Essay on Transformational Leadership in The Digital Age
One of the contemporary and most common theories in today’s age is the concept of transformational leadership. Transformational leadership can be described as that type of charismatic leadership that changes and transforms people. Some of these common behaviours have been categorised by scholars into the Four I’s that is: individualised consideration, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and idealized influence. This paper intends to view the relevance of this theory today by assessing the willingness or ability of leaders to practice this Four I’s and how practicing these Four I’s makes leaders effective. We will do this by considering each of this Four I’s and how technology has either inhibited or enabled leaders to be more transformative (Avolio & Yammarino, 2013).
Idealized Influence-essay on Transformational Leadership in The Digital Age
Idealized influence or charisma is a concept that describes the sentimental aspect of leadership. Leaders who exhibit this behaviour have high ethical and moral standards and behave in such a way that those who follow them consider them to be role models who should be emulated. They therefore have a great deal of influence on those who follow them and on those who ascribe to their vision and mission. In my view, technology has helped revolutionize leadership through idealized influence. The main reason for this is the growing global network and inter-connectedness of people has enabled sharing of ideas and values (Northouse, 2016).
The global network has enabled people to have access to a large following through social media platforms, television shows and so on. This has enabled charismatic leaders to share their values and gain more influence not only on the national level but also on a global scale. For instance, I have observed leaders who gain insight of how to handle certain challenges through viewing other global leader’s websites and social media handles. This sharing has enabled leaders to reach out to their followers who then feel a greater urge to emulate the attributes of these leaders.
Inspirational Motivation-essay on Transformational Leadership in The Digital Age
This aspect describes leadership that is characterised by high motivation and expectations of leaders to followers. Motivation of followers is the central part of this behaviour and therefore leaders employ various methods to try and motivate their followers towards achieving a shared vision as opposed to furthering self-interests. This form of leadership emphasizes on team spirit rather than self-centredness and in so doing, followers are able to stay motivated. For instance, a principle of a school who occasionally gives the students a pep talk encouraging the students rather than castigating them exhibits this form of leadership (Northouse, 2016).
In my view, the use of technology has had a considerable influence in enabling leaders to ensure that their followers remain motivated. For instance, some of the fitness models and icons post motivational videos regularly to enable those who follow them to remain focused and disciplined in their routines. Through the use of technology, followers are able to feel more connected to others and the discouragement that would have arisen out of seclusion is avoided.
Intellectual Stimulation-essay on Transformational Leadership in The Digital Age
Intellectual stimulation describes the type of leadership that stimulates followers to be more creative and innovative. Leaders are therefore required to be supportive of new and ground-breaking ideas raised by their followers and promote their followers’ individual efforts to develop their own thoughts and ideas. Leaders should not therefore impose their own beliefs, ideas and methods of doing things to their followers but should grant their followers autonomy and space to discover for themselves what works best for them. It is only through this type of leadership that followers are able to grow and develop into future leaders (Northouse, 2016).
Technology mediated leaders are able to provide enough space for followers to develop their own insights. The use of technology involves a less hands-on approach and followers are left to find out for themselves, through best practice, what would be the best method to use to solve a particular problem. This is because through the internet, the followers are exposed to a wide range of information on any particular issue and are therefore able to sift through this information to develop creative solutions to problems. An example of technology mediated leadership in this category is when the lectures give students the autonomy to do independent research during assignments and develop their own unique perspectives on issues.
Individualized consideration describes leadership that considers the individual needs of followers. Leaders that exhibit this form of leadership are supportive and empathetic to the sentiments of their followers. Such leaders also provide personalized directives to their followers based on an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of their followers. The knowledge that these leaders have with regard to their specific followers enables them to give advice that helps their followers to be fully actualized (Northouse, 2016).
In my view, technology has inhibited some leaders to exhibit individual consideration as they are exposed to a large following and are therefore unable to have quality personalised interaction with their followers. For instance, in a large organization with many employees, most of the workers will not benefit from personalized interaction with top management. This will inhibit such leaders from developing such attributes of empathy and therefore rendering them administrators rather than leaders.
Conclusion and Recommendations-essay on Transformational Leadership in The Digital Age
Leadership is an important aspect of ensuring that the national and global community achieves their vision and mission. It therefore follows that public service leaders should also strive to follow the principles of transformational leadership (Koehler, 1996). In the digital age, these leaders should capitalize on the available technology to encourage their followers to develop innovative solutions to the problems we face in today’s society.
Avolio, B. J., & Yammarino, F. J. (2013). Transformational and Charismatic Leadership: The Road Ahead, Monagrapghs in Leadership and Management. Emerald Group Publishing.
Koehler, J. W. (1996). Transformational Leadership in Government. CRC Press.
Northouse, P. G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Los Angelas: Sage Publications Inc.