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Chapter 12 gave an overview on different types of leadership in organizational settings. Leadership has three impacts: the ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward organizational effectiveness. One the the most talked about types was transformational leadership because of the impacts . Transformational leadership specifically looks at effective leaders as agents of change. There are four elements of transformational change: building commitment to change, developing and communicating a vision, encouraging experimentation, and modeling the vision. Developing and communicating a vision is important for employees to feel positive and energized for the change to come. It also creates a better sense of unity, which is important in the workplace for teams especially. The vision should represent a challenge for employees to contribute towards achieving for the organization. Sometimes the vision can be presented by employees and others before being adopted by an actual leader. Also important is communicating that vision. That is important for change because in order for the vision to be effective it needs to be communicated properly. Leaders need to add meaning to their visions and connect to employees. They can connect through values, passions, and further supporting teamwork. The greater the connection and understanding of the vision, the more likely employees will better execute it. In addition, modeling the vision is just as important. Leaders need to embody the vision and lead by example. They should align work and activities with the vision and organizational values. This will show other employees how the vision should be carried out and create trust. Next, transformational leaders should be encouraging experimentation. This is important so that employees can find new ways to work in ways that still contribute to the goals of the organization. Finally, building employee commitment to the vision is vital. Employees should be excited to adopt the vision on their own and if they are will more consistently apply appropriate work practices. Leaders can reinforce commitment through rewards and celebrations, along with the other three elements of transformational leadership. By implementing these practices team building also occurs and creates higher trust between organizational and team members alike.
In my experience as an employee with a leader I did not experience successful transformational leadership. That may have been the intent, but their strategy fell short in many ways. My past manager had developed a vision, but very poorly communicated that vision to the entire team. Many times employees were confused about what the goals were and how they should be achieved. Because there was not clarity employees engaged in counterproductive tasks often. Eventually, that became frustrating for those who were actually working toward the vision. The manager often talked down to us and that also made it difficult to trust their judgement. They expected employees to work toward the vision, but did not model the expected behaviors themselves. We were all very discouraged as it felt we were trying to reach a goal that management was not even committed to contributing to. Because employees were never taught or encouraged to explore ways to work together they did not commit to change either. Also, due to all of these factors many employees quit altogether. Evidently, leadership does impact many other factors of the organization. I do think that if organizations are experiencing high turnover and other complaints they should look closely at management. Sometimes it can be how they lead that generates issues on a more personal level. As a manager now, I do my best to be a transformational leader. I work closely with other employees and because I’ve worked in lower positions I find it easier to connect with them. With that connection comes better communication about organizational goals for future change. I train employees to model and encourage experimentation in that training. I will typically show individuals how I do something and allow them the opportunity to suggest adjustments and ask questions based on their past experiences. Many times I have learned easier ways to carry out tasks. Because those steps occurred early in training as they progress they are more open to give feedback, which aids me in other ways. The open communication between employees and myself creates a lot of trust that allows them to better commit to visions of the organization. In addition, my boss and I like to encourage commitment through yearly awards, raises with achievements, and frequent team bonding activities. The activities will occur in the form of educational classes relevant to our work, wellness activities like runs, or dinner parties.
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