Leadership Concepts, Business Leadership Opinion

Introduction

America is often referred to as the global leader. What does being a leader insinuate? Leading involves the act of guiding the actions; course and even opinions in order to attain certain objectives. “Leadership roles and processes are those that facilitate setting direction, creating alignment, and maintaining commitment in groups of people who share common work (McCauley 2). Warren Bennis a leadership writer says “to an extent, leadership is like beauty; it’s hard to define, but you know when you see it…at the bottom, becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. Bennis also defines leadership as a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is well communicated, building trust among colleagues, and taking effective action to realize your own leadership potential.

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In the corporate or business world, leadership has aspects that ensure its existence one of the aspects is standardized work. “Standardized work is defined as work in which the sequence of job elements has been efficiently organized, and is repeatedly followed by a team member” (Lean Production Simplified 35). “Standardized work is the current best-known method for doing the work, and it is continuously revised based upon kaizen and changes in business conditions” Leadership and Organization Development Journal (32). Imai(1986) said that there is no improvement where there are no standards. This paper intends to disclose the broad perspective of leadership in an organization. It will also relate leadership aspects to the various stakeholders of any organization or business.

Summary of reading material

According to the provided material, there are stakeholders in every organization; namely employees, suppliers, customers, investors, community, and competitors. Each of these stakeholders has a particular and unique relationship with the management of the company is subject. For a business to flourish effective management or leadership structure must be put in place. According to the article, the major causes of business failure between the year 1907-1911 and the year 1998-2003 were lack of capital, incompetence, fraud, inexperience, debt, inadequate leadership, poor planning, failure to adapt to changes, and low revenue. All the mentioned reasons at some point link with management. There were three company case studies in the extracted article. These companies include Hewlett-Packard, Toyota, and General electric. The three companies had and continue to showcase an effective leadership trait in the markets that they dominate. In order for them to attain this status, they all put into place a clear definition of their mission and intention. They came up with a concept known as ways. This is simply the mode or expected cause of action or mental conception of the organization. The Toyota way is as below:

The term Genchi Genbutsu is a Japanese word meaning “go to the source.” In the event that a problem it is more productive to figure out the source of the problem and make appropriate decisions. The other way was that of General electric, then the HP way. The diagrams are simple illustrations of the three ways.

All this a ways reminded all the stakeholders mostly the employees of their daily duty to the company and that of the company to them. The ways are attributed to the great success stories of the three companies.

The article mostly focuses on leadership as an asset to any business or company but at a standardized level only. The reference text has an appendix that focuses on the Caux Round table Principles for business, a common frame of reference for many business-based arguments. The table houses the belief that the business community of the world ought to help in the improvement of the economic and social realm. The document (Caux Round table 23) acts as a measuring instrument for the business behavior that all can honor. The document’s principles are sourced from two ethical ideals. These ideals are Kyosei which means working and leaving as one for the good of so and human dignity. Human dignity on the other hand is the value accorded to a person rather than being viewed as a medium of fulfilling the needs of others. The principles aim at instilling responsibility in leaders towards the organization for the good of all the stakeholders. The principles include:

Responsibility of business towards its stakeholders. A business is only valuable in terms of the employment rate and economic value it provides to society.

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The social-economic impact of a business towards innovation, justice, and the welfare of a community at large. A business should improve the status of the citizens it is operational in and the world also.

Respect for rules

As expected every business should respect both domestic and international rules.

Business behavior. Credibility is important to any business. All businesses should transact in the most transparent manner to enhance their relations both locally and internationally.

Support for multi-lateral trade. Global commerce is profitable to both domestic and international trades. Through it, many life standards are raised.

Respect for the environment. A business ought to put into consideration the effects of their trade on the environment. Some of the environmental pollutants from businesses include noise, fumes, and chemicals. According to C.N.N (par. 5), Global warming is a global disaster brought about by industrialization.

Distancing from illicit trades. A business should not engage in illegal businesses such as money laundering instead it ought to help end such vices. Leadership and Organization Development Journal (44). All these principles are to be upheld with equal magnitude since they are fundamental to any trade’s survival.

There are various statements in the extract that I strongly support such as on page 26 Leadership and Organization Development Journal (44) where it states “small leadership errors often cascade into larger errors, which can threaten the existence of a business. This shows the extreme importance of good leadership to an organization.

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Currently, there is a crisis in Dubai. The crisis has been termed the Dubai world crisis. The crisis is a result of poor investment in the industry. Leadership in companies includes mechanism development like crisis prediction for the stakeholders namely the investors. Many real estate investors stand to lose billions of dollars if the crisis remains at its current state. As stated in the first principles a business has direct responsibility to its stakeholders, this is the reason the company is sourcing funds to regain its status.

The fifth principle states the support of multi-lateral trade. Abu Dhabi is moving to bail out on a selective basis the state-owned Dubai World, whose debt default led to a sharp drop in global markets (Aljazeera English weekly, par. 4) this is a clear indicator of support for the well being of other countries business welfare since Dubai is a neighboring country to Abu Dhabi. Dubai’s crisis exploded on Wednesday the 25th, when the emirate, known for opulent lifestyles and the world’s tallest building, said it would delay payment on debt issued by Dubai World, triggering panic among investors and driving global markets down. (Aljazeera English weekly par. 8) form the crisis we also realize the great need for credibility since it serves the long term good for a business. For Abu Dhabi to loan Dubai, Dubai must have portrayed its credibility level beyond question. Another principle present in the Dubai World crisis is the legal way to try and solve it. There are no hidden motives to create equilibrium in a failing economy. This is a healthy business environment.

The lessons learned from the text can fall into two categories namely: ethical and logical lessons. The ethical lessons fall mostly on the part where an organization is supposed to be responsible socially and economically for the society around its operations and even globally. This creates a collective goal for businesses to practice friendly operations while maintaining the dignity of each human. Another lesson is that for a company or business to flourish the stakeholders must be conversant with the main goals of the organization. The most fundamental aspects of the business operation should be drawn and made simple for one to comprehend. No special interest should be accorded to any particular stakeholder since they all affect the business at a similar magnitude. Labour is capital for business but it should not be treated lightly since it exists as human energy and humans can be difficult to handle if they sense resentment or insignificance. The logical part of the lessons includes the role of business leaders to disclose and research possible inventions and possible setbacks that may cause a business to fail or make a mark. Another logical point is that for society to purchase the business they need to have money, which can only be around if people work and engage in business activities. The provision of jobs tries to close up this gap and improve the living status of the society hence improving the organization’s earnings also.

In conclusion, it is clear that there are many links between the stakeholders and the organization. The business ought to coexist with society in the best way it knows how. There are also many internal factors that may lead to a business’s failure or success. These factors are easy to control if the organization has appropriate structures. Business leaders should be smart people in all aspects of human relations. He or she should know how to handle each level of a stakeholder yet, creating equality and a sense of good management in any organization. In the event that a problem occurs, he or she should be the problem solver. The leader should also champion for the positive business environment. The loyalty of the customers is hard to attain and maintain but good business behavior will keep business transactions operational. As outlined by McCauley in her book “the professional manager”, The leader of any organization is expected to uphold the true values of an organization at all times.

References

Al Jazeera. “Abu Dhabi to ‘assist’ Dubai World”, 2009. Web.

Bennis, Warren. Leaders: strategic for taking charge, New York: HarperCollins publishers, 2003.

Caux Round table. Principles for businesses, 1994. Web.

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Cnn.com. Climate change, July 2008. Web.

General Electrics. General Electrics Values,2007. Web.

Hewlett-Packard Company. Hp.com, 2007. Web.

Imai, Kaizen. The key to Japan’s comprehensive success, New York: McGraw Hill,1986

McCauley, Chris., Kuhnert, Jesse., the Professional Manager, New York McGraw-Hill, NY: joss-bass, 1992

McCauley, Chris. Our View of Leadership Development. New York McGraw-Hill, NY: Jossy –bass, 2004

Pascal, Dennis. Lean Production Simplified, New York: Productivity Press, 2002

Toyota. A history of the First 50 Years,Toyota Motor Corporation,Japan.1988. Web.

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