A leader’s efficiency and competencies are often some of the most crucial elements of a company’s overall performance. Regardless of the industry, a firm is reliant on a leader’s values, skills and methods, which might be the source of competitive advantage or vice versa. Multiple models have been therefore designed in managerial practice to evaluate, measure, and categorize leaders and their actions. Since then, these models have been used as frameworks to assess and discuss performances both on a corporate and individual levels. This paper attempts to analyze the competencies of Craig Owen, an operating principle of the Keller Williams Heritage real estate company, through Kouzes and Posner’s exemplary leadership model.
The interview with Craig Owen clearly indicates the good faith principles he follows in his leadership behaviors. His commitment to enabling and strengthening the employees in the firm is evident through the value he places on delegation and negotiation in daily decision-making processes. In general, Craig Owen appears to be an effective leader whose primarily behavioral patterns fall in line with the Kouzes and Posner’s model recommendations. Nevertheless, a follow-up analysis of each of the exhibited traits is needed to design a general evaluation and reflection of Craig’s strengths and weaknesses a leader.
Leader Critique & Competency Analysis
Model the Way
Leaders create guidelines for how people (constituents, peers, colleagues, and customers) should be handled and how they should achieve their objectives. Leaders establish high standards and provide an example for others to follow. When people are unclear about where to go or how to get there, the leaders are the ones to place signposts. Leaders generate chances for success, often being expected to act first in the situations of uncertainty and change. To model the way, the leaders must have a philosophy, a set of personal standards by which the company is judged and evaluated. This philosophy needs to account for the rules of how people should be handled, and how goals should be pursued that distinguish the organization (Kouzes & Posner, 2019).
These leaders lead by example, demonstrating that they uphold the principles they preach. They think that their reputation as transformative leaders is enhanced by consistency in their words and actions. In the essence, this competency comes down to being able to maintain one’s principles and resolve in front of challenging circumstances in the commercial environment.
Craig Owen has demonstrated in the interview that he is a reliable leader whose words and actions align consistently, regardless of the levels of stress he is subjected. The history of Keller Williams Heritage, and its status as one of the most successful real estate firms in the state indirectly confirms it. The real estate market remains one of the most turbulent and challenging to navigate in the United States, being the most aligned with the general fluctuations of the economy. Thus, it is fair to say that Craig has been subjected to his share of challenges both as an acting principle and prior to being appointed to this position.
He is clear about his guiding principles of excellence and flexibility, having decided to perceive change and evolution of the market as a source of opportunities rather than threats. His consistency in values allowed the company to develop and maintain a reliable set of guidelines to judge and evaluate the ongoing performance, securing its position on the market.
Inspire a Shared Vision
In order to bring individuals in any organization together and build a commitment to the common future they aim to create it is critical to inspire a shared vision. Exemplary leaders are convinced that by visualizing the future goal and establishing an ideal and distinctive picture of what the business might become, they can make a difference. They instill in their followers a picture of the future that is bright and hopeful, yet fueled by the merit of team efforts, rather than a miracle or chance. Genuineness and clever use of metaphors, symbols, positive language, and personal energy inspire passion and excitement for the common goal from others. Indirectly, this competence might be tied back to leader’s ability to inspire and install enthusiasm into their followers with an extra emphasis on the long-term strategical thinking.
Transformational leaders spend their lives backwards in more ways than one, sometimes fully associating their personal successes and failures with those that might await the company. They envision visions in their heads of what success will look like even before they start their initiatives, just way architects create blueprints or engineers build models, by drawing on previous experiences. Their strong vision of the future propels them ahead, and they are able to excite and enthuse about the exciting prospects.
They imagine thrilling and ennobling possibilities as they anticipate the future. As an operating principle of a real estate agency, Craig ensures every member on its team is equally committed to and inspired by their values of professionalism and family-like corporate culture. Since the firm prides itself on being a career opportunity worth having in the long run, its leader represents the face and, in a way, the personification of this principle.
Challenge the Process
For transformative leaders, challenging the process is a way of life, which may sometimes complicate their careers at the early stages. Leaders demonstrate their readiness to question the system by either developing new ideas or identifying and supporting the ones that have potential suggested by other members of the team. The key characteristic transformative leaders look for in ideas is their potential to be transformed into actions, new goods, processes, and implementable services.
Exemplary leaders search for tough chances that will put their talents and abilities to the test, as well as new methods to enhance their companies. They are willing to try new things and take chances, and thus, by definition, are well-versed in the risk management. For them, learning is a lifetime habit. Leaders must be willing to make errors in order to succeed, since each blunder opens the door to a new possibility. When experienced and self-aware, exemplary leaders are also attuned to the needs of different business stakeholders, ensuring their interests are not being compromised with the flow of innovations.
Existing research indicates that in the most effective scenarios, leaders were forced to experiment and take chances in order to generate modest victories and learn from their mistakes. As an experienced professional, Craig Owen understands that all forms of innovation and transformation entail a degree of trial and error. Hence, he often implements the major changes on a step-by-step basis, thus giving himself an opportunity to react to potential shortcomings in a timely manner. When small wins are heaped on top of each other, his team members gain confidence that they can overcome even the most difficult obstacles. Then, he enhances the overall commitment to the long-term future by enabling those triumphs and contextualizing them to maximize the positive effect for the company at large.
Enabling Others to Act
Providing others with the confidence to act promotes teamwork and empowerment, and transformational leaders typically wield their power capital to strengthen other members of the team. Allowing others to act entails involving them in the planning process and allowing them to make their own decisions, engaging in delegation in every step of decision-making. Enabling others to take action helps followers to complete their tasks and reach their full potential, occasionally becoming leaders in their own right and generally contributing to the corporate success. Transformational leaders work to foster a culture of trust and human dignity, as well as to make each individual feel capable and strong.
They think about other people’s wants and interests and make them feel like they have ownership and responsibility in the company. Considering the specifics of modern commercial environments this competency often involves successfully navigating diverse working spaces with professionals form radically different backgrounds working together. By extension, an exemplary leader is an excellent communicator, versed in diplomacy and able to objectively evaluate conflicting viewpoints.
All of these characteristics, arguably, apply to Craig Owen, whose role as an acting principle has put him into a position of power over a talented, professional, and diverse team of employees. When working on a new project he makes sure to enlist the help of everyone who is required to complete it and forms collaborative connections with his coworkers. He is attentive of other people’s needs and interests, even though occasionally this leads to slower decision-making and professional arguments. He is successful at binding people together by instilling in them the belief that they share a common fate and thus are never enemies, regardless of potential disagreements. All of these behaviors are crucial to Craig’s role as an operating principle, since every leader needs loyal followers to channel and secure their vision of the company’s future.
Encourage the Heart
People frequently require encouragement and inspiration to fulfill the organization’s objectives. Successful leaders hold themselves and their workers to high standards. Their credibility stems from their track record of accomplishments, devotion, and daily demonstrations of what has to be done and how it should be done. Leaders connect rewards and recognition to job success through influencing staff motivation. Because they are the most visible personality in the business and act as a role model, transformational leaders play a unique role in recognizing individual or group accomplishments. Leaders may make individuals feel like they are a part of something bigger by celebrating their accomplishments together. Overall, emotional encouragement provided by a leader strengthens an employee’s motivation and long-term commitment to a corporate cause.
Craig Owen, unsurprisingly for his position, shares Keller Williams Heritage’s ideal of being a part of the family and a prolongated career path. From the beginning of his work at the company, he viewed it as a long-term occupation, rather than a temporarily job. This value of longevity might be considered ambitious in the current world of ongoing changes, and can only be upheld through the genuine connection between the staff members of the company. As a leader, Craig therefore takes personally the emotional and psychological climate of the firm. Although the human resource management matters are outside of his specialty, Craig ensures the support systems and teambuilding tools are provided to all of the staff members of the firm.
Recommendation & Conclusion
Despite the drastically impressive strengths demonstrated by Craig as per the Kouzes and Posner’s framework, some areas of his leadership remain to be perfected further. The outlined characteristics are consistently displayed by him in the general work-process but might be obscured by the pressure of circumstances in stressful situations. Both the best leadership practice values and the Christian approach might aid Craig in even greater commitment to the values of strengthening others and leading the change by personal example. As a professional and an experienced leader, he already understands the importance of collaborative team effort to strengthen company performance in stressful situations. Consecutively, he possesses the skills necessary to delegate and negotiate successfully, and needs to keep exercising them to the best of his ability.
In conclusion, Craig Owen can be named an exemplary leader according to Kouzes and Posner’s model of excellence in leadership. His behaviors and decisions as an acting principle of Keller Williams Heritage align with every of the major five traits described by the framework. Regardless of the volatile nature of the real estate market, Craig Owen remains consistent in his values, actions and goals to continuously ensure the prosperity and integrity of the company. And in doing so he continues to rely on the expertise and professionalism of his colleagues, making sure they are being heard and provided with opportunities to realize their full potential.
Kouzes, T. K., & Posner, B. Z. (2019). Influence of managers’ mindset on leadership behavior. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 40(8), pp. 829-844. Web.