Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Application of Transformational Leadership in an Academic Library. This essay is by Lynn Sutton. It appeared in MLA Forum 3(1), April 2005.

From the site:

"I've read a lot of leadership books and they're all right and they're all wrong…it depends on a match between the style and the circumstances and individual personalities" (Sheldon, 1991). So begins a compilation of articles on leadership styles among leaders in libraries. The library profession, like many others, has studied itself and measured its popular leadership philosophies against the prevailing theories of the time (Hendrickson, 1991; Mech and McCabe, 1998; Sheldon, 1991). The more one reads, the more the above saying rings true. And yet, after identifying a wide variety of models - charismatic leadership, moral leadership, transactional and transformational leadership, participative leadership, scientific-managerial leadership, and contingent leadership - the philosophy that resonates most deeply and the one that I have observed in myself in at least one leadership opportunity is that of transformational leadership. In this paper, I will examine the theoretical base of transformational leadership as described in the literature, give a rationale for this choice of leadership philosophy, and provide examples of how I have implemented this philosophy in practice.

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