Leadership Theory - Transformational Leadership

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Leadership Theory - Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership


This essay has attempted to define transformational leadership, uncovering its two faces which are dependency and empowerment and the similarities and the difference between transformational leadership and Servant leadership, the two leadership concepts. The leader's focus is the primary difference that exists between servant leadership and transformational leadership. The focus of the transformational leader is directed toward the organization and through his/her behavior; he/she inspires the follower's commitment toward organizational objectives. On the other hand, the servant leader's primary focus is on the followers. The servant leader believes that the objectives of the organization are subordinate outcome which can be achieved by helping the followers in achieving their objectives by having a primary focus on them. The distinguishing factor to classify a leader as either servant or transformational leader depends on the extent on leader's ability in shifting the primary focus of leadership from followers to the organization (Avolio & Bass, 2002, pp.39-45).

Transformational leadership, also called the new leadership, is the leadership style that brings about a positive change in the followers by enhancing their motivation, lifting up their morale and improving their performance through a variety of mechanisms. Transformational leaders by exemplifying passion, enthusiasm and energy in their approach towards solving the problems, connect follower's self-Identity to the organization's collective identity (Avolio et al., 1991, pp. 9-16).

Transformational leaders are role models who lead by example. They inspire their followers, challenge them to take greater ownership for their work, understand their weaknesses and strengths and optimize the performance of their followers by rightly aligning them with the task that is a best fit to their knowledge and skills. To make sure their follower's success, transformational leaders focuses on helping every group member (Bass, 2000, pp. 18-40).

Literature Review

For many decades, the social scientists are giving a heightened attention to the concept of leadership. Recently, social scientists have shifted their primary focus a new genre of leadership from traditional transactional models with emphasizing on the transformational leadership (Bass, 1985), which they have also termed as visionary or a new leadership.

Studies in the new genre of leadership have shown the positive relationship between the transformational leadership and employee satisfaction. Other studies have also linked transformational leadership with other positive outcomes such as quality improvement, innovativeness and leadership effectiveness which leads to the improved ratings, both objective and subjective, in the overall performance of a business unit or an organization (Clements & Washbush, 1999, pp.146-8).

The leadership influence which transformational leaders exert consequently results in performance beyond expected levels on the part of the followers. The influence of transformational leaders raises an aware among followers the importance and value which designated outcomes hold. Transformational leaders develop inspiring followers who intellectually stimulating to value collective purpose, vision and mission over self-interest. Transformational leaders possess the ability to influence the behaviors, beliefs, attitudes and values of their followers by working through and with them for the accomplishment of organization's purpose and mission (Contee-Borders, 2002, ...
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