Does strong leadership lead to business success? Essay Example

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Leadership seems to be an important aspect in the running of all businesses. This essay sets out to discuss that based on the ever changing nature of the business environment, for businesses to compete favorably and survive strong leadership is needed in the aim of ensuring the success of the business. The discussion will be offered in a number of sections with each section dealing with a different issue. The first section there will be a discussion of the role that is played by leadership in the business environment. This will be done by drawing arguments from authors who have discussed such issues in details. The second section of this essay will discuss the concept of how soft skills seem to be an area that is less encouraged for the development of future leaders. Authors such as Marque emphasis on hard skills and state that they have been embedded in the business world, and based on these the business schools in the globe are playing a leading and important role when it comes to the development of tough leaders for businesses operating in the modern times. The third section will discuss aspects related to the advances related to the responsibilities and tasks of leadership in the global business. The fourth section will entail the discussion of what is strong leadership and the role it plays in the enhancement of business success.


Role of leadership in the business environment

Authors such Gabriel (1997), Jackall (1988) and, Schuh and Zhang (2013), particularly where Schuh and Zhang (2013) argue that transformation leadership has often been regarded as a

Leadership trait that considers and emphasizes on ethical standards, contributes a lot when it comes to issues related to business success.

When it comes to issues related to the failure or any form of wrongdoings in the organizations, it is usually not a common notion that those leaders who have over time been praised and acknowledged as visionary and transformational to play a great role. Over time transformational leadership has in the past been regarded as being a leadership style that emphasizes and considers ethical standards, questions stills erupts on the inherent morality, transformational leadership is usually not applied in the enhancement of a common good. Indeed, this kind of behaviors seems to be effective for immoral purposes and at the same time to augment the status and personal power of the leader (Jackall 1988). In essence transformational behaviors seem to be like a two edged sword and it’s the leader to decide on how to use it that is for bad intentions or for good intentions.

Transformational leaders are of two major types that is the pseudo-transformational leaders and authentic transformational leaders. The authentic transformational leader usually focuses on their own common good while the pseudo-transformational leaders usually seek to enhance themselves and foster the employee dependence. Transformational leadership has an incredible influence when it comes to the understanding of effectiveness and success of organizations and businesses. There exists a wide range of behaviors that characterize this leadership style. With the major one being the articulation of a well defined and compelling vision (Gabriel 1997). This trait represents those leaders who have an appealing picture of what they want the organization to look like in the future and thus take all the necessary measures to inspire followers through the identification of most attractive opportunities. This depicts the strong sense of intention.

Transformational leaders also depict some level of charisma when it comes to role modeling (Goleman 2000). In that not only do they influence their followers by communicating to them, they also act what they talk. Additionally, these leaders usually encourage their subordinates work together and perform duties together and thus they jointly work towards the achievement of the set goals. By doing so, they create a logic of identification amongst the employees, which leads to the support of the vision.

For a great number of employees who are in the lower echelons, they do not few top leaders as human. The leader is usually the object of gossip, curiosity and fascination and mostly when he is not seen in the organization. A psychological and physical gulf exists and it separates the top leaders from the other organizational members (Goleman 2000). Based on these the leaders can be featured in various different ways, such as father figures, benevolent and as demonic figures who are engaged in the machination and plotting, as impostors who have attained their current position through deception and as cunning wheeler-dealers who are always essential to the striking of deals in the organization.

How soft skills seems to be an area that is less encouraged for the development of future leaders

Employees’ perceptions of the qualities that their leaders need to have undergone tremendous changes. In the past eloquence, charisma and extraversion were seen as the only essential trusts for the corporate leaders. A paradigm shift seems to be underway and softer skills which were in the past considered as salient before are being given a lot of recognition. There seems to be a call for a greater level of balance in the behavior of leaders (Marques 2013). The call for future leaders to have soft skills seems to be unequivocal. Soft skills entail aspects such as self regulation, motivation, self-awareness and social skills. Tough skills on the other side pertains traits such as analytical/technical skills, intelligence, rigor, determination as well as vision.

According to Dixon et al (2010), soft skills entails a combination of both the social skills and the interpersonal skills while hard skills entails administrative procedures and technical procedures which can be easily measured. The great level of emphasis that is placed on hard skills and the restrained nature of soft skills over the years have called for superior knowledge, charisma and boldness in leadership. This notion has been widely recognized in business schools as well in corporations. The major problem now is how to persuade the hard skilled individuals on the benefits of re-establishing internal balance which have been disrupted in their formative years. Leaders who usually value themselves based on their intelligence, rationale and smartness usually disregard the soft skills and terms then as inappropriate and inadequate for the work enough environments. Though this leader has a genuine urge to succeed when it comes to issues such as their performance, they also very reluctant to the recognition as well as adoption of the soft skills as an adequate way to achieve rewarding outcomes (Schuh, Zhang & Tian 2013).

With the aim of ensuring better acceptance and adoption of soft skills, a number of strategies need to be adopted so as to win the leaders trust and improve their readiness to change, for example, understanding the fundamental fear associated with failure, sharing findings and sharing of past experience where soft skills have been applied and worked effectively and also coming up with a number of successful outcomes which can be greatly attributed to the changed behaviors.

Maccoby 2002 also states that trust is a soft concept which can have tough and negative consequences if not addressed. Trust usually influences other people perception of knowledge, leadership, product or partnership. Trust has over time decreased based on the fact that leaders places a lot of excessive emphasis on the tough skills of leaders and thus usually leads to mistrust between lower level manager and middle level managers and top leaders and thus they cannot be able to voice out their opinions since they are afraid of being penalized. Employees also tend to mistrust information and data that have been provided by top management while the stakeholders also mistrust the leaders based on their huge salaries, which in a way depicts their blatant disregard of the concept of fairness for all.

The application and use of soft skills is usually easier for some people as compared to others and more so those professional who has math skills they usually find it difficult to understand the shifts being experienced and the change in behavior that is required. The restoration of soft skills in leaderships seems to be augmenting for all organizations, for example, in small organizations and also in large multinational organizations. Individuals believe that soft skills are essential for responsible and strong leaders in organizations.

Responsibilities of leadership in global business

Amidst the great number of issues being reported such as corporate scandals, financial crisis as well as managerial misconduct a major response seems to be heightened need and interest in attributing these failures as the challenges that are being posed by globalization. Bases on these both practice and theory are struggling so as to re-conceptualize the role of leaders and their corporations in the society. By the use of letters one of bound to realize that enhanced responsibility and duties of leaders that surpasses the narrow scope of profit making seems to be rare in the organization regardless of prior recognition of the diversified leadership roles. Leadership seems to focus more on the influence process between the employees and their leaders. Thus, leadership does not consider the interactions of the stakeholders which is usually an important aspect in the securing legitimacy of organizations (Quigley 2013).

New approaches of leadership relating to ethics such as ethical leadership are usually descriptive when assessing leadership ethics. By outlining the prevailing norms, there is no justification of what is ethically right or wrong. Thus, there seems to be an urgent need for a philosophical foundation for responsible leadership that offers ways for dealing with the various conflicting norms in regard heterogeneous society. It is usually assumed that good leaders ought to be effective and ethical. A competent leader is one who knows how to achieve results and at the same time make profits. The aspect of engaging responsible leadership will be a way of addressing the challenges posed by globalization and thus there will be a positive effect (Sosik & Cameron 2010). The major challenge of globalization in relation to businesses and its leaders lies greatly on their ability to build up and secure legitimacy in societies.

For a considerable amount of time, trust has been well acknowledged in leadership. When viewed from a character based perspective, the subordinates usually places a lot of trust in their leaders and this is usually based on the positive characteristics that leaders portray, for example, ability, fairness and integrity. Responsible leadership in a way stirs up trust among the stakeholders that the leader interacts more often with and thus there is the build up a strong and mutually beneficial relationship (Voegtlin, Patzer & Scherer 2012). Based on these, relation based perspective plays a leading role when compared to character based perspective, since there is no alignment of characteristics of leader with responsible leadership (Sonenshein 2007). When trust is viewed as a relational construct assumes positive expectation in relation to behavior of the leaders when viewed from a stakeholder’s point of views. Open communication, transparency, involvement and inclusion of stakeholders in decision making processes are some of the preconditions associated with trustful stakeholders relationships.

The pre-conditions are ussaully addressed when with responsible leadership conduct. Responsible leader’s ussaully builds trustful stakeholders relations in instances when they measure the consequences of the decision that they make and also use their influence so as to engage the other stakeholders in dialogue as well as weigh and balance all the available interest, and thus come up with mutually acceptable and beneficial solutions. By being aware of and at the same time considering the consequences associated with decisions will play a great role in assisting leaders in avoiding negative consequences and allows them to be able to justify their decisions afterwards in case they are held accountable by the stakeholders, this will eventually leading to traceable, transparent and acceptable outcomes which promotes trustful relationships in the long run (Ogbonna & Harris 2000).

Strong leadership and how it leads to business success

Based on the rapid change that is occurring in the business environment as well as the economy and continued globalization seems to be a crucial aspect for the competitiveness, survival and success of businesses (Offermann &Malamut 2002). The results attained from the strategic choices and performances are usually predetermined by the traits of those who are ussaully involved in administration and in this case they are the business leaders.

A wide range of research has been carried out to show the link that exists between positive leadership styles, for example transformational leadership and creativity of the employee (Shin & Zhou 2003). Traditionally, leaders have been conceptualized as an entail aspect that cultivates creativity among the employees. Leadership tends to have diverse connotations and interpretations but the most accepted meaning is the one that terms it as a process of moving or taking a group in a designated direction by the use of non-coercive means. Thus, effective or strong leadership produces movements that will be of benefit to the whole organization.

In instances when employees encounters abuse from the leaders for example rudeness, angry and loud tantrums, inappropriate actions and coercion, they usually feel belittled, undermined and humiliated since these actions affects their reputation in the workplace (George 2008). Based on these organizational success cannot be attained. Abusive supervision in the workplaces also makes the subordinates feel that the organizations or leaders do not value their contributions.

Abusive supervision usually makes employees feel dissatisfied with their jobs and may at times intend to quit (Hemmas & Csanda 2009). Additionally abusive supervision in the workplace also reduces the level of employee enjoyment of their duties thus causing diminished motivation and psychological distress. Abused employees usually suffer from emotional exhaustion, anxiety and depression and in most instances they usually alienate themselves from their jobs. In their distressed states, the employees may have little to offer to the organization and thus sustainability is not enhanced and thus business may fail in terms of profits gained and also in achieving set goals and standards (Hoobler &Brass 2006).

In instances when strong leadership is evident in a company, it can be depicted in the whole organization. With strong leadership, corporate culture is not usually forced, but it comes out automatically and it is developed continually. Also in organizations where there is strong leadership communication is not forced and employees and their leader’s ussaully communicate daily and openly. Also everyone in the organizations also tends to understand the goals and vision of the organization and they input so much for them to improve it (Liu, Liao & Loi 2012). Also strong leadership also makes employees feel as an essential part of the organization and they perform every job since it matters. On the other had bad leadership I also evident in organizations but in a bad way in that aspect such as the corporate culture are ussaully meaningless and where leader’s claims to exist and employees are frustrated. The theory of higher echelons proposes that strategic decisions and the performance of businesses are usually prearranged by the business leaders (Mendez, Munoz & Munoz 2013). This theory further asserts that tat the results as well as actions of a business are usually a clear reflection of the characteristics and values of senior level managers and leaders. Based on this premise, there is the development of the upper echelons theory and it states that leaders need to make strategic decisions based on their cognition and values.

Managers and all the people who are interested in determining if the businesses can operate efficiently need to focus on either one of the following perspective individual effectiveness, organizational effectiveness or group effectiveness. When all this forms of effectiveness are achieved organizations are bound to gain success (Voegtlin, Patzer & Scherer 2012. There also seems to be a positive as well as significant correlation between democratic leadership and business effectiveness and success. Democratic leadership usually involves the involvement of employees in decision making, delegation of authority as well as the support of the employees. Supportive and strong leadership of leaders in businesses in a way enhances intrintivesic motivation while controlling, pressuring and disagreeing relationships resulting from abusive supervision usually reduces intrinsic motivation (Fineman & Gabriel 2013).


Based on the above discussion, it is clearly evident that strong leadership is a core aspect in ensuring business success. Abusive supervision in the workplace also reduces the level of employee enjoyment of their duties thus causing diminished motivation and psychological distress. Abused employees usually suffer from emotional exhaustion, anxiety and depression and in most instances they usually alienate themselves from their jobs. In their distressed states, the employees may have little to offer to the organization and thus sustainability in organizations is not enhanced and thus business may fail in terms of profits gained and also in achieving set goals and standards.


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