Leadership in Working Place
This essay identifies leadership, power, and respect in a working place. Much attention is paid to the description of sources and bases of leadership and their reflection. Application of different influence tactics was shown and assessed in this essay. Description and analysis of leadership, power, and respect in a working process was performed on the basis of my working experience, particularly by assessment of work and leadership skills of my leader at Cooper Tire.
Leader is person who is good in obtaining results and team building. Leaders search for different methods of solving existing problems and elimination of possibility of arising new ones. These solutions are implemented through the individuals who form the team. That is why team formation should be performed very thoroughly. Much attention should be paid to the personal development, self-reflection, and understanding of a general goal of a team by each team member. These people should be promoted and rewarded or punished by a leader in accordance to their merits (Cherim, 2015).
The leader should perform particular steps in order to gain effectiveness and efficiency. First of all, he or she should state a clear goal and thoroughly develop a strategy for future. Each team member should place a certain position in the company’s structure and clearly understand the company’s goal, vision, mission, general strategy, and his or her place in the company’s structure and working process. The leader and his or her team should develop and implement a detailed plan of action. He or she should have wide knowledge about the company and the working process for sharing this knowledge with the team, for improvement of job performance, for performing a grounded evaluation of events, which took place in a company. After this, the leader should observe over the quality of performance of each team member and fit out him or her fairly. Each team member should feel a leader’s hortativeness, support, approval and inspiration (like me during my job at Cooper Tire). Leaders should constantly improve the working process in order to increase its effectiveness and efficiency. In the same time leaders should clearly recognize their faults and faults of their teams. Timely and considered actions should be made for correction of these mistakes. On the one hand, leaders should exude energy and positivism; however, on the other, they should be ready to make unpopular and risky decisions for obtaining future benefits. Constant striving of personal and team perfection were of the top importance in my previous working place. A leader should take a difficult situation and turn it into a learning experience for himself or herself.
Leaders use different sources of power for reinforcement of their actions in a team. Power can be obtained through knowledge and skills during a working process, experience, intelligence, and communication with upper level and lower levels of employees (Charity, 2013). Donna M Randal in her work Leadership and the use of power: shaping an ethical climate (2012) provided description of the following sources of power: legitimate, power of reward, expert, referent, and coercive (Randall, 2012). Legitimate source power is based on the understanding and perception of an authority of a leader. This person can make demands and request the fulfillment of these demands from team members. Power of reward is reflected in the leader’s ability to reward team members for high quality of their work. This source of power is based on the perception of team members that can be rewarded for obtaining of desired result (Goncaves, 2013). Expert source of power is based on the leader’s knowledge and working experience recognized by team members. Referent source of power is reflected in the leader’s charisma. It is “based on subordinate’s desire to identify with a superior because of their admiration or personal liking of superior” (Meng, 2014). The last source of power is coercive. It is based on the leader’s ability to punish workers for their mistakes and low quality of their activity, or inactivity. These sources of power can be used separately or in combination with each other. Bertram Reven in his work Power, six bases of (2012) states that the leader expresses the need of power in selection of a particular source of power (or the combination of sources) described above. For example, a person with high need of power will most probably choose a legitimate source of power in combination with impersonal reward or a coercive source.
Leader at Cooper Tire used the following sources of power: legitimate source: expert source (as he had wide knowledge about his job, and shared this knowledge with others; he also had high level of competency), referent source (because the leader inspired me to become a great leader and served as an example of a successful leader); reward and coercive sources (because he performed fair treatment of team members).
Usually leaders use a combination of different influence tactics for obtaining the highest possible results from the work of team members. Choice of some particular influence tactics depends on the final goal that should be achieved and on the extent of freedom of actions provided to team members. For example, soft tactics provide employers with more freedom of action than hard tactics. Soft tactics are reflected in consultations, rational persuasion between team members and a leader, personal appeal of subordinates; while hard tactics are reflected in constant pressure and assertiveness.
The leader on my previous working place used the following tactics: legitimating, exchange, inspirational appeal, leading by example, respect, and upward appeals. Legitimating tactic is reflected in his persuasion of employees that he can give requests to perform some particular tasks because of his leading position in the company. Exchange tactic was reflected in fair treatment and rewards for high quality of performed work. Leader’s inspirational appeal was seen in his ability to inspire others. Tactic of leading by example and respect was reflected in his ability to serve as an example of successful leader with a wide knowledge and high level of skills in his job. Respect from upper management was gained by successful use of upper management appeal tactic. At the same time the leader at Cooper Tire used such a little bit unethical tactics as deliberate Machiavellianism has been reflected in ruthless manipulation of subordinates.
The majority of influence attempts of my leader at Cooper Tire were successful. I felt myself as a valuable group member. My leader shared his knowledge and skills with me. He helped and encouraged me to become a successful leader, too. Subordinates appreciated his knowledge of the job and his skills and respected him. This increased effectiveness and efficiency of the whole team. The leader’s desire of constant self-improvement, obtaining success and strengthening of his team leads to respect from both upper and lower levels of management. On the one hand, the leader’s tactics of deliberate Machiavellianism reflected in hard pressure of employees and himself leads to increasing the quantity of produced work, but decreasing its quality. All of the actions of the leader at Cooper Tire were influencing, because they were directed on the emotional or working influence on subordinates for providing them with support and sharing knowledge; for making them work better and more effectively; for inspiration of them to become better employees and successful leaders; for showing them an example that any negative situation can be turned into experience.
The above mentioned assessment of leadership skills, sources and bases of power, and influence tactics were made by using the following aspects of the LFS model: leader’s ability to provide involvement of each subordinate in the working process; legitimacy; facilitating supportive and inspiration skills; knowledge and working experience; an ability to reward or coerce team members for quality of their work; analyzing existing problems and making timely and effective decisions; credibility and personal drive.
Respect is a rewarded attitude of subordinates to their leader. Lack of respect is one of the backgrounds of any working conflict and dispute. One of the examples of respect is when subordinates accept and realized unpopular leader’s decision without any objections not because he stands higher in the company’s hierarchy, but because he has deeper knowledge, skills, experience, and wider vision on some particular situation. Also, respect can be used in a situation when a team leader needs support from other team members because he intends to perform some decisions, which can lead to condemnations and counteractions from the side of upper level management or contracting parties.
Leader at Cooper Tire used respect of subordinates to him very successfully. They tried to follow him; to perform all his requests notwithstanding the fact that sometimes his pressure was too hard. Team members appreciated his knowledge, skills, experience, his intends to gain success, and his ability to stand against any difficult situation. This respect was used for improvement knowledge, skills, and performance of subordinates.
This essay identifies leader as a person that builds a high level performance team and gains success. He can use different sources of power, like legitimate, reward, expert, referent, and coercive. All these sources of power are based on his leading position, knowledge, skills, experience, and personal behavior. These sources can be used separately and in combination with each other (it depends on the final goal of a leader). Numerous influence tactics can be used to encourage subordinates and improve effectiveness of their work. Leader at Cooper Tire used the following influence tactics in his work: legitimating, exchange, inspirational appeal, leading by example, respect, and upward appeals. Most of them were successful (except of deliberate Machiavellianism because it leads to decreasing the quality of working process). Leader in my previous working place was highly respected by both upper and lower level of employees. He used this respect for self-development and improvement of work of his team.
Charity, A. E. (2013). Justification of power as necessary for leasership. European Journal of Business and Management, 5, 7.
Cherim, S. (2015). The (non)distribution of leadership roles: considering leadership, practices and configurations. Human Relations, 68, 4.
Goncaves, M. (2013). Leadership styles: the power to influence others. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 4, 4.
Meng, Y. (2014). Science research group leader’s power and members’ compliance and satisfaction with supervision. Research management review, 20, 1.
Randall, D. A. (2012). Leadership and the use of power: sharping an ethical climate. Journal of Applied Christian Leadership, 6, 1.
Reven, B. H. (2012). Power, six base of. Encyclopedia of Leadership. Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.