The paper seeks to explore a personal leadership experience back in 2018. The manuscript will address the issues of primary leadership and organizational challenges involved and various stakeholders’ mental models in a community-based institution. In this case, the primary adaptive challenge was the reluctance of some executives to let go of the life-long policies upon which the company was founded. The reason is that the firm had decided to take a keen interest in gender issues in the neighborhood.
Various stakeholders held mental models in the organization. Numerous individuals, executive members and several group employees, turned away the idea. They felt as if their organization was moving away from being unique in its way and beginning to borrow the common agenda on gender issues in the community. Mental models illustrate the reality that people utilize to understand certain phenomena. They represented deeply ingrained assumptions or generalizations that influence how people comprehend the world and their actions. These assumptions are developed through the socialization process, including education, experience, and interaction with other individuals.
In 2018 I got a rare opportunity to work as an intern in one of the neighborhood community-based firms. I was interned in the finance department of the institution owing to my academic background in finance. As already highlighted above, there were some issues in this parastatal’s leadership due to the recent turn it took, such as shifting its primary focus to gender dynamics in the community. The senior members of the executive and some employees were reluctant to embrace the recent shift. Some of them felt that the institution would solely base their focus on advancing women’s agenda at the other community members’ expense. They argued that this would put the company in a precarious position of conflict with the community members.
I occasionally deferred with some of the officials in the administration about the change in focus. Since the firm was concerned with alleviating community members from poverty, it was wise to change tact on how to approach the issue since the previous strategy had proven not fruitful. The primary stakeholders in this case were the senior executive members and heads of departments in the organization. A decision was arrived upon to continue with the shift in focus, and it had varied outcomes. One of the results was the financial manager’s reluctance to disburse the funds to analyze the situation on the ground. Additionally, there was a change in perspective for some members. This is after they were sensitized on the gender dynamics before the fieldwork.
Regarding primary leadership, it is essential to note that various people have qualities and ideas crucial to management. However, hardly any of them considers to know what their leadership styles are. There are seven primary leadership styles: Laissez-faire, directive, visionary, pacesetting, affiliative, coaching, and participative. In this case, the community-based organization’s leadership used a participative leadership style except for the fact that some individuals lacked information about the changes that were made. Community-based organizations most prefer this leadership style as it fosters teamwork and enhances consensus building.
To make a business venture or a firm vibrant, there are particular challenges that they might undergo. This case is not different as the community-based institution was faced with several organizational challenges. Among these issues were that the leaders rarely discussed a deliberate blueprint for the future of the company. This failure shows the absence of direction in the firm, and, as a result, the employees were complacent and content to make an appearance at the workplace.
Another organizational challenge is bringing people together to share the same vision. This disunity was also evident in this matter as various people in the administration had differing opinions on how to conduct the organization’s businesses. The variedness of opinions was obvious since people have different personalities due to their diverse backgrounds and experiences (Agostini & Filippini, 2019). In addition, there was poor feedback mechanism between the executive and the employees. This was as a result of lack of honesty, constructive and open dialogue between the employees and the executive. The impact of this challenge is retarded growth of the organization and thus limit its capabilities to help members of the community.
Consequently, another organizational challenge was a failure to foster competency in the company. Nearly everyone has some shortcomings despite the position they hold in the institution. It was evident in the community-based enterprise that I worked with, as some leaders did not enhance their efficiency in the work course. Such challenges would work negatively on the efforts of other employees in the workplace. Without continuous improvements, the organization’s capability was going to be severely limited.
Central Inquiry Questions
A close look at this leadership experience left me with these questions that would help probe this leadership topic: How can I help leaders in the community identify their leadership style? What mechanisms can I develop to ensure effective relay of feedbacks between employees and the executive? How can I help the organization in influencing the mental models of stakeholders to align with the organization’s vision?
Agostini, L., & Filippini, R. (2019). Organizational and anagerial challenges in the path towards industry 4.0. European Journal of Innovation Management, 22(3). Web.