Theme 5: The Plan to Further Develop My Leadership Ability

Comments 11 Standard

There are five leadership styles in the work environments, including laissez-faire, autocratic, participative, transactional, and transformational leaderships. Each of these leadership styles has its own advantages and disadvantages. The organizational culture and goals determine which leadership style is the most appropriate one (Johnson, 2014).

My vision of leadership is to become a transformational leader in future. The transformational leadership model is illustrated as below.

Figure 1: The Transformational Leadership

Image

(Source: Management Study Guide, 2013)

The figure above demonstrates that transformational leaders exhibit four traits, i.e. inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, idealized influence, and individualized consideration. Transformational leaders need to be inspiring, visionary, thoughtful, and daring. Also, they should have a charismatic appeal.

I have also learned that transformational leadership requires high levels of communication from management to lower levels within an organization. To become a successful transformational leader, I should motivate employees and increase efficiency and productivity through high visibility and communication. As to meet organizational goals, I should engage in a high level of management involvement. By following this leadership style, I would focus on the big picture, while assigning small tasks to the team as to access the common goals (Johnson, 2014).

Some famous examples of transformational leaders in business include Bill Gates of Microsoft, Jack Welch of GE and Sam Walton of Wal-Mart (Duggan, 2014). The one who has inspired my understanding of effective leadership is not guy in my neighborhood. Instead he is a global idol, Steve Jobs, the father of Apple. I started my interest initially with Apple’s products. The products developed and released under the leadership of Steven Jobs, such as iPhone 4 and iPad 2 are sophisticated at that time. Then, I wonder that what kind of leader Steven Jobs is can transform not only the industry, but also the world. To seek the answer, I read his biography, look up in the library, and search sources in the internet. In this way, I have learned that transformational leadership can be an effective leadership style in the modern context. For a leader, to create a high performance workplace has become increasingly important. To achieve this, it requires the leaders to motive their followers to go beyond their task requirement. By contrast, other leadership styles have apparent disadvantages. The laissez-faire leadership is likely to lead to poor production and increasing costs. The autocratic leadership, though benefiting employees who require close supervision, does serious harm to creative employees. The participative leadership is inappropriate in make decisions in a short term. While transactional leadership, is less humane compared to transformational leadership.

The comments from my former colleagues make me more aware of my strengths to become a leader. I was working as a part-time job in marketing department in a hotel last year. In August, the top management required our department to develop a marketing plan for the coming Christmas. The department manager thus divided the whole department members into three groups and demanded that all groups should submit alternative plans in a week, from which the best would be chose. I was appointed as one of the group leaders. I asked my group members to brainstorm on the project and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each option. In the end, the marketing plan was chosen as the marketing plan for the company. The colleagues, not only my team followers but also the department manager, commented that I am a born leader due to my strong ability of inspirational motivation and intellectual stimulation.

However, I am quite sure that I still need a lot improvement as to become a successful business leader in future career. In general, there are two major leadership skills that I should be developing during my MBA period. Firstly, I will be learning more business knowledge as I progress through my MBA period. Business knowledge includes the marketing knowledge, the management knowledge and so on. As business knowledge is an important part of leadership skills, I should master it as much as possible these years. Secondly, I should master the team-based tools more smoothly throughout my MBA period. The team-based tools, such as PPT presentation, are increasingly important in the modern leadership activities. These tools can make leadership much more effective and efficient.

In conclusion, I have been determined to become a transformational leader in my future career. I believe this leadership style meets the requirement of social and business development. I have received positive comment from my colleagues, which have made more aware of my potential to be a future leader. However, to become successful leader, I need to learn more business knowledge and team-based tools as I progress through my MBA period.

Reference:

Duggan, T. (2014) ‘Transformational Leadership Examples in Business’ [online]. Available from:

< http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/transformational-leadership-examples-business-4571.html >[18 March 2014].

Johnson, R. (2014)  ‘5 Different Types of Leadership Styles’ [online]. Available from:<http://smallbusiness.chron.com/5-different-types-leadership-styles-17584.html >[18 March 2014].

Management Study Guide (2013) ‘Transformational Leadership Theory’ [online]. Available from: <http://managementstudyguide.com/transformational-leadership.htm&gt; [18 March 2014].

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Theme 4:Analysis of 4-V Model of Ethical Leadership

Comments 12 Standard

As an important term to an organization, ethical leadership requires a manager to understand the core values and to live them in all aspects of life for the common good. Developed by Dr. Bill Grace, the 4-V Model of Ethical Leadership demonstrates all sides of ethical leadership. The 4-V Model of Ethical Leadership is a framework that aligns the internal factors, i.e. the beliefs and values, with the external factors, i.e. the behaviors and actions, in service of approaching the common good. The framework is shown as below:

Figure 1: The 4-V Model of Ethical Leadership

Image

(Source: The Center for Ethical Leadership, 2014)

According to this model, leaders who wish to make a difference should make an inner journey of integrity as well as an outer commitment to the common good. In the first step, it starts with the inner journey, where individuals would discover their core values, identify a vision by which the world could be different, and then seek their personal voice as to express their vision. In the second step, the leadership development approach moves to an outer commitment of living and behaving in ways that serve the common good. The goal of leadership is to shape the world into a visionary and inclusive one, and allow all the organizational members to meet their needs and potentials.

As demonstrated in the figure, the 4-V model includes 4 sides of the ethical leadership, including values, vision, voice and virtue. Firstly, values act as the primary factor within the model. To develop ethical leadership, the leader should begin with understanding the individual core values. Secondly, vision is the ability that the leader possesses to incorporate his or her actions within the frame of what ought to be. As the third side, voice should be claimed as to articulate the vision to others so that they can be motivated to action. Fourthly, virtue, i.e. the common good, is fostered by the leaders through practicing virtuous behavior and striving to do the right things.

As the founder of 4-V model, Dr. Grace identifies three additional key elements to ethical leadership, including service, polis and renewal. Service connects vision to values, which means that when values are tested through service, the vision is often revealed. Polis, standing for politics, indicates that an organization is engaged in the art of politics when voice is given to vision in the public context. Renewal is the territory where voice returns to values, illustrates that since voice can be expressed in various ways, the leaders should regularly consider whether actions are consistent with values and vision (The Center for Ethical Leadership, 2014).

Besides 4-V Model, there are also other theories that perceive the sides of ethical leadership in different ways. For example, some researchers propose that there are five key elements of ethical leadership in an organization, including modeling ethics, giving employees’ voice, considering impact of decisions, promoting community involvement, and responsible sourcing (Schreiner, 2014).

Microsoft is a typical organizational example that illustrates the 4-V model of ethical leadership. The use of ethical leadership allows Bill Gates to significantly release the key tensions within leadership during Microsoft’s globalization process. Firstly, the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates starts with the inner journey of his ethical leadership. Bill Gates has discovered his core values, i.e. passion, intensity, and tenacity (JD, 2011). Then, he identifies a vision that the world could be improved by reducing inequity. By identifying this vision, Bill Gates is able to align his actions to what are the right things to do. In the following, he seeks his personal voice to express vision through management, focusing all his time, energy, and resources on making a better world, instead of getting retired. In the second step, Bill Gates behaves in the purpose of serving the common good, the virtue. For example, he has set a family foundation in which philanthropy plays an important role. The ethical leadership of Bill Gates has significantly boosted the globalization of Microsoft. In the process of globalization, most of Microsoft’s competitors have sacrificed the humanity. For example, Apple under the leadership of Steven Jobs had been establishing sweat factories in the developing. By contract, the emphasis on humanity in Bill Gates’ leadership has increased the brand image and facilitated its market exploitation in the global markets. In conclusion, ethical leadership can be an effective tool by which the leaders manage their organizations. As to deliver the optimal performance, the leaders should arrange the four sides of ethical leadership in the 4-V model properly by aligning the internal factors with the external factors to achieve the common good.

 

 

 

References:

JD(2011) ‘Lessons Learned from Bill Gates’ [online]. Available from:  http://sourcesofinsight.com/lessons-learned-from-bill-gates [9 March 2014].

Schreiner, E.(2014) ‘What Are the Key Elements of Ethical Leadership in an Organization?’ [online]. Available from: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/key-elements-ethical-leadership-organization-16742.html [9 March 2014].

The Center for Ethical Leadership (2014) ‘Ethical Leadership’ [online]. Available from: http://ethicalleadership.org/about-us/philosophies-definitions/ethical-leadership [9 March 2014].

Theme 3: The Change Management to Overcome the Resistance to Change

Comments 11 Standard

I disagree with Mullins (2010:753), who argues that the resistance to change is determined by the personality of individuals and management can do little about it. In my point of view, the managers can develop and implant change management as to address new challenges and constant change, no matter what personalities that the employees possess.

Primarily, the author should not blame the personality of the individual for assuming all the responsibilities for the resistance to change (Mullins 2010: 753). The resistance to change can be classified into three levels. Firstly, the employee resistance is the top obstacle to change among all levels. Employees are afraid of the unknown and thus opposed to moving out of comfort. The second level is the middle-management resistance within the organization. As persons who interact directly with front-line employees, middle managers could pose a significant resistance to change. The third level of resistance to change is the corporate inertia and politics that may push back against the change initiative (Prosci Inc., 2014).

From the analysis above, the former two levels of resistances to change are due to personality, which are subjective conditions, while the latter one is an objective condition. It shows that the resistances to change not only comes the personality, but also from the corporate inertia. In this circumstance, the author is wrong by stating that the resistance to change is “all down to the personality of the individual” (Mullins 2010: 753).

Secondly and more importantly, the managers can address the resistance to change by implanting effect change management. The employees are not responsible for managing change. Instead, the responsibility for change management is with managers of an organization, who are expected to manage the change in a way that employees can cope with it. According to the benchmarking study in 2009, the managers are critical to the success of change management. The research data is shown below.

Figure 1:

The Importance of Manager and Supervisor Involvement to the Success of Change Efforts

Image

(Source: Prosci Inc., 2013)

From the figure above, it can be seen that in the participants’ perception, the management plays the critical role in managing changes. Half of the respondents have ranked the manager and supervisor involvement as the extremely important, with another one-third citing it as very important. Especially, the managers play five roles in avoiding and overcoming the resistance to change as below.

The first role that the managers play is the communicator in change management, by communicating with direct reports about the change. As employees wish to from how their work would be influenced by the changes, the managers should act as the key conduit of information about the organization, the work to be done and changes to that work after project completion.

The second role that the managers should play is the advocate by demonstrating their support for the change. In most cases, employees seek to evaluate the level of support for the change effort. Therefore, the management should reveal their support in an active way to the employees.

Also, the managers should play the role of coach by educating and training the employees through the change process. The managers are supposed to coach individuals through the change process and help them overcome the barriers to the ultimate success.

The fourth role that managers play is the liaison. This role requires the managers to interact with the project team by providing information not only from the project team to their direct reports, and vice versa.

Furthermore, the managers should also play a role of resistance manager by identifying and managing the resistances at all level (Prosci Inc., 2013).

Furthermore, it should be pointed out that the resistance can bring value to the change process. While managers are making efforts to implant strategies in the best interests of the organization, the productive resistant behaviors of employees can add value to the change processes by providing innovation, new insights, and the generation of new knowledge. These employees with contextual knowledge are likely to add change agendas to help them fit with local contexts (Cardiff Business School, 2013). In this way, the productive resistance can bring value to the change process.

An organizational example for change management is Hilton Hotels Corp (Hilton) that manages the human resource change process. During this process, the company sets performance incentives as the major criterion for its stuff salaries. During the change process, the managers play well the roles of communicator, advocate, coach, liaison, and resistance manager. Additionally, the managers listen to constructive feedbacks, resulting in value added in the change process.

In conclusion, the mangers in the hospitality industry should implant proper change management as to respond to the changes in business environment. Throughout the change process, while the managers should play critical role in managing changes, they should also pay attention to the productive resistance of employees that could add value to the change process.

References:

Chapman, A (2013) Change Management [online]. Available from: <http://www.businessballs.com/changemanagement.htm > [9 March 2014].

Chen, YC. (2011) ‘A Case Study on the Business Performance Management of Hilton Hotels Corp’, International Business Research, vol. 4, No. 2, April, pp. 213-218.

Prosci Inc. (2013)  ‘Managers and supervisors: importance and role’ [online]. Available from: <http://www.change-management.com/tutorial-job-roles-mod4.htm > [9 March 2014].

Prosci Inc. (2014) ‘Change Management Learning Center’ [online]. Available from: <http://www.change-management.com/tutorial-success-factors.htm > [9 March 2014].

Theme 2: The Best Approach May Varying According To Circumstances and Individual Characterisics

Comments 14 Standard

Many people are confused about the relationship between leadership and management and use the terms interchangeably. Therefore, it is important to discuss how these two terms differentiate from each other and in what circumstances they should be used. As the first step of this blog, the similarities and differences between management and leadership will be observed.

An initial comparison and contrast between management and leadership is illustrated as below.

Figure 1: The Relationship between Leadership and Management

Image

(Source: Truss, 2012)

The figure above demonstrates that the leadership implies instilling an inspiring vision while management involves instilling good operational processes. Nonetheless, both of the terms have a common scope, i.e. getting important things done.

Basically, leadership and management have two apparent similarities between them. The primary similarity between them is that they both involve controlling or guiding a group of people as to approach common objectives. Another similarity is that leadership and managers often share the same qualities, i.e. the qualities ascribed to leadership also apply to managers. There are good and bad leaders in the world. At the same time, there are good and bad managers.

Also, leadership and management have a number of differences that the leaders and managers need to understand as to produce good results. In general, the manager’s job is to plan, organize and coordinate. By contrast, the leader’s job is to inspire and motivate (Dow Jones & Company, Inc., 2014). In details, there are a number of differences between the two terms, including: leaders question while managers direct; leaders tend to praise while managers are likely to find fault; leadership inspires while management plans; managers have subordinates while leaders have followers; and so on (Myers, 2014 and Changing Minds, 2013).

CMI (2013) points out that there is no single ideal approach under modern context since the best approach may vary dependant on the specific circumstances and individual characteristics. I totally agree with this argument and would like support it with evidences.

According to the theory proposed by Hay-McBer, there are six key leadership or management styles. All of these styles are effective under certain circumstances but ineffective under others.

The directive management style is to approach the immediate compliance from employees by closely controlling employees. This style proves to be effective in case that there is a crisis or deviations may cause risks. However, this style is ineffective when employees are underdeveloped or highly skilled. The authoritative style, by providing long-term vision for employees, could be effective when the leader is creditable or clear directions are needed but ineffective when employees are underdeveloped or the leader is unreliable. The afflictive style that aims at harmony is effective in managing conflicts but ineffective when performance is inadequate. The participative style that focuses on consensus among employees may be effective when employees are working together, especially in a steady working environment, but can be ineffective in case that there is a crisis or lack of competency. The pacesetting style that encourages do-it-myself managers is effective when employees are highly motivated and little direction is required, but ineffective in case that teamwork is needed. The coaching style, which encourages managers to be developmental, is effective when the employees’ skills need to be developed, but may be ineffective during a crisis (Cardinal, 2014).

The theory above shows that there is no ideal management or leadership style that is effective under all the business circumstances. The adoption of the most effective management or leadership should be determined by the specific circumstance and individual characteristics.

As a member of a team, I would like to be managed or led by a coaching style. This style sets the primary objective at the professional development of employees in a long term. I have chosen this management or leadership style because my skills need to be developed, and additionally I am motivated and want professional development. By adopting coach style, the manager would encourage me to develop my strengths and improve my work performance by providing development opportunities. Considering my characteristics, the coach style is the most effective management or leadership style for me. However, as to overcome the disadvantages of this style, I need to avoid the circumstances in which this style could be ineffective. To achieve this, I would seek an alternative style when the leader lacks expertise, or my professional proficiency is too low to be developed compared to my peers, or a crisis occurs.

In conclusion, leadership and management, though distinct from each other, have shared connotations also. As CMI argues, the best approach should be determined by circumstances and individual characteristics. In my point of view, I would like to be managed or led under the coach style as to improve my strengths and work performance.

References:

Cardinal, R. (2014) ‘6 management styles and when best to use them – The Leaders Tool Kit’ [online]. Available from:

< http://leadersinheels.com/career/6-management-styles-and-when-best-to-use-them-the-leaders-tool-kit > [10 February  2014].

Changing Minds (2013) ‘Leadership vs. Management’ [online]. Available from:<http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/articles/manager_leader.htm > [10 February 2014].

Dow Jones & Company, Inc. (2014) ‘What is the Difference between Management and Leadership?’ [online]. Available from:

<http://guides.wsj.com/management/developing-a-leadership-style/what-is-the-difference-between-management-and-leadership > [ 10 February 2014].

Myers, S.(2014)‘Leadership and Management: What is the Difference?’ [online]. Available from: <http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/leadership/management/overview > [10 February 2014].

Truss, D.(2012) ‘Leadership and Management’ [online]. Available from:

<http://pairadimes.davidtruss.com/leadership-and-management > [10 February 2014].

Theme 1: Diverse Team

Comments 12 Standard

In this blog, I would like to share how a manager should use the diversity management skills as to produce better results. As a successful leader, the primary mission for him or her is to create a team with a diverse of backgrounds. Previous researches have shown that a diverse team is able to bring a wide range of ideas to the table, help tackle problems in a creative way and drive innovation significantly (Stone, 2011). In the perception of many people, innovation requires people with high ability. However, they often neglect the importance of diversity, which has the same role as that of ability in driving innovation and economic growth. Teams characterized by diversity often see problems in different way, and take different routes to access possible solutions.

Due to importance of managing a diversity team, the diversity management should be considered as the most important skill for managers across all industries in the world, such as the hotel industry. Nowadays, diversity management is the key to growth in the increasingly competitive hotel industry at a global level. Diversity management involves not only arranging the number of diversified employees within the organization, but also how the organization treats them as its business model (Llopis, 2011). Therefore, in the global hotel industry, the diversity management is a business imperative for the managers at all levels.

Based on the analysis above, I would say that it is important for a manager to use diversity management to drive good corporate performance. However, diversity management is never easy. Managing employees with many different backgrounds is a hard mission since everyone thinks in their own ways while the manager should get prepared for all the possible consequences. The diversified people could bring about a number of different opinions, and provide many solutions to a problem. Additionally, cultural misunderstandings might occur. For example, in India, ‘being fired’ stands for being yelled at, instead of losing a job. A manager who is lack of cultural difference may encounter problems in the process of diversity management.

The successful implantation of a diversity management requires that the following two factors should be paid attention to.

Firstly, the manager should emphasize on three major dimensions of diversity. The figure below illustrates the three dimensions of diversity.

Figure 1: Dimensions of Diversity

Image

(Source: NC Office of State Human Resources, 2014)

The figure above indicates that the diversity management includes three dimensions of diversity, i.e., the primary dimension, the secondary dimension and the functional dimension. The primary dimension of diversity is based on physical characteristics and personal orientations, and the secondary dimension is based on individual beliefs and value while the functional dimension is based on work experience. For example, the primary includes basic criteria that classify different groups including the race, the sex, and so on.

Secondly and more importantly, the management should keep a right attitude while implanting diversity management. In another word, the manager should address diversity management practically and constantly as to produce better results. On the one hand, the diversity management requires practical efforts instead of lip services. Under the modern context, the population is likely to evaluate how organizations relate to the diversity. The consumers and employees would question the authenticity of an organization in case that the manager is not authentic. In this circumstance, the diversity approaches should go beyond mentality and be embedded in our brand (Llopis, 2011). On the other hand, implementing a diversity management program requires constant efforts. The manager should keep in mind that diversity management is not an overnight task, but a long-term strategy. It takes time to foster a more acceptable work environment for diversity. In this circumstance, the manager should implant diversity management with time, patience, and structured efforts to educate and communicate with employees. Eventually, by successful implantation, diversity management policies and programs will increase the productivity of the organization and lead to excellent corporate performance (Conjecture Corporation, 2014).

In conclusion, it is the managers’ attitudes towards diversity that determines whether the implantation of diversity management would be successful. The analysis above indicates that a market success requires creating and managing diversity teams across all industries, such as the global hotel industry. Therefore, the managers should possess diversity management skills as to produce better corporate performance. The implantation of diversity management not only involves the three dimensions, but also requires the managers’ practical and constant efforts. The managers should not be limited to talking about the importance of diversity, but should start implanting diversity policies and approaches within the organization. Furthermore, the managers need to pursue diversity objectives constantly as it is a long-term task. 

References:

Conjecture Corporation (2014) ‘What is Diversity Management?’ [online]. Available from:<http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-diversity-management.htm > [10 March 2014].

Llopis, G. (2011)‘Diversity Management Is the Key to Growth: Make It Authentic’ [online]. Available from:

<http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2011/06/13/diversity-management-is-the-key-to-growth-make-it-authentic > [10 March 2014].

NC Office of State Human Resources (2014) ‘EEO Diversity Management’ [online]. Available from: <http://www.oshr.nc.gov/Guide/EEOS/diversitymngt.htm > [10 March 2014].

Stone, A. (2011) ‘Different is good: how diversity can benefit your organization’ [online]. Available from:

<http://performance.ey.com/2011/11/15/different-is-good-how-diversity-can-benefit-your-organization > [ 10 March 2014].