The implementation of leadership by a leader is a very challenging task in itself. The reflection of the aspect of leadership has helped in understanding the role and responsibility of a leader and further has been able to identify some of the key issues that lie in the area of leadership. During the analysis of ethical leadership, I have been able to understand the importance of consistency in adhering to the code of conduct that has been established by the company. I have realised that it is very difficult for the leader to adhere to the rules while ensuring a higher level of motivation among the employees. I have gone through some of the autobiographies of leaders who have aimed to implement the ethical code of conduct defined by the company. Each of the readings has directed me to undertake an in-depth evaluation of the issues faced by the leader. I have recalled a number of examples during my study where each of the examples has highlighted that an ethical leader often finds himself in a position where it is difficult to ensure the implementation of the ethical code of conduct and at the same time, the leader has to make sure that the employees are able to provide maximum output to the company.
Along with this, I have asked attended seminars where some of the most popular leaders have participated as the speaker. The seminars have also added to my understanding of the practical leadership issues that are faced by leaders. The leaders have pointed out the issue faced by the leaders in the selection of the most effective style of leadership that can be used to draw maximum output and positive response from the team members. To ensure that I am able to reflect upon the challenges has also further engaged me in communicating with leaders through the online platform including social media. This way the interaction has helped me to know that leaders find it very challenging to implement a specific style of leadership that can be used by them in dealing and guiding the team members. The interaction has also highlighted that leaders have to deal with a number of employees who have diverse expectations from the management and have a unique way of understanding things and further executing plans. This has, therefore, helped me to link the challenge as faced by the leader with the practical implementation of leadership styles and skills by the person. The understanding of the issues held by me improved by working as an employee in one of the companies where I was a part of the team and worked under the guidance and direction of a leader. Further, the understanding also enhanced when I practically took forward the role of a leader and tried to overcome any challenge or difficulty faced by me as a leader.
The challenges that have been highlighted in the above section through reflection can also be identified through the analysis of literature and other credible sources of information. Levine and Boaks (2014) have highlighted that an ethical leader has to deal with the issue of implementing the ethical code of conduct that i.e., the ethical roles and responsibility of the leader. The authors have further tried to highlight the fact that a leader faces a lot of difficulty in keeping the employees satisfied at all times. In this respect, the leader has to keep a balance between the rules defined by the company and the practical implementation of these rules considering the fact that each and every employee is unique in some or the other way. Zhu et al. (2017) have also added to the similar viewpoints where the authors have further tried to point out the challenge faced by the ethical leader in ensuring consistency of the rules at all times. The authors have significantly highlighted the way in which such ethical leaders faced a dilemma in meeting the profitable objectives of the company and also implementing the ethical code of conduct within the internal environment that is impacted by the behaviour and response of the employees at all times.
Rosenbach (2018), on the other hand, has pointed out towards the issues that a leader faces in the area of implementing a particular style of leadership. According to the author, the complex and challenging internal as well as external environment has forced the leader to be proactive in dealing with the team members at all times. The author has, therefore, aimed to highlight the fact that modern-day leaders fail to recognise the most effective style of leadership that can be used by them to guide the employees. Ciulla et al. (2018) have also depicted similar views where as per the authors, various pieces of information have highlighted the pros and cons of each of the style of leadership. Along with this, these pieces of literature have also pointed out towards the application of each of the styles of leadership.
But according to the authors, the practicality of the same is not that smooth and easy. Hentschel et al. (2018) have also depicted this issue by stating that in the modern-day business environment, each leader has to deal with a number of employees who have different ways of working in the professional workplace. The authors have also pointed out towards the need of a leader to undertake analysis of the internal environment of the company and also the needs and expectations of the employees from the leader and the company. Girma (2016) has, on the other hand, stated that the leader should work to identify a specific style of leader that can be a mix of one or more pre-defined styles of leadership as identified in various pieces of literature. This as per the author, this would help the leader in dealing with the diverse set of employees and further meeting the team objectives and goals. Van Der Voet (2016) has also provided viewpoints in support of the views presented by the author.
In my previous job, I was able to gain extensive experience in leadership by working as an employee and also as a part of the team of 10 members and further guided by a team leader. My team leader was an effective person with years of experience in leading teams in various companies operating in different industries. The leader was responsible for implementing the ethical code of conduct that was defined by the company in dealing with its suppliers and the clients at the same time. This way the role of the leader was very critical for the company and for ensuring that the team is working as per the guidelines of the upper management. During one of the projects, the team leader faced an issue where he was in a dilemma on whether to ensure the profitability and budget of the contract or whether to implement the ethical code of the conduct defined by the company in respect to the quality without paying any focus on the aspect of cost and the limited timeline provided to us by the client. The incident is a practical and a good example to depict the challenge faced by the leader in ensuring the consistency of rules and regulations defined by the company.
Along with this, the implementation of the ethical code of conduct by the leader has created a lot of resistance by the team members at the initial stage. The team members perceived the ethical code of conduct as a means through which the company would add to their work and which would further create work stress. In the past, I have been a part of some of the projects during my internship. The internship had, therefore, helped me to understand the negative impact that such resistance has on the overall team objectives and goals. This way, I took forward my role as a team member and tried to make the other team members understand the importance of the ethical code of conduct and also that such conduct would provide them with benefits and will not create any sort of stress. My understanding of the code of conduct and its importance has helped the team leader to deal with the poor morale of the team members and reach a solution for the ethical issue faced by him.
I have been inclined to become a leader every since my childhood days where I used to read a lot of autobiographies of leaders around the world. In the past organisation, I have taken forward the role of a leader where the role has helped me to gain a lot of experience and knowledge. I have gone an opportunity to lead a team of 20 people and have successfully completed a number of projects where each of the projects has helped in adding to the skill set and know how as a leader. While taking forward the role of a leader, I have to face some of the key issues and challenges. One of the most common challenges that I had faced as a leader was to select the most suitable and effective style of leader for guiding and directing the efforts of the employees at all times. I have studied a number of styles of leadership during my academic curriculum but the practical implementation of the style was a big challenge to me as a leader in the company. Initially, I tried to copy the styles of the leaders whom I considered to be my role model. Each time, I tried to copy their styles, I landed in some or the other mess which had an adverse impact upon the performance of each and every team member. This way I was able to understand that a specific style of leader that has been effective in one circumstance may not offer similar success when implemented in a different set of circumstances.
Along with this, I was also able to conclude that a specific style of leadership is not a ready-made situation that can be used by the leader in meeting the team objectives and goals. To become an effective leader, I realised that it is very important to understand the behaviour and the responses of each of the team members. To ensure the same, I organised a team meeting with all the team members and asked each one of them to provide me with their expectation from me as a leader and also from the organisation as a whole. This helped me to gain feedback from each of the employees and further include the feedback in addressing the needs of the team members so as to ensure maximum employee satisfaction and positivity. This further assisted me in providing them with the importance of implementing an ethical code of conduct and also in identifying the most effective style that I could implement considering the individual expectation of each of the team members and their behaviour in a team. I defined a specific style of leadership that included some of the traits of democratic leadership while some of the traits of charismatic leadership. This new style of leadership proved to be very effective in leading the team members and also in reducing the resistance that the team members possessed for a new change that was brought by the company in the internal working.
Ciulla, J. B., Knights, D., Mabey, C., & Tomkins, L. (2018). Guest editors’ introduction: Philosophical contributions to leadership ethics. Business Ethics Quarterly, 28(1), 1-14.
Hentschel, T., Braun, S., Peus, C., & Frey, D. (2018). The communality-bonus effect for male transformational leaders–leadership style, gender, and promotability. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 27(1), 112-125.
Levine, M. P., & Boaks, J. (2014). What does ethics have to do with leadership?. Journal of Business Ethics, 124(2), 225-242.
Rosenbach, W. E. (2018). Contemporary issues in leadership. Abingdon: Routledge.
Van Der Voet, J. (2016). Change leadership and public sector organizational change: Examining the interactions of transformational leadership style and red tape. The American Review of Public Administration, 46(6), 660-682.
Zhu, W., Zheng, X., He, H., Wang, G., & Zhang, X. (2019). Ethical leadership with both “moral person” and “moral manager” aspects: Scale development and cross-cultural validation. Journal of Business Ethics, 158(2), 547-565.
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