The following analysis has been conducted with perspective of transformational leadership and change management in mind. Furthermore, benchmarks were gathered for the situation faced by Janet Angelo as the Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Intersect Investment Services. Janet was originally selected for her expertise in executing a "Customer Intimacy" model at two other companies; most recently at a financial institution. Janet was able to improve customer loyalty and increase sales in all of the previous positions she held. Moving from a traditional customer service relationship to a more modern customer intimacy model often requires major organizational reorganization; however Janet had the opportunity to implement these changes over a three-year period. The position at Intersect has only allotted twelve months. This will require that Janet practice transformational leadership practices in order to ensure that the organization will adapt to the new model.
Transformational Leadership Traits
With the changing business environment, the role of transformational leadership is increasingly important for organizations to be successful. Transformational leadership particularly is considered to be the most effective among the numerous leadership theories (Judge & Bono, 2000). A transformational leader will try to motivate their followers to reach their full potential by setting more challenging expectations and thus achieving higher group performances. Because transformational leadership is correlated with success, many researchers have tried to determine the basis of transformational leadership, and found that some personality traits are helpful in predicting transformational leadership.
Transformational leadership demands to the moral values of followers, transforming their goals into organizational goals and mustering their energy and resources to reform organizational processes. Some have defined transformational leadership as a leader's ability to push followers beyond their immediate self-interests. Others have claimed that it uplifts the follower's level of maturity, his or her ideals, as well as his or her concern for the achievement, self-actualization, and well-being of others, of organizations, and of society generally. Of the three theories of leadership that are common, this one conceivably has the most relevance to the ideals associated with the situation that Janet faces.
Bass (1988) proposed four components of transformational leadership: First, Idealized influence refers to a leader's abilities such as dedication, a strong sense of purpose and perseverance, and a confidence in the purpose and actions of the group, that helps to ensure the success of the group and gives followers a sense of empowerment and ownership. Followers respect, admire, and trust such a leader. They view the leader as more charismatic and more of a role model with extraordinary capabilities, consistent, and demonstrating high standards of ethical and moral conduct. Second, Inspirational Motivation refers to a leader's ability to articulate to followers a clear, appealing, and inspiring vision.
A leader who provides such motivation displays enthusiasm, optimism, and commitment to goals can motivate an organization. Third, Intellectual Stimulation refers to a leader's ability to embolden followers to question assumptions, challenge the status quo, view problems from new perspectives, and develop novel approaches. Finally, the fourth, Individualized Consideration focuses on a leader's ability to advance follower development by providing support, encouragement, and coaching. All of these skills should be of great interest to Janet.
Intersect recently hired Janet Angelo for the position of Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales specifically to implement a Customer Intimacy model in her department. Janet has been successful in implementing the customer intimacy model in other companies; however, Janet seems to lack in charismatic leadership skills which are needed to motivate employees. Janet may find it informative to study and benchmark known transformational leaders such as Steve Jobs or Meg Whitman. Steve Jobs is often accredited with transforming the culture at Apple Computers on several instances to save it from eminent doom. Whitman, on the other hand, was known for her ability to motivate her employees on an unparalleled level to inspire them to perform at higher levels at EBay. Each of these individuals could provide insights into how Janet could facilitate organizational change through transformational leadership styles.
Meg Whitman, CEO of the internet auction site eBay, displays quite a few traits of both charismatic and transformational leadership. Whitman moved from a firmly structured, customary corporate environment at Hasbro's Playskool division into more of a T-shirt and jeans atmosphere of…