The Search for Leadership
BUS 119 Principles of Personal & Organizational Leadership
The Search for Leadership
As you all may know our president has decided to call it a career after twenty-five successful years. It is my intention to hire a committed and respected replacement to help us continue striving to be the best consumer technology corporation in the world. Our former president has left us with large shoes to fill, so it won’t be easy finding a replacement. There are several qualifications and expectations I am looking for and I am excited to share them with you. I am very passionate about these requirements and I refuse to settle for less. I know that if we can find a person with these abilities and skills, we will continue to develop our people and grow as a leading house hold name.
The dictionary defines a leader as a person or thing that leads. If only it were that simple of an explanation. The dictionary is obviously very black and white. There is so much more to being a leader. A leader motivates, inspires, educates and develops. They take the blame and give the praise. They own and are responsible for every situation. They see the big picture and are aware of the inner workings of the business. A leader leads by example in work ethic, attitude and in expectations. A leader must know the work force, successes, obstacles, grumblings, problems and concerns. A leader is calculated and can always see several steps ahead. They have an unmatched vision and a passion for what they want to accomplish. They hire the right people for the right jobs, this is to include a diverse and educated workforce. A true leader will not hire yes men or women. They want to be challenged and they want others opinions, they will create a culture of inclusion. Most importantly a leader will be selfless and take ownership when they are wrong.
We are a global company with several physical locations. We also offer remote employment and deal a lot with wholesalers. We cover a large footprint and interact with a lot of people. So it is imperative that our next president be charismatic, confident, determined, intelligent, sociable and will need to demonstrate a high level of integrity . These traits are a necessity, it is how our president will influence the people within our company and the people we do business with.
Our next president’s leadership style will need to be balanced between democratic and the laissez-faire style. This will be accomplished by finding someone that has a strong focus on servant leadership. There are four core tenants to being a servant leader. They are service to others, holistic approach to work, promoting a sense of community and sharing of power in decision-making . Our president will need to focus on the customer, both internal and external. Every single person that works for the company is a customer of the president. If our employees are to buy what he or she is selling, sort of speak, the president will have to be committed to serving them. This can be done by focusing on the people and not the process. When I say focusing on the people, I mean knowing who they are. The president must focus on removing obstacles, developing relationships and boosting morale. There should be a constant focus on learning, development, recognition and motivation. Our next president should have a holistic approach and know that the most important part of our company is the people, so their needs should be a priority. I must emphasize on needs, there is a difference between needs and wants. Our president will need to be intelligent enough to tell the difference. The benefits package and working conditions should be consistently monitored, our people will be put first and this alone will drive results. We need a strong sense of community, I expect a family feel. Employees will hold each other accountable, not just leaders but peer to peer. Employees will work cross functionally, they will develop large networks so they always know where to go for help and answers. Workers will be self-sufficient and able to work without being micro managed, they will have help and support when they need it, but they will be motivated to do outstanding work because they want to, not because they are being pushed to. Our president will cascade collaboration and team work down through the entire company. Decision making will involve experience and points of view from every level and position. Our company is a large ship, it doesn’t turn as fast as a speed boat. When we make a decision or a change, it better be the right one. We will ensure it is by not excluding anyone’s opinion or expertise.
There are three core leadership skills, administrative, interpersonal and conceptual. I am looking for a candidate that is competent in all three, but needs to truly excel in interpersonal and conceptual skills. It is very important that our president knows our business, knows how to manage our people and our resources. We wouldn’t even be considering someone that wasn’t experienced enough to handle this. With that being said, there are people with positions that oversee the management of people and resources. I really want to put my focus on the importance of finding someone that has exceptional interpersonal and conceptual skills. Our candidate needs to have insight and needs to be aware of what motivates and is important to others. They need to know about potential problems and how the employees will react to change . They need to be emotionally intelligent, where they think and are aware of thoughts and feelings. They need to be able to see it in themselves as well as others. They need to take time to reflect and learn from experiences. They need to praise and show appreciation, and they need to be open to feedback . Our candidate needs to have a plan, they should be very strategic and aware of all possible obstacles and outcomes. It is always better to prepare for something that never happens than to be unprepared when you are needed most. They need to always challenge themselves first and then the entire workforce. In order to do this, they must have a clear and precise vision.
The candidate should be so driven by a vision that they are relentless and they are aggressive in their pursuit of achieving it. It is the finish line, a dream, it’s the future loaded with possibilities. While our next president should already have a vision, they should spend time with our organization developing what our company vision is or should be. When the whole company is represented at every level and the entirety of the group develops the vision and imagines the future, it is much more likely you will get buy in and participation. It will be our president’s job to inspire and facilitate the development of our company’s vision. It will also be the responsibility of our president to set the tone and lead by example. They should develop a way to measure our success and progress towards that vision as well as creating accountability around what is expected.
I expect that our new president will have a good balance between task and relationship leadership styles. It is very important that our candidate is goal oriented and focused on seeing goals and tasks through to the end. They will be very organized and on top of their schedule. While we want to keep morale high and our business culture focused on a family feel. This is still a job and there is work to be done. There are goals to meet and shareholders to please. It is our president’s responsibility to see that work is being done in a timely manner, and that goals are being achieved and exceeded. This is where the balance comes in. They should have a work hard, play hard mentality. By knowing the workforce and being able to relate to their obstacles and triumphs is how our president will push the results, they will always have an open door and the people will always come before the process, matter of fact, putting the people first will be the process. The results will come, because of the president’s ability to influence our workforce through the relationships they built to fight and drive towards our company’s vision and future success .
It is expected that we hire an educated and diverse workforce. People are different and I believe the more diverse a group is, the more likely you are to develop clicks and groups who share similar beliefs or have things in common. Our president will need to keep their feet on the ground and stay in the know of what is going on. Because it is likely that out groups will form. This is for the people that don’t necessarily agree with methods, directions or beliefs but keep quiet attempting to avoid confrontation or conflict. When this happens, this group of people tends to feel unappreciated, unheard and they do not feel valued. This causes a lot of problems and does a disservice to our company and our growth mindset. We have to ensure that our president understands the importance of managing this part of the business. This can be avoided by following specific guidelines. They are as follows, listen, show empathy, recognize their unique contributions, focus on inclusion for all team members especially the out group and go the extra mile to create a special relationship with them . This group, if not taken care of would be detrimental to our vision and when it is all said and done, it may be one of them that has the answer to a future catastrophic problem that will go unsolved because we lacked the ability to include them.
There are several types of conflict and how conflicts are managed really depends on what the actually problem is. We will expect that our next president will be capable of identifying problems and obstacles and then act accordingly. Regardless of the method used, the most important part of conflict management is communication. Our president will need to be an excellent communicator both in expressing points of view and active listening. There are five styles of conflict resolution, avoidance, competition, accommodation, compromise and collaboration . We frown upon the avoidance and competition methods. We want all conflicts to be resolved by collaborating and compromising when necessary. This falls in line with the servant leadership methods, we should always be working together to solve our problems and to overcome obstacles. Positive results towards morale and community will never come from stepping back and avoiding, or bullying to get ones way. We are a team and I expect that we will work as a cohesive one.
We may find a candidate that has all of the qualities and traits discussed so far, but if they are not an ethical leader, then there is no place for them here. When it comes to an ethical leader I am looking specifically for a person of character, that takes action, sets goals, is honest, doesn’t abuse power and has values . Having an ethical leader ensures an ethical work force. They should always lead by example, and set clear expectations. Ethics isn’t a conversation that happens only when someone or something goes wrong, it is always a topic of conversation in team meetings and one on one coaching’s. The president will inspect what they expect, reward positive behaviors and handle those that are not up to par. Ethics will be a part of the company culture, cultivated and managed by the president.
Now I have described the type of leader I am looking to fill our open president role, we need a specific skill set that excels in the discussed leadership qualities and traits. It is imperative that our candidate is familiar with several different leadership styles and the skills that are necessary for this role. I expect that they are task oriented and they develop positive relationships. It is expected that our next president communicates a strong vision and sets the correct tone. I am looking for someone that nurtures cohesiveness, opinions and involves all employees with an open door policy. They must be able to handle conflict and be successful in overcoming obstacles. Most importantly, our success hinges on our next presidents ability to uphold and stand behind strong values and leadership ethics. I intend to find the person that will lead us into the future, we will count on them to know our people, to know our numbers and to have a plan for development and growth.
“Being a leader is challenging, exciting, and rewarding, and carries with it many responsibilities”.
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