Burns first introduced transformational leadership in 1985. These leaders develop a shared vision and improve relationships with followers; concentrate on identifying employee’s individual needs and empowering followers to build a learning climate and mobilize their support toward goals at the organizational level; propel knowledge and experience sharing in organizations to generate more innovative ideas and solutions; and focus on inspiring human assets, thereby setting a higher level of desired expectations for them. This leadership model when used appropriately, represent an effective leadership and this type of leadership can be effective to increase a knowledge-based workplace based upon developing and managing intellectual capital within organizations.
How can transformational leaders meet the need for innovative products and services? The answer to this question lies in a leader’s demonstration to facilitate the generation of new knowledge and ideas through inspiring followers to rethink problems and challenge their current personal attitudes and values. Leaders transform organizations by attempting to change the basic values, beliefs, and attitudes of followers so that they are willing to perform beyond their previous or originally level specified by the organization in their job description. Transformational leaders have been posited to be visionary leaders that attempt to develop a shared and inspiring vision for the future. Each leader plays a critical role in shifting organizations toward the creation of new services and products. Leaders also contribute to new products and services to meet dynamic market needs, through higher expectations and stimulation for new and strategic opportunities to meet the needs of customers in the marketplace. Unfortunately, while leadership is positively associated with organizational innovation, it is somewhat underutilized in organizations worldwide. This article has been written to reach the organizational leaders that may not be utilizing the Transformational Leadership Model which has been posited as a managerial-based competency for organizations operating in today’s innovative business environment.
Case Study from Australia. Industry Task Force on Leadership and Management Skills in 1995 critiqued Australian top managers and found them to be inadequate effective leaders. The report illustrates the weaknesses in leaders, such as failing to develop a clear vision for the future of their organization. A more recent report, in 2012, on Management Matters in Australia also illustrated that top managers in the Australian manufacturing sector scored the least in the very important organizational behavior tenet of people management when compared to two other areas of operations management and performance management. In both cases, Australian manufacturers have been ranked low in almost all dimensions of people management. After careful review of these findings for both empirical studies, the investigators recommend that these companies must improve their human resource-related practices with a target of attracting, retaining, and promoting their human capital.
I suggest that the way for these managers and leaders, and leaders across the globe, to make the effective changes that are posited in transformational leadership model. Furthermore, the recommendations of effective leadership are to focus on developing a strategic vision for their future strategic initiatives and organizational innovation. By accepting the challenge of Transformational Leadership, leaders may be capable to overcome their deficiencies and lead better in our hypercompetitive environment of today. Two important points that Australian leaders can learn from this article is that effective leaders can help followers to accomplish tasks that they would not ordinarily consider part of their competency. The question posited for Australian top management executives and leaders in any and all organizations is to accept the challenge of transformational leadership in order to address the current gaps in leadership effectiveness and improve their competitiveness in global markets.