieved from    on 7th January 2020.

Powell, J. (2012). The Economic Leadership Secrets of Benito Mussolini. Forbes. Retrieved        from      secrets-of-benito-mussolini/#6b80e2d968e6 on 7th January, 2020.

Robertson, M. D. (2015). Pseudo-transformational Leaders. DMR Publications. Retrieved from on 7th January 2020.