Leadership is a multidimensional concept to me. Ever since I delved into a scholarly enquiry on the subject, I have come to learn that effective leadership is not just a simple endeavor that one can take. Instead, it is a complex undertaking which requires considerations for approaches used, considering needs and interest of follower and strategically decision making. In this paper, I will discuss leadership concepts that I have learned and relate them to my own development.
When given the chance to apply what I have learned on leadership as a professional in future, I will certainly use transformational leadership, instead of transactional and pseudo transformational leadership styles. My assertion is guided by the fact that transactional leadership focuses on the exchanges that take place between followers and their leaders, pseudo transformational leadership focuses on a leaders interests instead of interests of the followers both of which have extensive limitations (Northouse, 2015). The limitation inherent in pseudo transformation leadership is that followers are likely to get demotivated since their needs are not being addressed. Similarly, transactional leadership is not result oriented but solely focuses on interaction processes.
Though transformational leadership has its disadvantages, they are not as extensive as pseudo transformational or transaction leadership. My position is that transformational leadership is all encompassing since it possesses most of the qualities required by an effective leader compared to the other two. Northouse (2015) describes transformational leadership as a process that involves engaging others hence creating a connection that results in an increased motivation and morality between leaders and their followers. Therefore, unlike pseudo transformational leadership, this one focuses on the interests and needs of the followers. Also, unlike transactional leadership, transformational leadership is result oriented. Hence, among three styles of leadership, I would prefer transformational leadership which addresses the limitations of the other two. The preference can be manifested by the fact that in the Path-Goal Leadership Questionnaire is score highest in participative style which is a constituent of transformational leadership.
Also, as a leader in future, I foresee that I will embrace the team leadership model. The reason for the statement is that as per the Skills inventory test that I undertook, I found that I had to attributes that are critical in leading teams. These attributes included adapting ideas to peoples needs easily and enjoying the challenge of getting parties to work. The two attributes are essential in the way they enable me to effectively spearhead activities in a team. For instance, the two attributes will be instrumental in solving conflicts by addressing the needs of team members.
However, I find that the criticisms as of the team leadership model described by Northouse (2016) to have more impacts on the process than the strengths. For instance, Northouse (2016) describes the strengths of the models as being useful in teaching, can be used a cognitive guide, recognizes the changing role of leaders as well as followers as well as can be used as a tool for group leader selection. On the other hand, the criticisms states that the model is incomplete as it fails to consider a scenario where team members have a range of skills hence roles may evolve. It also states that the model is impractical and incomplete since leaders require additional skills to effectively lead a team that has a wide range of skills and that the models complexity makes it impossible to answer difficult questions for leaders. I feel that the criticisms outweigh the strength. Consequently, I have decided that in future, I will not employ the model when leading a team whose members have different skill sets.
Lastly, I equate the psychodynamic approach in leadership with mind games. Northhouse (2016) state that the psychodynamic approach is a process that constantly shifts forces and dynamics that influence an individuals emotions and thinking so as to motivate the individual to perform. Essentially, the process uses substantiated clinical paradigms to that state that we are a product of our past experiences, mental life lies outside conscious awareness, and that there is a reason behind every human action. Hence, when using the psychodynamic approach, leaders appeal to the fears, rationale and the consciousness of their followers to motivate them towards a certain direction. Similarly, mind games are psychologically manipulative behaviors which are intended to create discomfort in an individual so that a mutually beneficial gain or a personal gain may be attained. In essence, both approaches are the same. It is only that the psychodynamic approach is ethical for both the leader and the follower benefit.
The learned leadership concepts have provided me instrumental insights that can be applied in real life practice. The outcome of Northouses (2016) leadership ideas, is that I am able to decide on the most effective leadership style, apply an appropriate leadership style depending on context, and critically analyze the team leadership model. More so I have been able to distinguish between mind games and the psychodynamic approach.
Northouse, P. G. (2015). Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications.
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