A Good Leader Influence a Group of Individuals
Assignment of “a good leader influence a group of individuals to achieve a common goal and perform well, without having to watch over them” Introduction Leadership is always considering as an important managerial topic because a good leader does not only able to guide behaviors from followers, but also leads individuals within an organization to achieve their common objectives (Morrill, 2010).
The commonly accepted definition of leadership is contributed by David and Vince (2008, p2), who defined leadership as a person has “abilities of leading a group of people, and also has abilities of supporting group of people to achieve common objectives”. More specifically, Bass (1990) defines leadership as the ability to adapt the setting so everyone feels empowered to contribute creatively to solving the problems. The primary aim of this assignment is to critically discuss the topic of “a good leader influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal and perform well, without having to watch over them. In order to answer this question well, the author selects Steve Jobs as the leader, and then with reference to Apple Inc to discuss why a good leader as Jobs influences group of individuals without watching them. As an essay based assignment, the author organizes this paper in three main parts, including introduction, main body and conclusion. In introduction section, the definition and importance of leadership are briefly discussed along with primary aim of this assignment.
A Good Leader Influence a Group of Individuals Essay Example
In the second part, the author discusses principles of a good leader; stages of leadership research, employee motivation and organizational culture in detail to discuss why Jobs influenced group of individuals in Apple Inc without watch them. Finally, in conclusion section, the author summarizes findings of this paper and explains how the primary aim of this assignment has been fulfilled. Main Body After reviewing wide range of leadership literatures, the author found that the debate on principles of a good leader is never stopping.
In many researches, such as Alexander and Buckingham (2011); and Weidemeyer (2004) commonly argue that a good leader does not only need strong leadership skills and competences, but also needs to behavior morally and ethically. However, this argument has intensively been argued by many contemporary leadership researchers. For example, Ciulla (2004) argues that great leader is morality magnified. In addition, Jennings (2006) also argues that great men are always and almost bad men.
In order to provide evidences to support these arguments, Jennings (2006) points out the seven signals of ethical collapse to describe misbehaviors from leaders. In recent dark side leadership researches, a mutual argument can be summarized as “it is not necessary for a good leader to be a good person”. For example, Conger (1990) argues that different leaders have different dark personalities in their leadership style. Even many very great leaders cannot avoid these dark personalities because they are unconscious.
Furthermore, Liu et al (2012) argue in contemporary environment, in order to achieve organizational objectives and motivate individuals, leaders need to behavior unethically and unmorally to ensure the benefits of their organizations. In order to support this argument, Liu et al (2012) use Sir Alex Ferguson and Hafner of Playboy as examples to explain in some extent why misbehaviors from leaders are acceptable. In summary, there is no doubt that leaders should behave morally and ethically to provide positive guidance for society and followers.
But ethics and morality are not basic principles to measure a good leader. Instead, the strategies used by leaders to motivate individuals and to achieve organizational objectives are principles of a good leader (Shear et al, 2012). On the other hand, there are five stages of leadership approaches have commonly been discussed in leadership literatures, including trait approach, behavioral approach, situational/contingency approach, creative approach, and post-charismatic& post-transformational approach of leadership (Parry and Bryman, 2006). Information of each stage is summarized in below table one.
Table one: stages of leadership theory and research (Parry and Bryman, 2006)| Trait Approach:Dominant until late 1940s assumes leaders born, not made| Style (Behavioral) ApproachHeld sway until late 1960s- effects of leadership on those led| Contingency/Situational ApproachPopular to 1980s-situational factors are focus for understanding leadership| Creative Leadership ApproachSince 1980s, leader defines organizational reality through articulation of a vision| Post-Charismatic or Post Transformational Emerged late 1990s, distributed leadership, cooperative community, ship and spirituality|
As table one illustrated, the research of leadership can be summarized in five leadership stages. In this paper, the author briefly introduces first three stages of leadership approaches, and then discusses creative leadership approach in detail because creative leadership is used as basis of this paper and will be applied with reference to Jobs and Apple Inc in later sections. Trait approach of leadership is considered as the first stage of leadership research and dominates in 1940s (Northouse, 2003). In this leadership approach, people believe characters of leaders are born from nature.
So that they use physical traits, personal attributes, intelligence, values and self-confidence these factors to distinguish leaders and non-leaders (Bass, 1990). Style (behavioral) leadership approach is recognized as the second stage of leadership research, and it is emphasized on what a leader does rather than identifying who would be an effective leader (Bass, 1990). As table one demonstrated, the behavioral leadership approach was appeared in later 1960s. The most important progress from trait approach to behavioral approach is that behavioral approach attempts to answer the question of what leadership style is most effective.
In order to answer this question, researchers such as Kurt Lewin assumes behaviors from leaders can be observed more objectively than traits and behaviors can be measured and taught (Lussier and Achua, 2010). Thirdly, situational and contingency leadership approach argues that leaders are not born from nature (Lussier and Achua, 2010). Situational and contingency approach points out that main reasons for people to be leaders are because they suitable with the working situations (Oostrom et al, 2012). As a result, a person probably be a leader in one situation, but not be a leader in another.
In situational and behavioral approach, Oostrom et al (2012) point out that personality, style and behavior of effective leader are dependent on the requirements of the situation. Thus, there is no one best way to lead. Traits and behaviors from leaders can all be effective in different situations. Similarly, the best leading style or behavior are determined by situational or contextual factors (Bass, 1990). There are many real life examples can be seen as evidences to prove the accuracy of situational and contingency leadership approach.
For example, Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho are all great football coaches, but they are not leaders in their player career. In addition, Lionel Messi performed as a god in the team of Barcelona, but also provides rubbish performances in Argentine National Football Team. Thus, these real life examples can fully indicate that successes of leaders are dependent on situation and contingency. Creative leadership approach is emerged in 1980s, and has wide applications even in today’s business environment.
According to Bass (1990), there are three different approaches are contained by creative leadership approach, including transformational approach (Bass, 1985), Charismatic approach (Conger, 1989) and visionary leadership (Mintzberg, 1989). In addition, the biggest different between creative leadership and previous leadership researches is that in creative leadership approach, leaders focus on intellectually motivate employees, and then to earn performances from them beyond expectation (Chuang et al, 2011). However, previous leadership researches focus on an exchange between leaders and followers.
Leaders provide rewards (e. g. extrinsic and intrinsic) to employees, and in return they contributed their compliancy and labors to leaders (Liu et al, 2012). In this paper, the author focuses on discussing transformational approach and charismatic approach, and with references to Jobs and Apple Inc to see why a good leader influences group of people without watch them. According to Bass (1985), transformational leadership approach focuses on inspiring and motivating followers. It can be defined as leaders have abilities to inspire and motivate followers to achieve goals greater than originally expected.
In case of transformational approach, internal rewards are important to followers rather than external rewards (Bass, 1985). General speaking, it means that followers or individuals within an organization treated intrinsic rewards more important than extrinsic rewards. In motivational theories, many scholars contributed different ways to distinguish needs and expectations from individuals of an organization. For example, Maslow (1987) points out the famous hierarchy of needs to describe different expectations from individuals at the workplace.
The hierarchy of needs include physical needs (e. g. sex, food), security needs (e. g. working condition), love and belonging needs (e. g. family), esteem needs (e. g. respect), and needs of self-actualization. In addition, Maslow (1987) argues that needs from individuals are always changing. Once needs from lower layers of the hierarchy are satisfied, needs from individuals would be turned from higher level of the hierarchy. In addition, McGregor (1960) also contributes the theory x and theory y as basic theories to recognize nature of human being.
In McGregor’s the human side of enterprise, the scholar (1960) argues that the nature of human being can be classified in two different categories, including theory x and y. In theory x, McGregor (1960) argues that people are naturally lazy and dislike work. Money is the only factor to motivate them at work, so that they need to closely be directed and supervised. In the opposite theory y, McGregor (1960) argues that work is a natural experience of human life. Most of them are self-motivated and self-controlled, and focused on intrinsic rewards rather than extrinsic rewards.
There are four factors commonly described as transformational factors of transformational approach, including idealized influence, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation, and individualized consideration (Morrill, 2010). Idealized influence describes that leaders use admiration, respect, and trusts and put needs of others before personal interests to motivate employees. In addition, inspirational motivate means that leaders motivate and inspire others by providing meaning and challenge to them (Bass, 1990).
Thirdly, intellectual stimulation refers to leaders encourage innovation and creativity at workplace, and motivate individuals and followers by approaching old things in new ways. Lastly, individualized consideration means leaders attend to individuals needs for growth and achievement, and create new learning opportunities, accept individual difference and avoid close monitoring (Bass, 1990). In case of Apple Inc, Jobs is a leader who uses transformational factors to motivate individuals within the organization.
According to Mayo and Benson (2006), as a leader of Apple Inc, Jobs firstly trusts and respects individuals of the organization, especially to the group members. In addition, Mayo and Benson (2006) also express in Apple Inc, Jobs never closely direct and supervise individuals. In order to encourage their creativity and provides excellent working condition, Jobs even not set any HR department in Apple Inc. Thus, it does not only satisfy with the principles of idealized influence in transformational approach, but also satisfies with the principles of previous stated motivational theories.
Steve Jobs uses respects and trusts to others as basis to motivate and influence group of people in Apple, and without watch them. In addition, Jobs also focuses on providing meaning and challenges to group of people in Apple to motivate and influence them. According to Jobs “if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go to do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next”. It is a famous Quotation from Steve Jobs. In this Quotation, it is easy to carry out that Jobs is a person who likes perfect.
Steve Jobs does not dwell on the current successes. Instead, he focuses on providing meanings and challenges to himself and group of individuals in Apple, and motivates them to complete tasks beyond expectations. It is useful to achieve the common goal of Apple Inc which is described as “to provide best technological products to customers around the word” (Apple. com, 2013). Many individuals in Apple Inc are become as passionate to deal with highly challenging tasks that they have been done before.
It does not only mean Steve Jobs has transformational factors to influence a group of people, but also understands how to use goal setting theory in motivating employees to achieve challengeable, but possible goals. Thus, there is once again indicates that a good leader influences a group of individuals without watch them. On the other hand, Steve Jobs is also a charismatic leader in Apple Inc. According to Michaelis et al (2009), charismatic leadership is defined as a leadership based on leader’s abilities to communicate and behave in ways that reach followers on a basic, emotional way to inspire and motivate.
General speaking, charismatic leadership refers to a process of establishing self-images and charms by leaders rather than using authority and external power to motivate and influence people (Tuytens and Devos, 2012). In case of Apple Inc, there is no doubt that Steve Jobs is a charismatic leader. Firstly, even though Steve Jobs was passed away in 2011, Apple Inc still uses Jobs’ quotations, pictures, and other stories to motivate individuals of the organization (Apple. com, 2013). Innovation, focused on detail and perfection and creativity are recognized as both important characters of charm from Jobs.
Until today, these characters of charm are seen as important cultural characters in Apple Inc. According to Morrill (2010), organizational culture is defined as the values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization. It bases on an organization’s experiences, philosophy, values and expectations. It expresses the self-image of an organization, the ways of individuals work in the organization, and how the organization interacts with external word and its expectations (Morrill, 2010).
It is unique to any organization, and can be influenced by many factors. For example, the characters of leaders, working methods are all important factors to influence the cultural characters of an organization (Northouse, 2003). In case of Apple Inc, Steve Jobs is a charismatic leader and deeply injected his charms of focusing on innovation, adventure and creativity in culture of Apple Inc. According to Apple. com (2013), the culture of Apple Inc is described that innovation and adventure, focused on group work and details.
Thus, there is no doubt that as a charismatic leader, Steve Jobs puts charms in establishing the cultures of Apple Inc, and uses charismatic factors to influence group of individuals in Apple even he was passed away. Individuals in Apple Inc are working with a common goal, which is to achieve the commitment of delivering great technological products to customers around the world (Apple. com, 2013). As a result, there is also no doubt that a good leader as Steve Jobs influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal and without watch them.
Even he passed away; the charms and personal characters of Steve Jobs are still driving individuals to work with the common goal of Apple Inc. Conclusion The primary purpose of this paper is to answer the question of “a good leader influences group of people to achieve a common goal and perform well, without having to watch over them”, the author selects Jobs as the leader and Apple Inc as the case company. In order to achieve the primary purpose, this paper firstly discusses the principles of good leaders as background.
The findings of this section indicate that it is not necessary for a good leader to be a good person because there are conscious biases as well as unconscious favors of people. Therefore, it is impossible to avoid personalities from many leaders to against the ethical and moral issues. In the second part, the author introduces five stages of leadership researches as basis, and then discusses why Jobs is a transformational and charismatic leader in case of Apple Inc.
In order to answer the essay question in comprehensive way, the author also introduces employee motivation and organizational culture synthesizes with leadership theories in the second part. Findings of this section indicate that a good leader understands how to use leadership skills as well as motivational skills to influence group of individuals to work with a common goal, and perform well. In addition, it is also not necessary for leaders to watch them because in this context, leader always used intrinsic motivation or injected charismatic characters in an organization’s cultures to influence individuals of the organization.
With reference to Jobs and Apple Inc, there is no doubt that Jobs influenced individuals of the company to develop and create new products in achieving the common goal of delivering best technological products to customers. In addition, Jobs also establishes a culture of focusing on details and perfection of their products from his personal characters. It is also influenced group of people from Apple Inc to deliver the best products to customers and is one of the principal reasons to Apple Inc’s success of today.