Ethics plays a huge part in Transformational leadership and is defined as “a manager who attempts to change his or her company’s corporate values to reflect a more humane standard of fairness and justice”. (Northouse, 2016) In other words, “a manager who will understand and adapt to the needs and motives of his or her followers”. (Northouse, 2016) They often possess qualities that revolve around values, ethics, emotions and long term goals and use a charismatic, visionary and persuasive style of leadership that involves motivation and inspiration. Transformational leadership treats leadership as a process between leaders and followers, provides a broader view of leadership that augments other leadership models, it places a strong emphasis on followers’ needs, values, and morals, and it has overall been approved as an effective form of leadership. (Northouse 2016) Some recent examples of transformational leadership would be Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Steve Jobs of Apple, Nelson Mandela, a previous President of South Africa and Condoleeza Rice, a former Secretary of State.
To me, Ethics is our code of honesty to ourselves. And, Ethics may vary depending on how we grew up and what we’re accustomed to. It is a moral code that is instilled from the time we are young and usually take with us throughout our lives and pass on to our children. What is right, what is wrong and what may be acceptable or not. We start learning this at a very, very young age.
Ethics is the heart of Leadership because you need it to run a good business. A business where employees feel comfortable and want to come to work every day because they know that all is right and all is fair. There is no bias, you will be treated well providing of course you do your job and follow certain rules. I feel for the most part, I provide my employees with that type of environment.
I believe charisma, vision and persuasiveness to be the three most important characteristics of transformational leadership. Charisma is defined, “as a special gift that certain people possess that gives then the capacity to do extraordinary things”. (Northouse 2016) I think this definition is quite fitting of a transformational leader. A charismatic leader is one who has strong morals, is dominant and confident. By being charismatic, leaders hope to inspire individuals to “view work as an expression of themselves and express high expectations for the followers which helps them gain a sense of confidence and self-efficacy”. (Northouse 2016)
This actually reminds me of the Pygmalion effect which sets high standards in order to motivate an individual. I personally have used this technique although I was not aware that there was a name for it. When there are certain projects that need to be done quickly for particular clients, I set the bar pretty high so that my employees are aware of the importance of the situation. Then I compensate usually with bonuses and extra vacation given due to the fact that overtime is mandatory in order to complete the project.
Vision is another important characteristic. It is also “common for transformational leaders to create a vision” which is one of the leaderships’ focal points. (Northouse 2016) And with providing individuals with a clear vision it is meant to inspire them to “visualize positive outcomes” (Northouse 2016) and provides them with a “sense of identity within the organization and also a sense of self-efficacy”. (Shamir et al., 1993)
Lastly, there is persuasion. I think persuasion fits right alongside of vision. A leader convinces followers to step out of their comfort zone to trust and follow the leader in achieving a common goal. Trust is a willingness to take a risk and make yourself vulnerable and if the leader is willing to take that chance than most times so will the follower because they respect and trust him. He has more than likely shown in the past that he is trust worthy, has high character traits and is reliable.
There was one particular boss I had that was certainly not Transformational Leadership material in any way. He owned his own business and it was a good thing because if he would have worked for anyone else he would have been fired. He was condescending, sarcastic and rude. He would stroll in at 11:00 every day and bark orders as if his employees were so minuscule, they should be thankful he gave them a job. Needless to say, I didn’t last there. I quit before I could get fired.
Northouse, P. G. (Ed.). (2015). Leadership: Theory and practice (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.