For this assignment, you will write a reflection paper on Northouse’s Chapter 8, Transformational Leadership.
1) Define Transformational Leadership in your own words.
2) Reflect on a personal experience with transformational leadership, either when you were leading or following. It can be an example from work or school or any personal experience that you find relevant to the topic of transformational leadership.
3) Reflect on a personal experience where transformational leadership principles would have made poor experiences great experiences. Give an example of a time when the leadership failed or was authoritarian (with little care for the follower’s motivations and needs). Explain how implementing transformational leadership principles would have changed that situation.
Transformational leadership is a leadership style in which leaders encourage, inspire and motivate employees to innovate and create change that will help grow and shape the future success of the company. This is accomplished by setting an example at the executive level through a strong sense of corporate culture, employee ownership and independence in the workplace.
Transformational leaders inspire and motivate their workforce without micromanaging — they trust trained employees to take authority over decisions in their assigned jobs. It’s a management style that’s designed to give employees more room to be creative, look to the future and find new solutions to old problems. Employees on the leadership track will also be prepared to become transformational leaders themselves through mentorship and training.
The concept of transformational leadership started with James V. Downton in 1973 and was expanded by James Burns in 1978. In 1985, researcher Bernard M. Bass further expanded the concept to include ways for measuring the success of transformational leadership. This model encourages leaders to demonstrate authentic, strong leadership with the idea that employees will be inspired to follow suit.
While Bass’ model dates to the ’70s, it’s still an effective leadership style practiced today — this style of authentic leadership never changes, just the environments it’s used in. It’s applicable across every industry, but it’s especially vital to the fast-paced tech industry where innovation and agility can make or break a company.