There is no universal definition of leadership because of different perceptions of leadership aspects by diverse individuals, organizations, and societies across the world. Despite the differences in perception, majority of the people share a common ground in the sense that they view leadership as a process through which a particular person or a group of people influences and directs the activities of a larger organized team, in order to achieve a particular mutual objective. In order to achieve such mutual goals, leaders in different organizations implement different styles and techniques to achieve these goals and these may be based on managerial structure and organizational culture, the individual traits of the leaders, as well as the nature of the challenges that the organization faces.Leadership style can therefore be defined as the a[[roach and techniques used by different leaders to guide, direct and motivate their employees or subordinates in order to achieve set organizational objectives (Hamilton, 2013, p. 300). This paper seeks to analyze the leadership style undertaken by my Director, and how this has impacted on me. It also explores the effect of the organizational structure and culture in determining the approaches taken in team development. Ultimately, the paper evaluates the ethical conduct of the leader in question and the effectiveness of these techniques in motivating and empowering employees,as well as the gains and challenges of diversity within the organization.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of my current organization uses diverse organizational styles to deal with different issues and situations that the company faces. He has mainly been practicing a leadership style that can be described as transformational and which is characterized by exchange in feedback regarding behavior between leaders and followers, resulting in high motivation of followers by their leaders (Pless & Maak, 2011, p. 39).Transformational leaders in organizations usually explain to their employees beforehand the important issues that need high prioritization and commitment. They are highly committed to achieving the set organizational goals and they do this by building capacity of their subordinates and also facilitating their self actualization process.As a transformational leader, our CEOhas played a major role in enhancing interaction and cooperation amongst different employees of all cadres within the organization.
The examples that he draws from his personal life also enlighten us on the potentials that we have. He rapidly rose through the ranks to the top management position because of his work ethics, personal efforts and career development strategies that involved advancing skills and education along his career path. The CEO has been organizing employee training and development programs as a strategy for improving performance for all the employees regardless of their position in the organization. Such capacity-building programs, have not only helped me improve my performance at work, but also enhanced my job satisfaction. In addition to training programs, the CEO has also been facilitating frequent meetings between management and other employees and this provides a platform through which the employees share their work challenges and everyone generates ideas on how to improve this situation.
The success of this transformational leadership is evident in the turnaround and improvement of our organization’s finances which were in a sorry state before.When he was appointed to the position of CEO, he immediately embarked on reducing the inefficiencies that escalated operational costs and improved performance through capacity building and motivating the employees. Furthermore, he combined these strategies with technology integration and this improved the general performance of the organization.
He played a critical role in rebranding the company by changing its mission and vision statements which essentially guide the firm’s daily operations and motivate employees to achieve the organizational goals. The CEO also improved the ethical standards of the organization and its public image by incorporating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs into its core activities. My involvement in the CSR programs and activities has broadened my comprehension and appreciation of enhancing the overall well-being of society through conservation and philanthropic acts.
The CEO has also also applied thetransitional style of leadership where self-interest is pursued through a cost-benefit exchange program and outcomes are realized by conditional reinforcement initiatives (Anderson, Ones, Sinangil, & Viswesvaran, 2001, p. 176).Through such initiatives, the CEO has directed for employees to receive handsome rewards in terms of wages and awards for performing well. The CEO has also exercised negative reinforcement whereby he enforces a versive strengthening. This is done through suspension and termination of work contracts for employees who are unproductive within the workplace. There are instances when I have deemed this type of leadership as unfair and inconsiderate. This is because it focuses on enhancing organizational productivity without taking into consideration the personal needs of the employees including improved remuneration that matches employee efforts and working environment. Despite the fact that this leadership approach may seem insensitive, employees are compensated commensurate with their efforts and productivity levels and this has motivated many workers to exert themselves so as to get higher incomes, rewards and awards.
Depending on their goals and their management or leadership styles, different organizations usually have different structures and culture. The organizational structure basically refers to the more formal systems of work roles and authority relationshipsthat are adopted by an organization to guide interactions and cooperation between different levels of organizational personnel. On the other hand, the organizational culture is more related to the norms and values shared by the employees of an organization, which ultimately influences their individual and group behaviors.
The company has a functional type of structure that categorizes employees according to their particular jobs within the company and workers who are charged with performing similar tasks are grouped under the same department that pursue similar specialized functions. Every department has a group of workers who are charged with the task of handling a common goal, task or project and each worker has a role to play in achieving the department’s goals. Workers in each department are involved in handling a common project that requires different input from the employees for it to be accomplished successfully.This approach has enhanced team work within the organization because every member of a department must perform well for the success of the department. It has also enhanced relational skills because each employee appreciates the critical contribution of their colleagues. Personally, I have learnt to rely on and appreciate teamwork and information from my colleagues in performing my work.
The main demerit of this type of organizational structure is that it creates high sense of amongst employees such that the absence of one employee can have significant impacts on the productivity of the entire department. However, it forms a s strong managerial culture through experience and learning and this equips the organization with sufficient ammunition to handle both current and future internal and external challenges. This mainly focuses on establishing mutual comprehension of organizational operations. Currently, the culture in our firm draws heavily from our strategic framework which integrates the core values into its mission, vision, and other intended goals.
Key core values of the organization center on respect for employee differences and cooperation with in the organization. By achieving respect for the diverse workforce, the organization has managed to foster cooperation and teamwork. There are also set rules and regulations which facilitate the mutual respect of employee diversity and harmonization of workers of the company. Diversity in skills, ethnic and racial background, age, opinion, occupational level, or affiliation to any associations that do not interfere with the organizational goals and employee relationships is valued and appreciated hence every employee feels valued.
The CEO of my organization has done a good job in terms of enhancing ethical conduct, effective communication, and motivation, as well as empowering of employees through training and development with the aim of improving their performance at work. By integrating Corporate Social Responsibility into the core activities of the organization, the CEO has displayed high ethical conduct. He has improvedthe level of accountability, transparency,and responsibility amongst both management and employees hence improving the organization at large. This has been achieved by giving employees some degree of freedom in performing their tasks, delegating duties to different employees and carrying out frequent audits and evaluations on both individual and organizational performance. Through introducing an open communication channel, the CEO has improved communication across various departments and hierarchies of the organization and this has encouraged regular updates on the progress of the firm and effective feedback concerning the work environment. He has established motivation mechanisms and means of empowering employees to improve their performance within the organization and also achieve self-actualization.
One of the best motivation practices employed by our organization has been to develop incentive programs that fuels employees with a sense of purpose and meaning. By using the highly effective strategy of rewarding the most productive employees in the organization, employee motivation has hit a historical high.Provision of material rewards and incentives drives employees to work hard in an attempt to gain these awards hence resulting in improved organizational performance (Williams, 2012, p. 379-389).
The second best practice is centered on eliminating de-motivational factors in the work environment. This can be achieved by enhancing safety within the work environment and removing any factors that may have adverse psychological effects for both employees and individuals outside the organization. Job designs must take into account the skills and best interests of the employees performing them so as to enhance job satisfaction. This will eventually lead efficiency in job performance and high productivity because the employees will focus fully on their particular tasks.
Thirdly, organizational leaders need to create a sense of firm ownership amongst employees and this can be done by involving them in managerial decision-making processes and delegating appropriate responsibilities and duties to them. This way, they will feel valued by the organization, and hence feel a sense of loyalty to the organization and its puruits. Ultimately, this will motivate the employees to work harder and offer quality services to the clients of the organization, resulting in high attraction and retention of clients and profitability.
More often than not, leaders encounter challenges when managing organizations that have a diverse workforce. Despite its importance, workforce diversity can be a source of both individual and interpersonal conflict within an organization, especially when implementing important organization strategies such as equality in employment (Griffin, 2013, p. 232). Ethnic and racial diversity may compromise the culture of the organization because of arising differences in beliefs and ethical issues that can stem from distinct cultures and societal norms. Stereotypes can also act as an obstacle to teamwork and lead to sour relations between certain employees, thereby affecting individual and organizational performances. Workforce diversity can raise certain issues because of strong beliefs which may make some employees decline to participate in manufacture of certain products or delivery of particular services that contradict their values. There are also employees that will prefer to work on specific days or even hours of the week because of their strong religious beliefs and requirements.
Nevertheless, workforce diversity can enhance the competitiveness of a business organization within the global markets. This is because diversity can be instrumental in providing creative and innovative ideas and this can enhance development of better quality products. An organization that takes advantage of such characteristics of diversity can meet the needs of different types of clients and attain a competitive edge in the global markets. Diversity can be the platform through which a commercial enterprise gains better understanding on conducting business internationally, without compromising the cultural values of its employees. Additionally, it can also help to expand the clientele base of a company because customers prefer to do business with a workforce that they have affiliations to, or that have a strong commitment to their community (Varma, 2006, p. 88).Challenges of organizational diversity can be combated by creating awareness on the importance of valuing and having a sense of appreciation for variety in the organization. Organizational leadership must set policy mechanisms and governance frameworks that reinforce actions which appreciate and support the workforce diversity. It should also establish strong team development and approaches that incorporate the efforts of different kinds of individuals and skills. This will enhance appreciation of all employees and reduce or eliminate their stereotypes hence fostering cooperation among all employees. Inevitably, every organization should base its recruitment process on acquiring a diverse workforce so as to enhance its competitive edge in global markets.
It is obvious that leadership plays an important role in the management and overall success of organizations. Different organizational situations and challenges call for different leadership to handle them effectively. Even though diversity can be a source of challenges and conflicts within a company, it can also be instrumental in enabling business organizations compete more effectively in the global arena.
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Hamilton, C. (2013). Communicating for results: A guide for business and the professions. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Pless, N. M., & Maak, T. (2011). Responsible leadership. Berlin: Springer.
Varma, R. (2006). Managing industrial research effectively. Hyderabad: ICFAI University Press.
Williams, C. (2012). Effective management: A multimedia approach. Mason, OH: South-Western/Cengage Learning.