How does transformational leadership influence political, social and economic systems? Essay

How does transformational leadership influence political, social and economic systems?, 504 words essay example

Essay Topic: social, leadership, economic, influence

Transformational leadership creates changes in individuals, political, social and economic systems. Ideally, this approach to leadership fosters valuable and positive change in the followers with the hope of shaping them into leaders. James MacGregor Burns created this theory in the late nineteen-seventies to analyze leadership in the political realm. Burns described transformational leadership as "a creative form of interaction between leaders and followers in which both sides play a dynamic role in influencing the other's perceptions and actions" (Khanin 1). Focusing clearly on the receptive nature of the leader, this approach would foment the process of creating ordinary citizens into leaders. Politically, transformational leaders decisively introduce systemic change in some aspect of his or her state, ranging from the political system to the economic system. More often than not, transformational leadership results in a fundamental reconstruction of a particular institution or system creates something better than what came before it. However, transformational leadership does not have the same meaning as "revolutionary leadership." Although certain revolutions against autocratic, tyrannical despots succeed in producing positive change, like the Haitian Revolution, others often produce conditions in the state that were worse then what the overthrown regime imposed. This phenomenon can be attributed to the fact that to topple a regime in power requires an excessive use of force that often needs to continue once the new regime gains power to impose and sustain their rule over the entire population. However appealingly democratic the revolutionary rhetoric sounds, a strong tendency exists to create an authoritarian regime with a prophetic, cult-like leader after the revolution (Brown 148). Leaders that can decisively create transformative change without resorting to violence to achieve their aims will likely foster longer lasting good than the rhetoric-filled revolutionaries. Mikhail Gorbachev, premier of the Soviet Union, exemplifies the dynamic of a transformational leader. Most higher-ranking officials assumed that any reform Gorbachev implemented would be constrained within fairly narrow limits. Since the Soviet system created a complicated web of rewards for conformism and a hierarchy of punishment for nonconformist behavior, Soviet power holders never thought Gorbachev would risk undermining the dominance of the country in Eastern Europe. Yet Gorbachev fundamentally shifted the political and economic system of the Soviet Union through his reforms, all without resorting to violence. He understood that Soviet Union did not face crisis in nineteen eighty-five, while the economy did not face such a disaster that would force him to take steps to reform (Brown 166). Gorbachev acted on his own initiative, as he realized that the military-industrial complex flourished at the expense of other sectors, while catastrophic nuclear war, occurring through miscalculations or by accidents, constantly threatened his state. Before each reform was enacted, Gorbachev consciously checked with each member of the Politburo to get approval for his projects, while also formulating policy with the Politburo to make it appear that they took a collective response to reform. As Gorbachev increasingly introduced reform, he need to rely on his power of persuasion to convince the old guard Soviets of his plan

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