Transformational Leadership of Restaurant Business

Introduction

Good leadership is of great importance when a number of people are working together to achieve a common goal. By definition, leadership is the process through which an individual makes use of the support of others to fulfill certain objectives. Through effective leadership, a person is able to motivate and guide his followers to accomplish set goals. A variety of leadership styles can be used to enhance the process and increase the chances of attaining desirable results. Personally, I have had the chance to be involved in a number of leadership situations. In this paper, I will describe and analyze a leadership situation I was engaged in and elaborate on the leadership style displayed.

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The Situation

I experienced a leadership situation when I was given the task of managing my father’s restaurant. This restaurant had 13 members of staff who included cooks, waiters, cleaners, and cashiers. While I had in the past helped out in the running of the business, it had not been at a managerial level. I requested the opportunity since I felt that I could benefit from the experience as well as implement some ideas I had on how to improve the restaurant. My father was very pleased with my enthusiasm for the business and he allowed me to take up this leadership position

As the leader, I was tasked with a number of important functions. To begin with, it was my job to communicate the objectives of the restaurant to the staff and ensure that everyone worked towards realizing these goals. Ricketson asserts that effective communication is integral to the success of any team effort (18). It is through this activity that individuals get to know what is expected of them and how they can achieve success.

In addition to this, I was required to monitor the performance of the workers and ensure that they were all demonstrating great productivity. I sometimes offered advice on steps that could be taken to enhance productivity. Finally, I worked hard to promote a sense of commitment to the restaurant. I wanted the staff to know that their efforts were appreciated and foster a sense of community within the restaurant.

Analysis of the Situation

From reviewing the situation, I can conclude that I demonstrated the use of the transformational leadership style. By definition, transformational leadership is a style that creates a relationship of trust and respect between leader and followers (Ricketson 18). Through this relationship, the leader is able to promote continuous learning, innovation, and change. Transformational leaders are able to work together with the followers and create an environment of mutual respect hence increasing productivity. As the restaurant manager, I demonstrated this leadership style in a number of ways.

During my first day as a manager, I took the time to learn the role of each employee. I spent most of the day moving around the restaurant to gain a better understanding of the various tasks carried out by the staff. I also introduced myself formally and communicated the importance of particular tasks to the restaurant’s success. Dyck and Mitchell declare that the transformational leader should make followers aware of the importance of their performance and task outcomes (132). Only when followers comprehend the impact of their work can they be inspired to perform at a higher level.

The transformational leader actively participates in the activities of the followers. Dyck and Mitchell assert that these leaders demonstrate an understanding of the tasks carried out by the subordinates (94). Due to my previous experience in the restaurant, I knew the major operations of the business. I was able to participate in and supervise the day-to-day operations of the staff. The transformational leader should monitor the work of the followers and propose corrective action when needed. This will ensure that the work is effectively accomplished.

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A defining characteristic of transformational leadership is the ability of the leader to inspire. The transformational leader provides inspirational motivation by using emotional appeals to motivate the followers to become committed to the shared vision of the organization (Dyck and Mitchell 90). By talking to the staff, I was able to articulate to them the vision I had for the restaurant. I hoped to increase the number of customers by improving the quality of services offered by the business. I communicated this vision with the staff and compelled them to work towards realizing it. I believe that this gave them a sense of purpose since they knew what they were aiming for. Ricketson observes that in transformational leadership, the leader provides followers with a vision and a sense of mission (19).

In the transformational leadership style, the leader is able to engage in the intellectual stimulation of his followers. Ricketson defines this as encouraging followers to become creative and innovative to achieve greater outcomes both for themselves and for the organization (19). I had observed that some of the employees at the restaurant were students. Several of them were enrolled in business classes while others were taking hospitality courses.

I knew that these individuals anticipated better careers in their future. In addition to this, they were eager to implement the concepts they were learning in class in a real-world business environment. I encouraged them to exercise creativity and inform me of any new ideas they thought of. By doing this, I promoted personal growth in individual followers. This is an attribute of transformational leadership where the leader engages the followers to fulfill their higher needs.

In transformational leadership, the leader shows concern for the needs of the followers. He is able to show individualized consideration to each of the followers. In my case, I took the time to listen to the needs of my followers. Most of these needs were not work-related and they concerned the home and school experiences of the workers. I was able to not only listen but also empathize with these needs. In one case, I helped a waiter who was having trouble locating a good baby-care center for her child find one. By showing genuine concern about the issues that my followers were facing, I was able to gain their respect and admiration. They were more willing to help me achieve the objectives I had set.

When the transformational leadership style is used, the leader is able to gain the acceptance of the followers. However, this acceptance only occurs if the followers can recognize the leaders as being competent, idealistic, and committed to achieving success for both the organization and its employees (Dyck and Mitchell 99). While acting as the manager, I made a point to set a good example for the employees. I always arrived at work on time and took the same number of breaks as my followers. When the restaurant was busy over a lunch hour, I would help with the waiting. My dedication to the restaurant was noted by the employees who observed that I was willing to lead by example. The followers were able to accept me as their competent leader.

Discussion and Conclusion

From the experience, I learned of the benefits that a team or an organization could obtain when the transformational style is used. The style makes it possible for the followers to look beyond their own self-interest and instead work towards achieving the goals set forth by the leader. The leadership style also contributes to great follower satisfaction. By showing genuine concern and promoting the personal growth of the follower, the leader is able to increase the level of work satisfaction. The immense influence that a leader gains when using this style makes it easy for him to persuade the followers to increase their productivity.

This paper set out to analyze and report on a leadership situation that I was involved in. To this end, I have described the leadership I demonstrated as the manager of my father’s restaurant. From the analysis made, it emerges that I gained experience using the transformational leadership style. In this style, the leader creates a relationship of trust and respect and then encourages the followers to transcend their self-interest for the good of the team objectives. The paper has provided examples of instances where I made use of the transformational leadership style and achieved positive results. This experience shows that the effective use of a leadership style contributes to the achievement of success.

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Works Cited

Dyck, Bruno and Mitchell Neubert. Management: Current Practices and New Directions. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.

Ricketson, Rushton. An Exploration of the Relationship of Leadership Styles and Dimensions of Courageous Followership. NY: ProQuest, 2008. Print.

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