Leadership theories in a changing context.

Dorfman’s statement, ‘If we think of leadership research as flowing as a stream, it flows in a meandering, intertwining and constantly shifting manner’, creates the perfect example of how leadership works and in particular the hybrid nature of leadership styles which borrow from each other.

I am a finance manager for a veterinary university in which I have to supervise and delegate to three or four staff. I also work with other veterinarians and hospital staff at another three animal hospital sites. Dealing with this large and diverse of a workforce in the healthcare system, it was imperative that I already have developed and used my existing leadership skills. “Leadership cannot exist without followership” (Conger 1990). This helps highlight the relationship that is shared between both leader and follower. We work together as a collective and without the followers. there is no need to lead. It is also important to distinguish between the two different types of leaders: the maximum man and the minimum man. The maximum man is the charismatic leader who inspires change and the minimum man is a manager interested in maintaining the status quo (Conger & Kanungo 1998). There are two leadership styles in particular that I utilize on a daily basis: transformational leadership and transactional leadership.

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Transformational leadership is a leadership style in which the leader works on transforming the individual by helping develop them. According to Sendjaya and Sarros (2002), transformational leadership can be described that, “it raises the level of human conduct and ethical aspiration of both leader and led”. This means that transformational leadership transcends to effect both the leader and the follower. It transcends the work environment to influence moral and personality development. In particular this comes into play when I teach a new topic or skill to those following me. It requires both patience as well as effective communication skills.

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