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Leadership is “an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes and outcomes that reflect a real purpose” (Daft, 2008).  There are six essential elements that are required for all leadership transactions: influence, intention, personal responsibility and integrity, change, shared purpose, and followers (Daft, 2008).  All these elements must be involved to classify a person as a leader. Daft also notes a change in thinking in the qualities of a leader from control, competition, self-centeredness, and uniformity to a new paradigm that supports change and crisis management, empowers followers, works collaboratively and with diversity, embraces a higher ethical purpose and has respect and appreciation for all ideas and individuals (Daft, 2008).

In today’s workplaces there are far more managers than leaders (Caravaggio, 2015). Management, which is more in line with the first paradigm of leadership, is defined as the focus on the accomplishment of an organizational goals on task achievement (Daft, 2008). The functions of management have been broken down into four key functions: planning, organizing, directing, and controlling (Thorne, 2012).  These four functions in large or small business are critical to managing operational goals (Thorne, 2012), which are not specifically concerned with the well-being of the employee as long as the task is completed.There are leadership styles that connect with their followers who embrace similar values and purpose and have been identified as “engagement friendly” (Cossin & Caballero, 2013).

Authentic leadership is a reciprocal process where leaders affect followers and followers affect leaders (Northouse, 2013). Walumbwa et al. define authentic leadership as a “pattern that draws upon and promotes both positive psychological capacities and a positive ethical climate, to foster greater self-awareness, an internalized moral perspective, balanced processing of information, and relational transparency on the part of leaders working with followers, fostering positive self-development” (F. Walumba, 2008).  Authentic leaders have strong values, work hard to earn the trust of their followers, work with purpose in something they believe in and is dear to their hearts (Northouse, 2013).

Servant leadership identifies the importance of the leader to serve the followers first while at the same time making a conscious choice to lead (Northouse, 2013). They are focused on other people’s priorities and needs and encourage followers to grow, be healthier and become more autonomous (Northouse, 2013). They are visionary, treat each follower as an individual and value their contribution, are active listeners, and embrace humility and empathy. Servant leaders often lead not-for-profit, social causes and public service organizations where the leader’s primary motivation is to serve others.

Transformational leadership involves change where both leaders and followers are transformed through a common vision. Burns (1978) defined transformational leadership as the “process of engaging with others to create a connection that increases motivation and morality in both the leader and the follower” (Northouse, 2013). These leaders utilize charisma and positive psychology to utilize idealized influence. They are seen by their followers as role models who espouse their values in pursuit of vision and goals.   The use of inspirational motivation with emotional appeals and clear vision to create follower trust. They set ambitious goals, speak with emphasis, and use charisma to communicate their assurances that followers can achieve incredible goals.   They intellectually stimulate the follower which works with the cognitive component of employee engagement which helps them understand and innovate to achieve their goals (Herd, 2012).   Individual consideration provides meaning and purpose to each follower (Northouse, 2013). Individualized consideration is particularly important in fostering emotional, cognitive, and behavioural engagement in followers (Herd, 2012).  


Charisma: Provides vision and sense of mission, instills pride, gains respect and trust. Inspiration: Communicates high expectations, uses symbols to focus efforts, expresses important purposes in simple ways. Intellectual Stimulation: Promotes intelligence, rationality, and careful problem solving. Individualized Consideration: Gives personal attention, treats each employee individually, coaches, advises.


Contingent Reward: Contracts exchange of rewards for effort, promises rewards for performance, recognizes accomplishments. Management by Exception (active): Watches and searches for deviations from rules and standards, takes corrective action. Management by Exception (passive): Intervenes only if standards are not met. Laissez-Faire: Abdicates responsibilities, avoids making decisions.

Daniel Pink has provided insight into transactional employee-manager relationships and transformational employee-manager relationships. His view is that transactional leaders, focus on compliance and work towards immediate interests (Pink, 2009).   Transactional leadership has been defined as a set of behaviours that motivate and guide followers in the direction of a goal by providing clear expectations and resources for the completion of work (Harter, Schmidt, & Hayes, 2002). His “If-Then” theory states transactional relationships work for simple and short-term tasks with reward at the end but are highly ineffective for today’s workplaces where there are complex long-term tasks where reward attainability is not viable (Pink, 2009). People have tremendous potential and a leader’s success depends on the follower’s success. Pink goes on to explain that the secret to high performance is not punishment or reward: it is the unseen intrinsic drive to do things for the employees own sake.   They drive to do things because they matter through a transformational worker-leader relationship where the worker is fulfilled by mastery, purpose and autonomy providing important insight into motivating and engaging employees in the workplace (Pink, 2009).

Consideration of leadership style is important in the performance of the leader and the engagement of the follower. Insights from situational leadership theory, which evolved from a task oriented vs. relationship oriented continuum, offer consideration of the situations a leader may experience and how they may adjust their style or match to the situation to obtain desired outcomes.   According to Bass (2000), the transactional leader works within the organizational culture as it exists, primarily task focused; the transformational leader changes the organizational culture through a combination of task and relationship focuses.  This self and situational awareness to change style or tactic of influence in a specific situation is critical to the leadership-follower relationship and individual consideration and reinforces the power and influence of the transformational leader (Shuck, 2011).

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