Transformation leadership


Another stream of research has been focused on differentiating transformational leaders from transactional leaders.

The Ohio State studies, Fiedler’s model, path-goal theory, and the leader-participation model have concerned transactional leaders. These kinds of leaders guide or motivate their followers in the direction of established goals by clarifying role and task requirements.

There is also another type of leader who inspires followers to transcend their own self-interest for the good of the organization, and who is capable of having a profound and extraordinary effect on his or her followers. These are transformational leaders. They pay attention to the concerns and developmental needs of individual followers; they change followers’ awareness of issues by helping them to look at old problems in new ways; and they are able to excite, arouse, and inspire followers to put out extra effort to achieve group goals.

A study of five corporate leaders highlighted the role of a transformational leader as a father figure. These leaders were known for growth in their organizations, bringing about mammoth acquisitions, diversifications, takeovers, mergers, and vibrant operations.

Nine characteristics were found to be common in all five leaders:

a) Sincerity of the leader

b) Bonding effort to develop the organization as a family by developing personalized relationships showing concern about the growth of individuals, remaining accessible, and encouraging social relationships

c) Consultation and participation

d) Collectivization and team-work

e) Empowerment and support

f) Serving as a role model

g) Bringing in changes continuously

h) Maintaining continuity and being

i) Innovative

Thought processes, implicit assumption, beliefs and attitudes of leaders can be meaningfully studied if they are interwoven into a composite whole by the cultural thread from which they emanate. Indian philosophy provides a framework to help understand a person’s mental make-up. It offers the tri-dimensional personality theory, to explain differences across individuals. Vedic texts also outline concepts like Karma (cause-effect chain or the basic law governing all actions) and existing bundle of inexplicable contradictions of the world, which help in comprehending a person’s worldview. Only through a clear understanding of the leader’s worldview we can unravel the secrets of transformational leadership and try to enhance it.

There are three tri-dimensional personalities: Awareness, Dynamism, and Inertness. These are fundamental ingredients or constituents in every being and each being is composed of all the three characteristics. When one of the three is dominant in a person it is characterized by that ingredient. The constituents were manipulated by portraying a political leader as being high on one or two of the three ingredients. The Vedic worldview is operational as an under standing of inexplicable contradictions and belief in karma was manipulated by portraying the leader as having such a worldview.

A study conducted to analyze transformational leadership identified charisma, idealized influence, inspirational leadership, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration as the five ideal qualities that a leader should have.

The results revealed that sattva and vedic worldview separately enhance transformational leadership, whereas tamas reduces it. The sattva-rajas combination also enhances transformational leadership but the effect is not more than the effect of sattva alone. Similar is the case with the sattva-vedic worldview.

Organization can enhance transformational leadership by using the guna framework and by reinforcing the vedic worldview.
They can:

* Design training program to develop sattva and reduce tamas.

* Build team-orientation and self-sacrifice for directing energies towards super-ordinate goals.

* Base organizational policies on a competency framework built around sattva and a vedic orientation.

Transactional leadership and transformational leadership shouldn’t be viewed as opposing approaches to getting things done. Transformational leadership is built on top of transactional leadership it produces levels of follower effort and performance that go beyond what would occur with a transactional approach alone. Moreover, transformational leadership is more than charisma.

The transformational leader will attempt to instill in followers the ability to question not only established views but eventually those that are established by the leader also.

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