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Assessment Reference: MOB2/Jan11 Name: Sofia Tabau Student Number: Describe the leadership style of two senior managers

in your organization (25% of grade) AND assess the success of their respective approaches to the management of organizational power and politics (75% of grade). In your analysis comment upon the consistency of their leadership styles with the expectations of the employees. The aim of this assignment is to describe and analyse two senior managers within the same organization and compare the effectiveness of their approach by commenting on the expectations of the group upon which they are directly exerting their influence. Now, in order to help us describe and analyse diverse leadership styles and techniques one must first establish what constitutes effective managerial behaviour and how these techniques contribute to the success of a leader. Theoretically one could perhaps combine the use of Fayols five management functions: 1) planning , 2) organizing , 3) command, 4) coordinating and 5) control and Mintzbergs definition of roles derived from the senior managers position within an organization - interpersonal, informational and decision making roles. In terms of the success and effectiveness of each approach one could also evaluate senior management styles on the basis of Kotters networking and relationship building capabilities and whether according to Stewarts take on contrasts in management, managerial styles adapt or even conform to a specific type and size of an organization in order to be successful. Finally, after a brief description of each management style one could make use of a Campbells behavioural traits which could best distinguish an effective from a less effective performance bearing in mind that these are slightly more subjective and could vary from culture to culture such as grace and the arts of delegation and communication. Theories of leadership are obviously more complex and difficult too measure but one can use the valuable contributions of Stodghill and Yukl in identifying certain patterns and traits and Hickson and Pugh to help discern between these two leadership styles by putting them into the context of a group and an organizational culture as well as all the factors ie personality, education, national background that can contribute to a more or less effective approach. First of all, before assessing leadership and effective management one must clearly make a distinction between those two concepts. Management goes beyond leading a group of people and being a charismatic pied piper - it involves the accomplishment of a myriad of tasks some which depend solely on their own knowledge and capabilities and others which involve orienting a group of people towards a common goal. However, when evaluating the success of a management style these two concepts always seem to go hand in hand. One can argue whether individual achievement is more or less valued than the role within a certain group and the interpersonal relations that must be built in order to successfully lead that group. I chose to analyse a female Senior Manager from the UK in her mid thirties and a male Senior Manager from the Belgian Congo in his late thirties. I believe their management styles differ on several points which could contribute to accentuate why one is a successful leader while the other one is, in my opinion, at the bottom of Fidlers scale as the least preferred co-worker within her group. Before I start describing and analysing each manager it is important to mention that they are working within the same multinational financial services industry, the same organizational culture and in the same department in Manchester.

In terms of the female Senior Manager , lets call her Joan, the factor that seems to be more apparent is an obvious problem of lack of planning and structure in the development of a course of action or strategy. Joan is clearly a strategy follower and not a strategy maker and demonstrates lack of command and control by consistently, after consultation of certain co-workers, changing the direction of the teams she is managing. Instead of carefully planning and setting realistic goals for the short and long term, she seems to follow her peers or only react when her superiors detect an issue which needs to be resolved. To be more specific, if an operational issue needs to be raised, this is currently not raised to her directly but to one of her peers, which then will escalate this to higher management. What will follow is a trickle down effect ending up in procedural change which is suggested to her and which she will finally have to enforce within the teams. Also, by recurrently consulting others and asking the same individuals to implement change and unpopular tasks within the group, Joans decision making role and the way she is perceived by her peers and group becomes clearly affected. One could see this consultation as a sign of good delegation skills but it becomes apparent that, in this case, the delegation stems from lack of knowledge and strategy since this only takes place in those tasks where she requires assistance or doesnt want to take on. As an example, if an individual that is in Joans favours complains or comments on the seating arrangements or highlights an issue in terms of interpersonal relationships within the team, Joan will consult with the usual people and normally take the rash decision of changing these seating arrangements believing this will invert this tendency and improve relations. As a result, within only 4 months, the seating arrangements have changed 3 times. This is just a simple and practical example of her inability to be an effective disturbance handler and decision maker and her inability to implement change successfully. The same happens with subsequent changes in procedures and allocation of responsibilities which do not show any consistency but a constant trial and error policy at the cost of completion of certain tasks, maximising risk and causing friction within the teams. Nonetheless, what this manager lacks in decision making and authority she makes up for it with her considerable networking skills. As a manager, having access to peers from other departments and branches, she seems to maintain good, informal relations throughout the organization but curiously not within her own department, where she has been verbal on several occasions regarding the difficulties in communicating and performing tasks in collaboration with her fellow senior managers. Still, on the communication level, she generally tends to demonstrates empathy towards the different members of the group and be more focused on the people instead of the tasks. In terms of the traits which commonly define a leader, Joan demonstrates a poor level of emotional maturity and breadth of interests but is clearly people centred, even if at times this seems to be directed more towards certain individuals within the group. In terms of ambition and achievement drive, this manager clearly shows her interest in her job but her attention and focus seem to be constantly diverted by her own personal issues which she openly shares to whoever wishes to listen. This emotional inconstancy and, at times, impulsive and rampant behaviour, do not contribute for an effective image of clarity and authority and does tend to send out the wrong signals to her employees. Moreover, Joans close interpersonal approach to working relationships mean that she cannot distance herself enough to make the certain decisions which directly affect the group. In terms of Blunt and Junes theories of leadership in the western world, which presuppose relative equality of power and status, high tolerance of ambiguity and uncertainty, high levels of trust and openness, a desire to share feelings and emotions, a willingness to confront personal conflicts and differences of opinion, and to take risks, belief in the virtues of team working, one could argue that at a first glance, this manager possesses almost all of these qualities but at closer inspection, a manager is only as successful as the accomplishment of the goals he sets out to achieve. If these goals are not attained and if, at the end of the day, a managers approach is not

effective and he does not possess credibility or authority then this person is clearly not a leader or an outstanding manager. In terms of cultural background, one could attempt a definition of a stereotypical British middle class manager in the context of a typical north American organization culture but even though it is recognized that these are factors which can influence and conform behaviour within an organization, this would not contribute to differentiate this particular manager from her peers within the enlarged group as they all stem from a similar background and so do the people they manage. Last but not least, in terms of the expectations of the group managed by Joan. After interviewing three different employees in the two teams managed by her, the following common themes seem to reoccur: 1) lack of direction or strategy 2) openness and empathy with the employees in general 3) lack of knowledge to make operational decisions 3) emotional instability which reflects itself in rash behaviour All in all, these employees feel that Joan is accessible and pleasant to work for but they believe that because she is so emotional she is prone to rash decision making. Joan is very empathetic and has established good intrapersonal relationships with the employees under her management but this means that at times she lacks the authority to follow things through and tends to delegate certain unpleasant tasks to her subordinates. She tends to be a mixture of frankness and impulsivity and all the employees when asked do not see her as a role model and certainly do not live on her every word. A perfect contract to Joans management style is Pierres ability to influence the group to pursue a common goal. Pierre, does not sit far from Joan but in terms of management and leadership they could not sit further apart. Pierre has a birds eye view of where the group is now and where he wants the group to be in the future. Furthermore, he draws precise lines of what is the course of action to achieve these goals to put the group where it needs to be and almost as a distant father figure he gives clear directions to the teams on how to follow these lines to the millimetre. He has established strategies which are quite easy to follow and reviews these strategies through consultations within the group and his peers before taking a final decision and communicating it to the group. Most importantly to Pierre is not the new strategy but, first and foremost, the reason why the strategy needed to be revised in the first place so to create more acceptance to the new strategy within the group. How the strategy will be put in place is also communicated in smaller meetings according to task assignment and allocation of responsibilities. Pierre is a remarkable speaker, even if not a native speaker, and his charisma implies that rarely people will question his decisions. The employees clearly trust that these were carefully thought through and put in place. He is known within the organization for being a strategist and a protector of all the teams he has ever worked in, creating a strong sense of loyalty even with ex employees. In times of crisis he has frequently put his reputation on the line to defend his teams from unnecessary change in policies and even job cuts. Furthermore, his decisions are based on a strong knowledge of the products and Pierre keeps a close eye on his teams and procedures, delegating projects of his own design in order to promote innovation and encourage those individuals that require motivation either because they are under challenged or because they are ambitious. Pierre doesnt go out of his way to create interpersonal relationships outside his teams but because of his charisma and knowledge his peers will ultimately come to him and soon enough he will establish a select number of individuals he will discuss and consult with. Because he started as a clerk and moved his way up, he has a strong understanding of the opposite sides of the food

chain and the maturity to understand when a specific policy or procedure will work and where he will find resistance. He seems to be very pragmatic and is unquestionably an example of calm and common sense. He plans his time meticulously and will exert authority when necessary to prevent deviations from the goals he set for himself and others. It seems Pierre measures his success by the success of his teams and not from the tasks he performed himself. This is why he clearly favours training and clear procedures and promotes a constant learning curve within his teams. One good example of effective consultation is Pierres Friday breakfast meetings, where he randomly picks 5 co-workers and invites them for breakfast to discuss work and the football results. Another example of good interpersonal skills is Pierres focus on creating more communication within all teams in the department as to improve the atmosphere within the work place and by that minimizing risk. All his plans have a definite goal and Pierre will never move away from that goal or make decisions without clearly thinking of the consequences for the group and individuals. He has a good sense of politics and does not hide that he prefers a traditional management style where uncertainty is minimized and everyone is aware of the role they play within the group. In Pierres case, his cultural background seems to play an important role in Pierres management style: born in the Belgian Congo and spending most of his life in Brussels, Pierre came into contact with the African mentality as well as the continental European management styles. This means he possesses the authoritative qualities of a good African manager but he as opposed to a traditional African laissez faire and personal style of management, Pierre focuses on results and productivity. He cleverly understands that in order to achieve certain goals he must drive people to help them attain them and he keeps adapting his style depending on the culture of the organization. In a continental European branch he might have been more controlling and adopted a more hierarchical approach, while in the UK in a more horizontal organizational system he will have to focus not only on the content of the policies but on the way these are communicated and be prepared for more resistance to an authoritative and perhaps paternalistic approach. Finally, in terms of how the employees perceive Pierres management and leadership style: 1) highly charismatic 2) knowledgeable and interested in all the operating systems and mechanisms 3) Demanding but hard working 4) calm and collected

If you ask an employee in any given organisation what he values the most and what would make him happy at his job he will probably say a good salary, a positive learning curve and inspiring leadership. It is people like Pierre and Joan that can tip that scale, that fine line between whether an employee and an entire operation is productive and successful or unsatisfactory employee surveys and a high turnover rate. By comparing the two one can easily conclude that Pierre is a natural leader and that Joan still has to gather experience and perfect the set of skills already acquired and putting it to good use. That would boost her confidence to make her own decisions and ultimately increase the trust and productivity within the group.