Leadership is one of the most useful skills one can obtain. It used to be thought that leadership cannot be taught, that one is just born with the appropriate skills to lead. Leaders can come in a wide range of different personalities and styles. There have been countless great leaders since the beginning of time, but what makes a great leader? Many theories have been formed about how leaders have been either made or born. This paper will describe all the leadership styles and traits of Sergio Marchionne. The most significant leadership styles that Sergio Marchionne has are participative (democratic) and delegate (Laissez-Faire or free reign). He could be autocratic when necessary and bureaucratic could be said as totally out of him. He always wants his employees to participate themselves in the decision making process. When they cannot come out with a solid decision, only then he will bring out the decision. He always there to guide them on how to do it, asking them to have the courage to be independent (still, in the specified scope), with hope that his staffs themselves could be a leader.
Doing the same action will brings us the same results. Sometimes, in order to make a change, the autocracy is needed. From the article, it is very clear that Sergio is a leader who always believes in himself, dare to make the bold and unpopular decisions, willing to work differently in a way that less practiced, and know how to influence people to work for the objective outlined though it sounds impossible. Whenever necessary, he does not hesitant nicely let go of those people who cannot be on the specified track (due to the old stigma that ingrained in them), to ensure that the others will not be affected with their resistance toward changes. Not only willing to spend his time for discussions with staffs and consider their opinions in making a decision, Sergio also entrusted them to carry out the actions as well.
He delegates the necessary authority and accountability to the staffs, and of course any failure will come with some consequences. However, in the same time, he still could be tolerating because he believe we can always offset a failure here with a success there. Bureaucratic leader always lead by “following the books” and should the matter raised is not in the book, he will refer to the higher management. However, this trait is totally out from Sergio when he boldly abandoned the Great Man model of leadership that long characterized the Fiat and came up with new model where everyone is expected to lead.
Sergio Marchionne is the CEO and quite possibly the savior of Chrysler. After taking a bailout from the government, the company was still going downhill. Then Sergio got the job. Known for his dedication to the cause and his “no bullshit” (Taggart)attitude, Sergio took a more aggressive approach to turning things around. Marchionne immediately fired managers that weren’t doing their jobs properly and hurting the company. He then aligned his employees to start a new business plan (Taggart). Sergio’s new approach paid off too. Chrysler saw a “23% increase” (Taggart) in sales as well as total 2011 sales to hit “$55 billion” (Taggart). This is all a huge improvement from 2009 when Chrysler was losing “$1 billion” (Taggart) a month.
This is a great example of when an aggressive leadership style must be used. The company was severely underachieving. Once Sergio stepped in he got rid of the people accountable for the poor numbers and changed the working culture. By doing this, his workers know that if they don’t do their job they won’t be kept around. Sometimes it is necessary to do this for the good of the company. Workers can appreciate this style because if they are good workers, their job is becoming more secure with the company getting stronger. The important thing to do while this style is being used is to acknowledge good work and praise the workers. If workers feel underappreciated or scared to lose their job unfairly, they may not perform at a high level.
Contrary to some of the early theories, we now know anyone can become a good leader. We now know the best way to make a leader is to give them practice. If a leader can learn from experiences, good and bad, they will be more effective. The key is getting to know the people you want to respect and follow you. The leader must establish a genuine relationship with each of these people to fully gain their loyalty and respect. There are all sorts of styles on how to do that whether it is a democratic, coaching, or visionary, people will see the leader wants everyone to thrive for one cause. When it comes to leadership, which is the ultimate goal.
Taggart, J. CEOs of 2011 – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: What We Can Learn from Senge’s 7 Learning Disabilities. Retrieved November 10, 2014, from Changingwinds.com Flavelle, D. (2014, Mar 08). CEO aims to steer Chrysler back on track. Toronto Star, Toronto Vijayaragavan, I. (2008). Chapter 2: Leadership theories and styles. High Performance Leadership, Global Media, Mumbai
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