Leadership Action Logics and Transformations

Introduction

Few studies have been conducted to investigate various unique aspects that make leaders attain their transformational rankings. The implication here is that many bosses who manage contemporary companies are not well equipped with elements that they can implement to boost their transformational capacities. This gap may have informed the research by Rooke and Torbert concerning the contribution of various leadership action logics to enhancing transformational leaders’ performance and, consequently, the profitability of their respective businesses. The concept of action logic is crucial because it allows companies’ heads to establish realistic mechanisms for comprehending not only their personal behaviors but also their workers’ manner of actions. This paper seeks to explain numerous leadership action logics such as diplomats, strategists, alchemists, opportunists, experts, achievers, and individualists, as presented in the study by Rooke and Torbert. From the information presented in this article, it is imperative to examine a global businessperson, for instance, Sundar Pichai, who has given Google Company its current reputation of being among the top-performing businesses in the world.

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Leadership Action Logic Types

Opportunists

From Rooke and Torbert’s study, only 5% of the sampled leaders stood out as opportunists. These leaders depict traits such as being egotistical and calculating. Despite their efforts to gain the confidence of their employees, they hardly trust them in return. They perceive workers and followers as opportunities that need to be seized to satisfy their individual desires. Such leaders are not interested in fulfilling the demands of individuals who belong to the “outside” world. They view other people as competing forces that seek to attain some personal gains, as opposed to benefiting the entire organization. Hence, when faced with a tough situation, opportunists try to manipulate it with the view of making the outcome favorable to them. These people rarely accept any corrections because they always justify their decisions or mode of action. The implication here is that they do not embrace the value of feedback or any form of criticism. From Rooke and Torbert’s article, opportunists stand out as leaders who do not assume responsibility for any mistakes they make. Conflicts caused by their reactive nature make them short-term bosses because they contravene most of the laid-down organizational principles.

Diplomats

Diplomats operate differently from opportunists. In particular, while the latter category is more interested in matters concerning individual satisfaction, diplomats strive to ensure that they are at peace with the world around them. Hence, they operate in a manner that does not hurt employees or other close colleagues. This trait depicts them as leaders who do not create an environment that can result in conflicts in the workplace. They remain obedient to the laid-down codes of conduct. However, diplomats, particularly those who occupy senior positions, may be tempted to focus on high-ranking individuals while ignoring efforts made by junior workers. Different from opportunists, leaders who demonstrate diplomatic traits acknowledge the need for coping with other people’s shortcomings. However, they are unable to deal with workplace conflicts because they dislike such environments. Since disagreements result in divergent views that lead to organizational changes, diplomats fail in this area. They are unable to implement or initiate transformations in their companies. As a result, they are associated with pitiable organizational results.

Experts

From Rooke and Torbert’s findings, experts appeared to take the largest share of the sampled leaders. Almost 40% of them lay in this category. Although opportunists only focus on individual desires while diplomats shape their inner world to be in harmony with the external environment, experts strive to ensure a sense of balance between their internal affairs and professional matters. These leaders embrace critical thinking when handling their day-to-day activities. According to Rooke and Torbert, professionals, including financial advisors and editors, lie in this class of leaders. Those who have worked closely with experts can attest to their work adeptness. They are well known for using facts to substantiate claims regarding why they are suitable in their respective lines of business. However, any individual who questions their tasks may have trouble because experts dislike arguments or any form of condemnation because they believe they are right. They do not prefer operating in groups or teamwork environments. As such, experts are incapable of handling a diverse labor force that is linked to divergent opinions and questions. Hence, they are not good organizational administrators or leaders.

Achievers

A significant number (30%) of individuals sampled in Rooke and Torbert’s article belonged in the “achievers” leadership action logic type. These leaders demonstrate various likable characters such as being outstanding team managers and offering their followers the necessary backup to accomplish organizational tasks. In addition, contrary to diplomats and experts who may not tackle organizational differences, achievers manage conflicts hands-on. However, they are incapable of developing inventive ideas that can sustain the profitability and performance of present-day institutions. Nonetheless, in relation to leaders in previously discussed categories, leaders or managers in the “achievers” class demonstrate high levels of competence when handling crucial organizational matters.

According to Rooke and Torbert, these individuals are well equipped with ideas that lead to their understanding of elements that can be implemented to successfully handle complex issues. Achievers’ rich knowledge is linked to their capacity to embrace feedback as a crucial resource that is meant to boost one’s level of thinking. Consequently, they thrive in an environment consisting of diverse workers who can challenge each other’s manner of reasoning. Rooke and Torbert reveal an interesting observation whereby achievers and experts rarely operate smoothly in the same environment. Although the former group handles organizational affairs satisfactorily, the latter one finds it difficult operating under the leadership of an achiever who they view as less knowledgeable.

Individualists

Individualists believe that leaders evolve. According to them, people who depict any of the above action logic types change with time due to their day-to-day interactions with the world that has the potential of influencing their next courses of action and, consequently, behaviors. They recognize that other people’s opinions are equally constructive and capable of contributing to their individualist leadership characteristics. Such appreciation of other workers’ input makes them vital resources in organizations that operate in extremely diverse and harsh environments. Leaders who uphold this action logic can master other individuals’ traits in addition to understanding the best method to approach and interact with them collaboratively to accomplish a particular organizational agenda.

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As a result, individualists are best suited in dealing with people who may not be sharing similar perspectives regarding some organizational or world matters. Consequently, they have remarkable skills in handling conflicts, especially those that are associated with institutional changes. The implication here is that individualists can lead contemporary organizations that are striving to manage changes brought about by technology. However, according to Rooke and Torbert, these leaders only focus on matters that appear beneficial to their organizations. Any calls to have them implement ideas to benefit some individuals, as opposed to the general organizational welfare, may not be considered a worthy course.

Strategists

Approximately 4% of participants in Rooke and Torbert’s sample stood out as strategists. This finding reveals why many companies that have been associated with remarkable results are equally few. Strategists depict outstanding transformational qualities. In particular, companies that wish to execute and manage changes deploy the input of leaders who demonstrate this action logic. Such individuals are highly skilled in terms of establishing hands-on approaches that can address organizational problems associated with finances or employees. These transformational leaders may be viewed as superior to individualists discussed above. In addition to demonstrating high levels of dealing with people, regardless of the action logic they uphold, strategists understand that conflicts may be harmful or constructive to their institutions. As a result, they know the best time to allow or reprimand organizational disagreements. Consequently, strategists are well known for their capacity to influence organizational success.

Alchemists

People who embrace this leadership action logic are less compared to strategists. Alchemists are individuals whose influence makes them deal with globally prominent people such as presidents of various esteemed countries, for instance, the United States. However, their high-ranking nature does not make them abandon people from low socio-economic backgrounds. Alchemists know how to balance their daily interactions to benefit all individuals, regardless of their positions, while at the same time remaining focused on the overall institutional goal. Such leaders are well known for accomplishing historical agendas within their respective countries or organizations. They rebuke illegitimate practices. Alchemists engage in unique activities that other people find strange but enthralling. Nevertheless, it is crucial to give an example of an internationally recognized business leader who has managed to demonstrate some of the traits presented above. In this regard, Sundar Pichai, Google’s boss, is selected because he has proved to be a strategist and an achiever.

Sundar Pichai: A Global Business Leader

Sundar Pichai is a famous real-time leader who operates as Google Company’s CEO. This organization, which is based in Mountain View, California, is one of the best-performing entities in the world. Pichai has played a huge role in shaping Google’s performance and productivity. He has proven to be a strategist and an achiever. His “achievers” trait is linked to the company’s consistent remarkable results. Pichai has managed to lead Google that operates in the technology sector because he has an outstanding background, whereby he was a student in a college, namely, the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. This institution is highly recognized for producing academic gurus who not only graduate to become inventors of various technologies but also great leaders of renowned companies.

Pichai’s achievements in Google are attributable to this technology institution where he attained a degree in Metallurgical Engineering that shaped his early passion and expertise in his line of business. As an achiever, this leader has managed to create an environment that embraces teamwork and critical thinking. This trait reveals why Google has remained competitive due to innovative ideas developed by Pichai’s pool of experienced workers. Many Internet-facilitated apps, including Google App Engine and Google Docs, among others, which the world uses today, have their root in Google, thanks to Pichai’s “achievers” leadership trait. The company’s Google Photos has also received recognition for attaining more than 1 billion users who wish to share photos or socialize with other people instantaneously from any part of the world.

Pichai has also proved to be a strategist. He has come up with strategies, including investing in a talented workforce, for ensuring sustainable organizational performance. He believes that employees can only operate optimally when granted an environment that balances their individual, family, and work life. As such, in addition to giving his employees better salary packages to address their personal and family needs, Pichai extends to them paid work-offs whereby they can have ample time with their loved ones. He has also created a working atmosphere where all workers feel encouraged to give their best to the organization. Hence, they do not encounter barriers that can limit their capacity to realize their company’s mission of ensuring that the world is universally accessible and resourceful to all users.

Conclusion

Businesses that operate in the present-day competitive environment cannot record optimal results without recognizing the role of leadership in enhancing their performance and profitability. Numerous studies have been carried out investigating the input of transformational leaders, who many companies associate with remarkable organizational results. These leaders recognize the role of workers in shaping the performance of their respective organizations. According to them, employees are valuable resources that need to be tapped to realize the set goals and objectives. However, they may fail to realize the essence of developing various personal aspects that determine the effectiveness of their transformational leadership styles. The article by Rooke and Torbert has revealed various transformational leadership action logics that companies’ heads and world leaders may need to know to enhance the manner of handling their day-to-day activities or interacting with people. This paper has also examined Sundar Pichai’s leadership as an achiever and a strategist.

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