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

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(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

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(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].