“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”
-John Quincy Adams
Leadership basically means the ‘relationship through which one person influences the behavior or actions of other people’ (Mullins 2013: 369). In this blog, major emphasis is distributed among my views and experiences on leadership.
Fig 1: Are leaders born or made?
(Source: Geddes 2015)
The way we assume leadership influences how we distinguish leaders around us. Suppose, we regard a leader as hero, we create an image of a person who rescues his day as a good leader by communicating, receiving opinions and encouraging his group to make decisions together and vice-versa. Same is the way how we debate on whether leaders are ‘born or made’. According to Drucker (1955), ‘leadership cannot be created or promoted’ (Mullins 2013: 371). I get along with the viewpoint that great leaders are not born, they are made, because, even though someone is born with certain peculiarities and abilities, the skill of leadership can be developed only through cautious practice (Ruvolo, Petersen and LeBoeuf 2004).
I view leadership as a skill which knowingly or unknowingly accelerates people to follow you either by your confidence and self-esteem (positive attitude), the way you listen and take critical feedback’s, demonstration of compassion and patience with teammates and the way one engages and motivates his team to come up with innovative ideas without any barriers and involvement in major decision making.
There are various leadership styles followed by leaders to manage their organization and employees. One among them is Kurt Lewin’s framework on Leadership styles which dates back to 1930’s, but is quite significantly used even today as it separates leadership styles into three – Authoritarian, democratic and Laissez-faire style which is followed by managers and leaders (Mullins 2013: 377).
The framework is also associated with criticisms. Gastil (1994), quarreled that authoritarian style points to greater member resentment and absenteeism. Similarly, laissez-faire style is inappropriate to situations which require feedback, guidance or appreciation from members (Topics 2016).
Fig 2: Lewin’s model on Leadership styles
(Source: Changingminds 2016)
In authoritarian style, power is invested with manager alone in making decisions, deciding policies and procedures and interactions within groups shift towards managers (Mullins 2013: 377). John. F. Kennedy (ex US President) had always taken his own decisions without consulting others which regularly created problems. One of them was the Vietnam War. He made a decision that was something unimaginable which after his assassination forced the US to enter in war which caused tremendous losses (Sachs 2013).
Through the Belbin profile (a method which includes three sections to evaluate one’s own behavioral and social skills) and peer feedback, I received comments as stated below:
(Source: From peer review and Belbin profile)
All these feedback’s created a feeling within that I was exhibiting a democratic leadership style. A democratic style is where power is distributed among groups and has greater cooperation within groups. Members have a say in resolving policies, procedures and decision making (Mullins 2013: 377). Indra Nooyi (Chairman of PepsiCo), has cherished herself to employees. Personally speaking, Nooyi has inspired my perceptive on effective leadership because of her leadership style. She takes prior concern on employees’ private lives and also had a distinct vision on company’s future. When there were criticisms about the quality of product sold, she accepted them positively and without being demotivated, she called on a meeting with employees and discussed their views and suggestions in order to regain their goodwill. Motivations provided to employees were at its peak. She praised and appreciated them for every small thing and rewarded them. All these factors led to an upsurge in employee satisfaction and growth of the firm (Ventresca, Larsson and Nga 2015).
Laissez-faire is a leadership style where mangers monitor the self-working by members. Decisions are made instantly to pass the target of competence to employees, supporting them with a freedom of action (Mullins 2013: 377). Warren Buffet (an American business magnate) was recognized for his hats-off leadership approach in the company he owns. After making an investment decision, he communicates them in detail to managers who are then entitled to work as per his expectations. They are also encouraged to do as they like and seek assistance in times of need (Kelly 2013).
Although I believe to have improved my presentation skills, I wish to polish them more as I progress in my studies. This could be achieved only through regular practice. Plus, my decision-making skills are a bit backward when I’m faced with emotional situations. I know this has to be eliminated. For this purpose, I will listen and think critically from both perspectives.
Now, I would like to discuss what I studied from my leadership class, how I improved and why I think people should be led by me through a table.
(Source: My personal views on how I felt the development of leader within me)
I believe that people shouldn’t be led by a person just because of his designation, rather, by his/her attitude and the way they deal with people around them and the society critically. I trust that these traits are within me and will be developing them through each process of my life. A leader should be one who believes in his strengths and does not complain, rather, tries finding a remedy (Pinterest 2016).
Kelly, E. (2013). Warren Buffet’s Transformation in Leadership: Part 2. Integral Leadership Review, [online] 13(3), pp.161-174. Available at: http://web.b.ebscohost.com/bsi/detail/detail?vid=24&sid=0986d268-8941-4e53-b42e-504234be3fde%40sessionmgr110&hid=116&bdata=JnNpdGU9YnNpLWxpdmU%3d#AN=111382555&db=bth [Accessed 28 Mar. 2016].
LANAJ, K. and HOLLENBECK, J. (2015). LEADERSHIP OVER-EMERGENCE IN SELF-MANAGING TEAMS: THE ROLE OF GENDER AND COUNTERVAILING BIASES. Academy of Management Journal, [online] 58(5), pp.1476-1494. Available at: http://web.a.ebscohost.com/bsi/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=398a407d-8760-4926-9dc3-c710190ecf6e%40sessionmgr4004&vid=6&hid=4107 [Accessed 28 Mar. 2016].
Mullins, L. (2013). management and organisational behaviour. 10th ed. Financial Times/Prentice Hall, p.369. [28 March 2016].
Mullins, L. (2013). management and organisational behaviour. 10th ed. Financial Times/Prentice Hall, p.371. [28 March 2016].
Mullins, L. (2013). management and organisational behaviour. 10th ed. Financial Times/Prentice Hall, p.377. [28 March 2016].
Pinterest. (2016). March 31: Henry Ford reveals the first affordable V-8 on this date in 1932. [online] Available at: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/521713938061079496/ [Accessed 4 Apr. 2016].
Ruvolo, C., Petersen, S. and LeBoeuf, J. (2004). Leaders Are Made, Not Born The Critical Role of a Developmental Framework to Facilitate an Organizational Culture of Development. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, [online] 56(1), pp.10–19. Available at: http://web.b.ebscohost.com/bsi/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=d3d39c22-f1ce-40ee-a346-293f16a9107f%40sessionmgr113&vid=6&hid=116 [Accessed 28 Mar. 2016].
Sachs, J. (2013). JFK and the future of global leadership. International Affairs, [online] 89(6), pp.1379-1387. Available at: http://web.b.ebscohost.com/bsi/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=0986d268-8941-4e53-b42e-504234be3fde%40sessionmgr110&vid=12&hid=116 [Accessed 28 Mar. 2016].
Stuart Geddes,PlayBuzz. (2015). Which British Entrepreneur Are You?. [online] Available at: http://www.playbuzz.com/stuartgeddes10/which-british-entrepreneur-are-you [Accessed 28 Mar. 2016].
Topics, R. (2016). Authoritarian, Democratic & Laissez-Faire Leadership Research Paper Starter – eNotes.com. [online] eNotes. Available at: http://www.enotes.com/research-starters/authoritarian-democratic-laissez-faire-leadership [Accessed 28 Mar. 2016].
Ventresca,, M., Larsson, A. and Nga, K. (2015). How Indra Nooyi Turned Design Thinking into Strategy: An Interview with PepsiCo’s CEO: Interaction. Harvard Business Review, [online] 93(11), p.24. Available at: http://web.b.ebscohost.com/bsi/detail/detail?vid=18&sid=0986d268-8941-4e53-b42e-504234be3fde%40sessionmgr110&hid=116&bdata=JnNpdGU9YnNpLWxpdmU%3d#AN=110486577&db=bth [Accessed 28 Mar. 2016].