Leadership is a complex process explained by many theories, models and approaches. This paper examines leadership using three different styles: team, charismatic, and transformational. For each style of leadership, a different scenario is described and analyzed.
Testing accommodations administered by a Colorado university’s disability office provides an organizational scenario for team leadership. From 2000-2006 a few hundred exams required accommodations during finals week (Kliewer, personal communication, December 20, 2013). The accommodation process effectively handled the quantity of exams. From 2007-2010, finals week accommodations steadily increased to over 1,000 ...view middle of the document...
While test accommodations would benefit from a team leadership style, the testing coordinator presents a barrier. The coordinator uses a laissez-faire style of leadership. The testing accommodations are effective throughout the semester largely due to the student staff individual contributions. Other full time employees within the disability office would need to take on a role of leadership to initiate a team approach and guide the coordinator into other styles of leadership.
Video Relay Service (VRS), interpreted phone calls, provides an organizational scenario for charismatic leadership. VRS is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Recently, the FCC tightened speed of answer regulation to 85% of calls answered within 60 seconds (FCC, n.d.). In July 2014, the regulation will again tighten. While tighter regulations are good for consumers, it places a heavy burden on interpreters. The speed of answer is the top reason for burnout within the VRS setting (RID, 2013). Charismatic leadership is an appropriate style for this scenario as the style compels followers to improve their work engagement.
The charismatic leadership style is about motivating followers through the actions of the leader. Motivation is a big part of achieving the new VRS standards as any day the regulation is not met is a day the FCC does not reimburse the VRS provider. Thus, VRS managers need to clearly communicate the expectations set forth by the FCC and demonstrate confident in each interpreter’s ability to meet the FCC regulation (Northouse, 2013). Wieseke et al. (2011) found managers who used charismatic elements had a strong ability to motivate and empower followers (as cited in Coget, 2011). Effective use of the charismatic leadership style would lead to a “can do” attitude by VRS interpreters reducing burnout and positively facilitating consumers’ calls.
Braniff Airways provides an organizational scenario for transformational leadership. In the 1980’s, Braniff was a struggling airline with a limited operating fund, low employee morale and disgruntled customers. The airline needed significant changes. Transformational leadership was an appropriate style as the style focused on people; an organization’s most valuable asset.
Within the transformational leadership style, change occurs because of the connection between leaders and followers. Howard Putnam, Braniff’s new leader, connected with employees by working alongside them and behaving ethically when employees were stealing from...