Friday, November 26, 2004

Transformational Leadership Fits Entrepreneurship, Not Always Corporate Culture!

In (Online Recruitment, U.K.)

Transformational leadership begins with different beliefs about oneself and others. The first changing belief is that leadership isn’t a job but a way of being. The second is that, whereas in the past leadership meant power and control over others, today leadership beliefs begin with a desire to enable others to realize their own power and leadership potential. Thirdly, leadership in the past was based on believing it made people do things that you wanted done whereas, today, leadership is about a mutual relationship where each can transcend to a worthy purpose and behave with moral fibre, courage, integrity and trust.

In 1990 Judy Rosener published an article that showed how her research had found that women tended to be more transformational than men who tended to be more transactional. She argued that women encouraged participation in power and information and sought to enhance the status of employees. If we look at women entrepreneurs, such as Steve Shirley of F1 and Anita Roddick of Body Shop, a different leadership does emerge from that of many men.

Other interesting findings in this article published in the U.K.:

• It was found that women, on average, were more effective and satisfying to work for as well as more likely to generate ‘extra effort’ from their people.

• Women measured higher on all of the four elements of the transformational leadership tool, but the difference was closest on intellectual stimulation (men were better at intervening to correct followers’ mistakes).

• Women were more likely to be trusted and respected and show greater concern for individual needs.

• Women tend to be more nurturing, caring and sensitive than men and that these characteristics are more aligned with transformational leadership.

• Other studies since have found no significant differences in transformational leadership and gender in managers in equivalent positions. Is this because women are now being promoted by taking on male attributes or that men today are changing?


... What I have found is that when gender and transformational leadership is studied there is a remarkable difference when the women in the study are entrepreneurs rather than corporate women. ***Women entrepreneurs were much more likely to be transformational. With many women choosing to leave corporate life for self-employment, it is clear that transformational leadership doesn’t always fit the corporate culture.***

This excellent article goes on further to provide four ways in which women can bring their transformational leadership skills into the forefront whether it be through corporate work, entrepreneurship or using it on boards of companies and in public appointments.

To read the entire thought-provoking piece, visit: The Role of Gender in Transformational Leadership

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