Identify one theory of leadership and how you will apply the concepts to school environments.
The theory of leadership that I most connect with is Transformational Leadership. Leadership expert, James McGregor Burns first talked about this type of leadership in his 1978 book titled Leadership. He described this type of leadership as a “process in which leaders and followers help each other to advance to a higher level of morale and motivation”. (Burns, 1978). He believed that “through the strength of their vision and personality, transformational leaders would be able to inspire followers to change expectations, perceptions, and motivations to work towards common goals.” (Cherry, 2016). Another researcher by the name of Bernard Bass expanded on Burns’ research and theory. He is known as the “Father of Transformational Leadership” and is even credited with coining the term.(Gorton) Leadership researcher and author Dr. Ronald Riggio co-authored a book with Bass in which they describe transformational leaders as “those who stimulate and inspire followers to both achieve extraordinary outcomes and, in the process, develop their own leadership capacity. Transformational leaders help followers grow and develop into leaders by responding to individual followers’ needs by empowering them and by aligning the objectives and goals of the individual followers, the leader, the group, and the larger organization.”(2009)
I connect with this theory of leadership for many reasons. One of the reasons being that this model encourages challenges and the empowerment of my staff. As a transformational leader, I will challenge my followers to not be okay with just status quo. I want a staff that will be innovative and creative – not afraid to try new things and keep trying until we find what works. I will also challenge them to never stop learning and seeking out opportunities to enhance their knowledge. I intend to have a staff that is collaborative and who share in the decision making. I also plan to be an inspirational leader. I want my staff to not only know my vision because I have articulated it to them but to see my passion and motivation in everything that I do. I do not want to be known as the administrator who can “talk the talk” but not “walk the walk.” I want people to be so inspired by the passion and actions they see from me that they will want to join my cause and become motivated to be agents of change themselves. Another huge component of this style of leadership is relationship building. Transformational leaders are known for supporting and encouraging their followers as well by demonstrating genuine concern for the needs and feelings those they are responsible for. This helps build trust and respect between the leader and their followers.
According to Riggio, research has shown that “groups led by transformational leaders have higher levels of performance and satisfaction than groups led by other types of leaders,”(Riggio, 2009). He further explains that “transformational leaders believe that their followers can do their best, leading members of the group to feel inspired and empowered.”