Avigale Leang is a Filipino Chinese in her early thirties, married to an Auditor. Ms. Leang started her career in Nielsen, Philippines as a Marketing Executive. She then moved to Ireland and held the position of a Line Manager for five years. In 2010, they decided to migrate to New Zealand. She was given the position of a Senior Manager in Nielsen, Takapuna. Last August, she was promoted as an Associate Director of the Marketing Department.
Overview of Nielsen
Nielsen is a multinational company found in over one hundred plus countries. It provides market information acquired from a variety of resources, highly competitive information management tools, well-defined analytical systems and methodologies carried out by dedicated professionals so that client may work towards their desired progression.
A. Leadership Concepts
Generally, Ms. Leang views challenges as mere opportunities. She even relates that she likes it to be on the top of everything that she does.
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Ms. Leang related that she maintains an "open door policy." She even cited that she have a "quite genial and informal relationship" with her team.
Since Ms. Leang is the eldest in brood of five and has experienced financial difficulty in the past due to loss of family business, she is indeed highly motivated. She is considered as the breadwinner of the family and geared towards providing the financial rewards to her family.
Ms. Leang knows how and when to achieve what she wants. She always makes a timetable to guide her in accomplishing her goals. At the top of it, she ensures that she does not solely complete the tasks rather with flying colors. She also mentioned that her superiors are good mentors giving simple notes to his husband just to thank him for keeping up that his wife to work beyond working hours. In addition, the company fine meritocracy program for employees who exhibits a great deal of dedication and outstanding work habits.
Ms. Leang is spontaneous and has an established background in the field of marketing particularly in Neilsen. Since she is considered an expert in her profession, being an Asian and a woman does not affect how she delivers her job.
Strong Interpersonal Skills
Being a leader of an organization composed of a diverse team, she stresses that she gives ample time to know the background of her staff beyond the four corners of their office. In some instances, she makes it a point that she can have a meeting over coffee or dinner with them.
Highly Effective Communication Skills (Written and Oral)
Ms. Leang is well versed in Filipino, Mandarin and English. Her background provides her the opportunity to relate to various individuals. In addition, being a Marketing Graduate from one of the topnotch schools in the Philippines, she can easily relate to coworkers, top management and her clients.
She describes that her leadership style as empowering wherein she provides her team the freedom to do their tasks. She feels that their training is sufficient enough to trust them that they can deliver the expected outcome.
Strong Marketing Knowledge
As a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management and have been working in Nielsen for almost a decade, Ms. Leang is well versed in her field. She has proven that her knowledge is not confined in one country such as the Philippines given that she has worked in the same department in Ireland for five years and at present in New Zealand.
Amidst the disadvantage of coming from a relatively small and underdeveloped country such as Philippines, early thirties and being a woman, she is slowly making her way towards the top management of the organization. Her remarkable work ethics exceeds the expectations and goals set by her superiors. Consequently, it paved the way in her career progression. At present, she has standing offers from their offices in Canada and Sydney to join their labor force as one of the leaders in the Marketing Department.
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Restructure a support team
Ms. Leang narrated she initiated an innovative solution during the time that there were issues with the reports of the offshore team. Client request's were sent to a hub and randomly managed by an offshore executive. Given that circumstance, she created a project such as to revamp the training for the offshore team and specifically assign executives to certain clients. As a result, this increased accountability and higher skill sets.
How the leader's characteristics relate to business:
Ms. Avigale Leang
Compare and Contrast
Ms. Leang exhibits desirable behavior particularly being proactive and approachable. Being a proactive leader, she sees to it that her plans are well-aligned with the company mission and achieve greater results with ease. On the other hand, being an approachable leader such as Ms. Leang ensures that the organization can produce a great deal of potentials and can manage conflicting circumstances objectively.
Being highly motivated is the passion to work beyond money or status. Ms. Leang given her background has the strong drive to achieve greater things which is necessary for a leader. She possesses the optimism even in the face of failure organizational commitment.
On the other hand, confidence is a key trait for a leader to attain freedom from inner conflict and for leadership to fully exist. Ms. Leang has the inner belief in her abilities to act in a reliable way.
Highly Effective Communication Skill
Ms. Leang has highly effective communication skills as evident in her position as the Associate Director in a multinational company which enables her to deal with high profile clients, diverse superiors and multicultural team. Hence, her highly effective communication skill is necessary for her to be effective in her position and being a leader.
A goal-oriented leader is necessary to provide direction and focus among members in line with the organizational goals. She takes on concrete plans in achieving her goals. Generally, in life she relates that she is always "playing safe." While in terms of gaining commitment from her team in order to achieve a goal, she highlighted the practice "reward positive results" and "good practice of meritocracy."
Strong Marketing Knowledge
Evidently, Ms. Leang, has an outstanding Marketing background in terms of education and professional experience. This is required from a leader to earn respect and gain credibility that one can deliver exceptional results.
Restructure a Support Team
Ms. Leang can be regarded as women of today. She is highly competitive. She is passionate about what she is doing and exemplifies the capacity to exceed the expectations of the organization and more of the society. A leader must ensure that she/he is always at least at par or miles ahead than competitors to maintain market leverage.
Ms. Leang cited that she initiated a contemporary development such as restructure a support team. Consequently, it encouraged higher skill sets and accountability among offshore executives. This exhibits that she is willing to take on the challenge of changing how the games are being played.
The character of Ms. Leang as competitive and produce an innovative solution are important in a leader. The concept of competition must be automatic along with the pressing urge to think outside of the box.
a. The Levels of Management and the respective Leadership Styles being practiced:
Levels of Management
Top/ Upper Management
The top/upper management is in control of providing direction to the whole organization. Those occupying this position have a well-defined rationale regarding the vision of the company. In order to facilitate it, they are aiming to build organizational capability.
The type of leadership practiced at this level is a combination of Autocratic and Democratic as reflected during the researchers encounter with the leader. She mentioned that she mobilize people in line with the company vision and encourage participation.
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Middle Managers are held accountable for providing tactical planning such as set team goals, monitor progress to meet stated goals, and initiate corrective measures if needed. In addition, they develop and implement activities in line with the vision of the whole organization.
The type of leadership practiced at this level is Democratic. The company sees to it the inputs of the employees are considered and encourages involvement among the group. Rising from the ranks, she gives time for mentoring sessions and team building exercises.
Lower- Level Management
The line managers are responsible for the daily operations in which they have direct contact with potential, existing and future clients/ customers. They also ensure that they maintain good professional relations among their clients/ customers. Also, they directly supervise employees and coordinate activities.
The type of leadership practiced at this level is Democratic. The company sees to it the inputs of the employees are considered and encourages involvement among the group. In the case of Ms. Leang, she said that as a leader she does not just delegate and makes sure that she can do the things she ask of them.
How the identified leadership styles relate to business:
Levels of Management
Existing Leadership Style
Combination of Democratic and Autocratic
As they said, there is no definite answer in defining the most effective leadership style. It varies from one organization to another that focuses on the internal and external factors. However, in the present time a combination of democratic and autocratic leadership style in top management can be deemed effective. Democratic in terms of encouraging employees participation, shared goals and responsibilities and making them aware of the developments. On the other hand, the autocratic leadership style pertains to the ability to set a boundary in the freedom of the employees to align goals with employees' performance.
Combination of Bureaucratic and Democratic leadership style is required for this level. Since the middle managers are not directly and consistently supervising the members of the team and have assumed that the one under them are trained to deliver the results, they foster for sharing of problem solving tasks and decision making duties. On the other hand, Bureaucratic leadership style is required in this level since the middle managers wants to ensure that guidelines are still followed carefully by the team.
Bureaucratic leadership is necessary in the low management level. This is due to the fact that the leader needs to micromanage her employees in terms of training to understand certain standards and organization policies.
Stage of Business Life Cycle:
Founded in 1923, Nielsen as a multinational company found in over one hundred countries is currently at its maturity level. The company is able to retain a strong network of clientele for a number of decades and has the possibility of expanding to more countries in year's time. In addition, there is a great possibility for career progression as experienced by Ms. Leang who transferred from Philippines to Ireland and to New Zealand.
Leadership styles that is most effective for different stages in a business life cycle:
Business Life Cycle
Existing Leadership Style
In this phase, the business will incur a great number of financial expenditure, conceptualization phase and hiring of employees. An autocratic leader is required since the newly hired employees should be trained. Also, there is a need for carefully supervision of the daily operations of the business.
During this period where the company is acquiring and retaining customers, there is probability that profits emerge. In order to continue with the progression, a Bureaucratic leader is required to ensure that routines and operational policies are implemented.
This stage of the business cycle is characterized by steadiness. Shareholders can experience return of investment. In this light, the leader is dynamic and at par with rapidly changing environments.
Delegating/ Task Oriented
At this phase the organization is stable and has a wide range of clientele beyond the loyalty base. In addition, the company is in the strong position to acquire assets and renew business contracts. Given this scenario, a task oriented leader can ensure that organizational goals are met within the professional structures.
This can be seen as transition where it is commonly termed as decline. In most cases, the working capital of the company has eroded and there is reversal of fortunes.
e. Mission, vision, purpose and strategy of the leader's organization:
Established in 1931, Arthur C. Nielsen defined the principles that would guide the company being a global leader in market research.
"Our goal is to help clients make the best possible marketing decisions to build revenue and profits."
"Throughout its history, Nielsen has sought to provide its clients with objective and reliable marketing information and consumer insight that add value to their businesses. "
Nielsen as a leader in global market research, it provides an integrated suite of the market information.
Across the globe, the organization provides their clients the following:
Measurement ofÂ their market performance
Analysis ofÂ market dynamics
DiagnosisÂ and solve marketing and sales problems, and
IdentificationÂ and capture growth opportunities
How the leader sees her leadership characteristics linked into furthering the business strategies:
Ms. Leang as a graduate of Marketing Management who rose from the ranks, has earned respect and credibility to deliver tasks assigned to her. She narrated in the interview that she explains the vision, the reason behind it and expectations so she can get the participation from her team. In addition, as a client based organization, she sees to it that her staff will get the necessary information to provide a tailored fit marketing suite for a distinct company.
g. Leadership styles that is most effective for furthering the business strategies:
Ms. Leang as an Associate Director who believes in empowering people is a democratic leader which is appropriate for furthering business given the context of her organization. As I mentioned before, no definite leadership is designed to further a business strategy. It is imperative that the person who will provide an advice regarding the most effective leadership style is aware of the internal and external factors before stating the appropriate leadership style.
PART B1: Application of Leadership Concepts
Three Major Models of Change, and
McKinsey 7-S ModelÂ
McKinsey's 7-S framework is a Value Based Management (VBM) model that describes how one can holistically and effectively organize a company. The corporation operates on the basis of the following factors:
The core beliefs and attitude that the organization stand for.
Involves the working environment, professional competition and service to customers. It also deals with the allocation of resources and identification of goals and how to carry it out in relation to organization structure.
The organizational routines, procedures and processes such as hiring performance appraisal system and information systems.Â
The human resource such as population, skills, qualifications and personalities.
It discusses the culture of the organization particularly how the managers facilitate the achievement of company goals.Â
Distinctive capabilities of personnel or of the organization as a whole.
Lewin's Change Management Model
In order to facilitate change, it is vital to examine the current performance of the organization. The unfreezing phase takes place when you realize that there is a need for change and thus motivation arise. Also, decrease in resistance for change.
Changing is characterized as transition period where leaders' role play high importance since there is the need to mobilise people towards the required change.
This is the period where the company has achieved the desired goal or new way of things and stabilises. In addition, the change is deemed as permanent and reward desirable outcomes.
Kotter's Eight Step Change Model
Step One: Increase urgency for change
Identify the crises, potential challenges or opportunities
Discuss and convince the employees the need for change in relation to company's growth or survival
Step Two: Create a guiding Coalition
Build a that team with enough power to initiate change
Step Three: Develop a clear shared vision
Provides a clear direction for the change to be achieved
Step Four: Communicate the vision
Use every means of communication possible to relay and ensure that the vision and strategies are understood by the employees
Step Five: Empower people to act on the vision
Get rid of obstacles
Encourage people to take risks and perform non-traditional strategies
Step Six: Create short term Win
Plan visible improvements so employees can witness progress towards the goal
Recognize improvements and provide rewards to employees
Step Seven: Consolidate and build on the gains
Getting the right set of people to implement change
The need for persistence is required due to the fact that a little more change is necessary for achieving the goal.
Step Eight: Institutionalise the Change
Making the change permanent by connecting new practices to corporate growth
ii. Their Advantages and Disadvantages
Model of Change
McKinsey's 7-S Model
It is a useful diagnostic measure to understand the inner mechanism of an organisation such as identifying the competitive leverage of the company or factors attributing to its loss. This plays high importance for managers, consultants, business analysts and potential investors to analyse and understand.
It provides a guide for organisational change. The variables are connected to each other and to achieve progress, the management must work on all areas.
In 1990s, the organization who was considered effective in relation to the framework did not survive. Thus, the empirical validity of the model became doubtful and unreliable.
The model can serve as a guide for organizational change, however, the sole responsibility to work are the seven variables that highly depends on the manager who must understand and coordinate each one.
Model of Change
It is simple and easily understood
Step by step procedure
Efficient model that is used today (Mind Tools, 2007; Syque, 2007).
During the refreezing stage, employees are worried that another change is approaching, so they are in change shock (Syque, 2007). This in turn causes employees to not be as efficient in their work.
Kotter's 8-Step Change Model
The idea of success is geared towards obtaining buy-in from vital employees.
It is highly suitable for traditional organization structures
Since it is a top-down model, little input from everyone is not encouraged.
Consistent resistance amongst employees may beat the change program.
iii. Steps in Implementing Change:
Stages in Planned Change
Recognize the need for change.
Identify the need for change such as internal or external factors. This often develops at the top management or other parts of the company.
Develop the goals of the change.Â
Take into account both challenges and potential opportunities to define the goals.
Select a change agent.Â
A key personality must be selected in order to initiate the change process. This individual must have leadership qualities and has an open mind to implement change.
Diagnose the current climate.Â
The agent of change gathers relevant information pertaining to variables that can assist employees in preparing for change.
Select an implementation method.Â
Leaders should utilize all their resources such as networks, perspectives from various organizations, reviewing external standards and competitor's leverage before arriving at a decision on what method to implement.
Develop a plan
This is the phase where managers create a concrete success roadmap on when, where, how and who of the plan.
Implement the plan.Â
Put the plan in action. During the initial stages of the operation, managers should expect that there are drawbacks in the transition phase and well-planned contingencies are prepared ahead.
Follow the plan and evaluate it.Â
The implementation of the action plan is not the end of the road. It requires evaluation of the previous working environment, new set of guidelines or organizational change and the results of change. The momentum of change should be properly monitored by the managers and ensure that stability is present.
iv. Step by Step process to implement change:
Identify the problem
Problem: Systemic change to increase workload and meet the expectations of the ratepayers.
Variables to consider:
Leader (my colleague) just took over the role from someone who served for 15 years in the local council department.
Observe the work environment
Since my colleague just took over the position as the leader of a group of teams in local council department, she needs to assess the work environment and provide ample time to understand the current behavior of the people and how things are done. It is imperative that she earns the respect from her subordinates by leading them and not merely delegating.
Reassess the problem
My colleague should reassess the initial problem that she identified. After carefully assessing the problem she can provide the vision to overcome such challenge.
Select Change Agent/s
Since my colleague is part of a big organization specifically in the government, it is assumed that a great number of people are under her who is led by team leaders. Given the number in the department, she needs to identify the change agents who can assist her in selling and moving the vision. Ideally, they are the team leaders.
Discuss vision and encourage insights from the group
A clear rationale regarding the problem must be relayed to the employees for them to grasp and embrace the vision. In addition, my colleague should encourage participation from the members of the team by sharing their insights and non-traditional strategies towards the goal. Thus, a clear and shared goal is more effective in leading change in organization.
Build the character of change in the form of a concrete action plan.
Communicate the vision
A clear and shared goal must reach all those concerned.
Considering the goal to focus on systemic change to foster effectiveness in dealing with increasing workload and higher expectations by ratepayers, the need to employ and train people with right skill set is necessary.
The present workforce is comprised of ageing staff. Given their experience and wisdom in dealing with the department, they can easily micromanage the newly employed staff to facilitate transition of a more effective system. Their role as mentors and assistant team leaders can promote positive changes in the organization.
Recognize little improvements
Given a clear and shared vision, concrete action plan carried out by empowered people, it is expected that the group of teams will be able to carry out short term wins. This can be given suitable recognition from the organization.
The vision has reached its destination and thus incorporating it in the council's culture is the task to be accomplished by my colleague.
v. Reasons People Resist Change:
Given that my colleague's staff are comprised of ageing workforce, they will most likely to resist change due to fear. They have been doing it the certain way with the previous leader who occupied the position for fifteen years. They might be thinking that the new measures to be undertaken will not work and they may not be able to follow the new policies or they fear layoffs.
As I have mentioned given the composition of the workforce, they already found their niche in the organization given the company norms and policies. Bringing change to stable routine or way of doing things will mean additional effort or radical transition for them.
No Urgency for Change
When the employees see that things are going well, they do not understand the reason why change is necessary. Thus, it is imperative that the people know the status of the company and what is required of them to survive the growing demands.
Lack of Knowledge
Awareness is a key in instilling change. If you do not lay importance in letting your people know they most likely resist change. In addition they do not want to feel helpless.
Lack of trust
The leader must play importance in knowing her team and creating a professional bond with them. Make them feel important partners in achieving the vision so as to refrain from resistance amongst them.
Heavy-handedness by leaders.
Change is a constant part of everyone's lives yet it easily said that experienced. Consequently, leaders can make matters worse by pushing too hard from the people.
vi. Recommendation for a Suitable Change Model
The particular change model that I want to suggest towards my colleague is Kotter's framework. This particular model is logically and the steps are clearly defined.
Given that she is assuming a position that was occupied for fifteen years, we can conclude that the previous leader has a well-established relationship among her team. In order for her to manage a wide scope of change considering signs of resistance, she needs a well-defined model of change to guide her.
The Role of the Leader:
In Kotter's 8 Step Change Model, the leader plays the crucial role and less input from the people. Since she just assumed the post, she is at the beginning phase of her leadership. It is necessary that she gains coalition or build relationships with vital employees who can be her partners in achieving the goals such as increase in efficiency by managing workload and expectations of tax payers. In addition these change agents can also help her win resistant employees at the other end.
Win the workforce by reaching out, selling the vision and making them feel active partners in the success of the local council (eg. Team building)
Recruit younger staff to be supervised by seasoned employees
Invest on technological advancements that can cope with the expectations of the rate payers.
Acquisition of better computer systems also requires training the employees
Part B2: Evaluation of Leaders from Different Organizations
Profile of the Second Business Leader
Maria Ofelia Dela Cruz is a Filipino who migrated to New Zealand in 2005. She is married to an IT professional with two teenager kids. She is the sole owner of a retail shop that offers a wide range of Filipino Products, primarily, food. Her operations began in 2006 wherein she converted her living room as her shop. Due to insistent public demand, she moved to another house with a garage to continue her business operations until she got the opportunity to open her first store in Glenfield which she named, Tindahang Pinoy. At present, she has three branches such as Glenfield, Henderson and Manukau. She is managing five employees.
Overview of Tindahang Pinoy
Tindahang Pinoy is a small company established by Mrs. Ofelia Dela Cruz which provides a wide range of products and services such as Filipino food, remittances, sub-agent of properties and others. It has three branches found in Glenfield, Henderson and Manukau. She is currently encouraging others to franchise and expand the business. Mrs. Dela Cruz's vision is to establish a Filipino supermarket in North Shore.
Leadership Model Continuum
Tannenbaum and Schmidt's leadership model
Name of Leader
Leadership Model Continuum
Ms. Avigale Leang
Ms. Leang is a democratic leader. She is currently at Shares level of leadership model. She allows her team to functions with her defined limits.
Mrs. Ofelia Dela Cruz
Ms. Dela Cruz is a democratic leader. She is currently at Delegates position. Her store staffs are already trained to carry out the task and there is little training necessary to be efficient in it.
Evaluation and Comparison
ii. Forms of power available to each leader
Ms. Avigale Leang
Mrs. Ofelia Dela Cruz
Ms. Leang has expert power. Considering her educational qualification and her five years in Nielsen, she has proven that she is an expert in her field. Considering her progression from being an executive, line manager, senior manager and now as Associate Director.
Being the current Associate Director of RMS in Nieslen, she has definitely climbed up the organization's ladder of career success.
Mrs. Dela Cruz as the sole owner of Tindahang Pinoy has the legitimate power over operation of her stores.
The respect she earned by delivering tasks beyond expectations and ensuring that a comprehensive tailor fit marketing suite is delivered to the clients, Ms. Leang has the information power.
Being the woman behind a store who carries Filipino products in a foreign country, she has the information power. She knows the current market demand, competitive sources of prices, how to improve her leverage and what she can do to promote expansion such in the case of franchise.
Ms. Leang has mentioned during the interview that her company practices a good meritocracy program. Thus she ensures that she provides employees rewards for achieving positive results.
During the interview, Mrs. Dela Cruz has mentioned that she usually reward her staff if the store exceeds the expected sales. Also, she easily implements a salary hike when her staff has shown great dedication and hard work towards her job.
iii. Cultural and/or ethnic factors that may have influenced their leadership
Ms. Leang as mentioned in the interview, she said that the most important values/ethics she demonstrates as a leader is "Practice what you preach." She even stressed that she earned the respect of her team from ensuring them that she can herself carry out the task and not rely solely on delegation. Hence, she influences people by leading by example.
Mrs. Dela Cruz personal perspective on how to lead her people is through trusting them that they will deliver the tasks honestly and with outmost dedication.
iv. The nature of the organization the leader has evolved with and how the type of organization did influenced their leadership
Ms. Leang discussed that the organization that she belongs to is characterized by a good meritocracy practice and also empowering their people. As the Associate Director, she also ensures that she carry out the same principle in leading her people.
The nature of Mrs. Dela Cruz business in the retail industry. Having said that, her clamor is to provide excellent customer service. Her principle is that she does not merely think of the customers but also she takes care of her employees and provides closer ties with her employees such as treating them as family rather than team members.
Ms. Avigale Leang
Mrs. Ofelia Dela Cruz
Compare and Contrast
Both Mrs. Dela Cruz and Ms. Leang are proactive in nature. They see life as opportunities for growth. They are more inclined towards being a transformational leader where they opt to achieve things with vision and passion.
Being a leader necessitates a high level of aggressiveness to ensure that you are ahead or at least at par with your contemporaries.
Ms. Leang is to provide a good future to her siblings seeing them as her driving force. In addition, given her background that she came from an affluent family then a sudden turn of events such as loss of family business, she feels the outpouring desire to re-establish their family. The only way she can perceive of is through hard work and perseverance to reach higher grounds across the globe. On the other hand, Mrs. Dela Cruz together with her husband is geared towards providing a better life to their three teenagers and with the hope of helping more relatives back home. She wants to put up her own Filipino Supermarket in years time.
Being highly motivated is definitely an important trait since you have the inner desire to achieve greater things ahead.
Strong Interpersonal Skills
Both Mrs Dela Cruz and Ms. Leang exhibit a high level of interpersonal skills in dealing with their line of work. However, Ms. Leang has stronger communication skills as evident in her position as the Associate Director in a multinational company which enables her to deal with high profile clients and diverse superiors.
Ms. Leang's attitude toward her leading a team is empowering wherein she provides her team the guidance rather than dictating what she expects from them. In the case of Mrs. Dela Cruz, she feels that needs to empower her people so that they feel that they are confident in doing their job.
Strong Marketing Knowledge
Sound Financial Knowledge
Both the leaders possess the expertise in carrying out the tasks expected from them however, in a different perspective.
Evidently, Mrs. Dela Cruz has a sound financial knowledge to manage the operations of her stores. On the other hand, Ms. Leang, has a strong Marketing background as required of her given that she is regarded as an expert. In this case where projects are based on the requirements set by the clients, she exhibits the Transactional Leadership Theory.
Mrs. Dela Cruz and Ms. Leang can be regarded as women of today. They are passionate about what they are doing and exemplify the capacity to exceed the expectations of the society. Thus, they are considered as Transformational Leaders who are willing to take on the challenge of changing how the games are being played.