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Leaders impacted its business Essay

The work presented herein represents a critical evaluation, by way of compare and contrast, how different leadership styles contribute to a change in management processes. The paper will first define what leadership is understood to be. Then, the case of one of the largest dairy companies in the Middle East is used to illustrate how the differing management styles of two of its leaders impacted its business. In the ever-changing customer requirements of today’s market, the only consistent element in this turbulent environment of needs is change.

In every industry, the business processes of the mass production and mass consumption are suffering; the “hub & Spoke” airlines dependent on feeding traffic through big hub airports are struggling to compete with “point to point airlines. Banks, telecom, and computer technology firms are losing customers as they outsource customer support. Long customer queues and slow response to market needs only adds to customer dissatisfaction levels. Changing times mean it is time to rethink business approaches (Jones 2005).

Organizations need to strive to change and find new ways and venues to keep a competitive edge. The change that organizations need to go through is in itself difficult. All types of supply for customer demand, organizations,

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firms, companies… etc. are titles given to groups of individuals who work together to serve a purpose. These individuals are a mixture of cultures, ethics, morals, needs, emotions, and hopes along with numerous characteristics that define what humans are.

They fear change because, usually, it means that familiar working practice, routines, and individual comfort environment will not be the same (Hopper 2000). For change to take place, people must be driven to change by motivating them in more than one way and thus leaders need to exist (Tichy 1997). It is true that one person alone cannot change a moderate-sized organization, nevertheless the world. It takes the concentrated ideas, enthusiasm, and energy of many people.

However, without a leader, the movement does not get started in the first place, or dies quickly due to lack of direction or momentum. Without leaders, good results are unsustainable and a matter of random chance (Tichy 1997). Leadership is by far the most “single topic” discussed in the academic world. It has been recognized that the difference between success and failure can be largely attributed to leadership regardless of the situation one is in. Yet, leadership remains an unexplainable concept.

Leadership exists and has an enormous influence on human performance, but its inner workings and specific dimensions cannot be exactly defined (Luthans 1977, Hopper 2000). Even descriptions of leadership emphasize on what has been effective in an environment weather it is cultural or professional without defining leadership itself, Leadership is simply a choice and not a position. (Covey. 2004, Dilts. 1996). People say leadership but describe management. There is a difference between management and leadership, but not for the reasons most people think.

Leadership and management are two distinctive and complementary systems of actions. Management is about coping with complexity while leadership by contrast is about coping with change. Thus, leadership complements management; it does not replace it (Kotter 1999). Management functions by planning and budgeting, setting targets or goals for the near future (next month or next year), establishing detailed steps for achieving those targets, then allocating recourses by organizing and planning, ensuring plan accomplishment by way of controlling and problem solving.

It takes neither genius nor heroism to be a manager, rather it is persistence, hard work and thoughtfulness, and among other things, tolerance and good will. (Zaleznik 1992, Kotter 1999, Tichy 1997) However, leadership begins by taking initiative, setting a direction, developing a vision for the distant future along with strategies or a discipline for producing the changes needed to achieve the vision which requires motivating and inspiring and keeping people moving in the right direction by appealing to basic but often untapped human needs, values, and emotions.

Leadership does not necessary exist in high levels of organizations, it can exist in each and every level of the organization since it is a choice that one takes to attain a worthy end (Covey. 2004, Zaleznik 1992, Kotter 1999, Tichy 1997) What makes leadership takes precedence is because leaders are the people who decide what needs to be done (the vision), then they create the culture that can materialize the vision and they use management tools to guide the process. (Tichy 1997).

Management controls people by pushing them in the right direction; leadership motivates them by satisfying basic needs, For example, a peacetime army can usually survive with good management and administration up and down the hierarchy with concentrated leadership at the very top, however it is impossible, so far, to manage armies into battle, they have to be led (Kotter 1999). Leadership in fact is an important and learnable sets of skills that when implemented results in leading a group to achieve a common goal (Dilts 1996).

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