Leadership is defined as a social influence process in which an individual seeks the participation of subordinates in an effort to research organizational goals. (Kinicki-Kreitner (p.346). My personal leadership style is based on the situational theory of leadership. Based on the type of situation my ability to adapt my leadership style is what makes me an effective manager.
My Leadership Style
Leadership is defined as a social influence process in which an individual seeks the participation of subordinates in an effort to research organizational goals. (Kinicki-Kreitner p.346) Being a leader in today environment is even challenging than ever. This is due to the pressure for increased transparency due to corporate greed, government pressure and individual corruption. There are great leaders throughout our history such as Martin Luther King, George Washington, and Jack Welsh. However, great leaders don’t have to be good. Barbara Kellerman notes that “leaders are like the rest of us are: trustworthy and deceitful, cowardly and brave, greedy and generous”. (Kinicki-Kreitner p.346)
Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin are examples of great leaders that use their influence for their own personal gain. Kinicki-Kreitner states that “to assume that all leaders are good is to be willfully blind (p.346). There are many different leadership styles and different leadership theories that individuals and corporations use. My personal leadership style is based on the Situational Theory. It is also transactional and adaptive compassionate and open.
The situational theory of leadership is based on the effectiveness of a particular style of leader behavior depends on the situation. As the situation changes, so does the leadership style of the leader. As a retail manger managing 103 employees, my leadership styles changes on a daily basis. Things are always changing in this fast pace environment. Rules, regulations, personal challenges, customer issues, are some of the many challenges that my managers and I face on a daily basis. I relate very well to Fiedlers’ situational model of leadership. His model is based on two factors. The first factor is that the degree which the situation gives the leaders control and influence is the likelihood the leader can successfully accomplish the job (Kinicki-Kreitner p.352). The second factor is based on how the leader is motivated. Is he or she motivated for accomplishment of the task or for close and personal relations? (Kinicki-Kreitner p.352)
Based on these assumptions, my leadership style is based on build relationships. I value building relationships with people. I believe that building structured relationships with my employees will give them confidence in me and my ability to lead them. Making hard decisions such as hours reduction was easier to communicate to my employees because of the relationship that I built with them. They were able to understand and accept that this was necessary for the greater good of keeping the store open and profitable. This leads me to believe that I have a high amount of situational control within my environment.
Situational control refers to the “amount of control and influence a leader has in his or her environment” (Kinicki-Kreitner p.352) There are three dimensions of situational control. They are Leader member relations, task structure and position power. I relate to all three dimensions with leader-member relations being the highest. Due to the relationships that I have built within my organization, I have the support, loyalty and trust of my assistant managers and my hourly employees.
Leaders in today’s economic and political conditions must me servants and not dictators. Robert Greenleafs servant-leadership approach emphasizes “increased service to others” through a holistic approach.(Spears p.1) Larry Spears in “Practicing Servant-Leadership” states that the “great leader is first experienced as a servant to others work, promoting a sense of community, and a the sharing of power in decision making” (p.1) Being a servant-leader is a approach that I use within my organization.
By holding daily huddles and having my employees state their opinion on any issues allows them to feel involved in the daily operation of running the store. Having an open heart is also an important aspect to my leadership ability. Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky in “Leading with an Open Heart”, states that if we “lose our capacity for innocence, curiosity, and compassion. Our innocence turns to cynicism, our curiosity turns into arrogance and our compassion turns into callousness”. (p.2)
Being a leader in my organization is very challenging. However, the situation theory allows me to adapt to each and every challenging situation on a daily basis. Managing with an open heart and being a servant leader will allow me to take on any challenges without becoming a dictator or being resentful in the decisions that I make. The ultimate key to my leadership style is building relationships. Building structured relationships allows loyalty, respect and confidence that I get from my employees knowing that I will lead them in any situation.
Kinicki, A., & Kreitner, R. (2009). Organizational Key concepts, Skills, & Best Practices. (4th ed.). Ashford University Heifetz, R. & Linsky, M (2002) Leading with an Open Heart. In the Leader to Leader Journal Retrieved February 10, 2010 from http://www.leadertoleader.org/knowledgecenter/journal.aspx?ArticleID=127 Spears, L. (2004 Practicing Servant-Leadership. In the Leader to Leader Journal Retrieved February 10, 2010 from http://www.leadertoleader.org/knowledgecenter/journal.aspx?ArticleID=51.
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