This article provides that there is a strong role of emotional intelligence in the transformational leadership style of a project manager. The primary responsibility of a project manager is the achievement of project objectives by performing the role of a leader. For the accomplishment of such objectives, an integrated approach is required to be adopted. This approach assists in focusing on the emotional and rational aspects of the project. Therefore, this article studies the linkages between transformational leadership styles and emotional intelligence abilities of a project manager. This linkage is under the project management and systems thinking approach. Moreover, the tremendously changing business environment results in the redesigning of systems in order to decrease costs. It also necessitates the speeding up of product development along with focused attention on the satisfaction of the customers. This requires the utilization of project management for the implementation of strategic initiatives through projects (Leban & Zulauf, 2004).
The article also highlights that project management is the assistance provided by various activities such as planning, developing and controlling that are required to be completed in order to meet the objectives of the project. The role of the project manager is critical to the success of the project. It also specifies the abilities required in the thinking process of project managers along with other qualities in order to perform the effective management of the project. The leadership role performed by the project manager is considered to be a proactive job where the project managers must possess the capability to understand what drives people (Bryman, Collinson, Grint, Jackson & Bien, 2011). They should also possess the ability to enlist the self-interest of the people for the accomplishment of goals and objectives of the project. The leaders that engage in the transformational behaviors produce positive outcomes in the organization.
This article assists in coming to a conclusion that transformational leadership style of a project manager has a progressive influence on actual project performance. It also provides that emotional intelligence ability of the project manager makes a great contribution to the transformational leadership style (Clarke, 2010). In other words, there are a various connections between transformational leadership style and emotional intelligence abilities. The transformational leadership has an inspirational motivation component which is related with emotional intelligence. Individual consideration and idealized influence components of transformational leadership are related with strategic use of emotional intelligence. However, the component of laissez-faire and transactional leadership has negative relationship with understanding emotions and strategic emotional intelligence. The measurement of emotional intelligence is suggested by the capability of managing and understanding sentiments. Such measurement can follow without recognizing emotional state or completely undergoing them (Rezvani, et. al., 2016).
Also, effective leadership has interpersonal skills as an integral part since more service oriented industries have come into existence nowadays. Therefore, leadership roles help in motivating and inspiring others along with fostering positive attitudes at work (Ramchunder & Martins, 2014). It also creates a sense of contribution the stakeholders and team members.
This article demonstrates various concepts such as diamond model which is also known as ‘four wheel drive’ model. The four wheels or elements of diamond model are self, others, task and organization. The ‘self’ element of diamond model specifies the personal characteristics of a leader. In order to be an effective leader, good oration, good looks and charisma are not enough. The ‘others’ element consist of the people the leader is trying to convince. It highlights the kind of relationship that the leader shares with the people which mean the ability to influence them. The ‘task’ element represents the possible initiatives, topics and issues that might be focused by the leader. The ‘organization’ element represents all the aspects of an organization such as control systems, hiring systems, promotion systems, etc.
The articles also demonstrates the career concept which signifies that the decision making and thinking of people is grouped in three categories namely anticipated stability of career field, anticipated direction of movement in career and anticipated duration of staying in a career field. The answers to these questions give rise to four career concepts- linear concept, expert concept, spiral concept and transitory concept which shows the relationship between power and status and time.
This article also provides for VABE (values, assumptions, beliefs and expectations) concept. This concept specifies that in today’s organizations, the leaders are required to influence the employees in order to be motivated. This means that their commitment towards high level performance cannot result by simply telling them what to do or through a power relationship. This concept focuses on the expectation that fulfillment of the motivational needs of followers will result in better outcomes.
The transformational leadership model focuses on the accomplishment of the leader rather than the characteristics of the leader (Shelton, 2012). The models of transformational leadership includes Howard Gardener, Warren Bennis, Peter Senge, Stephen Covey and John Whitmore. These models have shared focus on the idea that transformation is important in today’s era. Those leaders will considered as the best who can effectively lead the change. The transformational leader assists in raising the awareness of people along with helping them to look beyond their self- interests. They help people in identifying the requirement for change along with searching for self- fulfillment. Such mangers are committed to greatness by adopting a broad and long- range perspective. However, the greater coverage of the concept often results in lack of concept clarity. The article considers the development of transformational leaders in an organization on priority basis. This development will bring about a variety of positive results associated with such leadership.
The article mainly throws light upon the emotional intelligence theory which assists in identifying, understanding and selecting the way people think, feel and act (Humphrey, Ashforth & Diefendorff, 2015). It also helps in shaping the interactions with others along with setting priorities and majority of daily actions (Harms & Crede, 2010). In other words, emotional intelligence theory defines the ability which helps in understanding and handling own sentiments along with the emotions of others. It sets the objective of the leader on completing the tasks in a successful manner. This is done by keeping the teams together along with managing the team individually with the view to ensure everyone’s happiness (Stough, Saklofske & Parker, 2009).
It also elaborates theories for becoming a good leader. It is specifies in the form of a leadership style named transformational leadership (Alkahtani, 2015). Transformational leadership theory brings about a change in the individuals along with the relative change in the social systems. It also enhances the morale, motivation and performance of the followers by a number of mechanisms. It shows that transformational leadership has four elements namely intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration, idealized influence and inspirational motivation.
The contingency theory is represented in the article where leaders are expected to adopt the approaches in accordance with the suitability with given situation. The situation can be either internal or external. The application of own style is made to the correct situation by the contingent leader. A leadership style can also be referred to as a permanent aspect of behavior in which the incorporation of modifications is difficult. Therefore there are two types of leaders- task motivated (where main concern is the goal achievement) and relationship motivated (where development of close interpersonal relations is the main concern). Moreover, the dynamics of the situation is identified by main factors- task structure, position power and leader-member relations. The contingency theory also evolves the leader- match concept which provides for the improvement in the effectiveness of the leadership. Such improvement means making changes in the situation in order to match the leader or moving the leader to a situation that matches.
Moreover, expectancy theory of motivation is elaborated in the article which provides the behavior of an individual in a certain manner due to the motivation of selecting certain behavior. Such selection is made over other behaviors due to some expectations from the selected result. The desirability of the outcome becomes the basis of determination of motivation for selection of the behavior. In other words, people are motivated to perform those things that they are capable of doing. They only do it when they expect the receipt of a reward that is valued by the. This means there is no motivation if the reward is not valued by them.
Transformational leadership performs the role of motivating the supporters by way of appealing to their emotions regardless of its end effects and does not take into account the positive moral values (Lang, 2011). For the purpose of bringing about change, transformational leadership promotes the values of honesty, loyalty, fairness along with end values of equality, justice and human rights (Gilbert, 2012).
It is believed that there is a requirement for improvement in shared valued, norms, and belief that assist in shaping the thinking and actions of project managers. A key role in the success of the organization can therefore be played by the leadership and emotional intelligence of the project manager (Normore & Anthony, 2016).
The emotions and moods of the important stakeholders assist the project managers in deciding the useful strategies or the manner of their presentation. It is believed that the effectiveness of project managers is not only dependent upon experience and skills but also on the personal characteristics required for the achievement of integration (Barbuto & Burbach, 2006). Therefore, it is believed that traditional management skills such as planning, developing and controlling are not enough for the effective management of the project. It is also believed that inexperience project managers who possessed those characteristics which were difficult to develop but required for the purpose of managing the projects were expected to rapidly transform into effective project managers. On the other hand, people with great understanding, skills and know-how in project management that lack those characteristics were less expected to be effective leaders.
Leaders that undertake transformational leadership activities are expected to show a number of positive results (Northouse, 2015). When trust and confidence are developed by the followers in their leaders along with taking steps for meeting the organizational mission, then exceptional levels of performance can be achieved by them. From the system point of view, the efforts made by the project manager in one area contribute towards assisting in the whole project. It is further believed that by addressing the systems thinking tools with project variables, the knowledge gap can be reduced between the cross functional team members. This can be done by way of getting together for the purpose of analyzing project activities. The development of the project plan will integrate all the activities of a project along with all its workings. It will help in understanding the project at the level of systems thinker. This will include the patterns of events, shared vision and systematic structure and assist the project manager in optimizing the efficiency of the project team. Better decisions will automatically result from the mixture of better understanding of the development of relationships between the team members and the suitability of project activities.
The article argues regarding relationship between effective leadership and emotional intelligence. The accomplishment of a project depends upon both emotional and rational aspects (Lawlor, Batchelor & Abston, 2015). The cognitive system is combined by emotional intelligence which positions the leader to understand the emotional system (Hernon, Giesecke & Alire, 2007). The changes in the business environment can be met by the project manager by providing leadership with emotional intelligence. Strategic initiatives and projects are required to be commanded by project managers for adapting to changing business environment conditions. Therefore, the identification of connections between transformational leadership styles and emotional intelligence abilities will provide various career development and professional opportunities to the project managers and organization.
The article also argues regarding the most difficult task of management i.e. the management of human behaviors. This task is elaborated as interesting as well as challenging. The improvement in the quality or thinking and learning can be assisted by systems thinking. This also leads towards improvement in the quality of action undertaken along with the results. In order to be successful, behavioral repertoire is needed by the leaders along with the ability for making correct role selection for the situation. For this purpose, both cognitive and behavioral flexibility and complexity are needed by the leaders.
The argument is effective as proved by the study conducted between 24 project managers who were associated in different projects in six organizations from different industries. The systems approach helped in analyzing the interaction of the systems components along with the decisions made in the interest of the organization. The results of the study supported in coming to a conclusion that transformational leadership style of the project manager has an affirmative influence on the real performance of project (Avolio & Yammarino, 2013). But this process begins with the emotional intelligence skill of a project manager which subsequently contributes towards the transformational leadership style and then towards actual project performance. Moreover, the accomplishment of the transformational project management is done by having results focused project managers instead of activity focused project managers. The emotional intelligence abilities assist in developing relationships in accordance with social and personal needs. This is effective as the training in behavioral and cognitive aspects of transformational leadership has the capacity for improving the leadership by improving the sensitivity and understanding along with regulation of emotions. This process enables the project managers to utilize the linkage to the greatest advantage (Du Plessis, Wakelin & Nel, 2015).
Therefore, the argument made in the article is effective which is proved by the study conducted. It shows that the actual project performance is enhanced through the use of emotional intelligence abilities and transformational leadership styles (Maamari & Majdalani, 2017). If these areas are further studied, it will help in identifying content for training programs and appropriate education.
Alkahtani, A.H., 2015. The influence of leadership styles on organizational commitment: The moderating effect of emotional intelligence. Business and Management Studies, 2(1), pp.23-34.
Avolio, B. J. and Yammarino, F. J. 2013. Transformational and Charismatic Leadership: The Road Ahead. Emerald Group Publishing.
Barbuto, J.E. and Burbach, M.E., 2006. The emotional intelligence of transformational leaders: A field study of elected officials. The Journal of social psychology, 146(1), pp.51-64.
Bryman, A., Collinson, D., Grint, K., Jackson, B. and Bien, M. U. 2011. The SAGE Handbook of Leadership. SAGE.
Clarke, N., 2010. Emotional intelligence and its relationship to transformational leadership and key project manager competences. Project Management Journal, 41(2), pp.5-20.
Du Plessis, M., Wakelin, Z. and Nel, P., 2015. The influence of emotional intelligence and trust on servant leadership. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 41(1), pp.01-09.
Gilbert, K. 2012. Transformational Leadership. Xulon Press.
Harms, P.D. and Crede, M., 2010. Emotional intelligence and transformational and transactional leadership: A meta-analysis. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 17(1), pp.5-17.
Hernon, P., Giesecke, J. and Alire, C. A. 2007. Academic Librarians as Emotionally Intelligent Leaders. Libraries Unlimited.
Humphrey, R.H., Ashforth, B.E. and Diefendorff, J.M., 2015. The bright side of emotional labor. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 36(6), pp.749-769.
Lang, M. 2011. Transformational Leadership. GRIN Verlag.
Lawlor, K.B., Batchelor, J.H. and Abston, K., 2015. The moderating role of time on the relationship between emotional intelligence and transformational leadership. Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship, 20(2), p.28.
Leban, W. and Zulauf, C. 2004. Linking emotional intelligence abilities and transformational leadership styles. The Leadership & Organization Development Journal. vol 25(7), pp. 554-567.
Maamari, B.E. and Majdalani, J.F., 2017. Emotional intelligence, leadership style and organizational climate. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 25(2), pp.327-345.
Normore and Anthony, H. 2016. Handbook of Research on Effective Communication, Leadership, and Conflict Resolution. IGI Global.
Northouse, P.G., 2015. Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications.
Ramchunder, Y. and Martins, N., 2014. The role of self-efficacy, emotional intelligence and leadership style as attributes of leadership effectiveness. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 40(1), pp.01-11.
Rezvani, A., Chang, A., Wiewiora, A., Ashkanasy, N.M., Jordan, P.J. and Zolin, R., 2016. Manager emotional intelligence and project success: The mediating role of job satisfaction and trust. International Journal of Project Management, 34(7), pp.1112-1122.
Shelton, E. J. 2012. Transformational Leadership: Trust, Motivation and Engagement. Trafford Publishing.
Stough, C., Saklofske, D. H. and Parker, J. D. A. 2009. Assessing Emotional Intelligence: Theory, Research, and Applications. Springer Science & Business Media.