All entries for Monday 01 April 2013

April 01, 2013

The charismatic leader VS the transformational leader

Albeit on the surface it might appear that charismatic and transformational leaders have many similarities in common and the transformational leader may be regarded as a charismatic leader, they, however, have a fundamental difference with respect to their basic objective. Whilst the transformational leader emphasises change and has a foundational focus of transforming the organization, and perhaps the followers, the charismatic leader may not even intend to change anything at all.

Irrespective of the charm associated with charismatic leaders, it can be suggested that they may well only have personal self-interest and be concerned with themselves more than the followers. Charismatic leaders depict warmth and a pleasant persona which is very convincing and effective. However, underneath that outwardly magic and charm, there might not be anything that could bring substantial value. In addition to this, it is important to consider the values of the charismatic leader. If they are positive and well-intended towards the members involved, they have the ability to elevate and transform the organization. On the other hand, if they are motivated by self-interest, they can have a negative impact on the whole organization. Therefore, it can be argued that although they might be effective, it does not necessarily suggest that they are good leaders, which could imply they may really not be successors in the long run, especially once they have left. In contrast, transformational leaders believe in bringing about positive and sustained change.

Transformational leadership and impact on performance

Transformational leadership is generally associated with higher levels of performance. This is because transformational leaders depict a positive attitude by holding positive expectations for followers and entrusting and believing in them. This develops a relationship of respect and trust between leaders and followers and leads to higher levels of satisfaction, which in effect results in higher performance. Transformational leaders empower and stimulate followers by inspiring them to exceed their own goals and performance by acting as role models. Most importantly, the fact that they emphasise the attention and care to their followers with respect to personal needs and development make them all the more influential and successful.

The components of transformational leadership

The aim of transformational leadership is to transform groups and organizations by focusing on followers, and influencing and instilling motivation in them to achieve high levels of performance, and, in effect, develop personal leadership potential.

The four components of transformational leadership summarize the leadership theory. The leader acts as an ‘idealized influence’ by serving as a role model for the followers by practising what he preaches. Moreover, the leader is looked up to as an ‘inspirational motivation’. Transformational leaders have the charisma and ability to inspire and positively influence and motivate followers. Furthermore, transformational leaders give ‘individual consideration’ to the followers by demonstrating a genuine interest and concern in their personal work, contributions and needs. The personal connection with individuals and the attention given to them motivates them to work to perform to their full potential and brings out their best efforts. In addition, the final component of transformational leadership, ‘intellectual stimulation’, suggests that the leader challenges the followers to be creative and innovative. Thus, followers are constantly challenged to adapt to change and competition by surpassing expectations through performing to higher levels.

Transformational Leadership

A transformational leader takes control of a situation by providing a clear agenda and vision with regards to the goals and objectives. The leader demonstrates a remarkable passion for the work and possesses the ability and charisma to involve all members of the group, and transfer the same energy and passion in them to drive collective success. Transformational leadership is renowned for instilling positive changes in the followers. Transformational leaders are regarded as charismatic, passionate and driven. These leaders go beyond being involved in the process by connecting with every member of the group to ensure they succeed on both a personal and collective level. Due to the all-encompassing nature of this leadership approach, I believed it to be the best and most suitable and appropriate choice applicable for the current situation of WaveRiders, and transforming it into a successful company.

April 2013

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