Abraham Lincoln Transformational Style of Leaders
Abraham Lincoln was the most powerful leader and emerged as the greatest Presidents in America. He rose from a humble and modest beginning to the heights of country’s highest office through determination and honesty. He was a leader that many aspiring and current leaders in leadership positions would wish to emulate. During his tenure, Abraham Lincoln applied transformational leadership styles when leading his followers. Transactional and transformational are opposites and completely oppose each other under leadership styles and they are applied in motivation and management theories (Choudhary, Akhtar, & Zaheer, 2013).
Transformational leaders like Abraham Lincoln takes a broader view of managing beyond daily operations and come up with strategies that would enable followers that act under their leadership achieve the next level of performance and success. Transformational being one of the styles in leadership concentrates on motivation, teambuilding and collaboration of all involved parties and staffs to accomplish changes that would bring about drastic improvements and hence improving the standards of living for all (Choudhary et al, 2013). Transformational leaders focus on setting goals and allocating incentives that would entice followers who could be either employees or citizens of a nation to increase their levels of performances while still creating opportunities for professional and personal growth among them. This could be through motivating them by empowering, continuous trainings, bestowing trust on them, and creating proper communication channels. When applying this style of leadership, leader work collaboratively with the followers towards achieving a shared vision and mission. This improves on efficiency and effectiveness enabling economic and social growth. Transformation leadership creates conducive environment where all the involved parties feel empowered and encouraged to an extent of taking risks when generating new ideas (Choudhary et al, 2013).
Lincoln transformational abilities as a leader are evidenced by his ability in different and varying views. First, he had high degree of acquiring respect, loyalty, and trust of followers. Secondly, he had ability, which he used when inspiring people to keep on making sacrifices despite the hardship they experienced for the better of nation. The third way in which his transformational leadership style could be evaluated is through his effectiveness appeal to followers’ ethical values, which could inspire them to develop moral consciousness. This was evidenced in messages that soldiers sent to their relatives showing their loyalty and trust towards Lincoln. For instance, Pennsylvania soldier sent message to his relatives informing them about his willingness to fight for the country, which is worth respect, and fighting. The loyalty also is observed on how soldiers used to carry Lincoln small photos in their knapsacks indicating great devotion towards their president. Lincoln used to treat his followers with respect and courtesy regardless of their positions for example, he could invite and listen patiently to their requests and try to come up with solution for their problems irrespective of triviality of the matter. Lincoln collaboratively worked with his followers, which indicated his willingness to carry responsibility even in the battlefield and experience the similar pain experienced by his soldiers (Altman, Hodgetts, & Valenzi, 2013).
Abraham Lincoln was more than a president but a leader with leadership characteristics that many present day leaders in businesses and executives would benefit from emulating. He could face difficulties when executing a vision, managing competitive priorities and leading his people to join him in implementation and achievements of a common vision.
Lincoln was a master listener even though he dealt with many conflicting views and personalities just like any other leader he could listen to his followers irrespective of their positions and ranks. Citizens were at liberty to oppose his opinions without fear of vengeance and he could listen to their points of view free from discriminations and make final decision after listening to people’s competing ideas and processing their views. This is a key leadership characteristics that could assist current leaders get in touch and learn about the issues affecting their followers, which could lower their morale hence affecting productivity and efficiency levels. Leaders should also invite their follower’s opinions even if they differ with theirs hence making them feel being part of the ideas and acknowledged (Limbare, 2012).
Lincoln was an effective communicator who in an artful manner wove his vision intending to free America prioritizing on his countrymen. As a speaker of the people, Lincoln made executives decisions and simplified his visions to present them to his followers in a manner that indicated he understood people who then supported his large purpose. Effective communication in Lincoln is indicated in how he could manage to invite participations and by being passion of his subjects. Leaders embracing this characteristic of effective communicator should always give room for team participation in events of decision-making processes. Also should lead by example showing that they are passionate about their subjects (Limbare, 2012).
Master of His Emotions
This characteristic helped him overcome fears and self doubt which are experienced by many leaders. He was not a weak of the heart and despite the pressures, he could navigate tough emotions without compromising set vision and purpose. Leaders should overcome emotions by either clearly having a vision of what they would want to create or demonstrating unwavering belief on possibility of achieving set goals (Altman et al, 2013).
Indomitable Sense of Purpose
Lincoln developed a sense of self-confidence, which could be inspired by the intransigent belief that he was to fulfill a purpose. For instance, he wrote that his intention was to be esteemed by people though rendering himself worthy of people’s esteem. He had a purpose that aimed at preserving democracy in America despite divisions caused by slavery and civil war. Leaders should have a purpose that would act as a drive towards achieving their objectives (Limbare, 2012).
A servant leader is the one who offers services to other especially the followers (Altman et al, 2013). Servant leaders do not pursue others to perform as per their desire instead, they evaluate on ways to meet the needs of others in group. They serve other people in an ethical manner while still remaining focused on the goals and objectives set. There are two specific areas which differentiate servant leadership from other leadership styles; first one is sustainability that leads to transformation of others while still producing lasting change. Second area is through drastically changing the organization and empowering staffs. Lincoln servant leadership is verified by American Civil War, which prevailed during his tenure. In his leadership, Lincoln had two remarkable results were abolishment of slavery and safeguarding the Union. Lincoln served greater good for his people who were revolutionized and worked to change nations for the benefits of generations that followed. He extended freedom, opportunities for all American people and worked towards achieving democratic nation. As a servant leader, he had a great wish towards to serving his country and this acted as his aspiration of becoming American President. Servant leadership in organizations is meant for its own good but most importantly to improve the people working within it (Choudhary et al, 2013).
Altman, S., Hodgetts, R. M., & Valenzi, E. (2013). Organizational Behavior : Theory and Practice. Burlington: Academic Press.
Choudhary, A., Akhtar, S., & Zaheer, A. (2013). Impact of Transformational and Servant Leadership on Organizational Performance: A Comparative Analysis. Journal Of Business Ethics, 116(2), 433-440. doi:10.1007/s10551-012-1470-8
Limbare, S. (2012). Leadership Styles & Conflict Management Styles of Executives. Indian Journal Of Industrial Relations, 48(1), 172-180.