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This individual authentic journey report has been structured in such a way to address the effectiveness of myself as becoming an authentic leader and the appropriate leadership style to be adopted. The initial section of this report asses an individual authentic journey and the importance of personal brand which reflects a character of an authentic leader. The next section of this report has not only examined the critical outcomes of personal development plan but also has included a personal SWOT analysis of myself.
Finally the latter part of this report has analyzed the Sri Lankan corporate culture along with its business etiquettes and protocols and has reflected how I should choose and nurture the appropriate leadership style based on the various leadership styles assessed on its individual pros and cons, in order to become an authentic leader and a hotelier in a Sri Lankan organization.
2.0 Individual Authentic Journey - A Closer Look
Everyone has a Personal Brand but most people are not aware of this and do not manage this strategically, consistently, and effectively. An individual's Personal Brand should be authentic. Authentic Personal Branding is a journey towards a happier and more successful life. A Personal Brand should therefore emerge from search for identity and meaning in life, and it is about getting very clear on what I want, fixing it in my mind, giving it all my positive energy, doing what I love and develop myself continuously.
My Personal Brand should always reflect my true character, and should be built on my values, strengths, uniqueness, and genius. If I brand myself in this authentic and holistic way my Personal Brand will be strong, clear, complete, and valuable to others. Therefore it is very much evident that, I should take control of my personal brand and the message it sends and affect how others perceive me. This will help me to actively grow and distinguish as an exceptional professional.
3.0 Personal SWOT Analysis - The Key to Success
As we all know, a personal SWOT analysis is a powerful tool that can be used when seeking a personal change in our life in order to make the Most of our talents and opportunities. What makes SWOT especially powerful is that, with a little thought, it can help us to uncover opportunities that we would not otherwise have spotted. The following diagram illustrates my personal Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats:
4.0 Personal Development Plan - A Recap
As I mentioned in the previous report, Personal Development Plan (PDP) means a systematic process that helps us to reflect on our knowledge, performance and outcomes. It is designed to support us in planning out self, educational and career development.
Working on personal development plan will give me the opportunity to consider myself onâ€¦
evaluate, plan and take more responsibility for my own development;
articulate my personal goals and evaluate progress towards achieving these goals in order to become more effective, independent with confident and self-training;
improve my effectiveness as a planner in my career and employment;
continuing the process of continuing professional education in my chosen career field (e.g. Hotel and hospitality management in this case); and
finally to start my planning for the future and improve my employment prospects.
The Personal Development Plan, which I did compile previously, clearly has given me the following 6 critical outcomes:
Thinking about where I am and what interests me, what are my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; the improvements I want to achieve by building on my strengths, avoiding the weaknesses, exploring the opportunities and reducing the threats.
Planning where to go, what skills and knowledge to be acquired to get there and how to acquire those skills and knowledge through learning opportunities open to me.
Taking actions, setting personal targets, working towards them and recording the progress I have made.
Reflected in my learning and achievements and new areas of personal, academic and professional development.
Evaluated my progress and achievement of personal development and learning targets.
Developed a range of interpersonal and transferable business skills.
5.0 The Sri Lankan Corporate Culture
The corporate culture of an organization relates to its morals, attitudes and behaviors. In general, is concerned about the beliefs and values on the basis that people interpret experiences and behave, individually or in groups. Organizations with strong cultures achieve better results because employees sustain focus both on what to do and how. But even the corporate culture of an organization, intangible and invisible as it is, has a huge impact on the success of the organization.
In Sri Lanka, some corporate cultures may be creative oriented, socially oriented or task oriented whilst some may have a strict business environment. In some companies teamwork is the key whilst in others, individual accomplishment is encouraged and valued. The culture of an organization also determines how employees are rewarded. The accessibility of management and how decisions are made are a reflection of the culture of an organization as well.
5.1 Business Etiquettes and protocols in Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan business etiquette can be rather formal. Always we need remember that as a guest you will be given some flexibility in terms of appreciating all the cultural shades, but it is still best to try and adhere to some of the local customs. Some of the common business etiquettes and protocols found in the Sri Lankan corporate culture are listed below under various business aspects.
Sri Lanka business etiquette can be very formal. Still, we must remember that as a guest, you will be having flexibility to enjoy all the cultural nuances, but it is always best to try to observe some of the local traditions. Some of the labels and business protocols are common in Sri Lanka corporate culture is listed below in various business aspects.
5.1.1 Meeting and greeting
Meeting and greeting handshake is the most common form of greeting. A handshake is firm. Greetings are given at the meeting and out. Men can shake hands with men and women may shake hands with other women. Many women in Sri Lanka do not want to shake hands with men. As with most cultures, Sri Lankans use hierarchical titles. If someone does not have a professional title, use the honorific titles. Appropriate titles are used with the person's first name or surname.
Maintaining face is important for all communications. Do not put people in uncomfortable positions or under pressure. Never openly criticize people. Sri Lankans are very non-confrontational in their communication style and it is important to try to read between the lines. They can say one thing but means another, and it is the listener understands the message. Keep an eye on long breaks, avoiding eye contact or deliberate avoidance tactics.
5.1.3 Business Meetings
Because relationships are so important for companies, it is always advisable to invest time in building relationships first talks at meetings. Sri Lankans want to feel comfortable with you and have at least a little background about you before they feel comfortable to talk business with you. Before the meeting, may be useful to send information about your company, the participants and the agenda of the meeting.
Meetings may be interrupted by other companies, but this should not be construed as rude in any way. First meetings will normally take place by mid-level personnel who collect data to submit to decision makers. Come for the decision maker through them is based on establishing a sound wavelength and with a solid proposal. Remember that the person of higher level in a normal firm decisions to be patient and do your best to meet the person face to face.
5.2 Adapting to the Sri Lankan Corporate Culture
Based on the information given above, it is obvious that the labels and business protocols play a crucial role in Sri Lankan culture. In a country rich in its diversity and complexity as Sri Lanka, it is difficult to impart generic conclusions that can be used by those who do business here. In Sri Lankan corporate culture, behavior, etiquette and approach are changed depending on who you talk and the context in which they are processed.
According to Geert Hofstede, an influential Dutch organizational sociologist, who studied the interactions between national cultures and organizational cultures, has concluded that in an organization power distance index measures the extent to which less powerful members of organizations and institutions accept and expect that power is distributed unevenly. It is suggested that the level of society of inequality is endorsed by supporters and by the leaders.
However, the Sri Lankan society operates within a strict hierarchy that defines people roles, status and social order. Therefore, it is very clear that all the cultural influences that most impact Sri Lanka business culture, hierarchy plays a central role that decisions are always taken at the highest level.
Therefore I must make sure once I complete my studies and graduation, when I am moving towards the corporate culture and to be an authentic leader and a hotelier in a Sri Lankan organization, I need to follow all the above mentioned business etiquettes and protocols, but in order to do so I will have to nurture the appropriate leadership style within myself right from the beginning.
6.0 Exploring Leadership Styles
Leadership style refers to the manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people. In the past several decades, management experts have undergone a revolution in how they define leadership from a very classical autocratic approach to a very creative transformational approach.
6.1 Popular Leadership Styles
Fortunately, business people have developed simple and useful means to describe the main styles of leadership, which can help aspiring leaders to understand what they should use the styles based on the pros and cons of those leadership styles. Let's have a look at some of the popular leadership styles in brief:
6.1.1 Autocratic Style
Autocratic leadership can be regarded as extreme transactional leadership, where leaders have absolute power over workers, where staff and team members have little opportunity to make suggestions. Autocratic leadership usually leads to high turnover.
6.1.2 Bureaucratic Style
Bureaucratic leaders follow the rules carefully and ensure that their staff follows procedures exactly. It is a very appropriate style for work involving serious safety risks such as working with machinery, chemicals, toxic or dangerous heights, or where large sums are involved, such as cash management at the ATM.
6.1.3 Charismatic Style
A charismatic leadership style can look like transformational leadership, because these leaders to inspire much enthusiasm in their team and are very energetic in driving others forward. In the eyes of supporters, the success is directly related to the presence of the charismatic leader.
6.1.4 Democratic/Participative Style
While democratic leaders make final decisions, they invite other team members to contribute to decision-making process. This is not only an increase in job satisfaction involving team members, but also helps to develop people skills.
6.1.5 Laissez-faire Style
This French term is used to describe leaders who leave their team members to work on their own. It can be effective only if the leader monitors what is done and send it to team regularly.
6.1.6 People/Relationship Oriented Style
It is the opposite of task-oriented leadership. People-oriented leaders are the leaders who totally focus on organizing, supporting and developing people in their teams. It is an active style, and it tends to promote teamwork and a good creative collaboration.
6.1.7 Servant Style
This refers to a leader who is often not recognized as such. When someone at all levels of an organization, leads simply by responding to the needs of the team, he or she is described as a servant leader.
6.1.8 Task Oriented Style
This refers to leaders who are extremely task-oriented and focusing exclusively on job performance, and can be very autocratic. Actively involved in defining the tasks and functions required, put structures in place, plan, organize and control.
6.1.9 Transactional Style
This style of leadership starts with the idea that team members agree to obey their leader totally when they accept employment offer. The transaction is generally the bureau that pays the team members in exchange for their effort and compliance.
6.1.10 Transformational Style
People with this style of leadership are the true leaders who inspire their teams constantly with a shared vision of the future. In summary, we can say that transformational leaders are exceptionally motivated, and be reliable. When your team trusts you, and it is really driven by how they lead, you can achieve great things.
6.2 Adapting the Charismatic Leadership Style
Typically, after carefully considering all the 10 types of popular leadership, I feel more confident and I chose to cultivate the style of charismatic leadership within myself to become an authentic leader and a renowned hotelier in Sri Lankan organization in the near future. The reason for this is my chosen field, Hotel Industry. In the corporate culture of Sri Lanka following can be seen in common among people:
Poor time management due to the fluidity against time;
The rigidity of taking criticism;
Interest towards working in teams;
Friendly and very quiet;
They are good followers;
Have a lot of traditions and norms;
Power distance between superiors and subordinates; and
Fond to be appreciated for good workâ€¦etc
Thus charismatic leaders are often regarded as heroes who are able to use their magical personality to lead others; I personally believe that charismatic leadership is the kind that would fit me in order to deal with the above mentioned common things. It should be noted that charismatic leaders have the ability to feel the difference between what an organization offers to its followers and the faithful need of an organization.
Therefore, it is very clear that it allows the charismatic leaders to create a vision of a future state that everyone thinks it is better than the current environment. Since the followers can see in this vision of the future, they tend to support the objectives of the organization and easier management, instead of resorting to coercion, the charismatic leader to gain trust among followers.
6.3 How to become Charismatic Leader
The term charismatic leader is often used today. Charismatic leadership is essentially to be the person you really are, rather than the person you believe you should be. It is also about understanding and leadership in line with its core values.
Also a charismatic leader must look adorable and tough, tenacious and diligent spiritual atonement and peace with the universe. Be timeless and everlasting gaze. I should clearly remember that no one can expect to respect me more than I respect myself, and in our lives and appearance is often the yard stick self-respect.
Meanwhile in order to become a charismatic leader, I should nurture the 9 critical characteristics within myself, they are respectively: awareness and development of personal strengths, creative thinking ability, inspiring, excellent communication skills; very good team player, asks for 100% and give 100%, integrity, courage, empathy and respect for others.
Therefore it is very much evident that, in order to become an effective charismatic leader in the Sri Lankan Hotel & industry, I must be my biggest fan and the biggest critique of myself: where I can make sure, I spend the total amount of time to predict my plans biggest flaws, so that I can be prepared to handle the arguments of opponents within my organization to be succeeded.
7.0 Conclusion and Recommendations
As a conclusion I would like wrap-up this report which is purposefully done to critically examine effectiveness of myself as an authentic leader based on the previously developed a personal development plan and by assessing the appropriate type of leadership style which I am going to pursue after the graduation towards starting my career as a hotelier in a Sri Lankan organization.
According to the complete in-depth analysis it is very much apparent that, this individual authentic journey report has concluded the following key facts; Firstly the importance of the personal brand that reflects the character of an authentic leader, secondly the importance of personal SWOT analysis, third the 6 critical outcomes of personal development plan, fourth the importance of corporate culture of Sri Lanka with its business etiquettes and protocols, where the hierarchy (power distance) plays a crucial role and decisions are always taken at the highest level, then the importance and adaptation of the charismatic leadership style, followed by the essentials of becoming a charismatic leader, and finally the seventh it is about the 9 critical characteristics to be nurtured by a charismatic leader.
I do strongly recommend myself to absolutely adhere towards the above mentioned key facts in order to succeed in the future after my graduations as a successful charismatic leader and a hotelier in a reputed Sri Lankan organization.
Last but not the least I wish to convey my heartfelt gratitude towards my lecturer Mr. Frank Gunasekara, my parents, my colleagues and all other well wishers who immensely supported me throughout my studies in order to successfully complete this report.