LEADERSHIP : ELON MUSK Essay Example
Evaluating leadership Surname
Leadership can be described as the art of getting an individual so that you can have the thing done for you. They can either be politicians, executive or explorers. Leaders are known to assist themselves and their followers in doing the right things. Leaders set the guidelines, come up with inspirational visions of an organization, the set directions to be followed, and also come up with new ideas. Leaders possess management skills so that they can smoothly direct people towards their destination. A leader hardly uses his powers to have his objectives achieved, instead, a leader will use his convincing skills and visions to influence the people and the objectives will be met (Ely et al. p 587). A good leader is therefore equipped with the following tools; convincing skills, analytical skills, emotional and social skills, inspirational skills. All these skills will generally contribute to the realization of the vision of the organization in question. Leadership can also be defined as a process in which an individual can influence other people in the achievement of an organization’s objectives. In order for an individual to be a successful leader, he/she should take her/his time, should be thoughtful and dedicated. The success and failures of a business or any other organization depend on the system of leadership.
Leaders should possess the following traits;
1) comes up with inspiring vision- every business should have a vision that is realistic, attractive and convincing. It should depict where the business wishes to be in the future (Prybutok et al. p 149) In business, a vision will act as a guide, set up some priorities, in order to achieve set objectives
2) They are able to inspire and to motivate people- leaders come up with convincing visions that are aimed at the great achievement of the business. However, if the leaders are not able to motivate the employees, the visions are likely not to be realized. The leaders should, therefore, be in a position to connect their workers to their visions. This is achieved via the expectancy theory; which states that there is an expectation that hard work will contribute to better results and in return, good results will act as an incentive to the business (McKenna et al. p 180)
3) Leaders also manage the delivery of the business’ vision. This is where management skills of the leader are applied. In order or the business to meet their vision, the leaders should either directly manage the business or delegate duties to other managers for a smooth management of the business. In order to ensure smooth management, the business has therefore to embrace teamwork. The team members will, as a result, undertake roles that are related to business vision. In case changes are introduced in the business, leaders should keenly manage these changes in accordance with the set objectives.
4) Team building and coaching in order to achieve the visions; transformational leaders should ensure personal and team development. In order to achieve team development leaders should first understand the dynamics of the team itself. The leader has to ensure that the team members have got the relevant skills to achieve the set vision of the business.
Alan Mulally is one of the great leaders of the 21st century. He is an American engineer, a retired chief executive officer and the president of the Ford Motor Company, and a business executive. Before joining the Ford Motor Company he was the vice president of the Boeing Commercial Airplanes. During the late 2000s business recessions, Ford Motor Company faced a lot of struggles. However, under the leadership of Mulally, the company was able to regain its profit.
Alan Mulally embraced the following ideas in order for him to revive the company from bankruptcy; he flattened the organization. Though Mulally was the president of Ford Motor Company he spent most of his time exchanging ideas with the employees. He decided to take his meals from the company’s cafeteria so that he was in a position to interact with employees from all the levels. Alan Mulally was never ignorant. He spent his time to respond to the emails from his employees and also reacted to the ideas generated by the employees in ensuring that the company was in a position to meet its vision and mission. According to Alan Mulally, it is more important to communicate with the employees from all the levels and listen to their concerns. This would motivate the employees and improve their performance.
Alan Mulally also united the employees. Alan realized that ranking of employees was of less benefit to the company. When some employees had a senior position than others, workers were not in a position to work together as a team. In order to introduce teamwork and collaboration in the company, Alan eliminated ranking in the company. He also realized that trough ranking; employees were competing amongst themselves or selfish gain and not for the benefit of the company. He, therefore, eliminated the unhealthy competition among the workers and introduced a collaboration environment where all workers would collaborate and work harmoniously for the wellbeing of the company.
The introduction of ground rules; by introducing the ground rules, Mulally was fostering a team-based atmosphere. Alan Mulally strongly believes in team-based leadership. He also believes in a communication system which is cross-functional in nature. In order or the company to meet its vision and mission Mulally introduced the following rules which guided the workers within the organization; “people first” the workers were to listen, respect, help and appreciate one another. The last rule was that; ‘no joke at the expense of anyone else. These ground rules were meant to ensure that all the employees’ from all levels collaborated well (Grove et al. p 50)
Consolidation and Specialization; the company was involved in a number of operations which consumed a lot of money but had little returns. In order to ensure that the company was in a position to generate high returns, Alan had to sell off the profitable operation as an attempt of consolidation. Alan Mulally emphasized on the need to specialize with what the company can do best and minimizes the operation cost as it maximizes its profit.
Evaluation and analysis of Alan Mulally’s leadership
There are several leadership theories that can be used to evaluate Alan Mulally. The first theory is; the natural leader theory. This theory states that leaders are not born rather they are made. In this theory, leaders are known to influence others due to the fact that they possess more skills than their followers. Alan Mulally was the CEO of the Boeing commercial airplane (BCA). This ensured that Mulally had gained relevant skills and experience. With the relevant skills, he was, therefore, made the president of Ford Motor Company (Atwood et al. p 583). This is a theory which is history based. In the time of aristocracy, leaders were known to possess higher knowledge or education than their followers. This made them either to be feared or to motivate others and thus they were able to rule others.
The other theory of leadership is; the theory of participation. In this theory, leaders will lead by involving other stakeholders in the process of decision making. The team is involved in making decisions that will learn the organization. Alan Mulally as a leader was so interactive with the employees of the company. He always wanted to listen to their ideas and react to them so that he could ensure that the company meets its objectives. Mulally, therefore, was able to involve his workers in the process of decision making. However, in this theory, the highest level of participation involves all decisions of the company being made by the team. Mulally did not involve the highest level of participation in his leadership; he only bought constructive ideas from the employees (Jarvis, Carol, et al. p 33)
Transformational leadership or Motivational leadership theory; this is a theory where the leaders motivate people to follow them. This form of leadership, the leader has a lot of concern for the people he leads. Such leaders are good negotiators and beneficiaries of their high level of intelligence. Motivational; leaders are known to possess the following traits; they are visible, committed, visionary and empathetic. They are also known to have a balance between the welfare of their workers and that of the organization. These kinds of leaders believe in changes. They are, therefore, likely to be frustrated in case they are operating an organization that is not ready for changes. Alan Mulally can be ranked as a motivational leader. This is because he motivated his employees at each level of performance so that he could help the organization to grow and regain their profit (Clarke, & Nicholas p 450). He was also concerned about the welfare of the workers and that of the organization. He eliminated the unhealthy competition among the internal workers and introduced a collaborative working environment. Introducing changes in the company did not result in a lot of friction within the company and therefore Mulally was not frustrated by the organization. Mulally also possessed the traits highlighted under this theory. One his is empathetic and committed to ensuring that Ford Motor Company is able to realize its vision and mission.
In order to be a better CEO than Mulally, one need to observe the following;
Punctuality; as a CEO one is supposed to be on time. Time is valuable, as a CEO one should respect his or her time just like the way you expect the employees to respect your time. It is therefore important that the CEO to ensure that punctuality is observed in all the levels of management starting from the senior staffs to the junior staffs (Edwards, Gareth, & Sharon Turnbull p 57).
Consultation; As a CEO it is not a guarantee that you have solutions to all the challenges experienced in the organization. It is therefore important to network with other staffs and also from external experts so that you can consult on the best way to overcome major challenges and barrier you may encounter. Consulting team members would also be beneficial since one is in a position to understand how other team members are thinking about the barrier and give their suggestions on how the solution can be obtained.
Clearing of schedules; creative thinking in the running of a business is very important. It is therefore important to ensure that some time is spared to ensure that the CEO has enough time to think of the progress of the organization. CEOs having very tight schedules may have less time for creative thinking and come up with new constructive ideas which are beneficial to the company. Less tight schedules would ensure that the CEOs are in a position to clear them earlier enough and creative thinking is embraced.
Family building; a company should operate as one family. Pulling together all the staffs, customers, investors, and all the stakeholder would ensure that family spirit is embraced. It would be of great importance to come up with a unifying culture that would bring all the stakeholders together aiming to improve the performance and productivity of the company. This will also enable the company to expand the market share and the total revenue of the company (Muenjohn, Nuttawuth, & Anona Armstrong, p 375).
Transparency and honesty; as a CEO transparency and honest are two crucial traits to be observed. Most of the staffs, stakeholders, and customers will be highly attracted to transparent and honest CEOs and other leaders. Being transparent and honest will also ensure that you are also happy and reduce chances of getting stress. This is because dishonest leaders spend sleepless nights thinking about how the audit will affect their staffs and how mismanagement of funds will affect their position in case corruption is revealed in the organization. A happy leader is always productive in relation to those under stress (LeMay, Nancy Vollmer, & Alison Ellis, p 250).
Delighting and surprising customers and staffs; as a leader, one should understand that it is important to under-promise the customers or staffs but over perform. Surprising the staffs would keep the motivated and this may reduce the turnover rate within the organization. A surprise does not necessarily mean spending extra money of the organization, as the CEO one may decide to send a thank you note to the employees or a by sending a friendly tweet or even a smile. This will ensure that the staffs and the customers are delighted. Staffs will be motivated to work more and improve their performance (McKenna et al. p 184)
Being a grateful and humble CEO; it is important to appreciate those who contribute to your successes and opportunities. Leaders who humble themselves are likable by their customers and staffs. It is, therefore, one to be appreciative to the customers, stakeholders, mentors, and colleagues. This will ensure that the staffs support and appreciate your ideas and thus the overall performance of the organization becomes successful meeting the mission and the visions of the company. This will ensure the CEO is credited with his success.
Creating a close rapport with the workers and other stakeholders; In case the workers understand the mission and vision of the business and the strategies set in place they will be productive in relation to those who have no clue on the mission of the business. Being so close and interactive with the employees will ensure that the employees are in a position to understand the mission of the company. This will boost the overall performance of the business and also ensure that the market shares are expanded. Expanding the market share implies that the volume of sales will have to increase and as a result, the revenue of the organization will also increase.
In conclusion, Alan Mulally has portrayed his great leadership skills. He set the goals; he includes his company and finally implements teamwork in the realization of these goals and objectives. It is therefore important that leaders include teamwork just like Alan in the realization of the strategic plans set by the organization. Practicing authentic leadership in an organization is very important. This will ensure that the organization has hopes and also optimism of its future. Alan is also a great leader who uses a simple tool to regain future hope Ford Company. The simple tool that Mulally used is; weekly meetings. In the weekly meetings, Mulally was to encourage the workers, to collaborate and to own the problem of the company jointly. He also held the meetings with the aims of reminding the employees of the mission and vision of the company (Solansky, & Stephanie, p 675). Reminding the workers about the vision of the company was in order to ensure that the workers were in a position to understand the future expectations of the company.
Leaders should be consultative. Engaging with employees from all levels will ensure that the gap between the executive officers and the support staffs is closed. This will ensure smooth communication and exchange of ideas among the staffs within the company. In the process of decision making, all the staffs should be included. They would also contribute to constructive ideas that will ensure progress of the company. It is therefore important that senior officials to create and maintain a close rapport with rest of the staffs and by so doing, generation of new ideas, consultation and solution to some barriers will be made easier.
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