Transformational leadership occurs when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one ather to higher levels of motivation and morality. Leadership is Pulitzer Prize-winner James M. Burns' pioneering study of leadership, first published in 1978 and still considered the seminal work in the field of leadership studies. In it Burns introduced the influential theory of 'transformational leadership', which states that the best leaders are those who inspire others to come together toward the achievement of higher aims, a theory that has been the basis of more than 400 doctoral dissertations.
James MacGregor Burns (1918-2014) received his doctorate in political science from Harvard. In 1971, Burns won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for his biography Roosevelt: Soldier of Freedom. He was a former president of the American Political Science Association, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and served as Distinguished Leadership Scholar at the Academy of Leadership that bears his name at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland.