Transformational Leadership For Positive Business Outcomes
Dr. Toye Latimore
January 22, 2021
In recent years, a series of very public corporate scandals (e.g. Enron, Fannie Mae, Lehmann Brothers, Tyco, and WorldComm) have been associated with increased interest in positive leadership emphasizing ethical and moral leader behavior. These emerging ethical/moral values-based leadership forms include ethical, authentic, and servant leadership (Dinh, Lord, Gardner, Meuser, Liden, & Hu, 2014). These three ethical/morals values-based leadership forms represent additions to positive leadership, with transformational leadership being the dominant theory since the 1980s.
Positive leadership forms focus on leader behaviors and interpersonal dynamics that increase followers’ confidence and result in positive outcomes, beyond task compliance, such as motivating followers to go beyond expectations, positive self-development, and prosocial behaviors (cf. Hannah, Sumanth, Lester, & Cavarretta, 2014).
Based on the new direction of Centeva “Shoot for the Stars,” what type of leadership would you like to see emulated within our organization? Would you like to see our leadership (transform) employees to perform beyond expectations? Would you have to ponder if the leadership is genuine and beneficial (Authentic) to you as an employee? Would you like to see a leadership arena that focuses on ethics and conduct (Ethical) whereas they conduct their lives in an ethical manner? Or, would you like to see our leadership lead in a servant manner (Servant), in which they put the needs of followers and stakeholders first? Below is some background information on the types of leadership styles. This article is not submitted to critique the current leadership, but to engage in some healthy conversation and thoughts on various leadership styles. Based on our new roles under the new reorganization, leadership is a key component to accomplishing task and leading people. Your comments are welcomed.
According to Bass, transformational leaders transform their followers to perform beyond expectations by engaging in “the four is” of behavior: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration.
Authentic leadership is viewed as a root concept or precursor to all other forms of positive leadership including transformational, ethical, and servant leadership (Avolio & Gardner, 2005). Thus, the degree of authenticity represents an underlying determinant or wellspring defining positive leadership. For example, with respect to transformational leadership, it answers the question: Is the leader’s leadership genuine and beneficial to followers and organizations, or is it abusive and unethical?
Ethical leaders seek to do the right thing and conduct their lives and leadership roles in an ethical manner (Brown & Treviño, 2006). Ethical leadership draws on the social learning theory (Bandura, 1986) and posits that ethical leaders influence followers to engage in ethical behaviors through behavioral modeling and transactional leadership behaviors (e.g., rewarding, communicating, and punishing). The recent focus on ethical leadership has been based on the belief that ethics represent a critical component in effective leadership and leaders are responsible for promoting ethical climates and behavior (Brown & Treviño, 2006).
Robert Greenleaf (1970, 1977) developed the philosophy of servant leadership that focuses on putting the needs of followers and stakeholders first. Greenleaf stated: “The servant-leader is servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead” (1970: 13). Keith (2008) described servant leadership as ethical, practical, and meaningful. On the basis of Greenleaf’s writings, Spears (2010) identified 10 characteristics of servant leaders, including listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of others, and building community. Servant leadership posits that by first facilitating the development and well-being of followers, long-term organizational goals will be achieved.
Reference: Hoch, Julia E., et al. "Do ethical, authentic, and servant leadership explain variance above and beyond transformational leadership? A meta-analysis." Journal of Management 44.2 (2018): 501-529.the needs of followers and stakeholders first.