Essay: Compare and Contrast Four Leadership Models

Pages: 5 (1718 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Leadership  ·  Buy This Paper

Leadership Models

By examining the similarities and differences between four leadership models, future leaders can actively shape their leadership styles to ensure effectiveness within their industry and organization. Transformational leaders can inspire new ideas, but without clear direction, such ideas may remain lofty dreams. Transactional leaders can provide formal procedures and structure, but may lack the ability to motivate and excite their followers. Charismatic leaders can generate enthusiasm for new ideas, but success requires follow-through skills they may lack. A servant leader will often gain the respect of his or her followers due to a willingness to work side-by-side with his or her team to complete the task; however, sometimes a leader requires separation from the troops in order to avoid possible biases.

In addition to understanding the ideas behind each leadership model, the relationship with emotional intelligence plays a significant role in organizational leadership. Leaders guide people and people are opinionated, passionate, excitable, determined, stubborn, and sometimes angry and frustrated. Maintaining the ability to cope with different personality types and workplace emotions is a necessary role for today's leader who can no longer fall back on coercive power to achieve the desired results.

While exploring the benefits and challenges of various leadership models, the theories are put into context using the healthcare industry as an example. An industry that is subject to an intense number of influential variables, is undergoing significant change, and is burdened with highly regulated procedures that impede the necessary change, the healthcare industry presents unique challenges for new industry leaders.

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leaders seek to motivate and inspire their followers by giving them the opportunity to express their creativity in the workplace. Exuding charisma, generous with compliments, and perceptive to individual needs, transformational leaders have the ability to easily influence change within a workforce that has the ability to transform with fluidity and without considerable operational roadblocks. High in emotional intelligence, transformational leaders believe that "transforming their followers through communication, role modeling, and encouragement are appropriate strategies for achieving the mission and goals of the company" (Sarros & Santora, 2001, p. 392).

The Transformational Leadership model presents challenges in the healthcare industry. Clear, constructive leadership is necessary to ensure strict adherence to rules and regulations. Problem solving skills are critical in the healthcare environment, but employees do not have the opportunity to express the type of creativity that is often encouraged by a transformational leader. While the high emotional intelligence offered by a transformational leader provides the ability to develop positive employee relations, healthcare employees require leaders who will first and foremost provide structure and demonstrate operational proficiencies. Increasing change has been necessary in the healthcare industry due to new HIPPA regulations and electronic medical record requirements over the past few years, but a transformational leader may struggle to provide the decisiveness of leadership to move such a variety of personality types through the change process.

The charismatic tendencies of a transformational leader will have a positive effect on healthcare workers who often feel that the management team take them for granted or do not understand how much work and effort is necessary to perform their tasks on a daily basis. The increased emotional intelligence offered by a transformational leader is likely to garner the type of reverent power that a transactional leader may not offer.

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leadership provides the type of functionality that is necessary in a regimented healthcare environment. Whereas transformational leadership may be intellectual and ideological in nature, transactional leadership is more bureaucratic and legislative (Clawson, 2009, p. 462). Rules and consequences are key to transactional leadership, which strengthen the foundation of an industry that relies upon consistency, procedures, and effective documentation.

"Transformational leaders will communicate their vision in a way that inspires optimism and hope in followers, future-oriented emotions associated with the desire to learn more about and pursue new opportunities and goals associated with the vision" (Avolio & Yammarino, 2002, p. 272). More than just a vision and optimism are necessary to facilitate change in a healthcare environment. Any type of change requires inspiration and motivation, but a transactional leader is more likely to provide the step-by-step process, documentation for new operating procedures, budgetary support, procedural analysis, and employee training that is required to affect change in a strictly regulated workplace.

In a healthcare organization requiring change management, combining the servant leader model with transactional leadership would provide the level of emotional intelligence needed to build a positive rapport and generate affinity with the staff. Demonstrating a willingness to put in equal work and effort into coordinating change efforts would increase the leader's power and influence. In an industry that consistently overworks its staff members and is rife with excessive ego, a leader who isolates himself or herself from the workforce is unlikely to build sufficient support to cause broad sweeping change.

Charismatic Leadership

Similar to a transformational leader, charismatic leaders have the ability to create excitement and enthusiasm for new projects and organizational change. Leadership requires going beyond building excitement. When the initial interest is over, followers will be looking for transactional guidance to maintain the initial momentum. "In creating a vision and getting people energized, the leader may create expectations that are unrealistic or unattainable" (Wren, 1995, p. 110). Despite the ability to motivate by using positive emotions, if a charismatic leader cannot support his or her agenda with a clear plan, support will rapidly dissipate.

"It can be difficult to change traditional behaviors and practices… to reconcile the expansive and often expensive ambitions of modern medicine with the economic forces no driving health services consolidation and cost containment" (Gilkey, 1999, p. 102). When faced with such a looming task, a seemingly impossible feat, such as changing the way health care is administered within a large HMO organization, optimism is necessary to keep the leader motivated. Such overwhelming change requires a positive, high-energy personality, one that can keep a large, diverse team motivated. As long as the leader has the knowledge, education, and experience to direct the change, adding a dose of charisma can go a long way. "You can't lead others without first understanding the systems in which they operate" (Sarros & Santora, 2001, p. 393).

Dulewicz, Young and Dulewicz explored the idea that a combination of intelligence, emotional, and managerial qualities are necessary for strong leadership (2005). In a healthcare organization, a high level of intelligence is necessary because the administrative manager is guiding a business staffed by highly educated professionals who expect to be led by someone equally as intelligent. Dealing with a wide variety of personality types and stakeholders with varying priorities requires a high level of emotional intelligence. Being able to inspire, motivate, and gain support from board members, the community, government officials, and education leaders, in addition to the staff and patients, requires intuition, emotional strength, the ability to control one's emotions and to be sensitive to the emotions of others, and the skill to influence people by using a variety of power styles (Dulewicz, Young & Dulewicz, 2005). Charisma can provide a leader with the ability to influence others, but additional leadership skills are necessary.

Servant Leadership

A servant leader has a level of insight that cannot be achieved when sitting above one's followers. Walking along side the staff, participating directly with their daily activities, provides a leader with insight into problems that may never have been brought to his or her attention. Taking the time to interact with customers and learning about their side of the transaction can inspire ideas that may not have happened if a leader spent all of his or her time in a corner office.

"A leader initiates, provides the ideas and the structure, and takes the risk of failure along with the chance of success" (Business Leadership, 2003, p. 119). If a leader expects to orchestrate change in a healthcare organization, he or she must be prepared to play an active role in coordinating the change efforts. The first step is gaining support from the stakeholders, which can best be achieved by positioning the change in a way that relates directly to each group's role in the organization. A servant leader has more insight into the needs and challenges of each part of the organization and is more likely to have the ability to explain how the desired change will affect each group. Honesty and open communication is crucial to successfully change, therefore, the change may not be readily embraced. A servant leader who has charismatic passion will be best suited to building employee support.

Conclusion

Maintaining a repertoire of leadership styles will prepare a leader to move through a variety of situations. When facing hospital board members or stubborn physicians, a healthcare leader must be strong and charismatic, but also clear and concise with well-documented research and decisions. A staff of nurses who have been working extra double shifts and have twice the normal number of blisters on their feet may need an impassioned servant leader who is ready to put… [END OF PREVIEW]

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