Leadership

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What is Leadership? Essentially, "leadership is an interpersonal influence directed toward the achievement of a goal or goals" (Allen, 1998, A Definition of Leadership section). It is important to realize that just because an individual has authority within an organization, it does not mean he or she is necessarily a leader. Rather, only the managers, supervisors, etc. that learn to motivate those under them to achieve company goals without using that authority are true leaders (Allen, 1998). It must also be noted that not every leader uses the same thing to motivate employees. Transactional Leadership For example, transactional leadership sets up a series of rewards and punishments to motivate members of the organization. If these individuals adequately meet the leader 's goals and expectations, they will be rewarded for their hard work (i.e., salary, bonus, or other incentive). On the other hand, if they fail or violate these goals and expectations, they may face punishment (i.e., demotion, termination of employment, etc.) (Straker, 2007a). Transactional leadership can be quite effective in many situations, such as managers offering a bonus to the first salesperson who reaches a number of sales. Examples of famous leaders that effectively employed transactional techniques include McCarthy and de Gaulle. In the end, though, the leader and employees must continue to share a common understanding of the importance of the leader 's goals and expectations for transactional leadership to work. And because transactional leadership has a highly structured environment and a strong emphasis on managerial authority, this form of leadership has its limitations, particularly when it pertains to the creative expansion of the organization (Boje, 2000; Homrig, 2001). Transformational Leadership In contrast, transformational leaders (i.e., Moses and Kennedy) use completely different methods to motivate their followers (Boje, 2000). They use charisma and a shared vision to "inspire


References: Allen, G. (1998). Leading. Retrieved July 25, 2008, from Dallas County Community College District Web site: http://ollie.dcccd.edu/mgmt1374/book_contents/4directing/leading/lead.htm Boje, D. M. (2000, December 25). Transform into super leaders: Transformational leadership. Retrieved July 24, 2008, from New Mexico State University College of Business Web site: http://cbae.nmsu.edu/~dboje/teaching/338/transformational_leadership.htm Homrig, M. A. (2001, December 21). Transformational leadership. Retrieved July 24, 2008, from Air University Web site: http://leadership.au.af.mil/documents/homrig.htm Straker, D. (2007a). Transactional leadership. Retrieved July 24, 2008, from http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/styles/transactional_leadership.htm Straker, D. (2007b). Transformational leadership. Retrieved July 24, 2008, from http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/styles/transformational_leadership.htm Published by Amanda R. Dollak

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