Emerging Dimensions For The Leader As Partner Commerce Essay

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Leaders are bright charismatic personalities with strong believes who communicates their ideas to all the organization members through a clear hierarchical structure. Is it the only option? In this book editors collected a set of articles expressing the idea that this mentioned notion of a leader as a boss has evolved into a completely different one. A modern leader-as presented in this book-is more a partner than a boss.

The second part of the book covers topics associated with both external and internal collaboration and partnering for organizations and individuals. Inter-organization partnering and collaboration means sharing decision-making process through increased collaboration between leaders and their teams, collaborating success among all team members, balancing team performance and single leadership. External partnering means creating successful partnerships between different organizations and finding right partners and mentors among current leaders.


Using Situational Leadership® II to Bring Out the Magnificence in People


The leader's role has shifted dramatically in recent years. The image of leaders is no longer being a boss but being partners with their people. Leaders must move from the "command-and-control" role of judging and evaluating to a role of ensuring accountability through supporting, coaching, and cheerleading. This view is pointed out in the article "Using Situational Leadership II to bring out the magnificence in people" of Ken Blanchard, the author of the best-selling book "The One Minute Manager", which marked a new generation of Situational Leadership based on Partnering for Performance and is regarded as one of the most successful business books of all time. Ken Blanchard originally developed Situational Leadership® with Paul Hersey at Ohio University in 1968. After finding that some critical aspects of the model were not being validated in practice, Ken created Situational Leadership® II based on the thinking and research of his colleagues at The Ken Blanchard Companies as well as on feedback from thousands of users.

Situational Leadership® II is a process for developing people by providing effective leadership, over time, so that they can reach their highest level of performance. It is based on a relationship between an individual's development level (various combinations of competence and commitment) on a specific goal or task and the leadership style (various combinations of directive and supportive behavior) that the leader provides. This means that there is no best leadership style, because development level varies from person to person, from goal to goal, and from task to task. In other words, an individual can be at one level of development on one goal or task and a different level of development on another goal or task. In addition, development level does not apply to the person, but rather to the person's competence and commitment to a specific goal or task.

It is true that an employee will experience four levels in the development cycle for a specific task as Ken declared: Enthusiastic Beginners, Disillusioned Learner, Capable but Cautious Performer, Self-Reliant Achiever. And we think it is essential that leaders can identify which level in which the employee is, to provide the appropriate support, especially when a letdown or lacking of confidence occurs in employees. Thus, we totally agree with the author that a leader has to be flexible enough to use the appropriate leadership style to ensure that competence and commitment will increase. It is totally suitable with Contingency Theories Leadership which suggests that leadership is not a fixed series and different leadership styles used at different times depending on the circumstance.

The author also suggest creating partnership between leaders and staff in order to reach an agreement on goals, development level, leadership style for each employee so that employees will get their best performance as well as development. It is a very good way in creating an interacting environment where employees feel valued, recognized and respected so that they will be motivated to do their best performance.



On the other hand, the article "Leadership as partnership" of Russ S. Moxley and John R. Alexander identifies the limitation of the typical view of leadership as a hero, who creates a vision and be able to help us navigate the "permanent whitewater" without getting pulled under by an eddy.

Russ is the author of Leadership and Spirit (1999). He has been the editor of the Center for Creative Leadership's Ideas into Action guidebook series for several years. Besides, Russ serves on the governing board of the Association of Spirit at work, and on the board of the Communities in Schools in Greensboro.

Alexander has served as an instructor for the Peoples' Law School, which provides legal information to community members. He has been a regular speaker at continuing legal education seminars sponsored by the Washington State Trial Attorneys Association. Alexander has a rating of "AV" (the highest rating) by the well-regarded attorney reference guide Martindale-Hubbell.

With the increasing diversity of the workforce, it is difficult for any one person to create and articulate a vision that will be shared by all. The mantle of leadership is becoming too heavy for one person to bear alone. And the increasing complexity of tasks and technologies and the resulting need for intellectual capital call for a new understanding and practice of leadership. The authors suggest a Leadership as Partnership in replacement or Executive as Leader, from the basic idea: men and women coming together to accomplish the leadership tasks-they create a shared vision, they work together to build commitment to and maintain alignment with the vision, and they use the skills and energies of all partners to handle change and deal with adaptive challenges.

From one-to-one relationship, we agree with the author that there should be the cooperation between leader and employees in which leader listen to the ideas, suggestion of employees so that they together find out the best solution to reach a shared goal.

In addition, partnership approach is not only the right way in relationship between leader and subordinate but also useful for relationship among executive team. It can resolve conflicts, improve the company's performance, work climate for the executives.

Within a context of an organization, we totally support the cited leadership principles of a furniture manufacturer: relationships based on shared commitment rather than fear, and executives must be willing to "abandon themselves to the strengths of others." It is a practice for an argument that synergy does produce better results than what any individual can accomplish alone.

There is also an objection that leadership-as-partnership diminishes the role of the individual, especially the role of the "great leader". In our opinion, it is not true since the leader can use utilize the gifts, skills, and energies of each person in the relationship to accomplish the final shared goal so the achievement and prestige of the leader as the representative of the organization will be consolidated.

However, the obstacle of implementing of partnership in organization is that it requires all employees to accept responsibility and accountability for the accomplishment of the leadership tasks, even if they don't have the authority.

In general, the ideas in the article seems to oppose with the Transactional Leadership Model which indicates: social systems work best with a clear chain of command; when people have agreed to do a job, a part of the deal is that they cede all authority to their manager.



Jon R. Katzenbach is a Senior Partner in the New York office of Booz & Company. Previously, Jon was a founder of Katzenbach Partners LLC, a firm specializing in organization, leadership, workforce performance, and strategy. Over the last 10 years, Jon and his partners built Katzenbach Partners to be one of the leading management consulting firms.

In this chapter, he raises a point that team performance and single leadership should be balanced according to the environment. For the large enterprises, the personal styles of CEO do not always be consistent with their overall leadership approaches.

When Andrew Sigler was the CEO of Champion International, he himself showed a clear personality that he is a single, strong leader, at the same time the enterprise itself became a widely recognized pioneer in team performance at plant levels. For a complex company, every leader has a unique leadership style, and usually there is an integration of several different styles within the senior leadership group.

Formal structures, formal processes, informal networks and flexible units are the four main factors to the outperforming teams, whose performance is an important element of a balanced leadership approach. Based on the above points, a "team at the top" who gets good scores at the four elements should be seen as a really good team.

However, realistically speaking, "teams at the top" seldom perform as real team, since they will strive back to their previous styles when they encounter an unexpected problem even if they do actual functions as real team. Consequently, learning to apply team discipline to the right issues in the right way is not preferred than applying the more common executive leadership disciplines. And that's why senior leadership groups instinctively gravitate toward the latter and often miss opportunities to apply team disciplines.

So what's the relationship between team performance and leader's personal leadership? Team performance here often has an essential place in any leadership system that seeks to optimize leadership capacity and performance contribution. To get a better balance, it is advised that if a performance challenge requires speed and individual accountability among members whose tasks are not interdependent, the single-leader discipline works unit is obviously more effective than team performance.

Nevertheless, when challenge asks for synergistic, collective work products, and multiple-leader contributions, then team disciplines are probably to be more proper than the single-leader discipline. Maybe the author gives a developmental way to deal with such problems, but is just dividing such problems into two series too absolute?

Here we mean, business is not binary codes, there are many other statuses between 0 (single-leader discipline preferred) and 1 (team discipline preferred). What should the company do if both of the disciplines seem to be effective? And what should it do when both are invalid? There is no doubt that two series dividing will make illustration easier, but we think the author consider such problems in a too simple way, he should insight more deeply into this field.



James Kouzes served as president, then CEO and chairman of the Tom Peters Company. Prior to his tenure at TPC he directed the Executive Development Center at Santa Clara University. Jim Kouzes also founded the Joint Center for Human Services Development at San Jose State University, which he also managed. Barry Z. Posner is Professor of Leadership and Dean at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University, in Santa Clara, California.

The main point of this article is that everyone's success should be collaborated with others' success, since we human beings are social animals. In the internet age, collaboration is the critical competency for achieving and sustaining high performance. To succeed at collaboration, a leader should be skillful in creating a climate of trust, facilitating positive interdependence and supporting face-to-face interactions. By determining what the group need and by building a team around purpose and respect, is essential to create a climate of trust.

Here the authors take Carolyn Borne in UCLA as an example. She did needs assessment about pros and cons, which consisted of an interview with each staff member, and then identified their values, philosophy, and mission. After that her goal became increasing group cohesion through improved communication among each other.

About facilitating positive interdependence, the authors took the TV show "Survivor" as a counterexample because it lacked all the elements of a cooperative effort. In our real lives, everyone could not succeed unless everyone else succeeds or they coordinate their efforts. Cooperation may be in everyone's best interests, but for leaders, they have to take an active role in creating a positive context and structure for collaboration. Trust and mutual dependence are essential for collaboration, but face-to-face interaction is the most powerful way.

For Dick Nettell, who is the corporate services executive for the Bank for America, he often spent one week in a month in another place to build his personal networks. "You can't do it alone" is the mantra of exemplary leaders.

So their central view is that collaboration has become the master skill of this age. For us, we think the authors' point is true, but some supplements could be added. Collaboration is obviously very important, but in a team, the leader's personality also has an important impact. If we depend too much from collaboration, and thus ignore the leader's personality, the members and the leader will be the same. Leader is the most important person in a team, and leader should be in some way different from the team members. If every member in the team is the same, everyone is the leader, and everyone is not the leader.

So for us, collaboration should be paid more attention, but not exceeding the limit, which means we cannot ignore the importance of leader's personality. We should build a balance on these two sides so as to make a better consequence.



Judy Rosenblum is a co-founder of Duke Corporate Education, a non-for-profit support corporation for Duke University. Before Duke CE Judy Rosenblum was a vice-president and a chief learning officer of Coca-Cola Company. Now Duke CE is "a global provider of learning and development services that develop individuals in the context of building their organization's capability to execute its strategy", and Ms. Rosenblum is advisor to the CEO, and a member of the board of directors at Duke CE. Her colleague Cheryl Oates is co-director of the Methods Group at Duke Corporate Education.

The previous contributions of Judy Rosenblum include a personal copyright for the Breakthrough Model, which is "a tool used to identify what an organization needs to be able to do in order to execute its strategy."

From the article "The learning leader as partner" we can learn that industry consolidation, globalization, technology, and learning are the key factors lead to the change in a notion of leadership and in current environment a successful leader should be an effective partner and an effective learner. The next what we can learn from the article is what the dynamics of and the pitfalls to successful partnerships are, and what skill sets are required for an effective learning leader and partner.

The main assumption of the article is that "traditional expressions of power and control were no longer as effective with customers, suppliers, governments, or employees." However, it is only supported by the some linguistic facts such as "knowledge workers would not 'report' to supervisors, and companies sought to 'partner' with their customers." May be, the reality is not that undisputable.

Under the assumptions that in current environment leaders need to be effective partners the authors suggest leaders also need to be effective learners and to understand clearly what partners they need to have to succeed.

No doubt, an ability to create successful partnerships and work in a context of such is a great opportunity for current day leaders. Moreover, in big international organizations cooperation between different departments can be thought in the same way as cooperation between different independent organizations discussed in the article. This idea has two main consequences. The first is given that big international companies exist already more for than 10 or 20 years, the learning leader as a partner either is not the only way of leadership or it has not appeared only recently but existed already for a long time. The second is that the leadership model depicted by the authors can be applied in current business environment along with existing ones which work in big hierarchical organizations like Coca-Cola Company.



Debra A. Noumair is Associate Professor of Psychology and Education in the Department of Organization and Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. A licensed psychologist in the State of New York, Dr. Noumair maintains a private practice of organizational consultation and executive coaching. In her other publication she is examining (1) the influence of diversity and authority on leadership and followership behavior in groups, organizations, institutions, and society, and (2) group and organizational dynamics and the application of systems thinking to individual, team, and organizational performance.

W. Warner Burke is Professor of Psychology and Education and coordinator for the graduate programs in social-organizational psychology in the Department of Organization and Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. He is also senior advisor to the organization and change strategy practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. His other contributions include studies in such areas as behavioral practices associated with superior leaders and managers and their performance, inter-organizational relations, organizational culture, and leading and managing organization change.

From the article we can learn that executive "leadership today and in the foreseeable future consists of multiple relationships, a variety of partnering with each having its distinct characteristics: unique demands, values, and tensions." Furthermore, there are "two leadership responsibilities that are critical to understanding executive leadership: boundary management and organization-wide coordination." These two responsibilities together with the multiplicity of different relationships lead to existence of tensions and paradoxes which an executive leader has to manage (e.g. followers simultaneously demand "to provide direction for the organization, yet respect followers' needs for autonomy and therefore avoid telling them what to do")

According to the article, there are four main sets of theories describing executive leadership. These theories tell us what the main responsibilities and concerns of an executive leader should be. Given the Carmen's case study explained in the article, it is clear, that some theories apply more for the reality; some others apply less.

But the idea which matters for sure is that different relationships require from executive leaders different behavior. It is thoughtless to ignore differences in personal goals of different stakeholders and colleagues such as board members, chairmen, top management, employees, shareholders and external partners while trying to create, communicate and implement the organization's strategy.



Harvey Robbins, president of Robbins & Robbins in Minnetonka, MN, has been a practicing business psychologist since 1974. His broad experience provides his clients with workshops and consulting service in the areas of team development; change management; collaboration, organization and leadership effectiveness; and interpersonal influence. Robbins is author/co-author of the book: Why Teams Don't Work (co-authored with Michael Finley and winner of the 1995 Financial Times/Booz Allen & Hamilton Global Business Book Award).

In article "The accidental Partner", Harvey Robbins provide guide to success in a leadership role in the stalled economic situation. The best advice is to plan the actions, finding reliable people who are already in a leadership position and ask him or her to be your mentor for a period of time, to be someone you can turn to for advice and counsel.

Along with the need of aligning department's mission with the vision of the bigger organization, the author emphasizes the importance of the coordination between departments in the partnership. These advices completely go along with the approach of leadership as partnership of Russ S. Moxley and John R. Alexander for executive team and organization.

It can be said that the article is the implementation of the partnership theory into reality. Harvey suggests using partnership in building effective teams where everyone's job has a purpose and that purpose is usually to meet the needs of someone else. The activities are coordinated both with people inside the team and with those outside the team, whom they consider partners in the achievement of successful outcomes.

As giving feedback is necessary if you want your people to remain on target or adjust their activities to meet changing priorities, we agree with the author that one of the useful resources is from people with whom you have created partnering relationships. The author shares the same idea with Bob Nelson that people want to be recognized and rewarded for good work. Again, using the input from partners and customers is good input for creating reward and recognition systems.

In summary, using partnership approach has positive effects to the success of leadership in almost aspects.



Bob Nelson holds an MBA in organizational behavior from UC Berkeley and received his Ph.D. in management from The Peter F. Drucker Graduate Management School at Claremont Graduate University in Los Angeles. He is president of Nelson Motivation, Inc., a management training and consulting company located in San Diego, California that specializes in helping organizations improve their management practices, programs and systems. He is author of the best-selling books 1001 Ways to Reward

Employees, 1001 Ways to Energize Employees, and 1001 Ways to Take Initiative

at Work.

From different view, Bob Nelson shares his ideas about the importance of motivating employees so that they will work with their best to achieve highest performance.

As Russ S. Moxley and John R. Alexander, Bob realizes the change in the work force today, where the workers own their knowledge which is the "mean of production" and they can leave with it. In other words, whether you get the best effort and performance from an employee will always be his or her choice.

Bob Nelson digs into the Situational Leadership® II model of Ken Blanchard about getting high performance of employees by supporting, coaching, and cheerleading by showing how to establish a supportive environment in which people can be their best.

In order to do that, we definitely support his idea that managers not only care about organization goal but also need to know the individuals' goal. And the crucial need of employees is to be recognized and appreciated; to be rewarded for their contribution.

Besides, it is also important to be aware that most people do not work just for money. The other factors that have much greater significance in our work lives is feeling we are making a difference and a contribution, having the respect of our peers and colleagues or having meaningful, interesting work. Thus, recognition is what managers should do above and beyond compensation to get the best effort from employees. In other words, managers have to build partnerships with people if the company is to obtain the extraordinary results from ordinary people that are necessary for the business to be truly competitive today. The main point of Bob's suggestion is "For the best results, pay them fairly, but treat them superbly".

On the other hand, the supportive environment where employees find the meaning of their work will make them being more responsibility and willing to do their best for the success of the organization. Consequently, it resolves the obstacle in the theory of Russ S. Moxley and John R. Alexander mentioned previously when applying Leadership as Partnership in organization.



R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr. is the CEO of R. Thomas Consulting & Training, Inc., has been for over two decades at the forefront of developing and implementing innovative strategies for maximizing organizational and individual potential. Recognized internationally for his groundbreaking work on issues of managing diversity, he is also the founder and Senior Research Fellow for the American Institute for Managing Diversity, Inc., a research and education enterprise with the objective of fostering effective management of employee diversity.

In this article, the Roosevelt use "The Giraffe and Elephant" fable to specify the reasons for establishing a partnership as opposed to the traditional hierarchical arrangement. The first rationale is respect for what individuals bring to table which are skill, virtue etc. And another motivation for partnership is extend an invitation for the individual to contribute beyond simply doing the work.

Although each partner has a threefold role: individual contributor (I), leader in the leadership function (L), and manager in the managerial process (M), the relative importance of each role option will vary depending on where the partner is in the hierarchy.

And the difference of partnership organization with hierarchical organization is that regardless of where an individual serves, he or she is more of a colleague than a superior or subordinate. Somehow, partnership can be a way to build a flat organization.

A final reason for establishing partnership arrangements is to secure commitment, in terms of both the intensity and the duration of the engagement. Since establishment and acceptance of partnership parameters makes sense only when all parties feel excitement about the potential of the relationship, the author identify barriers to effective partnership which are: too much emphasis on similarities; not enough awareness of differences; too much emphasis on friendship and relationships, which will make partnership unsophisticated; desire to avoid diversity tension; inadequate scoping of partnership and too much focus on self.

Since partnership has been built, the effective leader would do something to improve it, such as developing a well-defined set of partnership expectations and requirements, expecting and preparing for diversity and empowering individuals for the partnership.


In conclusion, we observed that the ideas expressed in the book are supported by the modern theories and different from the old theories (such as leadership of "command-and-control"). However, old things are not always useless, maybe we should take a look at the old method and combine with the new one to make it better and more effective, so that could be widely used. Partnership is not only important inside organization between leader and team members but also important between different organizations.