MY VISION OF LEADERSHIP. (A Reflective Analysis)

my main pic

My vision of leadership is one that knows when to be democratic and when a bit of autocracy needs to be implemented. Apart from the style of leadership, a leader in my opinion MUST possess certain qualities without which it would be difficult for him carry out his roles. Some of these personal qualities include vision, charisma, emotional intelligence, good values (morals), communication skills, and a sterling character to mention but a few (Mitch 2011). In addition to this, leadership must come with optimism and the ability to carry other along while leading them by example.

mandela-leading pic

inspiration pic

Several ethical leaders have inspired my understanding of effective leadership. However my greatest influence comes from Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela of South Africa and Oprah Gail Winfrey of the United States of America. Mandela is one of the few leaders who were able to inspire confidence and optimism not just inside his country but also outside and to the entire world (Ray 2013). Despite his suffering and depersonalization while imprisoned by the apartheid regime of South Africa, Mandela openly called for forgiveness for the perpetrators of the apartheid regime and led by example by forgiving his jailers and those that caused him pains. Leading by example and encouraging reconciliation in all fronts was Mandela’s means to unite South Africa that was already dismantled by apartheid (Ray 2013). His leadership qualities can be further summarised in one of his quotes which state that “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger”. This also shows his team spirit as well as the desire to serve and not to be served.

According to Northhouse (2013) charismatic leaders posses a variety of attributes such as strong sense of moral values, a dominant personality and a burning desire to influence others. The leadership style of Oprah Winfrey fits perfectly into this definition because of her self confidence, dominance and positive influences she has had on people (especially women) in our world today. Oprah is well known as a strong advocate for positive change in the world. She propagates this via her various TV programs, books and teachings across the globe. She creates her vision and ensures that her followers understand how their commitment to the vision is vital for success hence, encourage team work at every level (Northhouse 2013). She deals with issues on her shows that affect everyday people in their everyday lives and offers inspiration.

Feedback From My Colleagues 

Feedback from colleagues and friends is very important for personal reassessment especially as it applies to leading and working with a team. This is because such feedbacks help us identify our strengths and weakness so as to improve on them later. On several occasions, I have been privileged to work on mini projects and presentations, my colleagues describe me as a very supportive leader because of the time and interest shown for each individual within the group, I still feel there are certain areas that I need to improve on to further embellish my leadership qualities. As my colleagues also pointed out my weakness, indicating I slightly lack confidence during presentation and public speaking, also i have to how to absolve and work under intense pressure without panicking. In orders to increase my supportive leadership style, I gave each member of my group the opportunity to contribute their Ideas during group activities. However I can certainly develop my leadership style based on John Adairs model that stated three core management responsibilities. Task Individual and team. This model is also known as Action-Centered Leadership. According to John Adair a good leader should balance those three elements. they are interrelated to each other.

Project Needs

As I process my MBA International Human Resource management, with the prospect of ensuring that an organisation is appropriately staffed.(Hannagan2008) There are certain leadership skills I will be working on, these include relationship skills (such as Communication Skills, Counseling Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Mentoring Skills motivation skills and Persuasion Skills) Team building skills (such as conflict management, controlling group performance and dealing with difficult people) and decision making skills . These three skills have been chosen because they are core qualities that touch at the core of leadership (Pankaj 2011) it is also a necessity for every good leader to posses these qualities in the highly competitive business world of today.


Jim R. (2014) 7 Personality Traits of a Great Leader [Online] available from [14 September 2014]

John Adair’s (2014)
Action Centred Leadership [online] available [14 September 2014]

Northouse, P.G. (2013) Leadership: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks CA: Sage Publications

Patrick A. (2012) Leadership and 10 Great Leaders from History [online] available from <>  [16 September 2014]

Pankaj C. (2011) Leadership Skills List [online] available from <> [16 September 2014]

Ray B. William (2013) Why Nelson Mandela Was A Great Leader [online] available from <>[16 September 2014]


Most Effective Leadership Style to Managing the work of Subordinates

Leadership is a topic that has always aroused debate and interest from time immemorial especially as it applies to its understanding alongside the concept of management.

main pictureAccording to Yukl (2010), leadership can easily be understood as the act of influencing others to understand and agree on what is to be done, how it is to be done and ensuring a collective efforts to accomplishing common objectives. On the other hand, Management is understood as exercising executive, administrative, and supervisory direction of a group or organization (Kristina, 2009). The processes involved in this are budgeting, planning, staffing, performance and problem solving to mention but a few.



Management and leadership have many things in common. Both of them for instance involves working with people and working with thunderstae intent of achieving specific goals. However, leadership is about aligning people to the vision through proper communication, motivation and inspiration (Rebecca, 2013). By implication therefore, communication and understangnding between leaders and subordinates becomes a necessary condition for effective leadership to take place. In addition, this understanding is also in harmony with the view of Mullins (2010) who sees leadership as a “two way process that influences the individual on the one hand and the organisation on the other.Management can be said to be the most effective in managing the works of subordinates. However in our contemporary business world today, the role played by leadership cannot be relegated to the background. Hence, management and leadership must go together for any organisation to be successful and attain its set goals.

manger picturemanager and leadship picturepurple pic


The complex nature of the business world and the consequent challenge of adequate leadership and management methods to direct the affairs of organisations, have led to the rise of a variety of leadership styles. These theories can however be grouped into three major styles namely the autocratic style (mostly in hierarchical organization’s structures) of leadership where power and authority lies solely with the leader; the democratic style where power and authority is distributed among individuals as against a sole leader; and the laissez-faire style where individuals are left to work on their own while the leader out rightly plays the role of an observer (Mullins, 2010). According to the Chattered management institute (CMI 2014), of the aforementioned styles of leadership, not a single one can be recommended as the ideal due to the variance situations and in the characteristics of individuals. As a matter of fact, the choice of leadership style is mostly influenced by other factors such as the situation an organization finds itself.

I strongly agree with the assertion of CMI (2014) as expressed above. This is because the nature and vision of an organization is the determinant factor for its choice of leadership style. In organizations that thrive on innovation and employee participation for instance, applying the democratic style of leadership (consultative and participative approaches) would be much more effective because in this style of leadership employees have a greater say in policy and decision making (Mullins 2010). On the other hand, organizations whose activities involves a great deal of directions and standards (Such as financial institutions) or organizations who find themselves in crises situations will function better with an approach that is control and command prone.

From the above, a good example of a leader (within the context of Human resource management) that will fit my idea of how I want to be led is Larry Page the co-founder and first CEO of Google who is known to have created a working atmosphere that empowers employees and encourages them to come up with innovative ideas and implement them. According to Google chief culture office Stacy Savides Sullivan, the success of Google is attributed to its core values of maintaining “a flat organization, a lack of hierarchy and a collaborative environment” (Emilie, 2012). Page was able to manage his subordinates because he created an atmosphere where no idea was seen as insignificant.

larry-pageLarry Page the co-founder and first CEO of Google.

Carlos Ghosn (the CEO of Nissan) is also known for his great achievements with the company which has been largely attributed to a focus on sharing ideas with employees and fostering an interactive and communicative environment as a form of feedback from employees which boosted the performance of employees and that of the company at large. As a leader, Goshen was able to manage his subordinates through his embrace of cultural differences and consistent encouragement of communication because of his belief that subordinates must be able to communicate freely and express their ideas before their superiors.

In conclusion, the operation and overall direction of a business is greatly influenced by the way a leader/manager chooses to lead. Because no single leadership style fits every situation (CMI 2013), Irrespective of the management approach of an organisation, managers/leaders can use various leadership styles to address different situations within their organisation so as to bring about efficiency and effectiveness (George, 2014).


Centre of Management Research (2003) The Turnaround Specialist [online] available from < [1 September 2014]

Emilie D (2012) How Fortune 100 Companies are Flattening Hierarchies Through Enterprise Social [online] available from <> [30 August 2104]

George L., (2014) Democratic vs. Transformational Leadership Style [online] available from <; [30 August 2104]

Laurie J. Mullins (2010) Management and Organisational Behaviour 9th edn. Pearson Limited

Mullins, L.J. (2010), Management and Organisational Behaviour, 9th Edition, Harlow: Pearson Higher Education

Yukl, G. A. (2010) Leadership in Organizations, 7th edn. Harlow: Pearson Education (u

Rebecca R. (2013) What’s the difference between leadership and management? Available at < > [1 September 2014]Mullins, L.J. (2010), Management and Organisational Behaviour, 9th Edition, Harlow: Pearson Higher Education

Managing Change and Resistance to Change

Change is nothing new and a simple fact of life. Some people actively thrive on new challenges and constant change, while others prefer the comfort of the status quo and strongly resist any change. It is all down to the personality of the individual and there is little management can do about resistance to change (Mullins 2010).

chanage picture

As a result of the above, conflicts arise between organisations and individuals in the implementation of changes within the organization. Individuals who resist changes within an organisation do so because of the uncertainty that comes with the new system (bearing in mind that they are already used to the current or old ways) because they are often not aware of its implications (Mullins 2010). Individuals can also be resistant to change because they are unsure if they have the needed skills for success in the future state. Their different personalities and cultural background could also explain the resistance to change and the complexities that managers have to grapple with in dealing with resistance because if one step changes, a multiple associated steps have to change accordingly (Ford et al 2008). Hence, there is little the management can do to stop resistance to change from individuals.

On the other hand, even though resistance to change in organisations is eminent within the organisation, there are many solutions to deal with it. According to Ford et al (2008), managers can overcome individual resistance to change through the trio process of communication, negotiation and consultation so as to avoid communication breakdown. This will help individuals within the organisation to understand the reason and for change. It is also important that management invest more about employees’ reactions to change during the entire change process.

PMI Fellow Michel Thiry, MSc, FAPM explains how program management is the best way for organizations to implement change.

Adapted from youtube

The role of managers in the resistance of individuals to change within an organisation cannot be overemphasised. This is because, it is their duty to ensure that resistance to change does not affect the organisation’s business. In doing this managers must first and foremost understand the reason for the resistance to change from individual employees and gradually help employees to adapt to it through proper communication and development of the necessary skills needed for the change (Paul  2010). On the other hand, resistance can also add value to the change process because it helps the management of the organisation to reexamine the need for the change as well as its pros and cons for the organisation. It also forces managers and the organisation to slow down a bit and take the time needed to create comprehensive plans (Dave, 2014).

A very effective change management tool that could be recommended to management is Lewin’s (1951) change model with its three stages of unfreezing, changing and refreezing. This model is suggested because it touches at the heart of the three main stages required for effective change implementation within an organisation. The unfreezing change helps to prepare employees for the change process with the necessary tools such as communication, justifications for the change and provision of training were necessary skills are needed to adapt to the change. This is followed by the execution of the change proper after which the change is interiorised in the third and final stage.


 Adapted from Mullins (2010)

Organisation that exemplified change

A typical example of an organisation that illustrates the whole idea of change, resistance and management is the case of J.P. Penny the American Retailer. JCP (known for short) embarked on transformation of its organisational structure from an inflexible to a more flexible style due to the demand for change and the challenges from the external environment. JCP witnessed a lot of resistance from its employees during this process one of which was experienced in its “just call me Mike” project. A group of employees resisted the ‘just call me Mike’ project, showing a negative attitude because  they felt they were being forced to abandon the old ways which was perfect for them (Purkayastha 2007).

In response to this resistance, JCP is known to have conducted a survey among its employees with the sole purpose of getting feedback from them so as to better understand their resistance and know how best to effect and make them see reasons for the change. Following this, JCP proceeded on a training program for both its employees as well as for executives to educate them better on the need for the change and the benefit offers. Although the training program could be said to be an extra cost, it definitely provided a means to solving the resistance to the change process (Mariana and Violeta, 2011).

According to Merrell (2012), resistance by employees hampers the pace at which innovation is adopted by organisations. It does not only affect the feelings and opinions of employee during the change process but spills over to their levels of productivity, quality and relationship (Merrell, P, 2012). In order to manage change in the midst of resistance therefore, it is fundamental that managers improve relationship with employees by creating encouraging effective communication. This is because communicating the need for change to subordinates gives them a sense of worth (Pihulyk 2003).

                                            change image


Mariana, P, and Violeta, S.( 2011) ‘opportunity to reduce resistance to change in a process of organizational change’, Annals Of The University Of Oradea, Economic Science Series, 20, 2, pp. 698-702, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, [12  September 2014].

Mullins J and Christy G (2013) Management and Organisational Behaviour, 10th edition, Harlow: Pearson

Mullins, L.J. (2010) Management & Organisational Behavior, 9th edn, Horlow: Pearson .

Pihulyk, A (2003) ‘Embrace Change’, Canadian Manager, 28, 4, pp. 27-28, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, [10 September 2014]

Purkayastha,D.(2007)’Remaking JC Penney’s Organizational culture’ [online] available from < >  [12  September 2014]

ICMR (2007) “Remaking JC Penney’s Organizational Culture” [online] available from <> [3 September 2014]

Merrell, P. (2012) ‘Effective Change Management? The Simple Truth” Management Service, Vol. 56 (2), 20-23, [online] available from < 469149f83944%40sessionmgr12&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=bth&AN=77508042> [3 September 2014]

Dave B. (2014), Are Your Employees Resisting Change? It May Be a Good Thing, [Online] available from [5 September 2014]

Paul R (2010) How to Deal With Resistance to Change [Online] avaialble from <>[7 September 2014]

Ford, j, Ford, l, and D’amelio, A( 2008) ‘resistance to change: the rest of the story’, Academy Of Management Review, 33, 2, pp. 362-377, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, [7 September 2014]

Diverse Teams Produce Better Results


As a modern day phenomenon, globaliation has radiated and permeated every nook and cranny of the business world today; opening the doors for movement, relationships and businesses transactions that transcend racial and geographical boarders. In this highly competitive business state, organisation try to do all in their power to remain competitive in their respective industry through internationalization, outsourcing and most importantly annexing the best available workforce irrespective of race, gender or location, the result of which is a diversified workforce and the use of diversified teams (Rose 2013) Grace, (2014) attests to this by opining that globalization and the resultant reliance on teams by organisations has led increase in the use of culturally diverse teams in organizations across the globe.

defination of diversity           diversity picture 2

Although many scholars such as Mullins (2013) argue that the ability to manage diverse teams is one of the key factors that make the success of a leader, there is no “one side fits it all” single approach that works for all diverse teams. Consequently, each leader or manager has to develop and constantly adapt styles that suit the diverse characteristic of  members of their teams. They have to use their skills to understand and manage disagreements in diverse teams so as to avoid any form of cultural clash that might lower overall organisational performance. Another challenge faced by leaders is conflict or resolution (which is inevitable in a diversified team) as a result of which managers must also develop rules and conflict resolution procedures to address these situations as they arise (Ministry of Manpower, Singapore Government 2014). The entire process of managing a team to work effectively in the midst of diversity cannot happen overnight. As a matter of fact, it requires different stages of integration that needs to be carefully managed by the manager.

Importance of  Diversity in a Workplace

Various opinions and perspectives– employees with different background and experiences will bring together a variety of perspectives,  therefore, in the case were an organisation is discussing a topic or issue theres always room for  alternative solutions and approaches. Diversity also makes an organisation  more attractive ()

                                                                                         diversity picture2

Example of Diversity Management in an Organisation

A typical example of an organisation and leader that has successfully managed diversity and is currently reaping its positive fruits is Brian Moynihan the CEO of Bank of America. With a work force that spreads across over 40 countries (Bank of America, 2014) across the world, Bank of America recruits employees from different cultures and orientations. As the CEO of bank of America, Brian ensures that the commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive environment begins from the top management thus setting example as leaders. Through this, Bank of America has come to discover that when employees feel valued and internal diversity and inclusion scores are strong, employees will put in their best and serve the company better (Groysberg and Connolly, 2013). Brian’s approach of employee inclusion in the midst of diversity also led the company to create an employee network where employees are encouraged to celebrate their diversity, do extremely well in their jobs and attain their full potential (Bank of America, 2014). According to the Bank of America website, the ‘diversification of its workforce is a reflection of the community it serves’ hence the implementation of work place practices and initiatives that promote inclusion. And they have indicated that diversity and inclusion has been one of their key success factors. In addition to this, the multiple skills that come with a diverse team could also be used by leaders to gain competitive advantage (Mullins 2013) if these skills are well annexed to the advantage of the organisation.

The   Video below shows Debbie’s Story, SVP of Talent Development and Chief Diversity Officer at AT&T, and Steve Bucherati, Chief Diversity Officer at the Coca-Cola company, discusses what diversity means for their companies and why having a diverse workforce is ultimately better for the bottom line.

In conclusion, several researches have consistently corroborated the fact that diverse teams produce better results in so far as they are well managed (Geffen 2011). Therefore a successful leader in today’s business world must have the ability to unite people from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, disciplines, orientations, races, religions and even generations so as to be able to annex the best they all have to offer, for the overall benefit of the organisation (Ibarra and Hansen, 2011). It is also important for leaders to be well informed about the differences that exist in diverse teams so as to work towards eliminating conflict and creating a pleasant working environment. Although this is a difficult task, leaders or managers can still achieve this by being more flexible in their management styles.



Ochieng, E. G. and Price, A. D. (2010) ‘managing cross-cultural communication in multicultural construction project teams: The case of Kenya and UK’. International Journal of Project Management 28 (5), 449-460

Financial Times (2014) Definition of diverse teams [online] available from <; [14 August 2014]

Ministry of Manpower, Singapore Government (2014) Creating inclusive and harmonious workplaces [online] available from <; [14 August 2014]

Geffen, V. (2011) Diversity management: making the difference [online] available from; [16 August 2014]

Ibarra, H, & Hansen, M (2011), ‘Are You a Collaborative Leader?’ Harvard Business Review [online], 89, 7/8, pp. 68-74

Groysberg and Katherine Connolly (2013), Great Leaders Who Make the Mix Work, [online] available from [17 August 2014]

Bank of America (2014), promoting a diverse workforce starts at the top, [online] available from

Omolehin Grace (2014), Leadership and Management, [online] available from [17 August 2014]


new blog picture

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority,

Lord Acton (1837)

Is ethical leadership possible? If No, why not? Are there certain things that prevent a leader from being ethical or moral? Or on the other hand, are there certain characteristics of ethics that restrict leaders from being ethical? This and many more are some of the questions that come to mind at the mention of the term ethical leadership. This work examines the debate on ethical leadership with a view to create more understanding of the concept.

colorful 2

In the view of Viv Oates and TIm Dalmau (2013) ethical leadership implies the art of guiding, helping and influencing people towards achieving a common goal in a manner that is morally acceptable. Although ethical leadership has been defined in a plethora of ways, (Yukl 2010) argues that the fundamental thing about these definitions is the presence of values, traits and behavior. The subject matter of ethical leadership (ethical issues) is therefore a complex phenomenon that needs to be addressed with a high level of sensitivity (Mullins 2010).

colorful pic

Effects of Ethical and Unethical Issues in an Organaisation

Being an ethical leader within an organisation goes beyond enacting policies, principles and standards to living up them (Greenberg  2011). Over the years, the press has been littered with high profiled ethical failures (such as accounting fraud by top management officials in certain companies) and several concerns raised about the welfare of employees and suppliers alike (Rozycki 2011). Examples of such releases include Mark Hurd the former CEO of HP, Yahoo executive, Maria Zhang (accused of sexual harassment against her employee) and the case of Michel Landel CEO of Sodexo whose news was also in the media for employee discrimination in their organization. This portrays how difficult it is for leaders sometimes to determine what is right or wrong since there is just a thin line between both ends. A wrong decision by a leader could apparently end in law suit or even go as far as destroying the image of a company globally if not well managed. A typical example of this could be seen in the case of Bernard Lawrence “Bernie” Madoff who founded the Wall Street firm known as ‘Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC’ in 1960. Bernard was arrested in 2008 for the largest financial fraud in the history of the United states of America ( Megan Richard and Aaron 2009).


On the other hand, we rarely hear of those numerous ethical leaders who are successfully managing their organisations ethically. While the ethical standards among leaders seem to be on the decline in other companies, these group of leaders are able to raise the standard and inspire their employees to follow suit by doing the right thing at the right time and for the right reasons. The strong focus of Charles Schwab’s (an American brokerage and banking company) on customer service, its philosophy of transparency, and its leadership under founder Charles R. Schwab for example, is said to have enabled the company to evolve “a distinctive value-driven management mindset, which encourages the company to put the interests of its customers and employees first. As a result of this, the company has been consistently rated as one of the top firms on Fortune 500’s annual list of America’s largest corporations; a distinction that is based on corporate revenues (The Saylor 2013). A very important question to ask at this juncture is “how they do this?”The four V-Model of ethical leadership as proposed by Dr. Bill Grace has been ascribed as a crucial way to achieve this (Katie Lee and Jihee Seo 2013). This model prescribes that in order to become a great ethical leader, people who aspire for such must brace an inner journey of integrity as well as an outer commitment to the common good (Schreiner 2014). Leaders must model themselves according to the Four V-ethical model of Value, Vsion, Voice and Virtue.

The Four V-Model of Ethical Leadership

ethical leadership image(Source: The Center for Ethical Leadership, 2014)

Firstly, the leader must firmly believe in his core ethics as well as show great commitment to these values by constantly practicing them everywhere. The vision stage helps leaders to widen their perspectives and frame their services (Schreiner 2014). This helps to integrate the capacity to predict how their activities can potentially influence their subordinates or employees. According to Dr. Grace (2005), it is pertinent that at this level the leader truly knows himself because without a thorough self reflection it will be difficult to have a vision for a greater unit (Center of ethical leadership  2014). The Voice is the instrument that expresses the vision of the leader and needs to be persuasive, convincing and credible. Leaders must confirm frequently between Vision and Values because there is a possibility for the voice to alter the original intent. Finally, virtue which is located at the center of the model is very fundamental to ethical leadership because it is the overarching glue that binds the aforementioned three Vs together. The virtuous character, also known as integrity, cannot be attained without transforming one’s values into actions or without an ultimate goal for the entire group (Center of ethical leadership 2014).

colorful 2

In conclusion, because no human is perfect, it logically follows that leaders are also not perfect; hence, the possibility to err and make wrong ethical decisions. However the above discussion has also made it clear that leaders who wish to be ethical and make a difference can apply the four Vs by making a personal inner journey of integrity as well as an undiluted commitment to the common good. This will help in inculcating the same attitude and culture among employees; with an end result that will boost their individual performance and that of the organisation at large.moneny pic

Center of ethical leadership (2014), Ethical leadership, [Online] available from <ttp://>  [11 August 2014]

Katie Lee and Jihee Seo .(2013) Ethical leadership . [Online] available from // [11 August 2014]

Charles d. Kerns. (2003) Creating and Sustaining an Ethical Workplace Culture, [Online] available from[10 August 2014]

The Saylor Foundation .(2013) Ethics and Business Success. [Online] available from [9 August 2014]

Chuchmach, Megan; Esposito, Richard; Katersky, Aaron. (July 14, 2009) “Bernie Madoff ‘Hit the Inmate Lottery’ with Butner Prison, Consultant Says.[Online] available from [11 August 2014]

Grace, William; Ebbers, Larry; Kell, Dayle (1996), Values, Vision, Voice, Virtue: The 4 “V” Model for Ethical Leadership Development. [Online] available from [11 August 2014]

Edward G. Rozycki, D. (2011) leadership vs. morality: an unavoidable conflict? [Online] available from [9 August 2014]

Bida Tamang (2013)  what do you mean by Moral Leadership? [Online] available from [10 August 2014]

Yukl, G. (2010) 7th edn. Leadership in Organizations. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

Mullins, L. (2010)‘Management & Organizational Behaviour’. UK: Pearson Education Ltd., 9th Edition.