Leadership is arbitrarily applied in nearly every sector with vast definitions attached to concept as incorporated into the characteristics or the features or even the roles of leaders. Incorporating and examining some of the availed definitions by most of the scholars states leadership as being defined basically by the ability to influence others or followers to achieve common goals through shared purposes. The most essential part of leadership is the core range of the ability to influence others in effective abilities relevant to the given behavioral context, actions as well as specific inclusive opinions. Subordinates on the other hand are individuals underneath the influence of leadership in the basic form with the revelation of a depiction of subordination.
The preceding analysis is aimed at offering clear insight on the key leadership concepts in the military through the use of the personality theory. The paper also aims at explaining the power and influence held by leaders on their subordinates within an organization. This is with the offer of a clear insight on the role and the effectiveness of transformation and transactional leadership in an organization. In addition the assessment of the traits and characteristics of an effective team leader within the organization offer a depiction of how leadership supports vision, mission as well as strategy in the organization. Finally it offers a conclusion on the personal perception on leadership and some of the changes that can be reflected within an organization.
This theory offers a broader context which integrates the trait theory as according to research personality refers to the combination of physical, mental, emotional and social characteristics and the traits. This can be a reflection on the way people act and treat others and also affects an individual’s perception and a given specific behavior. It is evident that leaders are more likely to benefit from knowing their personality characteristics. This is based on the fact that they are able to increase their self awareness and the awareness of others as a result of understanding their traits and equally can also adapt their communication and personal style to enhance their performance. In the military set up, leaders are required to have a clear insight and understanding on their traits, they largely define the relative approaches in relation to their ability to give out commands and operational specifications. There are two major theories which are the mostly popularly used and are and various ranges include the following; the Big Five personality model and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as incorporated by various scholars (Judge et al., 1999). The Big five personality dimensions embrace some individual personality such as extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness (Barrick, 1999). These dimensions largely define the respective attributes or entities that a particular leader should have in order to qualify to be uniquely effective or efficient or in a nutshell both. This theory enables the leaders to quantify their capabilities or abilities to lead and offer the best results out of the set objectives. The theory further avails the leaders with the significant approaches that can be used in their leadership strategies.
Leadership and power
Under this approach, a clear insight is proffered in relation to the effects of power and influence that leaders have upon their subordinates within the organization. Industry standards state leaders have been envisioned in a changing paradigm in the process of relevant leadership and influence so that they can be able to involve and mobilize board members, the stakeholders and the followers towards accepting the vision, mission and strategies. Power and influence present two differing approaches in relation to their applicability as depicted earlier with the influence being basically the ability to affect an individual or individuals to change behavior. On the other hand, power is basically the potential aspect needed to influence as proffered above with power enabling individual to control others in relation to changing their behaviors and perceptions towards a common goal. The varied sources of power define the potential influence based on the various levels with sources of power being either be soft power or hard power. Whereas the hard power utilizes coercion and inducement we observe that the soft power basically relies on the personal or relational powers. According to Weiss, (2011) the soft power entails the ability to obtain what an individual wants through co-opted option and attraction. On the other hand strategy under soft power entails the sources of soft leader’s values, culture, policies, and institutions. The study relevance recommends that the soft power strategy of leadership with the ability to attract attention is one of the major aspects towards transforming individuals towards achieving the set objectives (Tittemore, 2003).
The rationale behind the recommended strategy is based on the notion that people do not need to be commanded on what to do but should be directed on what should be done and on how this should be achieved as per given political and economic platforms. This should be supplemented by ensuring that the followers are availed with a specific level of confidence and the chance to contribute in the decision making process. Though commanding falls under one of the leadership functions in the military settings, it highly limits the ability for diversifications and sharing of ideas towards making effective and efficient strategies. The use if soft power can also be used in military settings as provided by some of the world’s most popular influencers in history. According to Weiss, (2011) Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin used soft power through manufacturing of certain myths of invincibility and inevitability to attract followers into their cults and their causes. The strategy behind soft power should not however be used to undermine the rights of the followers. Furthermore, soft power is a significant concept towards the fact that the leader is able to integrate and use culture, values and personal characteristics as a significant influential source for the attainment of the set organizational objectives.
Effectiveness of transformational and transactional leadership
There are various attached entities under transformational and transactional leadership since various organizations require leaders who are transformational hence enabling the organization achieve the set objectives. In the military, transformational leaders are required based not only on the nature of tasks, duties, and responsibilities but the fact that the attached qualities on transformational leaders in the military are largely marginally required. Such a transformational leader in the security based sector is indentified in the New York Police Chief Bratton who is viewed as suited to the qualities or attributes of a transformational leader (Jennings, 2011). This is based on the fact that transformational leaders are able to influence, inspire, move, and basically transform the followers towards achieving the set organizational goals beyond their self interest. The stipulated qualities are some of the most essential features that can be used to suit Bratton in description are based on his ability to influence, inspire, and moving the followers towards achieving the established New York Police Department organizational goals (Jennings, 2011).
The dynamisms and increased competition as well as the demanding business environment calls for the need to be a transformational leader. This notion can be reflected in the military where the leaders are required to influence, inspire and propel the followers towards the high demanding tasks, responsibilities and roles towards ensuring that battles and wars are won with national security highly positioned. Transformational leader’s posses the preceding characteristics:
- Idealized influence based on the leader’s personality, character and behaviors that the followers wish to emulate.
- Inspiration motivation entails how a leader is able to move the followers towards achieving the set objectives or goals or even a new idea.
- Intellectual Stimulation where these leaders are able to move and support the followers towards thinking and innovating beyond the common the normal sense.
- Individualized Consideration where the leaders are able to avail attention and concerned to the followers welfare.
- Transactional leaders are contrary the opposite of the transformational leaders where they perform more routine though essential or significant leadership and managerial skills. They are able to plan, schedule, control and work with the subordinates towards achieving the objectives of more detailed tasks. They are able to facilitate contributions and ensure that specific organizational goals are implemented. Some of the characteristics of these ladders that make the effective and efficient include;
- The contrast reward or the contingent reward which is used by these leaders to motivate their followers towards performing effectively and promising them more rewards for good performances.
- Management by exception is examined on factors that arbitrarily deviate from the norms and impacted universally through guided infrastructure as well as connectivity issues.
- Laissez faire where they allocate responsibilities and avoid making decisions which would infringe the nature of the comparative business operation process.
Team leaders are required to be charismatic in their contribution to efficiency where they are able to draw and influence the followers via the sheer force and magnetism of their personality instead of underling this by exercising their positions within an organization. The term charismatic incorporates the previously depicted four I’s under transformational leaders (Miner, 2005). They are able to ignite the fire of the followers and avail them with energy and commitment hence producing results above and beyond their normal duties. In assessing the traits and characteristics of an effective team leader within the organization, it is essential to relate such leaders to the charismatic leaders. Some of these traits and characteristics include:
- Vision and articulation where these leaders are able create and articulate compelling visions which they tem as idealized goals;
- Sensitive to an environment;
- Sensitivity to members needs within the groups;
- Unconventional behavior;
- Personal risk taking.
Leadership support on vision, mission and strategy within an organization
There are various entities that depict how leadership supports vision, mission and strategy in the organization; the most significant strategy is based on strategic leadership. This is evident based on the fact that leaders through this strategy they are able to develop a plan which incorporates both the current and anticipated future events. These leaders are able to embrace the respective elements under strategic management which are strategy creation and strategy implementation. The leaders are able to create or develop a vision which is an idealized goal or objective that a particular organization aspires to achieve. Apart from aiding in the development of the vision, these leaders are required to propel and lead the followers by influencing them towards achieving the set objectives. Leaders are required to enact a strong vision statement to enable the employees and other stakeholders have a clear insight on the respective objectives and goals that the organization has established. Strategic leaders enable the employees to make connection with the vision and showing how each individuals work hence contributing to the company future. On the other hand the mission defines an organization’s purpose plus answering the question “what do we stand for?” The mission should be supported by an effective and efficient mission statement where core values and core purposes are defined. Strategic leaders are not only required to develop the mission and the mission statement but also influence the employees among other stakeholders towards achieving the set organizational goals (Fletcher et al., 2006).
Core values are basically the principles that define and guide the organizational beliefs, behaviors, and the interactions. Leaders have marginal impact not only on the development of the mission and visions within an organization but also influencing the followers towards achieving the set objectives. They are also required to develop strategies and approaches depicting how the organization is going to achieve the set objectives. In the military like in most of the organizations, the mission and vision are essential entities with strategies required to be enacted to enable the organization achieve the set objectives. They are also required to implement the set strategies under the mission and the vision attached entities. Implementation is a significant approach as it depicts the ability of the leaders to put in the practice what they have planned or strategized (Judge et al., 2001).
Organizations are required to be dynamic with significant changes made in relation to the external and internal environment changes. In the position of leadership within an organization some of the changes that would be made would include the development of a platform where every employee has a share not only on decision making but also towards feeling like part of the organization. This is based on the fact some organizations be it in the military or other sectors develop an environment where employees or followers sometimes are never involved. This makes some of these employees lack the chance to grow and develop within the organization. These changes can be achieved through making sure that employees are availed with communication channels where they can air their perceptions and integrate among themselves. This can enable the organization make projections on some of the sensitive issues within an organization that as a leader maybe hard to discover. This is also significant towards enabling the employees have a sense of ownership on the organization.
The proffered analysis above provides a detailed analysis on the key leadership concepts since the essence of effective and efficient leaders within the society is diverse. These are required to be transformational and transactional to enable the society and organizations grow and develop. Leaders are able to influence their followers hence altering their abilities to make decisions and execute duties. Transformational leaders are required in settings such as those under the military to provide inspiration, influence and provide direction to their surbodinates. They are supposed to embrace the respective environments that they are positioned and transform it through influencing the followers and inspiring them toward the established organizational objectives.
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