There are as many leadership philosophies as people and rightly so. Each person is unique in their own ways with specific personality traits and aptitudes which make them who they are. While some people are more naturally inclined towards leadership than others, the majority of leaders are developed through the continued honing of their leadership skills. Along their leadership Journeys people acquire various skills and paradigms allowing them to extend and apply themselves beyond their own natural abilities.
While people cannot change their genetic makeup, they an take specific action and make certain decisions to help them be an effective leader. In this paper I will discuss three leadership concepts (personal integrity, transforming leadership, and encouraging and enabling others) which convey my leadership philosophy. Finally, I will illustrate how the adaptation of these three concepts would help a person lead their organization more effectively. PERSONAL INTEGRITY There are many leaders and managers in our world who are given titles, yet fail to lead, guide, or unite their constituents because they fail to model their expectations.
In The Leadership Challenge, Kouzes and Posner (2002) begin a discussion of modeling by saying “Titles are granted, but it’s your behavior that wins you respect” (p. 14). While salaries and titles may have some personal value toa leader, they mean little to their subordinates and may even be a target for criticism for some if a leader lacks integrity. As a leader, it is critical to model the way and move forth with servant leadership. Servant leadership is different from the traditional power- based leadership in many ways.
Robert Greenleaf (2005) defines and identifies the oals of servant leadership by saying this: “The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society?
Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived? ” (p. 25) The focus of servant leaders is on the raising up and growth of constituents through modeling. Rather than assigning a task and expected a result, servant leaders will come alongside constituents teaching them the way to accomplish the task and at the same time instilling the values of servanthood and modeling in them. effective leadership and greater rapport amongst constituents. Yukl (2006, p. 210) writes that “Integrity is a primary determinant of interpersonal trust.
Unless one is perceived to be trustworthy, it is difficult to retain the loyalty of the followers or to obtain cooperation and support from peers and superiors. ” Without the support and eamwork of constituents, a leader will fail to meet the set goals. The Center for Creative Leadership found that the absence of integrity directly correlated with the failure of leaders and vice versa (p. 211). For a leader to develop integrity amongst their constituents, they must be deemed honest, trustworthy, loyal, and uphold confidentiality.
The development of a leader’s integrity requires time, energy, and patience invested in their workers through modeling and servant leadership. John J. Gardiner summarizes this competently in saying “integrity comes from sublimating our egos nd giving ourselves entirely to life” (Spears, 1998, p. 1 19). TRANSFORMING LEADERSHIP Many different paradigms of leadership exist and are useful tools for leading groups of people to success, but transforming leadership offers an excellent overarching view and structure for leaders to use when working with people of different values and persuasions.
James MacGregor Burns says the transforming leader “looks for potential motives in the followers, seeks to satisfy higher needs, and engages the full person of the follower,’ which results in ‘a relationship of mutual stimulation and levation’ for both leader and follower” (Carey, 2008, p. 7). By having insights into the constituents’ attitude towards the organization, the transforming leader can develop personalized strategies to help workers move closer accomplishing both the goals of the organizations and their personal aspirations.
In the second module, the five frames of reference were described illustrating the disruption causes by self-embeddedeness. Being stuck in a single frame of reference can become a problem for a worker when required to work with those stuck in other frames of reference. When the partial truths contained in one of the individual the frames are confused with the whole Truth, then whatever value there is in the frame’s outlook becomes distorted” Carey, 2008, p. 2). When a leader operates solely within a single frame of reference, their distortions impact the goals and workers of the organization.
Transforming leaders move from their original frame of reference towards a “fundamental option for self-transcendence” which “pulls the individual toward the logos and, therefore, in the direction of either transactional or transforming leadership” (Carey, 2008, p. ). While transactional leadership is sometimes necessary to accomplish intermediate goals and simple tasks, the conversion of workers to leaders through transforming leadership will be more likely to accomplish long-term success for both the organization and its constituents.
I have never encountered a person who has claimed they have received too much encouragement. I have also never met anyone that has single-handedly made their organization successful. In other words, leaders need to be surrounded with people united in purpose for their organization to be successful. One of the best ways to align constituents with your vision and goals is through forming relationships through encouragement. “Giving encouragement requires us to get close to people and show that we care… t’s more likely to accomplish something other forms (of feedback) cannot: strengthening trust between leaders and constituents” (Kouzes and Posner, 2002, p. 321). Futhermore, Freire (2000) describes the benefits of an encouraged and enabled group of workers when he writes: “This adherence coincides with the trust the people begin to place in themselves nd in the revolutionary leaders, as the former perceive the dedication and authenticity of the later.
The trust of the people in the leaders reflects the confidence of the leaders in the people. ” ( p. 150) Encouraging and enabling constituents is ongoing task that requires a continual commitment of transforming leaders. However, the satisfaction and success that comes with leading an encouraged team of workers enabled to do their Job well is unparallel and critical to the overall success of organizations.”Leadership is not an affair of the head. Leadership is an affair of the heart” (Kouzes and Posner, 2002, p. 99) It is with those words that The Leadership Challenge concludes and we are reminded that transforming leadership all begins with the heart and integrity of the leader. However, character and integrity are not enough as transforming leaders are required to not only understand various frames of reference, but also pull constituents towards the logos enabling them to operate outside their natural frame of references and in the process become transforming leaders themselves.
When leading with integrity, a transforming leader who encourages and enables positions themselves, their constituents, and their organization for success.
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