Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership refers to a style where a leader creates a vision and inspires subordinates to treat and implement it as a shared objective. The textbook defines transformational leadership as a pattern of behaviors that a leader exhibits in order to motivate followers to agree to commit to a shared vision and perceive a leader as a role model who guides them to success. According to the article, a transformational leader is a person who creates a clear vision of future possibilities, communicates it to employees, engages them through consultation, and provides them with feedback to help them improve their workplace and enhance productivity (Efron).

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Summary of the Article’s Main Ideas

The article discusses how the CEO of Ceridian, David Ossip, used the transformational leadership style to protect the company from failure (Efron). Before Ossip took over Ceridian, the company had been experiencing performance difficulties.

Part of the problem was a disengaged workforce. At the time, the company had been unable to create new products, which led to its loss of the market share. Consequently, employee morale and customer satisfaction decreased. Another reason for the disengagement was the fact that the company’s culture was obsolete, and the firm’s leadership had forgotten the purpose for which it existed and its guiding values.

When Ossip took over, he diagnosed the challenges facing the company and identified the most critical among them. First, there existed both physical and cultural barriers to the communication between the employees and the leadership. The planning and decision-making processes were rigid and did not consider employee participation. Second, the organizational structure was an obstacle to change, while change is critical to modern organizations. Third, since there was no clear communication channel, personnel had viable ideas but did not know how to communicate them to the leaders. Forth, the leaders did not seem interested in their employees’ ideas. Finally, the physical separations of the office space created a perception of “us vs. them” between the employees and the management.

Ossip initiated several solutions using his transformational leadership, which drove the company to recovery and excellent performance. The first step was to create a program called “Top Talent,” which attempted to promote interactions between the leaders and the followers. The program motivated employees to provide suggestions. Further, the top management chose five suggestions to implement. Besides, the CEO undertook the coaching of the leaders on effective communication and the definition of the values, vision, and mission of the company. Finally, Ossip matched the right people with appropriate roles and established performance metric measures.

Beneficiaries of the Information

First, seasoned executives can use the information provided in the article when they face performance challenges. Many situations that such business leaders face are unique. Consequently, using real world success examples like the one Ceridian experienced can assist them overcome similar problems. In addition, the information from the article can help recent college graduates adopt an effective leadership style that can swiftly propel them to the top of the organizational structures. Besides, practicing transformational leadership early in the career can make graduates visible at the workplace and facilitate their promotion.

The Article and the Text Book

The article supports the text book discussion of transformational leadership in various ways. The article’s support of the text is evident in the characteristics of transformational leadership outlined by the book. According to the book, a transformational leader has charisma. Ossip demonstrated charisma by effectively communicating organizational values to his followers and demonstrating enthusiasm and optimism. From the book’s author’s perspective, a leader should provide intellectual stimulation to employees. One of the ways to achieve intellectual stimulation is to seek different views, which Ossip has done by consulting the employees. Individual considerations are another aspect of transformational leadership according to the book. Ceridian’s CEO demonstrated individual consideration by coaching the leaders of the company on how to effectively communicate (Efron).

Type of Leadership Power Alluded in the Article

There are two types of leadership power to which the article alludes. The first one is the expert power, which leaders have because of their expertise in a particular sphere. In the article, for example, Ossip was able to guide Ceridian to match the various roles with appropriate individuals because of his prior experience. The CEO had worked in an organization where the leaders had failed to match the hiring with the roles, which brought complications later. Such experience gave Ossip the expert power Ceridian needed to avoid such mistakes (Efron). The second type of power is the legitimate power, which a leader gets from a formal organizational position. Ossip convinced the entire organization to accept change because personnel recognized him as the legitimate leader.

Types of Influence

Leaders using transformational leadership are likely to exhibit the most effective influence tactics because of their ability to convince people to own shared visions and strategies. Therefore, the types of influence they might use include inspirational appeals, rational persuasion, collaborations, and consultation.

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Leader Effectiveness Similarities

Some of the reasons that the authors of the article claim to have led to the effectiveness of Ossip’s leadership include his consultation with employees, open communication process, and feedback (Efron). Through these activities, the CEO effectively communicated the vision and received the support to implement the vision. According to figure 4.6, leadership effectiveness depends on a combination of the optimal decision-making style, assortment of daily behaviors, and optimal mix of transformational and transactional leadership. There are several similarities between the article’s view of leadership effectiveness and figure 4.6. Ossip’s consultative approach represents an optimal decision-making style, while his consideration for employees is a daily behavior evident in his appreciation for employee input. Finally, the CEO’s use of transformational leadership in combination with other aspects is similar to figure 4.6’s optimal transactional and transformational behaviors.

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