1. Question 1

Richard Teerlink applied transformational leadership to impact change at Harley Davidson. He began by transforming the administration and management system from authoritarian rule to a democratic system. In this new form of leadership, Teerlink encouraged the development of a collaborative environment of cooperation between administration and employees. His roles as a transformational leader were as follows:

Role modeling- Transformational leaders lead by example, they act first, and others follow. Transformational leaders motivate and inspire members of the organization by the exemplification of high standards of ethics, moral conduct, and desirable behavior.

Establishing standards- Apart from modelling appropriate behavior, transformational leaders are required to develop and define norms, standards, organization objectives, and rules that would guide employees into developing desirable behavior patterns. However, they should ensure that these standards will gear towards promoting collaborative efforts aimed at achieving organizational goals.

Creating visions- Transformational leaders herald the corporation to success by creating vision statements for the organization. They are also required to envision and ensure appropriate communication of the shared vision and mission statements to the different sections of the organization to motivate members into working together towards achieving the common organizational goals.

Development of appropriate corporate culture and climate- Transformational leaders help build a culture and environment for effective communication, interdependence, flexibility, and mutual trust between management and employees (Juneja). Appropriate organizational cultures motivate employees into productivity by boosting their morale, thus improving performance.

Communication- Transformational leaders act as the connection between the corporate and the external world. Ideally, they are the primary contact between the organization and critical stakeholders who offer support through technology, financial resources, and knowledge on the best practices for the organization. Transformational leaders have the duty of strengthening the connection between the stakeholders and the organization to safeguard the future of the firm.

Team building- Team building facilitates the development of appropriate organizational culture through promoting communication, collaborative efforts, and enhancing motivation among employees. It is the role of the transformational leader to foster team building through the creation of a conducive environment that supports coaching and mentorship (Juneja).

Promotion of talents- It is the transformational leaders’ role to foster the development of a culture that motivates employees to explore their beliefs, values, skills, and capabilities. Their fundamental responsibility is to identify and nurture talents through adequate training and development support. It is essential to encourage and motivate creativity and innovation among employees by promoting the active participation of employees in discussions and encouraging them to share views.

2. Question 2

Richard Teerlink played his role as a transformational leader by effecting revolutionary changes to the management structure and organizational culture at Harley Davidson.

He transformed the leadership structure of the organization by creating changes to the administration, changing it from authoritarian rule to transformational leadership.

As a transformational leader, Teerlink transformed the management structure through the use of the coaching model instead of the command and control model.

He also encouraged team leadership by transforming leaders into coaches and facilitators of positive change in the organization. As such, he helped in the development of collaborative efforts between the employees and management.

The transformational leadership theory argues that transformational leadership is a form of governance where the leaders work in collaboration with the team to identify the areas that necessitate change, coordinate with the team to create a mission and vision statement to guide the process, and finally implement the execution of the shift with the support of team members. Transformational leadership promotes the establishment of team leadership and influence the change in organizational culture and structure through three significant dimensions, teamwork, trust, and learning.

3. Teamwork

A transformational leader facilitates teamwork through role modeling and the development of a shared organizational statement. Leaders can also generate cooperation through fostering interaction among employees and communication with management. Collaboration facilitates the creation of a conducive environment where employees feel free to work together and coordinate with the administration in developing appropriate strategies for organizational success. Team building and teamwork are also other forms of collaboration between employees and their colleagues.

Cooperation promotes understanding of the operations, issues, and problems affecting employees in the workplace and assists in the development of new ideas aimed at resolving them (Sayyadi). Collaboration helps in building a circle organization where leaders act as facilitators and coaches rather than commanders. A collaborative system promotes team leadership as it considers each member as a team player with the ability to affect sustainable change within the organization.

4. Trust

Transformational leadership contributes to trust by considering both the employee’s personal and professional interests and needs within the organization. Trust promotes collaboration, which in turn encourages building teams that assist in realizing organizational goals. Members of the organization must trust the leader’s decision as he heralds the organization towards success.

Once members have faith in their team leaders, then it will be easier to share information and implement positive change. Trust allows transformational leaders to reshape and manipulate the organizational culture to develop an effective system within the organization.

5. Learning

Transformational leaders create a learning culture by promoting communication, interaction, and exchange of ideas among employees. Leaders must foster the development of talent, innovation, and creativity among employees to generate new knowledge necessary for developing and improving strategic policies. Leaders should encourage employees to share their ideas with others to boost the learning culture within the organization.

Learning can reshape organizational structure as when transformational leaders promote talent, creativity, and innovation, they inspire employees to develop knowledge sharing and create new ideas that assist in improving the workplace environment at the organization (Sayyadi). Transformational leaders can apply natural structures such as coaching and mentorship to facilitate the creation of new ideas and develop a climate of innovation within the organization.

6. Question 3

Organizational changes such as the one that took place at Harley Davidson appears as a significant step that not everyone would be able to comprehend. As such, resistance to change expected from the employees and other members of the organization. People become resistant to change due to the following reasons;

Fear of loss of status, job security, and quality of life- in the workplace, employees and managers may resist organizational change that results in the reduction of their employment status or elimination of their roles in the organization altogether. For instance, Harley Davidson had previously operated under authoritarian leadership.

As such, a change to transformational leadership may be perceived by some managers as harmful to their status quo as they feel that becoming coaches, from previously giving orders to employees, is a demotion, which means more work for them.

The climate of mistrust- When employees, the management, and the entire company do not trust that they are competent enough to manage the revolutionary changes occurring at the organization, then resistance is a likely response (Torben). Mistrust can also develop through the spread of propaganda against the initiator of the change. When people start to question the motives behind the leader’s actions, it builds the chances of resistance.

People feel more connected to the old way of life- Emotional connection to the previous methods of doing things, make employees and management skeptical about the new way of doing things. People generally hate starting something from the top and changing routines.

Inadequate communication- Resistance breeds when employees and managers remain out of the loop regarding all the changes that will take place in the organization. Ideally, it essential to involve everyone in the process. Otherwise, they will not support what they do not know.

Fear of the unknown- Although most organizational members may refuse to admit it, people often fear that organizational change may require changes in skill sets as some people may feel that they are not competent enough to complete the transition process. Fear is a potent inhibitor of change that breeds resistance.

Organizational politics- Some people may tend to resist change for political reasons as a way of proving that the initiator of the change is wrong (Torben). The purpose is to bring down the only effecting change as a ploy to beat the competition or to satisfy a personal vendetta.

A healthy degree of skepticism against organizational change- It is challenging to get everyone on board with transformational changes such as the one propelled by Richard Teerlink in Harley Davidson. Healthy criticisms about the new ideas are critical as they help in making necessary improvements before the transformation becomes a reality. Most skeptics will resist change if the organization ignores their views.

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