Wedell (2012) defines a transformational leader as someone who works towards a noble vision, act with authenticity and honesty, adopt a growth mindset, and promote creativity and new ideas. People often mix up transactional leadership with the transformational leadership though I see a total contrast especially from an inspirational motivation point of view. I see former as a good business deal because it’s the reward that promotes performance whereas the later is a genuine attitudinal change irrespective of reward. In this case study, Dr. Cook narrates his experiences from the earlier expedition at a time when the team wasn’t performing well and when the change was the calling of the time. By calling a meeting he inspires the team to commit to excavation with due consideration of their individual talents and background.
I consider it as transformational leadership in practice because through this meeting Dr. Cook empowered them to design their own assignment (Fostering creativity), and gave them the ownership as a part of the success or failure of the project which changes their mindset to give their best. As Mauborgne (2003) said, ‘in an organization, once the beliefs and energies of a critical mass of people are engaged, conversion to new ideas spread like an epidemic’. Likewise, empowering and attaching responsibility for their work it’s easier to achieve common goals. Dr. Cook in this particular case touches every aspect of leadership model given in figure 8.2.
- Thesis Statement
- Structure and Outline
- Voice and Grammar
In his narrative about his initial experiences, he assumes the least interfering model of laissez-faire as he assesses the performance of the group and identifies the rationale behind low performance and less motivation. In order to resolve the issue, he called that meeting. Then his approach alters to a transformational one where he demonstrated incredibly in all four domains of the transformational leadership.
Firstly as described in the case, he assumed the Idealized influence by being on time every morning and giving his time and energy for the expedition. Secondly, he was successful in inspiring (inspirational motivation) the team by relating the experiences of the past with the expectations of the team and making them realize that their hard work will be a collective accomplishment. Thirdly, the intellectual Influence is clearly touched as he instilled the sense of shared responsibility for the success of the expedition and gave them the authority to choose, design and carry out their respective assignments and finally Dr. Cook says, ‘I try to listen to the students and use their particular strengths. It really is quite amazing how these students can develop in 8 weeks’. This empathetic evaluation of each student’s growth at the site and listening to them cover Individualized Consideration.
Going through this particular case, I find a lot of leadership traits like focus, knowledge sharing, and grooming, growth mindset, etc. Dr. Cook’s love and perseverance to further his knowledge in archeology exemplify the focus and consistency. Taking of fresh students from diverse background and putting in the energy to teach those kids by professor explains that Dr. Cook as a leader loves sharing and grooming his successor.
The overall vision of Archaeology excavations of Dr. Cook includes advancement of his scholarly works can sometimes be argued as hidden agenda and display of selfishness by some critiques but to me, it’s a growth mindset. On one hand, his scholarly work advances which is good as he adds knowledge and literature and on the other hand he’s helping students’ gain knowledge and experience in the real field, so it’s a win-win situation and a great example.