Transformational Leadership Theory
Transformational leadership is a form of leadership where the leader seeks to transform individuals. The leader will closely work with individuals to realize the needed change. The transformational leader creates a vision which inspires the subordinates to become committed members of a working group (Boerner & Gebert, 2012). As a result, transformational leadership is geared towards enhancing the morale, motivation, and performance of the followers through different means. For instance, in executing a project, the leader can connect the workers’ sense of identity to the project. This creates a kind of collective identity which promotes the realization of objectives. A transformational leader acts as a role model to the followers with a focus on inspiring them and raising their interests in the project (Boerner & Gebert, 2012). The leader will challenge the workers to have a greater sense of ownership to their work. More importantly, a transformational leader fully understands the strengths and weaknesses of their followers thus aligning every worker with the appropriate task.
Developing the Vision
One assumption that underlies transformational leadership is that people will generally follow the person who inspires them most. In this regard, an individual who has vision and power to influence change will get the most followers. A transformational leader seeks to inject change and enthusiasm into their followers to make them more productive in the workplace (Boerner & Gebert, 2012). In many cases, being a transformational leader can be an uplifting experience. The leader takes everything into focus and greatly cares about the followers. For a transformational leader in charge of a project, the first step is always to develop the vision within the team (Boerner & Gebert, 2012). The success of the project largely depends on the presence of a clear vision understood by all workers and stakeholders. The leader will develop the vision while taking account of all future dynamics. The vision must be prepared in a way that excites and converts all followers. The important factor is to ensure that all workers buy into the vision and work towards its realization.
Selling the Vision
After the leader has developed a clear vision, it is then necessary to sell the vision. While managing a team, selling the vision should be undertaken continuously. A transformational leader will take every opportunity to convince all parties to join the bandwagon and work towards the fulfillment of the objectives (Boerner & Gebert, 2012). Selling the vision takes much time and effort, and this requires great energy and commitment on the part of the leader. It is expected that some people within the team will readily accept the vision while others will be slow to accept. A transformational leader creates followers by creating trust amongst people (Boerner & Gebert, 2012). More importantly, the leader leads by example through high personal integrity. In this way, the leader will sell themselves while also selling the vision. For a transformational leader, the core idea is to make people see hope and betterment when they look at the leader. As a result, the leader must always strive to positively reflect in the eyes of the followers so as to gain their trust and commitment. In managing a team, the trust is paramount since it makes everyone committed to the goals of the team. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
Finding a Way Forward
In the same breath as selling the vision, the transformational leader will also find a way forward. In many cases, the transformational leader will understand the right path and will then require others to follow (Northouse, 2010). In other situations, the leader might not have a working strategy and will therefore explore options with support from the team. While the right path might not always be obvious, it is only necessary for the leader to have a clear vision so that they can have proper direction. In a team environment, the team leader can brainstorm with the group members on the right course of action to be taken in case of a challenge. Nevertheless, a transformational leader understands that failures and blind canyons are often inevitable and must be faced along the way (Boerner & Gebert, 2012). The focus is, therefore, to make progress even amid the failures. In managing a team, challenges often abound, and the leader must motivate the group to nurture their spirit and achieve success.
In the course of managing a team, the transformational leader remains upfront and central. The leader must be visible and fully participate in the undertakings of the team. By demonstrating their attitudes and actions, leaders inspire the followers to strive and follow (Northouse, 2010). For a leader, the main idea is to rally and motivate the followers. The leader will continually make rounds to see how the team members are performing and address any challenges they face. The leader must listen, motivate, and inspire the followers at every stage. It is recognized that in every group undertaking, problems will occasionally arise. The real test for a leader comes during such challenges since followers will require guidance from the leader. For instance, when team members begin to question the vision and cast doubts on its feasibility, it is upon the leader to give them hope (Northouse, 2010). The transformational leader seeks to infuse commitment and vision into the followers by becoming people-oriented and believing in success.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
Every leader seeks to create change within a team or an organization. For many followers, the dream is always to be like the leader in some way. In many cases, the followers are a reflection of the leader. Transformational leaders are largely charismatic and succeed by believing in others rather than believing in themselves (Boerner & Gebert, 2012). One challenge faced by transformational leaders is distinguishing between passion and truth. While it is acknowledged that a lot can be achieved through enthusiasm, many passionate people have led others into oblivion and failure. The passion and energy that enables people to pursue success can also make them give up. As a result, the transformational leader must not apply too much energy to the extent of de-motivating the followers. In managing a team, the leader should understand the abilities of every member and make them work within their limits (Boerner & Gebert, 2012). A transformational leader is inspired by positive transformation and is frustrated when no change occurs. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
A transformational leader takes personal accountability and this ensures they work hard to avoid mistakes. Similarly, such leaders must be flexible and be ready to experiment with different options. In a team environment, it is always important to explore different avenues of achieving success (Boerner & Gebert, 2012). A leader should, therefore, be liberal enough to allow the members to introduce different ideas with a focus on achieving objectives. The leader should connect with his/her strengths, values, and purpose. This enables the leader to be courageous and resilient even in the face of challenges and stress. The leader, therefore, seeks every opportunity to bring change to the work and will not resist changes and dynamics brought through technology or other factors. Transformational leadership is often associated with positive outcomes when compared to other leadership styles (Boerner & Gebert, 2012). This arises since this form of leadership stresses on commitment, the well-being of the followers, and role clarity.
Contingency Leadership Theory
Behavioral theories of leadership can enable managers to develop particular behaviors. However, such approaches offer limited guidance on how to ensure effective leadership in different situations (Northouse, 2010). In managing an organization or a team, circumstances and situations will often change thus creating the need for the leader to adapt accordingly. No single leadership style can be applied in all cases. In this regard, the contingency model of leadership proposes that the method to be used should be contingent upon the factors at hand (Northouse, 2010). Changing tasks, people, situations, and environmental variables will compel the leader to change their leadership style to guide people. It should be realized that leadership is often shaped by contextual matters hence leaders prefer to display different behaviors depending on the situation. The contingency leadership theories directly relate to the trait theory. Human traits change depending on the circumstances people face (Northouse, 2010). As a result, a leader will express their leadership in a manner that will make their followers responsive. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
Fiedler’s Contingency Model
Created in the 1960s by Fred Fiedler, the Fiedler’s Contingency model proposes that no single style of leadership can help an organization in all situations (Northouse, 2010). In managing a team, the leader will be confronted with different circumstances. For instance, some projects have very strict timelines while others have ample time. In this regard, the leader must effectively push their members depending on the time available. In applying this model within a team environment, the leader should first identify the style of leadership necessary for the situation at hand. The leader will then determine the situational favorableness, which depends on the relationship between the leader and the members as well as the structure of the task to be accomplished (Northouse, 2010). A leader that is more trusted within the group has more influence over the group and is therefore at a higher favorable situation. Similarly, when the task is clearly structured, it favors the leader as opposed to when it is unstructured and vague.
In order to ascertain whether the task of relationship within the team is appropriate, the leader should ask various questions. In some cases, when the leadership style does not match the situation, the leader could be ineffective. It is occasionally necessary to change the situation rather than the leadership style (Peretomode, 2012). For instance, if the relationship between the leader and the followers is poor, the leader should not change the leadership style but focus on mending the relationship. This can be achieved by listening more to the team members, showing interest in them and spending more time with them to understand their personal issues. A leader who commands a lot of position power can choose not to use it. They can simply become more engaged with the team members to make them understand better for the interest of achieving the objectives of the group (Peretomode, 2012). Fiedler’s model, therefore, stresses on the need to change the situation and not the style of leadership. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
The Hersey-Blanchard model adopts the situational approach to leadership. According to this model, the nature of the situation faced by the leader and the type of subordinates to be managed play a great role in determining the appropriate style of leadership to adopt (Peretomode, 2012). In a team environment, a leader could be in charge of very knowledgeable people who fully understand the task at hand. In another situation, a leader could be in charge of a group of individuals who need directions in every aspect. The leader is required to offer both guidance and socio-emotional support to the followers (Peretomode, 2012). The direction relates to the extent to which the leader goes in guiding members through the duties and responsibilities. It involves telling the members what to do, how to do it, and at what place. Communication in this manner is largely one way. The leader will realize that different people within the group have different maturity levels depending on the task and every member, therefore, requires special attention. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
Action Centered Leadership
The action-centered leadership model was proposed by John Adair as a form of contingency leadership. The Adair model suggests that the leader will get the work done on time through teamwork and cooperation with fellow managers (Peretomode, 2012). The leader should, therefore, offer direction by carefully structuring the job in a manner that fits the people. The leader should also review and support every individual engaged in the work. When managing a team, the leader will allocate duties to every member to fast track the completion of the task. Every person must be given tasks on the basis of their abilities and guided appropriately (Peretomode, 2012). Also, the team leader is required to foster teamwork within the group and ensure the members work collectively towards meeting the objectives. Work and resources must be allocated well, and quality control mechanisms should be put in place. The leader has a duty to maintain discipline and build a team spirit while encouraging and motivating members. Those who perform better should be praised and rewarded (Peretomode, 2012). The members will, therefore, strive to deliver their best towards the achievement of the group’s objectives. It is therefore seen that the success of a team depends greatly on the nature of leadership. A leader should understand the situation and the resources at hand and apply the appropriate means of achieving the objectives. While challenges will abound, proper leadership revolves around managing these difficulties.
Boerner, S., & Gebert, D. (2012). Fostering artistic ensemble performance: Exploring the role of transformational leadership. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 22(3), 347-365.
Northouse, P. G. (Ed.). (2010). Leadership: Theory and practice (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Peretomode, O. (2012). Situational and contingency theories of leadership: Are they the same? IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 4(3), 13-17.