At the top of the structure there is the tactical and strategic planning board. There you’ll find the leaders instead of the managers. There are the people who are influencing, guiding the organization or elements of the organization towards a direction. They are the people with the pro-active actions, setting the course (Bennis 2009). The Tactical and strategic board is there to model the way ahead and inspire a shared vision. They must enable others to act and they were leading the way and challenged the process (M. Kouzes & Z. Posner 2007).
At the level below the tactical and strategic board there was the operational board with a more transactional style of leadership. The strategic board also used a transactional style when needed, if an exchange of behavior had to be rewarded for some reason (Burns 1978). But for the tactical and strategic board the transformational style was most important. This was different for the operational layers where the transactional style was leading. They rewarded you when you delivered and they punished you when you did not deliver. What they did was leading by exception in an active way. While it is less motivating, it was useful because at that level you'll find the operational managers and they were more concerned about the numbers and the figures and getting them right (Bass 1985).
Interesting to mention is the fact that the strategic board used both transformational and transactional leadership while the operational board used only the transactional style. It must be said that negotiating with the operational layers was not very inspirational. Only the figures were discussed and it was not very motivating to become creative in such sessions (Bass 1985).
At my level I was free to use leadership as I seemed fit. That was nice and gave me some freedom. I say some because there was always the operational board hunting for my figures. That means that I had to use a part of the transactional task oriented style when I demanded some tasks to be done after which I rewarded people for doing so. I did this in an active way. The transformational part of leadership I used for delegating responsibilities and giving the people a feeling of freedom in what they did.
This motivated them more and combined with the transactional and task oriented part of my leadership style, it gave me what I wanted: the tasks were done and the people felt motivated, responsible, showed initiative and creativity in what they did. I tried to use inspirational and intellectual motivation and the individualized consideration in some ways. This was not only fun, but it also made the transactional and task oriented part of my leadership style more acceptable and sometimes even invisible and unseen (Bass 1985).
At the levels below mine were the team leads and the managers. There was some room for transformational elements, but not much. It was almost only task oriented. These managers created tasks in some tool or application and the testers and developers had to finish them in sequential order. These managers had to have a focus on planning, controlling and organizing. The people doing the test and development tasks were only task oriented. Here the transformational and emotional part was useful. It could make the working force creative and innovative in the tasks they were doing. If they felt understood, listened to and respected, then they felt themselves taken seriously and responsible for the final solution (M. Kouzes & Z. Posner 2007).
It is interesting to see how well the leadership models can be used through an organogram and how it can clarify the inner workings of this structure. It could help me use my leadership abilities more effective and it can help organizations to create a better understanding of how and why they are doing particular things.
Bass, B 1985, Leadership and performance beyond expectations, 1st edn, The Free Press, New York.
Bennis, W 2009, On Becoming a Leader, 2nd edn, Basic Books, New York.
Burns, JM 1978, Transformational Leadership, 1st edn, Harper Perennial, New York.
M. Kouzes, J & Z. Posner, B 2007, The Leadership Challenge, Four edn, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, San Fransisco.