Charismatic & Transformational Leadership Essay

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Charismatic & Transformational Leadership Chapter 9 Charismatic and Transformational leadership (TL for short) originated in an interest in learning more about how leaders get followers to make self-sacrifices and put the needs of their organization above their own material self-interests. This chapter describes the major theories of charismatic and TL, provides an evaluation of these theories, and then offers guidelines for TL. TWO EARLY THEORIES Charisma. Charisma is a Greek word that means ""divinely inspired gift". A sociologist, Max Weber, used the term to describe a form of influence based not on tradition or formal authority, but rather on follower perceptions that the leader has exceptional qualities. According to Weber, perceptions of a leader as charismatic usually occur when there is a social crisis. A leader who is seen during such a crisis as providing a "radical" vision, with a convincing and achievable solution to the crisis, is seen as charismatic. A key aspect of this leadership influence is getting followers to believe in, and passionately embrace, the vision. Newer versions of this theory have developed. They are called "neocharismatic" theories. Transforming Leadership. This theory originated from a political scientist, James McGregor Burns. As originally conceived, TL engages the moral values of followers, raises their consciousness about ethical issues, and mobilizes their energy and resources to change institutions. Burns contrasted this TL with transacting leadership, which motivates followers, not by appealing to a "higher" morale cause, but rather, by appealing to their self-interests. For example, politicians promising to lower corporate taxes if elected (seeking campaign donations and votes from the corporate elites). Transactional leadership is of the form, "if you do this, then I will give you this". Followers follow to
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