Transformational Leader Profile


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Introduction

Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent (Clark, 1997). Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership attributes, such as beliefs, values, ethics, character, knowledge, and skills. Bass' (1989 & 1990) theory of leadership states that there are three basic ways to explain how people become leaders. These theories are; some personality traits may lead people naturally into leadership roles. This is the Trait Theory; a crisis or important event may cause a person to rise to the occasion, which brings out extraordinary leadership qualities in an ordinary person. This is the Great Events Theory; people can choose to become leaders. People can learn leadership skills. The basis of good leadership is honorable character and selfless service to the organization. This is the Transformational Leadership Theory. It is the most widely accepted theory today and the premise on which this assignment is based.
The purpose of this paper is to profile the most important leadership role model in my life—someone I have known and have observed for years. Dave Nastase, The President of Federal Enterprise Solutions (FES), Northrop Grumman Information Technology, from my organization has been selected for this assignment. This topic will not be used for my own Research Study topic, however the research involved will narrow my search for a topic

Transformational Leader Profile
One afternoon after lunch I was sitting in my cubicle pondering over some issues concerning our project. Surprisingly enough, I received an email that read, thank you all again for all of your outstanding contributions, signed Dave Nastase, your FES President. Right away, I became seriously relieved and jumped with amazement and shouted, "What a leader!" Dave Nastase has been with Northrop Grumman for over fifteen years and just few months ago, he was promoted to the IT Federal Enterprise Solutions (FES) President. Many employees thought some executive members who have been with the organization longer than Dave, should have been selected for the position, but to everyone's amazement, Dave was selected, and why? Well, let's find out.
Personally, I have worked with Dave Nastase for four years, and his leadership style is what Weiskittel (1999) refers to as transformational which talks about his involvement in coordinating and integrating activities in the organization.

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As Bass (1997) proposes, regardless of culture, transformational leaders inspire followers to transcend their own self-interests for the good of the group or organization. Dave is a true leader who is always looking for any opportunities to increase production. He does not set goals for nothing; he utilizes all the resources at his disposal to reach the goals. He joined the company as a System Engineer, and right from day one, he proved to the management that he had the capabilities to be a future leader for the organization. He portrayed the behaviors of a leader full of ideas that would be useful to the organization. His leadership behaviors in the team included coaching, training, telling, demonstrating, and supporting. His hard work coupled with his leadership roles in the organization, paid off within a short time. He became Systems Engineering Manager, and was transferred to Merrifield Virginia office to continue his work on the IRS projects.
On the IRS projects, Dave continued to set great expectations; he initially mobilized all the resources available and began working towards his goal and objectives. Working in coordination with his subordinates he developed his strategies that led him to achieve all his goals within the first year of the project. He utilized the three components of Capezio and Morehouse (1997) model: action, influence and motivation. With all these three components fused together in Dave's leadership role within the IRS project, he became a hero for NGIT. As Capezio and Morehouse explains, this kind of model describes self-directed leadership, self-responsible for leading and following the right decisions, listening and responding to the needs of others and building alliances to sustain the processes of action, influence and motivation. Leadership is about relationship (DePree, 1989). It is dynamic, using resources, changing with grace, and trusting and knowing what you don't know. Dave Nastase has developed his leadership skills to a degree where he now values assets and respects legacy, creating momentum and being effective and serving the members and the organization in general. Dave's leadership as DePree suggests, is related to stewardship, which is watching over and guiding the health and welfare of an organization and its members.
Before this big promotion, Dave was selected to be NGIT's Program Director in charge of Government contracts within the DC metro area. As far as I know Dave, he is people's person; his transformational leadership ability is beyond description. As a transformational leader, Dave induces additional effort by further sharply increasing subordinate confidence and by elevating the value of outcomes for the subordinates (Bass 1985, p.22). He is that type of a leader who encourages subordinates, takes their work related problems as his and resolves them, he is easy to approach, and he communicates effectively, and makes sure subordinates are fully compensated. In 2002, the project I was working on was cut short for insufficient funds; I was asked to look for another job some where else. It was Dave's decision that put me back on another project within the organization. He saw the enthusiasm in me and encouraged me to continue the hard work; and through his constant motivation I have survived until this day within Northrop Grumman organization. He is always present in our quarterly meetings where he shares his goals and objectives with us. He motivates by rewarding and recognizes employees with high performance. He is always there when we need him; he listens to our views and ideas and never jumps into conclusions. He is customer oriented, continuous improvement driven, and very result oriented.
Visionary, inspiring and daring are words that describe Dave's transformational leadership style. He is that person who has the ability to revive failing companies. Northrop Grumman nearly lost the IRS contract to Computer Science Corporation (CSC) a few years ago. It was through Dave's initiatives, hard work, persistence and use of effective strategies that put the project back on our plate. He has lofty goals and high ideals; we see him as a person with high integrity. Looking at him physically he has great personality and that pushes me to ask this question; have all transformational leaders great personalities? Or do they acquire this physical posture using their leadership styles? One thing that makes Dave more successful is his ability to share his knowledge with us. Whenever he comes around he tries to work with us on whatever we are doing and tries to show his simplest way of doing things. I had one long manual test script I usually used for testing some functionalities of an application. Dave looked at it and helped in getting this test script to a reasonable size that took a shorter time than usual operate. One question he likes to ask us is: Fellows are you sure we are going to get there? His relational leadership role gains commitment through participative problem solving. He creates even greater commitment through shared values in addition to participation. Most of the time, he re-examines the organization's purpose, structure and culture, and introduces discussions and serious debates. He guides these discussions and debates, and establishes the context rules for constructive dialogue. He is assertive risk-taker and generally seizes opportunities when they become available.



Conclusion

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that Northrop Grumman is very fortunate to have a leader like Dave Nastase; he is a role model for us leaders in the organization. To me his latest promotion came as an achievement but not as a surprise because I know that his effective leadership is beyond description. I would like to take his leadership style and utilize it to remodel my own leadership style, which seems to be more democratic or participative. In their studies on leadership, Bennis & Nanus (1985) discovered leaders traits that include: logical thinking, persistence, empowerment, and self-control. But most of all they rediscovered transformational leaders as being different from transactional managers. These are the leaders Wren (p.386) describes as those who bring a vision of the major changes needed in organization's structure, culture, and market. Dave's leadership style is to coach, train and to model us to be effective leaders. He understands the benefit of transformation, which is to make followers into self-empowered leaders, and into change agents. His main job as he always says is to articulate vision and values clearly so the new self-empowered leaders know where to go. Dave Nastase transformational leadership traits follow the four I's: Idealized Influence (leader becomes role model), Inspirational Motivation (team spirit, motivate, and provide meaning and challenge), Intellectual Stimulation (creativity and innovation), and Individual Consideration (mentoring). Taking the examples of Dave Nastase, I believe I would live to effect a change in my organization and continue to be full of transformational and innovative leadership skills.

References

Bass, B.M. (1997). Does the transactional-transformational leadership paradigm transcend organizational
and national boundaries? American Psychologist, 52, 130-139.
Bass, B.M. (1990). From transactional to transformational leadership: Learning to share the vision.
Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 18, Issue 3, 19-31.
Bass, B.M. (1989). Stogdill's Handbook of Leadership: A Survey of Theory and Research. New York: Free
Press.
Bass, B.M. (1985). Model of Transactional and Transformational Leaders, p.22.
Bennis, W.G., & Nanus, G. (1985). Leaders, New York: Harper & Row.
Capezio, P., & Morehouse, D. (1997). Secretes of break-through leadership. New Jersey:
Career Press.
Clark, D. (1997). Concepts of Leadership. The leadership Guide. Retrieved October 23,
2005 from
http://ezproxy.auckland.ac.nz/login?url=http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadcon.html
DePree, M. (1989). Leadership is an art. New York: Dell Publishing Group Inc.
Weiskittel, P. (1999). The Concept of Leadership. ANNA Journal, 26(5), 467, 536.
Wren, D.A. (1994). The Evolution of Management Thought (4th Ed.). New
York: John Wiley and Sons


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