The qualities of true leaders continue undergoing a number of changes, depending on many internal and external factors. People are ready to follow their leaders in case they demonstrate appropriate competencies. At the same time, attention is paid to the character as it includes the traits that are important for business growth. There is a thought that leaders’ character development enables them to become more authentic and effective as transformational leaders in organizations. This process is life-long and complex and helps leaders recognize available possibilities to achieve success and gain respect among employees. Authentic and transformational leadership styles are commonly applied in modern working environments to support change, motivate people, and maintain trustful connections. In transformational and authentic leadership, character development contributes to the establishment of professional relationships and organizational improvements.
Business success is predetermined by a variety of factors, and character development is one of them. Byes (2018) defines character development as a serious business advantage, which makes leaders take responsible risks and communicate such qualities as honesty and transparency. DACOTA approach represents the main areas of improvement and underlines the necessity of determination, awareness, knowing, optimism, trustworthiness, and accountability (Bye 2018). These tasks aim at defining the culture of an organization (determination, optimism, and awareness) and drive organizational effectiveness (knowing, trustworthiness, and accountability). If leaders succeed in their characters’ development, they can show the right direction to their followers, relying on integrity and humility.
Today, many leaders want to develop the required qualities and become more authentic in their relationships. Authenticity is rooted in humanism, promoting collaboration, motivation, and satisfaction. Character development allows individuals to change their businesses in regard to the noblest aspirations, including justice, prudence, and courage (Bye 2018). When people are not challenged by prejudice, lies, and unfair inequality, they are able to work hard and demonstrate the best results within the offered positive organizational environment. Being obsessed with a competitive advantage, technologies, and rewards, some leaders neglect their character development and fail to set clear purposes and mission statements. They do not want to understand that the progress of their followers and the creation of new leaders are benefits but never threats. Authenticity exists along with such important characteristics as self-discipline, strong values, and fair relationships, and character development is an integral part of this progress.
Transformational leadership is characterized by inspiration, creativity, and the promotion of a strong corporate culture sense. If a leader takes care of an employee’s well-being, it does not make him or her weak or ineffective. The idea of transformational leadership is based on integrity, humility, and understanding (Liborius 2017). This style is not always easy to follow because people may not recognize the line between transformational leadership and permissiveness. There is no need for a transformational leader to forgive all the mistakes or take responsibility for every achievement. Therefore, character development is an obligatory requirement that shows how to encourage motivation, comprehends moral standards, and build effective culture.
In conclusion, it is correct to say that leaders’ personal character development plays an important role in transformational or authentic leadership. This process is necessary to define the culture of an organization and decide on the qualities that help to establish the tie between a leader and an employee. Trust, integrity, humility, authenticity, and professionalism drive the organization’s effectiveness and the creation of new leaders who appreciate personal and professional development in a team. Character development cannot be ignored in leadership because it is probably the only process that allows leaders to become successful and competitive in business.
Bye, Danita. 2018. “To Succeed in Business, Build Your Millennial Leader Through Character Development.” Forbes.
Liborius, Patrick. 2017. “What Does Leaders’ Character Add to Transformational Leadership?” The Journal of Psychology 151 (3): 299-320. doi:10.1080/00223980.2016.1270889.