Why did I highlight these six individuals from millions of examples of leaders? They represent something that we might be lacking today or need stronger leaders that can bring. They represent two forms of leadership, inspirational and transformational.
Transformational leadership, is the changing of a culture or an environment. Think of this like a political leader or even more realistic someone that comes into your office charged with changing a culture. These are transformational leaders. Inspirational leaders, do just that, inspire and generate interest.
Some research suggests that transformational leaders are inspirational leaders but I have often wondered if all transformational leaders are inspirational as they can apply different methods to change a culture positively or negatively. But I would think inspirational leaders are transformational.
Thus went after some research. First, I found Kendrick who believed in transformational leadership focuses on the follower’s motivation to achieve change (Kendrick, 2011). However, is that really inspiration or is that taking advantage of an already existing need. Inspirational Leadership drives and pushes people to achieve. An inspirational leader is someone who others want to emulate, be like, and that raises their spirits (Cavanaugh, 2008). Cavanaugh makes a good point here, and it makes one wonder, just because you are changing a culture (Kendrick, 2011) in transformational leadership does not mean you are inspiring them. Hitler changed Germanic culture, but was people inspired or were they more driven by an inert patriotism, and a fear that bound them together?
Let’s go a little further. Hitler was definitely an inspirational leader and he may have transformed the Germanic Culture and even the world culture. Thus looking at how political leaders can be transformational and/or inspirational leaders and we will discuss this through a more prominent lens, 2016 potential candidates:
1. Elizabeth Warren – A senator form Massachusetts. She has transformed the credit conversation and lead protectionary legislation to provide consumer protection from big banks. She is playing on the feeling that big organizations pray on the little folk. She inspires those that feel they have been wronged.
2. Joe Biden – He is a difficult one to analyze. A senator with a long political history and over the past 6 years has served as our Vice President. In recent history he has not been inspirational or transformational but has backed the current President’s Play. He might be a fit for the status quo or he may surprise some if he runs.
3. Hillary Clinton – “It take a village to raise a child” is a famous quote from Hillary Clinton. In addition several other quotes have come from her. She definitely inspires and divides and spurs conversation. Her husband, was more of a transformational President, she is definitely more of an inspirational one. The first female president, and she and her husband did lead to the health care law being passed and many other things that have gotten done over the last six years during their time in the white house.
4. Cory Booker – He helped transform Trenton, as Mayor, into a place people could live, feel safe and create jobs. He is now a United States Senator representing New Jersey. He is too new in his role to say if he is changing things or continuing to be inspirational but he might be.
5. Rand Paul/ Ted Cruz/ Marco Rubio – These three falls in a similar category. While extremely different individuals, they have been leading the charge for immigration, border security, tax reform, and even health care reform. They are responsible for the cultural and social changes or moods and inspire those that have lost some of that hope. It will be interesting to see who runs and who doesn’t out of this group but it will be entertaining.
6. Scott Walker/ Chris Christie, and Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry – Again four different individuals but similar in their leadership styles. None of these leaders really are inspirational. They are calmer in public and level headed for the most part. What they are is transformational. Scott Walker has changed the worker culture in Wisconsin, a very blue state, through controversial programs but unemployment is down, wages are up according Us Department of Labor. Also according to the US Department of Labor, Texas, governed by Rick Perry, has created the most jobs in the country 9 out of the last 11 years. Jindal and Christie have also created jobs, changed the national conversation in different ways about their states. These leaders are possible the more fresh transformers but also who knows.
As we look at these candidates, there are also a few reasons why one might want to run for President. They include:
1. To Change The Country’ Direction
2. To Make History
3. To Change the country’s discussion
4. Market their Brand
5. It’s Just what they do
6. The Stars Align
We have been talking about transformational leaders and how they might inspire. So the first reason makes sense. President Obama, then Senator Obama, ran to change the direction of the country from a war mongering country to something different. He may have succeeded but almost too well and now there might be candidates who want to switch the direction again. Which of these candidates may change the direction of the country? Can all of them change it or are some more apt to than others? Change is not going to simply be a different party but a whole different way of thinking.
Option three is changing the country discussion. With the race problems and tension we’re having, the troubled job economy still, six years later, and the torture debate still rising along with critical International Threats both militarily and economically our discussion needs to be changed. Ross Perot and Steve Forbes ran in the past to change the different discussion topics, and they have succeeded but we might need someone else to, not necessarily get elected, but to push the discussion of key issues to the forefront. One of those issues is a much needed overhaul of our Tax code and system. Both Perot and Forbes floated the flat tax system and got some response, I think you’ll see some candidate, not yet identified, raise this again as the timing is right once again.
The other options in this day and time are not as likely. The country needs to change its direction and discussion, but can it be done and are we ready for it? Or are we going to look for the same type of leader and the same type of status quo because it is what we know.
I may have left off several others that might fit into this category, but these are the supposed front runners and have the most to say. When looking at these leaders one sees more talk and bluster and very little actions taken. Some have taken ideas and ideals and put them into action. Some have simply just kept their ideas and ideals in the national spotlight.
Cavanaugh, B. W. (2008). Inspirational leadership. Marine Corps Gazette, 92(4), 39-39,42. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/221443902?accountid=458
Kendrick, J. ". (2011). Transformational leadership. Professional Safety, 56(11), 14. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/902758508?accountid=458
Rodney Mogen, is the president of solveurpuzzles, a business focused company. Helping financial advisors and insurance agents solve their case troubles and issues. Rodney is also a small business advisor focused on developing financial strategies for small business owners and helping them develop their own strategy and ideas to grow, sell, develop the way they want. He is focused on creating proper financial strategies for Advisors and business owners to assist them in their day to day duties by solving their financial puzzles. Rodney is also the Director of Financial Strategy for The Evans Group. Check out more information at www.solvurpuzzles.com and the financial strategy work for The Evans Group at www.financialselectservices.com.