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Importance of Leadership and It's Impact on Organizations

University: REGENT COLLEGE LONDON

  • Unit No: 5
  • Level: Undergraduate/College
  • Pages: 13 / Words 3324
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code:
  • Downloads: 149
Question :

This assessment will cover following questions:

  • Microsoft is an American multinational technology corporation producing computer devices to its users. Examine the various approaches and methods of leadership used by the Microsoft company.
  • Analyse the leadership of Bill Gates in leading Microsoft Corporation and how it affects the performance of organisation.
Answer :
Organization Selected : Microsoft

INTRODUCTION

Leadership can be defined as the process of directing, influencing, guiding and influencing the behaviour of other employees within an organisation in order to achieve goals and objectives (Alvesson, Blom and Sveningsson, 2017). Leadership can also be referred to as the capability of a manager in the organisation to encourage his team members to work more effectively and with confidence. Leadership is considered as an important aspect of management which not only helps in maximising the efficiency of the team members but also achieve the goals of the organisation. A good leader has a long term vision for the future and is aware of how can ideas be converted into concrete action plans in order to achieve the goals in a specific period of time. The essay analyses and evaluates the leadership of Bill Gates in leading Microsoft Corporation and also critically reflects my own experience of leadership and areas where I need to focus in order to develop myself.

MAIN BODY

1. Reflection and Action Plan

A leader can be defined as a person who influences an individual or a group of people in an organisation in order to achieve its goals and objectives successfully (Bag and Anand, 2016). Leaders have a team of subordinates who work under them and have authority to control, motivate and supervise them. Leadership is directly linked to performance as the leaders are considered among the ones who contribute to the profitability of the company. To become an effective and successful leader, a person should be able to manage himself/herself by being able to prioritise his goals and achieve them successfully. Effective leaders are able to regulate their time and attention besides being aware of their strengths and weaknesses and also utilising the resources that are available to their full capacity at the same time. Having an approach of open-mindedness and forward thinking is considered essential for today's leaders.

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I was recently assigned to work for a project as a part of a team that I participated in voluntarily. The project was concerned with getting certain tasks completed that were systematically divided among all the members of our team by the team leader. Democratic style of leadership was followed in the team wherein the leader makes decisions after considering the view point and inputs of each member of the team. Democratic form of leadership is the most common and effective style of leadership as it allows employees at all the levels to provide their inputs and feedbacks thereby getting a sense of belongingness towards the organisation. Similarly, the leader of our team also gave chances to all the team members to put forward their views during the process of decision making after a discussion. Our team leader was honest and had his complete focus on achieving the goals and objectives of the organisation. He had strong communication and leadership skills which were demonstrated through his work. But there were times when the leader did not consult us and neither consider our inputs and point of views regarding something specific and made decisions on his own. This happened when the leader extended the total working hours without consulting us as he was entirely focussed on results and efficiency. This type of leadership is only effective at rare times (Bunting, 2016). The leader also implemented the Laissez- faire style of leadership with the members who were experienced and well-trained for the job and thus required less supervision. But, some of the members got confused about the expectations of leaders from them and thus there was a drop in the productivity of the employees as they needed motivation and guidance. The leader of our team primarily focussed on working to the highest possible standards and also pushed the team members' boundaries of what could have been achieved in order to show them that he was working with us not only towards the goals of the organisation but also our individual goals. The leader should be aware that one leadership approach will not work for all the members of the team and should thus opt for different styles based the behaviour as well as the performance of each member of the team (Godfrey, 2016).

Working as a part of a team, I learnt various things about leadership and its importance. In order to become a successful leader in the future, I need to prioritise my tasks in order to complete and present them on time. I should identify the strengths and weaknesses of each member of the team and and distribute the tasks accordingly so that there are hurdles in getting the tasks done and the members enjoy doing the work. While working as part of a team, I got an understanding of my strengths and areas in which I need to work on in order to become a successful leader. I realised that I have good time management and communication skills which are effective not only when I work individually but also in a team. Also, that the leader must be confident of what he does because the team members look up to him for direction and assurance.

As my weaknesses, I realised that I lack patience in situations of high pressure and lose sight of my goals while doing so. I should also develop the the quality of facilitating an environment of continuous learning as this will help the employees remain committed to their work. I learnt that there are a lot of traits and skills that leaders possess in order to become strong leader like effective communication, motivation, positivity, trustworthiness, creativity etc. The leaders should clearly explain the goals as well as tasks to the employees or the members of their teams and make themselves available to to the members to discuss various issues. I enjoyed my experience of working in a team and got to know that I get along well with people from various backgrounds. At different points of time, I provided my inputs on how an effective communication strategy can be developed among the team members. My views were considered by the team member and it helped us complete the tasks more easily and effectively which in turn led to earlier completion of the tasks. Team work has also helped me in developing unique skill set that I learnt from the different members of the team. Having a team approach helped build problem solving skills and become motivated in order to achieve goals and objectives that are specified by the leader. Also, I need to develop skills of creative thinking and following my intuition since I might come across challenges and situations that are unfamiliar. Thus, during such situations one must think creatively and proactively in order to overcome them and become a successful leader. I should also develop the ability to trust my judgement and the decisions that I take since I lack the same. I also found that I lack time management and problem solving skills while working on the project.

Action Plan for Future Development

S.

No.

Learning target

Present Proficiency

Target Proficiency

Activity that needs to be considered

Development Opportunities

Time Scale

1

Creative Thinking

8

10

Various creative courses that are available online will help me develop the skill of creative thinking.

The skill will be helpful in the future when I get an opportunity to adopt myself to any new changes in the organisation.

30 days

2

Trusting the judgement

7

10

Byseeking advice from colleagues and mentors in the company.

This will help me in improving my confidence and motivation in my future endeavours.

50 days

3

Time Management

8

10

Doing quizzes and puzzles online or taking training from a professional

Enhancing this skill will assist me in getting my tasks done and presenting them on time.

45 days

4

Problem solving skills

7

10

Observe leaders, managers and other seniors in the company to enhance respective skill.

This will help me in solving the issues of my team members I order to make effective decisions when I become a team leader in future.

60 days

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2. Analysis and evaluation of the leadership of Bill Gates in leading Microsoft Corporation

Leadership can be defined as the process through which a leader or a manager guides, directs, influence and supervises the behaviour of his/her team members or subordinates in order to encourage them to achieve the goals and objectives of the organisation (Cartwright, 2017). A good leader is focussed and possesses various qualities that help the employees of the company in guiding so as to make sound and effective decisions. Bill Gates is among the most influential and highly regarded business leaders in the world. His vision and continuous efforts are what that have contributed in him becoming one of the most effective and successful leaders of all times. Gates is known for his honesty, excellent communication skills, capability to make decisions, innovation and creativity, resilience etc.

Leadership theories explain the concept of why some people become leaders and primarily focus on the behaviours and traits that individuals can adopt in order to either develop and enhance their leadership skills (Spurgeon, Clark and Ham, 2017). The various theories of leadership are Behavioural theories, explain that leaders are not born, they are made. According to this theory, people can learn various skills like observations and teaching to become leaders or develop certain qualities of a leader. Bill Gates was not born as a leader, his love for computers and constant efforts led him to become a leader (Khalili, 2016). Gates began programming mainframe computers at the age of 13 years and developed his own version of the most basic programming language while he was at the Harvard University. Microsoft was started as a partnership firm by Bill Gates and his childhood friend Paul Allen that went on to become an incorporated company in the year 1981. Gates had a vision to make computers accessible and affordable to most people. All his efforts led him to become one of the greatest leaders.

Situational Theory is another type of theory that refers to the leaders who acquire various styles of leadership according to various situations and the level of development of their team members. The theory suggests that no individual style of leadership is best and it all depends on the situation at that point of time and which leadership style or strategy will best suit to the task. Bill Gates is known to adopt situational leadership approach in his style of leadership. He reacts to various situations in various forms depending on the situations that come up.

Further, the contingency theory states that the effectiveness of a leader is dependent upon how his style of leadership matches the situation at that time (Laureani and Antony, 2017). Therefore, the leader must find out the right kind of leadership style depending on the situation that he/ she is currently in. Gates has proved to be an ultimate and successful leader because he has been able to adjust his style of leadership according to various situations.

Transformational Leadership theory a theory of leadership where in the leader works along with teams in order to identify various areas that need change, create a vision specific to guiding the change through influencing and implementing the change with a team of committed employees. Bill Gates is a leader with a futuristic vision who has introduced a lot of changes in his company, Microsoft. Through this approach, he has been able to transform the industry of computing.

In transactional style of leadership where the leaders promote assent of the followers through both punishments as well as rewards. And through this system, the leaders are able to keep the employees motivated for a short duration of time. Bill Gates at some point portrayed an approach of task orientation where he was seen to be more focussed on getting a task at hand completed in order to achieve goals and objectives of the firm. During this, Gates ensured that the employees of the company abided by the rules by making use of various rewards and punishments (Long, 2016).

In addition to above theories, Distributed leadership style is an analytical approach that is concerned with understanding how leadership take place among different people in a large and complex organisation. This type of leadership requires transparency, high level of trust within the organisation and mutual respect among the employees. Gates has always believed in the value of encouraging the employees of the company to put forward their inputs and suggestions in order to facilitate a better decision making process in the company. Through the distribution of tasks among the employees, Bill Gates was able to develop Microsoft in a company that utilises the skills of its employees in a vary effective manner.

Ethical Leadership style is usually directed by the respect for ethical beliefs for the decorum of others and is therefore related to various concepts like honesty, charisma, trust, fairness etc. An example of ethical leadership in Microsoft was when Gates opened up his primary values like tenacity, passion and intensity after which he put forward a vision the the diminishing inequality all over the world could be improved. By promoting the concept of ethical leadership, a company can encourage a high level of wholeness that in turn stimulates a sense of trust by encouraging the subordinates of the same to accept and follow the vision side by side (Meir, 2017). Today, the concept of ethical leadership is considered to be an answer for creating a balance between the profitability of the organisation and the well being of the employees.

Ethics in an organisation refer to the values and morals that it desires and considers to be appropriate for an individual or the society as a whole. Ethics form an essential part of leadership and a leader who is truly ethical, knows the right thing and is not afraid to do so. The leader is responsible for building an environment that is ethical as he/she play an influential role within the organisation. There are various ethics of leadership such as respecting others which is one of the most important characteristics of ethical leadership. A leader who is ethical shows respects to all the team members by listening to their inputs attentively, valuing the contributions that are made by them and being humble when opposing view points are put forward by them.

Also, anyone who is humble and generous will be honest as the members of team trust leaders who are loyal, hones and reliable because such leaders will maintain transparency within the teams. There is a thinking among people that if they are qualified enough and possess certain skills, they are eligible to be leaders. Bill Gates, on the other hand, is focussed on software, which he has mastery in. He has been stuck with it all his career and has worked immensely hard in dominating it. He always had a vision of achieving something big and this is what that encouraged him to dream big and go out to pursue the same (Mittal, 2016).

In ethical leadership, all the decisions that are made are first checked regarding their accordance with the overall values of the organisation. Microsoft would not have been successful in the way it is today if the people who work along with Bill Gates did so. Gates convinced, encouraged and motivated his workforce to help them realise the vision that he had set for Microsoft. He also empowered them, encouraged their creativity by creating various opportunities for them to explore the new ways of getting things done. Ethical leaders like Bill Gates, consider learning to be a life-long process and thus continue learning and developing something new and innovative that can be put to a better use. It is considered to be ethical to recognise the efforts and work put in by the employees through various rewards and benefits. Employees in Microsoft are recognised and praised for taking the initiative rather than waiting for someone else to do so (Prosser, 2016). A leader who follows ethics always discusses the expectations and values that he places on himself, other employees and the organisation at large regularly. By doing so, he/she is able to ensure that there is a consistent understanding of everything across the company. Also, there is no tolerance for any misconduct and violations of ethics within the organisation and there is no biased treatment of age, gender, ethnicity among the team members by the leader.

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Although Bill Gates adopts various styles of leadership depending on the situations, but Microsoft is mostly dominated by transformational leadership style. Being a transformational leader, Bill Gates encourages creativity in not only himself but the team as well. He also supports the employees of his company even at the individual level besides at the team level. Traits like focus, creativity, caring, education and passion form a fundamental part of how Gates follows the concept of leadership. Microsoft is a company that is known for putting in a lot of love and dedication into everything that it does. Rather than staying in a zone of comfort, Microsoft encourages its employees to embrace creativity as perspectives of individuals create new opportunities in order to explore new ideas. The company not only has a great vision but also works towards adopts various strategies in order to achieve the vision and the goals.

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CONCLUSION

From the above sample, it can be concluded that a leader plays an important part in the overall development of his team members in order to achieve the goals and objectives of the company. Also, every organisation must follow a set of ethics which help in encouraging a healthy atmosphere within the company. Various organisations have their own style of leadership although the leaders adopt different style depending on the situation that comes up. There are various theories that are concerned with the concept of leadership and each theory has its own assumptions in context to leadership. Also, in order to become a successful leader one should prioritise his/her tasks and identify the strengths and weaknesses of each member of the teamin order to complete the tasks well within time.

You can also check out:-

Leadership and Change Management

REFERENCES

Books & Journal

Alvesson, M., Blom, M. and Sveningsson, S., 2017. Reflexive leadership: Organising in an imperfect world. SAGE Publications Inc..

Bag, S. and Anand, N., 2016. The importance of innovation leadership in cultivating sustainable supply chain management and enhancing organisation performance. International Journal of Process Management and Benchmarking. 6(4). pp.469-490.

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