Turn on YOUR Ideas !
"Implementing A New Technology"
In order to integrate new technology into a company, the change requires a leadership style that advocates the positive impact of the new technology. On top of having to implement change, the followers in the company must believe in the process of the change, a component that typically isn’t easy if followers are used to having a certain approach to their current process. The transforming changes in the workplace must be seen by followers as a benefit to the needs, values and morals of each employee. In order to do this, the company must market the technology to the employees much like they would to a customer. The first step is to create the best leadership team to help you market the technology which is going to be implemented, and let them distribute the branded message of the change. Hearing one message from multiple people, multiple ways will help the follower’s resistance. This message will create the new culture for the technology and this is the biggest key with transformational changes. The leader, or the leadership team, must believe in the product, show the followers that you live and sleep the changes. Secondly, don’t over sell the product to your team. This isn’t the end all be all of technologies but this product will change lives.
Create a culture of learning about the product, “people helping people, its powerful stuff.” (Wedding Crashers).
Finally, prove that this technology is not just about making more money, believe that this new change will help with more than the bottom line. This final piece is most important in convincing people of the change.
Steve Jobs (1955-2011)
"Father of the Digital Revolution"
Renowned for his Passion, Flawed by his Obsession
Steve Jobs was a transformational leader based upon Burns' classic definition of transformational leadership, which states that leaders will tap the motives of followers in order to better reach organizational goals (Northouse, 2016). Jobs literally started from the bottom and worked his way up to become one of the most influential entrepreneurs in the world. Jobs started Apple in the garage of his parents' house and at the time of his death, Jobs was worth an estimated $8 billion (Isaacson, 2011). The success of Steve Jobs can be credited to his vision and the connection that he established with his followers, which raised their level of motivation. He led by example through his persistence and intelligence.
Jobs persistence and perfectionism were illustrated in his products in which he was constantly innovating and modifying for user friendliness and adaptability. His vision, and ultimate goal, was that the computer would change the world.
He felt the computer would change the way business is conducted and the way teachers educated in the classroom. There is little doubt that Jobs raised his followers' level of consciousness. Additionally, Jobs was able to get his followers to buy into a fundamental concept of transformational leadership. Jobs successfully transcended their own self-interest and helped his followers address high-level needs (Northouse, 2016). However, Jobs was missing one essential transformational leadership personality trait-charisma. Jobs did not care about the relationships that developed throughout his career due to his intense focus on his professional development and his products. He was a task oriented leader that drove his followers to build outstanding and innovative products. Despite his passion, Jobs was voted out of Apple in the early nineties because many on the board viewed his obsessive style as a cancer to the company. However, on the verge of bankruptcy in 1997, Apple once again requested the services of Jobs as interim CEO. Jobs would eventually become Apple's CEO and bring the company back to profitability by 1998 (Isaacson, 2011).
How great leaders inspire action
"Inspired by Great Leaders"
The ability to inspire creates innovative changes. The way we communicate needs to occur from in inside out as presented in the video above. “All the great inspiring leaders and organizations in the world, whether it's Apple or Martin Luther King or the Wright brothers, they all think, act and communicate the exact same way” (Simon, 2014). The approach to how one presents their ideas are inspired through why, how and what.
Simon (2014) states, "great leaders challenge the status quo by reversing the order of information. People don't respond to what you do, they respond to "why" you do "what" you do."
Communicating why you do what you do targets feelings inspiring behavior, in turn, controling decision making. A united belief bonds the understanding to reach the end goal. Inspired leaders and inspired organizations -- regardless of their size, regardless of their industry -- all think, act and communicate from the inside out (Simon, 2014). Start with “why” you believe in what you do. Leaders create followers through inspired reason.
Ethical Leadership Reflects Transformational
Transformational leadership results in inspiring ordinary people to achieve extraordinary performance and develop their organizations by accomplishing determined goals and objectives (Burns, 1978). It enriches and reinforces values and ethics among the people. Leaders engage their followers reflecting qualities through actions.
“transforming the values and priorities of followers and motivating them to perform beyond their expectations,”(Transformational, 2015).
Transformational leaders demonstrate trust and confidence in their team members and set high ethical and moral standards. They radiate energy and enthusiasm. They believe in their people and their potential. They focus the energies of their people to derive the best from them. Above all, these leaders emphasize more on the means and ultimately accomplish their ends as well (Rao, 2014).
Five principles of Ethical Leadership(PSU, 2015).
Transformational Case Study
Team 1: Cathleen Dillen, Clayton Adams, Steven Kresl, Mega Osorio,and Susan Wells
Transformational leadership requires individual qualities that stimulates its employees through the influence of communicative skills that encourage behavioral adjustments and adaptability in applying individual consideration, intellectual stimulation, idealized influence and inspirational motivation while implicating ethical policies that shift an organization to empower its employees with positive changes, moving the organization to a higher purpose with productive means.
The Star Tech Story*
Creating a Transformational Legacy
Personal computers have been popular for over two decades, and people have been able to harness that power in the form of cell phones and other transportable devices for years as well. Star Tech is a computer technology company with about 500 employees trained in computer technology that has incredibly unique interfacing qualities.
The problem is, Star Tech has not been able to create anything that displays this feature and catches traction with consumers. Sales are down, and they are concerned they will begin to suffer profit margin losses in the upcoming annual review. With a substantial operational budget, Martin and Joan, co owners of Star Tech, are concerned the company will continue trending downward without a strategic plan and they will have to resort to covering their losses with stored capital.
Walsh Technologies, Dan Walsh, CEO, a smaller productive and promising company has proposed a merger with the two companies. Merging Star Tech's employees and their unique interfacing abilities with his devices and training program, will create a system that could be duplicated and thereafter offered to the public as a device that can interface with products and services, setting the Star Tech company on the cutting edge of technology.
While Martin and Joan are impressed with what he has accomplished on a smaller scale, the board is not prepared to hand over the reins of Star-tech just yet. There are a few reservations about how his vision will translate to a company this large.
Who will lead the merger and what approach would be best suited for introducing a change in organizational structure?
What type of strategic plan will Dan present and what evidence is provided to gain trust and provide the board with a concrete vision for a final decision?
Dan immediately requests a meeting with the board to define his plan further. Dan tactfully points out the losses they are incurring are partially resulting from the lack of leadership intervention that could stimulate growth through a transformational approach. Dan explains: Star tech group has been operating on a Laissez-Faire approach or outside the transactional transformational continuum as a hands off organization. The benefits of changing the approach through transformational leadership would bring the company to an ultimate level of operations through a unique marketing plan and intellectual concept, a path to jump start the business professionally.
Martin and Joan feel a transformational approach would be best for merging the company and feel strongly about introducing Dan's new technological change. The board is still apprehensive and recognize Dan as a little eccentric, displaying an obsessive compulsion with devices which seems to create a distraction for the board. In-spite of the distraction, the board continues to listen to Dan's theology on how implementing technology through a strategic marketing plan will benefit the Star Tech organization. Dan establishes the confidence in his belief of what he has created on a small scale and “why” his belief in device technology will create the innovation needed for the Star Tech company. Dan is convicted in his belief, presenting an inside out approach by defining "why" to form a bond of inspiration with the board members, radiating enthusiasm, drawing everyone to a united vision and strategic end goal.
Additionally, Dan offers to supply new technological devices at half cost, a training program and suggests he should be appointed to provide budget assistance and oversight within the marketing sector of Star Tech. After his presentation, Dan immediately resorts back to his obsession with the new devices. He issues each board member a device and begins a hands on demonstration. Dan's outstanding quality is human compassion and it shows in his conscientious nature taking a personal interest in showing each member how the device operates. Throughout each demonstration, he is answers each question and personally addresses each individuals concern. His compassion and authentic moral behaviors outweigh his zealous nature, gaining the trust of the board, winning them over in-spite of his personal compulsive trait.
Dan's characteristics as a leader provided a vision and a strategic marketing plan that convinced the board to follow his lead. Through his presentation and extension of humanistic qualities, he drew the board into a hands on experience. He set the stage for transforming the company through his enthusiasm and working towards achieving a higher goal. The board is so impressed with him that not only do they offer him a position of marketing director with a budget allowance but a salary exceeding his current earnings. The board of Star Tech decides to purchase this company along with the contract and adopt the new concepts presented by Dan Walsh.
Implementing the Program:
Dan calls a company wide “meeting.” He is well spoken and charismatic, but more than that, he is inspirational. Dan presents his story: working three jobs to put himself through college, taking his old company from a one-room apartment with a rented desk to a thriving fifty-employee company. Every person in the audience feels as if they are being spoken to personally. Again, Dan presented "why" and created a united belief as he passed on the sense that inventing and improving upon products isn’t just a part of ethical work, it is a piece of them that will continue on in the evolution of technology.
Everyone feels a personal bond investment in providing as much of their energy as possible. Dan spends the next three weeks providing individualized meetings within group settings to address the employees, listening to their ideas, offering feedback, and connecting ideas.
The first phase of the program will be to establish an online study certification program leading to credentialing and eventually higher positions within the company for those who dedicate their time and effort towards a higher attainment. He provides paid meeting times for employees who have established these groups to work together twice a week as long as progress logs are made available through the company's network. Dan takes the budget that has plummeted and divides it into different types of marketing campaigns; he personally selects and hires a motivated young group of marketers that can work with the current employees on what the market needs and how to package the new ideas in a way that will make them want it as well.
Don even comes to meetings to help with issues and provide insight on the next stages of development. Within the first year, Dan increases Star Techs profitability by 40% and has decreased employee turnover by 80%. He places a representative from the staff and the marketing team as floating members on the board so that the movement of the company is better poised to trend along with the market. He makes his personal discussion/marketing rounds at the beginning and middle of every year to stimulate interested and to keep idealized production concepts fresh.
The employees are energized and feel appreciated, and the company is taking off! The system that Dan has created hasn’t just shaken things up, he has created a legacy that will continue to benefit the company and with a renown product and unique system that can be duplicated and designed specific for the public sector.
Dan Walsh's illustration of transformational leadership is reminiscent of ex-Apple CEO, Steve Jobs. Dan motivates and empowers Star Tech employees to move beyond their level of expectations and past the status quo (Kark, 2003). His leadership provided sound reason for why Star Tech would succeed, uniting all levels of the organization. He skillfully includes incentives such as establishing online study certification programs and developing inventive new marketing teams. Star Tech has embraced Dan as a visionary thinker that is not afraid to take calculated risks (Transformational, 2015).
While Dan is charismatic, he goes beyond the four factors of transformational leadership coined by Bass (1985). Dan uses his work ethic and the compelling story of his own business startup to motivate Star Tech's employees to commit to a new shared vision of the technology company demonstrating his abilities to inspire intellectual stimulation within his employee base (Transformational, 2015).
Dan's credentialing program for Star Tech employees provides intellectual stimulation for his followers in hopes of attaining more creative and innovative ideas, which seeks to challenge their standard beliefs of what a technology company can achieve (Transformational, 2015). His personal rounds and attendance at meetings demonstrates role model leadership behavior to his leadership team and employees. This ideal influence, along with his ethical conduct with his employees, solidifies his transformational role in the company (Transformational, 2015). The supportive climate Dan has established at Star Tech, along with his individualized consideration through coaching and advising his leadership team, encourages employees to move towards full actualization. Dan has successfully moved the company away from its Laissez-Faire management style (Northouse, 2016) and past transactional leadership (Transformational, 2015) where there is little organizational change and employees perform for monetary awards. Dan has developed a truly transformational leadership team. Utilizing his confidence, competence, and moral values Dan created a culture (MIT, 2015) at Star Tech in which followers can exchange ideas and try creative new technological solutions. Star Tech was lacking a strategic plan towards technological innovations. With Dan's strategic plan in place, employees can identify, embrace, and trust his shared vision of the company. By fostering collaboration and celebrating employee accomplishment, Dan is creating a legacy (Rao,2014) for Star Tech in the technology industry.
There are several contributing factors as to why Dan's transformational leadership successfully increased Star Tech's profit margins by an astonishing 40%. The first was that Dan was always prepared and he did his homework. Dan was aware that research indicated that transformational leadership was effective in a variety of different settings. Due to his success with his own start up, he knew that employees flourished in an environment where their ideas and thoughts could be discussed with leadership. This collaborative culture, along with Dan's commitment to each employee's growth through the introduction of credentialing programs, are great strengths of his transformational leadership. Dan applied ethical principles (PSU, 2015) in all aspects of management that gained the respect of his new employees. Dan's ethical track record spurred employees to create innovative products that Star Tech capitalized on. His ability to create a shared vision (Lindsay, 2015) to overcome Star Tech's management and innovations problems was introduced at a pivotal point in Star Tech history. It was Dan's enthusiasm and rhetoric skills that convinced the board to listen to his plan. His character and self confidence built solidarity and trust within the company and his attention to building a personal bond and the emotional state of employees made his plan successful. However, like Jobs' obsession with his products at Apple, Dan's leadership style did have weaknesses. His eccentricity and obsession with the technology almost cost Dan the board's approval.
The employee role in Star Tech's success cannot be overlooked. Star Tech employees knew their company was suffering from decreased profit margins, which was the trend for several years. Dan's vision was a solution to their organization's problems. The vision created a new excitement among the employees resulting in increased performance. This new excitement and a comprehensive strategic plan encouraged employees to be unconventional in their product development and follow Dan. Dan's charisma and personal bonds encouraged employees to expect more from themselves and work harder to achieve the shared vision for Star Tech (Transformational, 2015).
*The replicated logo and created business name above is fictional, created for the sole purpose of educational example and demonstration. This story is not affiliated with the company name Sea Star nor reflects any of its policies or organizational structures.
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