Transformational leadership for change

Essay by magicyang226 May 2006

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Transformational leadership is an important contemporary theory of leadership. Its one leadership style consistent with successful organizational change management.

Burns argued that all leadership behavior is either transactional or transformational. Transactional behaviors are "largely oriented toward accomplishing the tasks at hand and at maintaining good relations with those working with the leader [exchanging promises of rewards for performance]." Burns says that this style doesn't work when the task require inspiring people to want to make a big change.

Transformational leadership refers to the process of influencing major changes in the attitudes and assumptions of organization members and building commitment for the organization's mission, objectives and strategies. Transformational leaders are those who bring about "change, innovation, and entrepreneurship." They are responsible for leading a corporate transformation that "recognizes the need for revitalization, creates a new vision, and institutionalizes change." Transformational leaders have the knack for inspiring their followers to want to make the change and to throw themselves into doing so.

They attempt to raise the needs of followers and promote dramatic changes in individuals, groups, and organizations."

Transformational leadership, which fosters autonomy and challenging work, became increasingly important to followers' job satisfaction. The concept of job security and loyalty to the firm for one's entire career was disappearing. Steady pay, secure benefits, and lifetime employment were no longer guaranteed for meritorious performance. At the same time, transactional leadership alone could not provide job satisfaction.

In order to move the change process forward, such leaders know that every individual

Should be empowered to consider him- or her-self as a crucial player. If employees are inspired, empowered, and free to act, they will stretch themselves to make exceptional efforts, demonstrate a high degree of commitment, and be willing to take risks. Performing in this way will simultaneously drive the change...