Leadership styles

January 26, 2020

Review the prevailing leadership styles in the organisation

Marketing manager in Umbrella, Glasgow office, supports, delegates, empowers and encourages people to take control over projects, make decisions and plan methods to achieve goals. He mainly focuses on people. He uses his personal charisma and networking to influence employees. This manager creates an environment where people can develop and grow together thanks to projects they work on.

We can now compare the democratic leadership style of the marketing manager in Umbrella, Glasgow office, with the manager he reports to. Marketing managers across multiple countries report to the Head of Marketing. The person today in charge of this role, unlike local marketing managers, uses a hands-off management style. People reporting to him have extensive experience in the industry, strong technical knowledge and good management skills. The Head of Marketing delegates to his subordinates the responsibility to decide, take actions and monitor progress. He never goes down to the details of problems and solutions.

On the contrary, in the customer support (CS) department, the leadership style is more authoritarian. CS team leaders set strict policies and clear procedures their subordinates, the CS agents, have to follow. These managers deal mainly with employees with none or low experience and by giving them low autonomy leaders can achieve full control on the job done by a team. CS agents offer a 24/7 service all year around. A simple task like starting the shift always on time is very important in this role and has to be taken seriously.

Impact of the prevailing leadership style on the organisation’s values

Marketing manager in Umbrella is comfortable with risk and has the courage to do things differently, thinks outside the box, supports innovation and dares to challenge. In this case the manager is dealing with mature team members. These people have already invested a lot of time and effort to become what they are today. They are passionate about their profession and receiving trust and support from their manager is highly beneficial. In this way people can see how their own efforts benefit the team, stay inspired and motivated to meet the challenge. He fully embraces company values, and in his team, motivation is generally quite high and turnover very low. From time to time new team additions might feel a bit lost cause they’re not used to such a level of autonomy but usually they get used to it quickly thanks to the overall supportive team spirit.

The laissez-faire leadership style used by the Head of Marketing is probably the leadership approach that better fits the organisation values, that by definition, focus mainly on united people, trust, self-responsibilities and innovation. This approach has mixed effects: while it gives room for new ideas or solutions to be tested and introduced in the Marketing department sometimes generates confusion, for example when different teams, with different workflows not always compatible, have to collaborate together.

CS team leaders’ autocratic leadership style limits the introduction of new innovations and minimises the challenges. They focus on getting things done following the team’s policies, nothing more nothing less. The level of expertise of their subordinates is generally low so are the skills required to perform the assigned tasks. Values like individual unity, friendship and trust are the main drivers to have rules and procedures fully respected by each team member and maintain a good morale across the whole team.

Impact of the prevailing leadership style on the organisation’s performance

To offer best in class products Umbrella has to put its resources in the position to perform at their best: accept challenges, achieve results and get properly rewarded for it. Supporting leadership style in this particular situation proved as an effective and efficient way of getting things done together with keeping people motivated. Effective leaders are those who can recognize what employees need and then adapt their own style to meet those needs (Northouse, 2013).

Following Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a job as CS agent fulfils the first three levels but doesn’t provide self-esteem and self-actualization. This causes a high turnover in these teams and increases recruitment and training costs. CS team leaders and the human resources department are fully aware of the nature of this role. To maximise the company’s investments, they fully support CS agents’ carrier growth inside the company. With this strategy the company can retain best talents and reduce operative costs while this approach provides employees a way to fulfil all the levels of Maslow’s hierarchy and develop their own career path inside the company.

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Written by Claudio Maccari . Passionate developer and former windsurfer. You can read more about me here