Warren Bennis the world’s leading exponent of leadership theory has described leadership as ‘the capacity to create a compelling vision and translate it into action and sustain it. Like art, leadership is subject to competing influences and popular movements that are constantly changing the way it is perceived’. Leadership Behaviours
There are many dimensions to leadership and many possible ways of describing leadership styles, such as dictatorial, unitary, bureaucratic, benevolent, charismatic, consultative, participative and abdicatorial. The style of managerial leadership towards subordinate staff and the focus of power can, however, be classified broadly, within three headings, namely authoritarian or autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire. However, in keeping with the Contingency theories, there is no single style of leadership that is appropriate to all situations. Abstract
The aim of this paper is to provide the writer with the opportunity to utilize the theories and models of leadership in a practical way. It focuses on the implications for me as a leader as well as my Personal Awareness and Skills displayed within the organization to which I am employed. The analysis was informed from the completion of two (2) skills exercises (Appendix II and IV.) Aareas for improvement are highlighted and an action plan that should guide the developmental process also form part of this document. Profile of Organisation and Leadership Styles and Qualities
Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited, to which I am currently employed, in the capacity of Manager, Human Resources, is part of a large multi-national financial conglomerate operating in 22 countries including North America and Europe. The local operations have a staff complement of 1300 comprising 900 administrative staff and 400 sales representatives. Its growth has primarily been through mergers and acquisitions. Of these transitions, I have been indirectly involved in five.
The Sagicor Jamaica Group is headed by the President and CEO to whom I report through a Vice President. The President’s main responsibility is to promote and guide the Organisation’s vision and mission. He is supported by a Board of Directors as well as a team of executives representing all lines of business. The other tiers filtering down to team leaders, though not necessarily part of senior management are integral parts of the formal management structure and are essential to the provision of leadership at the community/institutional, managerial and technical levels. The mergers and acquisitions have resulted in a multi-cultural setting which in itself, warrant a diverse approach to leadership. Notwithstanding this, the ‘umbrella’ organization is production-centred rather than employee centred and this is consistent with the dominant leadership style that exists, which depends heavily on position power. In a recent interview with the President, he described his leadership style as inclusive. He tends to decentralize power and relies significantly on legitimate, reward and coercive power. Prior to their acquisition, the leadership behaviours within the smaller companies were less formal but with the integration of these units a more formal leadership evolved consonant with a highly structured setting. Observable leadership behaviours throughout the organization include autocratic, participative, micro and crisis management. In addition the style adopted will also have a strong bearing on any given situation at a particular point in time. This is in keeping with Tannenbaum and Schmidt who concluded that successful leaders are cognizant of the relevance of their style of leadership based on the synergy between the understanding of themselves versus the operating forces and environmental influences. Analysis of my Leadership Style and Personal Awareness and Skills The core function of the Human Resources Manager is the overall provision of the human resource, related...