Colonel Novak was an exceptional leader who made a transformational change in his unit where low morale, lack of discipline, and no coordination was the order of the day. Colonel Novak expressed two dimensions of effective leadership behavior while commanding the air force squadron in the war in Korea. The two leadership behaviors expressed by Novak was structure initiation as well as consideration.
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Structure initiation involved the initiative taken by the leader for purposes of defining the relationships in the team. This mainly comes about when the leader delegates and assigns duties as well as creates procedures that the team follows in carrying out their duties. The ability portrayed by Colonel Novak in initiating structure is evident when he singlehandedly led a squadron characterized by low morale and no co-operation to become the most effective squadron in Korea in a span of two months.
He expressed his ability to initiate structure by conducting staff meetings. In the staff meetings, the team discussed the disagreements and conflicts that existed among them. The disagreements and conflicts were resolved and in this respect, the colonel assigned duties in the presence of those concerned. His ability to bring forth structure in the team resulted in a reduction in confusion and order duplication ended.
Consideration is a leadership behavior based on the initiative the leader makes towards establishing friendly ties with his followers. The Colonel expressed consideration as effective leadership behavior. The consideration comes about when the leader makes an initiative to establish links with the members of the team in which he is the leader. In the case of Colonel Novak, he strived to spent time with the individuals in his unit at work and when off duty portraying consideration as effective leadership behavior.
In this way, he was able to identify with them as they shared their grievances with him regarding their hardships in the base. In addition, he also developed attachments with his men and was able to know each individual at a personal level. In this way, he was able to assign duties to his men putting them in positions where their talents and experiences made a difference.
The cases illustration about Effective leadership
The case illustrates that effective leadership is essential in determining the success of any organization. This is because, for any form of organization to make a positive change, there is a need for the leader to nurture a spirit of belonging and the concept of a shared goal among the team members. Colonel Novak promoted teamwork, enhanced morale, and nurtured personal development among his unit members by addressing their psychological needs and providing possible solutions.
This resulted in arousal and satisfaction with his follower’s motives. In this respect, the Colonel was able to enhance productivity and quality in his teams’ output.
In addition, effective leadership is the ability of the leader to understand and meet the needs of his followers. Addressing the needs of the followers results in the development of a feeling of belonging by the followers and thus sidelining one’s self-interest for the team’s sake. Colonel Novak’s example shows that for a leader to illustrate effective leadership behavior he has to have the ability to refurbish the culture of the organization for purposes of achieving a transformational positive change.