“In order to win a man to your cause, you must first reach his heart, the great high road to his reason.” Abraham Lincoln (cited in Crowley, M (2001)
As one of the most successful transformational leaders in political history, Abraham Lincoln inspired loyalty and willingness for self-sacrifice among his followers by raising their level of motivation through the development of a shared vision, morality, loyalty, trust and communication.—as evidenced by changing their attitudes toward emancipation of the slaves. (Crowley, M .2001) There are many leadership styles that are not as altruistic as the one adopted by Lincoln such as authoritarian, autocratic models aimed at increasing productivity in a top down, power driven relationship dynamic. As microcosms of society, school administrations often took on a similar role through the implementation of hegemonic hierarchical models of leadership. However, in 1980’s the education system was forced to restructure and adapt to meet the changing needs of a world of high technology, reduced budgets, changing demographics at schools, demands created by centralized curriculum and assessment policies (Dommock, 1995; Leithwood, 1994, 1996; Leithwood, Jantzi & Steinbach,1999). Consequently, many education administrators began to transform their schools into authentically democratic institutions based on a shared vision, empowerment and mutual growth to increase teaching and learning outcomes (Leithwood,1992). ). “As times change, what works for leaders changes also”(Stone, Patterson 2005). In the ever increasing complexity of social, corporate and educational reform it can be argued that the only sustainable leadership is one that collaboratively builds the capacity of and value adds to the holistic and moral development of all members of school communities to improve teaching and learning outcomes. The leadership model which is commensurate with this description is Transformational Leadership.
Downtown (1973), as cited in Barnett, McCormick & Connor, (2001) initiated the transformational leadership movement. A number of researchers expanded on Downton’s theory finding that a transformational leader engages with and empowers followers through shared purposeful altruistic, supportive and mutually beneficial relationships in an effort to transcend self-interest for the greater good of the organisation. (Engelbrcht & Murray, 1995; McGregor, Burns 1978; Leithwood, Jantzi & Steinbach 1999). In order to transcend ones self-interest and increase productivity, Maslow (1959) posited that all individuals have a hierarchical set of needs which must to be met such as physical, security, social and self-actualizing (extrinsic) . This is quite opposite from the traditional power model as the leaders needs and goals are inseparable from the followers’ (Burns, 1978; Engelbrcht & Murray, 1995; Stone, G. Patterson, K . 2005) Burns (1978), claimed that when the leader and follower share a mutually beneficial vision they are able to transcends short-term goals and exchanges (transactions) to create long term positive changes (transformations) within the school. “The full range of leadership” is a theory Burns (1978) created to explain the interrelationship between transactional and transformational relationships. He argued that they were distinct dimensional constructs at opposite ends of the continuum and are thus inter-related. In contrast to Burns, Bass (1995) argued that transformational and transactional leadership are separate concepts, and further argued that the most effective leaders are both transactional and transformational. Transactional leadership takes place when individual exchange valued financial, political and or psychological goods. Upon completion of the transaction the relationship ends and there is no charged long term goal or vision (Barnett, 2003; Bryant, 2003, Gellis, 2001).This is in contrast to transformational leadership which goes beyond exchanging ‘rewards’ for...
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