Personality Traits of Effective Leader
Question no. 1
As a manager, how would you deal with resistance to change when you suspect employees’ fear of job loss are well founded?
Organisational change is the adoption of a new idea or behavior by an organization. This change is resisted by the organization’s employees due to several reasons. These reasons include beliefs that the change will hurt the employee in a certain manner, or take away something beneficial to him/her. The resistance can also be due to lack of information which leads to lack of trust and uncertainty.
When employees fear losing their jobs as a result of that change, and it has some level of truth in it the manager has to act in a very sensitive manner. The manager should include the employees in the change process and keep them updated at all steps. Implementation tactics will include education, participation and negotiation with employees.
The employees should be given training to enhance their skills and they should be well communicated from the beginning so that the job loss (if it happens) does not come as a surprise. And so that they start looking for other options without wasting any time. Another important this that can be considered here is hiring a counselor, to make sure that the employees do not lose hope and stay motivated and this change does not depress them.
For example when the dot com bubble burst the managers were reluctant in saying to their employees “this is over, you need to find a new job.” Instead they kept giving them false hopes that it would be ok and then when the started firing employees or closing their businesses down employees were taken aback.
Question no. 2
Which selection criteria (personal interview, employment test, assessment center) do you think would be most valuable for predicting effective job performance for a college professor? For an assembly –line worker in a manufacturing plant? Discuss
In the Human Resource Planning the 3rd step is “Selecting”. The basic objective of selection is to determine the skills, abilities, and other attributes a person needs to perform the job, then to find the best “fit”. There are a number of selection devices that are used, validity of these devices varies as the nature of job varies. Finding the best selection device for a particular job helps increase validity (which is the relationship of the selection device score to actual job performance)
When selecting a College Professor, the best selection device would be a personal interview where the interviewer and the applicant can engage in a two-way conversation. This will help the interviewer obtain information that he would not have been able to get under other selection methods as the most important information that a college professor would give are his experiences and qualification and his concepts and theories of things, his perspective.
For an assembly-line worker in a manufacturing plant the best selection criteria would be an assessment center. Because it will best help indicate how the applicant will perform on the job as an assessment center judges applicants based on their performance on a series of simulated managerial tasks.
Question no. 3
Is it wise for managers to consider a candidate’s Myspace or Facebook posting grounds for rejection before even interviewing a promising candidate? Is it fair? Discuss
Statements like “I’m not an alcoholic, I’m a drunkaholic” and being held against employees. They are being fired and brought under questioning due to statements like these they post on social networking sites. As shown by this example we see an increasing number of employers using this information to reject/fire employees or candidates. I do not this is a fair practice.
First of all most people post many offhanded comments, things they might say sitting with a group of friends, they could be just to brag, show off, exaggerate etc. so they might not even be true. Secondly even if those comments are true your applicant might or might not know how to separate his work life and his personal life, and if he performs well on the job and does not do anything wrong on the job then rejecting him is unfair. Apart from that it is also illegal to breach privacy and gain access to applicants information that was not meant for them to see.
All in all if the information is not very outrageous like drug use or things of that like the applicant deserves a fair chance to be able to sit across you and have a healthy discussion, be confronted with that information and be able to explain.
Question no. 4:
Suggest some personal traits that you believe would be useful to a business leader today? Are these traits more valuable in a in some situation that in others? As a potential new manager, are these the same traits you would want in a followers?
Some traditional personal traits that are imperative for a successful business leader include: activity, energy, judgment, knowledge, originality, self-confidence, task orientation, cooperativeness, popularity, interpersonal skills, diplomacy etc. Today, the personal characteristics that are required by business leaders to be successful are changing, some traits are still important and some new ones are added as time goes by. A leader should be positive more than anything. He should also be adaptive to change. In today’s changing environment and the increase of ambiguity a leader needs to be adaptive to change to help his followers adapt to the change as well.
Successful leaders show a higher internal locus of control. Instead of blaming things on other people or the circumstances, they take responsibility and fix things with an internal locus of control. They also have a strong goal orientation, they know the goal that they are trying to achieve and work for it day in and day out. They are also courageous, in today’s uncertain environment knowing which risks to take can take u ahead and successful leaders are courageous risk takers.
As a potential new manager, having these traits in my followers would make my job easier as for example we are about to bring some changes in the organization, if my followers are courageous and adaptive to change that will help me in implementing the change and infusing the spirit of motivation.
Question no. 5
What skills and abilities does a manager need to lead effectively in a virtual environment? Do you believe a leader with a consideration style or an initiating-structure style would be more successful as a virtual leader? Explain your answer.
Virtual teams exist across time and space, with different geographical locations and diverse leadership practices. The skills needed to lead effectively in a virtual environment are very different from those used in a non-virtual environment. The techniques used in a face-to-face setting differ from those used in a virtual environment. Geographical separation creates a communication gap which must be bridged by managers. Situational based leadership techniques should be used. Innovative uses of email, telephone and video conferencing should be used.
A leader of a virtual environment should have a combination of both consideration style and initiating structure. But the initiating structure should be higher as managing a virtual environment is harder and structure is often lost. He needs to be task oriented and needs to communicate those tasks to people in remote locations.
However a complete initiating structure may become a failure as the distance in the first place alone serves as a barrier and if no consideration is shown, no trust and sensitivity is shown then that might lead to extending the barrier that was already present. A high initiating structure, low consideration style would be most appropriate in this situation. For example a manager managing a virtual environment should take care in assigning tasks and being clear about task descriptions but if an employees asks for a sick leave he should be sensitive and look into the matter with a considerate approach.
Question no. 6
If an experienced secretary discovered that she made less money than a newly hired janitor, how do you think she would react? What inputs and outcomes might she evaluate to make this comparison?
The equity theory is a process theory that focuses on individuals perceptions of how fairly they are treated relative to others. People do this evaluation of equity on the basis of inputs versus outcomes. In this situation the secretary will find that the ratio of inputs to outcomes differs, her inputs would be her experience and the level of job significance which is higher than that of the janitor who has no experience and his job requires minimum skill and has little job significance but the output which is the pay is higher for the janitor. This creates an inequity and the secretary will bring her into tension and she will try to bring equity into balance.
The secretary can do so by either:
- Changing inputs: She will start becoming sloppy, work less hard, make phone calls to her friends, anything that will bring down her input to match her output i.e. lesser pay
- Changing outcomes: Or she might try to talk to her supervisor or head to increase her pay
- Distort Perceptions: If both of those things do not work she might distort her perceptions to keep herself happy thinking that the janitor does a good job and that is important too
- Leave the job: if none of that works she will have to resort to leaving the job rather than living with that feeling of inequity.
Daft, R. (2009) Management
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Lenard, G ()Employers Using Facebook for Background Checking: Is It Legal?. May 7th, 2010
Cardwell, R. Personality Traits of Effective Leader. May 6th, 2010