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I believe that successful leaders are able to adjust their approaches and strategies to leading and influencing followers, but not necessarily their established leadership style. It is evident that personal values and dispositions shape how leaders view a given context or situation. Studies in emotional intelligence redefine our approach to leadership development (Dearborn, 2002), as we consider the potential relationship between specific personality types and leader efficacy. Patterns of personality are constantly being formed, modified, and reformed (Zigarmi, Blanchard, O’Connor & Edeburn, 2005), as we continue to develop and learn through our interactions with others and life experiences. Personality is dynamic and may not remain unchanged enough to guarantee a specific pattern of effectiveness among leaders.

However, there are times where individuals might create and confine themselves to a specific pattern or range of behaviors (Zigarmi et al., 2005). Therefore, changing or adjusting their leadership style may not be an option. A leader can be an ethical manipulator, however. In maintaining follower motivation, for example, manipulation can help guide followers to stay on track. A small form of manipulation can be viewed from a reverse psychology perspective; we use it to make others do things that would typically come second nature to them. An effective leader may manipulate followers to achieve goals by helping them to subconsciously recognize their wants, and work toward successfully completing organizational goals. Leaders who use ethical manipulation are presenting their employees and followers with challenges to encourage growth, development, and success (Northouse, 2010).

Transformational Leadership

I consider my leadership style to be transformational in nature. When leading my team in the workplace, although my leadership style is established and solid, I sometimes find a need to adjust my training approach with certain employees to help them achieve a certain goal. This approach can be explained from an “ends justify the means” perspective. The motive behind leadership behavior, particularly transformational leadership, stems from a leader’s values and high levels of commitment or devotion to achieving organizational objectives (Yukl, 2013). In some instances, the means are disproportionate to the ends, and the reasons could be that there are more ethical, simple, less costly, etc. ways of achieving the same end. Securing valued ends becomes vital, and establishing an appropriate balance between the means and ends is important from an ethical perspective. For these reasons, I believe that adjusting the leadership role, and not necessarily the style, is sometimes necessary in order to best influence followers.

Transformational leadership is a style of leadership that describes leaders who are most concerned with their followers’ needs, and who are constantly looking for ways to grow and transform (Yukl, 2013). Leaders ask their followers questions in order to understand how to better provide their support and leadership for a greater cause. Asking the right questions helps leaders stimulate new ideas from different perspectives, reveal assumptions about people and their thought processes, and promote collective understanding (Bisoux, 2005). It is a process of transformation, nonetheless, that develops and guides followers to their fullest potential through the leader’s effective motivational skills, internal values and ideals, even if it requires the leader to be manipulative in their approach. Transformational leaders are constantly learning and conforming to new ways of becoming better leaders. The approach allows for a more rewarding experience, for both leaders and followers. Successful leaders begin with questions, and work their way into the lives of their followers in order to influence positivity and encourage development and growth.

Effective change initiatives have many components that often yield problems and challenges for leaders in achieving organizational change. Specifically, the leadership component of change can be viewed from technical and adaptive perspectives. Adaptive strategies are often embraced in today’s corporate culture within sales management, as adaptive challenges provide new ways of thinking in addressing the problems brought upon with transformational change (Heifetz & Laurie, 1998). Adaptive work requires and begins with strong leadership; leaders must overcome systemic problems by working in collaboration with employees at all levels by taking on new roles, relationships, values, behaviors, and approaches to achieving transformational change. Leaders must challenge and motivate others in leading adaptive work, which demands the vocation and responsibility of all members involved (Kotter, 2007). Organizational change efforts often fail when adaptive measures are not successfully pursued, and when leadership efficacy is lacking.


Breevaart, K., & Bakker, A. B. (2018). Daily job demands and employee work engagement: The role of daily transformational leadership behavior. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 23(3), 338–349.…

Padam, S. (2009). Leadership: Theory and Practice. South Asian Journal of Management, 16(3), 136–137. Retrieved from….

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