Leadership is considered to be one of the most important parts of corporate practices. The reason for this belief is that leadership provides organizations with vast amounts of opportunities to grow, develop, and overcome obstacles. However, leadership is often juxtaposed to management regarding their impact on the organizations’ effectiveness and development. Many researchers believe one practice to exceed the other. Others state that both practices are means to different ends and ultimately have different goals. Nevertheless, there is a significant coverage of both topics. Some examples of this would be researches by Bârgău (2015), Long (2017), and Hartley, Sørensen, and Torfing (2013). The purpose of this paper is to analyze some of the types of leadership in the framework of future organizations’ development and potential.
The two types of leaderships that will be discussed in this paper are transformational and transactional leadership. Recent studies demonstrate that there is a significant amount of dispute going on between researchers regarding the relationships of these two types of leadership (Odumeru & Ogbonna 2013, p. 355). Many scientists believe these kinds of leaderships to be one and the same. However, there is scientific evidence that proves this statement wrong.
Zhu et al. (2013, p. 94) state that “one mechanism central to the process of effective transformational leadership is the development of follower trust in the leader”. Keeping this in mind, one has to understand that the nature of transformational leadership lies in the ability of a leader to engage their followers, motivate them, and give them certain incentives to follow. This is supported by the statement of Urick and Bowers (2014, p. 99) that argue that transformational leadership in education “engages and empowers teacher involvement in school leadership”. Although this example is provided to illustrate how this type of leadership functions in educational institutions, it represents the possibilities provided by transformational leadership entirely.
Therefore, the aim of transformational leadership is to concentrate the responsibility for pushing organization’s development further in the hands of just one person that would stimulate others to work efficiently towards a common goal. This type of leadership allows members of an organization focusing on their own tasks that are predetermined by the leader. The leader, in turn, creates goals that the duties are supposed to achieve. While performing their duties, workers are motivated to implement innovation and unorthodox methods to resolve problematic issues.
Nevertheless, transformational leadership has its shortages. Firstly, the most obvious flaw is that this type of leadership does not guarantee that every innovation will work out correctly. Simply put, an organization that focuses on transformational leadership develops outwards, while sometimes putting the necessity to strengthen its weak points aside. Thus, there is a high amount of risk present. Although this risk may be negated by risk-managing procedures, this also does not guarantee that there would be no risk altogether. Further, in situations when an organization goes through crises it is highly irrational to try to search for innovative approaches. Rather, the organization must focus on its current problems and conventional stable resolutions that will help to overcome them.
Transactional leadership, on the other hand, is the type that focuses more on stable and tested approaches to business. Its focus is on mitigating crises and hazardous events. McCleskey (2014, p. 122) defines fundamental characteristics of transactional leaderships by stating that “transactional leadership allows followers to fulfill their own self-interest, minimize workplace anxiety, and concentrate on clear organizational objectives such as increased quality, customer service, reduced costs, and increased production”. Thus, transactional leadership, unlike transformational type, focuses on leader’s ability to stimulate workers to negate their flaws and problems. The focus is on creating a safer environment, where every part of an organization will function correctly. Furthermore, incorporating this type of leadership results in providing more encouragement to workers that become confident in their abilities.
Therefore, transactional leadership provides an organization with an opportunity to grow inwards. It creates every vital asset required for a company to avoid hazardous situations and improves the workflow in general. Flaws of this type of leadership are evident. Naturally, transactional leadership does not focus on finding innovations, which may result in significant periods of stagnation, where an organization is forced into a crisis-like situation. In fact, avoiding extraordinary means of overcoming obstacles, leads many organizations to the brink of financial collapse. Needless to say, this is not something that any organization desires.
However strong the implication that every organization should take the best from both types of leaderships may be, some of the greatest examples of leaders prove otherwise. Spahr (2015, para. 19) uses the example of John D. Rockefeller to demonstrate what a transformational-oriented leader represents. The author describes how the Standard Oil organization grew under the leadership of Rockefeller that spent a significant amount of his time directing the courses that the organization took. On the contrary, the same author uses an example of Bill Gates to demonstrate how one of the greatest and recognized companies of modern time grew under the transactional leadership type direction (Spahr 2016, para. 20).
All in all, as already stated, both types of leaderships represent different approaches and, therefore, different outcomes. Nevertheless, it is advisable for every leader to try to find the balance between the two types. Although it may seem nearly impossible, there is no evidence that both types cannot mix into a single more powerful leadership that takes advantages of both and eliminates possible flaws. If this kind of system is polished and perfected, there would be an ideal rate of growth, which would be characterized by both outwards and inwards progression. Alas, as of now this goal remains to be reached by some organization’s exceptional leader that would be able to focus on both innovation and improvements.
However, it would be unwise to state that the unmixed types are flawed. There is no evidence indicating that any of the two categories do not function properly. In fact, as represented by the examples, both types of leadership are able to create and sustain highly successful systems, which allow organizations to evolve to the point of becoming dominant in their field of activity. Therefore, there are significant advantages to each type of leadership.
“Emotional intelligence is critical to leadership success”. This statement focuses on an asset that every leader is supposed to have. This quality is emotional intelligence. However, to fully grasp the importance of this trait, one would have to understand what it represents. The definition of emotional intelligence in the framework of leadership has been developed by a number of researchers that mostly worked separately. According to Batool (2013, p. 85), emotional intelligence is compiled of four characteristics that allow a leader to create and manage emotions to their advantage successfully. Those four elements are the ability to perceive emotions, understand, manage, and use them. Thus, emotional intelligence is somewhat similar to what the general intelligence represents. The difference lies in the fact that, rather than using intelligence to understand cause-effect relations and analyze patterns, one uses their intelligence to analyze emotions and use them to their advantage.
Thus, taking into account the fact that every leader has to work with his followers to some extent, one cannot deny the importance of emotional intelligence. After all, the thing that makes a leader successful is their ability to motivate, create incentives, and, well, lead. The leader that possesses high levels of emotional intelligence is both compelling and charismatic, driving and helping to drive his company further. The possibilities that such leader can create are limitless. The members of an organization led by a person with high level of emotional intelligence are likely to perform far better due to various highly effective incentives that this leader is able to create.
This fact is supported by a significant number of researches. As stated by Siegling, Nielsen, and Petrides (2014, p. 65), “leadership and management positions require high trait EI”, which was proven via quantitative research methods. As far as known to Leadership Science, leader’s emotional intelligence affects various components of leadership and organizations’ performance. Moreover, emotional intelligence is able to create a certain degree of competition. This is stipulated by the fact that everybody possesses emotional intelligence; sometimes non-leaders may be much more emotionally intelligent than their leaders. If that is the case, leaders would simply be unable to motivate non-leaders to pursue common goals, if they do not perceive them as important. It would be unwise to state that there can be no leader without extraordinary emotional intelligence. However, there is also no point in denying that a leader does not need to be emotionally intelligent to some extent.
As for examples of highly emotionally intelligent leaders, the leadership science knows a lot of them. Jeff Bezos of Amazon is the leader that is deeply concerned about his customers’ emotional state of being (Emotional Intelligence in Leaders: Real Life Examples 2016, p. ix). Bezos developed a far-stretching perspective regarding business strategies and relationships between employees and customers and between employees themselves. This illustrates how far a leader can go if they are concerned about the emotional state of their subordinates and clients. Another example is Howard Schultz of Starbucks. For eight years Schultz did not participate in the company’s activities. However, he decided to come back because he felt deep emotional bond connecting him to his employees and customers. Starbucks is known to have one of the most outstanding healthcare policies amongst influential organizations. This policy was adopted by Schultz because he was deeply affected by his father losing health insurance when Schultz was very young.
To summarize, emotional intelligence is highly relevant. However, it is not the trait that only leaders possess. On the contrary, this quality makes every person unique just like general intelligence does. Therefore, it is one of the critical characteristics of every leader that desires for his courses of action to be effective and inspirational. If a person possessing high levels of emotional intelligence is in charge, the company is almost obliged to perform excessively well.
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