Leadership and Human Behavior
In today fast moving world, characterized by major changes in technologies, different industries are constantly forced to revolutionize their products and services to the point that the business world has become more competitive and unpredictable than ever. There is a great need for people who are able to cope with change. In his article of “What Leaders Really Do, John P. Kotter said that, “mre change always demands more leadership.” The question of interest to me is to know which leadership approach suit the best in coping with change. In this paper, I will first develop an understanding of the concepts underlying the term leadership. Secondly, I will examine different leadership style through analysis of some cases studies explored in class. Subsequently, I will reflect on my personal style and present my conclusion.
Definition and understanding
To begin with, it is worth understanding what the term “leadership” means. There are hundreds of definitions out there related to this term, but each of them differs from one to another. The most appealing definition I found is the one from Don Clark of Big Dog Leadership. He defines leadership as a “process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent.” My interest to this definition resides in the way the author refers to some important elements of leadership such as influence, people, and objective.
Kevin Martineau of Port Hardy Baptist Church has nicely put together the common elements that many leadership definition share that I thought to be useful in my understanding of leadership concept. First, he mentions that “leadership has to involve people. Without people following, being influenced, having their needs met or being motivated, mobilized, resourced and directed there is no leadership.” Next, he adds that “leadership is taking people to a destination/goal. Leaders take the people who are following them on a "journey”. On that "journey" there is a destination. A leader must know what the destination/goal is that they are leading people to.” To conclude, he states that “leadership involves influence. A leader must be able to influence, motivate, mobilize and help others reach the destination. This means that the leader must be equipping and helping others to reach and realize their potential.”
This in-depth description gives us a clear understanding of what leadership means and what effective leaders really do. However, the question we might wonder is to know “how” leaders carry out their everyday jobs? Certainly, it would be difficult to provide just one specific answer that best respond to this question, considering that there are many factors that play into account. However, in this paper I will focus on the type of leadership style used.
Through the readings, analysis and class discussions of different cases studies explored in this class, I gained awareness of different leadership styles. In the following lines, I will like to highlight some cases that caught my attention. The first is the case study of “Amelia Rogers at Tassani Communications.” Rogers had a very task-oriented leadership style. She had a set of skills needed to get thing done, great sense of vision and strategy. Some people in the case described her as a “good thinker, hard worker, and she delivers what she says she is going to deliver”. Her tendency of being so focus on getting work done and seeing results led her to have tough management style and she was not thinking much about her work relationship. She found herself being in conflict with her co-workers on numerous occasions. Describing her own management style, she said that, “I like to nip my conflicts right in bud and deal with them head on, straight on, not hide them under things. I don’t bury them. I get them on the table; deal with...
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