A critical analysis has been done on the approach by the leaders on leadership in the work environment. How these approaches affect the workers or employees in an organization. Three interviews has been identified from successful leaders who have embarked their approach on leadership in Australia that how they have sustained and improved the leadership effectiveness in their organization. The cases given in the task has been studied and explained thoroughly to clear the concepts (Holt, 2015). And based on all the aspects which are being compared and contrasted by different perspectives and their resulted outcomes shows how to improve the leadership effectiveness in the organization. The issues which are faced by leaders in the organization are identified and being advised by the current research done in this regard. Lastly conclusions has been drawn and recommendations made that these theories and studies form a few strategies to improve leadership effectiveness in the organization (Antonakis, 2017).
The interviews which are being identified here are of Sam Walsh the CEO of Rio-Tinto which is a largest metal and mining corporation. Where he said that Leadership matters and the interview was provided by N2Growth, Gordon Berridge who asks questions and provide a complete view of his background and how he has inspired everybody. The second interview identified is of Alan Joyce a CEO of Qantas Airlines, he talked about his experiences that how he cope up with all the issues these airlines were having and takes a toll after few years and reaches a new growth in the global industry. The third interview is of Scott Farquhar a CEO of Altassian, he is one of the co-founder of this organization and started from the scratch where he knew nothing and got no such experience in handling a business on a big scale but started his way out by forming small group of people and lead them in a direction towards a particular objective (Hathaway et al., 2017).
There are many renowned CEO in Australia who are being awarded as Best Australian leader of the era and their success is what be the talk of the town. I have chosen these particular CEOs only and the reason behind the selection is clear as these three leaders have started their journey being a CEO from a scratch when companies they took over were on a downturn and having crisis, no growth was suspected in the years gone by when all lose hopes of gaining any profit. These leaders are known to have a thick skin as they took high risks and accepted the challenges with an open mind. They carry all the good leadership qualities and follows their different approach towards their organization. Also in their varied interviews they have explained thoroughly how to be a strong leader even in complex situations and how much leadership affects growth of an organization. They believed in themselves even after facing many criticism by other leaders and took risk (Yammarino, 2013).
Here are the cases being analyzed on the basis of biographies of these CEOs, they are being compared and contrasted critically that how these leaders are constructed and conceptualize the leadership in their organization. There are various concepts of leadership to follow and each one of them has its own aspect which needs to be match up with the requirements of a particular organization. Every leadership style has its own functionalities so a leader must go through the organization structure and ask all the necessary questions required in order to get through the processes and procedure being followed by organization from years. It gives a perspective to a leader that what needs to be done to improve the current situation of crisis and plan out the long term goals. The conceptualization help leaders to form strategies and take risk, provide mitigation with the risks in case where mistakes are spotted it can be undone at that point of time. It is explained below by all CEOs that how they have described their concepts and understanding of leadership (Day et al., 2014).
One of the renowned CEO in Rio Tinto, which is one of the largest metal and mining corp. Sam Walsh who is a widely known name in the industry. He has started his carrier in purchasing and switched in sales and marketing further into mining, manufacturing later to general management in a business operation in around 40 countries. He said in his interview that he was looking around for a fresh challenge in an international company based in Australia and founded Rio-Tinto as his path to fulfill his and company’s ambition altogether. Rio-Tinto is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia under the name Rio Tinto Ltd. After Sam Walsh took up the seat as CEO in Rio Tinto, the industry reached to a new level of growth and positioned at a very high rank. Comparing to the past records of Rio Tinto when it was in a downward spiral and no growth has been seen over the time. At that moment Sam took over and in the meantime it reaches to the new level of success. In the interview it was mentioned that his successor, Jean-Sebastian being grateful regarding the success of the business even after experiencing such huge losses and was impressed to see Sam having an open mind when he entered the company and how he has restructured this organization from a start even in the complex situations that it was having in past years. Sam told the interviewer that when he joined the organization he already had some inaccurate sights of the company and thought it is having diverse operations. The company had several issues at different scales at a time (Agnoletti, 2015).
He has opened up in the interview that he strongly believe, the mentors and leaders are of a great importance as they lead the whole organization in a direction where all work in a uniformity towards a defined goal (Boerma et al., 2017). In his case, as he said he was fortunate enough to have Paul Victor, who is a Doctor of Psychology having a background of manufacturing industry. He assisted Sam, as Sam being new to the territory which requires restructuring and balancing in a right way that the focus can be maintained on both the future and the present scenario (Helsloot, 2017).
He assures that Rio-Tinto relatively is the strongest among all mining companies. The balance sheet shows the strong points and higher profitability rates. The costs, working capital, and the capital expenditure are being reduced to a certain rate. Rio-Tinto is going to continue to invest in assets namely copper, bauxite and iron ore. It has also been forecasted that it is going to generate momentous cash and make shareholder returns in order to grow more. He had over 55,000 employees in his team to lead, to work through the team he enabled certain strategies and plans and communicate them to the organization to implement them. To carry on such process one needs to have a good leadership quality and organization will provide a feedback on such achievement. He shared his strategy that he had an innovation programme in his organization named mine of the Future, in order to make Mine industry to look different in coming years with the attractive segments on a low cost assets having quality assured deposits and diversified operations (McCleskey, 2015).
Alan Joyce a CEO of Qantas Airlines has marked his success with the flying colors in these years. Even after facing a backlash by grounding the airlines he sustained in such situation and take Qantas to a new level of success. Now Qantas is one of the profitable airlines globally. Alan’s gutsy decisions lead this airlines to overcome the darkest days it has lived and succeed today. In his view, a leader must have a thick skin to make tough and risky decisions in regard to challenge in every walk of situation. He has mentioned some of the tips to how to be a strong leader they include having a vision, as it is obvious that team needs a vision of strategies or a direction in which they have to work towards a defined objective. A team having a clear vision of what needs to be done at the moment with all support lead to success (Youssef-Morgan, 2013). Second tip he explained that creating a diverse team would help to reach a certain set goal. A diverse team gives a broader knowledge of background, varied skills, views and education which provides ideas to innovate and being creative on the other side. Joyce believes in empowering and asking questions as compare to other who would believe in commanding. Asking questions gives a clear view and encourage people in the organization to put out their views, ideas and discuss them with the team this way decisions can be made easily. The workers would also feel engaged in such decisions which motivates them to work out best of their abilities. He also believes in calculating risks associated with every action. He encourage at his part the team to calculate or analyze the risks in advance and mitigation as well. This behavior in the organization plays an important role to overcome future risks. When risks are calculated in advance they come with few mistakes as well and Joyce accept this fact (Hooijberg, 2014). But if these mistakes are detected in an early stage it can be cleaned up within the time being. Joyce says being flexible and transparent are the qualities of a strong leader so even if a mistake appears be flexible enough to admit such mistake and clean up. When Qantas was in crisis Joyce has asked all related questions of what everybody know of the situation. As he believes that questions should be asked of what you know and what you don’t know so he makes sure to ask all and sort the dispute well lastly came to a conclusion. One of the impressive thing Joyce said is leaders should be honest and open. Such quality has proven Alan a self-made persona who works hard and smart at a time (Hargreaves et al., 2014).
Scott Farquhar, CEO of Atlassian a software enterprise who produces tools to help business teams and technical teams to plan their projects and build software. Scott has been awarded as the Australian IT professional in earlier years. He is also known to be a Keynote speaker, where he has spoken to audiences around the globe and encourage, mentor the entrepreneurs by sharing his own experiences and knowledge with all. Scott’s approach to leadership is transactional in the said interview taken by Business of software USA. He came with the approach in context with innovation which is considered as an important aspect to run business and compete globally. Here a leader need to create something new and to execute the same he has to manage all the kiosk it creates. The innovation happens after a team is hired and work together towards a particular goal but it does not happen as smooth as it seems it requires a good leader who would put all his efforts in making a way where the team will be directed (Latham, 2014).
Scott explained few areas where leaders need to focus in order to innovate they are:
Clear Vision- There are various questions in the minds of employees regarding innovation that how it is going to happen, what actually needs to be done and what expectations have been made. When vision is being made clear it answers all the queries of employees who are there to execute the plans and strategies formed. The ones who are working on the product must be aware of the fact that why innovation is happening and how it is going to result. The specifications should be made clear in the organization to avoid any dilemma (Beck, 2014).
Customer Feedback- Another aspect in this regard is getting customer feedback. In a software company it is the basic requirement to ask for customer feedback as they will be informing the company whether they are experiencing problems, bug or any technical issue which needs to be solved. Scott explains that they had implemented a process named Contextual Enquiry where few of the staff spends their most of the day with customers to know the problem they are facing. It gives a clear picture of how their product is working and what is required to fix the bugs if any (Bullock, 2014).
Applying Persona- After experiencing few issues in leadership Scott opinionated that we should apply persona where our company is going to target few customer segments and they will be served depending on their demands. It sounded lame at the first time but later it shows dramatic results and lead the innovation in a right direction (Chemers, 2014).
He concluded that to be a strong leader, a proper diligence should be taken while managing a team. The qualities a leader needs is to manage a team in a direction by making their vision clear and if employees are sorted it brings harmony in their work also it becomes easy to manage all the tasks and the whole team as well. At last if any crisis occur in any such stage it will be resolved and undone right away so that it can be assured there are less chances of losses a company can have (Bryman, 2013).
The organizational issue faced by Atlassian was not handling innovation well enough as it required to be. Every company ambitioned that they are going to invent something new to reach a new level of success and mark their position in global market. But they are lacking in planning and strategizing the moves to be followed to execute such plan. In Atlassian, Scott Farquhar made a few mistakes regarding planning the innovation strategies internally. There are few areas where they were lacking are, providing a clear vision to employees that what they actually need to work on and why they are working on, what would it be resulting in. By having a clear vision employees get a particular direction to move on which helps in achieving a certain goal within a time limit having the best outcomes. Another issue which was detected was not getting customer feedback. They do have a public bug tracker but it was not in use as much as it was required to so they need to get customer feedback in order to fix bugs as the ultimate user of the software only gives a feedback regarding bugs and problem they are facing. Employees in Atlassian were taking this task lightly (Pava, 2015).
Based on the current leadership research these issues can be resolved by adopting new leadership styles which are Servant Leadership and Situational leadership. In these leadership styles a leader can be flexible enough with an open mind approach where they portray themselves as servants who would hear all the queries of their employees and makes sure they are present whenever employee need them to help their way out to reach their set goals. A servant leadership is one of the influential leadership style where they create an informal relation with employees but perform their duties as well. This leadership style help Atlassian to resolve small crisis occurred and being a startup this is what a leader needs a direction and a style to follow and lead their team accordingly (Northouse, 2015).
It is concluded from this whole critical analysis that having a strong good leadership quality is important for a leader to take their organization to a whole new level of success. Leaders must have an ample knowledge about various leadership styles that they can follow and lead their team in that way (Schyns, 2016). Through current research it is being noted that a leadership style adopted by a leader should be aligned with the organizational objectives as the objectives showcase what an organization needs to fulfill and where to reach. Objectives mark a way to a particular direction in which personnel has to move on. So the alignment of leadership style with the objectives matters and much of an important step taken in this case to avoid crisis. The leaders who are being identified in the assignment have given strong opinions regarding their experiences in the field of leadership. They have explained how they concurred in a global market even in the worse situation where there were no hopes of growth at all. The varied leadership styles which they followed have been mentioned in the interviews which help other leaders to know more about the aspects of leadership. They have experienced many crisis while following their styles but in no time they managed to survive and lead their organization towards the achievement of their own objectives (Avolio et al., 2013)
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