Strategic leadership Flashcard

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Roger (2006, pp. 6-11) defines leadership as a managerial concept that has evolved over years based on charisma, trait, situational and behavioral among other characteristics. In the process several theoretical frameworks and practices have been forwarded by scholarly work for use in practical management. Although leadership theoretical framework development may be regarded as a continuum, some theories seem to contradict each other. All leadership theories attempt to demystify the complex undertaking of interacting with people in an attempt to inculcate personal commitment and responsibility.

Transactional leadership is among the traditional leadership theory. As the name suggests, transactional leadership is based on the exchange between the workforce and the employer. The employer rewards, punishes or compensates employees as a return for compliance and efforts displayed. In this regard, the predetermined standards have to be met by the employees if favourable compensation is to be availed. The idea under transactional leadership is that subordinates are in control of their commensurate pay which matches their contribution and loyalty in the contextual organization.

Probably, transactional leadership may be likened to common policy states. Leaders in such states use authority to dictate on common religion, economic, media and social policies that have to be observed by all citizens to gain citizenship. Almost contrary to transactional is the transformational leadership whose foundations are rooted in vision sharing and communication with subordinates. Among transformational leaders, the gap between management team and subordinates is diminished thus increasing commitment, loyalty and job satisfaction among employees.

The late can be likened to Sir John Harvey’s close relationships with his subordinates at Imperial Chemical Industries. According to Roger (2006, p. 60), there are several fundamental differences between transformational and transactional leadership styles. To start with, transactional leaders study and utilize the link between reward and efforts while in transformational leaders arouse emotions that motivate their subordinates to perform beyond exchange relations framework. The implication is that workers derive intrinsic urge to perform contrary to the focus on pay displayed in transactional leadership.

Second, transformational leadership focuses on creating learning opportunities to be stimulated by followers in problem solving. On the contrary, transactional leadership relies on standard inducement such as punishment rewards and sanctions for purposes of controlling the workforce. Third, transactional leadership is basically responsive having an operational orientation of finding solutions to current issues. On the other hand, transformational leadership proactively forms renewed expectations among the followers. The later creates future and strategic goals which promises improved job satisfaction.

Moreover, transformational leadership possesses intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration and idealized persuasion on the followers. The later contrasts transitional leadership which is dependent on leader’s power in reinforcing the workforce towards completion of set bargain. Finally, transitional leadership involves goal setting and actualizing them by promising compensation to followers for desired performance whereas transformational leadership motivates followers towards working for goals beyond self interests.

Transformational leadership closely relates to governance of liberal or multi-policy states that do not dictate in fields of religion and media among other sectors. Instead, the later educates its citizens on facts, pros and cons of each of the available options (Roger, 2006). Sir John Harvey was indeed a remarkable leader who appreciated the role of dynamism in the business environment. His changes in the practice of management at Imperial Chemical Industries made the firm realize profits barely a year after it almost liquidated.

Sir John demonstrated transformational leadership at a time when the industry in Europe had much regard to transactional leadership. To start with, Sir John limited bureaucracy amongst employees hence closing the gap that existed between managers and subordinates. The communication at ICI became direct in terms of sharing of the vision in the firm. Subordinates could address Sir John by his without including the formal titles that he held. Such humility was the beginning of change that could make subordinates come up with solutions before managers in ICI noticed the contextual problem.

In addition, Sir John was realistic and compassionate in handling his subordinates so that he could not destroy their career and lives. Second, Sir John searched for opportunities to expand ICI. His transformational leadership was best displayed by the formation of an acquisation team concerned with promotion and expansions. For example, the acquisation of Glidden, ICI attained a global competitiveness in paints market. In total, Sir John led to sale and acquisation of sixty three companies for ICI in three years.

Furthermore, Sir John transformed the company from oil to great specialty expansions in chemical business. Third, Sir John cut manning levels and invested the savings to plant development through which problem of overproduction was solved. The later had far reaching effects of increasing profits per employee. Probably the most profound change advocated for by Sir John was the decentralization of business operations from government. His proposal was that of a market driven economy where the sales force would make decisions depending on the market.

Market driven companies are very strategic in conforming to changes that occur in the market. Finally, Sir John displayed transformational leadership principles by shifting ICI from petrochemicals, fibres and heavy chemicals to pharmaceuticals as well as specialist materials for medicine and electronics. In conclusion, it is important to note that although transformational leadership is more modern and better, substantial levels of transitional leadership are necessary in organizations. For instance, the size and cost of labor force must be appropriately matched with enterprise’s earnings.

Indirectly, this implies that employees are compensated based on the enterprise’s outputs which they generate, a concept in transactional leadership. Indeed, Sir John demonstrated some level of transactional by scaling down the size of directors team as well as that of subordinates. Furthermore, he insisted on directors getting heated through debates and discussions during the meetings. Although the later may not be a characteristic of transformational leadership, the debating and arguing using wild raw ideas is necessary in creating transformational enterprise directions.

Indeed, the blend between transactional and transformational leadership styles brings together critical and operational leadership concepts along with strategic leadership that is necessary for enterprise’s future and forecast. In fact, operations management supports strategic decisions by testing the applicability and defining the implementation process. Sir John was indeed a transformational leader whose television talks and written work will continue to inspire enterprise leaders for generations to come (Roger, 2006).

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