Martin Luther King Jr once said that, “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus” (Prentice, 2013). Such is the kind of leadership that is expected from the new Manager of Neo Steel Ltd, a leader who has ready solutions for the subordinate’s problems. This is just one of the many duties and traits of a leader should posses that we will come across as we analyze leadership styles and approaches. The knowledge of the skills and the possession of the attributes of the possession alone are not enough, what is of essence is the ability of the leader to apply the skills in varying situations and environments. Questions such as when does a leader have enough leadership skills will also be addressed.
Task 1: Replacement of Leadership (Neo Steel)
To most people the success of a leader is usually determined by the economic strides that a company takes. However, this is not always the case. A leader is not judged by his or economic achievement but on the leadership portrayed. This is a factor that most departmental heads and managers fail to realize with the ripple effect reaching to the top management. Any employee in a leadership position ought to realize that his or her success is not as a result of his or her own effort but those of the coordinated effort and support of fellow employees. Therefore a leader needs to show concern, care, compassion and appreciation to fellow employees. It is only through realization that the success of a leader is dependent of follower behavior and acceptance that a manager or head of department becomes a leader.
The developers of the Situational Leadership, Model Hersey and Blanchard noted the importance of relationship behavior which they termed as supportive behavior. Its role was to provide ‘socioemotional’ support better known as ‘psychological stroke’ (Vasu, Stewart & Garson, 1998). They acknowledged that leadership was not all about execution of tasks but was a subject of conditional context and tasks and relationship dimensions (Martin, 2005). The approach outlined 4 distinct approaches that a leader should use to address four subordinate development levels which DuBrin named as the enthusiastic beginner, disillusioned learner, capable but cautious performer and the self reliant achiever (2013).
Neo being a manufacturing company, it involves a lot of processes and unique situations which professionals may not be in a position to learn in the school curriculums thus can only be learnt in the industry. Therefore the application of the four approaches should be customized to fit the industry. The first group is the enthusiastic beginners who are individuals who have low competence but are highly motivated. The best approach to this is coaching as it involves an interactive session and the leader might as well learn. The group of disillusioned learners is best addressed using the directing approach. This approach involves the leader taking a high directive role and close supervision especially in the manufacturing industry where every component has to be up to the required standards. The supporting approach on the other hand is used for capable but cautious performers who usually need just a little bit motivation for their commitment to be at the required standards. Finally the self-reliant achiever is an own leader and the best way to approach them is by delegating duties in a hands off approach as there exist a high level of trust between the leader and the achievers. These are the individuals that the new director should seek to recruit as heads of department as they will instill the motivation to the rest of the organization and have good knowledge and respect for the company’s culture and practices.
The understanding or failure to understand these approaches is what determines whether the company should maintain or replace the leader. The main reason behind this is that the company’s workforce is more important than a single individual whose only role is coordinating. The leader’s ability is what determines the worker’s behavior towards their duties and towards the leadership of the company as a whole. Therefore the leader needs to understand that the follower determines the leadership style (Yukl, 2006). The recognition of this factor does not only help in determining which approach to this but also it facilitates the leader’s acceptance among the followers. For instance in the military a soldier who is engaged self-starter is allowed to accomplish tasks on his own as it also helps him learner more while a timid uncertain soldier is given instructions, training and guidance (task behavior).
In situational Leadership model, the success of a leader is anchored on the followers since the method of leadership to be applied is determined by the followers. Therefore a situation where followers reject a leader may form a basis for replacement. The model therefore calls upon the leaders to be cautious and diligent while classifying the type of workers they are dealing with. The modern multigenerational workplace posses a major challenge to leaders who want to use a single style among a specific group of people (Daft, 2011). Janette Sadik-Khan, former commissioner of New York City Transport is an example of leader who primary applied one of the leadership style (Directive) which was really successful. However, this approach led her to be rejected by some City Council members and neighborhood leaders (Daft, 2011). For a profit making company such as Neo Steel which already has its name tainted cannot afford a fall off with the workers and hence would rather appoint a new leader.
The replacement of a leader may not be specifically caused by the relationship of the leader and the followers but may be as a result of other situations such as; the company’s Board of Directors unanimous decision, a company’s culture, a political or religious situation or even on the basis of instability such as the case in Ukraine may be the cause of replacement of a Pro-Russia leader. However, in the case of Neo the replacement of a leader who has experience both in Europe and America which has a wide range of cultures can only be limited to the leader’s behavior and approach to the workers. It is however important to note that it might be a difficult start for the new leader if the workers believe that the previous leader was wrongly accused.
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