Leadership Is Not A Linear Process But Cyclic

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Learning is vital to leadership. It is through learning that we stretch ourselves. There is an old saying that if you don't stretch, you don't know where the edge is. Leaders have a tendency to walk along the edge and the only way to know exactly where the edge is and how far you can push that edge is to learn more about yourself and more about the content of leadership. I believe that the future belongs to those who know: know themselves: know the content of their role. Further, the future belongs to those who are able to use themselves and what they know to help others move to a greater understanding of who they are and a greater knowledge of their job.

The skills needed to display good leadership potential all rally around a single concept of excellence that helps to achieve a greater vision. These skills accommodate for the acknowledgment of an individual as a leader that wants to pursue excellence. A leader guides, seeks potential, participates, and recognizes the hidden talents of others.

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The leadership skills that I have shown throughout my life envelop all of the work that I have done including my job as a manager in an advertising agency, being representative of the class, and being one of the best in cricket. In the future I hope further to present these qualities of a leader in respect to my career and to my life. I will prove that I have the prospective qualities of changing the world and succeeding in the corporate industry as well as beginning a productive and meaningful organization. I also hope to be a leader and organize a group whose goal is to achieve whatever we desire. The potential to be a leader lies in everyone, but it takes a certain type of person to bring that potential to the front. One must possess respect to competition, to friendship, and to knowledge to be recognized as a leader.

Introduction of job

As a Manger with Atul Publicity a leading advertising agency, I have been witnessed to many changes in working practices and often felt frustrated by them. In the past, I have exhibited leadership roles. First, I was a manager and in charge of most of the campaigns which were undertaken by my company. This challenging leadership role taught me how to deal with different types of people from stubborn to ignorant and how to balance many different activities at once including work and social life. I loved the responsibility. I felt as if I had a higher purpose, and was actually helping out other people. The need for mission and purpose is perhaps particularly true in advertising.

Transformational leadership with MLQ score

I very strongly believe that attracting and retaining top talent was the biggest challenge for me in the past, the best talent is lost out to a whole bunch of other industries, leaving only the average and not so average talent left for the agency business.

Transformational leaders can describe the goal of advertising in such a way that it is so meaningful and exciting that it inspires commitment in the people with whom they work with. If successful, the goals of the leader and their followers will become fused, creating unity, wholeness, and a collective purpose. Transformational leaders have associates who view them in an idealized way, and as such, these leaders wield much power and influence over their followers. They develop strong feelings about such leaders, in whom they invest much trust and confidence. Transformational leaders arouse and inspire others with whom they work with a vision of what can be accomplished through extra personal effort.

MLQ report (Appendix 1) helped me in the better understanding of the preferences, attitudes, and behavioural characteristics of myself in key dimensions of my leadership style. The idealised behaviour scale (score 4.0) identifies me as a leader who act with integrity. My score reflects positive and highly valuated behaviours, like dominance, consciousness, self-control, a high moral judgment, optimism and self-efficiency. I talked about my most important values and beliefs; I focused on a desirable vision and almost always considered the moral and ethical consequences of my action. I also zeroed in on building a commonly shared sense of a vision or mission for the team or group. The inspirational motivation scale (score 4.33) identifies me as a leaders who inspire others. Often, inspiration can occur without the need for identification of associates with the leader. I articulated, in simple ways, shared goals and mutual understanding of what is right and important. I provided visions of what is possible and how to attain them. I enhanced meaning and promoted positive expectations about what needs to be done. The intellect stimulation scale (score 4.2) identifies me as a leaders who is able to encourage innovative thinking. In addition to Idealized Influence and Inspirational Motivation, transformational leadership also involves the intellectual stimulation of associates' ideas and values. Through Intellectual Stimulation, transformational leaders help others to think about old problems in new ways. I was encouraged to question my own beliefs, assumptions, and values. As a consequence, my associates developed the capacity to solve future problems unforeseen by me. Associates learned to tackle and solve problems on their own by being creative and innovative. A key measure of my effectiveness was how capable my associates were when operating without my presence or direct involvement. I aroused in others a greater cognizance of problems, awareness of my own thoughts and imagination, and recognition of my beliefs and values. The individual consideration scale (score 3.25) identifies me leaders who is able to coach people. Individualized Consideration is another aspect of transformational leadership. It means understanding and sharing in others' concerns and developmental needs and treating each individual uniquely. In addition, Individualized Consideration represents an attempt on the part of leaders to not only recognize and satisfy their associates' current needs, but also to expand and elevate those needs in an attempt to maximize and develop their full potential. This is one reason why I set examples and assigned tasks on an individual basis. I also provided opportunities and developed organizational cultures supportive of individual growth.

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Situational leadership, Equity Theory and LMX

During my work I had a campaign where I was able to demonstrate my leadership skills. The campaign was to do marketing of a super store which was opening new in my town. The budget of the campaign was low in accordance with his requirements. I suggested him to advertise in magazines and newspapers as it was much cheaper. Another option which I gave him was to advertise on local radio station, because his customers mostly live in the near vicinity. I promised him to copyright the advertisement as well. I prepared the budget and estimates for components of advertising campaign. Right from the start of campaign I set goals for my team which could be measured. I managed the planning and preparation of promotional matter ensuring that it is consistent with my strategy. With the client I used to discuss the message that he wanted to communicate to his customer, gave him suggestions on what motivates customers. I developed contacts for the promotional campaign and collected information to build advertisement campaign. I worked with creative staff to generate ideas for him. Finally the campaign was launched and it was a success. As I matured in my job I adapted my style to the demands of different situation. The essence of my leadership was that as a leader I matched my style to the competence and commitment of the subordinate. Situational leadership is a contingency theory that focuses on followers. Successful leadership is achieved by selecting the right leadership style on the level of follower readiness. It once happened when one of my subordinate resigned and was planning to move to another advertising agency. When I asked him the reason he said it was because of a better offer. I told him to take paid leaves for ten days which I approved and asked him to compare the working culture. On the same weekend he called me and said he wanted to rejoin. He had excellent analytical and logical skills because of which I had a special bond with him. I trusted him and gave him some special privileges. This was an example of LMX theory as we both invested in the relationship. I invested my time with those followers which I expect to perform and the followers who performed were fulfilling my prophecy. To determine what is needed in particular situation I evaluated my employees through their work and sometimes in social gatherings. I changed the degree from directive to supportive to meet the changing need of the subordinate to retain him.

When we came to know from a survey that some of the clients were facing equity tensions my advertising agency launched a program under my supervision where we enabled clients to win rewards every time they release an advertisement with us. To be a part of this process, every release order which has a value ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000 gets the client a coupon. From then on, every multiple of Rs 5,000 gets the client an additional coupon. These coupons make the client eligible for a daily, weekly and a bumper draw. Just walk in and take the booty was the tag line of the campaign. Clients make comparison of their inputs (for example money and time) and outcomes (for example customer response and brand awareness) relative to those of their competitors. According to equity theory if they perceive the ratio to be equal to that of the competitors with whom they were comparing themselves, a state of equity is said to exist, I perceived my situation as fair and that justice prevails.

Leadership Strategy and Reactions of people

The skills related to team building were crucial aspects of my leadership style. The ability to assess the situation within the organizational setting meant that I was able to assess my own styles of leadership and interactions. Interacting with the behaviour styles of others in the organization was part of my leadership strategy, in addition, it involves my dealing with conflict and how I addressed problem solving, and recognized the need to maximize the roles of other players in the organization. Conflict is inherent in any organization and how I addressed it helps to define the value of the involvement of my team. Depersonalizing conflict and dealing with the issue is the key element of successful conflict resolution .My competing style was a power-oriented style. Collaborating and compromising styles were more facilitative. The ability to assess my own style of dealing with conflict as well as the styles of others in the organization helped me to reduce the potential for confrontation that prevents issue resolution. I knew when to adapt to the situation by using different styles as well as how to adapt to the styles of others. The accommodating style was used when the issue was not of importance to me. Pressure from external forces had contributed to less authoritative patterns of my leadership that give more freedom to others involved in decision making.

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Criticism and Improvement required as an Ethical Leader

Our advertising agency created a scenario that heightens the consumer s emotional state. No matter what strategy we use, we were always building a fantasy one in which the consumer s life is better because of the product. I handled a campaign of car in my town where a guy gets out of the car with save the earth t-shirt. The motive of the advertisement was to tell the people that new model of that car was more fuel efficient. I myself knew that how can buying a new car save the earth. When a consumer buys that car, the value of the product is not just its beauty and functionality, but the love that has been lavished on it. The image that we had created is not only true, but also enhanced the pleasure of using the product. I don t know whether it is possible to be an ethical leader in the true sense of 'ethical', and not merely in the minimalist, legal sense of respecting the rules that govern play in the business arena, such as honesty and fairness. If I am a leader, it is my duty and responsibility to do things in an upright and honest manner. Make no mistake, ethics is not about being perfect or never making an error in judgment. But it is about doing the right thing for the right reason. We used to get paid from the clients for our services. My score in self analysis test as an ethical leader is 32 (appendix 2). I assumed that as long as certain behaviour is legal, that ethics is not a major concern. I thought that concerns about ethics could diminish performance and decrease competitive advantage. Improving on this style will help me establish a shared value that influence the ethical conduct of employees and improves relationships with customers, suppliers, investors, and society at large. I need to be better motivators and know how to use the resources that are available to me efficiently. I loved my job and approached it with tenacity, passion and commitment. Sometimes I had pressure from stakeholders including customers, employees, and investors which hinder in my ethical conduct.

Effectiveness of approach

I got subordinates to perform above and beyond expectations by articulating a vision, providing an appropriate role model, fostering the acceptance of group goals, providing individualized support and intellectual stimulation, and expressing high performance expectations. My transformational leadership style was significantly related to organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB). Some of my peers were intrinsically motivated to fulfil a collective vision without expecting immediate personal and tangible gains. I made some contributions because my senses of self-worth and/or self-concepts were enhanced in making these contributions. I established a social exchange relationship with my employees and that the nature of this exchanges relationship influenced the manner in which I treated each individual employee. High-quality exchange relationship involves mutual trust, support, and loyalty between me and my employees, enhanced levels of interpersonal attraction and bidirectional influence. It is believed that employees, who perceive the quality of LMX as high, were encouraged to perform citizenship behaviours for the work unit and organizations. My employees performed extra-roles by providing citizenship behaviour to me, and in exchange I provided more mutual support and greater opportunities to the employees. This is because when I trusted a particular subordinate and provides certain advantages to him in terms of greater authority, more support and so forth, consequently the subordinate developed a feeling that he wishes to pay the favour back to me. I developed the same kind of feeling for my senior manager. This can be done by performing behaviours that are beyond the formal employment contracts.

Conclusion

Hopefully through the rest of my career and, I will continue to learn more and more about leadership. I definitely plan on researching certain styles that I find fascinating, especially Transformational and Situational. The Module assignment for this class was really entertaining, and I feel that I learned a lot about leadership and how to modify them for my own use in the modern world. I will do my best to maintain a transformational and situational behaviours relationship with my subordinates. I might accomplish this by trading emotion, loyalty and contribution with my subordinates, which eventually will improve the leader-member exchange relationships. Therefore, under such good interaction, a benign cycle might be formed, which will not only enhance commitment of the employees to the organization and reduce turnover intention, but also promote the OCB of employees to improve organizational effectiveness. It s about not sitting around complaining about how things are different, but stepping up and realizing that it won t go away and that it needs to be dealt with. These are concepts that a leader must understand and master before he can hope to empower others. Through this module, I can now implement those ideas in my daily life, and I think with the combination of those pearls of wisdom, I can lead a team and conquer any challenge we run across.

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