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  • Subject Name : Management

Table of contents:

Part I. The Introduction

Part II. Leadership Theories

Part III. Conclusion

References

Introduction to Leadership

The success of any organization is dependent on its leaders, who are good managers, team players and good communicators. The quality of leadership is a pre-requisite for any individual who aspires to be successful and have positive impact on the surrounding work environment. A true leader has a goal or a vision which allows an individual to develop the capacity to attain the qualities required in achieving the desired goal. This essay comprises of personal case study and challenges faced in leadership faced on personal level and how they were overcome by using different styles of leadership. As I got the opportunity to be appointed as a new team leader for a growing organization based on my previous experience, I encountered plethora of challenges in managing team of 15 members of variate backgrounds in terms of culture and ethnicity. The 2 sides of the challenge which I was faced with were, first- I was new to the role of a team leader and the responsibilities to be fulfilled in the designated role were completely new for me. Secondly- I wanted the people to like me as their new team lead, thus my focus was not in the right place and direction. I quickly learnt that this way of managing the members where most of my focus was on pleasing them and my supervisor was not helping either of the teams and that I was in trouble.

Different Theories of Leadership and Their Role in My Case Study

There are 8 theories of leadership namely, Greatman, situational, behavioural, relational, contingency, participative, trait and management leaderships (Deshwal & Ali, 2020). In my case, I approached the situation with two main theories of leadership which are, “Behavioural Theory” and the “Trait Theory”. The former one is based on the belief that great leaders are not born but are made over a period of time with experiences (Bratton, 2020). This theory focuses on actions and not the mental abilities or the IQ of an individual to become a leader. As per this theory an individual can be taught and imbibe certain behaviours to inculcate the characteristics of a good leader. My supervisor had a very good experience as he worked for the organization for over 12 years and gave me same piece the advice that leadership is an attitude. It is not an inherent quality but it is a process which takes time. I learnt that leadership is not an inherent quality but it is a time taking process which requires inculcating empathy and understanding of people, having effective communication within the team members or other stakeholders of the project or business, goal setting, team bonding, good listening, all of which are attributes of a good leader (Sims, Hewitt & Harris, 2015).

With this approach I began to start communicating with the team members with integrity and honesty and encouraged the same withing the team. I welcomed their ideas and provided constructive criticism wherever required. This not only enabled me to earn respect in the eyes of my team members but also improved productivity and established better communication and development of good inter-personal skills. Challenges relating to day to day communication are absence of self-confidence in expression of one’s inner feelings and issued directly to the people (Sharma, 2019; Sims, Hewitt & Harris, 2015). The major challenge is to make an effort to go beyond my own style of communication, to unlearn the old or previous redundant methods and look forward to improvise the ways to connect with each individual member of the team. One must be able to deploy different communication styles according to the style of the person with which the communication has to take place.

Communicating in the other person’s style helps in forming a better rapport and also makes it easy to understand the topic. Effective communication is a fool-proof manner to get the task done correctly at the first time. This alteration is important in scenarios such as teacher and was applicable in my situation as well. It is vital for a leader to develop a clear idea for the worker and re-iteration it often so that they have a fixed focus; it is of paramount importance so that the team work is encouraged instead of individualistic work attitude. Therefore, I started forming team goals, instead of individual goals (Sims, Hewitt & Harris, 2015). As per the “behavioural theory” I learnt few characteristics from self-help and books on management from top notch business managers on how to be motivated and how to keep my team members motivated which helped them to a great extent to not only achieve the given targets but also to often push and exceed their targets. The former one ensures that there are no barriers among the staff and the leader. It brings openness and willingness for change among the people (Kaluza et al, 2020). Following the advice of my superior I learnt how to effectively get the work done in a healthy manner and also to develop more leaders within the team. Everyone in the team is motivated to work not only for the individual gain but as a team focusing on the main goal.

The “Trait Theory” emphasized on the assumption that leadership skill is inherited in to an individual’s personality. Traits such as good self-confidence, being extrovert or out-spoken, conscientiousness, and having emotional intelligence is what an individual possesses in their personality as they grow up depending on the type of exposure and upbringing. It is tied to the “Great man theory of leadership” which was first proposed in 1800s by Thomas Carlyle (Bratton, 2020). The Trait theory implies that these traits are a part of an individual’s blue print. It is a part of their mental make-up formed in childhood. It may vary in individuals. It focuses on identifying the personality type of an individual to be suitable for the job or a position. In the case scenario, this theory could only be implemented for a certain period of time, in dealing with the challenges such as conducting meetings and helping the team with my intellectual attributes with the given tasks, however it did not help me learn the ways to encourage selfless participation from the members and ignite team spirit.

It also did not provide solutions to deal with different situations as it did not encourage learning via experiments (Anderson et al, 2017). It neglects the whole context of leadership, which is to build more leaders in the team. The trait theory focuses on trait variables and is purely performance based, rather than based on opportunities. As human beings, all the followers have different life experiences, abilities, role perception, emotional and intellectual needs which effects the process of leadership and the outcome. Thus, the parameter of developing leadership is not based on individualistic traits. This type of leadership does not allow a healthy growing atmosphere for a company where the individuals come to enrol their skills or further their careers. Furthermore, the societal and environmental, class, gender, race and other factors on which the psychosocial bent of leadership a human being is based on is still under researched. It may not be wrong to state that an individual grown up with such superior traits may fail as a leader as compared to the one who has imbibed the skill of leadership by learning on the journey (Silvestri & Veltri, 2020; Sims, Hewitt & Harris, 2015).

With this theory, it is also difficult to explain, “how some people are in not leader’s despite of possessing these traits?”. On the other hand, it can be noticed that the opposite of that is true. Many people evolve to attain these traits and become effective leaders. It is due to this fact there are many books on “how to become an effective leader” and many leadership books have flooded the markets and the internet (Ghosh, Kansal & Sundresh, 2020).” Few aspects of this theory are relatable innate ability to make good or bad decisions; eagerness in accepting responsibilities; creativity; assertiveness; emotional stability which are all subjective to situational crisis and demands. This kind of approach implies that an introvert individual cannot be a leader. It causes a divide and shortage of opportunities in the organizations by reducing or limiting their chances of growth on the up to the top management ladder in the hierarchy of the organization. It is therefore, ineffective in majority of the cases and provides unfruitful results (Nawaz, & Khan 2016).

In my personal experience behavioural leadership effective as these leaders as they believe in leaning and adapting to change. They are capable of building robust vision and strong relationships, which help to have a sense of belongingness amongst the followers or in the team, in an effort to collectively work towards the growth of the organization. Working on the principles of the behavioural leadership theory, I discovered a leader in me. It also made me understand that the potential of becoming a leader is in everybody who has the will to learn and grow. The leadership skill must be used like a muscle, it should be practiced consistently.

Conclusion on Leadership Case Study

This assignment has taught me that, it is imperative to understand of the various styles of leadership to obtain high rate of success in managing the team and attaining the desired goals for the organization. In the discussed case study, it can be deduced that behavioural leadership theory is more effective as compared to the Trait leadership. Both theories are different in their approach but the Behavioural leadership is different because it capitalizes or banks on training and development of skills. I also learnt to develop flexibility while choosing the type of leadership strategy, depending upon the type of situation as for some members of the team one type of leadership style can be effective and often, the leader has to change his style in order to effectively manage the rest of the team members who do not comply with the first style of leadership. Effective leadership is useful in achieving improved outcomes from each individual, as it encourages cultural competency as well as provide environment to grow, which in turn gives rise to organization growth and success.

References for Case Study on Leadership

Anderson, H. J., Baur, J. E., Griffith, J. A., & Buckley, M. R. (2017). What works for you may not work for (Gen) Me: Limitations of present leadership theories for the new generation. The Leadership Quarterly, 28(1), 245-260.

Bratton, J. (Ed.). (2020). Organizational leadership. SAGE Publications Limited.

Deshwal, V., & Ali, M. A. (2020). A Systematic Review of Various Leadership Theories. Journal of Commerce, 8(1), 38-43.

Ghosh, P. K., Kansal, B. B., & Sundresh, G. S. (2020). Unit-18 Leadership. IGNOU.

Kaluza, A. J., Boer, D., Buengeler, C., & van Dick, R. (2020). Leadership behaviour and leader self-reported well-being: A review, integration and meta-analytic examination. Work & Stress, 34(1), 34-56.

Nawaz, Z. A. K. D. A., & Khan_ PhD, I. (2016). Leadership theories and styles: A literature review. Leadership, 16(1), 1-7.

Sharma, E. (2019). A review of corporate social responsibility in developed and developing nations. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 26(4), 712-720.

Silvestri, A., & Veltri, S. (2020). Exploring the relationships between corporate social responsibility, leadership, and sustainable entrepreneurship theories: A conceptual framework. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 27(2), 585-594.

Sims, S., Hewitt, G., & Harris, R. (2015). Evidence of a shared purpose, critical reflection, innovation and leadership in interprofessional healthcare teams: a realist synthesis. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 29(3), 209-215

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