Developing a personal leadership model is a useful tool for any manager as it allows synthesizing the available theories on leadership and management and creating a personalized tool, which is customized and fine-tuned to the situation at hand. In this part of the project, I will be putting together a leadership model that is based on transformational leadership, servant leadership, and Bolman-Deal human resource frame.
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Transformational leadership is a kind of leadership that greatly revolves around interactions with the subordinates in order to achieve a certain goal. In this model, the leader is not supposed to command his or her subordinates and control their every move, but rather empower them to grow and become leaders themselves. In order to do so, hierarchical structures of subordination are often disregarded in favor of equality and cooperation (“Transformational leadership,” 2016).
The Servant leadership concept is similar to transformational leadership and often serves as a prerequisite to the latter. It is a philosophy where a leader aspires to lead in order to serve others better and takes on the role after making a conscious choice that nobody else would do the job better. In servant leadership, a manager is looking to serve the company and its members first. Some of the goals of servant leadership include ensuring the personal growth of the subordinates, ensuring the personal wellbeing of every member of a team, and ensuring communal prosperity through serving the company with hard work and dedication (“What is servant leadership?” 2016). This model ensures the distribution of wealth, benefits, and power through all the layers of hierarchical chain rather than accumulating such at the top of the pyramid.
Bolman-Deal human resource frame is a great tool for analyzing and understanding the relationships between managers and employees. It describes factors that motivate personnel to perform better or worse and kinds of organizational steps that a manager can take in order to improve motivation and effectiveness of labor (McLeod, 2015).
My experience implementing transformational leadership in my practice with LongXiang was nothing but positive. Chinese workers and junior managers are used to strict hierarchy, where the higher-ups rarely interact or care with those at the bottom. By connecting with them at a personal level and implementing several concepts of guanxi, I was able to improve the connection between different management branches and gave them a better vision of the company, its goals, and their role in our communal success.
Implementing servant leadership concepts in my practice was a challenge at first, due to highly-individualistic nature of the western society. However, once I was past this initial barrier, I started to ask myself – “What can I do to improve my employees’ motivation, skill, growth, and well-being?” I started answering these questions and using the answers to guide my actions in day-to-day work and management. As I discovered, such focus worked great in tandem with transformational leadership techniques, as my employees felt that I cared for them, which made them more open and cooperative.
Bolman-Deal human resource frame was a useful theoretical concept to rely upon. Before interacting with my employees, I had to have an initial understanding of what they wanted and what was driving them. This framework is excellent for analyzing the situation and developing a set of organizational measures to facilitate improvement. Using Bolman-Deal human resource frame allowed me to know what my employees wanted before even meeting them.
While this current personal leadership model covers my plan for improving the situation in LongXiang, I plan to implement elements of other leadership frames in order to improve it. In particular, I am going to include Leader-Member Exchange theory that will help me organize managers and subordinates into inclusive cells and subgroups that would work together to achieve certain goals. Other than that, implementation of the Chinese concept of guanxi is crucial for success, as it is a practice deeply enrooted in Chinese traditions of business and enterprise. Without it, any long-term relationships between leaders and employees are impossible.
Once this exercise is over, I am planning to improve my leadership skills by designing and implementing other personal leadership models. Each model will be suited to a particular situation and serve a particular purpose. In addition, I will be looking to expand my knowledge of other leadership concepts and implement them in my practice.
McLeod, S. (2015). Bolman and Deal frameworks. Web.
Transformational leadership. (2016). Web.
What is servant leadership? (2016). Web.