Transformational Leadership Effects on School Settings, Student’s Achievement and Stress


Transformational Leadership is a style of authority where the pioneers are accepted to have a significant level of enthusiastic insight (Prati, Douglas, Ferris, Ammeter and Buckle, 2003). Transformational pioneers are characterized as pioneers with rousing qualities who can support and recognize their workers’ potentials, accordingly spurring them to their maximum capability (Jogulu and Wood, 2008). This style of authority enables the leader to support workers and handle clashes proficiently. To have the option to deal with disputes effectively, transformational pioneers must have high social attention to have the opportunity to make their representatives feel significant and acknowledged. Transforming Leadership is a process in which pioneers and devotees help each other to progress to a more elevated level of self-esteem and inspiration (Burns, 1978).

Transformational Leadership is typically divided into four major components which includes individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation and idealized

influence (Avolio, Waldman, & Yammarino, 1991). The first component of transformational leadership is individualized consideration which is how much the pioneer takes care of every adherent’s needs, goes about as a guide or mentor to the supporter and tunes into the devotee’s worries and needs. This is cultivated by building up an energetic atmosphere, as well as giving chances to develop. Intellectual Stimulation is how much the pioneer interrogates suppositions, accept perils and requests supporters’ thoughts. Pioneers with this style animate and empower imagination in their devotees. They support creative individuals who think autonomously. For such a pioneer, learning is worth, and extraordinary circumstances are viewed as chances to learn. The supporters pose inquiries, ponder things, and make sense of better approaches to execute their assignments. Idealized Influence is the charming element of transformational Leadership. The transformational pioneer can create deep individual affinity and impact over adherents by approaching them with deference, confiding in them, indicating trust in them, and observe them as people (Avolio et al. 1991). I believe that the transformational Leadership regularly cultivate pride in the workers. This stems from the pioneer’s hopefulness, and thus enables a positive working environment. Inspirational Motivation is leaders acts as a model, accepts challenges, and inspires followers to achieve goals. Transformational instructors can pass on their hopefulness for understudies’ learning and execution by motivating understudies before every test. When I was working in a college as lecturer, I always put some effort to state students that “I realize you have read for this test, you have been in class taking notes, and you have endeavored to get familiar with the material. I realize you can do this”). After results of the exams were known, I had tried to motivate poorly performing students and provided them assistance to bring them front. I believe that by concentrating on progress and improvement rather than disappointment, a transformational teacher can help students to improve their performance.

The focal point of this paper is to analyses the effect of transformational Leadership on schools’ settings, student achievement, and student stress.

Transformational Leadership in Education

Kenneth Leithwood (2000) gives the early leading observational research on transformational authority styles in school settings. He proposes that transformational administration emphatically impacts schools’ authority’s capacity to encourage change in school rebuilding activities, and is most appropriate for adapting to the requests of schools in the twenty-first century. Transformational initiative styles guarantee to upgrade school authority’s capacity to make the essential school changes that encourage meeting partners responsibility and execution improvement requests. Leithwood (2000) suggests transformational administration methodologies be drilled and included as parts of principal training programs. The idea of the transformational initiative being applied in schools in the most recent decade because of its successful implementation of transformational administration style in business associations. From my experience, nowadays, schools face consistently expanding investigation and responsibility with respect to understudy results and school improvement, Hence, according to me  transformational initiative is fit for school settings on account of its accentuation on planning representatives to adapt new things, building and fortifying new authoritative standards, building up new importance and perspectives, and its adequacy as an instrument in helping pioneers break to set up rules and set up new standards that change school culture. Principals are the initiative heads in charge of improving school culture to meet the expanded requests of a neighborhood, state, and government partners. The transformational initiative is a style of action focused on pioneers setting up new standards, changing representative frames of mind, making another vision of the real world, and rolling out crucial improvements to the way of life of the association.

James Stuart Pounder (2014) proposed transformational leadership in the classroom. His exploration discovers positive results related with instructors utilizing the framework during class, including the improvement of understudy capacity to use thoughts and data, basic reasoning, and critical thinking abilities. Educators feel progressively positive about their school surroundings when principals display transformational administration, especially when it appears as individualized thought, which enables educators and principals to have a cooperative and trusting relationship. Transformational leadership affects instructors’ internal states as well as improves student’s achievement. Individualized help of instructors emphatically and fundamentally impacts instructor duty, fulfillment, and educator adequacy, which thus in a roundabout way effects on understudy achievement.

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From my point of view students are exposed to confront several educations connected problems, for example, a misty strategic, feebly characterized objectives and targets. Because of poor administration exhibited by their educators/teachers in their educational surroundings, all of which add to disappointment with education. I observed that the transformational leadership improves workers activity fulfillment by expanding positive worker frames of mind and explaining the function of employees. The more an instructor is transformational, the higher will be the student’s educational satisfaction. Students are under constant pressure of papers, schoolwork, quizzes, tests which are commonly spontaneous or unanticipated. Students face problems such as heavy course loads, problems with flat mates and loneliness on daily basis in college which in turn cause stress on them. This results in physical and psychological issues which would negatively impact their academic performance. When I was a teacher, I always prioritize to setting up a decent learning condition. In my experience, setting the correct tone in the homeroom profoundly affects the manner in which a course unfurls. Hence, I invest energy toward the start of each course conveying how our class will run and what my desires are. I let my understudies realize that, despite the fact that I will likely challenge them, we are in this together and I will give a valiant effort to enable them to succeed. It is significant that they sense that I care about them, that they accept that they can do well, and that they realize that the exertion they put into the course will be remunerated. Students who are focused to their goals and objectives are less stressed than those who are less focused. Thus, transformational leadership enables communication with teachers reduces stress in students. Thus, the more an instructor is transformational, the lower will be students stress.


Educational institutions with elevated level of transformational leadership has higher aggregate educator adequacy, more instructor responsibility, and higher understudy accomplishment. Teachers who are more dedicated to the values of an employer are more probable to adopt academic practices endorsed by the institution, help co-workers, and works to acquire organizational desires.  Such dedication would contribute to better scholar achievement and reduced students stress.


Anderson, M. (2008). Transformational leadership in education: A review of existing literature. International Social Science Review, 93(2).

Avolio, B. J., Waldman, D. A., & Yammarino, F. J. (1991). Leading in the 1990’s: The four I’s of transformational leadership. Journal of European Industrial Training, 15(4), 9-16.

Burns, J. M. (1979). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row.

Jogulu, U., & Wood, G. (2008). Perceptions of effective leaders: cross cultural influences. The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture, And Change Management: Annual Review, 8(1), 113-120. doi: 10.18848/1447-9524/cgp/v08i01/50485

Leithwood, K., & Jantzi, D. (2006). Transformational school leadership for large-scale reform: Effects on students, teachers, and their classroom practices. School Effectiveness & School Improvement, 17(2), 201-227.

Leithwood, K., & Jantzi, D. (2000). The effects of transformational leadership on organizational conditions and student engagement in school. Journal of Educational Administration, 38(2), 112-129.

Prati, L.M., C. Douglas, G.R. Ferris, A.P. Ammeter and M.R. Buckle. (2003. Emotional intelligence, leadership effectiveness, and team outcomes. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 11(1): 21-40.

Rahman, W. (2017). Transformational Leadership and Empathy: The Impact of Quality in the Health Care Services in Kelantan, Malaysia. International Journal of Economics, Business And Management Studies, 4(1), 50-56. doi: 10.20448/802.41.50.56


Transformational Leadership Model Analysis

Leadership is the process of influencing other people to behave in preferred ways to accomplish organizational objectives (David H. Holt and Karren W. Wigginton). In the 1970s, leadership theories approaching effectiveness was dominant, for example, path-goal theory (House & Mitchell, 1974). Since the late 1980s, new style of leadership theory emerged, as charismatic leadership (Conger &Kanungo, 1998; Hunt, Boal, & Dodge, 1999), visionary leadership (Sashkin, 1988), and also transformational leadership (Avolio, Bass, & Jung, 1999). However, much of the leadership research has concentrated on characteristics and specific effects of charismatic and transformational leadership (Bass 1985; Kanungo1990; Sashkin 1988; Tichy and Devanna 1990).

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Burns was the first person introducing the concept of transforming leadership in his book Leadership. The version of transformational leadership theory was formulated later by Bass (Bass, 1985, 1996). He defined transformational leadership in terms of the leaders effect on followers by analyzing the behavior used in the process. The employees can be motivated by taking difficult objectives, and achieve beyond initial expectation.
This paper will have a thorough analysis on the Transformational Leadership theory. The first part will conduct a general description of the theory, followed by the review over the theory development in Part two. Part three and Part Four will be the conceptual and Empirical support for the transformational Leadership theory.
Transformational Leadership Theory
Traditional leadership theories emphasized rational processes; rather, theories of transformational and charismatic leadership emphasize more on emotions and values. James MacGregor Burns (1978) was the first author to contrast transforming and transactional leadership. Transformational leadership stresses achievement of higher collective purpose, of common mission and vision. Transformational leadership includes individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, charisma, and inspirational motivation. Transactional leadership includes contingent reward behavior and management by exceptions. Burns defined the concept of transforming leadership as,
a relationship of mutual stimulation and elevation that converts followers into leaders and may convert leaders into moral agents…occurs when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality
He proposed that the transforming leaders motivate the followers to make them be able to achieve significant goals in the work, which finally lead to values promotion in both parties.
Under the theory of Burns, Bass developed more. He put Burns concept into one way process as transformational leadership where the leader transforms followers. It is different from the theory of Burns which indicate a two-way process that leaders and followers perform beyond expectations. Bass add the transformational style of leadership that Burns did not pay attention to. The leadership style incorporate social changes in the process of leaders performance which empirically more effective. According to Bass (Bass 1985, 1996; Avolio et al. 1995), transformational leaders motivate their followers by inspiring them, offering challenges, and encouraging individual development. Studies reviewed by Bass support that transformational and transactional leadership can be very distinctive. There is also evidence that transformational leadership is positively related to subordinate satisfaction, motivation, and performance (Lowe et al. 1996).
According to the research centre for leadership studies of University of Exeter (Bolden, R. et. al,2003), Bass transformational leaders may:

expand a followers portfolio of needs
transform a followers self-interest
increase the confidence of followers
elevate followers expectations
heighten the value of the leaders intended outcomes for the follower
encourage behavioral change
motivate others to higher levels of personal achievement

Simply put forward, transformational leaders can
1) Increase subordinates awareness of well-performance of their tasks,
2) Increase subordinates awareness of needs for personal development, and goal-fulfillment.
3) Increase subordinates awareness of working in the spirit of making good for organization rather than focus on personal benefit.
On the contribution theory base of Burns and Bass, Tichy and Devanna (1986) built further on transformational leadership in organizational contexts. They described the nature of transformational as a behavioral process capable of being learned. And the characteristics of transformational leaders are indentified as courageous, trustworthy, value-driven, visionary, continuous learning, and able to deal with complexity.
To make the theory more operational, Bass and Avolio (1994) proposed five dimensions of transformational leadership, idealized behaviors, idealized motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration and idealized attitude. The detailed behaviors of the five dimensions are showed in Table.
Leadership Style
Leader Behaviors
2) Consider the moral consequences of decisions
3) risk-sharing
4) Trust subordinates
2) Enthusiastic about job
3) Confident that goals will be achieved
4) Take a stand on controversial issues
2) look at problems from different angles
3) Suggest new ways to complete assignments
4) Encourage innovative thinking
2) Consider individuals different needs and abilities
3) Help to develop strengths
4) Promote self development
2) Act in ways that get respect from others
3) Display a sense of competence
4) Confident that obstacles will be overcome
Conceptual Pitfalls
The version of transformational leadership theory that has generated the most interest was contributed by Bass and his colleagues (Bass, 1985, 1996). Bass model of transformational leadership has been accepted by scholars and practitioners that organizations can encourage employees to perform beyond expectations. Despite a set of theory base in transformational leadership, concerns have been raised about the way in which the dimensions of the model have been defined (Avolio & Yammarino, 2002; Hunt & Conger, 1999; Shamir et al., 1993).
Yukl (1999) proposed that it was not clearly differentiated between transformational and charismatic leadership. The influence processes for transformational and transactional leadership are blurring, and have not been explored systematically. The identification of types of transformational leadership behaviors seems to be based mostly on a factor analysis; therefore the theoretical base for differentiating among the behaviors is not explained. While every type of transformational leadership behavior includes a lot of components, it makes the definition more ambiguous. Leadership is viewed as a key determinant of organizational effectiveness; however, the leader behaviors that ultimately influence organizational performance are seldom described in detail. The organizational processes have not received sufficient attention in mainstream theories of transformational leadership.
Moreover, stated by Yukl (1999), the theory provides insufficient identification of negative effects. It does not clearly identify any situation where transformational leadership is detrimental. However, some other researchers have noted that. For example, transformational leadership theory, putting more emphasis on the role of leadership to motivate employees, is biased at the expense of most of employees (Stephens et al., 1995). Porter and Bigley (1997) proposed that if members of an organization are influenced by different leaders with competing visions, the result will be increased role ambiguity and role conflict (Yukl, 1995). By establishing strong influence in the subunit, the leaders can achieve organizational goals more effectively, at the same time, arise competition among different subunits under different leaders. In that case, tasks that need cooperation among different unit will suffer. This is particularly harmful when inter-unit cooperation is necessary to achieve organizational objectives, and further result a decline in organizational effectiveness.
Empirical support for the transformational leadership model
The above issues concerning the weaknesses of Transformational leadership research meant that empirical research can provide evidence if necessary. Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) is the most used measure of transformational leadership research developed by Bass. By using MLQ, the data can provide mixed support for the differentiation of the components of the transformational model, which is the most controversy issue that has not achieved the general agreement.
From a wide range of settings, the positive effects of transformational leadership on several organizational outcomes have been proved. (Dumdum, Lowe, & Avolio, 2002; Judge & Piccolo, 2004; Lowe, Kroeck, & Sivasubramaniam, 1996) while conflicting evidence has been reported concerning the factor structure of the model, and very strong relationships have been reported among the leadership factors (Avolio et al., 1999). Interestingly, by using the MLQ-1, report found the five-factor model of transformational leadership (including charisma, intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration, contingent reward, and management-by-exception) was fit properly to the data, however, a two-factor model(active and passive leadership factor) was also fit properly to the data (Bycio et al. 1995). Avolio (1999) proposed several alternate conceptual models of the factor structure underlying the MLQ-5X.
Carless (1998) examined the MLQ-5X, and found that a hierarchical model (charisma, individualized consideration, and intellectual stimulation) representing facets of a second-order construct which called transformational leadership was fit well according to the data. Carless suggested that the MLQ-5X does not assess separate transformational leadership behaviors, but measures a single, hierarchical construct of transformational leadership (Alannah E. 2004).
Researchers are using a number of tactics instead when examining transformational leadership. Some researchers used a reduced set of items to measure transformational leadership model (e.g., Tejeda et al., 2001). This strategy has been driven by empirical results but fail to be explained by strong theoretical rationale. Other authors, such as Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Moorman, and Fetter (1990), have developed their own measures of transformational and transactional leadership. While these three approaches may all prove useful in some situations, we argue that it is important to adopt a theoretically driven approach when evaluating the subdimensions of transformational leadership. As a result, we re-examine the theoretical model developed by Bass (1985) to identify five subdimensions of transformational leadership that will demonstrate discriminant validity with each other and with outcomes.

Transformational, Transactional and Laissez-Faire Leadership

Healthcare organizations nowadays are facing many complex issues that affect theirs success like providing best health care within affordable cost and staff retention. Lack of job satisfaction among nurses and increase the rate of staff absenteeism and turnover, consider other critical issues that have great impact on the organization continuation. Those challenges need well prepared leader who adopt an effective leadership style to mange and over come them. Leadership style affects the development and employee’s commitment (Spinelli, 2006).

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Many scientists and researchers are interested nowadays in leadership and management field. Leadership define as the process of motivating people to work together collaboratively to accomplish great things or the capacity to influence others. Effective leader help to increase the followers’ commitment and interest in the organization goals Different leadership theories and styles were tested to study their effectiveness. Early studies and researches in leadership was based on belief that the leader should have or born with specific general personal trait and he the ones who mainly set the rules and the responsibilities and the follower accomplish them. But with the time, the value of the collaboration and teamwork increase especially in the health care setting different which lead to contemporary theories to evolve. Contemporary theories consider that effective leadership is a certain skills that can be taught, trained or adopted by the leader. In this paper we will compare between three contemporary leadership theories: The transformational, transactional and the laissez-faire leadership what they mean and which one is more effective (Vroom & Jago, 2007).
Transactional Leadership Style
Burns (1979) developed the transformational and transactional leadership theories and later Bass (1985) applied them to study their effectiveness in the organizations (Spinelli, 2006).Transactional leadership is an exchange process that identifies needs of employees and provides rewards to meet those needs in return for expected performance. A transactional leadership style consider as replacement of the autocratic leadership because both of them generate a level of predictability and order. The transactional leadership is more practical in nature because of its emphasis on meeting specific targets or objectives and focused more on daily basis task. Subordinates of transactional leaders are not expected to be creatively because they are monitored and evaluated on the basis of predetermined criteria (Aarons, 2006).
Burns (1978) believed that transactional leadership is based on bureaucratic authority. Transactional leaders focus on work standards, assignments and task-oriented goals. In addition, he believed that transactional leaders tend to focus on task completion and employee compliance. Those leaders influence employee performance by using the organizational rewards and punishments. The transactional leader described also, as an agent of change and goal setter; a leader that works well with employees resulting in improvements in productivity (Emery, College, Barker, & Fredonia, 2007).
Bass and Avolio (1987) transactional leadership can be divided to there model: passive, active and contingent. Passive transactional leadership or management-by exception (MBE) means that status will remain as it’s unless things go wrong, in this case leader practicing passive management-by-exception will take actions that often have a negative implication. active transactional leadership involves an interaction between leader and follower that stress more on a more positive exchange; for example, providing appropriate rewards when followers meet objectives. Through that the leader will emphasizes on acceptable accomplishments and increase the followers motivation. Finally contingent style is where the leader focused on clarifying the rules and requirements for the followers and then rewards them due to fulfilling the obligations (Murphy, 2005).
Transformational Leadership Style
The transformational leadership theory is a cooperative, process-focused networking where the leader motivates his followers to create, inspire and influences changes in them. Leader of this style act as role model for his followers, attend their needs and involve them in the decision making process. The main point in this theory is to encourage the followers to perform to their full capacity and meet the expectations. Transformational Leader need to have a base of transaction qualities to establish his style successfully. Transformational leadership is not a substitute for transactional leadership, but it develops and enhances it (Tomey, 2004).
The transformational and transactional leadership consisting of seven dimensions.(Bass, 1985; Avolio, Bass & Jung, 1999) developed an instrument that include all those seven dimensions and used to measure the components of transactional, transformational leadership and laissez-faire leadership styles. This instrument, called the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (Gumusluoglu, & Ilsev, 2009).
Transformational leadership is measured by four dimensions: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration. In Idealized influence the leader does the “right thing”, take risks and act as role model for his followers which make him trusted and respected from his followers. . Inspirationally motivating leaders has high expectations and they are trying to inspire and motive their followers by changing their thoughts to achieve their leader’s visions and expectations. Intellectual stimulation involves providing a supportive environment in the work which will encourage the employees to be more creative, accepting challenging tasks and involve in decisions making process. Finally, an individually considerate leader treats each employee as a unique person with respect to their differences, spends time coaching employees and appreciate their achievements with continues feed backing. (Arnold, Turner, Barling, Kelloway, & McKee, (2007).
Laissez-Faire Leadership Style
Laissez-Faire leadership can be described as a nondirective, passive and inactive style. Leaders of this style believe that internal drives and believes motivate the follower to act .The leader in this style sets few rules for processing the issues in the organization and then delegates them to the subordinates. The leader needs to know very well the level of knowledge, competence and integrity of his followers to be able to delegate the tasks. This style helps the follower to invest their talents and abilities to the maximum. It’s more effective if used with very mature and autonomous employees, but mostly it not effective or productive style. The risks here arise when the leader mistaken in choosing the suitable employee to accomplished the delegated tasks. Lack of clear vision and direction for the organization lead the followers to adopt different goals and objective, increase the stress level among the followers and decrease the productivity and the quality. Laissez-Faire leader do not influence the organization culture due to minimal interactions between him and his followers. Finally Laissez-Faire leadership style mainly can be used in small business not for big organizations like health organizations (Daly, Speedy& Jackson, 2004).
The Effectiveness of Transformational, Transactional and Laissez-Faire Leadership
Many researches and studies done to test the effectiveness and the consequences of adopting different leadership styles on the employee and the organization itself. For example, a study done in 2008 include of 447 staff working in a care center for the elderly in large Danish local government. This study used a longitudinal survey design and questionnaires. Transformational researchers here were testing three hypotheses one of them is the direct relationship between leadership and wellbeing in the followers. The study shown that the there is a strong relation between using the leader the transformational leadership style in dealing with his employees’ and their well being and decreasing their level of the work stress (Gumusluoglu et al., 2009). Other study done by Berson and Linton in 2005 conclude that the leader who follows the transformational leadership style in dealing with his employees’ will help them to be more creative and enthusiastic, increase their commitment in the job
In 2006, a research done that involve subordinate managers from five hospitals in northeastern Pennsylvania.101 surveys were been distributed in five hospitals in northeastern Pennsylvania .The survey instrument used was the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) that developed by Bernard Bass and Bruce Avolio (1997). The scientists want here to test the relation between the transformational, transactional and laissez-faire leadership styles of healthcare CEOs and their subordinate manager’s satisfaction with them, their willingness to exert extra effort, and perception of their leaders’ effectiveness. The study shown that the more CEOs followed the laissez-faire style in dealing with their subordinate managers, the lesser subordinate managers reported exerting extra effort and expressed satisfaction with the leader, and disbelieved in the efficiency of their leader (Spinelli, 2006).
Employee job satisfaction is often consisting of the following elements: the job itself, supervisor relationship, management beliefs, future opportunity, work environment, pay/benefits/rewards, and co-worker relationships. According to Morris’s research, employee job satisfaction is a critical factor in the satisfaction of the customers. In a study of customer satisfaction at a major Midwestern hospital, the correlation between the nurses’ job satisfaction and the patients’ willingness to recommend the unit was .85, in the same study the nurses them self shown more satisfaction if their head managers developed transformational behaviors (Emery et al., 2007).
Many studies encourage health care mangers to use both the transformational and the transactional leadership skills in their setting. Aarons (2006) did a study include 303 mental health providers working in 49 mental health programs for youths in California where involved in a study aim to examine the relation between leadership and mental health providers’ attitudes toward adopting evidence-based practice. The study shown that both transformational and transactional leadership were positively associated with providers’ having more positive attitudes toward adoption of evidence-based practice, but in transformational leadership the employees found no difference between their current practice and evidence-based practice which may affect the application of the new practices in the organization. The researchers recommend in this study that the mental health service organizations may benefit from improving transformational and transactional leadership skills in preparation for implementing evidence-based practices. McGuire and Kennerly (2006) mentioned that the leader needs to have a balance between transformational and transactional skills in his management, create effective plan that meet his employees’ needs.
Effective leadership styles and theories has been thoroughly studied and tested by scientists due its importance in the success of the organization. Leader in transactional style focused on tasks and reward the employee and recognize them if they meet the agreed objectives. Transformational leader act as role model for his followers inspires and motivate them and meet their needs. Laissez-faire leader provide no visions or directions for his followers, tend to delegate the tasks and avoid decision making. Many studies support the transformational style because its provide supportive environment where the employee work creatively, show commitment and meet the expected requirements. Some studies encourage leaders to make combination between the three styles in their management, because different situation need the style. Transformational and Laissez-faire styles are more useful in encouraging the employees to work independently and creativity. Transactional style is more effective when the leader want to set new practices and need to implement them within specific time.

Transactional Vs Transformational Leadership

This essay is required to conduct a better understanding of leadership styles transactional and transformational leadership styles from researching on Richard Branson and Steve Jobs’ success, and discuss about different types of changes (incremental and radical changes) may occur in an organisation in order to learn change management methods can be applied to a real case (Virgin Group).
Although both of the excellent leaders exhibit characteristics of both transactional and transformational leadership styles, this essay will identify Steve Jobs as a transactional leader and Richard Branson as a transformational leader with three reasons for each statement.
This essay will identify and describe six examples of changes (incremental and radical) for each leader (three examples each type).
At last, this essay will discuss about the concepts of change management and explain Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model by applying to a real case (Virgin Group).
Transactional Leadership VS Transformational Leadership
Good leadership is the key to the success of an organization. Transactional leadership is performance-oriented and transformational leadership is people-oriented. To be more specific, transactional leadership involves reinforcement to monitor and justify followers’ performances by using reward and punishment, while transformational leadership tends to inspire and motivate the followers’ loyalty and concentration by leaders’ charisma.
Steve Jobs as Transactional Leader
Transactional leaders’ characteristic behaviours are: (Barbuto, 2005)
Contingent Reward
Contingent reward is actually a usual way that most of the managers use to motivate teams, create positive competition and improve effectiveness.
Steve Jobs had the impressive ability to notice talent and active employees and allocate them to the right place in the company. Each year, Jobs took his “top 100” people on a retreat. It is not only a reward as a vacation, but also an acknowledgement from STEVE JOBS!
In my opinion, acknowledgements from successful genius would be the best reward for my hard working.
Management by exception
Transactional leaders take actions based on the exceptions (performance) of the employees. Steve Jobs categorised his followers as either “geniuses” or “bozos”, and quickly firing those who fall in the latter camp (Greene-Blose, 2012).
Another characteristic of transactional leadership would be the desire for control which is typical Steve Jobs’ style. His favourite presentation tools were a whiteboard and a Magic Marker, which gives him fully control in the conference. After his reinventing Apple, Jobs had several weeks of product review sessions. Finally he run out of patience and shouted the team to stop, grabbed a Magic Marker to the white board and wrote down four words: Consumer, Pro., Desktop and Portable. Then he said:”Here is what we need!” (Isaacson, 2012)
This is Steve Jobs, full of power and passion, who gave clear incentives and strategies to his followers with his wisdom and visions.
Richard Branson as Transformational Leader
Transformational leaders’ characteristic behaviours are: (Barbuto, 2005)
Idealized influence
Richard Branson has become a role model for his followers inside or outside of his “Virgin Empire” by his own passionate and fearless life style. With his own words, “You want to create something you are proud of… That has always been my philosophy of business” (Branson), Richard Branson broke many world records such as the fastest recorded Atlantic crossing by boat, the first Atlantic crossing by hot-air balloon, etc. He proved that anything is possible to his followers and the rest of the world with real examples. (Ocker, 2008)

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Inspiration motivation
Richard Branson is a visionary leader with dreams and relentless work attitude which make those dreams come true. At the early stage of Virgin Group business, he once said:”I want Virgin to be as well-known around the world as Coca-Cola”. (Branson) After decades of time, the brand of Virgin have become world well-known, and covers many different areas of business which Coca-Cola wound not dare to try. Those kinds of ambitions and courage ties his group together and close, and leads him to keep on improving Virgin Group services and productions.
Individualized consideration
Richard Branson’ business maxim is staff first, customers second and shareholders third (Locke, 2009). One of his most famous and interesting story would be the lawsuit against British Airways for its protracted libel actions and ended with a settlement of about £600,000 total. After Richard Branson got the money, he divided it to all his employees for their hard working. It was not only a reward, but more like sharing a triumph.
On the other hand, the major reason of Richard Branson’s business success is that he takes care of customers’ needs with innovations and consideration, such as placing a rubber ducky in each bathroom of Virgin-owned hotels in order to make guests feel ate home, putting Listening Posts in their record stores and allowing customers to listen to entire CDs before purchasing. (Richard Branson Virgin)
In general, transformational leadership style is considered more as a friendly and flexible way to organize a company, while transactional leadership is considered more tough and efficient. It is hard to say which one is better. All the good leaders all over the world (include the two above) have the characteristics of the both leadership styles., such as Steve Jobs’ charismatic characteristics and spiritual motivating speech skills (Transformational), and Richard Branson’ strict management ways on the lower level positions in the organisation (Transactional). Transformational leadership does not replace transactional leadership but improves the effectiveness of transactional leadership from a different angle. (Bernard, Bass, & Riggio, 2005)
Incremental Changes VS Radical Changes
Changes are inevitable in human lives as well as in business operations. Incremental change takes place over a long time period for development purposes, while radical change is more often triggered by a crisis or a business opportunity.
There are several differences listed in the following table.
Incremental Changes
Radical Changes
Business development
Dealing with crisis
Seizing a significant business opportunity
Long period of time
Short period of time
Such as TQM, new system implementation
Revolutionary changes
Such as restructuring, merger, take-over
Approaches types
May be small, slow, on-going
May be onetime events, quick
Respond and effect
Hardly noticed by the management level
Immediately adapt
May cause resistance to changes
Steve Jobs – Incremental Changes
Example1: Pixar
In 1986, Steve Jobs bought “The Graphics Group” from Lucasfilm for $10 millions, changed the name to “Pixar” and started his career in animation manufacturing. With his visionary plans and technology support from his computer company NeXT, Pixar developed a software package called RenderMan (which has been widely accepted and used in filmmaking industry). RenderMan was implemented into the existing Pixar production line slowly in order to improve quality of the products. After ten years time, Pixar finally achieved an amazing success in the animation filming industry. It kept producing a series of animation films, beginning with Toy Story (1995), which led Pixar’s worth to over $1.5 billion.
It took 10 years to implementing and perfecting the new software into production and transferring Steve Jobs’ leadership style into Pixar’s existing operation, and achieves a remarkable improvement at the end. This is an incremental change made by Steve Jobs.
Example2: Digital hub strategy
After Steve Jobs returning to Apple in 1997 as an “interim” CEO, he successfully brought Apple back to profitability with a amazing consumer desktop computer – iMac. By facing negative predictions about proclaiming PCS would disappear within a couple of years, Steve Jobs continuously led Apple to keep on perfecting “i” products with the meaning of “internet, individual, instruct, inform and inspire” as the same way Apple always do. (Steve Jobs’ introductory 1998 iMac slide show)
In 2001, Steve Jobs unveiled the Digital Hub Strategy to the public and in the next 10 years time he kept on launching a series of new products which extremely changed and led the trade of the whole world. (Kurian, 2012)
There was an interesting event that Steve Jobs called himself as the “iCEO” of Apple instead of “interim” CEO humorously which entertained the public very much (Macworld San Francisco 2000). It was also a smart way to promoting “i” products while teasing with the board of Apple for rehiring him as a temporary executive officer.
This huge successful change took 10 years to be accomplished followed by Steve Jobs’ leadership piece by piece. It maintained the old producing direction and improved production qualities. It was a long period on-going process of implementing Jobs’ wisdom into Apple Company.
Example3: Retirement from Apple
Steve Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003, but he kept on denying any serious problem. That is why everyone was surprised when Apple announced that Steve Jobs would not go on stage for the Macworld keynote in 2009, and he took six months off at the same year. Jobs finally resigned as CEO of Apple in 2011 but remained as the Chairman of the company’s board, and he passed away after 6 weeks. (Kurian, 2012)
There may be some radical changes involved for damage control purpose, but in general, Steve Jobs took care of his retirement carefully and smoothly to avoid negative impact within 3 years time. For instance, he distributed his responsibilities to other executives step by step, and before his final resign, he strongly recommended Tim Cook in written, that letter was released to the public later in order to retain faith. The whole process was carefully planned and implemented in a long time step by step. In my opinion, it can be an incremental change.
Steve Jobs – Radical Changes
Example1: Macintosh VS Lisa
In the early 80s, Apple was creating a business-oriented computer named Lisa under Steve Jobs’ supervising, but later after that, Steve Jobs thrown out of the Lisa project because of his bad temper. He was so angry and decided to take revenge by developing a small project called Macintosh in order to destroy the sales of Lisa. (Kurian, 2012)
It was a radical strategy. Macintosh had user-friendly interface (point-and -click) which inspired other computer manufactories and changed the direction of computer industry since then, but it was not as welcome to the market as Jobs expected though. At that time, IBM’s PC was more compatible with its cheaper price.
Because this action was taken rapidly without well planning and careful market researching, Macintosh project failed.
Example2: Staging a Coup
There was another revenge taken by Steve Jobs after his removal from Lisa project, he tried to stage a coup. As we all know, he failed again. (Kurian, 2012)
It was a restructuring plan, and he took actions rapidly. But without endorsement from Apple’ board of directors and support from other colleagues, he got fired from his own company.
Example3: Reinventing Apple
By 1996, Apple rehired Steve Jobs as an “informal adviser to the CEO”. At that time, Apple was keeping on losing money and Steve Jobs staged another coup. He successes this time and became an “interim” CEO in 1997.The first thing he had done after his promotion is cutting off the production lines and focused on four products. This effective decision brought the lost confidence back to the Apple community (Kurian, 2012). In the meantime, Jobs took other actions such as announcing a new slogan “Think Different” and launched an amazing project which brought Apple’s resurgence lately, the iMac. (Edwards, 2008)
Those actions and decisions above are radical changes (restructuring and redesigning the production processes). They were new strategies to the company for solving a financial crisis in a short time period.
Richard Branson – Incremental Changes
Example1: Virgin Atlantic
There are some unique features Virgin Atlantic has while other airways may not have can be considered as incremental changes. Such as, serving a cup of ice cream while passengers watching movies during travelling in order to provide a better service. Virgin Atlantic does not provide meals for short distance flight in order to reduce ticket price. This kind of services is provided for improving quality of service.
Example2: Virgin Group
Because Richard Branson received a lot of support from his family and friends during hi early period of business stage (borrowed money from his auntie and supported by John Lennon), the whole Virgin Group services can be considered as a long term process for implementing Richard Branson’s plan of giving back to the society and helping those people who has ambitious but doesn’t have opportunities. Such as, Virgin Money provides a set of formalised documentations help people who need loans. Although Virgin Money U.S. did not work well in USA, Richard Branson helped millions of people with his good heart in UK. Those actions can be considered as Incremental Changes.
Example3: Eco-friendly efforts
In 2007, Richard Branson launched Virgin Earth Challenge dedicating in to environmental issues. He made several decisions that supervised the whole world, such as a $25 millions prize for inventors who comes up with a viable solution for scrubbing carbon gases from atmosphere. He also pledged to reinvest all profits from Virgin transportation business over the decade into developing ecologically benign fuels.
This kind of actions may not affect other Virgin companies, but they will improve Virgin Group’s reputation, it is also a long time period project.
Richard Branson – Radical Changes
Example1: Virgin Records Shop
At the beginning, Richard Branson started his records business as mail ordering company in London, and it went well. After a postal strike, the mail order business was crippled. Richard Branson was forced to seek new outlets and he opened his first retail store in Oxford Street in 1971.
This was a strategy for dealing with a crisis situation, and operated immediately. It changed Virgin Record’s business process and structure.
Example2: Selling Virgin Music Group
Selling Virgin Music probably would be the hardest decision Richard Branson has ever made in his whole lifetime. This decision was made in order to get money to take Virgin Atlantic back into private ownership (Vinnedge, 2009).
This change was forced by a financial crisis and included restructuring process.
Example3: Closing Virgin Money U.S.
Richard Branson launched a loan servicing company called Virgin Money U.S. in America in 2007, and began its withdrawal after 2 years (Lepro, 2010). Its social loans were transferred to Graystone Solutions. This time, Richard Branson misjudged the market and had to make the decision in order to limit the damage. Other reasons of this collapse might be the bad economy and different culture in America. This change included restructuring and take-over in a short time.
To sum up the above examples and explanations, incremental changes are normally well planned and taken over by pieces, there is less possibilities of failure. Radical changes are immediate responses for a crisis or significant opportunity, there are chances of failure.
Change Management in Virgin Group
Story of Virgin Mobile
In 2007, Virgin Group announced the completion of its biggest challenge which brought over 10 million customers and 13,000 employees – merger of NTL, Telewest and Virgin Mobile under the Virgin Media brand. It is known as the largest Virgin Company in the world.
This operation took more than two years to complete the whole the merger, and Virgin Group handled it carefully, especially on employees’ resistance.
Reasons of employees’ resistance to this change and strategies
It is necessary for leaders to understand that resistances to changes are normal. In order to deal with those obstacles, leaders have to identify reasons of employees’ resistances firstly and develop different strategies for different situations.
Some common reasons are following:
Mostly, employees’ fear comes from uncertainty about their career. In this situation, employees were worried about if there would be a layoff or if they were qualified for the new company.
Strategies: Virgin Group kept employees involved during managing changes. The high level of the management went done to the front line staff and listened to the staff’s ideas and problems, and shared their own experiences. Richard Branson took care of individual needs carefully. Meanwhile, he also announced that if the employees no longer have the enthusiasm, they would be better to find a new job. As long as the employees performed with full responsibilities, they would always be considered as a part of the company. This kind of instructions increased the sense of the urgency, and motivated employees to move on positively.
No faith in new process
Former NTL and Telewest employees might have uncertainties about the new process of Virgin Group. Because NTL and Telewest Company had several years of struggling with the bad economy environment, they could not be sure whether the new company would lead them to improve the organisational performance.
Strategies: Richard Branson gave responsibilities to his employees, and went to the front line personally to inform clear instructions. Establishing clear instructions and explanations, and demonstrating a picture of a better future would increase employees’ faith and certainty of the new process.
Comfort & personal preference
Former NTL and Telewest employees had their own ways of daily operations, and the new company brought its new ways of doing business, so they might have the difficulties to adopt the new culture. Such as, those staff had their old way of dealing with customers’ calls by following the instructions and scripts strictly, while Richard Branson believes that each customer would have his/her unique problem, staff should help different customers differently.
Strategies: Richard Branson threw away all the scripts and told call-center employees to help customers within one call if possible. In order to support their work, he allocated necessary resources to the font line.
Lack of knowledge
Although some former NTL and Telewest employees were expert in their old company, they might need to start from the beginning since the new company had its unique ways of doing business.
Strategies: For this kind of anxiety, Richard Branson responded with three words only: “Live and Learn”! He provided resources and training programs for employees in order to create a positive learning environment, and he also encouraged communication among different levels of the management to understand individual difficulties.
Lack of trust
Virgin Group has different diversity of businesses and it used to prefer small piece of business, whether Richard Branson has the ability to lead the large company to make profit and keep growing would be unpredictable. This is the reason that some employees might have difficulties to adapt the changes.
Strategies: Richard Branson kept developing new products and services, and led the company to profitability, such as more packages of Virgin Broadband, more channels and TV programs for Virgin Media Television, and etc. Those successes brought back the trust in several years, not immediately.
Application of Kotter’s Change Model
Create Urgency
At this stage, it is necessary to deliver a message that the whole company really needs this change. The company has to provide solid reasons and convincing dialogues support this decision. To Kotter’s belief, this stage is the most important stage; lack of preparation would easily lead to a project failure.
In Virgin Media’s case, leader should show people NTL and Telewest’s poor performance reports and most importantly, the potentials, because no one will have faith in a failed business. With a brief introduction of development scenarios, leader should emphasise the opportunities and benefit from this merger.
Form a Powerful Coalition
In order to influence people to accept the change, leader needs a group of key people from different department to support the change management process. They don’t necessary have to be who has legitimate power, but also can be expert, and other influential people.
In Virgin Media’s case, leader should select powerful and influential people from ex-NTL and ex-Telewest Company, and select good communicators from Virgin Mobile, in order to organise a supportive team. Once organised, the team needs to work together and continuing to create urgency in their own working areas.
Create a Vision for Change
The next step would be generating an overall vision about the change, including values and reasons of the change, short summaries, and strategies to execute that vision.
In Virgin Media’s case, leader should have a clear idea about what to do with ex-NTL and ex-Telewest, and why Virgin Mobile needs to conduct a merger with them. As the matter of the fact, Richard Branson was trying to build the first “quadruple play  ” media company in UK, and after couple of years hard working, he did it.
Communicate the Vision
After creating the vision, leader should deliver the message to the team members, and with their help, the message can be distributed to all aspects of the company. The message should not be sent through meetings only, most importantly through daily communications among the whole company.
In Virgin Media’s Case, Richard Branson tried to communicate with employees as much as possible and motivate them to maintain in a positive working attitude. Those ideas and visions were implanted into employees’ mind during those communications.
Remove Obstacles
In order to ease employees’ resistance to changes, leader should avoid having resistance to employees’ resistance. Leader should be willing to listen and understand employees’ difficulties and find a way to help them walk through it.
In Virgin Media’ case, Richard Branson provided clear instructions to all employees, and went to the front-line in person to listen to employees. He allocated necessary resources to them and tried to create a learning environment, in order to improve performance.
Create Short-term Wins
Celebrations for short-term wins would be the easiest and most efficient way to prove that “we are doing the right things and we are doing things right”. It is not only for motivating employees’ passion of working, but also for gaining trust.
In Virgin Media’s case, leader should recognize and reward people for their excellent performance and making changes happen, and encourage them to keep on working positively.
Build on the Change
Kotter believes that it is very important for leaders to avoid celebrating too early and being complacent about current short-term success. There would be always rooms for improvement.
In Virgin Media’s Case, Richard Branson kept on producing and developing new products and services, and tracking on employees’ performances all the time. He went through daily operations in details in person to seek for ways of improvements.
Anchor the Changes in Corporate Culture
Formalising the changes and including them as part of organisation’s culture would be the last step of change management process. This step can be considered as a closure and promotion.
In Virgin Media’s case, Richard Branson announced Virgin Group’s success to the public all the time through different kind of channels, such as TV, radio, Virgin websites, blogs, magazines and etc.
After researching on Steve Jobs and Richard Branson’ life stories as a leader, this essay is conducted in order to gain a better understanding about the concepts of being an excellent leader.
Leadership Style
Steve Jobs was considered as a tough and strict (even “dictatorial”) leader, but he was also a respectful leader who could inspire and motivate followers by using his wisdom and charismas. Richard Branson is considered as gentle and flexible leaders, but he is very strict on day-to-day operations. As a leader, being transactional can improve employees’ performance while being transformational can improve effectiveness. Therefore, there is no one simple leadership style for one organisation. Both of the leadership styles are crucial to a business’ success.
Types of changes
Incremental change may takes place over a long time period for development and improvement purpose, while radical change may be triggered by a crisis or a business opportunity and generated in a short time period.
Because incremental changes are normally well planned and taken over by pieces, there is less possibilities of failure. Radical changes are initiated immediately after realising a crisis or significant opportunity, so without a careful plan and on-going monitoring there are chances of failure.
Change Management
It is important to understand that employees’ resistance to changes are natural, but how to manage those negative feelings are critical. In general, leader should keep employees involved in the decision making, address their problems and seek for solutions, create a positive learning environment and make the change happen by working with employees as an example.
Change management processes should be carefully planned and operated, especially the preparing stage (Create Urgency). A powerful coalition’s positive support would make the operations accomplished smoothly, that is why selecting the right team member is very important. Leader and coalition should lead by examples, communicate with employees and deliver visions as much as possible. Do remember celebrating on short-term wins and establish big victory formally as company’s culture.

Transformational Leadership and John F. Kennedy

Transformational leadership qualities are not only inherited in person but external environments also involved to build up a leader. Transformational leadership has become so prominent in today’s society, especially in the Western world, where athletics, military, and politics all thrive on it. Of course, transformational leadership would not exist if there were no followers, but it is a skill that is extremely effective and needed. Leaders are effective decision makers, strong motivators, and masters of communication. You can instantly tell who is a great leader by observing the way everyone else’s effort is as a whole. A great leader is someone who is both task and relationship oriented. While they establish interpersonal relationships with their teammates, they also make sure that everyone is prepared for the task at hand.

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Transformational Leadership is the behaviour of an individual when he is directing the activities of group towards a share goal. Such leaders act as a communication bridge by inspiring and motivating followers towards particular goals in an organised way. Strong communication skill is a major quality of a leader. The progress of a team depends on the encouragement and affectivity of its leader. Transformational leaders build the teams and motivate them. It can be hard, but it can make a difference. Transformational Leadership emerges from situations in which there is no formal leadership or in the context of formally designated roles (Ronald K. Smith, 2004).
Transformational leaders serve as role models and focus on the well being of their followers by helping them develop to their fullest potential. Transformational leadership is associated with the following four factors: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. Followers who are able to solve issues without the help of a leader are more likely to have higher self-confidence; therefore, leading to higher motivation and production. Transformational leaders utilize individualized consideration to establish self-esteem and pride in followers by treating them as individuals. Followers with high self-confidence may be more likely to initiate and finish projects that are outside their realm of duties, because they are less afraid of negative repercussions if they fail. Leaders who take the time to meet and know their followers provide an inviting work environment. Followers who feel that their leaders care about them may be more motivated to produce superior work to please their leaders.
Transformational leaders provide supportive work environments for their followers. These leaders are tolerant to followers’ mistakes and more willing to teach and model proper behaviour. Transformational leaders involve their followers in problem-solving and innovative sessions. Inviting and encouraging followers to participate in goal setting is characteristic of these types of leaders. These leaders engage themselves with followers and serve as mentors and role models. Transformational leaders, much like charismatic and servant leaders, establish a rapport with their followers. They show an interest for others. Both transformational and servant leaders value others, develop followers, build communities, display authenticity, and share leadership.
John F. Kennedy and his Leadership Style:
As a president, John F. Kennedy was known for his capability to handle the problems that were out of reach of the other people. By a layman it is usually wondered how skilled can a person be that he can take care of problems which are observed to be much more complicated and bigger than which can be handled by a mortal man. John F. Kennedy proved this by his dedication and determination towards his job as a president. All this proved to be a success not only by his efforts but also with the help of the people as they got a surrounding where they can be at their best. The success of the leader does not only depend on his ability but also on his relationships that he has to establish.
Kennedy always was against creating layers in the surroundings which would promote open communication among the individuals which would end up in rivals. In order to avoid the dictatorial nature of a leader, a lot of attention to the details is required so that the respective task is covered by the appropriate person with proper co-ordination and guidance (John A. Barnes, 2007).
His personality was embedded with a combination of affection and hard mind. He thoroughly enjoyed the variety of diverse personalities and talents that surrounded him throughout the era of his presidency. He always respected an individual for what he was. He had certain reliability in his acceptance of men to work with him. To make things go right, he had a perfect assessment of the people who would be useful and how can their talents be fruitful.
Type of Leader:
Out of all the leadership styles, Kennedy’s leadership style proved to be the most effective and influenced one. He followed the authoritative and charismatic leadership style. Authoritative leaders are to be known as the experts in whatever they get into. They are able to provide you with a clear vision and a perfect path through which it can be achieved and be a success. In Kennedy’s leadership this quality can be seen very clearly because he had the capability to mobilize the people towards the vision and make use of what they were best in (Peter G. Northhouse, 2009).
John F. Kennedy Authoritative Leadership:
The authoritarian leadership approach is used by leaders that desire or need to have complete power in decision-making. This method is often expressed by the leader informing his people purposely what to do and how to do it, and is most frequently necessary when time is of the essence. However, this approach should not be used too frequently, because it could direct to the observation of bossiness on the leader’s part, which could conduct to reduced people’s inspiration and reduced commitment. Effective leaders are likely to use power in a subtle, careful fashion that minimizes status differentials and avoids threats to the target person’s self esteem. Kennedy’s approach generates an optimistic and cheerful man to work with (Erwin C. Hargrove, 2008). John F. Kennedy also played a role in situational leadership where he had to loosen his management approach to every circumstance. He considered being successful with the authoritative leadership style when he was the “inhabitant specialist.” (Lewis J. Paper, 1975).
In his era some of the people supporting him found such alteration a bit scratchy and disturbing to the place of work or to them individually and some had found it bit difficult to relate John F. Kennedy ideas of the upcoming so called future.
By his authoritative leadership style, he was able to engage different generations of this nation by communicating his philosophy of hope and change through traditional sources. In his own words, he is ‘audacious’ enough to propose that Americans can and should transform the nation into something that is better. His political and leadership messages have focused consistently on transformation.
John F. Kennedy Charismatic Leadership style:
What makes a charismatic leader different from others is his vision to encapsulate obedience of the followers. Using unconventional methods allows a charismatic leader to convince followers that they are not the “normal” leaders – they are new, different, and inspiring. Trust and creditability comes from the willingness of these people to sacrifice themselves for the betterment of followers and organizations. Charismatic leaders usually have high follower expectations and are able to encourage these expectations by using unconventional behaviours to establish credibility, sensitivity, and appeal.
Although charismatic leaders have a strong following, it is important to point out that they may have a ‘dark side’. Charismatic leaders may take advantage of the fact that they are so well liked and trusted and encourage followers to focus on and aim for atrocious goals. Charismatic leaders are more equipped to influence followers to participate in corrupt behaviour. Because followers trust and like their leaders they may be more willing to ignore and not question any odd behaviour.
In some era of John F. Kennedy life people have noticed a charismatic Leadership style. However, the charismatic magic can be equally a lucky thing and a nuisance on the general public. John F. Kennedy charismatic leadership style help him make himself capable of using his personal magic or charm to get the work done out of people. This comes out to an effective, challenging and powerful method to guide other people.
John F. Kennedy as a charismatic leader time and again fluent the hallucination by means of descriptions and tales in behaviour that each human being can be aware of his mental picture or image. The persons who support him usually saw him as individual that have power over and capability to create in individuals mind the prospect with transparency.
This also helped him become a role model for his workplace.
By his charismatic leadership style, Kennedy was able to engage the nation, to inspire and to motivate the people by communicating a clear vision of the future. Kennedy has utilized many media to begin his process of leadership. His inspirational motivation behaviour has been seen in the speeches he gave during the campaign which served to engage and energize both his supporters and those on the fence.
Examples from his Leadership:
John Kennedy proved to be a transformational leader from the very beginning after being elected. After his inaugural address there was no longer any question about Kennedy’s ideological orientation. He was still a pragmatist, but he stood on his political legacy as the heir to Roosevelt and Truman. He deluged the Congress with addresses, messages and exhortations.
His authoritative leadership trait can be seen in this example. The New Frontier, as his program was styled, had some success, especially in its first year. Congress established the Peace Corps, raised the minimum wage, liberalized social security benefits, and passed bills on housing, depressed areas, manpower retraining, and temporary unemployment compensation. The president was given unprecedented authority to negotiate large across-the-board traffic cuts.
As a president, John F. Kennedy did succeed in mobilizing impressive public pressure for his legislative program. Personally he was enormously popular. But the country was generally prosperous, and it was difficult to interest large numbers of voters in the need for change.
Some of the Kennedy’s admirers held that he should be more vigorous in seeking public support and less wary of altercation with the legislative branch. But his own reading of U.S. history was that presidents had rarely succeeded in appealing to the people over the heads of their elected representatives. He was a man of ideas and man of action, but through war, sickness, and politics he had also acquired the tempering qualities of patience and prudence. This proved the charisma in his personality as a leader.
He demonstrated the authoritative and charismatic characteristic in two of his most cherished legislative proposals languished for many months and were not passed until after his death. One was a measure to spur economic growth through massive cuts in individual and corporate income tax rates. The plan accepted the inevitability of budget deficits for several years in the expectation that an enlarged economy would increase federal revenues later.
The second major proposal that Kennedy left behind was the most sweeping civil rights bill of the century. In this field the president was a late starter. Despite campaign promised and pledges in the 1960 Democratic platform, upon assuming office he felt that he could not endanger immediately into battle with Southern members of Congress. He and his brother Attorney General Robert Kennedy accomplished much through administrative action, recourse to the courts, and the firm use of federal power when Southern officials sought to frustrate court orders. But the president and his brother deferred legislative action until what proved to be Kennedy’s last month of administration. In 1963 a great wave of black demonstration swept over the country, the North as well as the South. Delay was no longer possible. Inviting Republican congressional leaders into full partnership, the administration worked out a comprehensive bill including curbs on discrimination in employment and in public accommodations and facilities, and the withholding of federal funds from programs in which the evidence was clear that discrimination was being practiced.
As a transformational leader, in the field of foreign policy, President Kennedy began with a disaster and ended with what might in subsequent years develop into a major breakthrough in post-World War II international relations.
The disaster was in ill-conceived and badly executed attempt in April 1961 to invade Communist Cuba, using Cuban exiles as troops with extensive US support the project had been conceived during the Eisenhower administration, but Kennedy had to accept, and did accept, responsibility for its dismal failure. Some observers blamed him for not providing U.S. air cover for the invaders, and some charged the Central Intelligence Agency with faulty intelligence and ineptitude. The disaster was a sobering experience for a young, confident president not yet three months in office.
Another example exhibiting his authoritative leadership was his vision that was regarding the United State’s space program. One of his speeches in 1962, speaking to the students in Rice University, he said:
“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win…” (Thomas E. Gort, 1962)
He continued to talk about a long term vision of sending a man to the moon. He talked about the metal alloys that were not invented at that time; these alloys were capable of standing huge amount of heat and stresses times more than have ever been experienced. His vision to send a person to moon and getting him back to land safely was his main theme behind his this speech at the university. He explained the entire idea by which this could be accomplished. Here he was exhibiting an authoritative nature that gathered together the resources of the entire nation to a particular goal.
As an authoritative leader, Kennedy made the relaxation of East-West tension his central purpose. A June 1961 meeting with Khrushchev, in Vienna, proved fruitless. But the soviets beset with internal problems and their ideological dispute with Communist China eventually became more receptive to western overtures. In June 1963, in a speech at American university in Washington, D.C., Kennedy called for a break in the “vicious and dangerous cycle” of the cold war. He announced yet another conference aimed at producing a nuclear test ban treaty, and he said that pending the outcome of the negotiations, the United States would refrain from atmospheric testing. At the meeting, held in Moscow, the United States, United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union finally agreed upon a limited nuclear test ban treaty. It was later adhered to buy scores of other powers (not including France and Communist China) and was easily ratified in the U.S. Senate. It was, perhaps, the most important accomplishment of the Kennedy’s administration. But treaties and acts of Congress did not fully measure the impact of John Kennedy’s brief tenure upon the national consciousness. The “New Frontier,” indeed, was often more celebrated for its “image” and its “style” then for its works.
A number of reasons proved his nature of authoritative and charismatic nature. The president seemed to be everywhere illuminating nearly every aspect of the national life, from culture to physical fitness, from moral in the Foreign Service to the beautification in Washington, D.C. Although he made some enemies, notably in business circles and among Southern segregationists, his popularity often transcended the usual political and ideological lines. Overseas he was admired by statesmen and ordinary citizen alike (Fred I. Greenstein, 1988).
He was considered a charismatic speaker and a great communicator. He spoke with passion but stated his ideas simply, allowing him to appear very bright but still appealing to the average American. Kennedy was also seen as compassionate when he created the Peace Corps to provide aid to needy countries by enabling Americans to volunteer to help the countries in need. He set high goals for America, believing that they would put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s as well as advance in other areas such as the fight against poverty and prejudice, and the fight for world peace. Kennedy was also the youngest elected president which helped many Americans identify with him after generations of old men running the government. Although he smoked cigars, he never smoked in public to avoid setting a bad example for children which helped win him more admiration. He also won admiration from the American public by taking full responsibility for his mistakes (such as the Bay of Pigs invasion,) rather than blaming it on his advisors or the previous administration. The fact that he handled the Cuban Missile Crisis without causing a nuclear war, as well as signing a treaty to end nuclear tests in the earth’s atmosphere to stop radioactive pollution helped save many potential lives all around the world that could have been lost had he gotten into a war with Russia.
Anyone that possesses any of the above qualities with an additional dose of courage could be a leader, which doesn’t mean that you have to be leading a group of people. You can be a leader just by living by example expressing to people the right things to do, because you will be surprised by how many people are watching. Being a leader is not an easy task because things don’t always go as we anticipate, so that’s where the courage comes in because it kind of motivates you to keep going when you want to give up due to obstacles.
In conclusion all that am saying is that for a leader to be utterly successful one of the most efficient quality that he needs to his character is Achievement Motivation which is strengthened by the Internal Locus of Control, Social Self Efficacy, Multicultural Competence, and an Effective Communication Style so as to accomplish their goals to the fulfillment of those that they are supposedly making a positive impact on their life.

Micheal Dell Transformational Leadership


Michael Dell is the founder and CEO of Dell computer corporation that is the world’s largest direct computer company. He is also the youngest person ever to head a Fortune 500 firm.  Michael Dell founded DELL in 1984, and currently serves as the chairman of the Board of Directors and chief executive officer.
In 1998, Mr. Dell formed MSD Capital, and he currently serves on the boards of several organizations including the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum, the executive committee of the International Business Council and is a member of the U.S. Business Council, the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the Technology CEO Council and the governing board of the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, India.
His Skills
1.    Visionary
Micheal Dell saw great opportunity to provide computing technology in a more efficient way. That was the core idea of what became Dell Computer Corporation. He started the business with a simple question “How can we make the process of buying a computer better?”
2.    Internal Locus of control and Ability to Learn
“One of the first things I learned, though, was that there was a relationship between screwing up and learning: the more mistakes I made, the faster I learned.” Micheal Dell
3.    Change-Oriented Behavior
Micheal Dell did care for neither only people nor only task, he cared for both.
He did not build the business solely on cost or price but also on a sustainable advantage. He cared most for sustaining loyalty among customers and employees, which, as he thought, could only be derived from having the highest level of service and very high-performing products engaging the entire company – from manufacturing to engineering to sales and to support staff – in the process of understanding customer requirements which then became a permanent focus of management energy, training, and employee education.”
4.    Downward Consultation
Micheal Dell practiced downward consultation; he always gathered opinions about “What is the right plan?” where believed that it’s the one that helps identify what DELL needs to do to ensure success. It’s the one that rallies DELL employees around a few common goals – and motivates them to achieve those goals. It’s one that involves your customers’ goals and DELL’s suppliers’ goals and brings them all together in a unified focus.
5.    Develop and train People        
Micheal Dell knew that employees at every level can help DELL implement its company strategy and achieve goals beyond their immediate area of responsibility, but only if DELL is genuinely devoted to their long-term growth and development.

 6.    Action Oriented Leader
Micheal Dell believed that planning is nothing without execution. He thought respected planning but yet believed that outputs is what generates profits.
What Made Micheal Dell a Successful Leader
He knew his goal clearly and steadly focused on it. When he was in college, Michael Dell stated that he wanted to beat IBM. In the following years, he started his own business and constantly achieved his goal no matter what difficulties he faced .Today, Dell Company revenues are about $ 7.8 billion a year. He has passed IBM in annual sales, and is approaching industry leader Compaq.
INNOVATOR he was fond of doing something new and took risks. He worked hard to make them work. He also cherished difference and thought difference can breed innovation. He hired a diverse work force in his teams with different views on problems.
He has full responsibility either for business or for family and keeps good BALANCES between work and life. He worked hard to create great value for customers, employees and shareholders. He spent his spare time with his wife and kids and wanted to be a great dad and a great husband. Every day he drives his kids to school .he always makes pancakes for his kids.
Michael Dell has a powerful vision for the future and develops unique business’s philosophy. He wants his company to have a supreme speed to market; a solid dedication to customer service; a severe assurance of producing high-quality, low-priced, custom-made machines.
essential change of his leadership composition
In the hyper market competition, Dell realized that he didn’t have all the right skills to change his company into a multi-product, multi-geography. And since he couldn’t manage alone, he should bring in the talent he needed. So, Dell made a decision that he will share his power with his long time partner Kevin Rollins. He developed a new leadership model” one company, two CEO’s”. Although this co-CEO involved a lot of leadership risks, fortunately, they have done well although they had lots of differences.
Micheal Dell Leadership Style
His leadership style belongs to transformational leadership because he has a strong ability and desire to break up laws and to change situation completely, and he also has ability to create something new and benefit himself and others.
Leadership is about coping with changes. More change always demands more leadership. And since the computer industry field is surrounded with volatile competition, leaders couldn’t cope with complexity and change very well, they would go bankruptcy. Fortunately, through his transformational leadership, the company can keep up with the changes of the market, and make more and more progress.
He started with nothing , but built a empire and created a fantastic wealth for millions of people. He led his team to create a lot of pioneering activities in the computer industry. He created a low cost, mail order model to sell computers, and helped more and more people realize the power of computing and the internet; he has a good self conscious of his disadvantages, and he knows what he doesn’t know. He has a strong moral responsibility for business and family, and keeps a good balance between life and work. He created a new image of young entrepreneur.
Lessons Learned

A successful leader must have clear goal and powerful vision for the future. He must use his entrepreneur personality to motivate people, communicate with them and influence his followers. He should be able to transform his personal goal and vision into all followers’ practice.
A successful leader must be an innovator. He must be a flexible open mided person who respects difference and encourage his followers to have different ideas and different solutions.
 He should have ability to handle change and extract opportunities from it.
A successful leader must be courageous; he should have courage to take risks of doing new things and should be eager to pioneer in his field.
A successful leader must have strong self conscious. He must admit and identify what he doesn’t know and face it. He should learn from mistakes and acquire talents he needs.
A successful leader must have high ethical responsibility for both business and private life. He should keep good balance among them.

The vision makes Dell computer successful and unique in the world. What is more, Micheal Dell knows how to use the vision to communicate and motivate his employees and get people excited about what he is doing. Dell says  “A lot of businesses get off track because they don’t communicate an excitement”

Transformational corporate leaders

Leadership is a practice that has been around for very many years though there has been no single definition to completely describe it. This could be due to its continuously evolving nature and variations depending on context. Leadership is generally a complicated concept that can be applied in many areas while the results that it creates are highly dependent on the context in which it’s being applied. The term ‘transformational leaders’ was first formed by J.V. Downton in 1973. During his study of political leadership, James Macgregor introduced for the first time the concept of transformational leadership. According to Macgregor, transformational leadership is a not just a set of specific behaviours but a continuous process through which leaders and followers uplift one another to high states of motivation and morality (The transformational leadership report 2007).

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Transformational leaders provide a purpose that goes beyond the short term goals looks at the higher order intrinsic objectives. These leaders will always raise the bar by engaging to higher ideals and values of their subordinates. This way, the leaders are able to model the values themselves as well as use appealing methods to lure people to the values and to the leaders themselves. Transformational leadership requires high level of self actualization and self esteem in order to be an authetic and transformational leader. Essentially the work of a transformational leader is to induce people to be conscious of their feelings, to feel their true needs strongly and to meaningfully define their values so that they can be moved to a determined action (Chance & Chance 2002 p.79)
Macgregor was among the first scholars to insist that true transformational leadership does not just create change and attain goals within an organization but also changes the individuals involved and makes both the leaders and followers to be ennobled. According to () transformational leadership is also defined in terms of how the leader impacts his subordinates who are in turn supposed to respect, admire and trust the transformational leader. Transformational leadership has evolved from elements of preceding types for instance behavior and trait theories, situational, charismatic and transactional leadership. Transformational leaders are actually natural leaders. They automatically take charge of group of workers with great confidence and authority and they motivate their followers to do things with ease. Such leaders who are admired and envied for their natural qualities in leadership skills are actually born with leadership qualities in them.
Astrologists argue that qualities of leadership are given at birth. For instance they believe that individuals born under the Aries zodiac sign are usually natural leaders and will always find themselves in leadership positions as adults. According to ( ), its not doubtable that certain people are born with natural characteristics and traits that make it easier for them to inspire and have power over others. Some people are born with natural confidence which is an advantageous characteristic for leaders. Such people are therefore more attractive for their determination and drive which creates an impetus that other people find easy to follow. Those people with proper communication skills and empathy which are generally admired by people, and the ability to relate well with people even in stressful situations, attract a sense of respect and liking from other people.
This paper evaluates the characteristics of transformational leaders and how they are made. The paper tries to illustrate that transformational corporate leaders are actually born and not made.
Theories and models of transformational leadership
According to Gosling, Marturano & Dennison (2003), transformational leadership is procedure in which organizational leaders take actions to enhance the awareness of their associates on what is right and crucial (p.16). These leaders raise the motivational maturity of their followers which makes them to go beyond their own individual interests for the betterment of their group as well as the whole organization. Transformational leaders provide their followers with a feeling of purpose that exceeds a simple receiving of rewards for their efforts. Transformational leaders are unique leaders whose leadership qualities are believed to be natural. These leaders not only optimize the general performance of their associates but also the development of an organization. Organizational or business development involves the maturation of values, ability, attitudes and motivation (Gosling, Marturano & Dennison 2003 p.16). Transformational leaders are aimed at developing the maturity level of their followers needs from the basic security needs to the needs of self development.
A number of recent theories on leadership have tried to describe leadership effectiveness according to how leaders transform or change an organization (Chance & Chance 2002 p.94). One of the theories in leadership is the transformational leadership theory also known as the leadership theory. This theory states that leadership is interlinked or can not be separated from the needs and goals of the followers, and that it’s as a result of interaction between the followers and the leaders. According to Chance & Chance (2002), there are two important forms of leader follower interaction which are transformational and transactional (p.94). In transactional relationship the leader influences the follower through an exchange of something valued by both of them. Transformational theory assumes that the main focus of leadership should be the capacities and commitments of organizational individuals. Their should also be higher level of individual dedication to organisational objectives and greater capacities for fulfilling these objectives. According to Bush T. (2003), transformational leaders succeed by acquiring the followers’ commitment to such degree that the higher levels of accomplishment become a moral imperative (p.77).
The transformational model is for instance broad in that it gives normative approach to school leadership which aims basically on the process by which leaders endeavour to manipulate the school outcome and not the nature of those outcomes (Bush T. 2003 p.77). Transformational leadership has the capability of becoming autocratic because of its well-built heroic and charismatic features. According to Chance & Chance (2002), transformational leadership stimulates others to look at their work from new dimensions while creating the awareness of the mission and vision of the organization (p.95). Transformational leaders stimulate others to be creative and innovative. This creativity and innovation is promoted through looking for new ideas from others. These leaders attend the needs of their followers and help them in growth and development by acting as their mentors. The underlying principle of these leaders is their commitment to personal values and moral purpose which are important in bringing about organizational change.
Models in leadership
Models on leadership assist us to understand what makes leaders to operate the way they do. The different types of behaviours discussed in models help us to understand that every situation calls for a specific approach. One of the models is the four framework approach where leaders illustrate behaviours in leadership in one of the four types of frame works. These frame works are the structural, political, human resource or symbolic. The leadership style can either be effective or not depending on the behavior chosen in certain situations. In a working leadership situation the leader is usually a social architect whose style of leadership is analysis and design. On the other hand leaders in failing leadership are just tyrants whose styles of leadership consist of mere details. Structural leaders put more emphasis on strategy, structure, environment, experimentation, implementation and adaptation.
In the human resource framework, the leader in the effective leadership conditions is a catalyst and servant whose style of leadership is support, empowerment and advocation, while in a non working leadership the boss is a pushover whose style of leadership is fraud and abdication. Human resource leaders hold believe in people and they communicate that believe. They are accessible and encourage increased participation and sharing of information. These leaders involve everybody in the organization when it comes to decision making. For a political framework the leader in effective leadership circumstances is an advocate whose style of leadership is a coalition and building while in the ineffective condition the leader is a hustler whose style of leadership is manipulation. Political leaders indicate clearly what they can get and build relationship with other stake holders. They first apply persuasion then coercion and negotiation only if necessary.
In symbolic framework, the leader in working leadership is a prophet whose style of leadership is inspiration while the leader in a non performing situation a fool whose style of leadership is smoke and mirrors.
The other model in used in leadership is the managerial grid. This model uses two axes whereby ‘concern for people’ is plotted using the vertical axis while the ‘concern for task’ is plotted on the horizontal axis. The managerial behaviour is then described using the two dimensions that are drawn as a graph. Both axis’s are plotted on a range of 0 to 9 and the leaders are then grouped depending on what they score on both sides. Those who score 9 points on the task side and 1 on the people side are authoritarian, those who score 9 on both sides are team leaders, those who score 1 on both sides are impoverished while those who score 1 on task and 9 on people are country club leaders.
Authoritarian leader are more task oriented and are tough on their employees. These leaders are very tough on schedules and expect the workers to do everything without question. Team leaders lead by good examples and are concerned in promoting a team environment. They encourage their followers to attain their goals effectively and to strengthen the bonds between employees. On the other hand the country club leaders mainly use the power of reward and recognition in maintaining discipline among their employees while the impoverished leader uses delegation of duties as a management style (Chance & Chance 2002). These leaders are neither concerned with maintenance or task accomplishment.
Bass B. M. & Riggio R. E. (2006) Transformational leadership London: Routledge.
Hacker, S, & Roberts, T (2003) Transformational leadership: creating organizations of meaning American Society for Quality.
Avolio B. J & Bass B. M. 2002 Developing potential across a full range of leadership: cases on transactional and transformational leadership Routledge: New York.
Gosling, R .B, Marturano, A & Dennison, P. (2003) A review of the leadership theory and competency frameworks. Centre for leadership studies: Dunsford Hill.
Schwartz M. K. , Gimbel K. G. 2000 Leadership resources: a guide to training and development tools Center for Creative Leadership.
Chance, P. L. & Chance, E. W (2002) Introduction to educational leadership & organizational behavior: theory into practice Eye on Education.
Bush T. 2003 Theories of educational leadership and management SAGE.
The transformational leadership report (2007) (

Transformational Learning of High Impact Practices

High Impact Practices (HIPs) have garnered substantial traction in the higher education field over the past decade because of their transformational impacts on student development (Kinzie, 2018; Kuh, 2008).  The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has identified ten HIPs that have been rigorously tested and have shown to have positive outcomes for a wide range of students. These ten practices are; first-year experiences, common intellectual experiences, learning communities, writing-intensive courses, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, diversity/global learning, ePortfolios, Service-Learning, Community-Based Learning, internships, capstone courses and projects (AAC&U, n.d.). While not specifically defined in the ten practices, Alternative Break experiences combine two of these HIPs in a seamless, student leader focused manner, specifically Diversity/global learning and Service-Learning or Community-Based Learning. 

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Characteristics and outcomes of HIPs
High impact practices have six essential characteristics (Kuh, 2008):  They (1) require a significant amount of time and effort focused on a specific educational goal, (2) involve shared intellectual experiences with peers and faculty, (3) involve students stepping out of their comfort zones and being exposed to diversity, (4) involve students receiving prompt feedback, (5) provide opportunities for application of learning, and (6) encourage students to internalize new ideas and change the concepts that govern their awareness of the world they live in (Tukibayeva & Gonyea, 2014, p. 19). 
According to a study by Hansen and Schmidt (2017, p.76), high impact practices affect not only short-term retention and persistence in first-year students, but also have long term outcomes in a three-year persistence rate.
Brownell & Swaner (2010) study further suggested “sewing several high-impact practices into one activity may further magnify the positive impact of the experience” (viii). In addition, these experiences are so powerful because they combine several behaviors such as investing time and effort, integrating with faculty and peers about substantive matters experiencing diversity, responding to more frequent feedback, reflecting and integrating learning, discovering relevance of leaning though real-world applications” (ix). These topics are frequently enhanced by service-learning within local communities or study abroad (Kuh, 2008; Brownell & Swaner, 2010) and can be integrated with multiple associated academic content to promote critical thinking and an openness to diversity that will help students experience diversity in meaningful ways (Neihaus & Rivera, 2015; Neihaus, 2017).
Interactions with Diversity
College is often the first opportunity many students have to confront issues of racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination; gender identity; basic freedoms, human rights; and power and privilege.  Experiences and courses involving these topics can address differences that exist globally and nationally, and they require critical thinking and self-reflection in the processing of the information involved in the examination of the issues. Mungo (2017), found that for students of color, community-based learning is especially important in enhancing student retention especially in light of race relations in the United States. According to the author, “Race has a legacy in American society that is fundamental to the social order. It has been and continues to be an organizing element that describes, prescribes, and dictates access and opportunity–including educational opportunity” (p. 42). Mungo’s study supported the idea that service-learning does help to retain students of color, and those students who participate in one or more service-learning course have higher GPAs at graduation than their peers who did not participate in service-learning. Mungo unexpectedly found that female students benefited most from service-learning.
Further, offering experiences that help students explore other worldviews, cultures, and life experiences is becoming more commonly accepted as a high impact practice (Niehaus, 2016, 2017). Subsequently, Niehaus, E., & Rivera, M. (2015) found that 74% of students reported that they had a better understanding of people from different racial/ethnic groups, and 40.2% reported that they had a better understanding of their racial/ethnic identity as compared to before their Alternative Break experience.  62.5% of students indicated that their Alternative Break experience had a substantial influence on their understanding of people from different racial/ethnic groups, while 34% indicated a substantial influence on their racial/ethnic identity (p. 218). One of the most salient findings of this study was that students of color volunteering in racially similar communities were more likely than all other groups to report both growth in their understanding of their racial/ethnic identity and in the influence of the Alternative Break experience on their understanding of their racial/ethnic identity.
Alternative Breaks as Transformational Learning
Alternative Breaks are intensive, transformational, student-facilitated immersion experiences. These experiences share several defining characteristics such as a social justice focus, direct service with a community partner, guided reflection, and commitment to future action or synthesizing a civic ethos. Paramount to the alternative break experience is active citizenship. The active citizenship continuum is a developmental model that describes the transformation of participants from volunteers to change agents as the participants confront systemic societal issues and do the work to address those issues in tandem with community members (Sumka et. al., 2015).
Bowen, (2011), identifies alternative breaks as part of the experiential education lexicon in the way alternative breaks serve as a catalyst for future civic engagement by fostering a sensitivity to social issues and developing a commitment to community. As often the case with this type of experiential education, many participants indicate a life changing experience because of their participation in well-developed service break programs based on the Break Away model.
Further, Kiely, (2005) & Jones, et. al, (2012), built on Mezirow’s model for transformational learning, in particular how people make meaning through critical events both well intentioned and negative impacts. Of great importance in this study is the idea that “participation in certain service-learning programs can sometimes have a transformative impact on student’s moral, political, intellectual, personal, cultural, and spiritual perspectives” (p. 6). This study seeks to determine how or why it doesn’t happen more often Kiely found that contextual border crossing, dissonance, personalizing, processing and connecting are important components in transformational learning, these learning processes, in connection with certain programmatic factors, need to be fostered by the educator to help students make meaning (p. 8-9).
Pedogeological Frames
The two pedagogical frames informing this study are Paulo Freire’s praxis and Kolb’s experiential learning cycle. Kolb’s experiential learning cycle is adequate in looking at development from experience to reflection, to thinking to action, but it does not delve deeply into the systematic oppression and social justice learning necessary in alternative break programs. Praxis, however, based on the Deweyan philosophy of civic engagement, helps to articulate the development of critical consciousness and reliance on those who are oppressed to define their experiences (Freire, 2000).
Although Freire and Kolb operate on the same trajectory, higher education has embraced Kolb’s apolitical method over a more radicalized politicalized, civically engaged Freirean pedagogy (Dostilio, 2015, p. 62). For activists and educational reformists like Paolo Freire it is not enough to know about social ills, one must act upon them. So rather than an individualistic view, like self-help, individualism, and the myth of equality, where the power of change is dependent upon how much effort is put forth from the individual, Alternative Break experiences look at the underlying systematic oppressions that subjugate citizens and use their collective knowledge to enact change.
Transformational Learning Theory
In addition to the pedagogical frames, this study may look at transformational learning theory and social change theory with particular focus on citizenship in the society/community values area of the social change model of leadership to identify the manner of change occurring.
Transformational learning is learning that changes problematic assumptions/habits or mindsets to make them more inclusive, open, and receptive to change. This ability to change the mind, helps to guide the learner to a truer set of beliefs and opinions as old learning is mixed with new learning to produce a new reality for the learner (Mezirow, 1991). Problematic assumptions rooted in culture and societal norms, can include cultural bias, political affiliation, stereotyped attitudes and assumptions, moral-ethical values, religiosity, even artistic aesthetic (Mezirow, 2013, p. 59) are challenged through a defining moment, or praxis. It is this moment that students often define as transformational.
Social Change Theory
Social change theory of leadership looks at the way individuals act as change agents while confronting civility and citizenship. This is another transformational model in that the individual acts in three distinct spheres; individual, group, and society/community. In the individual sphere, the actor is concerned with consciousness of self, congruence, and commitment. Alternative Breaks, and other transformational experiences, have the actor confront incongruencies and ideations of self through immersion in “otherness.” The alternative break experience also helps the individual to look at themselves in context of group dynamics and the values of collaboration, common purpose, and controversy with civility.
The first two characteristics are readily apparent in the alternative break experience. It is the controversy with civility that could prove to be a fruitful area of study in that as the individual is confronting their own personal praxis on one hand, they must also hold controversy in the other. This embroilment of controversy creates a primordial soup from which a new self-identity can emerge. Leaders or facilitators of alternative break programs must be adept at facilitating civil dialogue, confrontation, and conflict resolution, not only in terms of group dynamics, but also for individuals experiencing change. Controversy with Civility is “characterized by a safe and supportive environment of trust, respect, and collaboration” (Komives, 2016, p. 151).
The third arena in the social change model of leadership looks at the social value of citizenship. Looking at the Break Away model of alternative breaks, it is apparent that citizenship through direct service is the goal of well-planned experiences. The impacts on individuals and groups when interacting with communities and “others” can be transformational as well as individuals confronting, perhaps for the first time, their privilege and power. Intrinsic to alternative break programs are groups of well-intentioned students exploring social issues in community settings different than their own (typically). What remains to be discovered is how to build the case for alternative breaks as a high impact practice where the immersive experience is often times one to two weeks in duration.

Association of American Colleges & Universities. (n.d.). High-impact educational practices: A brief overview. Retrieved from
Bowen, G. A. (2011). Fostering college students’ civic commitment through alternative breaks. Journal for Civic Commitment, 16, 1-13. Retrieved from:
Brownell, J. E., & Swaner, L. E. (2010). Five high-impact practices: Research on learning outcomes, completion and quality. Washington, D.C: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Dostilio, L. D. (Ed.). (2017). The community engagement professional in higher education: A competency model for an emerging field. Boston, MA: Campus Compact. 
Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed (30th anniversary ed.). New York: Continuum.
Hansen, J. & Schmidt, L. (2017). The Synergy of and Readiness for High-Impact Practices During the First Year of College. Journal of the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, 29(1), 57-82.
Jones, S. R. & Rowan-Kenyon, H. T. & Ireland, S. M. & Niehaus, E. & Skendall, K. C. (2012). The Meaning students make as participants in short-term immersion programs. Journal of College Student Development 53(2), 201-220. Johns Hopkins University Press.
Kiely, R. (2005). A transformative learning model for service-learning: A longitudinal case study. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 12, 5-22.
Kinzie, J. (2018, April 26). High-Impact practices: Promoting participation for all students. Retrieved from
Kolb, D. A. (2015). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of leaning and development (2nd ed.). Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Komives, S. R., & Wagner, W. (2016). Leadership for a better world: Understanding the social change model of leadership development (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA:  John Wiley & Son.
Kuh, G., (2008), High-Impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Mezirow, J. (1991). Transformative dimensions of adult learning (1st ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Mezirow, J. (2003). Transformative learning as discourse. Journal of Transformative Education, 1(1), 58-63. doi:10.1177/1541344603252172
Mungo, M. (2017). Closing the Gap: Can Service-Learning Enhance Retention, Graduation, and GPAs of Students of Color? Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 23 (2), 42-52.
Niehaus, E. (2017). Building momentum in student engagement: Alternative breaks and students’ social justice and diversity orientation. Journal of College Student Development, 58(1), 53-70. doi:10.1353/csd.2017.0003
Niehaus, E., & Rivera, M. (2015). Serving a stranger or serving myself: Alternative breaks and the influence of race and ethnicity on student understanding of themselves and others. Journal of College and Character, 16(4), 209-224. doi:
Niehaus, E. (2016). Alternative breaks as a context for informal interactions with diversity. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 53(2), 160-174. doi:
Sumka, S., Porter, M. C., Piacitelli, J., (2015). Working side by side: Creating alternative breaks as catalysts for global learning, student leadership, and social change. Sterling, VA: Stylus.
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Evaluation of Transformational Theory


What is Transformational Theory? This idea of transformational leadership was initially presented by James V. Downton, the beginning to coin the term “ transformational leaders”, the concept far formulated by leading individual and presidential biographer James MacGregor Burns. According to Burns, transformational leaders can be seen when “ leaders and followers give each other move to the higher degree of ethics and need. ” Through the intensity of their experience and personality, transformational leaders can encourage followers to alter expectations, perceptions, and motives to get towards general ends. Unlike at this transactional way, it is not from the “ give and make ” relation, but on the human’s personality, traits and power to create the change through example, articulation of an energizing vision and challenging goals. Transforming individuals are idealized in the meaning that they are the moral example of working towards the welfare of the team, organization and/or group.

Explanation of Transformational Theory

As the word “ change ” indicates, Bass Transformational Leadership concept is one of the collections of different Transformational Leadership Theory. More knowledge of the common world about these can be seen in the article Transformational theory. Burns originally stated that individuals will change the life of peoples by changing their perceptions, dreams, expectations, beliefs, and so on. Characters within this human her or himself are behind these changes. The human presents, communicates, and does whatever it takes to make the people find the vision and exhort them to do things. Bass important contribution in 1985 to Burns’ first concept was identifying mental mechanisms and setting forth ways of evaluating the effectiveness of the Bass Transformational Leadership concept. Transformative education theory attempts to inform how humans revise and reinterpret thought. Transformative education is the cognitive process of effecting change in the frame of reference. The frame of reference determines our perspective of this reality. These emotions are much affected. (Ileris, K, Apr 2001) Adults have the tendency to refuse any thoughts that do not equal to their individual beliefs, associations and concepts. The lived experiences of pre-service teachers within social past immersion experiences were well understood through this concept of transformative education (Mezirow 1991, 2000). Transformative learning concept was used as the model for determining if disorienting experiences prompted perspective change and influenced the social consciousness of pre-service instructors. Transformative learning concept is most frequently postulated in the context of individual education (Cranton and Taylor 2012). Inspired by our experience with the effort to apply transformative learning theory to the topic of food consumption at the educational field bachelor class, this article talks about the situation of denialism for transformative learning theory and practice. The great importance of critics of transformation theory, as I have conceptualized it, has been its de-emphasis of cultural activity. Adult education holds that the important purpose is to make cultural change. Change hypothesis also argues that individual training must remain devoted to effecting cultural effect, to changing oppressive practices, norms, foundations and socio-economic structures to permit everyone to move more fully and freely in reflective discourse and to acquiring a critical disposition and reflective judgement.

Is Transformational Theory Enough?

Is transformational leadership dominated by inspirational leaders? Based on these arguments presented, the response is favorable. The actual idea of transformational leadership is unclear. These four elements of transformational leadership as advocated by Bass will be assessed with the Multifactor ability form (MLQ). However, their construct credibility grows questionable since these four elements have considerable overlap (Yukl, 1999). It is also unclear how transformational leaders take, even if they assume all four elements related with the approach to leaders. Moreover, it is doubtful whether transformational leaders can fit into stable organizations which are preserving the status quo and their success. Do industry leaders want a transformational leader? Five great personality traits have been described as factors leading to the probability of the individual exhibiting the characteristics of the transformational leader. Other emphasis on various components of these traits point to inclination in personality to inspirational leaders, transactional leaders, and transformational leaders. These five traits exist as is.  (Joyce, E.& justice, Christian A., 2004) As a matter of fact, I’d have mere adaptability is no longer enough. Individuals don’t simply have to change — they must move rapidly, or best example proactively — if they want to be in the top of the industry. Given the large amount of changes occurring daily because of technology’s progress, today’s individuals are under a big amount of pressure to learn more — and do more — than ever before. The following are some important traits all individuals need to adopt if they want to keep their organization from growing into simple relics of the digital era.  (Newman, D., Aug. 2017) It was demonstrated that human continuity enhanced the effect of transformational leaders on character quality and loyalty, suggesting that it takes time before transformational leaders really have the effect on employees. Moreover, co-worker help enhanced this force on participation, reflecting the role of followers in the transformational leadership process. Nevertheless, there are also elements that could help to obstruct the presentation of transformational leaders, including the organizational structure, current change, the individuals’ working conditions, and the leaders’ elevated perceptions of personal power.  (Barth-Farkas, Faye& Vera, Antonio, 2014) We studied the underlying processes through which transformational and dynamic transactional leadership involves followers’ organizational recognition in the survey report. Employing the sample of managers across various industries, we discovered that followers’ mental management, including ability, influence, thought, and self-determination, partly mediated the result of transformational leadership and active transactional leadership on followers’ organizational identification. Moreover, (Zhu, W., Sosik, J. J., & Riggio, R. E., 2012)


Well my MTBI score is ENFP which kind of fits me when I just think about it. I believe the leadership theory that fits me the most must be Relationship/Transformational Theory. Every time I’m in a group I have built a relationship with everyone I believe I’m just a people person. After further research I have found that it can be a good and bad thing to be. It can allow for a quick formulation of a vision. It stands out from other leadership styles because it quickly assesses an organization’s current situation and formulate a vision for its improvement and growth. Another good thing I found is it promotes enthusiasm. The leadership creates an enthusiastic work environment and drives a company and changes and innovations. But remember those are only the good things which to everything there is a bad side. One is it can face some serious detail challenges. While the leadership is known for its inspiration and big picture vision it struggles with detail orientation at times. This type of leadership would need support from more detail and organized people. Another one is the leadership may overlook reality and truth. Leaders might fall in the trap of depending too much on passion and emotion that they would tend to overlook reality and truth. But through all these good and bad side of the leadership it upmost depends on the leader’s personality. I myself see both the good and bad in me but as I continue to grow I can not only fix it but make my weakness my strength.


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Joyce, E.; Judge, Timothy A. (2004). “Personality and Transformational and Transactional Leadership: A Meta-Analysis”. Journal of Applied Psychology. 89 (5): 901–910. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.89.5.901. PMID 15506869.

Newman, D. (Aug. 2017). Adaptability: The Key Leadership Trait In The Digital Transformation. Forbes. Retrieved from

Zhu, W., Sosik, J. J., & Riggio, R. E. (2012). Relationships between Transformational and Active Transactional Leadership and Followers’ Organizational Identification: The Role of Psychological Empowerment.


Transformational Leadership and Gender Inequality

Excluded! Is the word that describes how women are treated when it comes to top positions in their jobs. For years, men have dominated the high ranks in companies where just a few women have been able to enter. Why? Because women are not given the chance to prove what they can do since most workplaces are usually biased towards men. However, despite having to face many obstacle women have proven that they can be as efficient as men when it comes to management or leading positions. In other words, women should be included in higher roles of management because they have proven to be profitable and innovative leaders for a company.

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Women are defined as caring and empathetical and thus their abilities as leaders are undermined by society. However, these characteristics that are usually despised in the world of business turn out to make very effective leaders that can motivate and inspire workers. In the 1950s Robert Freed Bales study of human relations revealed that there was two different ways people work with each other, which are denominated as task-orientated style and interpersonally orientated-style. Task-orientated groups focus mainly on completing the task that was assigned to them while interpersonally oriented groups focus on maintaining relationships and tending to members. These concepts were later developed into leadership styles called transactional and transformational. A large number of studies have associated the transformational leadership style with women as they are more democratic and encouraging towards subordinates. “Transformational leadership is an ability to inspire, communicate and lead through clear values.” (Maddock, 2002) As transformational leaders, women promote collaboration among workers and teamwork while transactional leaders adhere to a hierarchical structure and promote competition. According to “From Transactional to Transformational Leadership: Learning to Share the Vision” written by Bernard M. Bass, a distinguished Professor of Management and director of the Center for Leadership Studies at the State University of New York at Binghamton, “Superior leadership performance — transformational leadership — occurs when leaders broaden and elevate the interests of their employees, when they generate awareness and acceptance of the purposes and mission of the group, and when they stir their employees to look beyond their own self-interest for the good of the group.” (Bass, 1990) In other words, effective leaders are those who are able to inspire their workers and achieve tasks by fulfilling their emotional needs and stimulate them intellectually.

According to the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire employees find transformational leaders more satisfying than transactional leaders as they are charismatic and capable of earning the employees trust and confidence. These results are not limited to the US as similar responses to the MLQ have been found in companies around the world proving that transformational leaders’ close interaction with their subordinates is deeply appreciated and respected by them. Constant intervention and support motivate employees to work harder and provide the company with higher production. “Organizations whose leaders are transactional are less effective than those whose leaders are transformation.” (Bass, 1990). Moreover Pew’s “Women and Leadership” made a survey to Americans in 2015 where they found that 34% believed that women are more ethical, fair and better mentors than men. How does this help a company? Being fair and ethical gives a good image and reputation to a company, which may use this image as an advantage over competitors. Also, being good mentors allows them to easily guide new workers and make them more efficient and profitable for a company proving that women can be trusted when it comes to leadership skills.

A study from the University of California found that the 25 firms with the highest percentage of women in management positions presented median returns on assets and equity of at least 74% more than the firms with no women in management positions. In fact, a study performed by Nordea showed that from 11,000 companies those that had a female chief executive officer experienced an annualized return of 25% since 2009 which is more than twice the 11% delivered by the MSCI “The results are clear: companies run by women perform far better than the market.” (Nordea, 2009). Women have not only proven to be more profitable but also that they have a higher education than men. According to the research by the Institute for Family Studies 23.5 percent of men are married to women with a higher level of education. In fact, around 56% of college students are women which mean that at least there is 2.2 million fewer men in college than women proving once more that women are constantly improving themselves to be more efficient.


Many people believe that transformational leaders are constantly on a moral mission because they believe on change. Transformational leaders must constantly promote their vision to encourage their subordinates to do their part which may result in a problem if the workers find out that the leader has not been following his or her vision. In this type of situation workers may get terribly discouraged and rebel or cease their participation. Also, transformational leaders’ main function is to motivate and encourage workers which may result useless with workers that already motivated as these people will need a leader who guides them with precise and cold decisions. Another aspect that should never be omitted by a transformational leader is inclusiveness. Workers may get demotivated if they are not included in important decisions or if their participation is diminished.

According to “Transformational Leadership Glory” by Mark Homrig & Col Harry Le Boeuf, transformational leadership may not always be effective when it comes to make quick decisions and sometimes transformational leaders may use transactional techniques.

According to Air Force Colonel Mark Homrig, transformational leadership may also be used in unethical ways as the leaders have such a deep connection with their followers that they may use this connection for his or her selfish motives. The article even provides examples of transformational leaders that have used their charisma for terrible motives like Hitler as he appealed to the values of the Germans and offered a transcendental vision. In other words, transformational leadership may become a double-edged sword as it may help the company, but it may also bring its downfall. Therefore, transactional leadership is more convenient as this type of leaders do not have a deep connection with workers and thus they cannot influence them the same way a transformational leader would. However, the belief that transformational leaders must constantly promote their vision to encourage their subordinates is questionable because transformational leaders are able to earn their workers trust because of the way they present their vision and inspire workers and although they may need to remind their subordinates of what his or her vision is in the beginning workers eventually follow these leaders because they have to understand what their vision is and they are willing to make that vision possible. Also, the belief that says that motivated workers do not really need further motivation are based on the assumption that these workers won’t eventually get demotivated and need someone who encourages them to keep going.  Regarding the part that mentions that workers may be discouraged and cease participation if they discover that the leader has not been following his or her vision is a little bit unrealistic as most workers are not naïve or emotionally connected to their bosses. If they find out that their boss has done something they are not satisfied with they can complain to higher ranks. As for the article that talks about transformational leadership being a double-edge sword it may be questionable because the examples that it provides about negative effects of transformational leaders, like Hitler, are situations that may not apply to a company and as stated before workers are not naïve or emotional enough to do something that may cost them their jobs. Transformational leadership is used to motivate workers to do their jobs.

In conclusion women have given enough proof that they can be as capable as men when it comes to higher responsibilities within a company. Women tend to resort to transformational techniques when addressing a problem, which results in them being seen as more efficient and satisfying leaders by their subordinates. Moreover, studies have shown that the number of women that receive education each year is constantly increasing to the point that it has already surpassed the amount of men receiving education showing that women are educated and efficient enough to occupy high ranks in their workplaces.


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