In any organization, the focus is based on yielding high profits. The key to this lies in the leader who in turn inspires the staff. Leadership in an organization is usually classified in different categories based on the style the leader uses.
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Different leadership styles are used to attain desired goals, but Bass (2006) pointed out in his work that the secret to an organization that is effective in achieving its goals lies in the use of transformational leadership. A leader usually uses power and influence to exercise authority. In transformational leadership however, the idea is to emphasize on influence to manage the teams and bring them aboard in understanding the vision the leader has.
Transformational leadership therefore can be defined as implementing new ideas by way of adopting a more flexible and universal method of influencing and continually ameliorating those around them. This type of leadership calls for the leader and the staff to work on improving one another’s motivation levels.
Motivational leaders bravely work towards making the staff realize the need for higher ideas and the vision they have for the future of the organization. Transformational leaders naturally role model the followers and pass their enthusiasm by clearly letting them visualize what his ideas are, what he is doing and by outlining his genuine personal beliefs he shows the followers that he has these values. Transformational leaders are able to achieve these results by possessing certain qualities and characteristics.
Transformational leaders understand their abilities and confidently stand firm on their beliefs. The confidence in their abilities keeps them motivated and helps them to emotionally connect to the organization. They have high levels of self-determination which helps them attain a sense of direction for the organization and in turn influence the followers and together they propel the organization in the right course.
They possess self drive which helps them to visualize themselves as achievers who do not have to rely on luck to achieve good results. It is this understanding of self that help them to transform those around them (Chammas, 2010).
Another characteristic of effective transformational leaders is seen in their ability to understand those around them and particularly those under them. Transformational leaders carefully understand and purposefully influence and motivate the staff to understand the goals and together they working the direction of attaining that goal since he assists them to realize its intended worth.
This requires the transformational leader to have the right communication skills to be able to relay the vision they have to a point of winning the willingness of the followers such that they too are excited and have the drive to achieve the desired change. A transformational leader fully understands what they hope to achieve and the process carefully relaying the intent to the followers requires idealized influence which ensures the followers are not resistance to the idea.
To do so the leader must also be willing to actively involve them in chatting the way forward towards attaining the goal. After they are all in agreement of the right course of action to take, the transformational leader again provides inspirational motivation to keep them going and excite their minds to have the urge to achieve the task.
After the transformational leader purposefully develops the ideas and effectively influences the staff to yearn to do attain the goal, it only marks the beginning of the process. The work of the transformational leader now is to keep the staff focused on the vision continually, help them stick to the agreed on course of action to attain the vision and continually be actively involved in influencing more and more colleagues to support the vision.
The importance here is to make sure that the staff clearly understood the vision the leader has for the organization’s future and make sure that they will support the course and keep abreast with the importance of the task even in years to come. The staff should not just be involve din doing their assigned job but engage in the job because they realize the importance of the outcome of the job.
The last characteristic of transformation leadership is a combination of three qualities which require that the transformational leader think outside the box. According to Chammas (2010), a transformational leader is not afraid to evaluate the organizations tradition and make changes to them without interfering with the organizations core business.
This requires that they come up with innovative and creative ways that work inline with the vision they have for the organization. In their pursuit for change they are seen as ignoring the present and yearning for a better future. A factor that works with this is their willingness to embrace innovations and ideas.
The transformational leader encourages the others to come up with new methodologies and innovations that are in line with attaining the vision. This they do so as to keep abreast with the changing times and to demonstrate that they understand that new challenges in the future need new solutions.
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They therefore encourage suggestions and accordingly offer appraisals for the best ideas. The third point on the same is that the transformational leader takes up their role as the advisor and the guide of the team. Their role here is to assist the whole team through the operations. This requires that they understand that each individual have their own personal strengths and weaknesses in given areas.
The leader also takes into consideration the individual’s level and will to adjust to the new ideas. By understanding the readiness levels the leader is able to establish the right timing for implementing the new ideas so that the resistance is kept at minimal. The ability to forge ahead and achieve anew transformed organization depends on the transformational leader’s influential levels on the staff and to develop them in the areas needed to achieve a new organization.
Transformational leadership has proven effective by far compared to other leadership styles. This is due to its influential nature that seeks to have both the leader and the follower develop each other and together they work towards attaining a vision and in turn a new organization.
The benefits of adopting transformation leadership are clearly felt in the outcomes. Transformation leadership increases the influence at the topmost leadership level. This according to Cox (2010) is because transformational leaders act as role models to other employees in the organization hence are obeyed and their method of dealing with people is respected. The result is an organization where there is solid unity between the leader and the employees which give rise to an atmosphere of mutual trust and communication is effective.
This means that the executive is given a hearing by other staff and therefore implementation of ideas is fast and the environment at the work place is not tense or hierarchical. This is because more emphasis is laid on developing each other as opposed to arguing on bureaucracy. The leader concentrates on guiding the staff through the vision as opposed to spending most of the time trying to unite opposing groups in an organization. Results are achieved very fast once all the staff are on board and are working passionately.
Another benefit of transformational leadership is seen in the way the leader oozes with charisma and the excitement they have performing their duty. The rest of the staff is able to read clearly what the leader’s aspirations are and consequently they follow in trying to achieve the vision too. The energy possessed by transformational leaders is said to be a major contributor of the other staffs willingness to join in because they are inspired by their leader’s genuine vision of taking the organization to a whole new level.
A successful and effective organization is able to be realized through two important aspects; a leader who has a clearly defined vision for the organization, and staff who have the will to assist and work together towards realization of that goal. Transformational leaders are enthusiastic about the vision they have and through their ability to bring other staff on board, realizing the vision becomes very easy and hence a successful and effective organization (Cox, 2010).
A major benefit of transformational leadership is the way they are able to guide the employees bit by bit in achieving a change in the organization. This they do by gradually explaining and influencing the employees and therefore take them through the step-by-step process of attaining the desired change.
They are able to visualize the changes the organization should hope to achieve e.g. introduction of a new product, new methods of operating, new technology adjustments etc. they then embark on a mission to carefully engage the employees in trying to understand their feeling toward the desired change. According to Xenitelis (2010) this they do through employing tactical approaches in trying to reveal their thoughts on the same and to involve them directly in the process of defining the desired change.
They then attempt to make that necessary adjustment so as to make the employees clearly get the picture as to why the change is important, and what it hopes to achieve. After the necessary change is made to propel the vision, the transformational leader then guides the process and ensures that every one is on board. The leader keeps a constant check by evaluating the process as it continues and hence makes the necessary changes.
This step-by-step engaging of the process proves very successful and is the most effective way of the organization realizing changes. It is also an effective way of avoiding resistance to change which is usually a major hindrance to progress in an organization. Its effectiveness is seen especially where the organization wishes to launch a new product or they desire to make complete change in their operating processes (Xenitelis, 2010).
Employees in an organization led by a transformational leader always feel the challenge to keep their energies going because they are inspired by the leader. This fosters a feeling of taking ones duties and responsibilities personal and yearning to perform ones tasks to the best of their abilities. This sort of inspiration by the transformational leader encourages the employees to come up with new ways of doing things.
Creativity and innovativeness amongst the employees is encouraged and this in turn brings out the full potential the individual has while still addressing the issue of self development. The benefits of such a working environment trickle down to the organization which has employees with self fulfillment and are giving their best and their creative input is enjoyed hence the organization’s effectiveness is realized (Stewart, 2006).
Bass, one of the pioneers of transformational leadership pointed out that application of this style of leadership helps the employees push their abilities to levels they never thought they could reach. In addition to transformational leadership uniting and ensuring people are in agreement, Bass pointed out that it fosters a working culture where moral force flourishes and therefore the level of employee turnover is kept at minimum.
Employees who understand that the organization they are working for encourages them to give their creativity and allows them to develop to levels they never thought they could achieve are likely to stick with the organization for long. The benefits of such a working culture are realized in the organizations success towards achieving its vision since the costs associated with employee turn over and employee retention are cut as well as the benefits of developed and satisfied employees (Bass, 2006).
Transformational leadership brings forth a culture and climate in an organization whereby, success is bound to prosper. When a transformational leader takes into consideration the abilities and needs of each employee individually and shares their genuine vision in a clear and elaborate manner, it brings forth a culture of honesty and receptiveness.
The employees feel that their input is respected and credit awarded for their ideas. This in turn gives rise to a working environment where there is job satisfaction and consequently due to absence of commotions the environment is stress free.
The employees are always in high spirits and their motivation to work hard is on top hence they express freely their abilities to improve on certain areas and the areas where they are strong in is emphasized on. Organization’s success is bound to be realized in such a working culture which is stress-free, high motivation levels, job satisfaction is high and personal abilities are given a consideration.
Transformational leadership is beneficial in that it can help an organization cut on the costs. Through the transformational leader’s ability to connect with the employees and giving them a chance to understand the task at hand including allowing their ideas and creativity, job satisfaction is achieved which means employees do not feel the need to leave the organization hence the reduced employee turn over. This in a major way saves the organization high costs that are associated with loosing employees and having to employ new ones.
In a transformational leadership organization, the employees are given a chance to concentrate on areas they are strong hence the unnecessary costs of having to train the employees on areas they are unfamiliar with are reduced. This also goes for the fact that the employees are given a chance to develop and as they work harmoniously they teach each other through sharing of ideas and hence in-training of employees is unnecessary in most cases (Stewart, 2006).
In conclusion, effectiveness in an organization highly depends on the leader’s ability to have a vision, ability to build consensus with the employees and adjusting his leadership style such that it fits the vision and is able to guide the whole team towards the desired direction.
Transformational leadership takes all this into consideration by having the leader clearly understand the direction he wants to propel the organization, influencing the employees and making them understand how important the change is then together they engage in the process.
Transformational leadership combines the right employees and the right motives and inspires creativity and motivation in achieving a smooth flow of processes which in the long run ensure an effective organization which delivers in its results and is consistent in achieving the desired changes.
Bass, M. and Riggio, E. (2006) Transformational Leadership. New York, Routledge.
Chammas, A. (2010) Leadership Characteristics for Organizational Transformation Success, Transformational Leadership, vol. 12, no. 6, pp. 16-27.
Cox, R. (2010) The Benefits of Transformational Leadership. 2010. Web.
Stewart, J. (2006) Transformational Leadership: An Evolving Concept Examined through the Works of Burns, Bass, Avolio, and Leithwood, Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy. vol. 27, no. 56, pp. 1-19.
Xenitelis, M. (2010) Transformational Leadership, Management. vol. 43, no. 12, pp. 11 17.