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The theory and practice of leadership essay

Common features of servant leadership

English UK For a long period of time now in the human history, the successes of most engagements, morality notwithstanding, have been due to proper leadership.

With good leadership and the associated outcome both in the ancient and present age, man has increasingly sought to find ways of identifying the best style of leadership that suits the demands of the time Northouse, 2009.

Researchers have also been attracted towards the need to understand the concept of leadership by developing personality-based theories and other approaches. According to Northouse 2009leadership can be defined as a complex process of aiding businesses or organizations achieve their goals.

Many organizations are constantly searching for individuals with outstanding leadership qualities and abilities so as to transform their operations for the better. The essay seeks the theory and practice of leadership essay discuss in detail two major approaches to leadership; transformational and transactional. Through the discussion, their clear differences will emerge. Moreover, the essay will offer a critique of the transactional leadership according to Northouse.

Transformational leadership, just as the name suggests, is concerned with bringing change to the society or organization.

Transformational leaders also seek to empower the followers and to help them unleash their own leadership potential. They strive to address and align the individual goals with those they have in mind as well as the achievement of organizational goals.

There are four major components of transformational leadership. Idealized Influence II is the first component. This component allows the leader to behave in a manner that motivates the followers to imitate. Transformational leaders win approval from their followers and they like to be associated with their leaders.

Persistence, determination and extraordinary potentials are some of the qualities that are admired by the followers. This implies that followers have their own ideal behaviors as well as attributes that they expect from their leaders. The followers would like leaders who have a collective sense of mission and the assurance that all obstacles will be overcome Burns, 1978. Moreover, such leaders with II are consistently willing to take risks without compromising their ethical and moral integrity.

Inspirational Motivation IM is the next component under the transformational leadership. This attribute arouses a spirit of team work resulting in enthusiasm, optimism, and commitment in all tasks. The leaders set clear goals and ways of achieving them and demonstrate their own commitment to the course through action. This is achieved by criticizing assumptions, redefining problems, and proposing the theory and practice of leadership essay ways of addressing the existing challenges Northouse, 2009.

The leaders take all opinions from their followers as far as alternatives of solving problems are concerned. The fourth and the last component is the Individualized Consideration IC where a leader takes the needs of each and every follower into consideration.

The leader acts as the mentor for all and helps each one achieve the desired ultimate potentials. The leader acts differently towards each follower without raising any serious concerns. To one is given more encouragement, to another more autonomy, and still another is given harder tasks to accomplish.

Under this component, the followers enjoy handling delegated tasks and they do appreciate being checked on just in case they need any further guidance.

Transformational and Transactional Leadership

These components are very crucial in ensuring the success of any transformational leadership. This implies that the leader should be actively involved in the entire course of action rather than being a spectator.

There are some benefits of transformational leadership. The followers are inspired to think creatively and hence solutions to problems are enhanced. The type of leadership is useful in situations where facts alone may not suffice to bring change. It is also appropriate when employed by managers at the helm of an organization Northouse, 2009. However, transformational leadership has some inherent limitations.

It is lacking in conceptual clarity in that it involves a ray of many activities hence making it difficult to define.

Furthermore, the approach regards leadership as a trait instead of a behavior that anyone can acquire through learning. Finally, transformational leadership can easily be abused especially in propagating immoral behavior like by cults since it involves passionately changing the values and belief systems of the people Northouse, 2009. Transactional leadership, on the other hand, is another major approach that has been advanced by researchers.

Transactional leaders have been identified as those who lead by embracing social exchange where one thing is given as a result of another.

  • Management-by-Exception MBE , on the other hand, is classified as either active or passive depending on the point of involvement of the leader;
  • Cons Servant leadership requires time to achieve positive results;
  • Servant leadership most closely resembles participative leadership;
  • Under this component, the followers enjoy handling delegated tasks and they do appreciate being checked on just in case they need any further guidance;
  • German Journal of Human Resource Research; 18, 3;
  • Finally, transformational leadership can easily be abused especially in propagating immoral behavior like by cults since it involves passionately changing the values and belief systems of the people Northouse, 2009.

According to Burns 1978politicians are a good example of transactional leaders since they usually pledge to offer jobs and other opportunities in exchange for votes. Transactional business leaders, on the other hand, offer financial rewards and promotion for the employees who demonstrate high productivity.

Contingent reward can either be transactional if the reward takes a material form or transformational if it is psychological in nature. Management-by-Exception MBEon the other hand, is classified as either active or passive depending on the point of involvement of the leader.

Active MBE is characterized by the leader being directly involved in the monitoring of digressions from set standards while the followers are in action.

  1. According to Northouse 2009 , leadership can be defined as a complex process of aiding businesses or organizations achieve their goals.
  2. Servant leadership is a classic concept, but the term was coined in 1970, when Robert K.
  3. One popular leadership style is servant leadership, which will become more familiar when you recognize its characteristics. According to Burns 1978 , politicians are a good example of transactional leaders since they usually pledge to offer jobs and other opportunities in exchange for votes.
  4. Think about the terms "socially responsible companies" or "participative management" styles. Transactional leaders have been identified as those who lead by embracing social exchange where one thing is given as a result of another.

Followers of such leaders are more compliant since they take orders and act the way they are told. This is in contrast with transformational leadership where the followers are allowed to think and act the way they want to at some point.

References

According to Northouse 2009the theory and practice of leadership essay approach has some clear inherent benefits as well as weaknesses as far as leadership is concerned.

Most importantly, such leaders are more predictable since the procedure to be used is already laid out. The type of leadership is quite appropriate in middle level management since everything has to be performed according to the policies and procedures, especially in large organizations. The limitations, on the other hand, include the fact that the followers are neither motivated nor enthusiastic about what they do because they feel they are ordered Northouse, 2009.

Furthermore, leaders treat the followers as people who can be motivated by the promise of a reward. This exposes the worker to predictability, where the consequences can either be positive or negative.

Another limitation is that it can be effective when used at the helm of organizational management which requires inspiration and clear vision dispensation.

The essay has discussed the transformational and the transactional approaches to leadership. The discussion has brought out the clear differences between the two types of leadership and their respective goals.

It has also offered the criticism of transactional leadership according to Northouse, a renowned author. We can therefore conclude that various situations call for the use of the appropriate approaches to leadership.

Transformational leadership 2nd ed. Theory and practice 5th ed.