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Transformational Leadership

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Category: Miscellaneous

Autor: anton 09 January 2011

Words: 1264 | Pages: 6

A leader is someone who has the ability to influence followers that have the same determination and outcomes for change as they do. Not all leaders are famous people, or people in high positions of power. There are leaders all around us. They are just ones that possess leadership qualities that not all people have. This does not mean though that they are born leaders. This also doesn’t mean that all leaders are good leaders. They can also harm society, like Hitler. People build their leadership qualities through life experiences.

Great leaders are able to effectively influence their subordinates. This influencing is usually done by using their authority. Most people tend to believe and trust in people in authority because they have reputation and rapport. Another source of influence that leaders use to influence others is expertise. “If subordinates believe that their managers have more knowledge or technical skill than they do, they will accept the manager’s view more easily” (Hellriegel et al). Lastly, charisma can also be used to influence others. “A charismatic leader is a person who has the ability to influence others because of his or her inspirational qualities, and have the power to obtain cooperation and devotion of their followers” (Hellriegel et al).

Effective leaders know that they need to do more than simply convince others to follow them. They need to effectively communicate their goals along with the goals of their followers to make sure that they are both heading in the same direction. When a leader and their subordinates share the same goals, they help each other work harder in achieving that final common goal. Good leaders are great at making change happen. They see the need for change and work with their followers in making the change happen in the future by setting real goals.

The purpose of this paper is to describe what type of leadership style I have at the moment, whether I would like to become a transformational or servant leader in the future, and how and what I can do to become that in the future. As of this moment I think that I possess both a Theory X and Theory Y behavior of leadership. I think I am more Theory X though, because that is what I’ve grown accustomed to growing up in my family life. Coming from an Asian family, my parents are more command and control type people. I can’t really blame them because that is also what they are used to. According to my parents they direct their children to act and live their lives a certain way because they have gone through their experiences and automatically assume that what works for them will work for their children. They seem to not understand that people will only learn through their own life experiences. They believe that through total control their children will turn out “right.” They persuade, reward, punish, and tightly control our actions. This is similar to what is expressed as the Theory X leadership style in our textbook.

I have noticed that my parents have rubbed off on me quite a bit. I often find myself trying to control other’s actions by persuading them that one way is correct versus the other. Sometimes I ask for input, but then find that my way sounds better than the other. I’ve found out through this class that this attitude is very ineffective, because you need to make others feel that their points of views matter so that they are more motivated to reach a certain goal. People need to feel that they matter and in turn they become more productive.

I would like to become a transformational leader in the future. “Transformational leaders inspire others with their vision, often promote this vision over opposition, and demonstrate confidence in themselves and their views” (Hellriegel et al). I think that it is easier for people to follow a person that inspires them. A person with a vision and passion can achieve great things, both very valuable traits to have. If I can inject enthusiasm and energy into myself and others, many great things can be achieved. In the future when I am in a leadership position I want to be able to develop my followers by making sure that they possess the passion and energy needed to work towards our organization’s common goal. I want to care about them and make sure that they succeed at what they want to accomplish. Working for a transformational leader should be a wonderful uplifting experience.

Transformational leadership starts with the development of a vision. This should be a view of the future that will grab the attention, excite and convert potential followers. Once the vision has been developed, you will have to constantly sell the vision. This will probably take a lot of energy and commitment, because few people will automatically believe in your vision. A transformational leader should take every opportunity available to convince others to climb on their “bandwagon.” In order to create followers, the transformational leader has to be careful in creating trust, and their personal integrity is a critical part in what they are selling. Therefore, they are selling themselves as well as the vision. “The common characteristics of the transformational leader are: visionary, trustworthy, considerate, confident, thoughtful, charismatic and ethical” (Figure 15.7, Hellriegel et al).

After developing and selling your vision, you need to seek strategies of moving forward towards the vision. Finding the route to go forward with this vision may not always be obvious and have exact details on how to get there, but with a clear vision the direction will always be known. This means that finding the way forward can be a long, on-going process which will probably involve many corrections. The transformational leader needs to accept that there will be many failures along the way. As long as there is progress being made, you are a step closer to your vision.

Through this process, transformational leaders should always be present and not hiding behind their followers. They show by their attitudes and actions how everyone else should behave. They should also make continued efforts to motivate and rally their followers by constantly listening, and injecting energy and enthusiasm into their followers. It is their never-giving up commitment that keeps their followers going, especially during times when people might question if this vision will ever be achieved. If people do not believe that they can succeed, their efforts will decrease. It is up to the transformational leader to infect this high level of commitment to their followers so that the vision will eventually be achieved.

Although the transformational leader is trying to transform the organization, at the same time the followers are also transforming themselves in the process. The followers become a part of the whole transformation of the organization, a better organization with better employees. Once the transformation leader has transformed the organization and achieved their vision, then they have finally reached their goal. They will then look for a new vision and transform new followers. I believe they are true leaders that are on a never-ending quest to inspire and transform their community and the people in it.

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