Leadership is very important in every organization in that leaders have the ability to define the destiny of an organization as it strives to achieve success. The issue of leadership has gained popularity among academics and organizations over the last couple of years. It is important to understand the model of leadership applied by various leaders.
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Dorothy Edwards is the leader of Helping Hands organization, a charity foundation whose main objective is to help the needy in the society. Her style of leadership has seen the organization succeed in achieving most of its objectives (Winkler, 2010).
Among the theories that she applies include participative leadership theory. This is the type of leadership theory whereby the leader accounts for the input of other members of the group. The leader ensures that all group members are involved in decision making (Coggins, 2009). Group members are encouraged to participate and make contributions freely. This is important in that members feel closer and relevant to the organization, thus their commitment improves greatly.
To involve SWAT Team members, Dorothy allows them to talk about themselves and their reasons behind joining the organization. Team members also talk about the experiences they are intending to gain from the organization and what they have to offer. Dorothy considers all those agendas and takes the responsibility of helping each member meet his or her aspirations.
In helping the members, Dorothy applies the relationship leadership theory, which is also known as the transformational theory (Waite, Waite & International Association of Fire Chiefs, 2008). This is the type of leadership whereby the leader makes connections with the followers or group members. The leader tries to motivate the members and inspires them so that they can achieve their objectives.
The leader also considers the performance of each group member and helps them to improve (Meindl & Schyns, 2005). At the same time, the leader is focused on ensuring that each member utilizes and achieves their potential fully. It is important to note that most transformational leaders are known for their ethical standards (Northouse, 2010). Dorothy says that it is her responsibility to ensure that each SWAT Team member meets his or her aspirations.
She motivates them and is always available whenever they need her. Dorothy is also involved in all the dirty work in the warehouse. Members feel motivated when they see their leader also doing the work. Dorothy is able to motivate, inspire and help in transforming the SWAT Team members through such actions.
Vision that Dorothy has for the SWAT Team
As mentioned earlier, each of the SWAT Team members comes to the organization with their own objectives. Some come to gain experience, while others join to get wages. Dorothy gives each of them a chance to speak out their reasons behind joining Helping Hands. Once she has listened to all those agendas and aspirations, she goes ahead to take the responsibility of helping each of the members achieve their objectives.
The vision that Dorothy has for the SWAT Team, therefore, is to help each of the members meet his or her aspirations. In doing so, she also makes sure that the warehouse is renewed during that period.
Dorothy takes into consideration the fact that each of the SWAT Team members had other choices where they could have spent the summer holidays in order to fully fulfil the vision. Therefore, it is a great honour for the SWAT Team to come and volunteer at Helping Hands. Consequently, it is important to ensure that all their aspirations are satisfied.
To make sure that each of the members is satisfied, Dorothy gives them a chance to talk about their reasons for joining the organization. Once everyone has given their reasons, Dorothy leads them in organizing and planning how the work will be done. Each member is requested to volunteer to join a team that offers one’s expertise or an area one is interested in depending on their learning requirements. The teams are divided according to various member requirements.
For instance, there is the appliance repair team, clothing team, as well as other different teams. Dorothy gives the teams the opportunity to speak about what they want to achieve and how they want to do it. She also encourages them to be creative. She motivates the teams to solve problems and put in some creativity to ensure that the year that follows will be easier for the staff members. This helps the SWAT Team grow and improve its creativity abilities (Northouse, 2010).
In addition, Dorothy always helps team members where they need her. Although she is never involved too much in their work, she is always available whenever they call upon her for help. The team members often discuss any problems with Dorothy.
The fact that Dorothy has many years of experience is very important since she can help the team in almost all problems. All members are able to carry out all their duties smoothly after obtaining help for some time. This way, Dorothy is able to achieve her vision for the SWAT Team.
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SWAT Team gain from Dorothy’s approach to leadership
Each SWAT Team member joins the Helping Hands organization with their own agenda. The agendas are different depending on the individual. It is the duty of Dorothy to ensure that the agendas and aspirations of each member are fulfilled. She is able to do this through her leadership style. For instance, each member is able to make his or her contribution given the participative leadership style Dorothy uses (Mehrotra, 2005).
Members are given an opportunity to talk about what they are willing to achieve during the period they are in the organization. In addition, members are involved in the planning process. Dorothy also gives them a chance to discuss their problems after a few days of working. Members are able to feel as part of the organization through this participative style of leadership (Williams, 2007).
Team members become more open and willing to learn. They benefit in that once they give all their aspirations, Dorothy is able to take action on how to help each member meet the aspirations. Therefore, members are satisfied by the time they leave the organization since they meet their aspirations.
The other leadership style applied by Dorothy is the transformational theory. She creates a good relationship with the SWAT member by the help of this theory. She then motivates and inspires the members to achieve their objectives. Dorothy is able to understand more of their problems and help them solve and achieve their goals by forming the connections with the group members (Brower & Balch, 2005).
Another important reason for forming the connection is that the leader is able to help the members utilize their potential fully. Therefore, SWAT Team members benefit from this style in that their problems are understood better and solved. Members are also helped in utilizing their full potential.
Brower, RE, & Balch, BV (2005), Transformational leadership & decision making in schools, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, CA
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Meindl, JR, & Schyns, B 2005 Implicit leadership theories: Essays and explorations, Information Age Publishers, Greenwich, CT
Northouse, PG 2010, Leadership: Theory and practice, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA
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Williams, P 2007, The advantage of leadership: From leadership experts, Elevate. Charleston, SC
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