IntroductionPeoplewill follow someone who inspires them.
Transformational leaders have a way ofuplifting and exciting their followers. Developing the vision, selling thevision, finding the way forward towards the vision, and leading the charge arethe four ways transformational leaders establish success stories. This paperwill explain the history of transformational leadership, the style developmentand roles of a transformational leadership. It will also analyze how BarackObama and Nelson Mandala applied transformational leadership while leadingtheir individual countries.LeadershipTheory JamesV. Downton was the first to introduce the concept of transformationalleadership.
Leadership expert biographer James Macgregor Burns then furtherdeveloped this concept. Burns definition of transformational leadership is”when leaders and followers make each other advance to a higher level ofmorality and motivation”. Transformational leaders motivate their followers tochange their beliefs and ambitions to achieve common goals. Their innovationand charismatic personality is what makes this possible. “Transformationalleadership behavior represents the most active/effective form of leadership, aform in which leaders are closely engaged with followers, motivating them toperform beyond their transactional agreements” (Rubin, Munz, Bommer, 2005).
Transformationalleaders are a great prototype of someone who works towards the benefit of theirteam. Theresearcher, Bernard M. Bass, broadened Burns’ original ideas and developed whatwe now know as “Bass’ Transformational Leadership Theory”. Bass’s idea oftransformational leadership focuses on how followers are impacted.
Bass impliesthat transformational leaders earn the respect and admiration of theirfollowing. Bernard M. Bass broadened Burns’ ideas by explaining the psychology behinda transforming leader. Bass also established the term”transformational”, and he helped explain how transformational leadershipis measured and it’s affect on follower performance. Transformational leadersare expected to have an impact on their followers. The followers of this kindof influential leader have respect and appreciation for the leader.
“Manyof the connections between transformational leadership behavior and emotion arepredicated on the notion that individuals differ considerably in their abilityto understand and utilize emotional stimuli in productive ways” (Rubin, Munz,Bommer, 2005). Transformational leadershave the ability to recognize the meaning behind the emotions of theirfollowers and problem solve on the basis of them. Recognizing emotion correctlyis most important when facilitating thought, understanding emotion, andmanaging emotion. This can help develop a bond between leader and follower.
Also, it can help the team thrive because there’s a sense of trust and comfortin the work environment. Dueto the many qualities of a transformational leader, there is a noticeable increasein their followers’ work ethic. The leader provides their following withsomething more to look forward to than just self-gain; they also earn anidentity, an inspiring mission and vision. All of this leads to positiveresults.
The leader transforms and influences followers with their charismaticnature, intellectual stimulation, and individual consideration. This leader stimulatesfollowers to come up with creative and distinct ways to go against the statusquo and modify the environment to support being successful. Applicationof Theory “Charismatic leadership is a term often used to characterizeextraordinary forms of influence, and it is frequently associated with leaderswho are perceived as exceptional, gifted, and even heroic” (Bass, 1990; Conger,1989). Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela are two presidents who have used transformationalleadership styles. Mandela did so during his term as president of South Africaand Obama while campaigning to become the U.S.
President in 2008. Theterm, “transformational” became associated with Obama during his 2008presidential election. With inspirational, magniloquent rhetoric, he vowed tochange the culture of America and deliver us to a brighter day.
During hiselection, Barack Obama advocated for women’s rights, health care, helping themiddle class, better education, etc. The Democratic nominee in the 2008presidential election, Barack Obama, drew large and enthusiastic crowds tocarefully staged events. “There the candidate called on voters to aspire to a’higher, better purpose’ in civic life” (O’Neil). An example of this is fromone of Obama’s speeches when his administration launched its “United We Serve”community service initiative on June 2009 in which the President urged citizensto volunteer to help solve a myriad of community needs. President Obamaremarked, “And I hope you will continue the service work you begin this summerfor the rest of your life.
Because American’s new foundation will be built onecommunity at a time, and it starts with you” (Jones & Muhammad, 2010). WithAmerica’s history of misogynistic presidents, Obama’s support for women’srights helped him gain a number of followers in 2008. His dedication tosupporting the middle class also increased his following due to the fact thatmajority of the U.S. population are middle class citizens. He engaged withmiddle class by showing his understanding of the issues they face daily andthus created a connection with them. Obama was big on education, from helpingspecial needs kids to providing grants to college students who were not able toafford it. This concern and care for students multiplied his following.
A bigpart of Obama’s supporters in the 2008 election were college students. Theseissues are focal points in American politics and are very important to U.S.citizens. Barack Obama was able to draw crowds of people in during hisspeeches. He presented solutions to these problems that caused Americans tokeep hope alive for a brighter future in this country. Obama’s engagement withhis supporters helped him receive great admiration.
He won the hearts ofAmericans and became the 44th President of the U.S. through thisleadership style. NelsonMandela represents the transformational leader who motivates his followers to extraordinaryaccomplishments through charisma, inspiration, individualized attention, etc. Subordinateswho view a leader as charismatic will tend to see the leader and his or hervision as core to their own identity and will be willing to sacrifice so as tobenefit the collective and achieve the goals and vision of the leader (Howell& Shamir, 2005). Mandela had a vision to end the apartheid system in SouthAfrica.
He led a campaign of peaceful, non-violent resistance against theSouth African government and its discrimination. He was a transformationalleader who expressed his vision and gained millions of followers who shared thesame vision. He was known as a role model for his strong moral conviction,personal example, and self-sacrifice.
Nelson Mandela was aware of theconsequences he would be facing after he decided to revolt against the SouthAfrican government, but his mission was more important than his own life. As atransformational leader he showed his people that he put their lives before hisown. Transformational leaders combat injustice no matter what the consequencesare. Mandela heard the cries of his people and their need for freedom anddemocracy. His followers also gained an intense desire to fulfil their the strong desire to fulfil theirself-actualization needs of being free from years of segregation anddiscrimination.
Correspondingly, they felt empowered to adopt the necessarymeasures to achieve their common goals, and were willing to abide by guidancegiven by their leader. Conclusion Otherleaders such as FDR and Ronald Regan illustrated the importance of being atransformational type of leaders. These leaders set goals and accomplishedthem, causing their following to preserve their ambition. When your nation isthriving off of your strengths, and the belief in their own strengths a greatdeal of agendas can be accomplished, which is the ultimate goal.