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What Kind Of Leader Am I?

the-leadership-in-me

 

THEME 5: WHAT KIND OF LEADER AM I?

Being a leader is accepting a whole lot of responsibility; an effective leader needs to influence the behavior and actions of others. A leader needs to be a people person, he/she will need to think on their feet as sometimes there may not be the chance to consult with others before making decisions. A leader should be assertive and be able to motivate and renew the commitment of followers to ensure that they achieve their goals. From some of my previous blog posts, we have seen leadership and its definitions from scholars around the world; also different styles of leadership.

I would like to be a transformational leader supporting that with the situational leadership model. Judging from the past few months, working and getting acquainted with new team members, I seem to inspire my team members to be better at what it is that we are doing or even if it’s their own personal agenda and my assistance is needed in some way.

Based on the seminar activity carried out in Week 4 on the work of Meredith Belbin, we were asked to identify our team role types using Belbin’s Team Roles.

Belbin

After carrying out the exercise, I discovered my most dominant team role type is being a Completer, closely followed by the roles of a Co-ordinator, Monitor-Evaluator, and Resource Investigator. The table above gives some insight on a Completer showing that timely completion of work and thoroughness to be my characteristics. I’d say this is true because I am indeed very thorough in the work that I do, searching for errors and omissions, ensuring a level of perfection is achieved. The allowable weaknesses available to being a Completer are I’m inclined to worry unduly and also I was usually reluctant to delegate tasks. The Belbin role gave me insight on I would like my ideal team to be.

Before I began my MBA program, I was more of a Laissez-Faire leader, allowing people around me make the decisions, sometimes even when it involved me personally. But I have come to understand that my voice is important to me and also to the people around me. I’m no longer afraid to air my views or take responsibility due to fear of coming across as silly or not completing a task to its maximum. I realize that, by speaking and taking on responsibilities, by allowing myself make mistakes, I’m learning and improving daily.

In the course of this module, we were asked to make a presentation on the man who turned IBM around, Lou Gerstner.

Lou

 

He has since become someone whose leadership skills I admire. He is a transformational leader. IBM was arguably the most successful private enterprise and it was going down hill and he managed to motivate the employees to do better and not accept defeat. He created conditions for transformation by changing strategy and structure at IBM. Gerstner wasn’t the kind to learn why things were the way they were, he’d rather experience it by living in it, through this method he was able to ascertain the key issues wrong at IBM, ranging from how individuals worked in the organization to how they treated customers. Lou Gerstner saw beyond the present state of IBM, though it took about 10 years to fully revive IBM and have it at the top, he remained consistent and made it happen. I think he is an exceptional leader.

This is a video of him speaking briefly on how he turned IBM around;

 

 

A transformational leader engages with followers, focused on the significance of an outcome and in new ways those outcomes can be achieved. I have received feedback from some of my colleagues, describing me in that manner, I engage with my team members and listen to what everyone has to offer. It is fair to say that I’m also a democratic leader. In as much as I receive a lot of positive feedback, there are still some aspects that I need to improve on. Aspects such as being more creative, more time conscious, delegating tasks effectively without being biased. I also need to work on inter-personal skills, get out of my comfort zone and network with people.

One thing that is sure to keep me in the forefront, as a leader is my ability to adapt to change. I have also gained great understanding from researching theories on ethical leadership, change management, leadership styles and the importance of having a diverse work force, I will apply all I’ve learned to my daily routines, it will help keep me prepared and give me a chance to see what works and what doesn’t. All of these and a positive attitude towards winning, and picking myself up after failing at something, will mold me as great leader.

 

List of References

Culture and Leadership at IBM, (2004). 1st ed, The Case Centre, pp. 1-17

YouTube.com, (2014). Louis V Gerstner IBM Leadership (DCP 2010) [Online] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzwDaHxI1Ho [Accessed 30 Jun. 2014]

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Ethical Leadership

Ethics word cloud glowing

 

ETHICAL LEADERSHIP

Ethics and Leadership meets at various points, thus, ethical leadership can’t be examined without taking a gander at morals and leadership (authority) separately. Ethics are the standards, values and convictions that characterize what is good and bad in conduct. Leadership could be characterized as the specialty of helping, controlling and impacting individuals to act to attaining a typical objective.

By joining these two, one rapidly infers a basic definition for ethical leadership; the methodology of affecting individuals through standards, values and convictions that grasp what we have characterized as good behavior.

Ethics are vital to leadership in view of the way of the relationship between leaders and those devoted to them, the followers. Leaders influence their followers, this implies that their behavior has an impact on the lives of their followers, it could be in a good way or in a bad way. (Yukl, 2012).

Ethics spins around three ideas: “self,” “good” and ‘other’. Moral conduct obliges one to not simply consider what is beneficial for oneself, additionally consider what is useful for others.”

Moral initiative (ethical leadership) is concerned with leaders “doing the right thing” and not just “doing things right.” Leaders are in charge of developing the culture in their workplace or organization. Followers are expected to carry out tasks and display practices that re in line with the culture. At the point when leaders act in a moral way, these movements can raise the whole organization to very high levels of moral principles.

Ethical leadership can be described as both visible and invisible. In being visible, a leader stands out in behavior with regards to how he treats and works with others, his conduct out in the open, in his speeches and actions. The invisible side of ethical leadership lies in the leader’s character, his ability to make decisions, outlook on life, in the set of qualities and standards on which he draws, and in his ability to maintain moral choices in difficult circumstances.

Ethical leaders have to be morally upright all the time, not when somebody’s looking; they are ethical all the time, demonstrating over and over that morals are a basic a piece of the savvy and philosophical structure they use to comprehend and identify with the world.

The advantages of ethical leadership points of interest of moral authority qualities go past the process of just decision making. For the most part, a moral environment is one where leaders can:

  1. Look at ethical dilemmas from a variety of perspectives
  2. Reframe issues that appear to be ethical dilemmas
  3. Take action with a sense of ethical standards
  4. Exhibit the characteristic of conscious reflection.  This may take the form of talking through the dilemma to arrive at the most appropriate solution.

Over the years, studies have observed that in workplaces where leaders have honed ethical leadership abilities, these leaders were highly appreciated by the staff of the organization. (Richardson, 1992).

The way to having a morally run organization is employing morally upright leaders; this simply means for employees to act morally in the work, morally upright persons should lead them. “Ethical leaders have a tremendous impact on how people in their organizations behave and what they achieve”.(Thorton, 2013)

A typical example is of Abimbola who is the director of a company that provides services to the homeless. Several boxes of high brand sweaters were donated to the company. The employees are happy and begin trying on these fancy sweaters. Everyone loves nice things, an unethical leader will let herself get carried away and have herself and her staff pick out what they like before sending the items out to clients. An ethical leader will call everyone to order, including herself, reminding everyone that donations are targeted at a group of people and they should be made available to those people only.

An ethical leader knows that good relationships are the most important standards to go by to have a united workforce. An ethical leader understands that great quality relationships, germinate and grow in the deep rich soil of fundamental principles: trust, respect, integrity, honesty, fairness, equity, justice and compassion which are the most important determinants of organizational success (Covey, 1991). Covey refers to such principles the “laws of the universe.”

Being an ethical leader will be easier if you inculcate the following questions into your daily thinking (Northouse, 2013):

• Is this the right and fair thing to do?

• Is this what a good person would do?

• Am I respectful to others?

• Do I treat others generously?

• Am I honest toward others?

• Am I serving the community?

 

The morals of a leader may be examined along a range of dimensions that cannot be understood separately. These dimensions are as follows:

1. The ethics of a leader as an individual, which incorporates things like self-knowledge, discipline and intentions

2. The ethics of the follower/leader relationship (i.e., how they treat one another)

3. The morals of the methodology of leadership (i.e., order and control, participatory)

4. The ethics of what a leader does or does not do

These dimensions provide a picture of the ethics of what a leader does and how he or she does it.

 

 

List Of References

Berghofer, D. & Schwartz, G. (2014) Ethical Leadership: Right Relationships and the Emotional Bottom Line: The Gold Standard for Success

Covey, R.S. Principle-Centered Leadership (New York: Summit Books, 1991)

Ethicalleadership.com, (2014). Institute For Ethical Leadership – [Online] Available at http://www.ethicalleadership.com/BusinessArticle.htm [Accessed 24 Jun. 2014]

Money-zine.com. (2014) Ethical Leadership Skills. [Online] Available at http://www.money-zine.com/definitions/career-dictionary/ethical-leadership-skills/ [Accessed 25 Jun. 2014]

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Performance, Volume 5, Issue 2, May 2013. The full journal is available at

www.ey.com/performance

Richardson, M.D et al. (1992)“Teacher Perception of Principal Behavior—A Study”. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association, Knoxville, Tenessee, November 1992.

Thorton, L.F (2013). 7 Lenses: Learning the Principles and Practices of Ethical Leadership

http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/leadership/leadership-ideas/ethical-leadership/main

Van Buren, J.A. Ethical Leadership, Noonmark Nonprofit Services

Yukl, G. (2012). Leadership in organizations (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Managing Change

change

 

Change management is a style of management that aims to encourage organizations and individuals to deal effectively with the changes taking place in their work”. (Change-management-coach.com, 2014)

On a daily basis, as individuals, the rate of change outpaces our ability to keep up with it. In every environment, most especially the work place, change management is of the utmost importance as certain changes when implemented result in an organization making progress.

When plans are in motion to manage change, some basic principles should be considered:

  1. People react differently to change: There are people who prefer things to remain as they are, because this shows stability and certainty to an extent. Other people are interested in new developments. Problems could arise either way, a stability oriented individual will not be comfortable with rapid change; a change oriented individual can have problems with the fact that nothing is changing.
  2. Change more often than not, involves a loss
  3. The fundamental needs of everyone needs to be met: When reacting to change, people want to be in control, they also feel the need to be included in the change process. If these aren’t met in the process, it could lead to a resistance.
  4. Fear of the outcome should be dealt with
  5. The expectations of staff/people should be managed realistically:  Leaders should not make promises that the y cannot keep, the expectations of people should be kept at a realistic level (TeamTechnology 2014)

 

While considering the principles listed, leaders or bosses should endeavor to give out information and be honest about the situation. In cases where a large group of people have to be addressed, it is advised that a communication strategy be put into place to ensure everyone is addressed at the same time as this well help avoid misinterpretation of the information, and also avoid information getting lost along the way.  If as a result of change, a loss occurs, an alternative to replace the loss will make it easier for people to cope.

 

In the 1950’s, a psychologist named Kurt Lewin came up with a change management model, which is referred to as “Lewin’s Change Management Model”, he says there are three stages of change:

  1. Unfreeze: This is the first stage which serves as a wake up call to people, informing and preparing them to accept the change that is about to occur. Unfreezing is intended to strengthen the forces advocating for change; it could also weaken the defenses of those who want things to stay the same. (Normadin, 2012)
  2. Transition: Bearing in mind that change is not a thing that is instant, it is a process, which is why Lewin has called this stage a “transition”, whilst changes are made, transition occurs. New strategies are developed to ensure the progress of an organization; ideally this should also have an effect on the behavior of employees; a positive effect. (Connelly, 2014)
  3. Refreeze: This is where changes have been implemented, accepted and are now permanent. Stability is back in the organization and the changes become a norm. (Connelly, 2014)

Kurt Lewin Change

 

Source: www.cscollege.gov.sg

Having looked at the three stages of change according to Lewin, I’ve come to understand that there will be some employees who are averse to change due to a host of reasons such as:

  1. Fear of the unknown
  2. Loss of job
  3. Poor Communication strategy
  4. Lack of reward
  5. Bad timing
  6. Peer pressure
  7. Lack of trust and support (Adenle, 2011)

 

Below is a video on some more reasons why employees resist change

 

 

Source: (Youtube.com 2014)

 

The suggested ways to manage resistance to change are to:

  1. Own the changes: This means it is the responsibility of the leader to implement change.
  2. Get over it: Sharing thoughts and ideas that may not get chosen as the preferred decision as superiors may choose a different direction. Though this can be a put off, it is your duty to make the preferred decision work.
  3. No biased support allowed: Whether you are in support or opposition of the direction change is taking, once the direction has been chosen, full support should be given.
  4. Communicate the change: Effectively communicate with the staff, explaining why a change is needed.
  5. Help employees understand what they stand to gain if they along with the change process.
  6. Listen to the employees: Engage in conversations with employees also let them air their views.
  7. Create a feedback and improvement loop. (Heathfield, 2014)

 

It is not easy to go through change processes, although there are various models to explain the best ways to go about implementing change, the best ways to manage resistance to change; I would advice that in all of this the change process should be very well thought out, or else it will fail. Organizations should incorporate strategic change processes to ensure it goes on smoothly.

 

 

List of References

Adenle, C. (2011) 12 Reasons Why Employees Resist Change in the Workplace. [Online] Available at: http://catherinescareercorner.com/2011/07/26/12-reasons-why-employees-resist-change-in-the-workplace/ [Accessed 21 Jun. 2014]

Change-management-coach.com, (2014). Definition of Change Management. [Online] Available at:  http://www.change-management-coach.com/definition-of-change-management.html [Accessed 21 Jun. 2014]

Connelly, M. (2014) The Kurt Lewin Model of Change. [Online] Available at: http://www.change-management-coach.com/kurt_lewin.html

Heathfield, S. (2014). How to Manage Resistance to Change in the Workplace. [Online] Available at: http://humanresources.about.com/od/resistancetochange/a/how-to-reduce-resistance-to-change.htm [Accessed 21 Jun. 2014]

Normandin, B. (2012). Three Types of Change Management Models. [Online] The Fast Track. Available at:  http://quickbase.intuit.com/blog/2012/08/28/three-types-of-change-management-models/  [Accessed 22 Jun. 2014]

Teamtechnology.co.uk, (2014) Change Management – Five key points for leaders. [Online] Available at: http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/changemanagement2.html [Accessed 21 Jun. 2014]

www.cscollege.gov.sg, (2014). Organisation Development for Leaders. [Online] Available at: https://www.cscollege.gov.sg/Knowledge/Pages/Organisation-Development-for-Leaders.aspx [Accessed 22 Jun. 2014]

YouTube, (2014). 10 top reasons why people resist change, [Online] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzCF_TWFyy0 [Accessed 22 Jun. 2014]

 

 

Most Effective Leadership style to Managing the work of sub-ordinates

MBA-Leadership

Management is the organizational process that includes strategic planning, setting; objectives, managing resources, deploying the human and financial assets needed to achieve objectives and measuring results” (Uncw.edu, 2014)

Leadership is a process of social influence which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal” (Kruse, 2013)

From the definitions above, it can be deduced that management and leadership have to co-exist, but are different in each right. A manager’s job is to plan, manage and co-ordinate while a leader’s job is to inspire his team and motivate them. (The Wall Street Journal, 2014). In terms of personality, leaders tend to have a high level of imagination while managers are usually rational, unlike leaders who take risks, managers would rather be under control and be certain of the outcome from situations, they are averse to risk. Managers see outcomes as results, whereas leaders look at it as achievements.

Leaders take on problems by proffering creative solutions, they motivate people to excel at problem solving, and leaders have followers whilst managers have sub-ordinates. Managers take on problems by creating strategic methods to ensure that the problem is solved; as this is a more specific approach, which they believe, helps reduce risk. (Diffen.com, 2014)

Below is a diagram showing some more differences between Leaders and Managers (Bosses)

 

Boss-versus-leader

 

Source: Forbes.com http://blogs-images.forbes.com/amyanderson/files/2013/01/Boss-versus-leader.jpg

 

The Chartered Management Institute have stated that the best approach to managing the work of sub-ordinates may vary according to circumstances and individual characteristics (CMI,2013). I would agree with this because there are different styles of management and leadership that are tailored to every individual. As we have learned from the blog post on diversity, every person is different and unique in their own way, so how a leader or manager would handle works of their followers or sub-ordinates would certainly differ. To further explain this, let us look into some theories on leadership and management styles.

Though there are so many theories on leadership and management styles, they have all been born from four major theory groups, namely:

  • Trait Theories
  • Behavioral Theories
  • Contingency Theories
  • Power and Influence Theories

 

Trait Theories

The Trait theories are of the notion that great leaders share a number of common traits. Traits such as assertiveness, integrity, decision-making etc. possessing all these traits does not necessarily mean instance success as a leader. (Mindtools.com, 2014)

Behavioral Theories

This is to do with the behavior of leaders. A popular framework by Kurt Lewin says there are three kinds of leaders:

  1. Autocratic Leaders (they make decisions without consulting team members)
  2. Democratic Leaders (they consult team members and appreciate input before decision making)
  3. Laissez-Faire Leaders (they allow team members make many decisions)

Contingency Theories

This theory is based on leadership styles being dependent on a situation/circumstance. Some of these contingency theories are Path Goal theory, Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership theory. (Mindtools.com, 2014)

Power and Influence Theories

This theory is based on various ways leaders get work done through the influence and power they wield. Examples are French and Raven’s five forms of Power, which are Coercive, Reward, Legitimate, Expert and Referent Power.

 

Below is a video explaining what makes a good leader

 

 

Source: Youtube.com

 

A theorist named Rensis Likert carried out research at the University of Michigan and came up with four styles of management:

  1. Exploitative/Authoritative: Here, manager does not have confidence in his sub-ordinates, to ensure that work gets done; he tends to instill fear in them, which works as motivation. (CMI, 2013)
  2. Benevolent/Authoritative: Here, the manager has some level of trust in his sub-ordinates yet treats them disdainfully. (CMI, 2013)
  3. Consultative: Here, the manager trusts his sub-ordinates, not completely, listens to suggestions, but makes the decisions solely. (CMI, 2013)
  4. Participative: The manager trusts his sub-ordinates totally, listens to their ideas and implements them; also they are included in setting objectives. (CMI, 2013)

In agreement to the Chartered Management Institute, there is not one specific leading style that is the best but to be an effective leader I would suggest that the contingency theory which is leadership based on a situation/circumstance be applied.

 

List of References

CMI (Chartered Management Institute), (2013). Management Articles of the Year. First. London: Charted Management Institute.

Diffen.com, (2014) Leadership Vs Management – Difference and Comparison [Online] Available at:  http://www.diffen.com/difference/Leadership_vs_Management [Accessed 15 June 2014]

The Wall Street Journal, (2014) What is the Difference Between Management and Leadership? – Management [Online] Available at: http://guides.wsj.com/management/developing-a-leadership-style/what-is-the-difference-between-management-and-leadership/ [Accessed 17 June 2014]

Kruse, K. (2013) What is Leadership? [Online] Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2013/04/09/what-is-leadership/ [Accessed 17 June 2014]

Mindtools.com (2014) Core Leadership Theories: Learning the Foundations of Leadership. [Online] Available at: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/leadership-theories.htm [Accessed 17 June 2014]

Uncw.edu (2014). Management: Career: UNCW [Online] Available at: http://uncw.edu/career/management.html [Accessed 17 June 2014]

YouTube, (2014). What is Leadership? Learn What Makes a Good Leader. [Online] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XixkUiRy1Fg  [Accessed 17 Jun.2014]

 

 

Diverse Teams Produce Better Results

Image

Diversity is often explained to mean different kinds of people from different races, ethnicity and beliefs, countries, ages, religion, political views, gender etc.

 

Irrespective of where everyone is from, diversity is set to understand and accept that everyone is different from each other and uniquely so. Some people believe that their culture should be the ideal or only way to live, which shouldn’t be. A typical example is A Nigerian who works in a firm in the United States; he refers to his boss as “Sir” out of respect. In Nigeria, as a part of the culture, respect for elders or anyone above you such your boss is a big deal. His boss would rather be addressed by his first name; he doesn’t feel disrespected by this. The idea is to be able to adjust in whatever diverse situation a person finds himself or herself.

 

Diversity in the workplace works in line with treating employee’s equally, “it necessitates a work environment that respects individual differences and treats all members of staff with dignity and mutual respect”. (Mullins, L. 2013).

 

In today’s world, diversity is ever present in a lot of companies, in the sense that they interact with clients from different cultures to achieve a high level of productivity, global understanding, an improvement on language skills, customer loyalty, promote creativity, innovation and enhances problem solving (two heads are better than one). (Andrade, S. 2010) The organizations that neglect to see how essential diversity is may end up not able to pull in and hold the sorts of clients, representatives, and business accomplices that constitutes today’s changing world.

 

To further explain how and why diversity produces better results, I’ll break down some of the points stated above, such as:

 

  • High Level of Productivity: Having a group of people from different cultures with different talents working to achieve a common objective utilizing distinctive skills that shows their dedication and increases productivity. An example is of the first task given to us by our module tutor Carole; A group consisting of six persons, 3 Chinese persons, 1 Iranian, 1 Indian and a Nigerian were asked to go to Liverpool Street Station, London to collate a couple of items from within Liverpool Street Station; a scavenger hunt.  In as much as this was our very first meet, we formed smaller groups, and then managed to delegate tasks and set out to get the job done. Some items on that list proved difficult to find, but we thought out of the box and got a close alternative, which were commended for.
  • Promotes Creativity, Problem Solving and Innovation: When persons with distinctive personalities meet up, each person comes with a preferred method of working and tackling issues, and also of decision making, this brings about solutions to problems, the thought process involved in this promotes creativity.

The managers of businesses also have a role to play in promoting diversity in the workplace; certain management tools should be taken into consideration and implemented to effectively promote and manage diversity. Management tools such as Planning and Implementation, Conflict Resolution Skills and Communication. (Holt, M. 2014) Managers must have the capacity to arrange and execute a diversity plan, which will include creating ways to show appreciation for diversity to the workforce. Due to differences in culture, there will be disagreements; a manager is expected to be objective in resolving issues and should also inform the parties involved that their roles in the workforce are appreciated. Communication is one of the most ideal approaches to oversee diversity in the working environment. Employees’ should be grouped and encouraged to work with each other peacefully and understand themselves, this will help them see that with how different they are, each person comes with valuable contributions.

 

Below is a diagram of Geert Hofstede’s Cultural Value Dimensions observing different dimensions of human social life and national culture. Managers should explore this theory to gain a better understanding of people and their culture.

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 22.08.29

Source: (Human Capital Institute 2014)

 

In conclusion, diversity should be encouraged in organizations because it’s beneficial in the long run. A diverse workforce cuts across to customers’ showing that cohesion between races, sexes, and cultures exists. Managers should derive methods where employees’ can work together peacefully towards achieving the goals of the organization. If we get past our differences, it will help us improve to become better people by tolerating others and being sensitive to them.

 

List of References

Andrade, S. (2010) 6 advantages of Workplace Diversity. [Online] Saharconsulting’s Blog. Available at: http://saharconsulting.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/6-advantages-of-workplace-diversity/ [Accessed 12 June. 2014]

Holt, M. (2014) Key Tools to Manage Workplace Diversity. [Online] Available at: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/key-tools-manage-workplace-diversity-3027.html [Accessed 11 June. 2014]

Human Capital Institute (2014) Hofstede’s Cultural Value Dimensions. [Online] Available at: http://www.hci.org/lib/hofstedes-cultural-value-dimensions [Accessed 11 June. 2014]

Mullins, L. and Christy, G. (2013) Management & Organisational Behaviour, pp. 157-161. 10th ed. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.