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Example research essay topic: Transformational Leaders Leadership Skills - 2,183 words

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... do it, when to do it, where to do it, and who's to do it. In task behavior the leader engages in one-way communication. Relationship behavior is the extent to which the leader engages in two-way or multi-way communications. This includes listening, facilitating, and supportive behaviors.

In relationship behavior the leader engages in two-way communication by providing socio-emotional support. Maturity is the willingness and ability of a person to take responsibility for directing his or her own behavior. People tend to have varying degrees of maturity, depending on the specific task, function, or objective that a leader is attempting to accomplish through their efforts. To determine the appropriate leadership style to use in a given situation, the leader must first determine the maturity level of the followers in relation to the specific task that the leader is attempting to accomplish through the effort of the followers. As the level of followers' maturity increases, the leader should begin to reduce his or her task behavior and increase relationship behavior until the followers reach a moderate level of maturity. As the followers begin to move into an above average level of maturity, the leader should decrease not only task behavior but also relationship behavior.

Once the maturity level is identified, the appropriate leadership style can be determined. The four leadership styles are telling, selling, participating, and delegating. High task / low relationship behavior (S 1) is referred to as "telling. " The leader provides clear instructions and specific direction. Telling style is best matched with a low follower readiness level. High task / high relationship behavior (S 2) is referred to as "selling. " The leader encourages two-way communication and helps build confidence and motivation on the part of the employee, although the leader still has responsibility and controls decision making. Selling style is best matched with a moderate follower readiness level.

High relationship / low task behavior (S 3) is referred to as "participating. " With this style, the leader and followers share decision making and no longer need or expect the relationship to be directive. Participating style is best matched with a moderate follower readiness level. Low relationship / low task behavior (S 4) is labeled "delegating. " This style is appropriate for leaders whose followers are ready to accomplish a particular task and are both competent and motivated to take full responsibility. Delegating style is best matched with a high follower readiness level. House's Path-Goal Model The path-goal theory developed by Robert House is based on the expectancy theory of motivation. The manager's job is viewed as coaching or guiding workers to choose the best paths for reaching their goals. "Best" is judged by the accompanying achievement of organizational goals.

It is based on the precepts of goal setting theory and argues that leaders will have to engage in different types of leadership behavior depending on the nature and demands of the particular situation. It's the leader's job to assist followers in attaining goals and to provide direction and support needed to ensure that their goals are compatible with the organization's. A leader's behavior is acceptable to subordinates when viewed as a source of satisfaction, and motivational when need satisfaction is contingent on performance, and the leader facilitates, coaches and rewards effective performance. Path goal theory identifies achievement-oriented, directive, participative and supportive leadership styles. In achievement-oriented leadership, the leader sets challenging goals for followers, expects them to perform at their highest level, and shows confidence in their ability to meet this expectation. This style is appropriate when the follower suffers from a lack of job challenge.

In directive leadership, the leader lets followers know what is expected of them and tells them how to perform their tasks. This style is appropriate when the follower has an ambiguous job. Participative leadership involves leaders consulting with followers and asking for their suggestions before making a decision. This style is appropriate when the follower is using improper procedures or is making poor decisions. In supportive leadership, the leader is friendly and approachable. He or she shows concern for followers' psychological well being.

This style is appropriate when the followers lack confidence. Path-Goal theory assumes that leaders are flexible and that they can change their style, as situations require. The theory proposes two contingency variables (environment and follower characteristics) that moderate the leader behavior-outcome relationship. Environment is outside the control of followers-task structure, authority system, and work group. Environmental factors determine the type of leader behavior required if follower outcomes are to be maximized. Follower characteristics are the locus of control, experience, and perceived ability.

Personal characteristics of subordinates determine how the environment and leader are interpreted. Effective leaders clarify the path to help their followers achieve their goals and make the journey easier by reducing roadblocks and pitfalls. Research demonstrates that employee performance and satisfaction are positively influenced when the leader compensates for the shortcomings in either the employee or the work setting. Vroom, Yetton, Jago Leader-Participation Model The Vroom, Yetton, Jago leader-participation model relates leadership behavior and participation to decision making. The model provides a set of sequential rules to determine the form and amount of participative decision making in different situations. It is a decision tree, requiring yes and no answers incorporating contingencies about task structure and alternative styles.

The following contingency questions must be answered to determine the appropriate leadership style in the leader-participation model. P Quality Requirement: How important is the technical quality of this decision? P Commitment Requirement: How important is subordinate commitment to the decision? P Leader's Information: Do you have sufficient information to make a high-quality decision?

P Problem Structure: Is the problem well structured? P Commitment Probability: If you were to make the decision yourself, are you reasonably certain that your subordinates would be committed to the decision? P Goal Congruence: Do subordinates share the organizational goals to be attained in solving this problem? P Subordinate Conflict: Is conflict among subordinates over preferred solutions likely? P Subordinate Information: Do subordinates have sufficient information to make a high-quality decision? Transformational Leadership Transformational leadership blends the behavioral theories with a little dab of trait theories.

Transactional leaders, such as those identified in contingency theories, guide followers in the direction of established goals by clarifying role and task requirements. However, transformational leaders, who are charismatic and visionary, can inspire followers to transcend their own self-interest for the good of the organization. Transformational leaders appeal to followers' ideals and moral values and inspire them to think about problems in new or different ways. Leader behaviors used to influence followers include vision, framing, and impression management.

Vision is the ability of the leader to bind people together with an idea. Framing is the process whereby leaders define the purpose of their movement in highly meaningful terms. Impression management is a leader's attempt to control the impressions that others form about the leader by practicing behaviors that make the leader more attractive and appealing to others. Research indicates that transformational, as compared to transactional, leadership is more strongly correlated with lower turnover rates, higher productivity, and higher employee satisfaction. A transformational leader instills feelings of confidence, admiration and commitment in the followers. He or she is charismatic, creating a special bond with followers, articulating a vision with which the followers identify and for which they are willing to work.

Each follower is coached, advised, and delegated some authority. The transformational leader stimulates followers intellectually, arousing them to develop new ways to think about problems. The leader uses contingent rewards to positively reinforce performances that are consistent with the leader's wishes. Management is by exception. The leader takes initiative only when there are problems and is not actively involved when things are going well. The transformational leader commits people to action and converts followers into leaders.

Transformational leaders are relevant to today's workplace because they are flexible and innovative. While it is important to have leaders with the appropriate orientation defining tasks and managing interrelationships, it is even more important to have leaders who can bring organizations into futures they have not yet imagined. Transformational leadership is the essence of creating and sustaining competitive advantage. LEADERSHIP SKILLS PRODUCE BUSINESS SUCCESS Leadership skills are not intellectual principles that are memorized or learned in a classroom setting.

Leadership skills are a part of one's higher character being reinforced within a group that values leadership behaviors. We teach leadership as an individual and group process. Not only individuals practice the process of leadership in our leadership seminars but the group practices leadership through the reinforcement of values and beliefs regarding appropriate behavior. We assign the group a real work task to accomplish efficiently and proficiently, which develops a set of values and practices compatible with leadership skills. Employees rise to the highest level of customers' needs when the work culture is total employee leadership.

Management becomes a resource to support employee leadership. Build leaderships skills in your employees and your business or law firm will exceed the goals of your business plan. If every employee doesn't perceive himself / herself as a leader invest your training dollars in building leadership skills in your employees. Good leaders are made not born. The best leaders are continually working and studying to improve their leadership skills. Management succeeds best when they model as leaders, which encourages employee leadership.

There is a mistaken idea that all managers and professionals have leadership traits. They may or may not behave as leaders. Although their position as a partner, manager, supervisor, lead, etc. gives them the authority to accomplish certain tasks and objectives in the organization, this power does not make them a leader... it simply makes them the boss. Leadership makes people want to achieve high goals and objectives, while bosses tell people to accomplish a task or objective.

What makes a person want to follow a leader? People want to be guided by those they respect and who have a clear sense of direction. To gain respect, they must be ethical. A sense of direction is achieved by conveying a strong vision of the future. These traits shouldn't be limited to management. These traits are desirable in all employees.

Principles of Leadership "h Leadership begins with character. Honesty, ethical behavior, recognition of others' good deeds and care for others, identification with the larger goals of the business and a maturity all contribute to your impact in the organization. "h Know yourself and seek self-improvement. What makes up your character? What are your interests and passions? How accountable are you?

How do you manage time and meet goals? Seeking self-improvement means continually strengthening your attributes. This can be accomplished through being coached, reading, self-study, classes, etc "h Be technically proficient. As a leader, you must know your job and have a solid familiarity with other employees' jobs. "h Seek responsibility and be accountable for your actions. Search for ways to guide your organization to new heights.

Collaborate with others wanting success for the organization. And when things go wrong, they will sooner or later, do not blame others. Analyze the situation, take corrective action, and move on to the next challenge. "h Make sound and timely decisions. Use good problem solving, decision making, and planning tools. "h Set the example. Be a good role model for other employees but not in the manner of criticalness or righteousness.

Everyone rises to a higher level when they witness good character and competence in alignment with the company's business plan. "h Know other employees and look out for their well-being. Know human nature and the importance of sincerely caring for your workers. Praise, reinforce, and offer to be a resource. "h Communicate with other employees. Know how to communicate with others working with you. Individuals have different communication styles. Don't assume there was communication when you can ask for feedback to confirm what was heard.

When institutional communication is inaccurate or inadequate initiate changes. Poor communication exists when employees permit it. "h When assigned a task understand it and commit to its completion. Renegotiate the task if necessary or seek other team members' assistance if necessary, but retain accountability for it. "h Use the full capabilities of your organization. By developing a team spirit, you will be able to use your organization, department, section, etc. as a resource, and at the same time offer yourself as a resource. Businesses and law firms need three elements to succeed: (1) a plan, (2) an effective well coordinated execution of the plan, and (3) employees with leadership skills.

These three elements are dynamic in interaction and rise together in a sound organization. Too often this consultant sees law firm partners or entrepreneurs form the business plan without employee participation, and then not communicate the plan (or the reasoning behind the plan), and in the end complain that employees aren't making an adequate contribution. Employees report in employee surveys that they want more participation and more responsibility in their work lives. Seldom do they report that they work too hard. Often they report that they have too little influence over their work, which makes it less challenging. Almost al...

Free research essays on topics related to: leadership styles, organizational goals, transformational leaders, leader behavior, leadership skills

Research essay sample on Transformational Leaders Leadership Skills

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