Individual Assessment 1: So it would appear that leadership is more about the followers than it is about the leader: do you agree or disagree with this claim? Furthermore, how does the “transformative leader” model developed by Caldwell, et al., (2012) lead to ethical leadership?
By definition leadership can and is only about the leader, despite this however leadership in its many forms and types can heavily influence the followers in both a beneficial or detrimental manner. For example two main leadership models Transactional leadership and Transformational leadership affect the followers in different both have positive and negative aspects but both must be used in various aspects of the business environment to keep the business alive and healthy. Transactional leaders are more concerned with the day to day operations of a business and see and generally motivate subordinates through simplistic reward schemes. They also do not look to far ahead in terms of strategically guiding and overall innovation and advancement. Conversely Transformational leaders go above and beyond the daily requirements of their business generally looking ahead in terms of advancement, innovation and success. This type of leadership focuses on team-building, motivation and employee input at all levels of the business in order to create positive change. An exceptional example of Transformational leadership can be demonstrated through Sir Richard Branson. An extremely successful business man and a self-made billionaire he is well known for his charismatic and confident both in his personal and business life, these traits are major factors in the motivation and inspiration he instils upon his employees and what has allowed his business to expand into the multi-million dollar enterprise it is today. (Robbins et al, 2006) He is a relatively supportive and friendly leader who views his employees as equals rather than underlings. This quote encapsulates his approach to the transformational leadership strategy.
“Almost 100% of running a business is motivating your staff and the people around you…” – Richard Branson. (J.Walker 2002)
The leaders (usually high level management) actions and behaviours are in many cases the benchmark set for the employees (followers) to follow, making the leaders the ethical role models of their particular business or organisation Sims and Brinkman (2002). This is why Transformative leadership leads to a more ethical environment as it allows leaders and followers to constantly interact and engage thereby creating a greater understanding of expectations and allowing the leaders to clearly outline preferred actions and behaviours. Furthermore Transformative leadership keeps the leaders under the constant gauze of their followers and in order to maintain a level of respect and even admiration by them the leaders will constantly scrutinise their own actions and behaviours and maintain the ethical benchmark they have set for their employees.Thus creating a cycle of moral and ethical decision making.
In summation the leadership is almost holistically about the leader but the various ways in which different types of leadership interact with the followers and understanding the different ways in which they affect them is the integral part of leadership and definitive difference between successful and unsuccessful leaders.
Without this moral identity how can a leader be ‘an ethical example’ (Mayer, et al., 2012, p. 151)? Do you agree or disagree with this claim?
Moral identity is defined as a self-schema organised around a set of moral trait associations (e.g., honest, caring, compassionate) (Aquino & Reed,2002). For a leader to be an ethical example they must not only believe to inherently be in possession of these moral traits but must consistently outwardly display in their actions, behaviours and management style. This is the major aspect which separates leaders with strong capabilities in being an