Leadership Style and Behavior

Introduction

This paper is based on the topic of leadership. It explores the topic by looking at authentic, transformational, and transactional leadership styles. It also looks at the advantages and disadvantages of the three leadership styles. Further to that, the paper discusses the leadership style which is best for a charity organization known as Samco. The paper uses secondary sources such as articles, textbooks, and websites.

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Leadership is defined as the ability of a person to influence other people to do things that they would not have done without the influence. People with this ability are referred to as leaders and are found in different contexts. In the context of organizations, leading entails the leader consolidating the efforts and resources of an organization and focusing on the future by setting up a vision for the organization.

Definitions of the Three Leadership Styles

Transformational leadership
Attribute Description
Idealized influence (attribute) The leader demonstrates qualities that motivate others
Idealized influence (behavior) The leader communicates the core values, vision, and mission of an
organization
Inspirational motivation The leader exhibits optimism and excitement about organizational goals
Intellectual stimulation The leader examines new perspectives for solving problems and completing tasks
Individualized consideration The leader focuses on the development and mentoring of followers and attends to their individual needs
Transactional leadership
Contingent reward The leader provides rewards for satisfactory performance by followers
Management by exception (active) The leader attends to followers’ mistakes and failures
Management by exception (passive) The leader waits until problems become severe before taking actions
Authentic leadership
The process of authentic leadership Luthans and Avolio initially defined authentic leadership as “a process
that draws from both positive psychological capacities and a highly developed organizational
context, which results in greater self-awareness and self-regulated
positive behaviors by leaders and associates and fosters positive self-development”

Core Components of Transformational Leadership

According to Bass, transformational leadership involves various aspects. For instance, transformational leaders are charismatic. The charisma enables the transformational leaders to enhance the motivation and performance of teams through a variety of mechanisms. The charismatic leader connects to the followers’ sense of identity, challenges the team members to take ownership of their work, and understands the strengths and weaknesses of the team.

Transformational leadership, through the charismatic aspect, helps organizations to realize positive change. The reason is that charismatic leaders are energetic, enthusiastic, inspiring, motivational, and passionate about their organizational success. The leaders are also concerned, involved, and focused on helping every member of the group to succeed (DenHartog, Van-Muijen, & Koopman, 1997).

Transformational leadership has multiple routes to innovation in an organization. The first one is that it leads to the establishment of teams that work together. These teams give themselves a social identity that bonds them together. The other route to innovation is cooperation within an organization. This cooperation leads to innovation because the employees are committed to the success of the organization.

Transformational leadership may directly lead to innovation because the transformational leaders are knowledgeable and possess high technical know-how, especially in research and development. This knowledge and technical know-how, when combined with other transformational aspects of leadership directly provokes employees’ thinking on how to improve the functions, processes, and procedures of their organization, thus leading to innovation (DenHartog, Van-Muijen, & Koopman, 1997).

Core Components of Transactional Leadership

Transactional oriented leaders are those who concentrate on the tasks being undertaken, with the aim of influencing their followers to do the same. A transactional oriented leader ensures that employees pay attention to details so as to complete the tasks in a comprehensive manner. Through the transactional leadership style, leaders are able to spearhead the development of their organizations.

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With the transactional leadership philosophy, all members of a team are involved in identifying essential goals and development procedures for attaining those goals. The team members give their suggestions freely and are involved in decision-making. This leadership style enhances efficiency, employee performance, and productivity in organizations (DenHartog, Van-Muijen, & Koopman, 1997).

Core Components of Authentic Leadership

  • Self-awareness
  • Unbiased processing
  • Authentic behavior or actions
  • Authentic relational orientation
  • The leaders are capable of sharing their thoughts, beliefs, and ideas with the stakeholders without being emotional
  • The leaders are always aware of their strengths and weaknesses. They also keep on re-examining their performance against the set targets
  • The leaders always accommodate opposing views and use them as an opportunity to initiate organizational change
  • The leaders always adhere to ethical codes of conduct and as a result, they are capable of creating a conducive environment for organizational success (Walumbwa, 2008)

Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Leadership Style

Transformational leadership
Advantages Disadvantages
It has the ability to empower the followers If not properly managed, it can lead to job dissatisfaction because it allows the employees to make decisions on matters affecting their work. Such freedom can make the employees overwhelmed leading to confusion and ambiguity due to the lack of a central authority.
The leaders are passionate about implementing organizational change If not properly managed, it can also lead to the poor performance of the employees and increased turnover. The lack of a central authority for decision-making may create confusion in the workplace leading to the low motivation of the employees
It is effective in transitions It leads to duplication of duties
It is participative It leads to failure to perform some tasks due to ambiguity and confusion.
The leaders are able to inspire their followers
It enhances employee retention
Transactional leadership
The leaders are focused on specific objectives The leaders have a tendency to wait until problems become severe before taking actions
The leaders establish personal relationships with their followers The leaders lack the ability to inspire their followers
Authentic leadership
The leaders value the input of their followers The leaders are reactive instead of being proactive
The leaders are honest with their followers It does not motivate employees
It is based on adherence to ethical codes of conduct It does not provide a clear direction to an organization
The leaders are truthful and open to their followers The leaders focus more on ethical codes of conduct than on improvement of the general performance of their organizations
It improves the performance of teams It is not suitable for the implementation of organizational change

The Most Effective Leadership Style

Among the three leadership styles, transformational leadership is the most effective. One of the defining characteristics of transformational leadership is the ability of the leaders to listen to their followers. What is valuable to transformational leaders is listening not talking to others. They pay close attention to what their followers have to say. They then think about how their followers can be assisted to realize their full potential at the workplace. Listening makes the leaders bond with their followers and as a result, teamwork is enhanced in organizations (Mindtools, 2015).

After listening to employees, the transformational leaders imagine themselves in the positions of the employees, and by so doing; they are able to accurately understand the issues affecting the employees and what can be done to solve them. As mentioned earlier, transformational leaders have a great influence on their followers. The leaders are capable of directly inspiring the employees to become motivated and focused on the realization of good results. The influence of the transformational leaders makes employees become agents of change in their organizations (Cherry, 2015).

Transformational oriented leaders have an exceptional ability to create and sustain a cohesive organizational culture. Many organizational researchers agree that a cohesive organizational culture is one in which all members of organizations have similar beliefs and values which hold them together. These beliefs and values are implicit or explicit to the organizations. In this kind of culture, the organizational structure does not matter but what matters most is the commitment of each member of the organization to these beliefs and values.

One benefit of a cohesive organizational culture is that it leads to high motivation among the employees because they share common beliefs and values. When employees are highly motivated, there is minimal use of resources in their supervision which in turn increases their productivity because to them, what matters most is the welfare of the organizations but not their welfare.

Cohesive organizational culture also boosts organizational efficiency because of the internalization of what is expected of each employee. This kind of environment not only increases organizational efficiency but also prevents time wastage because the employees are able and free to consult each other without the fear of victimization or intimidation especially by their managers.

Furthermore, cohesive organizational culture leads to cohesion among various departments of organizations, which leads to the internalization of all organizational rules, policies, and practices by all departments. This cohesion leads to the proper utilization of organizational resources without sabotage. It also enables organizations to develop logical and relevant policies to coordinate their activities in a manner that maximizes their chances of realizing their mission and vision.

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Cohesion among various organizational departments also enhances the sharing of information within the organizations, which increases employees’ levels of understanding of how various departments work. The understanding of how various departments work by employees is very important because it enables them to multitask especially when the organizations are faced with a shortage of staff.

Cohesive organizational culture enhances control, good coordination, and consistency within organizations. The reason is that employees and managers are always on good terms and are able to agree informally on various procedures and practices without compromising the quality of products and services offered by the organizations.

Transformational leadership and management

Transformational leadership is a philosophy of management but not really a leadership style. The philosophy has been applied in many fields such as management, education, administration, and religion. In management, transformational leadership enables managers to become more effective in their leadership capacities. It also enables them to be more acceptable to their followers.

Transformational leadership transforms managers into leaders thus creating what is known as management leadership. Having managers who are leaders is very crucial for organizations that aspire to attain their goals and objectives. The reason is that management leadership goes the extra mile to focus not only on the tasks to be performed but how they are supposed to be performed and what can be done to enhance the achievement of those tasks (Anderson & Ackerman-Anderson, 2010).

Management is the art of getting things done through people. Many organizations have policies, procedures, and guidelines that govern the decision-making process. Transformational leaders understand how to get employees to do what they are supposed to do. The leaders also know the results to be achieved, how best the results can be achieved in an efficient manner, and what gets accomplished.

For transformational leaders to effectively get employees to do the right thing at the right time and in the right manner, they must be appealing to them. It should not be a matter of commanding employees on what to do or simply giving out instructions in form of job descriptions. For transformational leaders to attain their organizational objectives effectively and efficiently, they must be ready to serve their employees so that the employees can serve the organizations.

They must understand that employees are social beings who have social, psychological, and emotional needs. They should also understand that employees do not work for financial gains but also wish to get the intrinsic value of work. In this regard, transformational leadership can help managers to bond with their employees and view the tasks as a collective responsibility, not as segments of jobs for various individuals. In other words, transformational leaders must learn how to manage or lead from the front.

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Management involves making decisions such as hiring and firing, adopting new market strategies, and new human resource policies. A manager therefore should be a person who exercises authority and leadership over employees. In organizations, employees are seen as a resource that is relatively flexible and easy to control for organizational gain. Human resource management, therefore, centers on articulating the needs and aspirations of the employees and meeting their needs, giving them challenges, and helping them towards self-actualization. The articulation of the needs of the employees is only possible if managers embrace transformational leadership which can help them develop organizational core values centered on respect for employees.

The management functions include planning, organizing, staffing, directing, controlling, recruitment, budgeting, and reporting. For the managers, planning means the determination of human resource programs that may contribute to the attainment of the goals established by organizations. The managers must focus on the economic, social, and political environments in which their organizations operate. They must also set aside the resources needed to make their plans work.

The directing aspect of management entails looking for appropriate ways of motivating employees to work willingly and effectively. The manager must give directives to employees for them to know what is expected of them. After directing, the manager should evaluate how jobs are done and what progress is made towards attaining organizational goals. The manager is also supposed to plan how to meet the current objectives of the organization and come up with ways of meeting future organizational goals and objectives.

Transformational leadership aids the directing aspect by ensuring that all employees are assisted to understand their roles and responsibilities and how to undertake them. Transformational leaders do not simply give instructions and sit down to wait for results but they go the extra mile to ensure that all employees are assisted to overcome their challenges in their lines of duty. Transformational leaders are always available to offer social, psychological, emotional, and technical support to the employees. As a result, managers using the transformational leadership philosophy have been described as applying a hands-on approach in their management.

After controlling, the transformational leaders determine how well jobs have been done and what progress has been made towards attaining the set goals. They also understand what is happening and make the necessary changes to ensure the attainment of the set goals and objectives (Khosrow-Pour, 2006).

Leadership Style Which I Would Suggest To Samco and Why

The best leadership approach for Samco is transformational leadership. The reason is that transformational leaders are fully aware of their strengths, weaknesses, biases, feelings, and values. This awareness enables them to serve their followers effectively. The leaders capitalize on their strengths to bring everybody on board in decision-making. They also work on their weaknesses and biases so that they do not affect their ability to serve their followers.

Transformational leadership is also about the leaders having foresight. The foresight enables transformational leaders to understand where the organization has come from, where it is, and where it wants to be in the future and how to get there.

Transformational leaders are able to persuade and appeal to their followers. The ability to persuade and appeal to the followers makes the leaders very influential. The ability to influence followers is very crucial especially in the implementation of organizational change. Through the influence, the leaders are able to convince their followers to accept the change, and therefore, organizational change is implemented with little or no resistance from the employees.

Transformational leaders also have high degrees of commitment to the growth and development of people and organizations. They are ever focused on the enhancement of employees’ skills as well as the development of their organizations. Transformational leaders are also committed to the establishment of communities of people within organizations which enhances cohesiveness within organizations(Eagly, Johannesen-Schmidt, & Van-Engen, 2003).

Under the transformational leadership philosophy, all members of organizations are involved in identifying organizational goals and development procedures for attaining those goals. The role of the transformational leader is to facilitate the attainment of organizational goals. In organizations with transformational leadership, employees are able to give their suggestions freely and are involved in decision-making.

Morale, capacity, and relationship between the leaders and employees are greatly improved. Transformational leadership enhances teamwork and employees’ performance thus creating a productive work environment. If transformational leadership is adopted by leaders, employees are likely to use their skills and capabilities to their fullest (Eagly, Johannesen-Schmidt, & Van-Engen, 2003).

Conclusion

Different scholars have written about different leadership styles. Among the three leadership styles discussed in this paper, transformational leadership is the most effective, especially for the implementation of organizational change. The reason is that transformational leaders are able to inspire their followers to take actions that transform organizations. I would therefore suggest that the Samco organization adopts transformational leadership. The reason is that through transformational leadership, the organization would realize its objectives in an efficient and effective manner.

References

Anderson, D., & Ackerman-Anderson, L.S. (2010). Beyond change management: How to achieve breakthrough results through conscious change leadership. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

Cherry, K. (2015). What is transformational leadership: How transformational leadership inspires. Web.

DenHartog, D.N., Van-Muijen, J.J., & Koopman, P.L. (1997). Transactional versus transformational leadership: An analysis of the MLQ. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 70(1), 19-34.

Eagly, A.H., Johannesen-Schmidt, M.C., & Van-Engen, M.L. ( 2003). Transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership styles: A meta-analysis comparing women and men. American Psychological Association, Inc, 129(4), 569–591.

Khosrow-Pour, M. (2006). Emerging trends and challenges in information technology management. Hershey, Penn.: Idea Group.

Mindtools: Transformational leadership: Becoming an inspirational leader. (2015). Web.

Walumbwa, F. (2008). Authentic leadership: Development and validation of a theory-based measure. Journal of Management, 34(1), 89-126.

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