Trans. Leadership

Transformational Leadership at the Movies

Transactional Leadership is aligned with more traditional “management” activities and is, generally speaking, a less effective style of leading others. According to the model, Laissez-faire (LF) leadership is inactive and the most ineffective approach to leadership. Management-by-exception (MBE) is more active than Laissez-faire, but is still a reactive and generally an ineffective approach to obtaining results from subordinates. Contingent reward (CR) can be a positive approach to leadership but likely will not attain results above and beyond the contingent agreement between leader and subordinate.

Transformational leadership is defined by individualized consideration (IC), intellectual stimulation (IS), inspirational motivation (IM), and idealized influence (II). These factors, along with contingent reward (a transactional factor), have been shown to improve subordinate productivity, increase morale, foster organizational effectiveness and lower absenteeism.

The following films feature characters that have attributes in line with Transformational Leadership.
Transactional Leadership

  • Laissez-faire – In this form of leadership, the leader ignores responsibilities and avoids making decisions. Judge and Bono (2000) define Laissez-faire as “non-leadership. It is defined by avoiding leadership duties and responsibilities. Laissez-faire is the failure of both transformational and transactional leadership. Bass (1997) suggests that these leaders “are absent when needed, fail to follow up requests for assistance, and resist expressing their views on important issues.” This style of leadership can be confused at times with “empowerment.”
  • Contingent Reward – Contingent Reward contracts exchange of rewards for effort, promises rewards for good performance, recognizes accomplishments. Judge and Bono (2000) suggest that “Contingent Reward is defined as providing an adequate exchange of valued resources for followers support. Contingent Reward is the most active form of transactional leadership but is less active than transformational leadership, because one can engage in contingent reward without every being closely engaged with followers.” According to Bass (1997) “leaders clarify expectations, exchange promises and resources for support of the leaders, arrange mutually satisfactory agreements, negotiate for resources, exchange assistance for effort, and provide commendations for successful follower performance.”

Transformational Leadership

  • Individualized Consideration – leaders pay close attention to the needs of followers – coaching them through situations and issues and developing followers along the way. Further transformational leaders listen, learn and develop not only their own ways of thinking but those around them. According to Northouse (2001), “This factor is representative of leader who provides a supportive climate in which they listen carefully to the individual needs of followers. Leaders act as coaches and advisors while trying to assist individuals in becoming fully actualized. These leaders may use delegation as a means to help followers grow though personal challenges.” A leader modeling individualized consideration will spend time learning about the specific motivations, hopes and dreams of each individual.
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