There are five leadership styles in the work environments, including laissez-faire, autocratic, participative, transactional, and transformational leaderships. Each of these leadership styles has its own advantages and disadvantages. The organizational culture and goals determine which leadership style is the most appropriate one (Johnson, 2014).
My vision of leadership is to become a transformational leader in future. The transformational leadership model is illustrated as below.
Figure 1: The Transformational Leadership
(Source: Management Study Guide, 2013)
The figure above demonstrates that transformational leaders exhibit four traits, i.e. inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, idealized influence, and individualized consideration. Transformational leaders need to be inspiring, visionary, thoughtful, and daring. Also, they should have a charismatic appeal.
I have also learned that transformational leadership requires high levels of communication from management to lower levels within an organization. To become a successful transformational leader, I should motivate employees and increase efficiency and productivity through high visibility and communication. As to meet organizational goals, I should engage in a high level of management involvement. By following this leadership style, I would focus on the big picture, while assigning small tasks to the team as to access the common goals (Johnson, 2014).
Some famous examples of transformational leaders in business include Bill Gates of Microsoft, Jack Welch of GE and Sam Walton of Wal-Mart (Duggan, 2014). The one who has inspired my understanding of effective leadership is not guy in my neighborhood. Instead he is a global idol, Steve Jobs, the father of Apple. I started my interest initially with Apple’s products. The products developed and released under the leadership of Steven Jobs, such as iPhone 4 and iPad 2 are sophisticated at that time. Then, I wonder that what kind of leader Steven Jobs is can transform not only the industry, but also the world. To seek the answer, I read his biography, look up in the library, and search sources in the internet. In this way, I have learned that transformational leadership can be an effective leadership style in the modern context. For a leader, to create a high performance workplace has become increasingly important. To achieve this, it requires the leaders to motive their followers to go beyond their task requirement. By contrast, other leadership styles have apparent disadvantages. The laissez-faire leadership is likely to lead to poor production and increasing costs. The autocratic leadership, though benefiting employees who require close supervision, does serious harm to creative employees. The participative leadership is inappropriate in make decisions in a short term. While transactional leadership, is less humane compared to transformational leadership.
The comments from my former colleagues make me more aware of my strengths to become a leader. I was working as a part-time job in marketing department in a hotel last year. In August, the top management required our department to develop a marketing plan for the coming Christmas. The department manager thus divided the whole department members into three groups and demanded that all groups should submit alternative plans in a week, from which the best would be chose. I was appointed as one of the group leaders. I asked my group members to brainstorm on the project and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each option. In the end, the marketing plan was chosen as the marketing plan for the company. The colleagues, not only my team followers but also the department manager, commented that I am a born leader due to my strong ability of inspirational motivation and intellectual stimulation.
However, I am quite sure that I still need a lot improvement as to become a successful business leader in future career. In general, there are two major leadership skills that I should be developing during my MBA period. Firstly, I will be learning more business knowledge as I progress through my MBA period. Business knowledge includes the marketing knowledge, the management knowledge and so on. As business knowledge is an important part of leadership skills, I should master it as much as possible these years. Secondly, I should master the team-based tools more smoothly throughout my MBA period. The team-based tools, such as PPT presentation, are increasingly important in the modern leadership activities. These tools can make leadership much more effective and efficient.
In conclusion, I have been determined to become a transformational leader in my future career. I believe this leadership style meets the requirement of social and business development. I have received positive comment from my colleagues, which have made more aware of my potential to be a future leader. However, to become successful leader, I need to learn more business knowledge and team-based tools as I progress through my MBA period.
Duggan, T. (2014) ‘Transformational Leadership Examples in Business’ [online]. Available from:
Johnson, R. (2014) ‘5 Different Types of Leadership Styles’ [online]. Available from:<http://smallbusiness.chron.com/5-different-types-leadership-styles-17584.html >[18 March 2014].
Management Study Guide (2013) ‘Transformational Leadership Theory’ [online]. Available from: <http://managementstudyguide.com/transformational-leadership.htm> [18 March 2014].