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Leadership Theories

Essay by   •  March 4, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,113 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,793 Views

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A Executive A should be classified as a level 5 leader. The article describes this individual as "driven, fiercely ambitious, and focused on success." These qualities, along with his/her track record of strong corporate performance, underscore the leader's individual capability and managerial competence.

In addition, Executive A is characterized as "giving credit for the company's success to other leaders in the organization, quick to accept responsibility for mistakes and poor results, and taking pride in developing strong leaders within the company." These traits are associated with team skills and the ability to stimulate others to high performance.

Leader B should be classified as a transactional leader. This individual is depicted as one who "establishes clear goals by clarifying role and task requirements, and believes in a clear chain of command." Transactional leaders strongly hold to the idea that social systems work best with a clear chain of command. Leader B also "rewards good performance and issues punishment for failures", which agrees with the transactional philosophy of "workers are motivated by rewards and punishments." When this leader gives a task, regardless of difficulty, to a subordinate, that subordinate is expected to complete the task. The article says Leader B "considers the subordinate to be personally at fault when things go wrong with a delegated task." Most transactional leaders believe that obeying the instructions and commands of the leader is the primary goal of the followers.

Leader C falls under the transformational leader category. Leader C is said to "encourage followers to transcend their own self-interest for the good of the organization." Enabling employees to feel that they are part of a higher purpose is a hallmark of transformational leadership. In addition, Leader C "believes that people can achieve great success when they are inspired and passionate about a vision." Transformational leaders with inspirational motivation challenge followers with high standards, convey optimism about future goals, and impart meaning for the task that needs to be accomplished. It is essential that followers have a strong sense of purpose if they are to be motivated to act. It is further noted that this person "continually sets high expectations for subordinates." Setting clear cut goals that are high enough to challenge followers is another aspect of this type of leadership.

B In the event that Leader B is appointed as CEO of the company, and a transactional style of leadership is enforced, several predictions can be made. The transactional leadership model holds that people are motivated by rewards and punishment. It is an arrangement of quid pro quo - reward/pay for effort. If an employee performs well, then they can expect to be rewarded. Conversely, if they do something poorly, they can expect to be punished. The rules are clearly defined, and the organization's policies are expected to be followed to the letter. The positive effect of this style of leadership is that any deviant behavior will be eradicated or severely marginalized. Time will not be wasted arguing about which rules are important enough to follow or who has the right to enforce those rules. For some companies that need a quick systematic way to generate a product in a static market, the transactional leadership philosophy may be the most efficient.

The company described in this article is probably not one of the companies that would thrive under a transactional leader. It



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