Who is a good leader?
Discuss about the Transformational vs. Transactional Leadership Theories.
In these two chapters, the leadership concept has been critically analyzed. I have always wondered the real definition of leadership as well as who is considered to be a leader and a good leader. This is because I have noted that this concept keeps on changing on a daily basis and people perceive leadership in their own different ways. In this chapter, I have been able to understand the real meaning of who a good leader is. In my entire life, I have been forced to believe that anyone that possesses the power or even money is a leader. This is what the community teaches us.
However, I have learned that a good leader does not need to have money or power. Rather, a good leader has a vision and aims at assisting their followers to achieve goals. Nonetheless, this chapter has taught me that different people define leaders differently (Antonakis and Day, 2017, pp.19). For instance, during the old days, people assumed that the wealthy people and the people who possessed power were their leaders. Other people believe that a leader only guides people to accomplish a task while others believe that a leader is a good motivator.
This chapter has taught me that anybody can become a leader as long as they have the desire of being leaders. This means that an individual only needs to enhance specific skills that are associated with good leaders. This includes continuously improving their skills by studying on leadership, undertaking training, as well as learning from other experienced leaders (Biemann, Kearney and Marggraf, 2015, pp.776). Anybody intending to be a good leader should develop their morals and the will of becoming a leader. Nonetheless, I have noted that a person does not just sleep and wake up as a leader. Instead, a person should be experienced and possess the necessary knowledge in leadership if they are to be considered good leaders. I have always thought that managers in a company are always leaders because they possess power over their subordinates. However, this chapter has proved my thoughts wrong. I have learned that not every manager has the experience, skills, and qualities of a leader (Caldwell, Dixon, Floyd, Chaudoin, Post and Cheokas, 2012, pp.178). A leader does not necessarily need to have power or authority. Nonetheless, this does not mean that those leaders do not possess any authority. Additionally, the chapter has brought to my attention that a good leader does not seek attention by use of their power but rather uses their morals and ideologies to command people to follow them.
Different people define leaders differently
Various theories have been used to address leadership. For instance, there is the contingency theory. According to the theory, there does not exist one leadership style but every kind of leadership is dependent on a given situation. This implies that certain individuals perform at a maximum level but minimal performance at other instances (Day, Fleenor, Atwater, Sturm and McKee, 2014, pp.64). Personal traits are seen to relate to human traits to specific situations and the manner in which they exercise their leadership. The theory notes that a leader will exercise their leadership if they believe that there will be a positive response from the followers. Many research conducted in the leadership field indicates that there is great evolvement in leadership (D??, 2015, pp.46). Generally, this chapter has effectively enhanced my understanding of who a leader is, their roles, how they are made, leadership theories applied, and what makes a leader good. Additionally, I have learned that a person does not need to have power, authority or even money for them to be good leaders. Rather, they should have the necessary skills and experience on leadership and they should continuously aim at improving and developing these skills.
This chapter has enhanced my understanding of the relationship that exists between leadership and personal qualities. It is the intention of every leader to make sure that they guide their followers in achieving their goals. However, the manner in which a person exercises their leadership depends on their personal qualities (Hargreaves and Fink, 2012, pp.31). I have always wondered how personal traits may affect the leadership skills (Kissi, Dainty and Tuuli, 2013, pp.487). With the intention of understanding how traits influence leaders, I sort to look out for the common traits that are shared by good leaders. Such traits include: all the good leaders are courageous and this appears to be a trait that is inborn. A good leader who is courageous is capable of taking risks and thinking beyond the normal human mind (Kang, Solomon and Choi, 2015, pp.536). I have gained insight from this chapter that despite having ideas, a good and courageous takes a step further in actualizing the idea. The idea’s outcome in unpredictable. Thus, only a courageous leader can be ready to take such a risk. Also, I have noted that good leaders share clarity in vision. These individuals acknowledge their current position and where they want to be in future. Nonetheless, I have noted that good leaders are passionate. This is because their role is to motivate other people to accomplish their goals. Thus, they should be a source of inspiration to other people, hence the need to be passionate.
Enhancing Leadership Skills
It has come to my attention that every good leader should possess specific qualities. Every good leader has their own personality which they adopt while delivering their leadership. Having acquired this understanding, I now wonder how an individual’s personal life may have an influence on their leadership (Muenjohn and Armstrong, 2015, pp.50). Specifically, this chapter has enhanced my understanding the direct relationship that exists between a leader’s individual personality and their leadership. A person aiming to become a good and effective leader should first aim to analyze their individual behavior as well as their personality to be in a position to employ their best personality as they lead others. I had never thought that personality could have so much impact on a person’s leadership skills. However, this chapter has assisted me to know that personality is as important as a person’s qualities. Notably, the chapter identifies courage and moral leadership to be the most essential personality traits that every great leader should possess. Other personality dimensions include being open to new ideas as well as being emotionally stable. It was not clear to me what morality meant and the relationship that existed between it and courage. From my understanding in this chapter, morality refers to the set of personal principles that guide an individual to conduct himself respectably. On a daily basis, a leader is mandated to undertake tough decision (Odumeru and Ogbonna, 2013, pp.355). Hence, as portrayed in this chapter a great leader should exercise both morality and courage while in an organizational setting. The moral values and principles facilitate the person to select the best and right direction, which is usually difficult. From this, I have built my understanding that morality and courage are the most important features that should be portrayed by an efficient and great leader. Reflecting on this chapter, it has come to my knowledge that the various leadership styles are influenced a person’s traits. A leader who is courageous and has the right morals is capable of positively impacting on people and pushing them forward with the intention of making them successful.
When leading other people to achieve their goals and objectives, it is necessary that the leader builds a good relationship with the people he is leading. The team cannot attain any success if there is no good relationship between the leader and themselves. Hence, it is important that the relationship between the leader and his followers is a lasting relationship. This is because a relationship creates a group that has a common goal that it intends to achieve. In improving their relationship with their followers, great leaders are always good listeners, demonstrate constructive feedback, as well as have the ability to acknowledge other people’s contributions. Every good leader has always put emphasis on improving their relationship with their followers.
The relationship that exists between leadership and personal qualities
This chapter defines communication as being a stepwise process that is used to deliver a person’s thoughts and ideas to other people. This process is not only dependent on delivering ideas but also needs a feedback from the receiver as a way of indicating that they understand the message. The feedback is essential as it helps in improving ways of doing things. I have always known that one requires good communications skills but it has never downed to me how important and how these skills are applied (Thoroughgood, Padilla, Hunter and Tate, 2012, pp.990). However, this chapter has improved my understanding as to the importance of communications skills to any good leader. I have learned that leaders greatly depend on the manner in which they communicate their thoughts and expects to receive feedback from his followers. It is observable that most of the leader’s time is spent in communicating with other people, thus making having the right communication skills to be a necessary requirement for any good leader.
Notwithstanding, I have learned that for a good leader to become a communicator, they must be good listeners. Together with the adoption of other personal abilities, a leader can become a good communicator.
Also, I have noted that a good relationship depends on the listening and communication skills of a leader. This is because when a leader listens to his followers, they are able to understand the followers’ primary issues which guide them in the decisions that they make. Hence, this would ensure that the issues are addressed, resulting in a strong relationship between the leader and the followers.
This chapter has taught me that communication skills are important to a good leader. Every great is capable of adapting several communication styles depending on the nature of their followers thus making it easy for them to understand the characteristics and the issues presented by the followers. To my own understanding, it is not easy to be a good communicator thus a good leader is always tasked with the duty of practicing these skills on a daily basis to ensure that they acquire effective communication skills (Yukl, 2013, pp.213). In an organization, leaders should be in a position to lead teams towards their contribution to the mutual attainment of organization’s goals. A great leader should be in a position to form teams that are able to function effectively. In achieving organizational goals, I have learned that a good leader should be able to harmonize all the skills brought by team members with the intention of achieving the common goal. This chapter has taught me that a great leader should serve his follower without the intention for personal gains but with the aim of attaining the common goal. Additionally, I have been able to understand the several traits that make great leaders which include integrity, honesty, as well as being a good listener and communicator.
Antonakis, J. and Day, D.V. eds., 2017. The nature of leadership. Sage publications.
Biemann, T., Kearney, E. and Marggraf, K., 2015. Empowering leadership and managers' career perceptions: Examining effects at both the individual and the team level. The Leadership Quarterly, 26(5), pp.775-789.
Caldwell, C., Dixon, R.D., Floyd, L.A., Chaudoin, J., Post, J. and Cheokas, G., 2012. Transformative leadership: Achieving unparalleled excellence. Journal of Business Ethics, 109(2), pp.175-187.
Day, D.V., Fleenor, J.W., Atwater, L.E., Sturm, R.E. and McKee, R.A., 2014. Advances in leader and leadership development: A review of 25 years of research and theory. The Leadership Quarterly, 25(1), pp.63-82.
D??, M., 2015. Together as one: Shared leadership between managers. International Journal of Business and Management, 10(8), p.46.
Hargreaves, A. and Fink, D., 2012. Sustainable leadership(Vol. 6). John Wiley & Sons.
Kang, J.H., Solomon, G.T. and Choi, D.Y., 2015. CEOs' leadership styles and managers' innovative behaviour: Investigation of intervening effects in an entrepreneurial context. Journal of Management Studies, 52(4), pp.531-554.
Kissi, J., Dainty, A. and Tuuli, M., 2013. Examining the role of transformational leadership of portfolio managers in project performance. International Journal of Project Management, 31(4), pp.485-497.
Muenjohn, N. and Armstrong, A., 2015. Transformational leadership: The influence of culture on the leadership behaviours of expatriate managers. international Journal of Business and information, 2(2).
Odumeru, J.A. and Ogbonna, I.G., 2013. Transformational vs. transactional leadership theories: Evidence in literature. International Review of Management and Business Research, 2(2), p.355.
Thoroughgood, C.N., Padilla, A., Hunter, S.T. and Tate, B.W., 2012. The susceptible circle: A taxonomy of followers associated with destructive leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 23(5), pp.897-917.
Yukl, G.A., 2013. Leadership in organizations. Pearson Education India.
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