My Leadership Style and My Inspiration

 

My vision of leadership

A vision is simply a picture of an ideal state of what the leader wants their organization to be in the future (Richter, 2013).  My vision of leadership is to have sustainable leadership with a high understanding of my diverse teams, and also to work hand in hand.  In order to achieve and define my visions, there are some aspects of leadership that I consider essential such as consistency, clarity, effective communication and integrated in behaviour and leadership style. According to the video, personal development is the most important aspect from a leader. Your behaviour defines how effective is yourself as a leader. A woman in the video said about her manager who was consistent of his goals and influenced all employees. I personally think that to be a leader or manager, we have to show consistency in our behaviour in front of our teams. It is important you act and manage your business with consistency otherwise, you are planting the seeds of confusion, distrust, and lack of respect with your employees, partners, suppliers, and customers (Adam – Hall , 2013). Therefore, all employees will trust and respect us as the leader if we have the consistency in our behaviour, then they will be influenced and will together have consistency in doing their job. Clear message and effective communication will prevent misunderstanding within the team. It is so important to have the clarity aspects in internal communication between the leader and teams.

The way to measure how effective the leadership style used is to know the integrated level of communication within the team.

 

My inspiration of effective leadership

The leadership structure of Google inspires and helps me understand the effectiveness of leadership. The moment I read the success of Google, I was really intrigued with the men behind that success leadership. Eric Schmidt, one of CEOs in Google that work alongside with Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the CO – founder of Google is a good example of leader. Him and the management team at Google have been showing effective leadership scheme towards its 30,000 diverse employees worldwide (Google Company, 2013). We strive to maintain the open culture often associated with startups, in which everyone is a hands-on contributor and feels comfortable sharing ideas and opinions (Google Company, 2013).  There are some unique aspects of leadership style of Google that provides a lot of facilities to entertain its employee such as free food, spa, sports, leisure area and more. Google is believed to use a democratic style of leadership, where the focus of power is more with the group as a whole and there is greater interaction within the group (Mullins, 2012). With these leadership styles and facilities, Google subjects to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, when once the needs fulfill, the productivity will be increased. Google has proved it with the growing market share and turnover over these years.

I am so inspired with the way Google lead its employee because I think it is so effective how they put their human resources as top of company priority in order to achieve the business objectives. Google shows me that human resources is the core of the business.

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Google-office

Feedback from my colleagues that has helped me

I have once received feedback from my colleagues to be more focussed and to be more conscious with time management. I found that feedback really helpful to develop my personal behaviour, therefore I can develop my leadership skill as well. I have been adapting both positive and negative feedback from my colleagues to develop myself better. For instance, I am now more focus on what I need to do and what I need to have done. The result is I feel more have control over myself.

Leadership style

I found two leadership styles towards subordinate staff and the focus of power matches with my flexible personality. Those are democratic style and laissez – faire (genuine) style. Democratic style is where the focus of power is more with the group as a whole and there is greater interaction within the group. Whereas, genuine style is where the manager observes members of the group are working well on their own and will available if help is needed (Mullins, 2012). I personally think it will be more effective to combine those leadership styles, as their focus is similar such as freedom and people. Therefore, I will develop those leadership styles and combine it with my personal development, in order to achieve effective leadership. On occasions where I have lead teams in my course, I ensured that the whole team understood the goal of the task involved and that I delegated work according to my understanding of each team member’s strengths.

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Ethical Leadership

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The importance for top-level management in modern organisations to exhibit and practice ethical leadership has ever increased. Effects of ethical leadership can vary positively and negative on the organisations and the employees.

Ethical leadership though should come from the very top, CEO level.

 

Effects on individual effectiveness:

 

Positive

Ethical leadership must be displayed rather than just declared (Harris, 2013). By displaying such behaviour, trust worthy and strong relationships are fostered as Harris explains “When trust exists in the workplace, employees will share their perceptions and views of bias, unfairness, or unwanted behaviours with their leaders”.

Trusted relationships within teams will bring effectiveness and efficiency to achieving the corporate goals.  A study by Tour & Ofori (2009) found that ethical leadership leads to an increase in an individual job performance and effectiveness in achieving the goals set by management. The study also found that job satisfaction and willingness to put extra effort also increased.

 

 

Negative

There may also be negative effects of ethical leadership that may not seem as obvious. With greater focus on ethical leadership, CEOs are setting ethical guidelines to which employees must adhere. The greater red tape may affect job performance as employees are required to stick to set rules. Individual creativity is one aspect that may be hindered.

For example, Selfridges’ ban on use selling fur or material from exotic animals may have prevented the buyers from expressing a brand for which this is known. In addition, reactive actions of team may take longer due to the processes that need to be taken which may cause employee dissatisfaction.

 

Effects on organisation effectiveness:

 

Positive

 

A CEO displaying ethical leadership puts the company in a low risk position as ethical compliance is met. Increased processes allow for greater effectiveness as fewer mistakes are made that could hinder governance of ethics.

Arel, Beaudoin and Cianci (2011) argue that shareholders who are satisfied with ethical leadership leads to greater company performance.

For example, Internal audit systems have increased effectiveness over decisions on uncertainty as the study showed. The study found that accountants who perceive a greater moral intensity would more likely act positive.

 

Negative

 

In 2010, the CEO of Marks and spencer who was soon to be stepping down received a 140% increase in salary and bonuses despite poor performance by the company.

This caused relationships with its shareholders to fracture “as the retailer failed to comply with corporate governance guidelines and tested investors’ patience with generous incentive schemes”

It may be argued that this lack of sensitivity will have caused damage to the company’s reputation. Additionally, employees who may have felt that level of reward was unequal would be cause individual effectiveness to drop along with loyalty and commitment to their position.

Effective ways to manage the Resistance to Change

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Change at the work place

 

Change is a constant at the workplace and is inherent in the world that we live in. Advances in technology, culture evolution and globalisation are just some of the factors that have driven change. Resisting change is natural to many employees and there are many reasons why this happens. Catherine discusses how fear of job loss and bad communication of company strategy are just some of the reasons that result in resistance to change (Adenle, 2011).

 

 

Managing resistance to change

 

Limitation of management of individual opinion

 

The view to “change” between employees and top management can vary somewhat. Top-level managers see change as an opportunity to “align operations with strategy” and to “take on new professional challenges and risks” (Streble, 1996). However, for other employees “change is neither sought after nor welcomed” (Streble, 1996). Change is often too impersonal and often managers overlook the behaviour impact on other employees.

Managers are merely “navigators” and to control resistance to change at an individual level is limited (Palmer, 2008). This is supported by Sinclair who argues that it is important not to manage employees over simplistically but rather to “rehabilitate the importance of the emotional and psychological process without pathologising it” (Sinclair, 2011).

 

Ben – Eli further supports this by adding that over simplifying the inherent “complex” nature of change is sometimes appealing but in fact leads to “unintended results” and “even exacerbate the very conditions that it tries to resolve”. Managing such complexity at an individual basis to those resistant to change is a task with no definite positive result.

 

 

Culture of top – level management

Ben – Eli argues that the culture of top-level management is often the reason why managing change is often overlooked in organisations as “management culture tends to encourage an arrogant pretence at certainty” and “inhibits the spontaneous free flow of trial and error that learning requires”. It can be argued that this culture is inherent to organisations with large hierarchies and so therefore often limits the implementation to change management. Top management at Co-op recently took out large bonuses and will have unsettled its employees and will have created resentment and disrespect to those in high management positions, thus undermining the whole hierarchy of management (Doward, 2014).

 

Changing the “manager” behaviour to “leader”

Managers are experts in processes and function. The problem is that many managers use a “mechanistic tool” by “breaking change into small pieces and then managing the pieces”(Duck, 1993). Strebel argues that instead of treating each element of change in isolation, they should “understand how pieces balance off one another” to work towards the companies overall strategy and direction. Such behaviour is often attributed to leaders rather than managers. As Zaleznik explains a manager’s nature would be to “take an impersonal, passive outlook” and see goals as “arising out of necessities, not desires”. Such risk averse behaviour causes “communication by sending ambiguous signals”.

 

Theoretical approach to managing

By implementing Fayol’s Five Function of Management, high – level management can foster a culture of forward-thinking culture where all employees are engaged in the strategy of the organisation (Proven models, 2014). The challenge for management is then to minimise those resistances that stem from those listed by Adenle to only those that are less rational.

 

Keagan and Lahey (2001) argue that if managers were to help manage individual employee’s own perceived self-limitation, it would unlock the problem of irrational resistance to change.

 

Burberry has seen great steps of change in the last seven years from changing its ageing image that was synonymous to the “chav culture” to one that is at the forefront of fashion in the digital age. The news of the resignation of Angela Ahrendts, credited to the recent success and appointment of Christopher Bailey as CEO had caused great concerns to shareholders and employees alike. However, Bailey sent a clear message to all of those concerned to confirming that the vision is one that will remain creatively lead and that it is business as usual. The message would have eased employees who may have had doubts on job security and career progression. Yet Bailey will undoubtably be putting his own stamp on the direction of the brand and to trust his management teams to continue to demonstrate leadership to all the rest of the organisation.

It is undeniable that approaching change management is highly complex especially where it involves resistances at an individual level. Instead companies must foster a culture that is forward thinking so that there is an ethos that embraces change. The retail sectors have had to evolve their strategies amidst a challenging economic backdrop. Burberry has developed a innovative environment that has transformed it from a traditional retailer to one at the forefront of the digital and global retailing world. Changes in the top-level management may have unnerved stakeholders of the company however the company’s forward-thinking thinking approach was already embedded in its employees’ behaviour (Ahrendts, 2013).

 

 

 

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: 28 March 2014]

Ahrendts, A. (2013) Burberry’s CEO on Turning an Aging British Icon into a Global Luxury Brand[online] Available at: http://hbr.org/2013/01/burberrys-ceo-on-turning-an-aging-british-icon-into-a-global-luxury-brand/ar/1 [Accessed: 27 March 2014].

 

Ben – Eli, M. U. (2014) Why is Managing Change Difficult? [online] Available at: http://www.sustainabilitylabs.org/files/Why%20is%20Managing%20Change%20Difficult_0.pdf [Accessed: 28 March 2014].

Duck, J. D. (1993) Managing Change: The Art of Balancing [online] Available at: http://hbr.org/1993/11/managing-change-the-art-of-balancing [Accessed: 28 March 2014].

Doward, J. (201) New Co-op storm as board awards bosses huge pay and bonus deals [online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/mar/08/new-co-op-storm-pay-deals [Accessed: 28 March 2014].

Kegan, R. and Lahey, L. L. (2001) The Real Reason People Won’t Change. [online] Available at: http://hbr.org/2001/11/the-real-reason-people-wont-change [Accessed: 28 March 2014].

Nordmeyer, B. (2014) A List of Strategies to Decrease Resistance Change in the Workplace [online] available at http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/list-strategies-decrease-resistance-change-workplace-38923.html [accessed: 28 March 2014]

Lawrence, P.R (1969) How to Deal with Resistance to Change [online] available at http://hbr.org/1969/01/how-to-deal-with-resistance-to-change [accessed: 28 March 2014]

Palmer, I., Dunford, R., (2008) “Organizational Change and the Importance of Embedded Assumption” British Journal of Management,  19, 20-S32 [online] available from <http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?vid=15&hid=9&sid=c42479f7-8f91-4007-8262-469149f83944%40sessionmgr12&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=bth&AN=29993786&gt; [28 March 2014]

ProvenModels (2014) ProvenModels – five functions of management – Henri Fayol. [online] Available at: http://www.provenmodels.com/3/five-functions-of-management/henri-fayol [Accessed: 28 March 2014].

 

Sinclair, V. (2009) The role of resistance in organizational change programmes [online] Available at: http://www.bacp.co.uk/admin/structure/files/pdf/4220_a.pdf [Accessed: 28 March 2014].

Strebel, P. (1996) Why Do Employees Resist Change?. [online] Available at: http://hbr.org/1996/05/why-do-employees-resist-change [Accessed: 27 March 2014].

Manager or Leader?

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The terms leadership and management are often used interchangeably, and although both share similarities, they also have significant differences. Mullins identifies that the changing nature of organisations are shifting focus on coaching and teamwork rather than a controlling and performance based environment (Mullins, 2013). According to Drucker (1999), “management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things”. There have been numerous studies to the approaches of management and leadership that seek to determine the similarities and differences yet many provide conclusions that often too black and white when applied to the real working environment. Organisations need both managers and leaders for an organisation to thrive and an individual would not necessarily be defined as one or another but instead possess elements of both (Kotter, 1990).

 

A brief summary of the main differences and similarities are as follows:

1) Approach to goals

Works by Kotter and Bennis both imply that managers have a short-term approach to work. Kotter states that where managers “seek order and consistency” focussing on the process and planning of work, leaders on the other hand posses a vision for change, determining a strategy in the direction of a vision. Bennis (1989) argues that leaders are innovators where managers apply what they have learnt previously as a drive to any change.

According to Radclife, leaders approach goals by thinking in the future and engaging in others to help create that future (Mullins, 2013).

 

2) Attitudes towards work

Zaleznik seeks to differentiate the attitudes and conceptions towards work, arguing that managers take a “impersonal or passive” rather than a leader’s “personal and active” attitude towards goals (Mullins, 2013). Leaders “create excitement” in subordinates to accept change and solutions whereas managers “co-ordinate and balance” compromises.

 

3) Consistency and Communication

Both managers and leaderships can act as role models to their subordinates. Consistently demonstrating their behaviour is a skill that both sets must possess. Additionally, effective communication is another skill that both must possess, although the styles of communication may differ.

 

Circumstances and Individuality

The view of CMI 2013 can be supported in that the approach depends on the industry and the goals of each individual team. The circumstances and individuals of each team play a factor in which managing style is best. Taking Burberry as an example, picking teams within a warehouse or a factory would predominantly be measured on productivity and accuracy. In this case, a manager who can fine tune processes and balance the mechanics of the team would be best suited. This level would require less visionary and innovative leadership but a greater focus on order and consistency of standards. Mullins argues that cultural differences may also have an impact in perception of a business (Mullins, 2013). Subordinates working in a factory may have a short foresight in ones career and therefore the perception in work may differ. Managers in a factory would also motivate its subordinates by setting short – term goals. A dominant style of management as suggested by Blake and Moulton, could be a primary style, yet a “back up” style, which can be used if the dominant style is not working, may be adopted (Mullins, 2013).

 

On the other hand, Burberry’s design teams would thrive on working under a visionary leader, Christopher Bailey, so that the product and trends are pushed to the forefront of the industry. A design team would be motivated by a leader who draws its team into a feeling of ownership of the company and developing an innovative ethos. This is

 

Burberry’s retail operation teams who are customer facing would perhaps require a combination of both leadership and management styles as not only are individuals are results based to selling product, but also they must be look up to a leader who is a role model in translating the vision of the brand that in turn is passed through to the customer. This in turn has an effect on the brand reputation.

 

 

Management by Objectives

Drucker’s coined the phrase “management by objectives”, MBO, that was developed by McGregor. This is attractive to me because this approach focusses on personal objectives and targets that are closely related to the overall company goals. Such approach is dynamic and flexible in that it allows for performance plans and reviews and linked to rewards and career progression. Many modern organisations have adopted staff appraisal systems that relate to goal-setting theory deriving from MBOs. For management by objectives to work though objectives must be clear and argues that “90% of the time, you don’t know the objectives” (Economist, 2009). Thomson states the potential advantages of the MBO approach such as “gaining commitment” and creating a feeling of belongingness to the company (Thomson, 1998). However, conversely the article argues most managers lack the interpersonal skills to run the system “for dialogue and growth” but instead causes a system that is causes constant pressure and over-criticism in over regular reviews.

 

From this short comedian video about manager and leadership, we can have some pictures about how they work differently.

References:

Bennis, W. (1989) Becoming a Leader, Philadelphia, Harper Paperbacks.

Drucker, P.F.(1999) Management Challenges for the 21st Century. New          York, United States: Harper Business.

Drucker, P. (1999) ‘Managing Oneself’, Harvard Business Review, March-April.

Kotter, J.P. (1990) A Force For Change: How Leadership Differs from

Management. New York, United States: Simon and Schuster Inc.

Mullins, L. J. (2013) Management & Organisational Behaviour. Harlow, England: Pearson.

The Economist (2009) Management by Objectives [online] available at http://www.economist.com/node/14299761[accessed: 3 Apr 2014]

Thomson, T. M. (1998) Management by Objectives [online] available at http://home.snu.edu/~jsmith/library/body/v20.pdf[accessed: 3 Apr 2014]

The Importance of Managing Diversity

The Value of Productive Diversity

Global expansion and the development of multi-national business have been affecting the employment structure of companies worldwide over time. Diversity in the workplace becomes really critical for the company to engage the employees and achieve the business objectives. With diversity in the workplace, the company provides the platform for the employees to be more actively expressed their different thoughts and unique ideas. It is also prevent the possibility for the employees to feel discriminated. For example, give opportunities for women workers to achieve the higher position will overcome discrimination issues through gender factors.

Diversity produces better result?

Research has consistently shown that diverse teams produce better results, provided they are well led. The ability to bring together people from different backgrounds, disciplines, cultures, and generations and leverage all they have to offer, therefore, is a must-have for leaders (Ibarra and Hansen 2011: 71). It can be argued diversity has been successful adding value and produce better results for the company. However, better results will only achievable if the diverse team is managed properly. Leader and managers is the main key of success diversity in the workplace. In order to keep maintain the performance of diverse team, the skills to maintain diverse team is really crucial. Therefore, it is required for leaders and managers to have those particular skills. For example is the ability to approach different people with different way. The goal of managing diversity is to encourage productive and mutually beneficial interactions among employees in any organization and to value employees with different backgrounds, needs, and skill sets in order to produce optimal benefits for employees, for the organisations they work for, and for communities and customers they serve. (Sayers, 2012). Employees as the core value of business have to be treated and managed properly, so the company will able to obtain the business objectives.

Coca Cola Company : Global Diversity

Let us consider Coca Cola as an international scale business. How is it possible for Coca Cola to maintain the business performance worldwide all these years? According to Steve Bucherati in the video of the importance of diversity in the workplace, the chief diversity officer of Coca Cola Company, diversity has been developing as core business strategy of the company to emerging the workforce in order to build relationship with the clients. The company does realize that their employees are really important for the business. Through the actions to developing the diversity within the company, Coca Cola is committed to bring the equality to the company. The Coca-Cola Company’s global diversity mission is to mirror the rich diversity of the marketplace we serve and be recognized for our leadership in Diversity, Inclusion and Fairness in all aspects of our business, including Workplace, Marketplace, Supplier and Community, enhancing the Company’s social license to operate. (Coca Cola Company, 2014). It is proved with various awards of diversity that Coca Cola has received so far. For instance, award from Diversity Business magazine’s Top 50 Organizations for Multicultural Business Opportunities.(Coca Cola, 2011).

Advantages and challenges of diversity

Diversity in the workplace allows the company to obtain competitive advantage in the industry with adding values to the company. There are some advantages that company will gain from diverse team:

  • · Increased retention;
  • · Reduced absenteeism;
  • · Better recruitment pool;
  • · Improved productivity;
  • · Improved staff loyalty, morale and job satisfaction;
  • · Greater customer satisfaction and sales;
  • · Access to wider markets;
  • · Improved public relations;
  • · Making the business more attractive to investors
  • · Lowered risk of discrimination claims;
  • · Lowered risk of safety and health claims.

Diversity adds more value to the company with new knowledge, information, skills and ideas from various types of people. Those aspects will enhance the company ability in decision making process and critical thinking about the business situation. The information

However, to manage diverse team is really challenging. Having beliefs of diversity will only work if there is an action to make it real. It is not easy to maintain the diverse team with certain people with different background. There are several obstacles of applying diversity in the workplace. For instance the difficulties of cross cultural behaviour and different languages. Communication and behaviour will become problems between the workers. Moreover, with contrast perspective, conflicts are really potential to be happened among workers. Here, leaders and managers in the company are challenged to manage the diverse team and to overcome the difficulties of diversity in order to achieve the better outcomes for the company.

Implementation of manager’s knowledge of diversity to produce better results

There have been different policy approaches in organisations’ management of diversity which have developed over time (Thomas and Ely, 1996; Kandola and Fullerton,1998; Harvey and Allard, 2002; Kirton and Greene, 2000). Managers can apply some approaches to manage the diversity in the workplace in order to achieve better outcomes for the business. The approaches to managing diversity (:

  • Reactive Approach
  • Assimilation Approach
  • Differentiation Approach
  • Radical Perspective Approach
  • Integration Approach

Firstly, reactively approach the diverse team in order to overcome any issues about discrimination, as the potential of discrimination to occur due to lack of understanding. Secondly is to treat everyone in the same way with assimilation approach to limit any differences. For example, give equal opportunity for women and men, homosexual or heterosexual, and white or black.

Lack of knowledge and skill to properly manage the diverse team, diversity will become backfire for the company. Poor management of diversity will lead to several conflicts of diversity such as poor communication and gap between the employees. Those aspects will lead to low productivity, poor communication between employees and low job satisfaction.