Do you prioritize tasks completed every day? Do certain tasks have a level of importance that is greater than other tasks? The Bass transformational leadership theory is all about the structure of the environment. The goal is to create an organization that is based on structure because the structure produces better work. By incorporating a level of task importance, people become motivated to complete work quickly because they are motivated by the deadlines that are drawn.
How Do Leaders Transform Followers?
In this theory of transformational leadership, there are three ways that are used by leaders to transform their followers.
1. A higher level of awareness is placed on the value of each task and its associated importance.
2. Being a team player becomes more important than pursuing individual interests while working on important tasks.
3. Each employee must have their higher order needs activated in order to succeed.
To achieve this transformation, Bass determined that charisma was a necessary part of the process. It isn’t sufficient on its own to create change, but it is necessary to engage followers so that they will want to be changing on their own. Strong emotions tend to evoke strong responses. Appealing logic and reason can also create the foundation of change in employees. Under this leadership theory, each leader must be able to recognize the needs of change for each employee, and then be able to effectively implement them though that transformation can be achieved.
There Must Be a Level of Authenticity
No one can change anyone except themselves. You cannot force someone to change. Under this transformational leadership theory, what the leader is doing is providing the information that is necessary for change to occur. In order to provide this information, the leader must have a level of authenticity that is associated with them. If a team does not believe their leader is being authentic, then that team will not have a sufficient motivation to change.
There is a direct correlation with morality and authenticity. A leader must be grounded in firm moral foundations in order to transform through influence, stimulation, and motivation. Although morality can vary from person to person, every society has grounded with in it certain moral absolutes. Having ethical values that are based on society’s moral absolutes is 100% critical for success under this leadership theory. Without the presence of a reputation of making consistent, ethical choices, a leader of using this transformational theory will never experience true success.
What is unique about this transformational theory of leadership is that Bass saw all of this as a negative component of leadership instead of a positive component. He attributed the skills to people that we would normally consider to be amoral, like Adolf Hitler. What he later discovered was that what could be used for immoral purposes could also be used for moral purposes.
Change for the sake of change is not transformation. Change to achieve a higher level of morality, however, is the foundation of the Bass transformational leadership theory