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CS1779 Leadership And Management An Introduction

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CS1779 Leadership And Management An Introduction

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Course Code: CS1779
University: City, University Of London

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Country: United Kingdom


The purpose of this task is to use what you have learnt in this course to prepare for a job interview or for a promotion interview. This assignment is based on the importance of gaining credibility within an organisation by demonstrating your understanding of the concepts and using the language of managerial leadership.

These are the questions that you are required to answer, in written form, as preparation for an upcoming job or promotion interview:

Your application indicated that you participated in personality training as a part of your MBA degree. Based on the results of your personality test, what do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of your personality type in relation to effectively leading and managing and what are you doing to overcome the potential disadvantages?
This is a high-pressure organization and we must overcome obstacles and setbacks to achieve results. Often, this means that members of senior management might take a demanding and confrontational approach. Given these circumstances, how would you manage any negativity, not be overwhelmed by stress and remain resilient?
As you know, we are a multinational enterprise and whilst the diversity of our employees is a huge advantage we sometimes experience cross-cultural communication breakdowns. What would you do to ensure that there is clear and open communication between your team members operating in different countries across multiple cultures?
We have been struggling to motivate a group of employees who work in our Research and Innovation Unit, even though we recently gave them a 12% salary increase! What would you do to improve their motivation, and why would you take that approach?
We believe effective communication is essential in order to influence others in a positive way. Could you explain how you would influence someone in a more senior role that your ideas are highly valuable to the organisation?
Innovation seems to be everyone’s buzz word, including ours, but I think we could be doing better in this area. What do you think might be holding us back? And how would you improve creativity and innovation in your team?


Personality training

Personality training is a process of developing behaviour and attitude of an individual to make a distinctive person. Based on the personality test, it is analyzed there are several advantages and disadvantages of personality that are effectively leading and managing the situations in appropriate manner. I have analyzed that ENFJ is considered as a major type of 16 personalities which stands for Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling and Judgment. It means that the personality of an individual is identified as ability of interacting with others (extraversion), perceiving new responsibilities (Intuition), take decision subjectively (feelings) and pursue an organized lifestyle (judgement) (Azzadina et al., 2012). The ENFJ personality contains several advantages and disadvantages which are discussed as below:
Advantages of ENFJ personality:
I have analyzed that ENFJ personality is perceptive so it is helpful in understanding the behaviour and attitude of the individuals in effective manner. As well as, the ENFJ personality improves the communication skills of the leaders. Through this personality the individuals can create a friendly environment and understand the needs of others in proper manner. ENFJ personality is helpful in generating good leadership qualities to manage the individuals in effective manner. These advantages are indicating that ENFJ personality is helpful for the leaders or management in leading and managing the operational activities in desired manner with dedicated employees.
Disadvantages of ENFJ personality:
As the ENFJ personality is comfortable with the public engagement so that it is insecure way of managing and leading human resources. The ENFJ personalities have need support to conform to a strong-willed for grouping of individuals, which induces them to manipulate others while accepting their beliefs. In this concern, it is analyzed that the ENFG personality is a time consuming process as it may take a lot of efforts and time to complete, which may discourage to a potential applicant from going further the application procedure.
In order to overcome from these disadvantages, it is essential for the leaders or the management to have positive attitude towards the employees and consider their opinions in leading and managing processes.  

Managing Negativity at the Workplace

Employee morale is not affected much by any factor than workplace negativity. It takes away the energy of the employees and the whole organization while diverting their critical attention from job and performance. Negativity can be seen in the approaches, viewpoints, and talk of one team member, or in loudening of voices responding to a workplace decision or action. Being a human resource manager, an individual are required to be closely in touch with the employees throughout the organization in order to provide access to the opportunities for the employees to make decisions about and control or influence their own work (Chamorro-premuzic and Yearsley, 2017). Another most common cause of workplace negativity is traceable to a manager making a decision about an employees’ work without their efforts. Any decision that does not include the inputs of the person carrying out the work is perceived as negative.
The team leaders should create opportunities available for employees to state their opinions about workplace policies and procedures. They should identify the impact of changes in context of pay scale, working hours, benefits, office location, overtime hours, dress codes, job requirements, and working conditions. These factors are closely connected to the heart, mind, and physical presence of each employee. Changes to these can bring negative results, if not taken into consideration. Thus, leaders should give proactive responses to the employees’ questions and concerns. Moreover, the leaders and supervisors should maintain fairness, integrity and consistency in the organizational policies to organize work in an effective manner. Resources that are useful in meeting the demands and pressures encountered by the employees at work place mostly include personal attributes such as coping skills (like assertiveness, problem solving, and time management) and the work environment such as a better working conditions and social support (Germer, 2017). These resources should be increased by investment in training, work infrastructure, and effective employment, management and leadership practices, along with the ways the entire work is organised.
The leaders should also treat the employees as if they are most valuable and reliable assets of the company and worthy of respect. When the new employees are recruited, position of trust should be created and maintained by analysing their productivity, faithfulness, and contribution over the period to confirm their original position (Goleman, 2016). The leaders should also focus on devising solutions to minimize the effect of negativity. Otherwise, it will only hamper the employees’ performance while creating bad image for the managers in their mind. More and effective options should be explored for building positive employee morale to go forward. In addition to this, the employees should be supported and asked not to take things personally when things go against their way. It should be understand that business decisions and conditions do not work out logically always due to the presence of office discreet and other dynamics factors into the process. Being in the position of a leader, they should spread calmness and peace, avoiding any clashes or discontentment in the employees.

Effective Communication:

In multinational organizations, there exist different cultural contexts that bring a number of communication breakdowns among employees across the workplace. Since employees from different countries, background and cultures have different opinions and values, there exist needs for the leaders to recognize, and respect such differences in order to create an open communication system between the team members (Meyer, 2017). One of the most effective solution to manage this communication gap is to implement multiple processes that motivate team members to go over important messages, and define the roles and responsibilities for all verbally as well as through pictograms (Amabile et al., 2014). It has been noticed that many organizations like Google has experienced positive results by establishing strong organizational culture. The leaders should adopt the following ways in order to ensure proper cross-cultural communication among the team members working in different nations.
Analyse the dimensions of difference: The leaders should understand the relevant dimensions along which the cultures differ, and analyse the areas such as consensus in decisions making, and flexibility. This cuts down the dimensions to just four or five. It can be done using Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimension model.
Opportunity to team members to have their say: The team leader should ensure that every team member is provided equal opportunity to be share his/her views and ideas in meetings and personal interaction with managers. This can be conducted using e-mails, phones, and most effectively using video conferences for those operating in other countries (Amabile et al., 2014).  This international participation is helpful in resolving individual queries and keeping all the members effectively connected, and encouraged as well.
Providing training in norms: The team leaders should create a corporate norm for all across the nations for the employees working there. This provides a common work platform for the members to communicate and reduces the cultural differences. For example, L’Oreal implements a program named ‘Managing Confrontation’ for its employees to train them on disciplined approaches for expressing their disagreement on any policy or rule of the company. Conducting diversity training for enhancing communication is mutually beneficial for the organization and employees, ensuring a high level of performance and return on investment as well.
Protecting the creative units: The leaders should identify the functional units such as IT and marketing units of the company that require creativity to attain business objectives, and then to group them  from others in order to communicate them more frequently and systematically. These units should be protected highly for making the business successful (Amabile et al., 2014).
Bring heterogeneity across cross border branches: In order to create smooth communication, the leaders should manage diversity by mixing operations among different locations, and making a bridge of cultural understanding among all employees (Groysberg and Connolly, 2017). Employees should not be made feel only accepted, but should be appreciated and allocate the benefits of a multi-cultural organization.

Employee Motivation

Every organization needs to motivate its employees for increased organizational productivity and their long-term retention. If an organization has tried a number of monetary incentives but still observing no positive results, the tem leaders need to think outside the box to explore useful and reliable ways to motivate employees effectively. Following are some key approaches that can be applied to motivate employees:
Reward System:
The leaders should analyse the work of each employee and categorize them from best performers to average and poor performers throughout the organization. The rewards should be linked only to the level of performance (Bassi, and McMurrer, 2016). These rewards need not be monetary always, but can also be extrinsic in nature such as promotions, fringe benefits, medical insurance, and flexibility. When an employee is rewarded for his/her higher productivity, it not only increases his/her performance level but also motivates others to come into the category of good performers and gain benefits.
Friendly Working culture:
The leaders should create a working environment of mutual trust and confidence. Cooperation, understanding, and good relations among all the employees should be strengthened at the workplace. The spirit of teamwork along with implementation of best practices motivates employees significantly to work hard (Grote, 2017). For example, Sonoco makes an integrated effort to fulfil employees’ drive by setting business performance targets (Bassi, and McMurrer, 2016). The company provokes a strong sense of companionship to promote candidness and collaboration among the employees. Similarly, Wegmans Retail Chain also emphasizes on providing a friendly work culture, and the managers are committed to taking care of the employees’ needs and wants to form sound relationships with the employees.
Effective Job Design:
Designing effective roles and responsibilities contribute greatly in the employee motivation. It creates a sense of contribution in employees and they feel being an important part of the organizational success. For instance, Cirque du Soleil always focuses on making the jobs challenging as well as fulfilling for the employees in order to enhance their creativity and overall productivity (Bassi, and McMurrer, 2016). This helps the employees to advance their professional growth and they are motivated to contribute more in the success of the organization.
Resource Allocation and Performance Management Processes:  
The leaders should ensure that there is transparency in the decision making processes in the organization. Each employee should be facilitated to share their thoughts and opinions to maintain fairness in the processes. It builds loyalty and confidence in the employees for the organization, and fosters higher level of job morale and happiness among employees. For instance, in RBS, decision making process involves active participation of all employees who can be directly or indirectly affected by the decision (Bassi, and McMurrer, 2016). The company also adopts Maslow’s theory of motivation in order to identify the basic, social and job needs of each employee, and to make strategies for satisfying these needs.

Influencing People at Workplace

Influence is the power. Exercising Influence is essential in the workplace for those are in senior positions in order to attain the organizational success, irrespective of the kind of professional goals set by the organization. Influencing a team or employees in an organization is helpful in making them work together with a positive spirit. Gaining influence in a senior position makes the leader more appreciated and respected among the subordinates. In addition to this, exercising influence makes the own words more likely to be listened to and acknowledged (Zak, 2018). However, the ability to influence is a skill which is learnt, and it comes with efforts and time. Being in a senior role, an individual is required to adopt following ways to influence people, and to make ideas valuable for the organization:
Building Trust With Your subordinates:
Influence can be most easily carried through trust by the leaders at the workplace. If an individual is in a higher position in the organizational hierarchy, he/she should focus on creating a healthy working culture by being honest, and spreading a free will component with positivity.
Develop Reliability through Consistency:
Inconsistency is one of the frequent ways to ruin an organization’s reputation. On the other hand, consistency  is slow but ultimately people will be influenced to rely on their leader if that leader is able in executing the tasks successfully and on time as well, relentlessly (Zak, 2018). Similarly, when the leader adopts a consistent approach of leadership by establishing consistent beliefs with the employees and giving them consistent rewards for their good performance, people are influenced by such behavior of their seniors and try to be like them.
Being Assertive, rather than Aggressive:
By being assertive, the leaders in a senior position can get their ideas noticed, particularly when they are competing with others for more recognition in the organization, such as in a meeting. There exist a difference between being assertive and being aggressive. The leaders should present their ideas and thoughts with a high level of confidence, indicating their passion for organizational success and team work, and influencing other people to follow their principles.
Be Personal:
 A little personality can go a long way, particularly when the supervisors attempt to create influence in the workplace. They should keep communicating with the juniors on regular basis beside the formal route. This is called informal communication in which the seniors get to know about the views of employees on the organizational policy, their clashes with anyone, and then try to resolve their problems more effectively.
Encourage others:
True leaders are those who not only supports their subordinates but also recognize their potential and calibre which they are good at. It influences the people effectively as they come to know about their strengths and work out to improve their skills rather than focussing on their weak areas (Zak, 2018). Motivating people is the great tool to influence them in the desired direction in order to achieve organizational objectives.

Creativity and Innovation in Teams

Innovation  and creativity are the backbone of every successful organization. This differentiates a business from the competitors, provides a competitive advantage in the market, and helps it prosper. It has been observed that in many companies, the greatest barricade to burst through is a lack of innovative approaches (Wedell, 2017). Executive’s bureaucracy and being bogged down with daily activities as other key barriers, which are hindering in the success of many organizations. Below are important ways to deal with those challenges and promote creativity and innovation in the team:
Provide employees a reason to care:
When people do not feel connected to their organization, they don’t care much as they have a little enticement to be creative. The team leaders should make sure that the team is kept in the loop on the organizational challenges and strategies, and encourage their inputs (Winter and Govindarajan, 2017). Thus, an active engagement of employees should be promoted to fuel more of their ideas for the success of the organization.
Employee Empowerment:
Employees should be encouraged to take risks and discover new ways of doing things by giving them more authorities and flexibility. The supervisors should held regular meetings to discuss ideas and creativity. The views and decision making of the employees should be valued so that they can dare to think out of the box and bring more innovations (McCaffrey and Pearson, 2017).
Visualize innovative thinking:
For improving the innovation and creativity in the team, the leaders should set the goal and then provide necessary resources to the team for attaining the goals. The goal should be initiated from the top and the resources placed at the bottom with a sound connection between them (Wedell, 2017). This approach which is also called as ‘brainswarming’ is useful in for promoting innovation at the group level as it facilitates each team member to show their talent. Leaders should support employees in following through with implementing their proposals and give them access to the required resources. Organizations whose leaders used to influence employees through fear and threats always lack creativity because employees become reserved and afraid to share their creativity. As a result, this leads to disappointment and higher attrition in the employees.
Setting an example:
Organizations that constantly deliver greater performance are able to create and sustain an example for the team member that improves creativity by eliminating the unnecessary threat. Employees should be encouraged to share their innovative ideas on addressing issues or harnessing opportunities, and igniting the passion in juniors to show their own creative potential.
Train the staff: 
Training and development sessions are another best way to encourage innovation and creativity in the team. This can be done by teaching employees on how they can use their resources and skills in their field to produce some innovation (Wedell, 2017). Teaching the best utilization of the available tools , and time management can improve the employees’ level of creativity to a great extent. It is also an effective way to retain the top people and push the company’s growth in the right direction.
Amabile, T., Fisher, C.M. and Pillemer, J. (2014) IDEO’s Culture of Helping, Harvard business review, 92(1), pp.54-61.
Azzadina, I., Huda, A. N., and Sianipar, C. P. M. (2012) Understanding relationship between personality types, Marketing-mix factors, and purchasing decisions, Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 65, pp. 352-357.
Bassi, L., and McMurrer, D. (2016) Maximizing your Return on People, Harvard business review, 51(1), pp. 23-39.
Chamorro-premuzic, T., and Yearsley, A. (2017) Emotional Intelligence, The Downsides of being very emotionally intelligent, pp. 1-5.
Germer, C. (2017) Receiving Feedback, To recovery from failure, try some self-compassion, pp. 1-6.
Goleman, D. (2016) Leadership that Gets Results, Harvard business review, 15(1), pp. 14-29.
Grote, D. (2017) Strategic planning, 3Popular Goal-Setting Techniques Managers Should Avoid, 2-5.
Groysberg, B., and Connolly, K. (2017) Spotlight on women in leadership, Great leaders who make the mix work, pp. 3-9.
McCaffrey, T., and Pearson, J. (2017) Find innovation where you least expect it, How to overcome “Functional fixedness” and other biases that get in the way of creativity, pp. 3-9.
Meyer, E. (2017) When Culture Doesn’t Translate. Harvard business review, 22, pp. 16-29.
Neck, C. P., and Houghton, J. D. (2006) Two decades of self-leadership theory and research: Past developments, present trends, and future possibilities, Journal of managerial psychology, 21(4), pp. 270-295.
Wedell, T. (2017) Are You Solving the Right Problems, Harvard business review, 51(1), pp. 15-40.
Winter, A., and Govindarajan, V. (2017) Engineering Reverse Innovation, Principles for creating successful products for emerging markets, pp. 3-10.
Zak, P.J. (2018) The neuroscience of high-trust organizations, Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 70(1), p.45.

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