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The Components of Transformational Leadership
The full range of transformational leadership has four components. The components of transformational leadership include:
This entails a higher degree of putting the followers’ into consideration by the transformational leader. The leader will attend to each followers needs and listen to their concerns and find ways of addressing them. This is done through empathy by the leader and making communication open to the followers. This is opposed to autocracy where one does all the decision making without any consultation. Transformational leadership also encompasses the need to have an individual’s contribution respected as a way of motivating them to work even harder. Transformational leadership acknowledges that as human, people have aspirations for development of self and motivation that is intrinsic (Kotlyar & Karakowsky, 2007).
This refers to the degree to which the leader is able to challenge assumptions that have been taken by the followers of a transformational leader. Transformational leader would take risks and solicits ideas from their followers. Transformational leadership entails encouraging of creativity of the subjects by their leaders. Such leaders would not enslave their subjects into believing that what they have is the best but would seek for opinions from them and incorporate them in the vision.
This makes transformational leaders to be the best learners as they will be able to learn from their followers. Followers of transformational leaders are given an opportunity to ask questions and think deeply on how they are to accomplish different tasks so as to achieve the vision set forth. A transformational leader will always challenge status quo and at the same time encourage creativity among his followers. Such a leader would encourage his followers to seek better ways of carrying out different tasks (Albritton, 1998).
This refers to the degree to which the leader puts down and explains his vision that makes it to be appealing and be able to inspire his followers into buying the visionary ideas. This is opposed to the delegative leadership style that has the manager leaving his duty to juniors who may not have what it takes to do the function given. Transformation leadership entails the followers working together with the leader hence better corporation and generation of ideas than delegative leadership. Followers are challenged with high standards by the transformational leaders who have inspirational motivation. A transformational leader will communicate with much optimism on the future of an organization based on the task that lays ahead for his or her followers.
In transformational leadership, there is need for followers to have a strong sense of purpose which will be a motivation for them to work towards a given goal. Energy to forge ahead is given by the purpose and meaning. What makes transformational leadership different is the fact that communication skills are intertwined with the visionary aspects of leadership. This makes it easy for the followers to internalize and get right on track with the correct information that enables the vision to be brought into accomplishment. Followers are made to put more effort in achieving the vision through constant motivation and instilling of the success belief by the transformational leader. Transformational leaders are also in to help their followers so that they can be able to have the same passion and level of motivation to achieve the vision they have for an organization. In a bid to foster supportive relationships, leaders will keep their communication lines open so that followers can be free to share ideas with them.
Idealized Influence – Transformational leadership provides a role model for high ethical behavior. Through transformational leadership there is instillation of pride, gains respect and trust. The transformational are role models to their followers. Out of the trust and respect for the transformational leader, there is tendency of emulation in way of doing things.
Assumptions of Transformational Leadership
Transformational leadership is pegged on three assumptions: first is the idea that people tend to follow people that can inspire them. Second is that great thing can be achieved, when one has the vision and the passion to do something. The last is that injecting enthusiasm and energy is the best way to get things done(Kotlyar & Karakowsky, 2006). This is a deviation from the dangerous democratic leadership style where the leader has to go by the opinions of the majority even when they are wrong. This leadership style is consultative.
Transformational Leadership as a Leadership Style
Working with a transformational leader can be very exciting. One will easily be uplifted by the way they work. This is because in everything they do; they do it with passion and energy. They care much about their followers and will do all they can to ensure they succeed. Unlike in democratic leadership, transformational leadership has the leader being an example which makes the followers not to have their own demands but would follow the leader.
Developing the vision
Transformational leadership starts with the leader’s vision. This means the leader must be able to look beyond the present and see which way he or she can be bale to positively transform the organization. It is after having this vision that the leader may want to convert this vision into reality. The leader may then decide to develop the vision by themselves of have a team in the organization that will help him develop it (Kotlyar & Karakowsky, 2006).
Selling the vision
This is the second step in transformational leadership process. This is probably the most important step as it is a continuous step that will determine of transformation will be realized or not. This step entails making other s in the organization to share the vision of the leader through joining in doing things in manner to support the course of the vision. This process will be said to be successful depending on the time different people in an organization will take to buy into the idea and join the bandwagon (Kouzes & Posner, 1999).
Creating followers is not an easy task and transformational leader will have to work in a manner that will create trust from his followers. Personal integrity plays a great role at this stage. If a person is not able to have other people trusting them, then they are doomed and may not be able to sell their visionary ideas to others,
Finding the way forward
Selling the idea goes hand in hand with finding the way forward. Some leaders may have a vision of transforming an organization and may want people to follow them yet they lack the strategy of bringing this to reality. So many leaders would happily lead in transformation but may totally lack the idea of how to make this possible (Pielstick, 1998).
Getting the direction on the way forward may not be an easy task but with a clear and well laid down vision it will always be known. This means that course in the ongoing process can be a great tool to finding the way forward. Transformational leadership will keep in mind that failures may be on the route to achievement hence it will incorporate contingency measures to deal with such whenever it occurred. Transformational leaders will always be happy as long as they feel that there some progress or achievement being made on the vision.
Leading the Charge
This is the final stage in the process of bringing transformation. This entails remaining upfront in the actions involved in achieving the dreams and the vision that came with the transformational leader. Transformational leader will always stand up during the implementation of visionary actions rather than hide in the crowd. They tend to won the idea and handle it as if it will benefit them alone. The will always, at this stage. Make efforts to rally followers to implementation of visionary ideas through motivation and being an example. While an autocratic leader will always want their position and opinion upheld during implementation of a visionary idea, autocratic leaders would accommodate opinions of the followers as long as they are in line with the vision.
Transformational leadership usually involves leaders that have unwavering stand on the vision they had even when everybody seems to be questioning the chances of achieving the vision laid forth. Once people have lost hope of succeeding in delivering on the vision, then their efforts are likely to go down. This would require that the transformational leader be always urging the followers to keep on focusing on the vision. They need to ensure that there is infection and re-infection of the highest level of commitment to the vision set forth.
A transformational leader would best sustain motivation through finding of various methods. The best methods that a ceremonial leader would use are ceremonies, rituals and other cultural symbolism. This is where any small changes are appreciated through big hurrahs making the followers in the organization to get motivated and work harder to realizing the visions fruits.
Generally, transformation leadership entails balancing attention between action that results in progress and the psychology of the followers of the transformational leader. Transformational leaders put more attention in the belief that success is achieved through deep and sustained commitment making them to be people-oriented (Pielstick, 1998).
Even as a transformational leader engage in transforming an organization, there is the belief that followers of such a leader will also in one way or the other be transformed this means that in transformational leadership, followers of a leader tend to be a product of the transformational. Failure to have followers transformed means that the transformational leader will not have their visions brought to accomplishment.
Charisma is what in many cases defines a transformational leader. However, transformational leaders are not as narcissistic as pure Charismatic Leaders. Pure charismatic leaders succeed through a belief and high self esteem in their selves rather has great belief in others which puts their followers into consideration (Kouzes & Posner, 1999).
One of the characteristics of transformational leadership is that it involves a lot of passion and confidence. This passion and confidence may at times be mistaken for truth and reality. This passion and energy makes the followers to always want to follow the leader instead of having their parallel ideas occupying their minds. While it is a fact that many leaders that are very enthusiastic have led to great achievements in organizations, they have sometimes led companies and organizations into losses when their passion and chasm cannot be transformed into positive organizational processes that will lead to achievement. The fact that one believes they are right does not make them to be right.
Funny enough, the zeal and energy that keeps people going can also make the same people to give up. The enthusiasm that transformational leaders usually have is usually of greater. This if not well applied can make the followers of such a leader to give up since they may not have same level of enthusiasm. This is where the democratic leadership would have been better applied as it would have the numbers being pulled into an idea.
Transformational leaders are visionary and tend to see a bigger picture of a given situation in an organization. While one may look at an issue from a short term perspective, transformational leaders look at it both in the short term and the long term perspective. They however do not see this big picture in details and would require that they have people that will be able to take care of this information (Bass, 1990).
Transformational leaders seek to change what is in existence by bringing in positive changes. These would make this transformational leadership to be better than delegative. Delegative leadership will have the followers following what has been in the existence due to fear of initiating changes, which may backfire. At times an organization may seem to be in a comfortable state and may not need changes. A transformational leader will always feel frustrated by this situation. He will always sit back and look for ways through which positive changes can be brought in the organization.