Research Outline

Effective Leadership Research


To have a broad understanding of how trust, influence, and transformational leadership can assist leaders in corporate America to effectively lead a diverse workforce and teams. An ideal response would include information, data, and/or statistics that supports three definers being effective competencies for leadership.

Early Findings

  • Given that COVID-19 is uppermost in most company leaders minds, what Julie Wilson, founder of the Institute for Future Learning, asserts seems very timely surrounding being a leader given that many companies have gone virtual. She feels that leading a virtual team simply requires leaders to “double down on the fundamentals of good management, including establishing clear goals, running great meetings, communicating clearly, and leveraging team members' individual and collective strengths.”
  • According to this source, "trust is key in any relationship. When employees trust their managers and believe they’re working toward a shared vision, collaboration and engagement happen naturally. But it’s hard won in an environment where face-to-face interaction is a rarity. A shared mission, collaborative spirit, and strategic team building can help instill trust in remote and onsite workers alike."
  • Dianne Campbell, vice president of global diversity and inclusion at American Express in Washington, D.C. asserts that an organization’s executives and managers will be instrumental to diversity and inclusion efforts. “At the end of the day, it’s the leader who’s on the front line with our employees,” she states “It’s the experience that the leader is creating that is going to make or break” your D&I initiatives.
  • “Leaders, especially middle managers, must be held accountable for results,” according to Erin L. Thomas, a diversity researcher and a partner at Paradigm, a D&I consulting firm based in San Francisco. "That means structuring meetings, allocating resources and using language that advances inclusion. Employees need to see that inclusive behavior is a core competency."
  • According to the 2018 Hays Asia Diversity and Inclusion report, (download required) "improved company culture, leadership and greater innovation were the top three benefits of diversity identified by respondents."
  • "By the year 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be made up of millennials, which means this group will occupy the majority of leadership roles over the coming decade." The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey (download required) shows that 74% of these individuals believe their organization is more innovative when it has a culture of inclusion. "If businesses are looking to hire and sustain a millennial workforce, diversity must be a key part of the company culture."
  • "McKinsey’s Delivering Through Diversity report found corporations that embrace gender diversity on their executive teams were more competitive and 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability. They also had a 27% likelihood of outperforming their peers on longer-term value creation."
  • According to this source, "leaders that utilize a transformational approach may see increased success in promoting diversity and shifting the culture of their organization. With this leadership approach, leaders are working toward increasing the ethics and standards within themselves and their followers. Transformational leaders not only inspire their followers, they provide support and guidance, which is important during culture shifts."
  • "Transformational leaders recognize the need to be lifelong learners which is necessary when dealing with diversity and cultural competency as these concepts are dynamic and not a set of skills that can be singularly mastered."
  • "The main ingredient to enhance diverse team outcomes within an organization may be transformational leadership. A 2009 study published by the American Psychological Association found that for teams that are diverse in different factors (age, nationality, education), a transformational leader was instrumental in impacting team performance."
  • "Simply attracting and recruiting diverse talent is not enough. Increased diversity can lead to conflict and misunderstandings. A well-trained manager will be able to resolve these conflicts should they arise. One of the problems is that many companies focus on creating more diversity without first ensuring that managers are equipped with the tools and skills to manage these diverse teams. Lacking these skills could be a recipe for disaster. Increased diversity that leads to greater conflict may cause diversity fatigue, which is the phenomenon of employees being skeptical about their company’s diversity and inclusion efforts."

Summary Of Our Early Findings Relevant To The Goals

  • Our initial hour of research was spent scanning to ensure that the research questions could be answered by publicly available sources. While many of the sources found on transformational leadership were older than 24 months, we did find some reliable and credible more recent sources for the rest of the questions.
  • We found many recent sources were referencing COVID-19 as leaders are now having to deal with this under the umbrella of fostering trust, wielding influence and being a transformational leader during this crisis. We are absolutely recommending that this be included in this research, but if it should be avoided, that should be clearly communicated in any reply.
  • Our initial hour of research was able to present general information, data, and statistics surrounding trust and transformational leadership.
  • Please select one or more of the options provided in the proposed scoping section below.