Eric Zeidman 8/28/2008



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Leadership Essay

Week 2




Eric Zeidman

8/28/2008

Eric Zeidman

Week 2 Leadership Essay

The Vision into Performance Model basically says that if you can dream it, you can make it happen. Being effective is not an accident or random thing, it is a well thought out process that can be applied to any business. Warren Bennis tell us that a good leader can create and realize a vision. Vision, change, Implementation, and results are the keys to success. The Vision into Performance combines these key elements plus more. (1)

There have been many examples in our world of people who have had a vision and turned it into a great performance opportunity. Bill Gates with Microsoft and Henry Ford with Ford Motor Company are two of the better known visionaries. Some of the less known but not less important are: Chris Albrecht with HBO who tells us to surround ourselves with people who are smarter than you and that we should make ourselves comfortable with that. George Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees tells us we should all take our father’s advice and listen to him because he has already gone through the trials and errors. Brad Anderson CEO of Best Buy tells us that all good companies must be people powered and all good companies grow through their relationships to customers. (2)

The Achieve Model is something we will also take a look at. While most managers are effective in letting people know what problems exist, they are ineffective in finding out why these problems exist. The Achieve model uses feedback and validity to correct this problem. People need to know what and how well they are doing and decisions need to be validated to effect people’s careers. Achieve stands for: Ability, Clarity, Help, Incentive, Evaluation, Validity, and Environment. Ability refers to being able to complete a specific task, Clarity understands what to do, Help is the support people get, Incentive concurs with motivation, Evaluation is feedback on daily performance, Validity is the appropriateness of and legalness of managerial decisions and Environment is the external factors that can influence performance.(3)

There are also the Situational Approaches to Leadership which Drucker says that people all need to be led differently and there is no right or wrong way to lead people. He believes in three main components, the Leader, the Follower, and the Situation. Fred Fiedler developed the Leadership Contingency Model which consists of leaders’ relationships to their group members, the degree of structure in the task that they are asked to perform, and the power and authority the position provides. Finally, the Vroom –Yetton Contingency Model is based upon leadership that takes a contingency approach to leadership. They list seven attributes fro AI to GII on how to solve issues or problems and their diagnoses questions.

Effective Leadership has many different ideas and theories. What works for one may not work for another. Kurt Lewin tells us this and has defined the following: (5)


  1. behavior is a function of the field that exists at the time the behavior occurs

  2. analysis begins with the situation as a whole from which are differentiated the component parts

  3. The concrete person in a concrete situation can represented mathematically.

Contingency Theory argues that effective leadership styles vary according to the context and suggests the use of Blake and mouton’s managerial Grid. Instrumental Theories stress task and oriented behavior by the leader to help with effective performance.

In Management and Organizational Behavior many leadership theories are discussed. We learn about both the positive and negative leadership traits along with Attitudinal Approaches and putting these many theories into practice. Some researchers such as Blake, Mouton, McCanse and McGregor have talked about that the “one best” style of leadership is one that maximizes productivity, satisfaction, growth and development in all situations. (6) There is no reason not to agree with this but in my opinion it is much too generalized. It is not specific enough when it lists these factors. It is good for general coverage, but their description needs to ne pinpointed and clarified with exact points developed on each part.

Again, In reviewing other leadership theories, everyone seems to agree that no one theory works best, it is either a combination of different theories, or what works best for each individual or organization. Situational Leadership leads us to believe that different situations require different types of adaptations. The leader needs to adapt his style to different types of behavior that are going on in the organization. I am not sure there really is anything new on approaches to leadership, but only changes that adapt to different situations in organizations.

Machiavelli maintained power was retained through fear, which seems to be like Theory X, because it represses the human spirit. (7) In 1989 Yukl showed us four approaches to studying leadership. This approach shows us leadership in the amount of power that a leader has. Dilenschneider shows us three ways for a leader to develop a vision and communicate it to an organization. There is also Participative leadership which refers to the degree that to which other people can influence the leader's decisions. It is interesting to note that this is nearly the opposite of the definition of power. Finally, there is also the Quality of Work Life which aims to increase employee productivity and improve employee satisfaction by addressing workers emotional needs. (7)



One thing for sure is that leadership is needed in every organization whether big or small. It is the most important responsibility of leadership to guide and motivate employees to be the best that they can be. Whether one goes through educational training or learns from on the job experience should not matter. What matters the most is that the leader needs to find a way to be effective or the organization can suffer the consequences of this lack of effectiveness. I believe this lack of leadership is one of the major reasons business’ fail in this day and age.

Bibliography:

  1. Hersey, Paul, Blanchard Kenneth H., Johnson, Dewey E., 2008. Management of Organizational Behavior: Leading Human Resources Ninth Edition. Pearson Prentice Hall 63-70.

  2. Life 2.0 (2005), Golden Rules From Business Visionaries, http://www.life2point0.com/2005/12/golden_rules_fr.html

  3. Hersey, Paul, Blanchard Kenneth H., Johnson, Dewey E., 2008. Management of Organizational Behavior: Leading Human Resources Ninth Edition. Pearson Prentice Hall 70-74.

  4. Hersey, Paul, Blanchard Kenneth H., Johnson, Dewey E., 2008. Management of Organizational Behavior: Leading Human Resources Ninth Edition. Pearson Prentice Hall 94-104.

  5. OnePine.info, (2005), Leadership Theories One, http://www.onepine.info/lead1.htm

  6. Hersey, Paul, Blanchard Kenneth H., Johnson, Dewey E., 2008. Management of Organizational Behavior: Leading Human Resources Ninth Edition. Pearson Prentice Hall 89.

  7. An overview of Organizational Leadership and Management, http://www.survey-software-solutions.com/walonick/leadership.htm


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