Free transformational leadership book review sample


This document includes the concepts and themes of leadership as presented in the book namely Transformational Leadership by Bernard M. Bass and Ronald E. Riggio. In addition, the principles of managements as discussed by Andrew J. Dubrin have also been incorporated in the paper. In this document, there is an argument presented by these gentlemen on leadership by using separate cases of different leaders around the world.
For instance, the case study presented by Bernard M. Bass and Ronald E. Riggio are Herb Kelleher as CEO and founder of Southwest Airlines’ success story while on the other hand, both of them present the leadership theme and principle of Colin Powell the former four-star general and secretary of defense.
The leadership theme and principle presented by Bernard M. Bass and Ronald E. Riggio relates to those presented by Andrew J. Dubrin.


In the 21st century, leadership has become a huge crisis as many people around the world have poor education regarding the concept of leadership. It is said that either they become managers that are something different than being a leader, or they use their ego to define themselves as leaders.
It should be noted that Bernard M. Bass and Ronald E. Riggio have well presented their arguments in twenty-eight cases among which two cases of leadership principle and theme are mentioned in this document. The case of ‘ Still flying high after all these years at Southwest Airlines’ and ‘ Colin Powell’s Thought of Leadership’ are quite effective in terms of informing readers concerning the leadership theme. These themes can easily be used in relation to the argument presented by Andrew J. Dubrin.
Herein, it can be said that the chosen cases are based on the humanistic premises. In simpler words, the leadership theme that has been dissected from the cases would help readers to use in daily routine when it comes to leading team of employees. The following paragraphs will provide an in-depth understanding of the differences in each theme.
The leadership theme and principle has an ultimate effect on personal, professional and in global business environment which is the key issues threatening business enterprises and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Leadership is an important factor when considering growth and expansion of any organization regardless of the nature of operations.
Leadership Themes by Bernard M. Bass / Ronald E. Riggio
There are a number of cases when it comes to leadership and its application in practical business operations. Researchers make use of the cases in order evaluate the lessons that could be learned. It also allows re-consideration of methods that are not bringing effective changes in the production and business operations. Leaders appoint various leadership styles that are based upon leadership principles. Let us evaluate the cases from the books to bring better understanding concerning leadership.

Colin Powell’s thought of Leadership

There are distinctive personality traits that are expected of leaders. For instance, in the case of Collin Powell, it was closely observed that he was a capable listener. It requires a lot of patience when it comes to listening the concerns and issues of people. It is claimed that the personality traits rather helped Collin Powell to gain respective success in becoming the four-star American general, as well as secretary of defense. In addition, the philosophy of Collin Powell stresses on the fact that leaders need to make sure that they work despite critics being cynical. At the same time, the leader needs to have the quality of being humble and polite with people (Bass & Riggio, 2005).

Playing Powell Politics

One also needs to understand the aspect of leadership in politics. The authors of the book have discussed the traits of leaders in different walks of life. It can be well-stated that there is an avid need of leadership traits when it comes to power politics. The example of Collin Powell is quite strong in this regard. Powell is widely known to be a politician who did not only performed his duty well, but also did not compromise on his responsibilities just for the sake of corrupted means. It is also known that Powell has a lot of complex knowledge regarding every subject concerning politics. It denotes that a leader needs to be aware of every development and updated contexts (Cohen, 2014).
The best theme and principle that the authors of the book have been able to dissect from the case of Collin Powell is the need of hiring the right people for the job. It is the duty of the leaders to make sure that they are hiring the experts. It is mainly because if wrong employees are hired for a job that is not of interest for them then it can create hurdles within the communication process as well business operations. Opting for employees who are right for the job makes it much easier for the leaders to motivate them.
Herein, it can be asserted that there are some of the weaknesses of the leaders at the same time. For instance, most of the leaders can come up with effective understanding and solution of issues. The complication often noted is their inability to practically implement the solution. It is expected of the leaders to provide plans and strategies to undertake efficient work (Rothenberg, 2014). An example can be taken from the case of Lenovo where human resource management and leadership have failed to keep its workforce motivated. The major problem noted in this regard was the stress of leaders on removing stress rather than helping employees in their progress and performance. It was noted that the employees did not understand their duties well. It gives enough insight regarding the role of the leaders that should be played.

Leadership Themes by Andrew J. Dubrin

The Leadership themes presented by Andrew J. Dubrin is the subcategory of leadership defined as leadership as a partnership and shared responsibility while on the other hand Andrew J. Dubrin also explains the personality traits of effective leaders.

The Meaning of Leadership

The present understanding of leadership is usually that it must be a relationship in between frontrunners as well as team members, which includes the sharing of leadership responsibility. It is also noted that the alliance between the groups rather make teamwork excel. It is majorly a strength that should be achieved by any leader when it comes to managing. However, the leadership model of Herb Kelleher CEO and co-founder of Southwest Airlines believe in humor during work. It has rather been discussed by Andrew J. Dubrin in terms of leadership as management. On the other hand, Bernard M. Bass and Ronald E. Riggio believe in personality traits as one of the leadership qualities that can bring success in the organization.

Personality Traits of Effective Leaders

Let us look at another case that has been discussed by the authors. It should be noted that Tamara, who was the chief of marketing, at a beverage company named as Venus. The main mission and operation of the company is to sell soft drinks. It is known that the company has been involved in creating a product that includes natural products rather than fake or unoriginal ingredients. The company also has a number of franchises and convenience stores. Despite such operational framework, it has been noted that the company is not able to make increased profits at all. As a result, it was marked that the leadership and management were coming up with different strategies to maximize the profits. Some of the employees pitched the idea of introducing a new product while on the other hand; some believed that the company needs to hire rightful staff. Tamara took a step forward and stated that the company needs to protect its position by introducing products that are healthy for their customers.
The above-noted case is similar to that of Collin Powell, who put the duty at the top of everything. It is the principle that all leaders must follow. All the authors have discussed such an aspect in their respective research concerning leadership and management.

Leadership Principles by Andrew J. Dubrin

The leadership principles by Andrew J. Dubrin revolve around management by inspiration and management by storytelling.

Management by Inspiration

Andrew J. Dubrin says that an organization hires people who are very thoughtful, smart and fight for what they think is right. And the core value of every organization is to deliver quality to their customers. However, Bernard M. Bass and Ronald E. Riggio explain keeping the leadership model by Colin Powell which says almost the same as Andrew J. Dubrin but the only difference is that Colin Powell had liberal perception (Coffey, 2014).

Management by Storytelling

Andrew J. Dubrin says that some of the organization around the world deliberately use storytelling like use the case studies of Microsoft, Motorola, Procter and Gamble, Saatchi and Saatchi and Berkshire Hathaway (Schwabel, 2014).

While and argument presented by Larry Bossidy says that people carving strategies always fail to take it into actions.

Effects of Leadership Theme and Principles in Human Life
The effects of leadership theme and principle in human life is that there are several things that occur while make a decision for instance potential resistance to leadership and the resistance would be managed, possible communication strategies, diagnostic tools to identify the change that need to be made in organization and strategies sustaining the leadership (Shamir, House, & Arthur, 1993).
They all can be achieved by following. There should be an open and candid environment and employees are encouraged to give suggestions, everything should be in writing in communication, easy access to the management (Dvir, Eden, Avolio, & Shamir, 2002).
Open and candid communication is one of the tools, job security and satisfaction for the job. Educate the employees, use of technology should be easy and strong, the technology that should be introduced in the organization shall be cost effective, strong and durable (Eagly, Alice, & Blair, 1990).


Through the above analysis of the book and the presentation of themes of leadership by differing authors, it comes to understanding that leadership cannot be defined, but it can rather be shown. It is a very famous proverb which means that a person cannot express in verbal or non-verbal sense but a person can actually set a lead by example of leadership and people can learn from it and become leaders. It is a sequential aspect that goes on. There are many issues that are brought to life by leaders since others cannot understand them. All such qualities of the leaders have been well discussed by the authors in the book. It is expected that the readers would be able to gain a lot of insight concerning leadership.
The leadership themes and principle defined by Bernard M. Bass and Ronald E. Riggio explains the two models of leadership. The first one is from the famous CEO and founder of Southwest Airlines Herb Kelleher, and the other is Colin Powell former four stars general and secretary of defense. As Herb Kelleher sought to keep a humor in his organization that brought him success and on the other hand a hard working Afro-Caribbean, who had a complex mind since the time he became a part of American military.
The leadership theme and principle defined by Andrew J. Dubrin says that leadership is management science. It states that leaders need to hire people who are smart, keen and dedicated. Let them set a lead by example and let other follow them. On the other hand, Bernard M. Bass and Ronald E. Riggio argued that people must become leaders who lead the way and create more leaders rather than followers.


Bass, B. M., & Riggio, R. E. (2005). Transformational Leadership . New York: Psychology Press.
Bernad M. Bass. (2014, December 9). Transformational Leadership. Retrieved from Goodreads: https://www. goodreads. com/book/show/1389242. Transformational_Leadership? from_search= true
Coffey, B. (2014, December 9). Management Throught Inspiration. Retrieved from BradfordCoffey. com: http://www. bradfordcoffey. com/management-through-inspiration
Cohen, E. A. (2014, December 9). Playing Powell Politics: The General’s Zest for Power . Retrieved from Council on Foreign Affairs: http://www. cfr. org/world/playing-powell-politics-generals-zest-power/p7509
Dvir, T., Eden, D., Avolio, B. J., & Shamir, B. (2002). Impact of Transformational Leadership on follower development and performance: A Field Experiment. Academy of Management, 735-744.
Eagly, Alice, H., & Blair, J. (1990). Gender and leadership style: A meta-analysis. American Psychological Association, 233-256.
Powell, C. (2014, December 9). Liv2rv. Retrieved from Liv2rv: http://www. google. com. pk/imgres? imgurl= http%3A%2F%2Fliv2rv. files. wordpress. com%2F2013%2F10%2Fimage5. jpg&imgrefurl= http%3A%2F%2Fliv2rv. com%2F2013%2F10%2F25%2F&h= 2310&w= 1536&tbnid= xJeBNFKbKUc_fM%3A&zoom= 1&docid= yEigBPr8Zyn0mM&ei= mwCGVK-WDJPWas3OgPAD&tbm= isc
Rothenberg, R. (2014, December 9). Larry Bossidy: The Thought Leader Interview. Retrieved from Strategy+Business: http://www. strategy-business. com/article/20642? gko= f60d6
Schwabel, D. (2014, December 9). How to use storytelling as a leadership tool. Retrieved from Forbes: http://www. forbes. com/sites/danschawbel/2012/08/13/how-to-use-storytelling-as-a-leadership-tool/
Shamir, B., House, R. J., & Arthur, M. B. (1993). The Motivational Effects of Charismatic Leadership: A Self-Concept Based Theory. Organizational Science, 577-594.