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Strong leadership abilities are necessary to ensure the success of any activity performed by a team. Leadership refers to a process through which one person uses the help and support of others towards achieving a particular goal or task.
For one to be a truly effective leader, he/she must understand his/her leadership styles and tendencies. As such, Fitzgerald and Schutte (2010) set out to evaluate how different interventions affect the self-efficacy levels exhibited by transformational leaders. The main purpose of the study is therefore to evaluate the extent to which emotional intelligence and self-efficacy influence transformational leaders.
The authors use results from previously conducted studies as the basis for his research, all the while addressing the issue using various theories such as the Bandura theory of self-efficacy.
In an attempt to describe a transformational leader, Fitzgerald and Schutte (2010) state that an optimistic nature is one of the defining behaviors associated with a transformational leader. A person who can enthusiastically talk about the needs of the organization and draw a compelling image of the bright future that all in the organization can look forward to.
In regard to the influence of self-efficacy to transformational leaders, the authors contend that this intervention greatly affects the performance levels exhibited by transformational leaders. They base their findings on the Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy which define self efficacy as a personal belief to produce to the expected levels regardless of the situation.
By using other credible sources, Fitzgerald and Schutte (2010) compile a comprehensive report proving that higher self-efficacy leads to success due to the fact that self-efficacy is closely linked to job performance and satisfaction.
As regarding emotional intelligence, the authors try to reveal the link that exists between emotional functions and performance. To this end, they conclude that emotional intelligence is perhaps the best factor to use when measuring the success of a transformational leader.
This they attribute to the fact that individuals with emotional control perform well under different circumstances. As such, Fitzgerald and Schutte (2010) state that emotional intelligence determines the behaviors exhibited by a transformational leader, and therefore, it affects the self-efficacy level exhibited by that leader.
I agree with Fitzgerald and Schutte (2010) because key to any efforts at effective leadership is the ability of a person to ensure that everyone under their leadership is involved in and buys into the ideas and concepts that the leader is trying to advance. This is basically the main characteristic of a transformational leader.
In addition, Sashkin (2002) articulates that actions that produce a feeling of charisma towards a leader figure will invariably lead to an increase in the likelihood of the followers to ape the actions of the leader. The same sentiment is shared throughout the article.
However, it should be noted that making the people follow a “model individual” may only be effective for a limited duration of time and the powerful attractive quality of the leader may wane off with time. As such, fully relying on the charismatic characteristic of the leader may be detrimental to the organization on the long run. A leader who embraces the more encompassing role of an ambassador is therefore more likely to make a difference to the organization rather than relying solely on charisma.
I also agree with the fact that communication of a vision is a key step in establishing the character of the leader to the followers. The traits a leader posses determines the level of cooperation they receive from their followers Communicating a vision to the followers gives them a glimpse of what to expect from you as a leader and they judge you by the principles that govern your actions. Personal character traits such as self confidence, honesty and trust can only be seen through their actions and ability to communicate with others.
In addition, sharing a vision of the future reassures the followers of better days ahead. Similarly, it provides meaning and a sense of belong to the followers and other stakeholders as they deem themselves as part of something greater.
A shared vision inspires and motivates them to aim higher and employ extra effort so as to actualize the vision and make a significant difference in their own capacities. This in turn acts as a unifying factor and creates a sense of community between them. In addition to this, communication of visions provides the followers with a theme of change or transformation.
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This is important especially in cases where a seamless transition is desirable. At the same time, the visions also help followers to understand what is expected of them and this helps them make reform and become more innovative. Conclusively, this article is very insightful in the sense that it highlights the core factors that affect the performance levels exhibited by transformational leaders and provides supporting evidence to these claims.
Fitzgerald, S., & Schutte, N. (2010). Increasing Transformational Leadership through Enhancing Self-efficacy. Journal of Management Development, 29(5): 495 – 505
Sashkin, G. (2003). Leadership that matters: the critical factors for making a difference in people’s lives and organizations’ success. USA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.