Leadership entails influencing people into adopting certain behavioral types that enable a leader to realize the predetermined goals of an organization (Cole and Kelly 21). A leader provides direction on what needs to be done by the other employees in order to realize the set goals. He or she also ensures adherence to the expected code of conduct. Therefore, in the realization of any organization’s goals, there is a huge role played by effective and creative leadership.
Situational Leadership versus Transformational Leadership
Situational leadership is a type of leadership, whereby a leader makes decisions based on different prevailing situations (Cole and Kelly 33). This means that there is no rigidity in the manner in which decisions are made at organizations, where they utilize situational leadership. An argument for this type of leadership is the fact that decisions cannot be made based on one single filled platform. A thorough analysis is required from leadership to identify the goal that is of highest priority. Changing the leadership style to ensure it best fits the demands at hand is what is referred to as a situational leadership. A good example of situational leadership at play was during General Electric acquisition of Alstom’s energy businesses. The company’s boss Mr. Immelt changed his style on matters acquisition because he was always against large acquisition (The Economist). However, due to the opportunity availed by acquiring Alstom, he realigned his rigidity to fit the demands necessary to see the deal through, that saw GE spend $13.2 billion (The Economist).
The Transformational Leadership theory argues that leadership should inspire and bring visible change. A leader demonstrates personal enthusiasm at demonstrating the need to have clarity on purpose. A leader here is not seen as a source of authority but rather as a source of inspiration and motivation. He or she is a team player showing eagerness on coaching to enable employees play their respective roles, thus helping in realization of the targeted transformation. The key issue here is that leadership brings about positive changes and encourages employees to be a part of the change and are, therefore, good team builders who empower both employees and a company. Google is a good example of transformational leadership, whereby employees are highly involved in innovation exercises, besides being empowered with the company, allowing them to spend 20% of their time on a project of their choice (Gargiulo).
Douglas Theory Y versus Contingency Theory
Douglas Theory Y of management argues that employees have the hunger to succeed. Therefore, management should play a complementary role. It is the assertion of the theory that employees, if given the freedom, become highly motivated and innovative (Cole and Kelly 81). To attain the goals at hand, the manager must treat employees as trustworthy and give them a great level of autonomy. The call is for management to treat their employees as mature people who can make decisions by themselves without using intimidation or threat on them. It is expected that employees, on their part, are fully aware of what is expected of them and follow it to every detail. Apple’s leadership under Tim Cook is a good illustration of employees who have great autonomy. He took an approach that is different from the authoritative one, associated with Steve Jobs (Finkelstein). On the one hand, he is a team player and heavily involved his talented employees in decision making (Looper). On the other hand, contingency theory asserts that a manager’s influence should be eminent on the workers. The call is for a manager to utilize the art of research before making any decisions in terms of the goal at hand and on the appropriate leadership style that will influence the workers (Cole and Kelly 111-115). Management has to be first aware of the organization’s goal before making any decisions.
Once the goals have been identified, then the management analyzes the prevailing situation and then comes up with the best managerial technique to meet the goals at hand. The theory argues that the goals influence all aspects of the organization, from management undertakings and managerial demands on employees. The manager is very keen on details within the organization because it is the tiny variables that help him or her come up with the most effective management approach. McDonald’s leader, Jim Skinner, is an influential leader who sometimes even inspects kitchens of their chain of resultants (Kowitt). He even takes keen follow up on the way the food is prepared (Kowitt). His multi-approach to management ensures his influence is felt in all departments of the organization. In addition, this approach enables him to identify the challenges being faced by the organization, thereby coming up with a countermeasure action, aimed at ensuring efficiency is upheld across all the company’s undertakings.
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Motivation in any organization is the reason behind employees engaging in any undertakings in a more vigorous manner. It acts as a self-driving force that pushes employees to be more active and innovative in the docket or responsibility given.
My Maid Service
This is a cleaning company in Lebanon, Ohio whose story demonstrates the power of motivating employees. In 2000, the company was acquired by Derek Christian, who previously worked at Procter & Gamble, where he was selling cleaning supplies. The company had good sales, reaching to the tune of $260,000 annually (Stern). The major problem that the company faced was a high level of employee turnover. After the acquisition’s first year, the company suffered a turnover 300% (Stern) – a phenomenon that meant My Maid Service spent a lot of money hiring new employees. The customers, on their part, were complaining a lot due to change of cleaners who had to access their homes for cleaning exercises. To curb this, Christian sort the advice of a consultant who came up with an agreement that employees had to commit to work for a minimum of two years. On his part, Christian helped them in terms of tuition fees (between $100- $200) to attend the colleges, as they sort to upgrade themselves (Stern). This was compared to an average of $2000 incurred in hiring new employees the company was previously paying (Stern). This meant that the policy of My Maid Service was ‘stay with me, and I will pay for what you want’. The result was evident in 2009, when the turnover was at 0% and a revenue of $1 million (Stern).
This is an American software company that has been voted for as the best company to work for by the Fortune Magazine in 2011 (Gargiulo). The company is very keen on ensuring that the employees are highly motivated through availing free amenities to them. The employees enjoy free onsite medical services that are also available to their families. The company also offers high-quality child care at low cost, in addition to a free camp for the employees’ children. According to the Jennifer Mann the HRM at SAS, the intentional motivating undertaking has helped the company to attain stability in its workforce. The result is motivated employees who are productive and happy, at the same time, a factor that has let the SAS have a voluntary turnover of 4%, as compared to its industry of 22% (Gargiulo). Besides, Mann says that their policy has also spared SAS over the years hundreds of millions in turnover.
This is a technological company in the field of health care industry in America that helps in making the healthcare more efficient. In 2010, Trace Devanny came in as the new CEO and immediately saw the company was facing huge opportunity but, at the same time, huge challenge. The opportunity for the company was a result of healthcare reforms in the USA that were aimed at improving efficiency, reducing cost and ensure an improved health outcome. This was an opportunity that TriZetto could exploit, according to Devanny. The challenge he saw was the prevailing attitude in the company. He agitated for complete change in the culture of TriZetto because the huge problem that was facing the company was that employees within the company had a “comfortable mentality” (Bradt). To turn things around, he demands a client-centered approach, where all actions of the company were aimed at ensuring a more vigilant approach to meet the customers’ expectations. He also brought in the change in terms of accountability in the administration and financially (Bradt). He also demanded cultural changes from the original market-facing approach to that one of customer-focused. These changes did make TriZetto a more successful company that is not only solution-focused but also healthcare focused.
This is a technology company that provides premium calculation software for the casualty and property insurers. Jeffrey Glazer, who founded the company where in 2011, was given a chance to change the culture back on track with the founding ideologies. What he did not like about the company was that employees were so much into pleasing the management, and the customers were feeling neglected (Sher). The first thing he did was changing the culture of the company back to being customer directed. The problem he found was that employees looked at the owners of the Insurity as at the customers (Sher). This is why, they paid a lot of attention pleasing the management, rather than customers. Such an approach formed the part of a major overhaul he did in the company that of changing the culture that to him was ill-placed. Another change he brought into the company was that of appreciating the current customers.
The culture he found in the company was the one that geared towards attracting new customers, leading to an increased financial power (Sher). Glazer liked the idea but agitated for the increased attention towards the current customers; his intention was to enhance the culture of making sure the existing customers feel they are appreciated and that the company had the ability and the will of meeting their needs. To crown it all, he changed the company’s name back to Insurity from LexisNexis Insurance Software Solutions.