According to Capezio and Morehouse (1997), “Leadership is the ability to influence individuals or groups to think, feel and take positive action to achieve goals.” Situational leadership theory argues that leadership styles are formed from combining relationship and task behavior. From the case scenario, executive A exhibits level 5 leadership style, while leader B exhibits transactional leadership style. On the other hand, leader C portrays transformational leadership style.
Level 5 leaders usually channel their efforts into establishing successful organizations rather than being egocentric. This is evident from the scenario. Executive A is described as “driven, fiercely ambitious, and entirely focused on the success of the company.” This illustrates how executive A is more interested in building a successful firm rather than attaining personal goals. Moreover, the case reports that executive A was able to build the company from the brink of collapse to a profit making corporation that has seen its share price plummet. Level 5 leaders are also argued to possess exceptional blend of professional will and personal humility. From the case, executive A is said to shy away from the attention of the media and often credits the success of the firm to other leaders. This indicates that executive A has humility in addition to his professionalism that has enabled him to spearhead the firm to success. The fact that executive A has been able to influence other employees at the firm indicates that he has other basic leadership qualities such as team skills, individual capability, ability to stimulate others and managerial competence that additionally characterize level 5 leaders. It can therefore be concluded that executive A is a level 5 leader.
Transactional leaders are said to reward efforts of their employees. These leaders promise to reward good performance and they recognize achievements. From the case, it is reported that leader B believes in “rewarding good performance and recognizing employee accomplishments.” This is in line with the characteristics of transactional leaders. It is also reported that leader B is involved in establishing clear goals and guiding subordinates toward attaining these goals. This is in line with Robbins and Judge (2007) argument that transactional leaders manage actively by exception through watching and searching for deviations and taking corrective measures. Robbins and Judge (2007) also argue that transactional leaders manage passively by exception through interventions only when standards are unmet. This is evident from the scenario since it is reported that leader B considers the subordinate to be personally at fault when things go wrong with a delegated task; he also is said to issue punishment for failures. Finally, Robbins and Judge (2007) argue that transactional leaders abdicate responsibilities. This is also evident in the case since leader C is said to believe that when a task is delegated to a subordinate, the subordinate is fully responsible for that task.
Transformational leaders are claimed to have idealized influence through provision of vision and mission, and instilling pride (Robbins & Judge, 2007). This is reflected in the case scenario when leader C is described as being passionate about vision and instilling a sense of pride in the corporation. Robbins and Judge (2007) also argue that transformational leaders inspire people by communicating high expectation. This is evident in the case scenario when leader C is described as the one who continually sets high expectations for subordinates and advocates for inspiration of subordinates. Leader C is also said to have pride in instituting a rational approach to problem-solving at the corporation. This is in line with Robbins and Judge (2007) argument that transformational leaders are involved in promotion of rationality and intelligence in problem resolution. Transformational leaders are also said to give personalized attention to their subordinates. This is reflected in leader C when he is said to strive to remember employee’s birthdays and other special events.
According to Robbins and Judge (2007), transactional leadership allows leaders to identify the needs of their followers and to help their followers to attain a level of performance that is satisfactory. Therefore, if leader B replaces executive A, the employees are likely to increase their performance that will be rewarding to the employees. This will in turn prove that the corporation remains successful.
Robbins and Judge (2007) also argue that transformational leadership enables employees to go an extra mile beyond their common self-interests. Moreover, transformational leaders are able to motivate and inspire employees to attain results that outweigh what is initially planned. They also help workers to attain internal rewards. Thus, if leader C replaces executive A, the workforce is likely to work extra hard to exceed their self interests. The workforce will also be able to attain internal rewards. This will in turn enable the firm to be more successful than ever before.