Day in day out

Day in day out, leaders make boundless decisions and face problems that they have never experienced. The work is everchanging, the speed is rapid, the stakes are immense, but the rewards are great for those who can lead a team determinedly and achieve extraordinary results. Leadership refers to the process of influencing the activities of others towards high levels of setting goals and achieving great results (Bennis & Nanus, 2003). This is said to be one of the most significant features of management. It is a major factor which massively contributes to the general comfort of associations (Weihrich, et al, 2008). Managers and leaders not only influence those below them in the hierarchy, however they also influence external partners as well as those who are superior. Researchers found that they could group the observed traits of a leader into five clusters, known as the big five. These are identified as openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Openness refers to an ‘explorer’ leader that is creative, open minded and intellectual. Conscientiousness refers to a ‘focused’ leader which is dutiful, achievement-orientated and self-disciplined. Extraversion refers to an ‘extravert’ leader who is gregarious, warm and positive. Agreeableness refers to an ‘adapting’ leader who is straightforward, compliant and sympathetic. Neuroticism refers to a reactive leader who is anxious, depressed and self-conscious (Boddy, 2017). Furthermore, there is a well-used process in which managers use to assure that all of their resources are attained and used effectively in the accomplishment of the organisation’s objectives. This is known as the control process. The four main steps of the process are establishing standards, measuring performance, comparing the actual performance with the expected performance and correcting abnormalities. These will be further discussed within paragraph three. In this essay I will explore the role of leaders in designing a culture that creates control systems to which they support organisational policies and strategies through different leadership styles and their diverse assumptions and beliefs and through the control systems in which are used within management.
Many theories have been put forward to explain the effectiveness of leadership. Two of the most prominent leadership theories are Transformational leadership theory and Transactional leadership theory. Transactional leadership, also known as managerial leadership, focuses on the role of supervision, organisation, and group performance (Cherry, 2017). Leaders who implement this style tend to focus on specific responsibilities and use rewards and penalties to motivate followers. A transactional leaders aim is not to change the future, they are continuously looking to simply keep things the same. These leaders pay attention to followers’ work with the aim of finding faults and deviations. This type of leadership can be effective in emergency situations, as well as when plans need to be carried out in a specific manner. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (McLeod, 2018), transactional leadership works at the basic levels of need satisfaction, where leaders focus on the lower levels of the hierarchy. Transactional leaders use an exchange model where they give rewards for good results and positive outcomes and discipline poor work or negative outcomes, until the problem is modified correctly. One way that transactional leadership focuses on lower level needs is by stressing specific task performance (Hargis et al, 2001). Transactional leaders are effective in getting specific tasks completed by managing each share independently. There main concern is with processes rather than forward-thinking ideas. They focus on contingent reward (also known as contingent positive reinforcement) or contingent penalisation (also known as contingent negative reinforcement). Contingent appraisal is given when the set goals are accomplished on-time, ahead of time, or to retain subordinates working at a decent pace at different times during completion. Contingent punishments (such as suspensions) are given when the set aims are not met or completed to performance quality or quantity falls below production standards. Occasionally, contingent punishments are handed down on a management-by-exception basis, in which the exception is something going wrong. Within management-by-exception, there are two routes known as active routes and passive routes. Active management-by-exception means that the leader repeatedly looks at each subordinate’s performance and makes changes to the subordinate’s work to make improvements throughout the course. Passive management-by-exception leaders wait for issues to arise before fixing the problems. With transactional leadership being applied to the lower-level needs and being more managerial in style, it is a foundation for transformational leadership which applies to higher-level needs (Mitchell G. Rothstein and Ronald J. Burke 2010). On the other hand, transformational leadership is a leadership style that can inspire positive changes in those who follow (Cherry,2018). Transformational leaders are generally energetic, enthusiastic, and passionate. These leaders are not solely involved and concerned within the process; they are focused on helping each member of the group succeed. Transactional leaders target the care of the structure of the group. They are tasked with letting group members recognise precisely what is expected, articulating the rewards of accomplishing tasks well, explaining the consequences of failure, and offering feedback designed to keep workers on task. While transactional leadership can be useful in some situations, it is considered insufficient in other cases and may prevent both leaders and followers from achieving their full and maximum potential. A comparison between the two styles would be that transactional leaders motivate followers to meet their leaders’ expectations, while transformational leaders motivate followers to exceed them. The two styles are not mutually exclusive, managers will have traits that feature in both styles, but the amount varies, with some being relatively transactional, others relatively transformational. Another style of leadership can be recognised as a conscious leader. Conscious leaders are people who recognise the higher purpose of their business and the interdependence of the stakeholders in their business, and who lead from this awareness (Klein, 2011). They are essential to the ongoing learning, growth and further developments of their organisation, and of the people who comprise its corpus.
Each leadership style has their own assumed traits. The transactional leading theory takes a behavioural approach to leadership by establishing it on a system of rewards and punishments. Transactional leadership is commonly carried out in business’; when staff are successful, they are rewarded; when they fail, they are reprimanded or punished. In transactional leadership, rewards and punishments are dependent upon the performance of the followers. Research has found that transactional leadership tends to be most effective in situations where problems are simple and clearly defined (Burns,2014). It may also work well in crisis situations where the main emphasis has to be on completing certain tasks. Leaders tend to assign clearly outlined responsibilities to specific individuals to ensure that things are completed. In times of crisis, transactional leaders can help maintain the status quo and “keep the ship afloat,” so to speak. They are willing to work within current systems and negotiate to reach the goals of the organisation. When attempting to solve problems, they tend to think outside of the box instead of conforming to common ideas. Conversely, transformational leaders lead with a vision. They set a realistic and achievable goal for the organisation. Their vision is then communicated clearly to their followers. This inspires a sense of commitment and purpose. Transformational leaders are very much involved with their emotions, values, ethics, standards, and long-term goals and also assessing followers’ motives, satisfying their needs, and treating them as full human beings (Northhouse, 2007). In 2012, Warrilow identified four key components of the transformational leadership style. The first being individual and personal attention. This is the behaviour that a leader respects each individual follower’s needs and acts as a mentor or coach and values the individual’s contribution to the team. This fulfils and enhances each individual team members’ need for self-fulfilment, and self-worth – and in so doing inspires followers to achieve and grow in the future. Each follower or group member has their own specific needs and desires. For example, some are motivated by excitement while others by change and money. The individualised consideration element of transformational leadership recognises these needs. Second is charisma or idealised influence which is behaviours that instil pride in followers for being associated with a leader. A transformation leader with idealised attitudes displays a sense of power and confidence and is able to reassure others that they can overcome difficult obstacles. They act as a role model and display charismatic characteristics which influences others in becoming a leader. Idealised influence can be demonstrated through a transformational leader’s willingness to take risks and follow a core set of values, convictions and ethical principles in the actions they take. It is the concept of idealised influence that the leader builds trust with there followers and the followers, in turn, develop confidence in their leader. Thirdly, intellectual stimulation. This is defined as having a leader who encourages innovation and creativity, as well as critical thinking and problem solving. It involves arousing followers’ thoughts and imagination, as well as stimulating their ability to identify and solve problems creatively. A transformational leader challenges assumption idea from their followers without making criticisms. This helps them change the way followers think about their obstacles. Lastly, inspirational motivation which refers to the leaders ability to inspire confidence, motivation and a sense of purpose in his followers. A transformational leader must communicate a clear vision for the future, articulate expectations of the group and demonstrate a commitment to the goals that have been laid out. It is the leaders job to convey his/her messages with precision, power and a sense of authority so they therefore require outstanding communication skills. Other vital behaviours of the leader include their continued optimism, enthusiasm and ability to point out the positive.
An important role in any business organisation is control mechanisms, without them the roles of managers would be constrained. Control is required for achieving the goals in a predefined manner because it provides the instruments which influence the performance and decision-making process of an organisation. The control process is explained as the process by which managers declare that resources are attained and used efficiently in the accomplishment of the organisations goals (Siska,.L. (2015). There are four main functions of management; planning, leading, organising, and controlling. The first function is planning. The manager creates a detailed plan aimed at a specific organisational goal. The planning function is a continuing process. It is the role of the manager to identify which goals need to be recognised and planned within his or her own area. The second function of management is organising. This step requires a manager to establish how distribute the resources and organise how their employees will complete their tasks according to the proposal. This involves delegating authority, assigning work, and providing direction so that the team can work together in order to achieve the best outcome. The third managerial function is leading. This involves spending time to connect to your team on an interpersonal level. This involves communicating, motivating, inspiring, and encouraging your followers towards a higher aim. The fourth component of managing is controlling. Controlling consist of array of different activities which ranges from is measuring, comparing, finding problems and correcting the structural activities which are completed in order to achieve the organisations targets. (IEduNote, 2015). Every one of these functions contribute towards how a leader/manager creates the system which supports their organisation through the control mechanisms.
In summary, transformational and transactional leadership theories both explain the nature and effects of leadership in their own unique style. Both theories have their differences, advantages and disadvantages. The discussed leadership styles assumptions and traits explain the diverse ways in which a leader can implement to their followers in order to have a successful organisation and succeed within the world of business and management. The control system assures that a company’s objectives are fully met to the highest standards. This overall explores the importance of a leader in producing a suitable control system which supports their organisational policies and strategies.