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Leadership is a process that is typified by social influence, which is used to support personnel in an organisation to accomplish common tasks (Clawson 2011). Thus, a leader can be explained as a person who can be followed by other persons with the aim of directing them to achieve certain goals. It has also been argued that leaders are persons in a company that are critical to organise others.
In the contemporary business world that is characterised by relatively high levels of competition, it is prudent for management teams of business establishments to apply excellent leadership qualities that can help them to attain objectives. There is no doubt that leaders need to adopt mission and vision statements that are significant to direct personnel towards accomplishing everyday jobs. When the management applies effective methods of attaining performance, then it is almost guaranteed that unique outcomes would be realised (Clawson 2011).
Cohen (2008) shows that effective CEOs are key to achieve unique business outcomes. A debate has been going on in relation to whether performances of firms are correlated with leadership styles. The Business Review Weekly Magazines is one of the leading publications that rank companies based on their performances. This paper focuses on discussing the extent to which leadership impacts market performances. It seeks to challenge the notion that business outcomes are independent of leadership attributes. Specifically, the paper discusses the following firms: Schnitz, Drilltechniques and Fossil Energy Services Pty Ltd.
It is vital to note that the three companies operate in three different industries, which are accommodation, manufacturing and construction. Among the firms that were ranked the Fast 100 in 2013, the three firms were among the top five (Fairfax Media Publications 2013). Another common feature to note about the firms is that they have operated for less than 6 years. Thus, it would be interesting to know the leadership attributes that the management teams of the companies used so that they could be at the top of the market growth chart.
Collingwood (2009) contends that one important aspect in relation to achieving the best growth patterns is the extent to which leaders in an organisation they relate to their stakeholders, who could be employees, the public, consumers, investors, and the media (Hornibrook, Fearne & Lazzarin 2009). A leadership that concentrates on rewarding workers who produce unique results increases the chances of attaining unrivalled outcomes (Collingwood 2009).
In fact, workers require directions of those in leadership so that they would focus on achieving good outcomes. Products and services of companies are essential to improve and maintain good sales. There is no doubt that sales volume correlates with market performances (Light 2008). Thus, effective leadership should ensure that high quality goods and services are sold to customers at competitive prices that increase the probability of attaining more market shares and gaining competitive advantage (Light 2008).
Investors are very important because they are approached by the management to finance various income-generating projects with the aim of increasing turnover (Srivastava, Bartol & Locke 2006). In the same context, effective leaders ensure that they relate to the media well, so that their companies’ news and events would be transmitted to the target people. Larson and Vinberg (2010) argue that the behaviours of leaders in an organisation correlate with business outcomes. Thus, supportive behaviours lead to better results.
Schnitz was ranked the second best firm in terms of market performance in 2013. It started its operations in 2009, and in 2012-1013 financial year, it recorded a turnover of 15.97 million USD, which indicated a growth rate of 188% (Hurley 2013a). It operates in the accommodation sector. It recorded the excellent growth trend under the leadership of Roman Tom and Andrew Dyduk, who were instrumental in directing and organising about 181 workers in 500 outlets in Australia.
The unique performance of the firm did not start in 2012. In fact, it is asserted that, after Roman founded a small outlet in 2007, it performed very well that his two sons, who are the current chief executives, were attracted to join him in the management (Hurley 2013a). Thus, in 2009, Andrew and Tom established Schnitz business. Were it not for the able leadership of the father, the small outlet could not have lured the sons (Hurley 2013a).
Later, the sons learnt that there was a need to acquire a trademark of the business in Melbourne. Due to the fact that they were visionary, they expanded the company to other locations across the city, with the aim of attracting more customers and achieving more sales and profits. Pace setting leadership style is apparent in the company.
In this context, Roman was able to set the pace that could support business activities in the firm. The pace was emulated by his two sons. It is evident to note that the three persons involved in the company were very committed to achieving goals within set deadlines. They hired personnel who were self-motivated and highly skilled. In addition, workers were able to embrace new business projects that generated increased income for the company (Hurley 2013a).
Although Roman and his sons did not have adequate capital to expand the enterprise, they approached ‘friends’ from whom they obtained the required funds, but at an alarming interest rate of 25%. Practical leadership styles that exemplified the executives were essential to enable Schnitz to grow rapidly. At some point in 2011, the leaders approached potential partners to convince them to invest in the business establishment.
In fact, it is notable that Schnitz has been able to grow because the leadership has attracted friends and family members, who admire leadership styles of the executives. Investors are offered lucrative dividends that reflect on their earnings. Strategic management and marketing have been important to the operations of the company. For example, the executives ensure that their brand is introduced to potential markets. High quality products of the enterprise, which include chicken, beef and vegetables, are sold to customers who are more conscious about eating fried and frozen food.
In the 2013 Fast 100 ranking, Drilltechniques was at position three in terms of the best market performing firms (Hurley 2013b). It is interesting to learn that a company with just 9 employees could realise a turnover of 7.3 million USD, which was an improvement of 182% (Hurley 2013b). Although Drilltechniques was founded in 2008, Cameron Gaylard, the chief executive, was able to lead it to achieve excellent growth trends. Servant leadership is evident in the founder of the firm that deals with drilling machines in Australia (Hurley 2013b).
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Servant leaders adopt actions that are intended to bring growth and increase revenues (Boerner, Eisenbeiss & Griesser 2007). As a result, his nine workers were motivated to follow the suit. However, it is essential to underscore that the founder studied engineering for his bachelor’s degree, which made him develop a high level of interest for drilling machines. It is remarkable to note that the firm sells over fifty different machines to clients in the nation, which are either manufactured locally or imported from other nations, such as the US, the UK and China (Hurley 2013b).
Although the business establishment realised excellent market performance, it faced many challenges. The mining industry in Australia has been hit by negative impacts in the recent past. When things get tough for companies in the sector, they fall back on their plans as they wait for things to get better (Hurley 2013b). In 2013, for example, the chief executive noted that about two hundred drill rigs were seen stored and unused in a certain location. Although the discovery of coal seams was very slow in Queensland, coal seam gas exploration was being conducted lucratively. Furthermore, a falling Australian dollar has been negatively impacting the company.
Nevertheless, the chief executive exhibited some types of leadership that were key to attain a growth rate of 182%. First, he applied innovative leadership skills, which implied that he grasped the entire situation and went beyond the normal courses of actions. In locations where mining activities were not going on well, he evaluated the situations to see what was not working and brought new thoughts and actions into play (Hurley 2013b). Second, the leader demonstrated situational leadership when situations proved dynamic and challenging (Dionne et al. 2004). In this context, he directed and supported his nine workers to produce excellent performance outcomes that enabled the firm to be an exemplary performer.
Fossil Energy Services was ranked the fourth best market performer in Australia in 2013 (Thomson 2013). It was characterised by an attractive growth rate of 173%, having achieved a turnover of 7.1 million USD in the 2012-2013 financial year. The firm was founded by Nestor Fernandes in 2009. Currently, he is leading about 42 employees. Although the young entrepreneur arrived in Australia in 2006, he started the firm three years later with the aim of achieving excellent results. Even though he worked for other firms prior to starting his own company, Fernandes developed innovative leadership qualities that made him establish his enterprise and pay staff better salaries than other organisations were paying. In fact, consulting companies were enjoying much profit, but they were paying their personnel meager wages.
Thus, his innovative ideas enabled him to change the market. Situational leadership attributes are evident in the leader. When things get tough, he encourages his workers to keep on working and applying unique ideas that can be translated into increased revenues (Hopen 2010). This has been particularly important in an ultra competitive business environment (Thomson 2013). In addition, he demonstrates servant leadership qualities by doing what his personnel should do in the firm. For example, he treats his staff as his clients. In fact, he contends that he treats them well because they are key to success (Thomson 2013).
The notion that staff should be treated as fuel to propel a profit machine cannot be applied to increase earnings in a firm (Hornibrook, Fearne & Lazzarin 2009). Thus, it is easy to understand why the firm was amongst the fastest growing enterprises in the nation. In the future, the exemplary leader has noted the opportunities that would enable his company to attain better outcomes, implying that he will realise his dream of making his firm become a global player (Thomson 2013).
Particularly, the firm plans to expand to foreign markets, such as the Middle East, which will be essential to support shale gas exploration and sales. Thus, it can be concluded that the chief executive is a visionary leader who is keen on achieving exemplary market performances by scanning the environment for new business opportunities. Furthermore, he is keen on using his unique leadership skills to empower workers towards producing excellent results.
Although the analysis of the three firms demonstrates that leadership is vital to commendable outcomes, there is an anti-leadership argument that focuses on disassociating performance from leadership. The argument asserts that leadership is irrelevant in relation to most organisational outcomes (Dubrin, Daglish & Miller 2006).
In conclusion, it is evident that leadership is critical to achieve the best outcomes of a company. The analysis in this paper has demonstrated that practical leaders direct personnel to attain the set goals and objectives. The three companies evaluated in this paper have some aspects in common. For example, they are relatively young companies that were founded in the late 2000s. Their chief executives are relatively young, and committed to becoming national and global players in the industries that their business establishments operate. Studies in the future would give more evidence on the impacts of leadership on organisational performance.
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