Transformational leadership is an approach to management which has the motive of doing the best for the individuals working in an organization from the root level up to the top management. It focuses on an individual as well as on the entire group. It encompasses many aspects of human character like his work ethics and attitude which makes it possible for him to be an able and fair leader. This quality will enable him to lead from the bottom, middle as well as from the top of the organization. The transformational leaders are those who are the risk-takers, inspirational and provide constant motivation to all his subordinates. In this assignment one can understand what Transformational Leadership is all about and how does it differ from the other leadership styles.
Leadership can be in various forms. There is no single way of providing able leadership inside an organization. Various leaders follow different types of leadership (Keller et al. 2014). It depends on the personal thought process and belief of the individual. A few of the leadership types are enumerated as follows:
This follows a style in which there is no direct supervision. Also it does not provide regular feedback to employees under his supervision. The highly experienced and skilled employees who do not require strict supervision, falls under this category. A good example of this type is that followed by Warren Buffet. He is a business tycoon from the US and one of the richest persons in the world. He is currently the Chairman, CEO and he holds the biggest share in Berkshire Hathaway. His company has employees around him who are efficient. He interferes only when they have done any wrong and deliberately allows mistakes to occur, so that the employees can take a lesson from them. He has tasted great success by following this leadership style.
This type of leadership involves making decisions without being open to the others view points. The managers retain the total authority and impose their orders on the subordinates. This style is applied to employees who require a close supervision. But generally the employees tend to dislike it (Hurt et al. 2015). We can consider the name of Idi Amin, the third President of Uganda. His rule was for 8 long years during the 1970. He was infamous for suppressive rule and total mismanagement. It is a shock to know that nearly 500000 were killed during his regime. He was later on sent on exile.
It is also known as the democratic leadership style. It involves gathering inputs from the peers and subordinates, but the final decision will be taken by the leader himself. The employees like this style as they feel important in the decision making process. This style is suitable mainly in the short period. We can discuss about President John F. Kennedy here. He happened to be the 35th President of the country. He held his post for 2 years till 1963. He used to take the suggestions from his subordinates and peers to develop a more concrete plan although the final decision rested with him. This made him a very popular figure among his colleagues and a popular international figure.
This style depends on communication and guidance from the higher management to the employees in order to reach the organizational goals. By this process, the leaders try to motivate the employees in order to increase their productivity by effective communication and strict supervision. Here the management takes an active part in meeting the organizational goals. The leader delegates the responsibility in small parts to the individual team members and he himself focuses on the larger goal of the organization. Thus it is nothing but to reach the organizational objective by motivating each team member and making all of them work towards reaching the objective (Hazy et al. 2013). We can talk about Walt Disney in this regard. He believed in the policy of changing the outlook of the subordinates by providing exemplary leadership. He believed in innovation and would do anything to reach to his objectives. In 1923, he founded the Disney Brothers Studio, along with his brother. He never shifted his focus from his vision. That is why, he was loved by his subordinates and the whole world looks up to him as someone who provided inspirational motivation.
Here the Transformational Leadership is compared with the other styles of leadership. The respective advantages and disadvantages can be seen.
The Laissez-Faire style does not include strict supervision. It does not even provide regular feedbacks to the employees. It is mainly for the senior and experienced employees who are well- accustomed to their job roles and are carrying out their duties properly. Transformational Leadership is on the other hand dependent on providing leadership from the top down to bottom. Here, the leader interacts with each member of his team and tries to solve their individual problems and guide them towards their own and organizational goals.
Autocratic leadership is the one in which the leader has his own control on every decision. What he says, the subordinates will have to follow. They cannot come up with their own ideas. This is just the opposite of the Transformational. In Transformational style, the leader considers the subordinate’s view points and tries to consider some of their ideas. But he is more focused to lead by example and take his team along with him by providing able guidance to them. This is why transformational style is more popular than autocratic.
Democratic leadership involves the involvement of the fellow members in providing valuable ideas to the leader for consideration. If the leader feels that they are worth consideration, he will implement them in his strategy. But, Transformational leadership involves not only gathering valuable points from the subordinates, but primarily to guide them to reach the goals by able leadership. Here, the leader tries to understand each and every employee’s requirements and then mentor them in his own way to match their ideas with him.
The origin of Transformational Leadership can be attributed to the renowned leadership expert and the biographer, Mr. James MacGregor Burns. There are four basic components of this type of leadership. These are as follows:
The ideal role model
The leader is seen as the role model by the followers. The leader leads by examples and the subordinates try to emulate him (Singh et al. 2014).
Motivating the followers
The leader possesses the capacity to motivate the subordinates by encouraging words and increase their efficiency in the work.
Individual approach to team members
The transformational leader is concerned genuinely about the various needs of each employee. In order to achieve organizational success, it is very important to take care of every team member’s problems and try to solve them and guide them individually (Guerrero et al. 2014).
Providing intellectual stimulation to the subordinates
The leader provides continuous challenges to each employee to bring out their creativity and innovation. This continuous stimulation keeps the employees involved in their own works and they try to perform all the more to an even better level of efficiency and output (Grille et al. 2015).
In order to demonstrate how an organization succeeds in achieving its goals, we may cite the example of Apple Inc. Apple Inc, the renowned hardware and software manufacturer happens to be an American organization which is headquartered at Cupertino in California. It was founded on 1st April, 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne (Lopes et al. 2015). Among them, Steve Jobs who was the co-founder, CEO and chairman of Apple deserves special mention. Steve Jobs was instrumental in making Apple one of the leading hardware and software manufacturers of the era. This report attempts to reflect his qualities as a transformational leader and how it helped Apple to reach the ultimate level of success. It might be said that the return to Apple in 1997 by Jobs was the golden period for Apple. He not only changed the fortune of the company but also the entire computer industry (Buch et al. 2014).
In order to understand what Jobs has done for Apple, it is important to look back 15 years. During the period 1995-96, Apple was in a mess. The products were not performing as expected and that caused a decrease in the revenues. A Web Campaign was conducted in order to attract some of the fans to buy a certain number of shares of the company to prove a point to Wall Street that Apple was still far from over. In order to improve the situation, Apple purchased NeXT, the computer company founded by Jobs, when he was fired from Apple in 1986. After this, Jobs convinced Apple’s board of directors to request for Mr. Gil Amelio’s resignation as the CEO of the company (Crooke et al. 2015). It was then Jobs’s period of service as the interim CEO. Later on he became the permanent CEO. His impressive leadership, involving all the employees of the company, guiding each one of them along the organizational objectives, began to prove instrumental in the turnaround of Apple.
By that time, Apple became the most valued corporation in the U.S. It exceeded Microsoft and Intel combined, in terms of market share and revenues. He changed the fortune of the company totally by making things simple. This was the essence of his leadership style. He and Jonathan Ives designed new strategies for the company which proved to be a revelation for Apple. Apple lacked focus and there were managers who were unethically competing with each other. Jobs was the person who put an end to all these unhealthy situations by paying individual attention to each of them and trying to find out the necessary course of action (Baron et al. 2014). This upper management intervention and supervision still exists in Apple, which is the reason for its success till today. Apple was slowly emerging as the most technologically developed company, its market share was increasing and was the golden period for the company. Today Apple boasts of 437 retail stores across 15 countries. It manufactures brands like Mac, iPod, iPad, iPhone, iPad Mini, Apple TV, Apple Watch, OSX, iOS, iWork and iLife. This shows how transformational form of leadership can change the fortunes of a company which was on the verge of downsizing. It also shows how an able leader like Steve Jobs can positively impact the way of working and thinking of a company which lost all hopes of sustaining at a point of time. These are the positive impacts of Transformational Leadership. Nowadays, other leaders are also trying to emulate this style of leadership to gain success in the market (Amundsen et al. 2015).
In the end it might be said that various organizational leaders believe in different leadership styles. It depends on their mentality and approach. Any organization, whether big or small, from any sector of the industry, needs able leaders at the top of management, to give direction to the employees and make them work in unison to achieve the goals of the company in short run as well as in the long run. We come across several leaders in history who have given motivational leadership to their followers and which resulted in something meaningful and successful.
This article reflects the various leadership styles with the primary focus on Transformational Leadership. This form of leadership is time tasted and many organizations like, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, etc have benefited from it. Hence, any corporate and the leaders should emulate this form of leadership to bring a total sense of responsibility and oneness in the organization. This will efficiently increase the output of the company in the long run. For all the organizations, it is extremely important to identify the persons who have the potential to become the Transformational leaders. They are dynamic and they change the way the organization thinks and modify them to take the company to new height of success.
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