The nature of the transactional leader is that they focus on each completed task that someone has turned in. Based on the performance during this task, rewards or consequences are doled out by the leader in what they deem to be an appropriate fashion. A task doesn’t have to be a completed project. Tasks are essentially the choices that are made every day. A lie, for example, would be a task that would bring an eventual consequence. They are often seen as managers, but this is a mistake. Here are 5 famous transactional leaders from history that prove it.
1. Dwight Eisenhower
Eisenhower, or “Ike” as he is often called, was a 5 star general during World War II and served as President of the United States for 8 years, from 1953-1961. He served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in the European theater and relied on his religious background often to make choices. Although he was the first President affected by the 22nd Amendment, his presidency saw one sharp recession, but overall an enormous prosperity. He’s often considered on of the greatest US Presidents and he did so through transactional leadership.
2. George H.W. Bush
Bush, who is was the father of the 43rd US President, also served as a Vice President, a congressman, and the Director of the CIA. As a veteran of World War II, Bush received the foundation of his transactional style of leadership based on the emphasis on the chain of command. He joined the war effort after the attack on Pearl Harbor and was the youngest Navy aviator at that time. After the war, he got into the oil business and then got into politics, proving that you’re never to old to reap the consequences of past positive choices.
3. James Madison
Madison is one of the few Founding Fathers that doesn’t get a lot of mentions, but his work has shaped the United States into the nation that it would become. He worked to negotiate the final draft of the Constitution and then explained his philosophies through the Federalist Papers. By separating powers and creating different balances withing the government, every decision could be countered with another decision so that pluralism could reign without destroying the group. The influence of his transactional leadership style is still felt today.
4. Norman Schwarzkopf
Schwarzkopf led the US military during the Persian Gulf War and was in charge of all Coalition forces. What made him such a unique leader was the transactional background that he developed while living in Iran. He is often recognized as developing one of the most successful military campaigns in US history and it brought about many calls for him to become President or be promoted to a 5 star status. He chose to retire instead and his transactional style of politics became a point of emphasis in learning how to be a military diplomat.
5. Joseph McCarthy
McCarthy might be remembered for his hunt to eliminate Communism from the American government, but this was because of his transactional leadership. He sought to manage the government to eliminate subversion and so he made many claims about Soviet spies and sympathized infiltrating American society. He was eventually censured, a natural outcome for his transactions, proving that poor choices are just as memorable as positive ones.