Leadership and Culture

Topics: Management, Leadership, Skill Pages: 5 (1320 words) Published: April 21, 2013

Leadership and Culture
Virginia Armstrong
University of Hawaii: West Oahu


Effective leadership requires a delicate utilization of power and authority. Although they possess unique attitudes, traits and styles, successful leaders strive to promote their organization’s vision and culture and motivate others to embrace it as well. Studies have attempted to define one superior leadership model but have failed due to individual and circumstantial elements.

Keywords: leadership, corporate culture, power, authority

Chapter Overview

Leadership is the ability to influence others to follow direction and support decisions. Though leadership and management often coincide, leadership is more focused on the long-term visions of the organization and how to motivate and encourage the implementation of these visions. The success of leaders depends largely on their own attitudes, expectations, traits and leadership style they embrace. Whether a manager’s leadership style is autocratic, laissez-faire or democratic, the emphasis they place on production and people bears the most importance. Studies conducted by Ohio State and University of Michigan have proven that successful leaders show concern, initiate structure, participate and maintain a general (rather than close) level of supervision. In a situational setting, the contingency approach is the most effective. The Managerial Grid is a graphical tool for managers to identify their management style and set goals towards improvement.

“Corporate Culture: Harmonize, Don’t Homogenize”

In this article, Kuenne (2011) emphasizes the importance of attaining a strong corporate culture by unifying individuals and their talents as well as instilling a cooperative initiative on all levels to achieve one goal or vision. Kuenne (2011) calls his approach the infinity loop designed “to create a harmonized culture with the emphasis on being complementary, rather than striving for conformity” (Kuenne, 2011, para. 6). The most important elements of Kuenne’s approach are individual skills, shared values, departmental cohesiveness, a unified understanding of the corporate identity, cultivating personal development and the drive to inspire others. Essentially, thriving corporations instill a strong mission, vision and the inspiration to cooperatively make the visions a reality.

Relation to chapter

The article relates to the chapter by discussing the importance of creating a strong and diverse corporate culture. As mentioned in the chapter, “A strong corporate culture is clearly defined, reinforces a common understanding about what is important, and has the support of management and employees” (Ghyllier, 2012. p. 213). An important component of a corporation’s culture is the individuals it is comprised of in the business. A good manager will recognize their talents, how to best utilize them and foster an environment in which they feel motivated and satisfied to work towards the common goal of the organization. In the chapter, these characteristics embody a strong corporate culture.

“Five Leadership Lessons to Unlearn”

In this article, “Five Leadership Lessons to Unlearn” written by Stephen Wiehe, Wiehe (2010) describes how he changed the destructive leadership methods of a failing dot-com business in order to create a thriving business model. First, he emphasized that leadership is a behavior. Others judge your actions, not words or promises. He also pointed out that leaders don’t necessarily need all the answers but rather questions. He continues to explain that the most productive ideas are generated by numerous people during open and constructive discussions. Another important point Wiehe (2010) makes is that leaders need to share power and authority. Lastly, he believes that rather than forcing or demanding change, it is better to ask for change...
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