My Vision of Leadership

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Figure 1: Disney’s thoughts on leadership (Quotesgram 2016)

Personal Vision of Leadership

Many would have different point of views on leadership and based on my notion on leadership, a leader is a person whom possesses the ability to lead by examples and had the character to perform actions when it is not in the trend. A good leader is someone who can positively influenced people, turning them to become a better person and a role model for someone else to follow with. Some leaders we know or knew had their leadership capabilities when they are born, while some took some time to develop and shaped themselves to be successful leaders they are known today (Yakowicz 2014). Hence therefore, leadership skills do exist in many of us, it is a matter whether you want to utilize it or not.

The leadership development model by Steward Leadership is one of the platforms where I gained my insights on how to be a proper leader for the future.

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Figure 2: Leadership Development Model (Steward Leadership 2016)

Referring to the model each and every leader should develop every cycle starting from Creating Purposes, Deliver Excellence, develop self and others and last lead to change. This model is very straight forward and it helps to provide insights to future leaders on how to develop proper leadership capabilities.

However this model is not a model where a person can develop within a day or a week. This practice required efforts and may take up to months or maybe even years to develop into a proper leader with developed leadership capabilities (Fisher 2013).

Who inspired me?

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Figure 3: The late Martin Luther King, Jr. (Anon. 2015)

Throughout my life, many leaders have inspired me the leader whom inspired me most would be the late Martin Luther King, Jr. As a civil rights activist, he revolutionized all the people of the United States back in the early 1950s with a powerful speech where he dreamt of a world where everyone was treated alike regardless of their social background or race (Oestreicher 2016). His actions and speech has brought an end to racial discrimination bringing fairness, love and freedom to every human being on Earth. As many would say, his courage and determination is astounding which made him  one of the most recognized leaders he was till today, period.

Feedback from Clique and Skills Developed

Talking about feedback from clique, there a skill or two, that was advised to develop in the future. Firstly, there are numerous of skills in order to be an effective leader in today’s society. One of the many skills would be communication as it is one of the best possible medium to direct your ideas and leading your followers towards the goal envisioned (Benna 2015). The ability to communicate in the current world may not be an easy task as there would be barriers such as language or accents. Needless to say, a good communication skill is still one of the most effective ways to be an effective leader (Myatt 2012).

The next skill would be humility and as many would have known, the power of being a leader is strongly tempting because they have the authority to control on their followers. Being humble is a key point to be an effective leader and humility is often linked to generosity as studies shown (Szalavitz 2012). The need of being humble and generous as a leader is strongly related one of the leadership styles mentioned in Blog 3, Situational Leadership where leaders provide opportunities to their followers to gain relevant experiences in their work place. These leaders are often leaders that “are seeing more potential in people than they see in themselves” as mentioned by Gregoire (Gregoire 2014).

What Leadership would you like to Develop and How?

Throughout my MBA course, there is a skill or two I would like to develop not only for my current course but for the coming future prospects as well. One of them would be time management. Time management may sound easy but with heaps of works and death line looming around the corner, it is a real difficult to handle. The ability to organize one’s time effectively and meet deadlines under pressure is something every leader should adhere. The uses of models and theories are not applicable but a person’s determination in planning and organizing (Mathews, Debolt and Percival 2016) is how a person can learn to develop time management skill.

Conclusions

In conclusion, the module “Leading in the Changing World” had brought me fresh perspectives of how to be a successful leader and with the blogs I have written previously, I came to know that there are many things a leader should adhere and develop to be successful. Needless to say, nothing is perfect in this world and if the style of leadership I practiced is not favorable in the eyes of others, I will learn to be democratic and clarify what is the problem with my way of leading.

[706 words]

References: 

Anon. (2015) Remembering Martin Lurther King Jr. [online] available from <http://armedforcesmuseum.com/remembering-martin-luther-king-jr/&gt; [8 November 2016]

Fisher, C. (2013) The Advantages & Disadvantages of a Leadership Development Program with A Company [online] available from <http://work.chron.com/advantages-disadvantages-leadership-development-program-company-29408.html&gt; [15 November 2016]

Gregoire, C. (2014) 7 Traits That Make A Leader [online] available from <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/20/traits-that-make-a-leader_n_5959298.html&gt; [8 November 2016]

Mathews, J., Debolt, D. and Percival, D. (2016) How To Manage Time With 10 Tips That Work[online] available from <https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219553&gt; [8 November 2016]

Myatt, M. (2012) 10 Communication Secrets Of Great Leaders [online] available from <http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2012/04/04/10-communication-secrets-of-great-leaders/#485061151e06&gt; [8 November 2016]

Oestreicher, A. (2016) 5 Ways Martin Luther King Inspired The World By Having A Dream[online] available from <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-oestreicher/5-ways-martin-luther-king-inspired-the-world-by-having-a-dream_b_9003390.html&gt; [8 November 2016]

Quotesgram, (2016) Magical Disney Leadership Quotes. Quotesgram [online] available from <http://quotesgram.com/magical-disney-leadership-quotes/&gt; [4 November 2016]

Stewart Leadership, (2016) Stewart Leadership [online] available from <https://stewartleadership.com/lead-now/&gt; [8 November 2016]

Szalavitz, M. (2012) Humility: A Quiet, Underappreciated Strength | TIME.com[online] available from <http://healthland.time.com/2012/04/27/humility-a-quiet-underappreciated-strength/&gt; [8 November 2016]

Yakowicz, W. (2014) Why Great Leaders Are Made, Not Born [online] available from <http://www.inc.com/will-yakowicz/how-to-lead-your-life-like-a-great-leader.html&gt; [4 November 2016]

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Leadership & Change

“Change is nothing new and a simple fact of life. Some people actively thrive on new challenges and constant change, while others prefer the comfort of the status quo and strongly resist any change. It is all down to the personality of the individual and there is little management can do about resistance to change” (Mullins and Christy 2013).

Managing Change:

Change is something that is inevitable in everyone’s daily life regardless whether it is about daily lifestyle, business work, technological advancement and many other more. Everything a person faced is on a constant motion and movement to in order for better improvement and also to remain in the current competitive market (Garner 2006). Hence, referring to the statement proposed by Mullins, I agreed that changes are inevitable and it is all down to the personality of the individual to develop changes.

Organizations are thrive to meet constant changes will certainly improve over time and as everyone would know that changes doesn’t happen overnight. Hard effort and constant determination will bring a person somewhere sooner nor later. However, people whom preferred to linger in their comfort zones and resist any changes will not be able to cope up with the society these days. According to Mullins, the reasons behind a person’s resistance to change are mainly because of fears of failure, and also fear of the unknown (Mullins and Christy 2013).

Role of Managers in Organization Changes

In an organization, managers play an important role in avoiding and overcoming resistance to changes. In order to manage a team to provide and make changes to the current situation, a manager should always keep in mind that a successful change in organization involves the employees. Many employees aren’t ready for changes are mainly because they fear of failure, and also fear of the unknown (Mullins and Christy 2013). In order to instill confidence in employees, managers should motivate and provide adequate amount of relevant trainings to initiate changes in people. By having relevant knowledges and skill sets, this could aid employees’ growth, allowing them the willingness to develop changes. (Rick 2016).

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Figure 1: Kotter’s eight steps to Change Management model (Kotter 1996).

Kotter’s eight steps model briefly explains how it is to make changes to the management. This model proposed by Kotter provides an overall checklist on what are the procedures needed to abide during a changing process (Kotter 1996). The first two steps is the main reason why Kotter’s model is highly recommended as it creates a form of urgency of what is needed to be changed and to form a strong relationship with people to work towards the change (Gough 2009).

Steps   Explanations
1 Create the need of urgency

The stage where the manager sense there is an urgent need of changes. This would provide the initiating factor to make changes by identify potential threats, understanding future scenarios and hold honest feedback and meeting to discuss on these matters.

 

2 Forming a powerful coalition

This stage is where people convince one another that changes are required. Strong leader and good team should be addressed and build a strong relationship to work as a team to continue gaining momentum to build the urgency for the need of change.

 

3 Create a vision for change

This is the stage where the entire team work together to develop a vision by asking one another what are the things that is needs to be change. Upon having a clear vision, the team will work towards the vision.

 

4 Communicate the vision

This is the stage where the team will work towards the vision. As a leader, this is the part where the leaders must show an example of leadership of “walking the talk”. He develop what is needed to change and he works towards it.

 

5 Empowering broad-based action

Working towards a vision will definitely ignite barriers and difficulties. This is the stage where the team works together to eliminate such barriers and difficulties and continuously work towards the vision to make changes.

 

6 Create short-term wins

Working on small changes that creates small wins will benefit the team member as this would motivate the team hungry for more success. If none, this will be a negative effort which will slow down the team towards making possible changes.

 

7 Build on the change

With the small changes made through short term wins, continuously to make effort to make more changes that is needed to make continuous improvement needed for the organization. Many teams decided to stop at stage 6 because victories were declared to early at that stage and many decided to slow down.

 

8 Anchor the changes in the corporate culture

From the change developed and built, ensure that the changes made will be sustained from time to time. The leader and team should always be on standby and ready for new opportunities and hungry for continuous improvement for the organization.

Source: (Ramakrishnan 2014)

Regardless of how effective this model can be, there are also limitations when it comes to practicing this model; below is a table to provide necessary understanding on the limitations;

Limitations

 
Inflexible approach to adhere

As mentioned by Kotter himself, the eight steps develop by him must be followed in sequence in order to develop changes. The shows the rigid approach of the model itself (Kotter 1996).

 

Irrelevant steps

Certain steps in the Kotter’s model maybe not be required by an organization to practice as those steps has already been develop at the beginning of the day before the model was even put into practice (Joshi 2013).

 

Example of Organizational that is Open for Changes

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Figure 2: Google Headquarters [Source (O’Rourke 2016)]

As a technological company, the needs to open for changes is necessary because being in the technological industry where constant innovations and changes occur from time to time, the competition is fierce. For example, back in 2014, Google whom decided not to be only as a leader in search engine but as well in other related diversified field such as email server system, Gmail, publishing digitized books through Google Books, navigate people around the world using Google Maps, published news through Google News, developed storage system, Google Drive, invented wearable products, Google Glass and many more (George 2015).

Constant changes in innovations proved that Google shows effective direction to their employees of the vision and mission of the organizations thus empowering and motivate them to improve their overall performances in the company.

 

Example of Organizational that Resist to Change:

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Figure 3: Kodak’s Logo [Source: Kotter 2012]

Kodak is an example of an organization which resist to change back in the early days when of film photography. Until the development of digital cameras to replace film and smartphone to replace cameras, Kodak begun losing market shares drastically because of their resistance to move into the digital world and not taking any action to combat the inevitable challenges (Kotter 2012). The mentality of the upper executive believe in their current product was perfect enough is what cause the downfall of the company (The Economist 2012).

Conclusions:

            To sum things up, the need to change is inevitable and it is required as part of an improvement towards standing strong in the current competitive market. The resistance to change would not bring a business anywhere it is indeed common due to the fear of failure and unknown. Hence therefore, managers should work together with employees to find a way to change and improve the company towards a brighter, secured and sustained establishment.

[805 words]

References:

Garner, L. (2006) Everything I’ve Ever Learned About Change. London: Hay House

George, B. (2015) The World’s Most Innovative Company [online] available from <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-george/the-worlds-most-innovativ_b_8406556.html&gt; [2 November 2016]

Gough, V. (2009) Organizational Change: Which Model Should I Use? [Online] available from <http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/lead/culture/organisational-change-which-model-should-i-use&gt; [31 October 2016]

Joshi, U. (2013) Change Management Model. Kotter 8 Steps Model

Kotter, J. (2012) Barriers to Change: The Real Reason Behind The Kodak Downfall [online] available from <http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkotter/2012/05/02/barriers-to-change-the-real-reason-behind-the-kodak-downfall/#5b5f1836985e&gt; [31 October 2016]

Kotter, J. (1996) The 8-Step Process For Leading Change – Kotter International [online] available from <http://www.kotterinternational.com/the-8-step-process-for-leading-change/&gt; [31 October 2016]

Mullins, L. and Christy, G. (2013) Management & Organisational Behavior. 10th edn. Harlow: Pearson

O’Rourke, A. (2016) What Defines Your Company Culture? – Bplans Blog [online] available from <http://articles.bplans.com/defines-company-culture/&gt; [31 October 2016]

Ramakrishnan, S. (2014) Change Management Models [online] available from <https://www.scrumalliance.org/community/articles/2014/march/change-management-models&gt; [31 October 2016]

Rick, T. (2016) Successful Change Management Involves The Employees [online] available from <https://www.torbenrick.eu/blog/change-management/successful-change-management-involve-the-people/&gt; [31 October 2016]

The Economist, (2012) The Last Kodak Moment? [Online] available from <http://www.economist.com/node/21542796&gt; [31 October 2016]

Most Effective Leadership & Management Styles & Approaches

Leadership vs Management

The words, leader and manager do not differ from one another when it comes to explaining their responsibility. As a leader or a manager in person, both must ensure that their followers or their subordinates are doing their job in a correct manner and not following the wrong path way in handling their given tasks. That person should also ensure that their followers are working towards the vision and mission of the organization. However, other than responsibilities, the words leader and manager are very different. Refer to the table below to understand the differences between leadership and management;

Leadership

Management

According to Laurie J. Mullins, leadership is defined as a “relationship through which one person influences the behavior or actions of other people” (Mullins and Christy 2013).

Management is defined as a working role in an organization where people work to achieve the vision and mission of the organization (Mullins and Christy 2013).

 

Step in placing an authority over another person into understanding and accept on what is needed to be done and how to execute the given tasks (Yukl 2013)

An act of computing the quantity regularly, regulating the proposed initial plans and conducting actions to achieve the intended objective (Ukko, Pekkola and Rantanen 2009).

Leaders’ uses speech and word to word conversation to inspire, assist, and support changes in people’s attitude in changing their behaviors (Kent 2005).

Management is known as the process of completing the tasks effectively by working together or through someone that leads to the achieving goals by completing daily objectives (Haslam 2004).

Leadership Styles

As a leader, it is important that leaders possess effective ways to manage the work of their subordinates in achieving targets and goals of the organization. Followers must possess the “readiness” to be influenced by the leader is known as situational leadership. A model introduced by Hersey and Blanchard in 1997 where the right leadership style is based on the combination of two behavior known as Task Behavior and Relationship Behavior which is elaborated below;

Task behavior

An area where the leader supplies a pathway or route for their subordinates, setting goals for them to get a clear insight of their responsibility and how to execute the given tasks (Mullins and Christy 2013).

Relationship Behavior

An area where the leader communicate with their subordinate or followers in a two way communication, hear them out, and assist by giving supports and encouragements (Mullins and Christy 2013).

These two behaviors interrelate and derive four leadership styles as shown in the image below;

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Figure 1: Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership. Source:  (Moreno 2014)

The model shown above explains a curve that proceed through four leadership styles namely from S1 to S4 where leaders show and guide their followers through series of situation and develop them into a member of the organization to achieve goals by completing the objectives given. The stages of leadership style are explained further below;

Leadership Style  
Telling (S1)

Task of leader: High

Relationship with followers: Low

This stage is where the leader provides specific instructions on how things should be done to achieve the targeted goal by monitoring their followers and supervising their performances.

Selling (S2)

Task of leader: High

Relationship with followers: High

 Opportunities were given to followers to gain relevant experiences. From this, leaders will provide feedback to their followers made to ensure their pathway are vision and mission oriented.

Participating (S3)

Task of leader: Low

Relationship with followers: High

Leaders participate by sharing ideas and providing decision through a verbal communication. Leaders will stay out of action and provide more opportunity to their followers.

Delegating (S4)

Task of leader: Low

Relationship with followers: Low

Followers at this stage are highly experienced where the leader provides a given task to their followers with minimal direction and support.

From the elaboration above, it is highly recommended that leaders should partake in all of the leadership styles starting from S1 to S4 to guide new followers and nurture them into becoming one of a better employee that the organization need to achieve the targeted goal.

Can your leader abide to the style?

Making a statement that state that all leaders should have the four leadership styles is not an easy task. As pointed out by CMI (2013) that “there is no single ideal, as the best approach may vary according to circumstances and individual characteristics” which is highly agreeable because different people had different personalities thus leading them to have different ways of leading or managing their followers in the real working industries.

According to a survey done by The Ken Blanchard Companies, it is not easy for leaders to comply all four stages of leadership styles. As shown in the pie – chart below, only one percent of managers or leaders are able to apply all four leadership styles which is a rare sight. Majority of the managers are capable of applying only one leadership style which can be proved from the 54% statistical review (Witt 2012).

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Figure 2: The ability to flex Leadership Style (Witt 2012)

Examples of Leaders

Political leader

Example of a leader that many current leaders should learn from would be former late United States president, Dwight Eisenhower. As president, Eisenhower famously known for his good diplomatic relationship with other countries’ leaders by uniting and later defeated the Nazi armies. His leadership in military practices helps many potential armies to develop into better fighters. His gift in showering confidences and provide tactics to his followers to defeat their enemies is something many leaders do not possess. His leadership capabilities provided him two terms in the presidential position (The New York Times 2010).

Entrepreneur leader

Another example would be a Chinese entrepreneur, Jack Ma is known for his good leadership in developing Alibaba as one of the top e-commerce company in the world. His leadership by surrounding himself with the smartest and highly capable and innovative employees to work together with one vision that is to bring Alibaba a success it is today (McGregor 2014). From the very beginning, Ma constantly had many setbacks, such as failures in obtaining agreements and landing a permanent job. But that does not stop him in achieving the success he had today. His attitude of not giving up and high perseverance to achieve his goals is what many leaders should adhere today (McGregor 2014).

How Would Followers like to be led?

            Leaders are important but a leader without any followers is just someone taking a walk alone (Kristen 2015). Followers often want to be led by leaders that are able to set visions, strategize and build main priorities in the tasks they are dealing with. A leader should also have the capabilities to build relationship with their followers and influence them to make things possible for their followers to achieve.

            Besides these commitments from a leader, followers often wanted mutual trust, hope, compassion and stability among the leader and their followers. These are four main attributes that many preferred from leaders based on a recent survey on more than 10,000 participants (Rath and Conchie 2009).

[801 words]

References:

Haslam, S. (2004) Psychology in Organizations. London: Sage Publications

Kent, T. (2005) “Leading and Managing: It Takes Two to Tango”. Management Decision [online] 43 (7/8), 1010-1017. Available from <http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/00251740510610008&gt; [16 October 2016]

Kristen, J. (2015) Leaders Excellence at Harvard Square [online] available from <https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/leader-without-followers-just-someone-out-walk-jill-kristen&gt; [18 October 2016]

McGregor, J. (2014) Five Things To Know About Alibaba’S Leadership [online] available from <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/on-leadership/wp/2014/09/18/five-things-to-know-about-alibabas-leadership/&gt; [20 October 2016]

Moreno, I. (2014) Leadership Theories I: Situational Leadership [online] available from <http://speakinbytes.com/2014/01/situational-leadership/&gt; [17 October 2016]

Mullins, L. and Christy, G. (2013) Management & Organisational Behavior. 10th edn. Harlow: Pearson

Rath, T. and Conchie, B. (2009) What Followers Want From Leaders [online] available from <http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/113542/what-followers-want-from-leaders.aspx&gt; [18 October 2016]

The New York Times, (2010) Dwight David Eisenhower: A Leader In War And Peace [online] available from <http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/1014.html&gt; [17 October 2016]

Ukko, J., Pekkola, S. and Rantanen, H. (2009) “A Framework To Support Performance Measurement At The Operative Level Of An Organisation”. International Journal of Business Performance Management 11 (4), 313

Witt, D. (2012) Three Times When It’s Wrong to Just Be a Supportive Manager [online] available from <https://leaderchat.org/2012/06/18/three-times-when-its-wrong-to-be-a-supportive-manager/&gt; [16 October 2016]

Yukl, G. (2013) Leadership in Organization. 8th edn. New York: Pearson