The impact of a leaders character on followers is a powerful force that can transform the attitudes, values, and beliefs of others. When we are able to influence others, we are able to change their attitude, behavior, and performance. It’s an exciting process that can be both rewarding and terrifying. There are some things that we must know in order to be a good leader and make a positive impact on our followers.
Influence can change attitudes, values, and beliefs
A leader looking to achieve greater productivity, higher morale, and a tastier workplace culture can do so with a well conceived and executed plan. However, as with any venture, a leader’s biggest challenge is implementing an effective plan without stifling creativity and innovation. That said, there are many strategies and tactics available to executives of all stripes, including the savvy business owner. Using the right tools for the job is half the battle. The key is identifying the best approach to take, and maintaining the momentum as it evolves. This is especially important when a team of executives is charged with improving company wide productivity by a few percentage points in the span of a matter of days. Regardless of the magnitude of the task at hand, a few tenacious individuals will find a way to take advantage of every possible advantage. Whether or not these individuals are able to do so depends largely on the amount of trust they are able to build up over time. By establishing a firm esprit de corps, employees are much more likely to engage in a frank and open dialogue about a range of topics from work-related issues to personal matters. Keeping these relationships healthy is paramount to success in any enterprise.
Power affects others
One of the most important aspects of leading is the impact a leader can have on his followers. Whether it is to motivate them to improve their work performance or to push them to perform in a certain manner, leaders have the power to influence their followers.
The study of power as a tool in leadership has been the subject of many studies. A number of different methods have been proposed, including the use of rewards and incentives, the ability to make others see your point of view and the ability to motivate others to act a certain way.
Studies examining the impact of a leader’s character on his followers have been conducted by a number of researchers. These studies have uncovered the following:
A leader’s ability to set high performance standards is a key component of inspirational motivation. Goal setting is a good means to accomplish this. This is because, when you set a goal, you have a chance to influence other people’s attitudes and actions.
A leader’s ability to influence his followers in a positive direction is a worthy pursuit. Using tactics that are appropriate for the individual and his/her needs can help achieve this. Some of these include giving rewards and praising performance. Rewards can be monetary, verbal praise or a promotion.
For example, a manager who inspires his subordinates to perform at a high level is likely to be a winner. Leaders can also motivate others to perform better by using well-reasoned technical arguments.
It is also possible to achieve this by a more subtle strategy. For instance, a leader can motivate his/her employees to perform by giving them a vision of how he/she envisions the future.
Affect and emotion have been linked to leadership for decades. Leaders must be true to their values and identity. But even principled leaders can have a negative influence on followers. Emotional contagion is thought to be a way in which leaders influence followers. However, there are individual differences in this process.
The nexus between leader and follower affect is important. Leaders must be able to express their emotions, and their followers must be able to perceive these emotions. Positive emotional expressions can lead to positive judgments of leaders and leaders’ performance. Negative emotional expressions can lead to a variety of negative judgments and attributions.
Leaders character has an effect on followers
There have been several studies on the relationship between emotional contagion and the effect it has on leaders’ performance. These studies have shown that there are varying degrees of impact. However, they do not fully support the hypothesis of emotional contagion.
A recent study examined the effects of affect on leaders’ performance. This study extended previous research on the nexus between emotions and leadership. It also proposed a multilevel multiple mediation model that examines the role of psychological capital and social exchange.
The results from this study revealed that there is a strong relationship between the positive affective state of the leader and the follower. Additionally, the study found that leaders’ negative affective state had an indirect negative effect on the performance of their followers.
In addition, the study reveals that there is a nexus between leadership and ethics. Using a task-oriented team environment, leaders pay less attention to their emotions. This suggests that there may be more opportunities for the leader to set the mood of a group.
A leader’s character can influence extra-role behaviors on followers. While there is no direct responsibility for this type of behavior, the role model can affect the way followers behave. Followers adopt the behaviors of their role model and internalize them. These behaviors can benefit the organization as a whole. However, they also affect individual psychological contexts.
“Exemplary” followers are critical to the success of all groups. They exhibit courage and intelligence. They are not passively supported by their leaders but actively oppose bad leadership and perform other desirable extra-role behaviors.
Extra-role behaviors are discretionary behaviors, which do not require formal approval or reward. Instead, they are voluntary and often act against the will of the leader. For example, physicians who developed a drug called Vioxx did so because of their own passions. They felt personally invested in the product and defended the product despite serious side effects.
Tett and Meyer
In their study, Tett and Meyer found that job satisfaction was a good predictor of turnover intentions. Employees who had high satisfaction rates were more likely to engage in extra-role behaviors. However, the relationship was moderate. The authors also found that employees who believed that their employer had violated their psychological contract were more likely to have high absenteeism rates.
One of the key questions of this research was the impact of organizational BI on the influence of extra-role behaviors on followers. Specifically, the researchers aimed to investigate the role of BI in promoting ethical and positive behaviors in follower behavior.
To better understand the impact of BI on extra-role behaviors, the authors conducted a multi-source field study. This approach allowed them to analyze the role of organizational BI on leader BI, follower OCBO, and extra-role behaviors.
Studying the relationship of psychological capital between leaders and followers
Studying the relationship of psychological capital between leaders and followers requires different theoretical approaches. This is because it is a dynamic process. Hence, there is need for an empirical approach to test various hypotheses. However, in order to achieve robust and reliable results, researchers should be aware of cultural differences.
The multilevel multiple mediation model (MMM) has been used in this study to determine the effects of emotional contagion on the psychological capital of both leaders and followers. In particular, the MMM is a cross-level model that consists of the following components: LMX, Fpsycap, MPA, PA, EM, LM, and LMR.
As shown in Figure 1, the results suggest that LMX partially mediates the effect of authentic behavior on follower psychological capital. Also, LMX is positively correlated with the level-one variable of leaders’ psychological capital. It is also important to note that there is a positive correlation between the level-one variable and the level-two variable of followers’ psychological capital.
Leaders’ positive emotions are perceived by their followers and can have a direct influence on their followers’ psychological capital. On the other hand, followers’ positive emotions do not have any direct effect on their psychological capital.
Leaders’ positive emotions affect their followers indirectly, via the emotional contagion theory. Thus, the findings from this study have important implications for the study of psychological capital.
A survey was conducted amongst 430 participants. They included 42 pre-tertiary teachers. Data was collected anonymously. Variables were measured using the Psychological Capital Questionnaire. These included leader-follower exchange, emotional contagion, positive and negative emotions, and psychological capital.
The survey used a five-point scale and a seven-point scale. Educational background was measured using a 5-point scale, and length of service was measured with a 5-point scale.
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