Transformational Leadership is showing up in articles and in my daily life more than I realized before I read anything about what it was. There was a study done by Dr. Adam Grant at the University of Michigan with regard to transformational leadership and the implications it had on productivity. Northouse tells us transformational leadership is “the process whereby a person engages with others and creates a connection that raises the level of motivation and morality in both the leader and the follower,” (Northouse 2016, PG 162.) Dr Grant studied a call center whose job it was to call alumni asking for donations to their scholarship program (Loder, 2015.) Once the callers realized many of the people they were reaching out to had been recipients of scholarships directly related to this program, they felt more empowered to listen and motivated to gain donations. According to the study once the employees found out the impact their jobs have on people’s ability to afford school, they worked harder and increased their weekly revenue 400%.
Dr Grant did another study that involved nurses assembling surgical kits for health-care practitioners. He noticed when the nurses got to meet the professionals who were using their kits the error rate went way down with regard to making the kits, and their productivity went up 64% (Loder, 2015.) He noted putting the employees in touch with the people actually using their product helped motivate them to pay attention and be successful.
I work in a warehouse where we pack on line orders and while it is impossible to send us out to hand deliver packages; I take pride in shipping out correct orders. I received an incorrect order once and the hassle to correct that problem was less than favorable. I think of the volunteer events we take part in and how we make a difference in the community while representing the company. Putting us in touch with our possible customers helps motivate us to take pride in our work.
Finally the article I read about Dr. Grant and his studies pointed out the John Deere Company sometimes goes to farmers who purchased a new tractor and hands the owner a gold key. The employees gather around while the farmer starts their tractor up for the first time (Loder, 2015.) There is an added sense of pride when the piece of machinery you worked so hard on is delivered to the end user and you get to see them start it up.
I did not realize Transformational Leadership is all around me until Northouse described it to us in chapter 8 (PG 162.) The studies Dr. Grant did are also solid evidence people want to do something meaningful when they go to work rather than mundane (Loder, 2015.) It is not really necessary for me to meet the end users of our shipments, but I do put myself in the shoes of the customer when packing boxes. I would not want to receive a damaged or wrong item and sending someone the right package is something I take pride in.
Loder, V. (2015, February 25). How Great Leaders Motivate. Retrieved November 5, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/vanessaloder/2015/02/25/how-great-leaders-motivate/
Northouse, P.G. (2016) Leadership Theory and Practice Sage Publications Thousand Oaks, CA Print