Being a Leader Today - Essay Example

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The potential of the transformational leadership construct is countless in terms of the outcomes it provides over traditional transactional leadership style. This model gives emphasis on personality and behavioral characteristics of the leader shown under dynamic situations…
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The potential of the transformational leadership construct is countless in terms of the outcomes it provides over traditional transactional leadership style. This model gives emphasis on personality and behavioral characteristics of the leader shown under dynamic situations rather than operational approach which is followed in ordinary leadership style. Charismatic leaders plays significant role for their ability to create and raise awareness about the specific outcomes and work towards new ways in which those outcomes might be achieved (Barnett, McCormick & Conners, 2001; Cox, 2001; Gellis, 2001). The leader builds an environment in which every member of the organization flourishes through idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration.
Idealized influence
Idealized influence is creating positive impact of the leader on the individual in terms of confidence and trust, so that the followers seek to emulate their role model (Bono & Judge, 2004, p. 901; Simic, 1998, p. 52; Stone, Russell & Patterson, 2003, p. 3). The employee is impressed by the leadership style and follows the chosen path of the leader. Leaders are “admired, respected, and trusted” (Bass, Avolio, Jung & Berson, 2003, p. 208). The subordinated believe virtues of their leader so that any decision taken will be supported with minimal resistance even in the time of crisis. Charismatic leadership is one of the important attributes of this modern leadership style and is based on the expression of leaders as well as followers (Kelly, 2003). Lee Iacocca showed his charismatic leadership to revive Chrysler Corporation in the 1970s and 1980s (Kelly, 2003).
Inspirational motivation
Inspirational motivation is a broader view of idealized influence to make direct impact on whole organization. The leader inspires other team members to behave and perform in a certain way through speeches, conversations and other public displays (Simic, 1998, p. 52) and stimulating collaborative work approach. The formal and informal forms of his influence help in building flexible, yet successful organization with shared vision. The headman inculcates the required organizational culture and environment (Kelly, 2003; Stone, Russell & Patterson, 2003, p. 3) in each individual in such a manner that the employee would feel indispensable part of the business. Optimistic and enthusiastic attitude of the leader motivates the followers. US President John F. Kennedy’s dream to accomplish mission of putting a man on the moon by 1970 is a classic example of inspirational quality of leader to realize the dream (Yukl, 1989, p. 221).
Intellectual stimulation
Creativity is the offshoot of intelligence which should be cherished, respected and nurtured. The transformational leader cherishes healthy learning strategies which effectively motivate the subordinates and it reflects in their performance. A leader sets their own parameters or can induce certain situations to attain specific functional objectives. The master creates awareness of the present and potential difficulties among coworkers and enhances their intellectual ability to tackle the problem (Bono & Judge, 2004; Kelly, 2003). Under the able guidance of the guide the followers explore new dimensions to the same problem and might arrive at the best solution which could be implemented (Barbuto, 2005). His/her supportive and comfortable environment and positive effort fuels growth of the individual and has positive impact in long run.
Individualized consideration
This is the most important part of the chosen leadership style since it takes into consideration of unique needs of individual. People’s needs should be identified, and grasped adequately to use them at best of their talents and knowledge (Shin & Zhou, 2003, p. 704). Two people can react differently for the same situations, since their needs are different. A successful leader can handle varied personalities having different temperaments, cultures, values, beliefs, religions, and behaviors.The leader should encourage employees for affiliation, power, and achievement. The leader intentionally should motivate the followers to learn new things themselves through individualized career counseling, mentoring and professional development activities to accomplish sense of achievement and also to reach higher levels of attainment (Chekwa, 2001, p. 5; Stone, Russell & Patterson, 2003, p. 3). Attention and recognition in organizational environment motivates them further to achieve higher goals. The person wants to be liked and accepted and therefore, should be encouraged to form new relationships or affiliations by rewarding them. Sense of authority to influence and control other’s environment develops as the person grows up. This can be used in its altruistic form to build positive work environment for effectiveness in managerial and leadership positions.
In the transformational leadership methodology, the relationship between leader and followers is seen as an open, rational, dynamic, goal-directed process focused on imparting realities from organization’s positive performance perspective even in the dynamic situations.
Barbuto, J.E. (Jnr) (2005). Motivation and transactional, charismatic, and transformational leadership: a test of antecedents. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 11(4), 26-40.
Barnett, K., McCormick, J. & Conners, R. (2001). Transformational leadership in schools – panacea, placebo or problem? Journal of Educational Administration, 39(1), pp. 24-46.
Bass, B.M., Avolio, B.J., Jung, D.I., & Berson, Y. (2003). Predicting unit performance by assessing transformational and transactional leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(2), pp. 207-218.
Bono, J.E. & Judge, T.A. (2004). Personality and transformational and transactional leadership: a meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(5), pp. 901-910.
Chekwa, E. (2001, July 12-14). Searching for African American transformational leaders. Academy of Business and Administrative Sciences 4th International Conference, Quebec City, Canada. Manuscript available from the author.
Cox, P.L. (2001). Transformational leadership: a success story at Cornell University. Proceedings of the ATEM/aappa 2001 conference. from 
Gellis, Z.D. (2001). Social work perceptions of transformational and transactional leadership in health care. Social Work Research, 25(1), pp. 17-25.
Kelly, M.L. (2003, January 1). Academic advisers as transformational leaders. The Mentor. From  
Simic, I. (1998). Transformational leadership - the key to successful management of transformational organizational changes. Facta Universitas, 1(6), pp. 49-55.
Stone, A.G., Russell, R.F., & Patterson, K. (2003). Transformational versus servant leadership – a difference in leader focus. Servant Leadership Roundtable – October 2003. From:
Yukl, G.A. (1989). Leadership in Organizations (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Read More
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