Good management brings about order and consistency by drawing up formal plans, designing rigid organisation structures, and monitoring results against the plans. Leadership, in contrast, is about coping with change. Leaders establish direction by developing a vision of the future; then they align people by communicating this vision and inspiring them to overcome hurdles.6
Leadership is defined as the ability to influence a group toward the achievement of a vision or set of goals. The source of this influence may be formal, such as that provided by the possession of managerial rank in an organisation. Leaders are responsible for intelligently and ethically influencing behaviour in a way that creates value.1
Most leaders put a great deal of time into crafting strategy, selecting winning products, and engaging with analysts, shareholders, and major customers. But few realize the success or failure of their grand schemes lies in influencing the behavior of the hundreds or thousands of people who will have to execute the big ideas — their employees.
By contrast, the most influential leaders — the 5% who succeed consistently at influencing profound and essential behaviour change — spend as much as half of their time thinking about and actively influencing the behaviours they know will lead to top performance.
The 95% who dither and fail tend to delegate what they dismiss as "change management" to others, most often leaders in human resources — who often lack the credibility to influence real change. The average leader spends little, if any, of his or her time on active efforts to create behaviour change. Consequently, nothing changes.1
Most change initiatives, especially radical change, require effective leadership, not just on the part of the chief executive and other senior managers, but from leaders at all levels in the organisation.7
Change processes that have the support of the workforce require good leadership, an appropriate model of change, some room for negotiation and compromise, and well-planned communication.
Transformational style leadership approach
Transformational leaders inspire followers to transcend their own self interest for the good of the organization and are capable of having a profound and extraordinary effect on their followers.6
They pay attention to the concerns and developmental needs of the individual followers; they change followers’ awareness of issues by helping them to look at old problems in new ways; and they are able to excite, arouse, and inspire followers to put out extra effort to achieve group goals.
Transformational leaders are more effective because they themselves are more creative, but they are also more effective because they encourage those who follow them to be creative too. Goals are another key mechanism that explains how transformational leadership works. Followers of transformational leaders are more likely to pursue ambitious goals, be familiar with and agree on the strategic goals of the organization, and believe that the goals they are pursuing are personally important.
An organization’s internal capacity to initiate and sustain a major change effort involves a number of aspects and is affected by both human and material resources.5
Kaplan and Norton4, for example, argue for the importance of “organizational capital,” consisting of leadership, culture, alignment, and teamwork in change efforts. In the quest to study the interrelationships between societal culture, organisational culture, and organisational leadership, the project GLOBE was conceived.2
One major question addresses by GLOBE concerns the extent to which specific leader attributes and behaviours are universally endorsed as contributing to effective leadership, and the extent to which attributes and behaviours are linked to cultural characteristics. The results from the GLOBE program conclude that there are some universal aspects of leadership. Specifically, a number of the elements making up transformational leadership appear to be associated with effective leadership, regardless of what country the leader is in.3
The elements of transformational leadership appear universal: vision, foresight,providing encouragement, trustworthiness, dynamism, positiveness, and proactiveness. The results also led the GLOBE team to conclude that “effective” business leaders in any country are expected by their employees to provide powerful and proactive vision to guide the company into the future, strong motivational skills to stimulate all employees to fulfil the vision, and excellent planning skills to assist in implementing the vision.
Change processes that have the support of the workforce require good leadership, an appropriate model of change, some room for negotiation and compromise, and well-planned communication. Most change initiatives, especially radical change, require effective leadership, not just on the part of the chief executive and other senior managers, but from leaders at all levels in the organisation.7
Next topic: Change management strategies utilised in managing change and their effectiveness....to be continued.
2. House, R, Javidan, M & Dorfman, P 2001,’Project GLOBE: An Introduction’, Applied Psychology: An International Review, vol. 50 ,issue 4, pp. 489-505
3. House, RJ, Javidan, M, Hanges, P & Dorfman, P 2002,’Understanding Cultures and Implicit Leadership Theories across the Globe: An Introduction to Project GLOBE’, Journal of World Business, pp. 3-10
4. Kaplan, RS, & Norton, DP 2005, Organizational Capital I, Supporting the Change Agenda That Supports Strategy Execution, Managing Change to Reduce Resistance, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, cited in Kee, JE & Newcomer, KE 2008,'Why Do Change Efforts Fail?', Public Manager, vol. 3, issue 3, pp. 5-12
5. Kee, JE & Newcomer, KE 2008,’ Why Do Efforts Fail?', Public Manager, vol. 3, issue 3, pp. 5-12,
6. Robbins, SP & Judge, TA 2009, Organizational Behaviour:13th Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
7. Wood, J, Zeffane, R, Fromholtz, M & Fitzgerald, J 2006, Organisational Behaviour: Core Concepts and Applications, John Wiley & Sons Australia
8. Yukongdi, V 2009, MGT5000 Management and Organisational Behaviour, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba
TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP APPROACH EMPLOYED DURING CHANGE AND ITS EFFECTIVENESS, WRITTEN BY CHRISTOPHER LIM