What are the key attributes of the transformational style of leadership? Explain why you think these attributes are required of a transformational leader.
Trust– Like any relationship, a trusting relationship between a leader and employee is very important. How employees perceive their leader is imperative. It sets the tone for work ethic and many other contributing factors concerning decision making in an organization. Leaders must be clear and concise with the vision of the organization and be able to communicate that with their team, all while doing it with integrity. Employees need to be able to communicate ideas and concerns with their leader, knowing that their leader will do everything they can to help.
Vision– All leaders should have a vision of what they want to achieve within their organization. Leaders should be able to communicate that with their employees in a way that everyone understands. As a leader, the vision of the company should not be focused on your own personal goals, but for the organization. Employees needs to feel that they are a contributing factor to the organizations mission.
Courage– An effective leader should be willing to take on new challenges. Transformational leaders are courageous enough to create a vision and make the difficult decisions necessary to achieve their vision
Know Your Team– Transformational leaders can inspire and motivate others to get them to buy into their vision. Transformational leaders take time to listen to their employees, their concerns and address them in an open, honest and transparent manner. Its also important to know your team because as a leader, you will have to delegate. You should be able to give specific tasks to individuals based off their strengths and weaknesses.
Honesty– Employees will trust leaders that are honest. While the leader who dances around the truth or omit the brutal issues when communicating, will quickly lose the respect of their employees.
From either personal experience, or through observation, provide examples of transformation leadership.
While I researched what transformational leadership was, one leader stood out to me and I thought she’d be a great example of this style of leadership. A few years ago, I worked at Victoria’s Secret and I had a manager named Katie. Katie was naturally energetic, loud (but not obnoxious) and enthusiastic, everyone loved working with her because even if you were having a bad day, you’d hear her voice come through your headset and instantly get charged. Katie would talk to us (her team) about our sales goal for the day, unlike many managers, she never talked at us. She always used the word “we”, because it was her way of showing us that we were all working towards one goal. She got to know her team by communicating with us and understanding our individual strengths and weaknesses. She’d always ask what she could do to help but still maintained her role as our leader. I remember going to her asking her what I needed to do to get a promotion and she was very honest with me. Instead of giving me a cliché’ answer and telling me what I wanted to hear, she told me exactly what I needed to do and empowered me by telling me that she believed I could make the necessary changes, I took her advice, did everything that she told me and of course got a promotion a few months later. Her spirit was so welcoming and empowering, she inspired change amongst all our team members.
Which of the other leaders who you have seen come close to being effective transformational leaders? How could they have changed to be transformational leaders? Justify your answer with appropriate examples.
In most retail jobs, our sales day is broken into three segments. You have the morning, afternoon and evening segments. Each segment has a goal that is set to assist with the stores overall daily goal. If you meet each segment goal, you’ve successfully made your sales plan for the day. Our store leaders were assigned segments that they’d be responsible for, hence why in my early description I mentioned that one of our leaders would start to speak to us through the headsets. Their job was to motivate the team and keep us informed of how much money we had in and how close we are to goal. There was one manager that was a not one of our team favorites. This manager let it be known that if she made her segments that she would be rewarded an incentive. We didn’t get the sense that she was at all a team player. Yes, she motivated and tried to push us to gain customer sales, however it wasn’t for the betterment of the organization or the employees. It was solely to receive whatever incentive that was rewarded to managers if they were to meet their segment goals. If she didn’t mention “winning” then we as employees wouldn’t have known anything about a managerial incentive. I believe as a transformational leader, you should never push your self-interest unto your team. To be a transformational leader, she should have put more energy into motivating her team to enhance the organization as oppose to enhancing her own ego.
Kouzes, J., & Posner, B. (2008). The leadership challenge (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Hogg, B. (2016, February 03). 7 Must Have Transformational Leadership Qualities. Retrieved October 14, 2017, from https://www.billhogg.ca/2016/02/7-must-have-transformational-leadership-qualities/
Argosy University (2017) Perspectives in Change Leadership, Module 2 Reading Assignments
Burns, J. (1978). Leadership. New York, NY: Harper and Row