This time, a new type of leadership has been discovered. It is transformational leadership, the process during which people’s interests, demands, and abilities are changed (transformed) on the basis of the emotions, values, and properly set goals (Northouse, 2010). There are many benefits of this kind of leadership because it is usually interesting to people. When people like something and understand that it makes sense to them, they are ready to investigate it thoroughly. Transformational leadership helps leaders to become more attentive to the needs and motives that are crucial for their followers.
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It also focuses on the highest level of the followers’ potential and the changes that can happen to people when they want to achieve a goal and succeed in the work done. Talking about transformational leadership, people may face such concepts as charisma and transactions that take place between leaders and their followers. A transaction is a process that happens when a leader appreciates and encourages a person (e.g. a teacher gives A for the student’s work).
Charisma is the means used by a leader to motivate and support the followers. It happens that people are not always aware that they possess charisma confusing it with their qualities and knowledge. In spite of the fact that some people admit that transformational leadership usually lacks a kind of conceptual clarity and the required link between the transformations and personal changes (Northouse, 2010), transformational leadership with its Five Practices model (modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging the process, enabling other to act, and encouraging the heart) help to achieve good results and discover the best qualities that are crucial for all leaders. Potential leaders are welcome to take the tests and check if they are ready for transformational leadership.
The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership model consists of 5 points that should be considered by people. I think that this model is one of whose I would like to apply in the future as soon as I can learn all the peculiarities of good leaders. Still, it is always interesting to complete the inventory now to be able to compare my current results with the results I can achieve after the course. Among the existing variety of behaviors, I find the ideas to model the way and enable other to act as the crucial ones because they can help to create a solid basis for future work. The necessity to model the way focuses on two main behaviors: setting an example for the followers and clarify the values that are necessary for the work (Kouzes & Posner, 2003).
To enable other to act means to provide people with the opportunities to share their thoughts and approaches. It is necessary for a good leader not only to identify personal strengths and create good conditions but also to help the followers find and choose the skills important for business.
My personal evaluation of the skills shows that much work should be done to engage other behaviors. I need to focus more on the challenges that are necessary to the process and the ways on how to encourage the heart and celebrate the victories without demonstrating my weaknesses. This model helps me understand that leadership is not that easy due to the necessity to find out the line between emotions and requirements. Leaders have to encourage each step taken by the follower but never give a chance to realize that work can be replaced or done by someone else.
There are two important readings that help to understand the worth of transformational leadership and the model that helps to encourage behaviors. Leaders should realize that it is never to learn, develop skills, and rely on the experience of other people. The evaluation of the examples demonstrated by different leaders explains how transformational leadership can be organized. Some people cannot even guess that they are on a certain level of transformation at the moment.
That is why the books by Northouse (2010), who defines transformational leadership as the process that “creates a connection that raises the level of motivation and morality in both the leader and the follower” (p. 172), and Kouzes and Posner (2003), who help to identify personal traits, are useful sources of information. They give a clear explanation of how good leaders should behave and develop relations with the followers. Besides, they want to encourage the reader to evaluate their readiness to leadership at different stages of reading.
The model developed by Kouzes and Posner (2003) is a chance to clear up what can be done to create good leader-followers relation and use the theory on the basis of the already gained knowledge and skills. Not many authors want to cooperate with the reader through the books. They just give the material and share their experience. These two readings is a dialogue between the author and the reader during which the reader is able to offer his/her own interpretations and make conclusions. It turns out to be easy to understand if transformational leadership is an appropriate model for a particular leader or not and make the following choices regarding the current achievements.
Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2003). Leadership practices inventory (“LPI”) Self-Scoring Instrument. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Northouse, P. (2010). Leadership: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.