President Obama is such a “leader”. His actions have damaged both the country as a political entity and his party at the polling place. His election was brought on by the failure of the Bush presidency; Yukl states that “charisma occurs during a social crisis when a leader emerges with a radical vision that offers a solution to the crisis and attracts followers who believe in the vision” (2012, p.310).
Which characteristics of this leader led to the harm-causing behavior? How could the facilitating conditions have been used for positive charisma?
Obama's reactions to events have shown his lack of both integrity or competence, prime requirements of leadership success. There is a exacerbating issue of charismatic leadership: “Narcissism—a personality trait encompassing grandiosity, arrogance, self-absorption, entitlement, fragile self-esteem, and hostility—is an attribute of many powerful leaders. Narcissistic leaders have grandiose belief systems and leadership styles, and are generally motivated by their needs for power and admiration rather than empathetic concern for the constituents and institutions they lead “(Rosenthal & Pittinsky, 2006, abstract). Yukl gives one of many problems caused by charismatic leadership; “Denial of problems and failures reduces organizational learning (2012, p. 319). We will use just this one issue as an example of the many in the Obama administration. In this example we will look at Fast and Furious, in which three American lawmen, and hundreds of Mexican citizens were murdered as a consequence. ATF both knowingly allowed weapons flow into Mexico and denied any participation (Fisher, 2013, p.170). Obama's justification for invoking executive privilege to cover up this issue was contradicted by an OIG (Office of the Inspector General) investigation (Fisher, 2013, p.181).
Can this leader's charisma be explained by attribution theory or the self-concept theory? Provide reasons for your choice.
Attribution theory relies in part on the leaders “expertise” (Yukl, 2012, p. 311). However, we may apply “expertise” here as qualities that appeal to the sort of people that follow charismatic leaders. Yukl provides some of these; novel and appealing vision, emotional appeals to values, confidence and optimism, and finally, unconventional behavior (2012, pp. 311,312) Yukl contends that some theorists believe that attributions of charisma are limited to followers who lack self-esteem and a clear self-identity (2012, p. 318)
Can charismatic leadership evolve into transformational leadership? How are these theories different from transactional leadership theories?
“Success is possible for a narcissistic charismatic with the expertise to make good decisions” (Yukl, 2012, p.320); however, for transformational leadership to happen requires other traits of successful leadership such as integrity of competence.
Why were followers influenced so powerfully by this leader? Was it a result of psychodynamic processes or social contagion?
Participative leadership would improve officer morale. Roy, Novak, & Miksaj-Todorovic cite “dissatisfaction with their share in decision making processes” as one cause of burnout in older correctional officers (2010, p. 190). Achievement-oriented methods would work as well; Roy et al also cited “ loss of purpose and meaning” as a similar cause of burnout. We have already seen that achievement-oriented methods work with the inmates as their move to a minimum security unit as a reward.
What are the situational variables that might affect the application of the path-goal theory of leadership?
Some variables include the potential loss of additional officers, increasing workload; inmate assaults on officers, adding to stress levels, and domestic situations adding to officer stress. “Shift work and overtime can create stress by preventing officers from attending important family functions” (Finn, 2000, p. 16)