Leadership is a critical element of effective leadership. It is found wherever there is a sustained association of people. Despite the seeming clarity of this concept, in modern science, while there is a commonality of initial positions of various authors, leadership is characterized ambiguously. Leadership differs from management, implying a relatively rigid and formalized system of relations of domination – subordination (Melling and Booth 51). Analysis of the nature of leadership shows that it stems from specific needs of people and their associations, which leaders are designed to meet. The nature of leadership is revealed in more detail by its various theories. The relevance of leadership to organizational leadership raises the question of influencing this phenomenon. One of the most significant influences on leadership can be the context – the work environment and corporate culture. In my paper, I would like to examine this influence and analyze whether the work environment is conducive to maintaining my leadership style.
A leader is a symbol of community and a model of group behavior. It is usually put forward from below, mostly spontaneously, and is accepted by the followers. People with power can be divided into three categories: formal leader, informal leader, and formal leader (Urzelai 27). The traditional leader has a complete set of influence tools, hence having a greater chance of success. In my workplace, there is a formal leader; it is the manager of my unit. His leadership style correlates with mine because we both prefer the democratic type. Democratic leadership is characterized by distributing authority and responsibility among subordinates (Melling and Booth 73). For example, the head of my department and his environment choose the goals and the strategy and methods of achieving them. He treats colleagues with respect, listens to their opinion, gives an objective assessment of the results, clearly divides authority, and seeks to form an atmosphere of cooperation. This leadership style and behavior entirely correlate with my values and preferences. Therefore, I can confidently say that my supervisor’s behavior is supportive of my leadership style.
However, there are also employees whose behavior I would instead call disruptive. For example, consider how the account manager in the neighboring department conducts business. Since everything in our company is interconnected, his work style also affects our department. Customer service is the first step in the functioning of our company because it is the employees of this department who coordinate the work of further divisions. Going back to the manager of this department, his leadership style is more of an authoritarian style than anything else. The autocratic leadership style emphasizes the central position of the manager, who exercises sole directing influence (Melling and Booth 61). In this model of personnel management, the manager seeks, by all means, to centralize power, which he achieves through his authority, knowledge, position, control by the material reward of labor, as well as through coercion.
The account manager exercises his influence by developing policies and procedures that concentrate decision-making at the top of the organizational pyramid, creating a rigid vertical of power. For example, he has created a special rule that he always has the last word in client affairs, thus completely depriving his subordinates of autonomy. In doing so, he noticed the work of our department as well, because now the customer service staff must wait for his approval before handing over a task to us. This behavior is not constructive and does not support a healthy work environment in general and my type of leadership in particular.
However, there are still more employees in my workplace who support my leadership style. They include my subordinates who share my views on leadership and align my work in a comfortable way for everyone. For example, they share my position equally and make decisions collectively at their level. As for me, I try to do my best to maintain an atmosphere at work that is consistent with my type of leadership. For example, I arrange regular meetings with my colleagues and subordinates to resolve firm issues together. This way, everyone’s voice and opinion are heard, and a democratic consensus is reached. I find this decision-making method to be the most comfortable for maintaining the team’s community, and therefore I most often resort to it. In addition, I hold regular team-building events to bring the team together. I believe that a friendly corporate culture is the best way for the company to function, and that is why I support it.
In conclusion, the context of our company does influence the maintenance of a specific type of leadership. Some colleagues use a destructive method of communication with the rest and therefore do not support the development of a favorable corporate environment. However, most employees support my leadership style because they consider it suitable for the company. Using democratic leadership, it is possible to maintain a comfortable corporate environment even when some colleagues behave unsupportively. This is because the overall context influences the climate, not the individual details.
Melling, Joseph, and Alan Booth. Managing the Modern Workplace: Productivity, Politics and Workplace Culture in Postwar Britain. Routledge, 2017.
Urzelai, Berrbizne. Team Academy: Leadership and Teams. Routledge, 2021.