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This paper evaluates the potentiality of theoretical materials discussed in various volumes on organizational management and leadership. Further it discloses the extent to which the success stories of organizations and individuals have imbued me with a distinct life goal to pursue. The paper, as it advances will analyze the weight of theoretical knowledge found in various books and their practical relevance to the function of the non-profit organization I propose for the safety of abused women and children. The report in particular, has its major focus on the book "Guts- Companies that Blow the Doors off Business-as-Usual" as an excellent source of leadership models and success stories, which can best illustrate the essential leadership strategies for the current business environment.
Some organizations or individuals sometimes surpass our highest expectations when the way they manage downward spiral goes unusual, gutsy, and notably innovative. The post-9/11 success story of South West Airlines is an example for such a gutsy stance taken at the time of dramatic business downturn (Kevin & Freiberg 2004, p.11). In addition to theoretical aspects, such success stories with practical evidence have considerable impact on business world because they tend to force entrepreneurs to review their present strategies. The concept implied in this work is that though diverse workforce and elements are to be integrated with an organization, group objectives of the company is of primary importance; and at the same time, it is essential to notice if the workers are guided to the best effect of the organization with right motivation. Leadership with such sense of motivation 'leading through words, inspiring through trust and empathy' (Bennis 2009, p.159) - is not only needed for business organizations, but they are useful also for large scale non-profit organizations or voluntary service sectors. 'Guts' meets the required standard of a reference book that contains both conceptual and practical conviction on leadership to a new entrepreneur. Given below is the vision statement of the non-profit organization I would initiate in future.
"A community without domestic violence so that every home is a safe haven for the family it shelters."
"To create and maintain a state of the art facility for abused women and children including educational, counseling, safety and life coaching services".
Strategic Direction & Action Plan
The organization will use all potential tools that fit with its core values in order to integrate essential socio-economic, ethnic, and cultural ideals so that the total program will meet the highest standard in all interpersonal relationship with its benefactors, stakeholders, volunteers, beneficiaries, and the public as a whole. According to Kouzes & Posner (2007, p.227), this relationship is the subsequent effect of 'trust' which leads to openness, involvement, personal satisfaction, and high level of excellence. For the successful implementation of the program, roles will be assigned to individuals according to the area of their expertise. Comprehensive research on the area of its concern will be of major priority as it is essential for an organization to gather accurate information and knowledge. Instead of conventional type of personal management, leadership in my organization would mean rather collaborated knowledge sharing and problem solving which can be possible through effective integration of HR and information technology. The leadership strategy I envisage will be illustrated as we review "Guts"-the major focus among all paper sources used in this report.
'GUTS!' is a gutsy piece of work from the pens of Kevin and Jackie Freiberg with a great teaching session of how to search better sorts of employable skills among employees in a large organization. As the name indicates, it has many inspirational things to teach. The essence of the content of the books suggests a truly enlightening fact that the leadership of the organized movement of human beings must be gutsy with all preparations to saturate the needs of the cultural values and philosophy of the group. The authors of this book has involved a great depth of foresight while preparing this great work with due consideration for the adverse changes in business environment. The leadership theory highlighted by the writers is exhibited through the exploration of the strategies of several different gutsy leaders or business organizers. The theory is as simple as the one found in Sanborn (2004, p. 9) that says, 'nobody can prevent you from choosing to be exceptional'; and regardless of the size or structure of the organization, a leader or an employer can be exceptional by their own means in employee motivation, retention, and training. Therefore the sustainability of an organization adopting their ideas (Guts) is something beyond any debate. This word architecture of philosophical ideas of business and organizational management also emphasizes on humanitarian values and teaches the leaders to believe that people are not like capital, fuel, oil or machines that can perish or deteriorate in course of time (Thomas, Aug 4, 2010, Yahoo mail). The social attachment of the organization to people is another focus reflected in their writing. GUTS surely helps one realize the need for igniting the fire of positive attitude. People may take themselves to negative attitude for various reasons; and they are badly motivated only during their time of hardships and frustration at the work place. Phil Dean of Stanley Steemer says that, "Like an untreated cancer, one employee's bad attitude can spread to an entire team" (Kevin & Freiberg 2004, p.148). Hence an employee being badly driven is not the person but it is the most inefficient status of the leadership which is supposed to be motivational and spirit igniting for each of its employee. The book is in all aspects an inspiring note of personal excellence of different people as references in actual practice of policies. Strategic leadership is much needed for the new time of organizational management where the interest of people is to be put at the highest level of appreciation. Love and co-heartedness towards the employees can motivate their spirit to work more effectively. According to Bennis (2009, p.164), "Resisting change is as futile as resisting weather"; and therefore, organizations are to adhere to changes while leaders are to ease the change through effective strategies. GUTS suggest various ways to relate the leadership affairs to the people's interest. Allotting them appropriate works that can enhance their efficiency and marketability is one of them. The readers of this book get an emphatic enthusiasm to emotionally attach to the work place. The book contains a leading study on comparative appreciation of employees in any organization based on their work and pay. There are studies on realistic nature of self esteem and actualization needs of the employees. The book quotes the examples of Abrashoff's realizing the importance of comparison of goals. The only way was to compare and bridge between the goals of each crew member and his own ones after detailed personal talk with the crew members of the ship (Kevin & Freiberg 2004, p.170). Such examples are good set of peripheral references because they lead the head way in conflict management that arises in most strategic leadership issues.
Relevance of the Book 'GUTS'
The relevance of the book GUTS to strategic leadership studies is enterprising with the narrations on how a slight change in the approach of the leader influences the entire working group. For instance, the first thing Abrashoff did was to promote a kind of reciprocity between crew members and him (p.170). The book quotes him as saying he started asking personal details about each member as an icebreaker for the interview. He also reportedly felt the need for such a low level questionnaire as it would create a comfortable feeling of freedom with the interviewer and thus they might be encouraged to speak without any cover. This is almost the same idea when Sanborn 2004, pp.11-12) purports that relationship building is the most vital part of any job or business that determines the quality of the service or product; and it is only because of relationship the employers recognize their employees' needs, and the employees recognize that their deal is to interact with human beings. Another stream line of the book Guts highlights the need for performance appraisal strategies and promotional methods within the organized group. Some paragraphs in the book about employee retention have clear views of a company's need for compelling its efficient work force for a sustainable growth of the organization. Providing promotions, challenging assignments, public recognition, mentoring and personal time with senior officials are some of the means suggested in the book in support of the element of withholding the excellence of the workers (Kevin & Freiberg 2004, p.149). However, some other examples clearly describes the need of a company to manage the critical scarcity of efficient work force and it suggests the enhancement of existing workforce by training, tours and other work related activities through which the workers get an opportunity to raise their standards. Abrashoff's experience in the work place (Kevin & Freiberg 2004, p.172) reveals the fact that employees at a lower profile in the organization are easily motivated when they are assigned a supervisory task. Thus, in the book Guts, it is clearly noted that freedom of expression and love offered by the leader subsequently motivates positive attitude among any critical group. According to my view, the work of the duo can be treated as a philosophical treasure for modern aspects of personnel management and strategic leadership in large and medium organizations.
Gender and Leadership
Researchers are greatly at odds regarding the effectiveness of women leadership and the variance of leadership styles between men and women. According to Helgeson (1990) and Rosener (1995), leadership styles are subject to gender and women leadership is more effective in current society; whereas, people like Dobbins & Platz (1986) believe that gender deference has little impact on leadership style or on its effectiveness (Cited in Northhouse (Ed.) 2010, p. 302). However, potential leadership that addresses the workforce needs can lead a firm to success despite its exceeding number of female representation. As described in 'Guts', Jim Goodnight's SAS Institute is an excellent example for this fact because it could achieve recorded sales scored by its 51% of women mangers (Thomas, Aug 4, 2010, Yahoo mail).
The authors of 'GUTS' have displayed their ability in depicting real-time effect of what they meant to teach the reader of this book. Though this book covers most of its pages with the narrations of examples from great victors or it has more of the explicit effect of practical demonstration of achievers, beginners of an organization - whether business or non-profit - have many things to learn about management psychology, human resources management and strategic leadership. This imperative notion of leadership could be incorporated with that of Kouzes-Posner model of theory, that leadership is an identifiable set of skills given to all of us and its is the attitude that determines the effect (Kouzes & Posner 2007, p. 23). The authors have stressed on humanitarian values in organizational set up. But in some cases, where the company provided unlimited perks, some employees develop a kind of lavishness that results in corporate loss. But the careful study of the book reveals that every employee is badly in need of his job as every leader is for his sustainability in the position. The writers have their remedies for issues related to personnel management - right from recruitment to retirement. Overall, the book gives its worth and above with touching examples and every reader is sure to imagine his being an entrepreneur or an organizational head at least for the time he holds the inspiration hailed from the book. With 'GUTS!' the authors Kevin and Jackie Freiberg are trying to teach entrepreneurs the ethic, "take care of people, and they in turn, will take care of the industry and the future" (Holzberger, cited in Kevin & Freiberg 2004, p. 183).
GUTS gives lead to the aspects of interpersonal relationship and managerial motivation with the aid of reconciliation of trust vested by the management on the employee and the faithfulness rendered by the employee to the management. This reciprocity, as the books says, comes only with concern of the management to understand the problems and policies of the work force. Organizations following 'GUTS' should have the strategy where the management feels its people are the first priority. This thought ensures the direction of creative ability of employees who in turn choose to work hard and stay in the group.