Leadership and Strategy
The purpose of this assignment is to increase learners’ comprehension of leadership styles and the effect of the styles on organizational environments.
Resources: Management: A Practical Introduction, chapters 11 & 14; Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Create a 1000-1100 word analysis addressing the following:
Identify one theory that appeals to you the most from the leadership theories discussed in the textbook.
Research two local companies: one in which the leadership seems to exemplify this leadership theory, and one that seems to be in direct contrast.
Analyze how each leadership style might affect the respective company’s performance and alignment to values.
Discuss which leadership style to which you are most aligned.
Discuss how you would practice this leadership style in your current work environment. If you are not currently employed, discuss how you would practice this style of leadership in a future job you might like to hold.
Format the assignment consistent with APA guidelines.
Leadership and Strategy
Leadership is about getting someone to do something that needs to be done. It can be viewed differently depending on where it is applied. There is community leadership, political leadership, religious leadership, and organizational or company leadership among others. A leader should be a person who does things right. Despite the area of leadership, there are some skills that should be possessed by all leaders. They include, good communication, motivation, positivity, creative thinking, trustworthiness, flexibility, commitment and responsibility among others. Leadership is all about being able to map goals and ensuring they are achieved. This article will mainly focus on servant leadership that was first proposed by Robert K. Greenleaf.
The basic idea behind servant leadership is being in a position to serve the organization first then think of yourself. A servant leader must be a servant first – be willing to serve. A leader who is a “servant first” is different for one who is a “leader first”. In “servant first” leadership, the driving force is “service” while in “leader first” leadership the driving force is “power” (Kent, 2017). This might be a bit awkward but it is the best kind of leadership that can move an organization to greater heights. In a typical leadership, members of an organization are meant to serve their leaders. There is a protocol that has to be followed that makes some employees greater than the rest. Some even end up in fear. However, a good leadership is the one that considers the welfare of customers and employees lower in the rank. Servant leadership is about what you can do to an organization as a leader but not what the organization can do for you. There are some paradoxes that come with servant leadership. First, in servant leadership the higher you move in rank the higher your responsibities. Responsibilities increase with increase in rank. The goals set by a departmental manager cannot be the same as those set by a general manager. Secondly, despite being in authority, all staffs should be treated as customers. Opinions may differ but the interest of the organization should always come first. A servant leader should be in a position to balance between personal conflicts or opinions with the wellbeing of the organization.
There are various companies that have succeeded by practicing servant leadership. For instance, the success of Zingerman’s organization can be attributed to servant leadership skills exercised by its leaders. All staffs are treated as customers. To the CEO of Zingerman’s, Ari Weinzweig, the biggest customers are their managers and administrative staffs. Each leader treats the leaders in lower ranks than them as customers. This is because the people in lower ranks are the ones that have direct access to customers. If they are not treated well the business is bound to fall. The better the service they receive, the better their service to both customers and organization.
However, there are some organizations that use leadership strategy that is directly opposite to servant leadership strategy. This type of strategy is called command and control strategy. Using Greenleaf’s description, leaders under this strategy are “leaders first” – they are mostly driven by power. Though this kind of leadership sounds harsh, it has been applied by some companies as the basis of transformational leadership. To bring some transformation to an organization, a leader has to apply some control by being authoritative. This kind of leadership has been seen to work for the betterment of a once poorly performing organization. For instance, the New York Giants’ couch Tom Coughlin adopted this leadership style but never deviated from his goal. Though at first, no one knew if his leadership would yield any positive results, he has won Super Bowl twice through it. He had a rigid management style and even fined players if they did not arrive at a meeting place five minutes to time. He never entertained jokes in the team. Due to this, some players even lost morale. Despite exercising this, he created a good relationship with team members by becoming concerned about their wellbeing and performance in the field. Coughlin’s adoption of styles from other leadership skills shows that command and rule leadership can work if certain measures are put in place.
However, each of the above mentioned leadership strategies have their own effects on a company’s performance. Organizations that practice servant leadership have been identified as the best companies to work with. Such organizations attract the best types of employees. Best employees increase the productivity of an organization. They also ensure that an organization remains competitive in the market. Servant leadership also boosts the morale of workers thus making them more loyal to the organization. However, this leadership strategy is not best suited for some situations. For instance, when tight deadlines are to be met or in case quick decisions are to be made, then command and control leadership may be the best. This shows that servant leadership has to borrow some styles from other leadership strategies. Command and control leadership, on the other hand, has more negatives than positives. On the positive side, this leadership strategy ensures that inflexible deadlines are met and critical issues are solved in time. However, if it is too much, it limits other people from developing leadership skills. Secondly, the leaders themselves are not guaranteed loyalty from employees or staffs – staffs may develop rebellious character due to imposed rules and excessive power. Command and control prevents creativity and communication among staffs (Prosser, n.d). A company that practices this leadership is bound to fall due to reduction in productivity.
leadership is the best strategy if a company wants to achieve the best results.
Comparing the two strategies, servant leadership proves to be the one employed by
most organizations in the United States of America. This is because a servant
leader values diverse opinions, develops other leaders, encourages others,
cultures trust and acts with humility. These leadership skills are bound to
create good relationships among staffs and between an organization and
customers. This in turn increases productivity. In future, I would like to own
my own textiles company. At that time, with the changing world, servant
leadership will be best. I will treat all my employees equally and give them a
chance to participate in decision making. In the company, everyone will be his
or her own leader – everyone will be responsible for his or her own actions
directed towards the betterment of the company. Through this, no employee will feel
intimidated because they will have equal rights.
Kent M., K. (2017). Definition of Servant Leadership. Retrieved from http://toservefirst.com/definition-of-servant-leadership.html
Prosser, T., F. (n.d).Some Problems with “Command and Control” Management. Retrieved from https://oneffectivemanagement.wordpress.com/2008/03/01/some-problems-with- command-and-control-management/