The development of leadership skills is very important because they help to achieve both personal and professional success. At the same time, often people faces difficulties with the development of their leadership skills and abilities. In this regard, it is important to focus on the development of an effective leadership style that can help an individual in their professional and personal development. The development of leadership skills should be an integral part of education of students because students should learn different leadership roles. The latter will help students to be flexible, while applying their leadership skills and abilities and they will be able to use the most effective leadership style. Thus, students will be effective leaders. As for me, I am currently inclined to use transformational leadership style, which I believe to be particularly effective in the health care environment where I am currently working in.
Today, the role of leaders is extremely important for the successful performance of various organizations. At the same time, the effective application of leadership qualities highly depends on the approach used by leaders to their associates and subordinates. Among the variety of approaches existing in the contemporary business environment, transformational leadership is one of the most popular and widely spread approaches, which is considered by many specialists (Northouse, 2001) as highly prospective. In this respect, it is important to underline that the transformational leadership has not only benefits but it may have certain risks which can threaten to the normal development and performance of the organization, where this approach is applied.
The backbone of the transformational approach is making an organization more successful by valuing associates of the leader. In such a way, the leader is able to develop positive relationships with his or her associates and, thus, improve the organizational culture at large. The importance of positive interpersonal relations between the contemporary leader and his or her associates can hardly be underestimated because the role of human resources has increased consistently in the contemporary business environment and, today, human resources constitute a significant asset of any organization.
At the same time, through the development of positive interpersonal relationships with associates, the contemporary leader can implement the full potential of his or her leadership because associates, being highly valued by the leader, grow more confident in the leader and, simultaneously, they feel more responsible for their own performance. To put it more precisely, the associates do their best to maintain the positive performance in order to avoid changing the attitude of the leader and to feel valued by the leader (Dessler, 2004). In such a way, the associates are conscious of their importance to the organization and its leader.
Furthermore, along with the growing responsibility of the associates, their productivity and effectiveness of their work grow too that also produces a positive impact on the development and performance of the organization. In such a way, the transformational approach can be use effectively used in order to improve the relationship of the leader and his or her subordinates and to improve the performance of the organization.
However, it is necessary to remember about certain risks that accompany the implementation of the transformational approach. To put it more precisely, the transformational leader can face a problem of the adequate treatment of him or her as a leader. What is meant here is the fact that often transformational leaders are perceived by their associates as personalities above all, while their leadership position is treated as secondary compared to their personal traits (Hesselbein and Cohen, 1999). As a result, the leader can undermine his or her authority as a leader, while his or her personal qualities become of the utmost importance for his or her relationship with the associates. Also, the application of the transformational approach may lead to the abuse of power. Using the transformational approach the leader can use his or her power to manipulate his or her assoicates, forcing them to do tasks as a personal service to the respectable leader. Alternatively, the associates can use their good relationship with the in their own interest to achieve personal goals. Such effects of the use of transformational approach may produce a negative impact on the performance of the entire organization.
Nevertheless, the aforementioned difficulties the transformational leader can encounter while applying the transformational approach, it is still possible to overcome all these problems through the use of various factors that can be applied in terms of the transformational approach. To put it more precisely, the transformational leader can have an idealized influence on his or her associates. In such a context, the leader is an exemplary model for his or her associates and it is up to the leader what model his or her associates learn. In other words, if the transformational leader does not abuse the power and shows a positive example than his or her associates are likely to follow this positive example and they are likely to follow his or her model of behavior in their professional work.
At the same time, it is important for a leader to keep distance between him or her and his or her associates in order to maintain formal relationship. In fact, interpersonal relations should be rather intertwined into professional relations than substitute them that will lead to the perception of a leader’s personal trait as superior to his or her leader’s trait.
However, in spite of all my efforts to use transformational leadership style, I still face certain difficulties with the implementation of this leadership style in my professional work. In this respect, I should say that I am inclined to the authoritarian leadership style and I have to cope with my internal inclinations to develop new, more effective leadership style. In addition, I am working in quite stressful environment that raises certain barriers to the development of the transformational leadership style. In fact, I have to cope with stressful factors to avoid conflicts with my colleagues and clients. In this regard, conflicts may be a serious threat to my leadership style.
Taking into consideration the aforementioned problems and barriers, I have developed the plan which, I expect, can help me to overcome all the difficulties I am currently facing. Firstly, I will focus on learning the conflict management strategies that will help me to avoid conflicts in my professional relationships. Secondly, I will need to change my leadership style and refuse from authoritarian elements in my leadership style. For this purpose, I will study transformational leadership style in details and probably I will ask for advice of a psychologist who can help me to change my leadership style. Finally, I will need to establish a system of control over my progress. I am mainly focused on self-control using the self-efficacy assessment. In such a way, I will define my efficacy in the change of my leadership style.
Thus, in conclusion, it should be said that the application of transformational approach may be very prospective for the improvement of the performance of the organization and organization culture, but it is important to apply this approach very carefully in order to avoid its possible negative effects. The transformational leadership style is particularly effective in health care environment and I believe that I will use this style effectively in my professional work. However, to change my leadership style effectively, I will need to implement accurately the plan I have developed above.
Brown, D. C. (2003). Leading complex change. New York: Touchstone.
Dessler, G. (2004). Management: principles and practices for tomorrows’ leaders (3rd ed.). New Jersey: Upper Saddle River.
Hesselbein, Frances, and Paul M. Cohen. (1999). Leader to leader. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Northouse, Peter G. (2001). Leadership theory and practice, second edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
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