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The paper aims to discuss selected traits from leadership trait theory, which must be possessed by a leader to apply into real life scenario. In order to lead with an effective approach, a reflective perception will be included regarding a particular trait, which is personally being followed and can be considered under the mentioned theory. Along with a reflective opinion considering personal experiences, the situational, transformational and servant leadership theories will be elaborated. Next, the paper will illustrate one of the leadership approaches in a workplace setting. Identifying a leader and at least five leadership scenarios will provide a better understanding of the role of an effective leader. Towards the end of the paper, work experience of personal risk management profile will be included to convey that how new learnings have helped to implement leadership theories in practical situation.
Consulting the study of Fleeson and Jayawickreme, (2015),the following leadership traits have been selected from the trait theory. Both the successful and unsuccessful leaders have some specific abilities, personal traits and different style of implicating strategies. In the case of practical implementation, I have selected three strategies among which there are drive towards achievements by motivating the employees, quality of being ethical and knowledgeable, which I must possess in order to lead effectively (Mikkelson, York & Arritola, 2015). Along with that, I have noticed that being emotionally unstable will not help me to handle work pressures.
1. Achievement drive: This leadership quality is one of the basic traits, which must be possessed by a leader to control and lead a team with highest level of energy, effort, ambition and initiative. As a leader, I have experienced long hours of travelling in several places even in a day for business purposes and at the same time maintaining a communicative relationship with every members of the team to ensure mass engagement to accomplish mutual organizational objectives. Therefore, if a leader possess a strong desire of leading others, takes initiative and invests the best effort, the company will achieve its purpose of conducting a particular project (Sharma & Jain, 2013).
2. Ethical and knowledgeable: A team must function under an honest leader who executes business operations in an ethical way and does not entertain any practice of discrepancy. As a leader, I must ensure a trustworthy relationship with my teammates so that they can trust me in a crisis (Griffin & Hu, 2013). Possessing skills and efficiency regarding industrial details and technicalities will help me to deliver quality results and teammates can consult me for performance as well.
3. Emotional stability: Although, I have achieved several goals as an effective leader yet I have to achieve emotional stability under tremendous work pressure. I am not a person, who is psychologically mature. I tend to lose temper sometimes due to frustration and stressful nature of the work, which effect my job profile mostly (Kaiser, LeBreton & Hogan, 2015). In order to possess this important aspect of leadership I must mediate or consult a doctor and even try to approach teams with a different leadership style to reduce psychological pressure.
Beyond the boundaries of basic leadership traits, a leader can opt for a charismatic personality to motivate his/her teammates with a strong sense of emotions. Charisma can be integrated with accomplishment of future goals and providing personal reinforcements in form of appreciation or rewards to employees.
I can be an effective leader based on my qualities of motivating others with high intensity of energy. Maintaining a charismatic personality will allow me to influence employees in terms of their output and accomplishment of shared goals (Shamir & Howell, 2018). I lack psychological stability, which is extremely required to keep my emotions in control. I tend to lose my temper out of frustration under pressure which competency id needed to develop if I want to be an effective leader.
Situational leadership theory encourages managers to analyse a situation critically in the first place before taking any steps against it (Dinh et al., 2014). While leading, considering the situations, four factors are needed to keep in mind. Those are employees’ ability and maturity, nature of the task and the leadership style they are comfortable working in. Telling the team mates about the task and the process of doing that, communicating to motivate towards the shared goals, participating with the executives into the operations and the task of monitoring and evaluation can be considered as the most essential components of situational leadership.
According to Braun et al., (2013),transformational leadership model deals with inspiring employees with great sense of morality to change their perception of working towards common organizational objectives. It highly depends on the personal traits and capability of a leader who can initiate a change by setting long-term goals no matter how challenging the environment is.
The philosophy of servant leadership as per the study of Chen, Zhu and Zhou, (2015), is to value every employee’s opinion before taking any business decisions. A servant leader encourages, develops trustworthy relationship, and allow others to decide or consistently look for suggestions. Their visionary thinking and practice of planning for long-term are worthy to praise yet it takes time to decide something in this process as so many opinions he or she has to evaluate. This theory can shape the traits of future leaders too (Eva & Sendjaya, 2013).
As per my opinion and considering the study of McCleskey, (2014),transformational leadership is the most traditional and practical process of generating the output. Situational theory is a task based leadership style. Where, according to the requirement the subordinates take the responsibility and the leader instructs and monitors accordingly. Whereas, transformational leadership can be adopted when company is suffering from extreme challenging situation. The charisma of a leader can motivate strategically to generate production by establishing trustworthy relations. Providing proper guidance instead of instructing helps employees to develop necessary skills and shape characteristics of a potential leader.
As I have experienced in terms of transformational leadership, when I used to work as executive, I have seen one of my senior team leaders to maintain ethical behaviour throughout his career. Employees used to have trust, respect as far as a fair decision is concerned. This is the definition of charisma. Briefly a strong foundation that decides position of the company.
In July 2007, China’s Drug and Food Administration Head Zheng Xiaoyu was found guilty of accepting bribes in exchange for permitting companies to register medicines that doesn’t meet the minimum requirements of safety. These included untested drugs that caused several deaths in the country. The simplest explanation to Xiaoyu’s wrongdoing would be the lust for money and profit, but political undertones in the case are hard to miss. This is an apt example of power abuse and one of the triggering factors of the crime could be the greed for extending power (Kaiser, LeBreton & Hogan, 2015). Xiaoyou used his power of position and influence over law to cause harm and the price he had to pay for the injustice was fatal. When it comes to leaders who have used their power and influence in a positive way, the leadership skills and fruitful contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. stands unparalleled. As per Robinson and Topping, (2013),he was successful in leading the civil rights movement of African American in a non-violent way; using his power of words to influence his followers. Martin Luther was driven by his determination to uplift the race that had so far suffered oppression in the hands of the privileged. He had a noble cause and used his power in the best possible ways to attain the goals.
Using the Hersey-Blanchard model, the Delegation style of leadership would be ideal to lead a team like the one described in the scenario. A team that has good member interrelations and high motivation, requires nothing more than a low-relationship leadership style where the leader allows the group to take independent task decisions. Since this group has so far functioned effectively without a leader and been successful in forming good employee relationships and developing motivation, over-involvement of leaders would only complicate the stability of the situation.
Analyzing the given situation through the Path-Goal Model as described in Polston-Murdoch, (2013), the supportive leadership style would be appropriate for the new employee. Her inexperience in the social work field is making it difficult for her to follow through the assigned tasks, despite her enthusiasm to learn. The task might be psychologically challenging to her and she requires the support and concern of the leader for overcoming the difficulties. The employee is at the low capability and high motivation level and needs an approachable, friendly and understanding leader who will be effective in bringing out potentials.
The given scenario requires a leader has the capacity to motivate people, is perseverant and effective in decision making, is intelligent with good communication skills (Bakker-Pieper & de Vries, 2013). Since the restaurant is running on loss and the staff motivation is low, the leader is required to take effective decisions and motivate the employees to execute the decisions into actions. If the leader is a good speaker, he/she will be able to counsel the unhappy employees and convince them to work towards betterment, both of the firm and of their career. Only an intelligent leader will be able to turn things around for a malfunctioning team in a deteriorating firm.
Using the Path-Goal Model, a supportive leader would be most effective in helping an employee overcome her lack of confidence. She is too devoid of confidence to make any progress and needs a leader who is concerned and patient enough to help her make improvements, overlooking the underperformances. Chances are, she finds the task challenging, both physically and psychologically, a leader needs to make things pleasant for her so that she is able to work towards progress, not feeling demotivated and disheartened with the poor performances.
The given scenario clearly calls for a Directive style of leadership since the workers are at a total loss about the goal of the projects and are suffering conflicts and confusion owing the complete absence of a scheduled task framework. The leader needs to coordinate the team members and remove uncertainty in the workplace, so that they are able to work towards the attainment of goals in proper harmony and effectively.
As I have started to work as a team lead, there are several new theories, which I am coming across these days. It is important for me to develop some personal traits in order to operate regular deals in my own charismatic way (Haber?Curran, Allen & Shankman, 2015). Personally, I believe leading a team following transformational style fits with the competitive nature of business. At first, I believe the practice of listening needs to be built as understanding every employees’ perspective is essential for gaining the trust of them. Leadership does not mean giving instructions and monitoring; it is all about providing guidance and making others better. My job role demands me to lead and let others overcome the challenges by leading themselves towards the responsibility of achieving organizational goals. Consistent practice of innovation, ethical behaviour and excellent communication skill are required. The point is to motivate employees to that extent where every employee feels engaged with the common purpose and invests their best as a team.
It can be concluded by stating that leadership competence comes from extensive learning, practice and experience. Traditional theories are important yet it depends on personal intelligence of a leader to choose the best one suited for contemporary business environment. This reflective context can work as a guideline for people who wants to develop leadership competence.
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