Current Leadership Potential And Capabilities Business Essay


My current leadership style works out to be Participative or democratic. I have completed two surveys online completed surveys attached with this plan, and based on the results I got from the surveys I can say that my current leadership style works out to be Participative.

My current strengths based on the surveys are situational management, delegation of authority and collaborative effort. The main areas I need to improve are meeting of deadlines, communication and pressure handling (Monkey, 2012). Participative leadership style is the leadership style where a leader gives subordinates the opportunity to fully participate in decision making process. It is used by various influential leaders throughout the globe, making it one of the most widely used leadership style. Participative style is a very useful tool to promote employee satisfaction and employee morale (wiki-leader, Ret 2006).

1.2 Leadership theory

Leadership theories can be described as different approaches to leadership and how leaders are created and how different type of leaders lead. There are many different proposed theories to leadership but I have selected the most cited three of all those. Let's explain them in a bit detail:

Situational theory

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Situational leadership theory was developed by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard (Hersey & Blanchard, Ret 1999). Paul Hersey is also the author of the book Situational Leader [1] . According to the proposers of situational theory there is no single best style of leadership. A good leader must change his style according to the situation. Basis argument behind situational theory states that different situations demand different leadership styles. Hersey and Blanchard worked extensively on studying the human factor involved in situational theory of leadership. They came up on the idea that as leadership involves dealing with human behavior and it is very hard to predict human behavior in different situation, so a leader must be able to change his/her leadership style according to different situations (Hersey & Blanchard, Ret 1999)

The basic ideas behind situational theory of leadership can be summoned as follows:

An effective leader is the one who is task relevant and situation relevant

A leader must set high but attainable goal

A leader should be willing to take responsibility for the task

A leader must have relevant education, training or skill.


The concept of transformational leadership was developed by James MacGregor Burns [2] (Burns, 1978). According to Burns, transforming leadership is a process in which "leaders and followers help each other to advance to a higher level of morale and motivation. In transformational leadership various mechanisms are used to boost employee morale and motivation. The following list explains some of the mechanisms used. Please note that following list is not exhaustive, many more mechanisms are used and I am listing a few (Wiki-transformational, Ret. 2007):

Integrating individual goals with the organizational goal, it is to create a sense of belongingness; it also includes connecting one's identity to the collective identity of the organization.

Depicting leader as a role model so that the entire followers can follow him, having a common role model also helps in creating common paths to follow.

Followers are challenged to take greater ownership of their work; this also includes techniques like constructive criticism. This also promotes the concept of taking liability of your actions in both positive and negative way.

Leader is made responsible for aligning and optimizing the employee performance by measuring their strengths and weaknesses.

Now after more than three decades of research and analysis of this concept, leadership theorists around the world agree on four basic elements of transformational leadership which are as follows (wiki-leader, Ret 2006):

Individualized consideration

Intellectual stimulation

Inspirational Motivation

Idealized influence (wiki-leader, Ret 2006)


Transactional theory of leadership is a responsive approach to leadership. Leaders using transactional approach use both rewards and punishments to insure compliance of followers. Some leadership theorists argue that this theory of leadership is most effective in a crisis or emergency situation. Leaders following this theory are mostly keeping the things as the same way they are, instead of trying to change them or changing the future. In order to find faults and deviations, these leaders pay attention to their follower's work [3] .

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Transactional leaders are considered to be mostly result oriented. They use both rewards and punishments to gain compliance from followers. Rewards are given to people performing up to the mark or exceeding the set standard while at the same time those who are unable to perform well are punished. Rewards are often selected based on various models like Maslow's hierarchy of needs (Maslow, Wrt 1954, Ret 1997). Transactional leadership theory is also considered to be a base for developing transformational theory of leadership which is applied to higher levels of management whereas transactional theory is mainly used for low level management (Approach, Ret 2005)

Transformational Vs Transactional

While there are many different approaches and theories of leadership, Transactional and Transformational are compared the most, so based on my research online, here is my attempt:




Objectives are achieved by moral values and higher ideas

Objectives are achieved by rewards and punishments set by the leader

Proactive leadership

Responsive leadership

Individualized Consideration

Management by Exception

Motivation is achieved by promoting group interest and team work spirit

Motivation is achieved by promoting self interest

1.3 Leadership role model/s

I would like to be a transformational leader, so would be listing two transformational business leaders

Sir Stephen Tindall

Sir Angus Tait

Leadership profiles

Sir Stephen Tindall

Sir Stephen Tindall is the founder of New Zealand retailer stores The Warehouse Group and he is also the founder of the Tindall Foundation. He is awarded one of the most influential business people NZ has ever produced. He founded The Warehouse Group in 1982 with initial capital of NZ$ 40.000 and his leadership style has transformed it into a $1.1 Billion (market cap) with sales exceeding $1.6 Billion (NZ, Ret 2012).

I have chosen Sir Stephen Tindall here because he is a kind of transformational leader which I actually want to follow. He certainly believes in transformational approach to leadership as it clear from his actions. Not only in his own company but he wants to help every New Zealander in achieving their goals, to assist New Zealanders in need he set up Tindall Foundation in 1995 (NZ T. F., Ret 1996). Since its being set up Tindall Foundation has already donated more than NZ$ 100 million to community and organizations and towards initiatives around New Zealand. He was named Business Person of the Year 1997 by New Zealand Herald. Sir Stephen Tindall has reformed the way we do retailing in New Zealand. Sir Stephen Tindall was a founding member of the New Zealand Institute, a think tank with 30 corporate members formed to contribute creative ideas and solutions to the policy debate, which will positively transform New Zealand in the years ahead.

Another reason why Sir Stephen Tindall qualifies for transformational leadership approach is that they care for society, not only for their own employees or company (NZ T. G., Ret 2012). Their approach is clearly depicted form the mission statement of their company "where people come first and the quality is affordable" (NZ T. G., Ret 2012).

Sir Angus Tait

Sir Angus Tait was a Zealand Businessman and an electronics Innovator. He was the founder of the Tait Electronics Ltd now trading as Tait Radio Communications. He founded Tait Electronics in 1969 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Tait started launched his company form a potato warehouse in 1969 and he transformed that company into a pioneering company in Radio communications having revenues exceeding NZ$ 170 million. "He was an exceptional business leader", a collective statement made by all the 850 employees of the Tait Radio Communications Ltd.

He qualifies to be here in the list of transformational leaders as he cared about New Zealand society and economy more than anything else. Many foreign companies made numerous attempts to buy his company but he simply refused as he knew this can result in loss of jobs. He even donated some of his shares to a charitable trust in 1994 to save his company form takeover, hence saving a lot of jobs. His company is one of the leading electronics exporters in New Zealand contributing toward the better future of New Zealand Economy.

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Sir Angus Tait was also the founder of Tait Foundation which since its formation has donated millions of dollars towards noble causes around New Zealand and Pacific region. In 1996, he was made an honorary doctorate of engineering by Canterbury University and he was knighted in 1999 (, 07/08.2007), (NZ T. F., Ret 2009), (NZL, Ret 2009). Tait faced many hard times and his company even went for receivership, but he was true believer in himself and his confidence paid him well. (NZ T. F., Ret 2009) (NZL, Ret 2009)

Benchmarking criteria

For setting up of benchmarking criteria, I will be using transformational leadership approach. I will be listing qualities of this leadership approach as a benchmarking framework for my own personal development.

Transformational leaders have a very high degree of self-confidence- I see it as an essential element of my personal development benchmarking because I think every leader must have self-confidence. If you believe in yourself, only them you can convince others to believe in you.

Almost all transformational leaders have high sense of Social Responsibility- it is important as it lays the basic draft plan for you to be socially responsible. Remember your followers also form a part of society, which makes it even more viable for a leader.

Transformational leaders focus on Individualized Consideration- it is important as not all employees are same, some can perform exceptional but just need an extra push.

Transformational leaders have a proactive approach- It helps to achieve higher employee morale and integrates personal and organizational goals.

So we can sum out the basic criteria I described in Benchmarking criteria as follows:

High degree of self confidence

Social responsibility

Individualized consideration

Proactive approach

2. Self-assessment

2.1 Benchmarking

Potential analysis is a benchmarking tool that not only compares your performance with benchmarks but also tells you the deviation. Deviation is basically the difference you need to make up in order to achieve your desired benchmark [4] (Mgmt, Ret 1999). Let's analyze our set standards in benchmarking criteria with my own performance:








Benchmarked Figure

Actual (My Own)



Degree of self confidence





Social resp (awareness)





Individualized Consideration





Proactive approach






A2 Tests are the key elements which are to be compared in Potential Analysis (Mgmt, Ret 1999)

A3 Benchmarked figures are the highest total which can be attained in a relative operational environment (Potential, Ret 2008).

A4 is the actual measures of my own assessment in terms of Tests (figures here are calculated from the surveys completed) (Monkey, 2012)

A5 Deviation is the difference of comparison between benchmarked figure and the actual figure. This is the difference we need to cover up in order to achieve benchmarked results.

These can also be defined as the goals which you need to achieve.


Based on the potential analysis for my leadership plan, I can say that I need to improve a lot on my current leadership style preference. Deviations in the above analysis are the areas on which we need to improve:

My current leadership potential and capabilities

According to the potential analysis carried out in section 2.1, I can say that my current leadership capabilities are no way near to the benchmarked figures. The following are my current leadership goals:

I need to improve on my self-confidence it is the key to unlock your full potential, deviation of 3 points shows that I need to work a lot.

I need to increase my social awareness level, deviation of again 3 points in this test shows that it is not up to the mark. Social awareness is vital for a leader; it is also used to form a base for CSR.

I also need to work on improving Individualized consideration- my group consideration skills are acceptable but sometimes I do ignore individual matters.

I also need to develop proactive approach towards leadership. Responsive approach like transactional is mostly used in crisis management.

3. Personal Development Plan







What opportunities and/or situations exist, or will you look for, to achieve your leadership development goals?

NB: think both short-term and long-term.

What reasonable and realistic basis do you have for selecting these opportunities?

What will you do now or in the future, to develop the skills relevant for that situation?

How much time, or when specifically, will you need to attain the required level of leadership skill/knowledge, and/or implement the strategy/ies?

How will you measure whether you have achieved that specific objective?

What specific resources will you need to achieve your development goals?