Leadership Style: Ellen Kullman Report

A Brief Background

Ellen Kullman is one of the most remarkable women. She is regarded as one of the most influential women in the world by many financial magazines (e.g., Forbes, Fortune, etc.). She was born in 1956 in Wilmington, Del. She got a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Tufts University (“Ellen Kullman,” 2013).

She also got a master’s degree in management at Northwestern University. She is married and has three children. She joined DuPont in 1998 (“Ellen Kullman,” 2013). Ellen Kullman served as a marketing manager. She became CEO and chair of the board of DuPont in 2009. Her exceptional leadership skills and her vision have contributed greatly to the development of the company, which had rather difficult times in the 2008 financial crisis.

CEO’s Leadership Style and Philosophy

As has been mentioned above, Ellen Kullman has contributed considerably to the development of the company. Her leadership was the necessary push that let the company overcome the difficulties it faced. Ellen Kullman is a democratic leader who tends to guide people, not control them.

She claims that she is an enabler who understands the importance of empowering people (“The innovation engine,” 2012). She stresses that she cannot make all the decision as it is ineffective and unproductive. She sets goals and makes sure people understand the core values and strategy of the company.

Kullman never intrudes in the process unless she sees that an employee is moving in the wrong direction (“The innovation engine,” 2012). Furthermore, she also notes that even if an employee is moving the wrong direction, she does not simply tell how to do. She makes the employee share the company’s philosophy and core values. After this, the employee comes up with his/her ideas to solve an existing issue.

Ellen Kullman’s philosophy is based on her strive for innovation and development. She stresses the importance of development and innovation for the company. She believes it is crucial to invest in the development of innovative strategies in such fields as science, technology, education (Hymowitz, 2012). She believes that DuPont is the company where her philosophy fits. Admittedly, DuPont shares the same vision. The company’s philosophy is innovation and development. The company invests into the development of its employees.

CEO’s Personal and Organisational Values

Ellen Kullman is an organized woman who manages her time perfectly well. In the first place, it is necessary to stress that she has been able to succeed in her private life as well as in her career. She has three children, which can be regarded as one of the signs of her effective self-organization.

It is suggestive that when she became CEO, her first step was to “understanding the dynamic relationship between what should not change… and what has to change” (as cited in “DuPont CEO,” 2009, n.p.). Ellen Kullman knows that to get the things right, it is crucial to get all the necessary information and analyze it. Proper planning is one of the core values of Ellen Kullman.

She also understands that control should not be overwhelming. Ellen Kullman is always open to new strategies and incentives. She is ready to listen to the employees. She also provides her feedback and makes her employees (and especially managers) understand the importance of responding to other employees’ questions or providing the necessary coaching.

Ellen Kullman has a favorable attitude towards diversity in the workplace. Whittle (2013) notes that Kullman believes diversity is one of the keys to success as diversity is associated with various ideas which can be brought to life. More so, since the company is multinational and operates in many countries, it is but natural that people coming from different cultural backgrounds work together. They share experiences and ideas, which transform into successful strategies.

Kullman’s Values Influence Ethical Behaviour within the Organisation

It is necessary to note that Kullman’s leadership style has had a significant impact on the company and ethical behavior within it. She believes responsibility is one of the most important things for the organization to be successful. More so, she considers the responsibility and ethical behavior of each employee to be an advantage in the contemporary competitive world.

Remarkably, the employees of the company share the same values and pay a lot of attention to ethical behavior. The recent success of the company proves that this way is the most effective. The company is also developing an image of the organization which is responsible in all respects.

Three Greatest Strengths and Three Greatest Weaknesses

As has been mentioned above, Ellen Kullman is an exceptional woman and an effective leader. One of her greatest strength is her ability to focus on important things. First, she is capable of managing her time effectively. She is also able to feel the most important trends which exist in society. She does not be in charge of various things; she remains focused on strategy and planning. This is vital for such a big company like DuPont.

The second strength of Kullman is her readiness to change. She understands that organizations, as well as people, should change constantly. Kullman also manages to make people share her standpoint. Notably, she encourages diversity in the workplace (Whittle, 2013). She sees it as one of the ways to change and renovate. Sharing new ideas and approaches based on different experiences and cultural backgrounds is effective.

Finally, Kullman is an inspiring leader. As has been mentioned above, Ellen Kullman is a democratic leader. She does not control, but coaches. She empowers employees to make their own decisions. At that, she is always guiding them and watching whether they are on the right path (“The innovation engine,” 2012).

As far as Ellen Kullman’s weaknesses are concerned, it is difficult to identify any. Kullman’s focus on innovation can be regarded as her weakness if she continues concentrating on it. Of course, it is important to change and innovate, but it is also crucial to sustain what has been gained. At present, Kullman pays just enough attention to innovation. Nonetheless, if she invests more time into this area, this can be harmful to the company.

Another weakness may be her attitude towards control. It is necessary to remember that all people need different types of supervision and support. Sometimes it is not enough to make sure all employees share the core values of the company. Some employees need more precise instructions. Ellen Kullman needs to develop a different approach towards some employees. The third weakness is concerned with Kullman’s vision of growth.

The CEO claims that the company expands geographically (“The innovation engine,” 2012). However, she does not concentrate on the development of the facilities within the US borders. The focus on other countries can negatively affect the development of facilities in the USA and Western Europe. Though, it is necessary to stress that these weaknesses are almost implicit and can become a problem under certain circumstances.

Quality That Contributes Most to Kullman’s Success

Kullman is an open-minded person. This is one of the qualities that let her become successful. Kullman is open to change. She is not afraid of exploring new ways.

She is also open to discussion. She hears her employees who have numerous ideas which are often effective. She is ready to adopt new strategies which prove to be successful. She has made a variety of decisions which have led her company to the recent success.

Communication and Collaboration, and Power and Politics

It is important to note that Ellen Kullman pays specific attention to communication within the company. The company’s branches, as well as departments, have effective communication channels. Kullman stresses that this is one of the vital issues as communication and sharing ideas contributes to the development of the organization (“The innovation engine,” 2012).

However, apart from internal factors, there are external factors that affect the development of the organization. Thus, various governmental incentives aimed at encouraging industrial companies to be more environmentally responsible shape the company’s strategy.

Kullman notes that they are committed to making the world a safer place (Whittle, 2013). Admittedly, the company adheres to the incentives the US government (as well as governments of the countries where the company operates) implements. Of course, as any other company, DuPont has to adhere to governmental incentives, laws.

The company’s decisions are also shaped by public opinion and trends existing in society. However, it is also important to add that the company remains responsible and it keeps developing due to the contribution of such exceptional leaders as Ellen Kullman.

Reference List

DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman’s four principles for moving ahead during turbulent times. 2009. Knowledge Wharton. Web.

Ellen Kullman. 2013. DuPont. Web.

Hymowitz, C. 2012. Ellen Kullman on her grand scheme for DuPont. Bloomberg Businessweek. Web.

The innovation engine. 2012. Leaders, 35(2), 19-20. Web.

Whittle, M. S. 2013. DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman discusses market-driven science, finding sustainable solutions to global challenges. UVA Today. Web.

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