Leadership entails an active process of controlling or managing a team or an organization to achieve the set objectives. Leadership entails adopting various leadership strategies and approaches with an aim of reaching an integrative goal. Great leaders can use their skills, knowledge, and leadership abilities to influence changes in organizations. Leadership can provide a competitive advantage for an organization when establishing a vision for employees to feel motivated in achieving the goal for the company. This paper seeks to understand the concept of leadership and how transformational leadership relates to change management, which entails introducing a historical perspective of leadership. Finally, this paper presents a conclusion of the discussions presented regarding transformational leadership and change management.
Leadership has been a worrying topic for many organizations. It is clear that many companies fail to understand proper leadership and management. This entails evaluating the significant ways of managing conflicts, challenges, and making appropriate changes. Most of all, the best way to manage change or challenges is vested in effective leadership frameworks. On the contrary, many organizations operate without knowing that they are experiencing leadership problems. “Many management teams today do not realize they face a ‘leadership challenge.’…It is worth knowing that those organizations that can implement strategies for continued and sustained improvement will be those peopled by high flyers” (Atkinson & Mackenzie, 2015, p. 47). The results of poor leadership are damaging, and organizations must be ready to acquire transformational leaders and prepare them for both the present and future challenges. This is done by ensuring that every leader in an organization is trained, coached, and prepared for any challenge.
Leadership is viewed as a functional skill, which depicts the ability of an individual to manage other people in an organizational setting or offer guiding principles and policies to other people in a team or group (Hacker & Roberts, 2003). Mainly, leaders employ social, political, legal and cultural power on other people, with the intention of reaching the set goals. It is true that leaders may have their individual interests or may have the interests of his or her subjects at heart. Besides, people can acquire leadership positions from physical power, the urge to portray control and domination over other individuals or the possibility of safeguarding the rights and privileges of other people (Hacker & Roberts, 2003). Conversely, leaders can arise on account of individual mind power, lack of fear and a rise in the power of the mind or determination.
Leadership styles have evolved from time to time owing to the challenges that organizations experience. In particular, a transformational leadership style entails a form of integrative leadership that advocates for motivating people, working with the power of the leader.
According to Hacker and Roberts (2003)
At the heart of transformational leadership is a consciousness of the self and the ability to raise consciousness in others…The required skills are both managerial and leadership, not one over the other, and knowing when to call upon a specific skill in a given situation.
This form of leadership values employees and strives to give them proper working environments where their needs are addressed effectively. A leader builds the unity in a working environment by presenting a task to employees and motivating a team to achieve positive results. In this regard, a manager or a leader is present to provide all the necessary support that employees need when working on the task (Hacker & Roberts, 2003).
For some time now, transformational leadership has remained invariable. Kirimi and Minja (2012) view transformational leadership as a process of control that invests in skills, knowledge and expertise of individuals through a process that brings about tangible and constructive change in the subjects. On the other hand, Hacker and Roberts (2003) see transformational leadership as an accurate process where leaders investigate and evaluate prospective transformations to establish the highly reliable transformations that will create tactical changes in an organization. This is a style of leadership that draws the most of the attention on transformation, while, at the same time, giving employees a chance to explore their individual goals.
Leaders can see the visions of a company by implementing positive objectives and approaches to management. This is further effective by the need to develop devotion and dedication of employees (Kirimi & Minja, 2012). This is mainly done through training and educating leaders of the effective leadership and management strategies that help them foster high productivity levels of employees. Today, leaders are moving away from the long-drawn ways of dictating roles and duties to their employees or simply delegating roles and anticipating promising results. This is also coupled with the training and coaching of employees on the value of combining efforts in an organization to achieve a company’s goals and objectives. According to Boonstra (2013), transformational leaders have the right skills and knowledge to foster motivation and showing the way in an organization.
Transformational leaders are quick to utilize their individual skills to foster employees’ growth and personality change. This is connected to an ability to work together with employees by showing immense enthusiasm and passion for growth and development. These features of a transformational leader help achieve the creative skills of employees (Kirimi & Minja, 2012). Leaders have the ability to foster enthusiasm of employees by paving the way for their individual zeal and commitment to impact on employees. This is also evident if leaders view tasks as difficult and complicated; employees may begin to shy away from these tasks. Therefore, a great leader must show the ability to overcome difficult duties and even prove that they can overcome challenges.
Transformational leaders view roles and duties in a varying way as compared to an ordinary leader. Kirimi and Minja (2012) state that a transformational leader puts his strength and focus in constructing relationships in an organization and further fostering highly motivated workers who enjoy being engaged in an organization’s duties. Employees, working under a transformational leader, show immense concern for achieving the set objectives of an organization in a way that also pleases them. They also develop trust with a leader or manager where all their actions are directly reflected the results and further rewarded accordingly. This is in consideration that trust grows with time, therefore, showing that a leader must adopt long-term ways and approaches to his or her employees (Murthy, 2007). In the end, a leader also trusts his/her employees and, consequently, the working relationship grows.
It is also common to find that transformational leadership applies individual aspects of leadership that a leader may not actively know about them. This is connected to the leadership traits that an individual may display, such as instincts. In particular, transformational leaders employ individual attributes to evaluate and assess small changes that can bring about great results (Hacker & Roberts, 2003). Most of all, transformational strategies can help companies in making the best changes that can inspire workers to backup the vision and goals of a company. In this regard, employees, who are inspired, are secure of their jobs and feel appreciated in a company. According to Kirimi and Minja (2012), the people, working under a transformational leader, are happy, contented, and feel adored. In particular, these employees work with utter zeal knowing that they are valued and treated with high esteem. This is also attributed to more loyalty from employees and further a fostered teamwork/collaboration, which leads to increased productivity. According to Atkinson and Mackenzie (2015), transformational leaders push an organization towards achieving its objectives while implementing the invaluable efforts that leave employees totally devoted.
Every leader experiences many challenges when handling changes in an organization. In particular, a transformational leadership is inspired by changes that organizations must meet and triumph in a path of achieving organizational success. According to Hacker and Roberts (2003), a leader has a duty to steer clear changes with his or her employees without faltering at conflicts or related challenges. Boonstra (2013) also adds to this reasoning that leaders are required to make accurate and correct change management approaches that entail selecting the best intervention programs. For example, leaders are required to find the cultural path for change, which helps in establishing a solution towards the future of an organization. According to Hacker and Roberts (2003), leaders must make solid decisions, including understanding employee responses to change and the nature of change. This is because, changes are inevitable in organizations, and many changes must be carried out to prevent various other challenges, such as stiff competition, poor production or closure of the business.
The cultural path of change enables people to see the need of joining a team in a change management program (Boonstra, 2013). In this regard, company leaders must be vested with transformational leadership skills that will enable them to create a story that inspires positive responses of the subjects in an organization. In particular, companies must have sophisticated ways of managing changes, through change management approaches. This is seen in the way a leader is vested with the right skills and knowledge for change management.
Wikipedia defines change management as the strategies of transforming people, by the use of behaviors studies, where a leader integrates the needs and objectives of an organization. Successful organizations have their leaders ready for changes, with the strategies and approaches that integrate the employees, skills, knowledge, and abilities. According to Wikipedia on change management, leaders put emphasis on employees and teams to streamline the objectives of an organization. This entails integrating useful tools and expertise, such as technology, communication, teamwork and business solutions. “Change is intrinsic to an organization and entails deviation from an organization’s present form” (Murthy, 2007, p. 91). In this regard, leaders in an organization that is experiencing a change process must employ strategies that will help understand the nature of the change and an employee nature of reacting to the change. Also, leaders must employ their transformational skills in mobilizing the employees towards a positive change response. This can be conducted by implementing ways of boosting their motivation and level of commitment.
From the discussions presented and the literature utilized, it is clear that leadership is a significant part of an organization. In particular, leaders form one of the invaluable organization’s cogs that steer employees into overcoming challenges and making changes in an effort of achieving the set objectives. Successful organizations focus on hiring great leaders, who can mobilize a team into implementing great strategies, policies, and process that lead to the anticipated results. Today, many companies are facing leadership problems, and this is further intensified by increasing demand for knowledgeable and skilled leaders. In this regard, companies must understand that leaders should be well-trained, maintained and prepared for higher-ranking positions and challenges. A good leadership is founded on transformational leadership where a leader can adapt to change demands with ease. Companies that invest in transformational leadership are sure of triumphing even in times of change and extreme competition.