Transformational Leadership in Managing Subordinates


According to research, many scientists agree that participative and consultative management methods are the most efficient (Chartered Management Institute 2013). The scholars hold that the era of authoritarian leadership and management styles is long gone. Chartered Management Institute (2013) argues that the success of leadership or management approach depends on individual characteristics and circumstances.

Hence, no exceptional leadership or management approach can be considered to be the most ideal. This article will analyse the advantages and disadvantages of one leadership model. Additionally, it will discuss the effects of good and bad leadership skills on subordinates. Finally, the article will give recommendations on how leaders can apply leadership skills to generate real results.

The Similarities and Differences Between Management and Leadership

Leadership and Management Theories

Numerous theories elaborate on the leadership and management approaches that different individuals adopt. The contingency theory of the leadership holds that ‘managers make a decision based on the situation at hand rather than a “one size fits all” method’ (Derue et al. 2011, p. 21). A manager has to analyse a situation before making a decision. Conversely, the participative leadership theory posits that a good leader encourages his/her followers to participate in decision-making. The theory maintains that a leader should make members feel valued.

Leadership Model

Scholars have come up with various leadership models, such as transformational leadership. The model refers to a style of leadership where a leader works with subordinates to identify needed changes, creating a vision to guide the change through inspiration, and executing the move in tandem with committed members of a group’ (Van Buren 2008, p. 637). The primary strength of this model is the capacity of a leader to formulate a vision that can boost organisational growth. Conversely, the model has a tendency to depend on zeal and emotions such that it ignores reality.

Management and Leadership

Many times, people use the terms management and leadership interchangeably. Nonetheless, the two words are not synonymous. Agho (2009, p. 49) claims, ‘Leadership is the main component of change that provides vision and dedication necessary for its realisation’. Individuals acquire leadership skills through interaction, education, practice, and experience. Conversely, management refers to the art of setting and realising institutional goals through coordination, organisation, monitoring, evaluation and training. Management deals with the administrative features of an organisation. Agho (2009) holds that leadership is a constituent of the management.

The Most Effective Approach to Managing the Work of Subordinates

Transformational leadership is the best approach in dealing with subordinates. Derue et al. (2011) argue that transformational leaders can influence their subordinates. The leaders encourage followers to shelf their interests for the sake of the organisation. Transformational leaders are creative. They help their assistants to establish organisational goals and work towards their realisation. In most cases, transformational leaders are fervent about transforming the organisation.

As a result, they inspire their followers. A good example of a transformational leader is Steve Jobs, the former chief executive officer of Apple. Jobs inspired his subordinates, leading to remarkable innovation in Apple Company. Another example of a transformational leader is Richard Branson. He has used his inspirational and charismatic qualities to build one of the most renowned business empires.

Excellent leadership skills promote innovation amid the subordinates and enhance their performance. Bill Gates is one of the leaders who exude good leadership competencies in the technological industry. Through his leadership, Microsoft became a leader in software development. Conversely, Blackberry is a good example of how bad leadership may impact the performance of the subordinates. The company dominated the smartphone industry for a long time. Nevertheless, bad leadership has made it hard for the aides to keep pace with the changes in the technological industry. Presently, Blackberry has lost the smartphone business to Samsung.

I concur with the point of view that the Chartered Management Institute (2013) suggests. There is no single way of managing an organisation. Organisational leaders ought to alter their management styles based on circumstances. The situational approach to management supports the position of the Chartered Management Institute (2013). A leader has to change his/her leadership style according to the development level of the subordinates. Further, changes in circumstances influence the needs of various stakeholders within an organisation. Hence, a leader has to change his/her leadership style to satisfy the needs that arise.

As a member of a team, I would like to be led by a leader who dedicates his/her time to imparting knowledge on subordinates. I prefer to work with a leader who serves as a role model to subordinates and helps them to achieve their full potential. Two examples of such leaders are Steve Jobs and Richard Branson. The two leaders promote employee empowerment as a way to assist subordinates in nurturing their talents.


Managers can use leadership skills in different ways to enhance employee performance. The managers should identify the differences amid employees and ensure that they consider those differences when setting goals for the workers. Additionally, managers should use leadership skills to educate employees in the subtleties of professionalism in the organisation.

Reference List

Agho, A 2009, ‘Perspectives of senior-level executives on effective followership and leadership’, Leadership & Organisational Studies, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 47-63.

Chartered Management Institute 2013, Understanding Management Styles. 2016. Web.

Derue, S, Nahrgang, J, Wellman, N & Humphrey, S 2011, ‘Trait and behavioral theories of leadership: an integration and meta-analytic test of their relative validity’, Personnel Psychology, vol. 64, no. 1, pp. 7-52.

Van Buren, H 2008, ‘Fairness and the main management theories of the twentieth century: A historical review, 1900-1965’, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 82, no. 3, pp. 633-644.