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PEOPLE LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT IN ESSAR ENERGY

Author had worked as a trainee in one of the leading organization of power, oil and gas industry. During his work in the operation department author had learned a lot about the leadership skills, problem solving skills, management skills and also about the motivational skills. Based on authors personal experience in this report author is going to relate two theories of leadership and people management with his past work experience as working in an operation department of a big organization. In this report author will elaborate how these two theories are important for individual life and how these theories motivates author to adopt them in his own life. Before moving further author would like to give brief introduction of the organization where author worked for a year.

ESSAR Energy is India’s second-largest private power producer with a 12-year operating track record. ESSAR Energy also owns a portfolio of oil, gas and coal seam gas (CSG) blocks. ESSAR Energy combines the existing Energy portfolio of the ESSAR Group, a diversified Indian business corporation established over 40 years ago.   ESSAR Energy's strategy is to create a world class, low-cost, India-focused energy company by capitalizing on India’s rapid growth in energy demand. It is one among the other market leaders in India’s energy sector. It has the largest network of retail outlets to serve the automotive sector in India. ESSAR is currently engaged in storage, distribution and marketing of various products. ESSAR is one of the major fuel suppliers to aviation, railways, power projects, armed forces and agriculture sector of India. ESSAR also provide modern facilities like electronic dispensing units, convenience stores, business centers, Easy Payment Centers and customer friendly staff to provide unmatched and diverse services to its customers. (Essar Energy, official website,2010)

ESSAR continues to expand its physical, technical and marketing resources to meet the requirements of the country. To keep pace with growth ESSAR has maintained international collaborations to import latest technology. According to Mr. Naresh Nayar, CEO of ESSAR, ESSAR will take pride by enduring the traditional excellence and will be fully committed to meet the energy needs in present and future rising challenges.

As one can see from the above introduction, ESSAR Group is one of the leading and expanding organizations of current time and author feels really proud to have worked in such a big organization for one year. This group of sixteen people worked very hard because all the other departments had to inform this department regarding all the ongoing activities. This department is responsible for giving reports to the high level management of the organization. Everyone has their own responsibilities and they know very well what exactly they have to do. Among these twenty people there is one group leader, whose responsibilities include, coordination within the group, fulfilling everyone’s requirements and he also acts as the problem solving man in the group. Before moving forward, the author would like to explain what leadership according to different authors is and then will compare it with his own personal experience.

The simplest view of leadership is that it helps turn plans and decisions into accomplishment, (Leigh, A. 1988). Another simple definition of leadership is that leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal, (Small Business: Canada, 2008). Leadership is a strength that creates a capacity among a group of people to do something innovative. This could be reflected in a more creative outcome, or a higher level of performance, (Newcastle University, 2001). In business, leadership is a link to performance. Effective leaders are those who increase their company’s' bottom lines, (Small Business: Canada, 2008). Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership attributes, such as beliefs, values, ethics, character, knowledge, and skills, (University of Michigan Health System, 2008). From my point of view leadership is an art which motivates a group of people to act as one individual to catch up their goal in an innovative manner. The leader focuses on the efficiency of the group of people. The leader motivates individual and group of people so that they can achieve the goal set by the organization. This is author had learned in working in a group. The executives set all the goals of the company. They motivate their employees in order to achieve the set goals. With this regard I still remember our manager used to do the same thing with us. He motivated us, provided solutions, maintained good friendly atmosphere among the group members and yes we trusted our leader, whatever he told us we were willing to do that as early as possible.

Every company has some organizational culture. Culture is the set of values, norms guiding beliefs and understandings that is shared by members of an organization and taught to new members, (Daft, 2004). The organizational culture is the collection of relatively uniform and enduring values,, beliefs, customs, traditions and practices that are shared by an organization’s members, learned by new recruits and the transmitted from one generation of employees to the next, (Buchanan & Huczynski, 2004). Organizational culture is a set of values or beliefs that is unique to any one organization, (Purdue University, 2008).

ESSAR had adopted the hierarchical culture. The hierarchy culture is basically a formalized structured place for work, (Purdue University, 2008). Rules and procedures are directed by the leaders. Leaders make every effort to be good coordinators and organizers and also efficiency-minded. Maintaining a smooth-running organization is most critical aspect for leader, (Tharp, 2005).

Whereas The organizational structure is a prescribed system of task and reporting relationships that controls, coordinates and motivates the employees so that they work together to achieve organizational goals, (Buchanan & Huczynski, 2004). The structure of an organization affects not only on productivity and economic efficiency but also the morale and job satisfaction of the workforce, (Heller, 1997). Structure is the pattern of relationship among the positions in an organization and the members of the organization. Structure makes possible the process of an application to management and creates a framework of order and command through which the activities of the organization can be planned, organized, and direct and control, (Mullins, 1999). Structure is also an essential feature of the learning organization and empowerment. It must be responsive to the changing environment, (lynch, 2003).

There are many different types of organizational structure. As author had worked for one of the leading organization according to him from the entire organizational structure models, ESSAR uses a product/ service organizational model. As the Product/Service Organizational Model is basically recommended for an organization that has similar products or services, common channels of distribution, and clear market segmentation. Product, service, and market diversity drives this structure. It focuses on the development of products and services, (Care academy, 2008).

According to author, ESSAR had adopted the hierarchical culture. The hierarchy culture is basically a formalized structured place for work, (Purdue University, 2008). Rules and procedures are directed by the leaders. Leaders make every effort to be good coordinators and organizers and also efficiency-minded. Maintaining a smooth-running organization is most critical aspect for leader, (Tharp, 2005). While working in such a big organization I found that the board of directors makes decision and these decisions are then implemented by the managers accordingly. All of the higher management makes sure that they will fulfill all the needs of the managers and hence the needs of the individuals will also be fulfilled. That is why one can say that ESSAR is following the Hierarchy of needs. Know the question that rises over here is that what Maslow’s hierarchies of needs are.

Maslow correspond these needs as a hierarchy in the form of a pyramid. A hierarchy is an understanding that ranks people from lowest to highest. According to Maslow, individuals must meet the needs at the lower levels of the pyramid before they can successfully be motivated to tackle the next levels. The lowest four levels represent deficiency needs, and the upper three levels represent growth needs. ESSAR almost follows this type of function in its organization. As an individual, it has to start from the bottom and then gradually grows to the higher level. They train the individual according to his role. Know the author is going to explain all the seven steps of hierarchy of needs and also basing on his own experience relate each of the step with the organization working style.

Starting from the bottom of the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid, the first one is the physiological needs. The physiological needs are the base of the pyramid. According to Maslow, the first and most basic need people have is the need for survival, like the physiological requirements for food, water, and shelter. People must have food to eat, water to drink, and a place to call home before they can think about anything else. If any of these physiological necessities is missing, people are motivated above all else to meet the missing need, (Tharp, 2005). Author find in his experience that in the ESSAR organization all of the managers are advised to make it sure that all of their employees have sufficient amount of income so that they can live their life healthily. They can fulfill all of their family needs. If they are happy then they will work in the organization happily and will be motivated enough to work even harder to get promoted. This is one of the main reason, most of the people want to go there and earn more income as compared with some different organization. Author strongly agrees with this point of the theory. If someone is happy and mentally satisfied with what he is going then he will perform well and will get able to achieve the goal set by the company. Now a day’s authors find in him, whenever he is happy, he is willing to do the entire task but when one is disturb its get really hard to do any type of work.

Now moving to the second aspect of the pyramid, which is the safety and security. Once the physiological needs have been satisfied then people start working to meet their needs for safety and security. For this second step the physiological needs to be met first. Safety is the feeling people get when they know no harm will befall them, physically, mentally, or emotionally. Security is the feeling people get when their fears and anxieties are low, (Daft, 2004). Author had found in his experience, in organization all of the board of directors makes it clear to all of the managers and individuals that their organization will provide them full safety and security. Even they have made one department which work on the betterment of the employees. This department is responsible for every safety measure in the organization or while working in field. According to author it is very essential that everyone should be provided with the safety and security measurement. Once an employee gets secured and safe in his work his performance improves. Author feels that everyone should be provided with the safety and security measurements as that will increase their productivity.

The next levels of the pyramid are needs associated with love and belonging. After the physiological needs and the needs for survival and for safety and security have been met, an individual can be motivated to meet the needs represented at higher levels of the pyramid. These needs are met through satisfactory relationships like relationships with family members, friends, peers and other people with whom individuals interact. Satisfactory relationships imply acceptance by others. Having satisfied their physiological and security needs, people can venture out and seek relationships from which their need for love and belonging can be met, (Daft, 2004). Author found while working in organization, they treat their employees with great respect and care them and also try to make them happy. They had made such type of relationship among the individuals so that they will share their feeling with each other and they also trust them. They provide incentives for their family like medical facilities which is now a day’s very essential for the employees. When author joined this organization they did not offering him any benefits like this but after couple of months they offered author this facility and the result is this author start working even harder for the organization. So according to author this is also very essential for the individuals.

While working for the organization author found that the higher level of management take some steps which as a result identify an individual their worth and their capabilities. They organize workshops and seminars which will help individual to explore his capabilities. Now when the author read the fourth very important aspect in the pyramid of hierarchy need, Author feels that it is actually very important for the employee to know his capabilities. Author remember his days when he come to know his capabilities of working in a team and he actually really thankful to the organization for taking such type of steps. Once individuals have acceptably met their need for love and belonging, they can begin to develop positive feelings of self-worth and self-esteem, and act to foster pride in their work and in themselves as people. Before they can work toward self-esteem, however, they must feel safe, secure, and part of a group such as a class in school, (Daft, 2004).

Author feels that the knowhow of product and services is essential for an employee of an organization. Once an employee gets knowledge of its product and services then it will become easy for him to work on it. He can perform better and guide other as well but this thing all depends upon the knowing of the product and services. Author also feels that the individual should be creative, self motivated and artistically pleasing. All of these things will help individual to express oneself in a pleasing way. While working author found that the organization organizes seminars and workshops to polish their employees. They also arrange some diplomas for their potential employees only so that they can increase the output of the organization. All of these things adopted by the author and all these things are the Maslow’s hierarchy needs.

Author had adopted the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as in his previous experience author had gone through from all of these aspects. Author feels very comfortable if all of these things are implemented in one’s life.

ESSAR as discussed earlier is one of the biggest companies working in India in oil and gas sector. They give very high importance to well being of there employees. ESSAR started using the Johari Window model first time when author used to work for them to analyze the weaknesses and strengths of their employees and take appropriate step to deal with them in future. In projects the team members are analyzed and there blind spots are taken into consideration so that in future the company can invest in individuals with specific needs. The company can’t lose the employees as they invest in them. So they should want know the strengths and weakness of their employees so that they can introduce specific trainings programs for them. The employee should also realize this and should not be shy trying to hide their weaknesses as it could hurt their future growth in the company. After adopting this model ESSAR has seen a big improvement in there employee efficiency, as the employees feel happy as they know that the company cares about the employees.

During working in ESSAR author also find that they also adopt the Johari Window model in their organization. The Johari Window is a communication model that can be used to improve understanding between individuals within a team or in a group. The model was developed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham there are basically two key ideas behind that were presented in the model.

The idea of the Johari Window is very useful to a team or a group working together. It can help team members understand the value of self-disclosure, and gently encourage people to give and accept feedback. It can help people build more trusting relationships with one another, solve issues and work more effectively as a team, (Joseph, 1969).

Using the Johari model, each person is represented by their own four quadrants. Each of these contains and represents personal information like feelings, motivation, loyalty and more about the person, it shows whether the information is known or not known by themselves or other people, (Kelly et al, 1966). One has to be rational to its own self-disclosure. Disclosing harmless items builds trust. However, disclosing information which could damage people's respect for you can put you in a position of weakness, (Kelly et al, 1966). The individual learns things about those others can see, but he or she can't. Be careful in the way you give feedback. Some cultures have a very open and accepting approach to feedback. Others don't. You can cause incredible offence if you offer personal feedback to someone who's not used to it. Be sensitive, and start gradually. If anyone is interested in learning more about this individual, they reciprocate by disclosing information in their hidden quadrant, (Kelly et al, 1966).

Author experience in working in one of the largest organization developed some essential capabilities regarding the leadership and people management. Author feels that these two theories should be a part of every one life while working in any organization. These theories help any individual to establish and improve himself as a part of a team or in group. Hence this will increase their productivity and they can get more efficient about their work.

Leadership and management are the two important factors to run a successful business, from authors experience, research and going through different leadership models author can say that the employees need direction all the time and the leadership and management of the company should always know about the specific needs of their employees from time to time. The two models discussed above are very good examples how a company can invest in their employees and make them more efficient and productive.

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