Why should anyone be lead by you?

What is your vision of leadership?

I think leadership is a necessary ability in daily work. Unlike management, leadership directly affects the working state of the workers. In other words, leadership is a kind of invisible power. It can affect people’s psychological state, work enthusiasm and values. As a leader, they can also use the leadership to show their professional skills. Leadership is a leader is an essential skill, because need to adjust the different leadership styles according to different work environment and subordinates. Moreover, in the process of dealing with problems, leadership also plays an important role. Different employees have different characteristics and individual personality, leaders should according to different teams to make different schemes for different employees. Also they need to change leadership style in daily work regularly so that they can better to exchange opinions and communicate with subordinates. So, leadership is also an important bridge can balance the contradiction between the various departments. Its function can be changed according to the different organizational culture and the status quo.

 

Who has inspired your understanding of effective leadership and why?

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The Shawn’s effective leadership model indicates that there are four aspects about effective leadership, which are vision, relationship, management and development.

Vision is very important because leaders need to make a plan about future strategy for company and followers. Complete development strategy can let employees know the trend of the future so that to inspire their work. ( Shawn Casemore 2011)

Meanwhile, a good relationship is the key of effective leadership, which means leaders should build an effective relationship with followers in order to maximize the results and performance. In other words, once this balanced relationship does not exist, the leadership will become the resistance of the construction of the team. ( Shawn Casemore 2011)

Effective leadership plays a core role in an organization, which means the development of company could not operation well without effective leadership. Without effective leadership the followers would not have the correct guidance for their work and lack of team cohesion. ( Shawn Casemore 2011)

The last one is management aspect. Effective leadership is also a kind of management style. Only this way of management is not obvious, but through influencing others to achieve the goal of management.( Shawn Casemore 2011)

 

 

What leadership skills will you be developing as you progress through your MBA?

ü  Role model

ü  Passion

ü  Good at communicating and listening

ü  Coordination ability

ü  Sense of humor

These are the leadership skills that I will develop as my progress through my MBA.

Role model: As a leader, I need to strict with himself in work. This is a very basic skill for me, because the followers will imitate my behavior. If my behavior is inappropriate, if my behavior is inappropriate, my followers will have the same mistakes.  

Passion: Some work is very boring, which makes subordinates feel lost enthusiasm to the work. In this case, if I were a leader, I need to use my enthusiasm to encourage my colleagues. (Instigatorblog 2007 )

Good at communicating and listening: communicate effectively is significant to a team. Communication effectively can reduce the contradiction, and to increase the cooperation spirit of the team members. (Instigatorblog 2007 )

Coordination ability: In daily work process, the leader also needs to coordinate the progress of each part in order to achieve the best results. So I need to cultivate this skill for myself.

Sense of humor: Leaders and subordinates are unequal relationship in the company, but they are ordinary colleagues after work. In this case, the leader needs to maintain a sense of humor to get along with subordinates. (Forbes 2012)

 

Reference:

Shawn Casemore (2011), available from:

http://www.casemoreandco.com/shawns-effective-leadership-model/  (accessed on 03 April 2014)

Instigatorblog (2007), available from:

http://www.instigatorblog.com/10-essential-business-leadership-skills/2007/04/16/  (accessed on 03 April 2014)

Forbes (2012), available from:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tanyaprive/2012/12/19/top-10-qualities-that-make-a-great-leader/  (accessed on 03 April 2014) 

Ethical leadership

 

“Ethical leadership, defining it as “the demonstration of normatively appropriate conduct through personal actions and interpersonal relationships, and the promotion of such conduct to followers through two-way communication, reinforcement and decision-making”… [and] the evidence suggests that ethical leader behavior can have important positive effects on both individual and organizational effectiveness (Rubin et al 2010: 216-17)”.

 

The purpose of traditional leadership is to increase production and profits for the organization. Managers just focus on manage the operation of company in order to bring more benefit to the whole company. Meanwhile, managers still need to make a plan for future development of company. However, the ethical leadership not only increases the profits, but also they bring more positive effects to company and employees. The advantage of ethical management is that some positive reputations and opinions would be given from other parties.

 

Ethical leadership for individual

In individual aspect, ethical leadership mainly influences the employees. Simply speaking, the company is not about ethics, but the leader could bring an ethical culture to company. This kind of culture could motivate the employees in daily work. A good manager has the responsibility to influence behavior and values of subordinates, because the manager could be the role model for followers. The correct ethical culture can arouse the creativity and innovation of employees. This advantage is that innovation can improve the work efficiency and work contents of the employees, which is useful and helpful for development of the organization.

 

 

Ethical leadership fororganizational effectiveness

There are eight factors relevant the ethical leadership, which all the elements to be effected on organizational effectiveness. (Ethisphere 2011)

1)    Trust linked to how organisation operate

In general, most organisations which under the ethical leadership control have good reputations. The bigger organizations have stronger corporate social responsibility.

2)    Important to customers

In the consumer behavior, consumers are more likely to buy products from ethical company. Meanwhile, ethical leader could influence the company to do right things in order to keep existing customers.

3)    Influences recruitment of staff

It is easier to attract excellent talents for the enterprise, because some staffs maybe think they could get more opportunities in this organisation.

4)    Informs brand identity

As I mentioned, brand identity can reflect the state of an organization’s development, such as the social status and customer recognition.

5)    Drives business results

Ethical leader could lead company to develop well in right strategic direction. In the condition of the management, the company’s sale revenues and profits will achieve the standard that stakeholders expected.

6)    Reflects expectations of employees

A good ethical leader would bring the whole team the benefits more than profits. This will not only bring them more interest, but also gives employees more space for development so that to stimulate the potential of employees.

7)    Helps customers understand what we do

Corporate social responsibility is very important, because it directly affects the company’s overall image in society. This positive image will get more supports from customers.

8)    Competitive advantage

Not all organizations have ethical leaders, which mean that the core enterprise leader is the key for the rapid and stable development. For example, Burberry attracted an excellent CEO Angela Ahrendts to support the change of Burberry. Ahrendts brought Burberry more competitive strategies so that the profits of Burberry in recent years growth rapidly. This is the result of ethical leader improve the competitive adbantages.

 

For example, The GAP inc. was identified as one of the world’s most ethical business enterprise.GAP inc. also promote the good moral environment within the industry, At the same time, the GAP also practice the highest standards of business conduct so that won a high evaluation and recognition. They will continue to be committed to continually review their efforts and looking for new approaches to ensure that the business is a moral and social responsible way.

In order to keep the moral environment, GAP has done a series of activities to achieve them, which including “review the code of ethics, evaluation investment in innovation, sustainable business practices, and aimed at improving corporate citizenship activities, from senior management personnel and research, industry peers, suppliers and customers of the nomination” (GAP INC. 2010).

 

An ethical leader should be a strategic decision maker in an organisation. These decisions affected the further development of the whole organisation. In other words, the ethical leader is not only contributing to the development of the company, but also to influence employees’ behavior so that to achieve the best results. At the same time, when the ethical leader practice ethics, they would get employees respect and admiration. On the other hand, if the leader will never make their behavior and choices clear to followers, these choices would be seen as a symbol of mistrust. (Wikipedia 2013)

 

 

Reference:

Ethisphere (2011), available from:

http://ethisphere.com/worlds-most-ethical/  (accessed on 02 April 2014)

GAP INC. (2010), available from:

http://www.gapinc.com/content/gapinc/html/media/pressrelease/2010/med_pr_WME201003222010.html  (accessed on 02 April 2014)

Wikipedia (2013), available from:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_leadership (accessed on 02 April 2014)

Managing change

Change is a normal factor for individual and society, which is also a necessary process. Some people prefer to change their status actively, while other people do not have this kind of willing to change anything because of personality. However, the aspect of resistance to change is not only personality, but also has the organizational factors. And some leadership skills can be used about resistance to change.

When it comes to individual factors within organisation, some people think that changing their status quo could bring them more challenges and new situations, while other people satisfied with the status quo so that they do not want to change current situations. There are some factors which people do not want to change.

Individual resistance

• Selective perception

• Habit

• Inconvenience or loss of freedom

• Economic implications

• Security in the past

• Fear of the unknown

Source: Mullins (2013:716-7)

 

Some psychological factors and work habits will influence the choice of employees in an organisation. Some employees have become accustomed to the current working mode and environment over a long period of time. Psychologically, they do not want to make themselves into unsafe conditions. Moreover, these changes might bring them a series of insecurity and fear of the unknown. Therefore, the managers can change some of the current situation, which let employees have a buffer space to adapt new environment, such as office rules and working environment.

On the other hand, there are some resistance from organisation.

Organisational resistance

• Organisational culture

• Maintaining stability

• Investment in resources

• Past contracts or agreements

• Threats to power or influence

Source: Mullins (2013:717-8)

Those factors of organisational resistance could affect the operation of the entire organization, such as their market strategy, strategic goals and employee management. In general, these resistances affects the organization’s external environment and competitive. Once these resistances influence beyond the scope that managers can be controlled, it will be hard to continue to develop and change. As a result, it can make the operation and development of the entire organization become slowly so that they lost a lot of opportunities in the industry.

 

“Leaders are the key drivers of change” (Thechangeforum 2013) Leadership plays an important role in managing resistance to change. The leaders could be the drivers or obstacle of change to an organisation. Different organizations have different role of the culture. Each culture has its own function, such as power culture, person culture and so on. They all affect the operation of organisation. Leaders can do some adjust according to the current situation so that to adapt to the development of industry, such as economic trends and technology.

For instance, JC Penney has very rigid organizational culture, which employees should strictly abide by the rules of the company in daily work. Before the change their culture, JCP is a company which do not allow subordinates to call the first name of the boss, and should call them Mr.XXX. Moreover, JCP do not allow staffs to decorate their space and also to limit their dress code. The employees who working in this environment might be feel pressure for long time.

Power culture is the main culture before they change in LCP. A Power culture mainly exists in small groups, which means Leader control lower level directly. Power culture relies on trust, empathy and personal communication for its effectiveness. There are few rules and procedures, and little bureaucracy as well. The advantage of a Power Culture is that decisions can be made very quickly. However, the decision maker affects the decision quality directly, which means the followers have risks to follow the decision completely.

The positive impact of power culture in JCP is that Ullman realized the need for change. He understood the importance of changing into new organizational culture and to form an informal organizational culture for JCP.

The negative impact is that In JCP, Centralized power was handled in few people, so it decreases the satisfaction of employees. Also there are rigid and very formal working environment in JC penny, which means it would restrain the employees’ innovation and creativity. And result in a high employee turnover for JCP as well.

Therefore, the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages. That is reason why they need to change their organizational culture.

Although there is little management can do about resistance to change, but as manager could influence others behaviour so that get balance in different aspects.

 

Reference:

Mullins, L.J. (2013). Management and Organisational Behaviour. United Kingdom: FT Publishing International.

Thechangeforum (2013), available from:

http://thechangeforum.com/Change%20Leadership.htm (accessed on 24 March 2014)

 

Most effective leadership style to managing the work of subordinates

“Which personal style should managers adopt to ensure success? What is the most effective approach to managing the work of subordinates? These questions have been extensively researched and debated over the last century, and while the general consensus has moved away from ‘command and control’ to management and leadership towards more consultative and participative approaches, there is no single ideal, as the best approach may vary according to circumstances and individual characteristics (CMI 2013)”.

 

 

  1. The definition of leadership

Leadership is the ability of a leader in the organisation. It can be interpreted as a necessary factor in the development of the whole team. Essentially, leadership is a symbol of authority, which has the right to make decisions for future development and lead others. More specifically, leadership can influence others’ attitudes and decisions, also can self influence, because the core of leadership is that the leading behavior is a process and influence each other. In the meantime, leadership is a process of lead team members to achieve the goals together.  (Mullin, 2013:369)

 

  1. The definition of management

Management is a process, which managers need to plan and monitor effectively the company’s development direction with current sources in certain cases, in order to achieve goals. Management also includes staffing, guidance and control functions. In the process of management, managers can guide the progress of the whole activity in order to achieve the best effect. (Mullin, 2013:421)

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  1. The similarities and differences between management and leadership

The similarities between management and leadership are various.

Firstly, their common goals are the same for an organization. The function of leadership and management is to help organization to achieve the goals.  Leaders and managers support the operation of whole team and company, which could establish a purpose to gain more profit according to effective strategic direction.

Secondly, the manager must be a leader because they play an important role in the management. A good leader can bring excellent operating organization, while a good manager can stimulate the enthusiasm of staff. They serve in the organization, and in organizational the leader and managers are supervisors as well.

At last, management and leadership are involved in a decision-making process. Their decisions affect the progress of the team because it demonstrates the enterprise strategy whether suitable or not.

 

The differences between management and leadership are also very obviously.

Compared with the leaders, the scope of their functions and powers managers is relatively small, which may be a team or a department. Managers need to manage the whole process of the department or team to cooperate with the operation of the organization. At the same time, managers also need to motivate subordinates at work. Appropriate incentives and rewards will also improve work enthusiasm of the staff so that to get better performance.

Leaders, on the other hand, control the macro direction of organization, such as the strategic target, the future development trend and the economy.

 

  1. Is the best approach may vary according to circumstances and individual characteristics?

“Leadership style is the way in which the functions of leadership are carried out, the way in which the leader typically behaves towards members of the group” (Mullins 2013:375).

 

There are three types leadership style, which are

  • Authoritarian (or autocratic) style
  • Democratic style
  • Laissez-faire (genuine) style  (Mullins 2013:377)

 

Authoritarian style means compulsory obedience to superior. The advantage of this style is that leaders have their own plan and implement programs so that reduce the risk. Leaders control the development of the whole team and views from subordinates. This weakness is that there is a big distance between leaders and subordinates, which is not good for communication. (Wikipedia 2012)

Democratic leadership style is one of the most effective leadership styles. Followers prefer this leadership style in the organization. A democratic leader is able to share the leadership of the decision and plan to his subordinates. But at the same time, the democratic leaders still keep the final decision rights. (Action-Wheel 2013)

Laissez-faire (genuine) style could lead to a team without Cohesiveness because the followers are free to make a decision individually. (Money-zine 2013)

 

CMI (2013) thought that the best method may vary based on personality and situation. Personality and situation are the important factors in leadership aspect. Leadership could influence other people’s behavior, but it still need to consider the situation at that moment.

For example, in this video—-“Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy”, the behavior of leader could influence others, but in the infancy stage no one want to join the dancing. However, the leader is trying to show people what he is doing. And the purpose is to attract more follows. Therefore, in that situation, the reason why others not join the dancing is that it depends on individual personality and the viewers’ psychological states. In the same time, once some role models join the dancing, other followers will join as well, because they might think this activity is nor risky.

 

 

Reference:

Mullins, L.J. (2013). Management and Organisational Behaviour. United Kingdom: FT Publishing International.

Action-Wheel( 2013), available from:

http://www.action-wheel.com/democratic-leadership-style.html (Accessed on 01 April 2014)

Wikipedia (2012), available from:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authoritarian_leadership_style (Accessed on 01 April 2014)

Money-zine (2013), available from:

http://www.money-zine.com/definitions/career-dictionary/laissez-faire-leadership-style/ (Accessed on 01 April 2014)

Diverse teams produce better results

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 There is no doubt that the diverse teams have advantages and disadvantages. In other words, the manager is very important in diverse teams, because it decides whether the team can get better or worse performance. In this blog, I will focus on cosmetics industry to analyze whether a diverse team could produce better results for an organization. In the following paragraphs, I will examine these factors, especially in cosmetics field.

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The advantages of a diverse team are very obvious. A diverse team might make more kinds of results, because the team members have different backgrounds in the field of cosmetics. In the meantime, diverse team may improve and enhance team creativity, and have a positive impact on group performance. For example, their gender, age, education background and values, which all are the factors that could affect the team results. Mannix and Neale (2005) evidence that education level and culture awarenesses are the factors which have a close relationship with team performance. For instance, when they have meeting, those people who come from different backgrounds would come up with a range of ideas for the same topic or view. This is like brainstorming, which could give manager or other team members more inspirations.

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Managers need to learn how to manage a diverse team, which is the most important skill for them in cosmetics industry. Basically, a team is made up of many individuals. Each person has their own personality, so the formation of the diverse team is because it contains diverse team members. The cosmetics industry is quite special, which is based on experience of customers. No matter in marketing department or other departments, employees would try those products before launching to market. Therefore, they would have different opinions of the same product because different gender has different try feelings and conditions.

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Male and female have different views and opinions in cosmetics. The reason why I chose gender to compare is currently the males began to use make-up products if they need in some special occasions, such as TV program. From the aspects of gender, women have a better feel directly for cosmetics, which means male would have differences on this. As a manager, they need to arrange the team working reasonably. For example, they gave male and female the different tasks in their areas of expertise. If a team is pure male team, it often appears less communication problems while a pure women team might often appear bickering and gossip phenomenon. This phenomenon will have a negative impact on work. So the team of gender diversity could increase or decrease team performance.

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A common goal is very important for a team. Managers need to make a complete plan to team members. The plan should be very clear, because it is related to the performance of the whole team and the final result. For example, in sales team they have a goal for every month, which means all the team members should according to this goal to finish their tasks in a limited time.

In cosmetics industry, there are some teams in different departments, such as PR team, marketing team, research and development team and sales team. Every team plays an important role in a company. In this team, managers need to know everyone’s characteristics and advantages. And then they need to assign tasks according to each person’s personality. Sometimes if they need to work within a small group, manager can arrange complementary members to cooperate with others.

In the process of completing the task, managers should go to communicate with team members and understand their ideas so that change the manager’s guidance strategies appropriately. In order to complete tasks better and get better results, the managers should be to develop team members to share knowledge and experience of habit at any time. (Smith 1997) For example, a conference or a conversation is a great opportunity to cultivate and promote skills of team members.

Despite the diverse team has obvious advantages in a company, it also has disadvantages. Since team members come from different environment and background, so that they have differences in the same problems in daily work. In such cases, the contradictions are very easy to make. It means once the contradictions appear, this will affect the progress of the whole group because of the lack of cohesion among team members.

Therefore, diverse team has two sides. Managers should make full use of the advantages of team diversity to make the performance better. Meanwhile, they also need to avoid the negative attitude from diversity. Of course, managers need to have ability and rich experience to manage the whole team. This is also the biggest challenge for managers and the whole team members.

Reference:

1. Mannix. E and Neale. A (2005), What Differences Make a Difference? The Promise and Reality of Diverse Teams in Organizations, Reference Services Review. vol. 6 no. 2 31-55

2. Mathew B. Smith, (1997) “Are traditional management tools sufficient for diverse teams?”, Team Performance Management, Vol. 3 Iss: 1, pp.3 – 11