Obviously enough, a leader in contemporary society holds a vast set of responsibilities that serve as a guideline for his or her activities. Accordingly, a leader that efficiently implements actions and plans in compliance with the organizational standards can have a large positive impact on society. Moreover, it is of high importance to mention that contemporary leaders should have excellent managerial skills as they are an integral part of ruling the organization. It could hardly be doubted that modern society in the United States is a multidimensional socio-cultural phenomenon, which has various problems that have to be addressed appropriately.
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Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to analyze a modern leader in the context of management and leadership skills in order to understand the impact of this leader. The particular person chosen for this paper is Dr. Johns (her actual name is disclosed in order to respect her confidentiality), whose experience in managing various organizations is immensely broad. This essay aims to study the case of Dr. Johns, investigating her management and leadership abilities in the context of her organization. On the basis of this discussion, a comprehensive conclusion will be built that will allow the author to make recommendations about the improvement of the current situation.
Introduction to the Organizational Context
First of all, before discussing the leader profile of Dr. Johns, it is essential to provide a brief overview of the organization in which she currently works. This section will observe the organization’s core values, setting, stakeholders, et cetera. For the purposes of this paper, the particular identifying details and the actual name of the organization are omitted.
Description of the Leader’s Organization
In general, it could be stated that the organization in which Dr. Johns works is the public healthcare program. It is argued that, as of now, there is a multitude of diseases that could not be sufficiently prevented or treated due to the lack of research in the fields of biological, environmental, and behavioral factors that influence the development of these diseases. One of the principal elements on which the organization’s activity is built is the concept of precision medicine, which dwells on the inclusion of individual biological and behavioral factors in order to understand how different people suffer from the same disease differently.
It is not surprising that the overall trend for interdisciplinary in various spheres of technology and medicine also manifests itself in this case as precise medicine builds on the contribution from various branches of science and medicine. Stakeholder of this program includes a vast set of people who are considerably different in terms of their experience as the healthcare professionals, scientists, and social studies experts work together with people with no specific education, but with the will to help and change the current situation.
Accordingly, the organization in which Dr. Johns works could be described as a participant-engaged, data-driven program that is focused on the intersectional research in the fields of human biology, behavior, genetics, environment, data science, computation, and many more with the ultimate purpose to generate new knowledge from this research and later apply t to practice efficiently. It is also possible to mention several core values that drive the development of the organization. The first value is the openness to participation and the partnering nature of the relationships between the participants. The second value is the appreciation of the cultural, ethnic, and racial complexity and diversity of the United States population.
The principle of transparency is also highly valued in the organization as the participant relationship is built on trust and shared information. The empowerment of patients and participant is significantly valued in the organization. Moreover, the issue of gender inequality of also largely addressed by the members of the organization, including the interviewee whose leader profile is investigated in this report. Another value incorporated the use of the generated knowledge for the overall improvement of the public health sector and the health care system of the United States. Accordingly, the ultimate mission of the organization is the catalyzation of positive change in contemporary research and practice.
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Description of the Setting
The setting in which the organization operates could also be considered very diverse. In order to better understand the context of this aspect of the organizational structure, it is essential to mention that the organization in which Dr. Johns participates is a part of the initiative implemented and largely supported by the National Institutes of Health. Therefore, the primary offices of the organization under consideration are in close proximity to the offices of NIH, which allows the organizations to communicate in an efficient and fast manner. However, geographically, the program in which Dr. Johns participates is located in various points across the United States.
The development of the program has made it possible to extend the area in which the organization can efficiently perform, thus enlarging the number of potential participants and patients that could be positively affected by the implementation of the program.
As it was already mentioned, the company largely supports cultural, ethnic, and racial diversity, and thus it works with all participants who will engage in the action. In the context of the socioeconomic setting, the performance of the organization is also largely supported by the NIH, as was already mentioned. This support allows the organization to facilitate the socio-economic condition of the people who are involved or targeted by the goals of the program.
Related Background Information
Other facts that are related to the organizational context should be discussed in this subsection. First of all, it is of high importance to mention that the organization has a highly detailed and well-elaborated Program Protocol. This Protocol serves as the framework for the implementation of scientific research across the country and generates new knowledge. Specific research areas are discussed in this document in particular detail, making this document the cornerstone of the organization’s activities. It is also important to mention that the organization in which Dr. Johns serves is largely scientific-based.
It is apparent that vast scientific work is needed to find new ways the eliminate the negative effects of different diseases that are currently spreading in the country. Therefore, the majority of the key participant of the program are scientists from various fields of research, including biologists, pharmacologists, environmental experts, and many others. Further, in the context of the discussion of the management and leadership abilities of Dr. Johns, this information will be relevant for the discussion.
Leader Profile: Analysis and Elaboration
The Leader’s Contribution to the Organization
As the organizational context in which the interviewee operates was observed, it is appropriate to move on to the discussion of the leader profile of Dr. Johns. She was chosen for the interview and analysis as she represents the example of a highly effective leader with over 20 years of experience working in various organizations, including profit, non-profit, and government institutions. Dr. Johns holds the position of Chief Engagement Officer in the program, and it is evident that this position requires strong managerial and leadership skills (McCleskey, 2014). Before dwelling upon the discussion of management and leadership strategies that are used by Dr. Johns, it is essential to briefly overview her contribution to the organization on various levels.
As it was already mentioned, the organization in which Dr. Johns works highly values the communication between the participants of the program. Therefore, it is appropriate to observe that the interviewee’s relationships with the members of the organization could be described as highly communicative. In these relationships, each of Dr. Johns’ followers is aware of his or her role and purpose in the organization, which positively contributes to the efficiency of the organization’s work.
Communication with other leaders of the organization is also an important aspect of the interviewee’s activities within the program, as she ensures that each of the company’s departments is managed accordingly. In the context of the overall community, the presence of Dr. Johns is also highly evident. Since the program is ultimately aimed at the elimination of health problems among the population of the United States, Dr. Johns is highly concerned with communication with the community members. Society as a whole is also positively impacted as a result.
Management and Leadership Abilities of the Interviewee
Further, it is possible to move on to the discussion of the particular situations in which the interviewee exemplified her management and leadership skills. It is appropriate to state that the activities of Dr. Johns are largely built on her excellent management abilities. Apparently enough, her over-the-20-years experience is an evident example of the overall quality of her capability as a manager. Dwelling on more particular aspects of her work, it is possible to state that the interviewee contributed successfully to several organizations in terms of management.
In order to exemplify the previous assumption, it is possible to observe the following situation. In one of the organizations in which Dr. Johns worked previously, the problem of solving social issues was not addressed appropriately, and thus the implementation of the efforts in this area was also ineffective. However, the interviewee was able to create a unique approach for her organization, which constituted two directions.
Primarily, the organization was building on the system of services and programs for the members of local communities. At the same time, the organization also made efforts to affect structural changes in the healthcare system by proposing and reinforcing the legislation in this area. The contribution of Dr. Johns was the core aspect of the success of this effort, as she was able to motivate people to work toward a mutual goal.
Considering the examples of the situations in which the interviewee showed her leadership abilities are numerous. Her views on public health, as well as questions related to the impact of ethnic, racial, and gender discrimination on the current state of the healthcare system in the United States, could be exemplified as the case of true leadership (McCleskey, 2014). Dr. Johns engaged numerous people in the movement for the elimination of racial and gender inequality by promoting her ideas in various organizations and communities.
Her efforts have shown people that the change could be achieved, despite the fact that it is nearly impossible to change the existing system at once. Particularly, her contribution to the activity of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is an evident example of her leadership skills as this organization has made a significant impact on the elimination of gender and racial discrimination.
Management Strategies Used by the Leader
Further, it is essential to discuss management strategies that are used by Dr. Johns to achieve success in various spheres of her activities. Once again, given the fact that the interviewee’s organization largely builds its work on the principle of communication, transparency, and participation of its members in the activities aimed at achieving the ultimate goal of the organization, it is appropriate to state that, throughout her performance in the company, she implemented various strategies that were related and task-oriented. The development of primary approaches to guiding, monitoring, assessing, and inspiring the subordinates is the core of the task and relation-oriented strategies (Yelamanchili, 2018).
For example, the interviewee used this approach to develop the communication strategy that is implemented both within the organization and with community stakeholders. It is crucial to mention that the interviewee used the empowerment strategy, which also showed its efficiency in the company. The employment of this strategy is not surprising as empowerment is one of the core values of the organization that is also highly valued by Dr. Johns. Accordingly, the subordinates in her organization are encouraged to implement decision-making that is not vastly restricted (Yelamanchili, 2018).
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The implementation of such a management strategy bears a somewhat considerable risk because the employees of the organization could misinterpret their power or implement it insufficiently. Also, such type of management is not applicable to all organizational settings. However, given the fact that the organization in which the interviewee works is based on communication with the members of the community and social work in general, this strategy worked. It is also worth mentioning that the implementation of the empowerment strategy is vastly efficient in terms of the elimination of workplace conflicts (Cheong, Spain, Yammarino, & Yun, 2016).
When the subordinates feel empowered and valued, they are less likely to develop conflicts as they understand the value of their contribution to the company’s success, which also increases their job satisfaction.
Specific Behaviors Contributed to the Leader’s Success
Considering specific behaviors in which the leader under consideration was engaged, it is possible to mention several examples. As it is stated by Dr. Johns in the interview, she is largely committed to using her experience and a substantial network of links in various spheres to diminish the adverse effects of gender issues that jeopardize the development of the nation. Particularly, she engaged in various movements related to women’s rights. She advocated for wide-scale and profound research in this area of concern. Dr. Johns was always dedicated to spreading awareness about the problem of gender and racial inequality in the United States society. It is possible to state that her work in this field has largely contributed to her success as the leader of her organization.
The Connection of the Described Behaviors with Leadership Theories
It is crucial to discuss leadership theories that are appropriate in the context of the leader analysis conducted in this paper. Naturally, due to the focus on communication and participation that are promoted within the organization in which Dr. Johns works, it is essential to mention the participative leadership and management theory (Landis, Hill, & Harvey, 2014). Many researchers acknowledged the importance of the subordinates’ participation in the work of the manager and contributed to the development of the participative leadership theory (McCleskey, 2014; Yelamanchili, 2018).
The origins of this theory, as well as its key principles, were formulated by Vroom and Yetton. This contingency theory (which is also referred to as normative decision model) was developed by Vroom and Yetton to identify which decision procedures would be efficient in particular situations (Yukl, 2013). According to the model, there are five types of decision procedures: two varieties refer to autocratic decision-making, two other relate to the consultation with subordinates, and the last category describes the process of joint decision-making when the leader and followers form a group (Yukl, 2013). This theory can largely explain the success of Dr. Johns as the leader in her organization.
The Leader Style of the Interviewee
Considering the leader style of Dr. Jones, it could be suggested that she represents the type of servant leader. Servant leadership is a complex phenomenon, which includes “a philosophy, a set of leadership practices, and a set of leadership qualities” (Allen et al., 2016, p. 1). Its ten principal tenets are the following: “listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community” (Allen et al., 2016, p. 1).
The main principle of servant leadership is the commitment to ethical decision-making. Thus, the definition could be formulated as follows: servant leadership is the complex leadership style that aims at creating a multifaceted organizational structure in which leaders are ethical and aspiring to serve.
It should be mentioned that servant leadership is used to describe the particular leadership style of Dr. Johns as it includes the characteristics from many other leadership theories. Due to the fact that the scope of Dr. Johns’ work is multidimensional, such an approach appears to be highly appropriate. For example, the investment in personal relationships with employees within an organization should be made. (Carter & Baghurst, 2014).
As it is stated by Allen et al. (2016), a servant leader is characterized by the following traits: he or she “shares power, puts the needs of others first, helps individuals develop and optimize performance, is willing to learn from others, and forsakes personal advancement and rewards” (p. 2). Such an approach gains significant attention in recent decades because numerous companies seek leaders who are not only motivated by self-power. Instead, the servant leader strives to inspire their followers by means of personal communication and active participation in the daily life of an organization.
This leadership style is also highly acknowledged in the academic literature. For example, the article by Allen et al. (2016) discusses the implementation of servant leadership in academic institutions, while Carter and Baghurst (2014) investigate the relationship between servant leadership style and employee engagement in the restaurant sphere. Additionally, Rivkin, Diestel, and Schmidt (2014) state that there is an evident positive connection between servant leadership and the psychological well-being of employees within the organization.
It could be stated that performance planning and day-to-day coaching of the followers within the organization are integral responsibilities of a servant leader. Also, the concept of shared governance is highly important for this type of leadership. If the work of a servant leader is efficient, he or she is able to develop effective teams within the organization that can function without strict control of the leader.
Strengths and Weaknesses of the Interviewee as a Leader
As it is apparent from the previously conducted analysis, the interviewee has numerous strengths as a leader. First of all, it should be mentioned that she is vastly dedicated to the solution of a large-scale problem that is often not given enough attention, namely the negative impact of racial and gender inequality on the daily life of the communities in contemporary America. Dr. Johns continuous promotion of her ideas of equality manifests itself in her work in various profit, non-profit, and government organizations.
Also, she advocates for the elimination of domestic violence – the problem, which magnitude is also often overlooked by the decision and policy-makers on the government level. The highest achievement of the interviewee is that during her over the 20-year experience of work in different organizations and programs, she was able to develop a network of people and organizations that are concerned with the problem of intersecting gender, racial, and social problems as an important driving factor of the emergence of various problems in the country.
The strength o Dr. Johns’ leadership also manifests itself in the existence of numerous followers that are inspired by her example and also work toward the elimination of gender inequality and social problems.
Regarding the weaknesses of the interviewee, a leader, it is only possible to mention the few as she is an incredibly talented leader. One can state that the scope of her interests and activities (which is considerably large, given the number and magnitude of various problems with which Dr. Johns is combating) is too large. As a result, some of the efforts of the interviewee fail to achieve their full potential.
It is apparent that such a talented person can handle numerous tasks and problems, but it is still very difficult to get a full grasp of all the problematic areas in the sphere of social issues in the United States. Also, the constant reliance on the participative management and leadership strategy could serve as the negative factor since people can fail to make an appropriate decision that will be effective in the sphere of gender and racial inequality elimination.
Potential Ethical and Legal Issues Related to the Leader
Potentially, Dr. Johns can confront several ethical and legal issues. Regarding the ethical aspect of her work, it is apparent that it is sometimes necessary to make a decision that will not benefit each involved party. The thorough and profound dedication of the interviewee to the idea of gender and racial inequality can put her in a situation where she will have to choose between options, the outcomes of which will both be unethical from Dr. Johns’ standpoint. However, such scenarios are rare as, in general, the interviewee is able to implement well-developed, elaborated, and inclusive policies that satisfy the majority of the participants.
However, the aspect of legal issues is much more relevant for the interviewee. Since her work is directly connected to society as a whole, the relationships and communication with the government of the United States are inevitable. Accordingly, the majority of the initiative that is proposed by Dr. Johns is usually not perceived with openness by the government.
Throughout the history of the work of Dr. Johns as a social activist, she confronted the legal issues numerous times as she had to promote legislation that was not profitable or favorable for some companies or organizations. Therefore, it is appropriate to predict that in the future, the interviewee could also face some challenges related to the legal aspect of her work towards the elimination of gender and racial discrimination. Nevertheless, the progress that was made in this area of concern (specifically due to the efforts of Dr. Johns) ensures that legal obstacles will rarely appear, like the social movement for social equality and justice will progress and gain new members.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Recommendations for the Improvement of the Leader’s Effectiveness within the Organization
In the concluding part of this paper, it is essential to develop a set of recommendations in order to improve the leader’s effectiveness within the organization as well as on a large scale. First of all, as was already mentioned, Dr. Johns is largely dependent on the participative management strategy. Obviously enough, this approach should not be eliminated completely, but it is critical to assess the possible negative effects of its implementation. It is very beneficial for the organizational spirit when employees are engaged in the decision-making process; however, in some situations, it might negatively affect the organization.
Therefore, it is recommended that the interviewee should decrease the amount of participation of her subordinates in the decision-making. Given the fact that Dr. Johns has an immensely rich experience and background in working for various social organizations, her effectiveness as a leader might considerably increase if she would implement a more task-oriented, authoritative leadership style. Once again, the elements of servant leadership style and participative management strategies should not be eliminated completely. The core messages of this recommendation are that (1) the interviewees should obtain a more precise and narrow focus of her work and (2) to act more as a leader in the traditional sense of the word, as a leader that gives his or her followers concise directions for movement.
Development of the Plan
In order to implement such drastic (in the context of the current organization’s structure) change successfully, it is essential to develop a plan that will serve as the framework for the change process. First of all, it is essential to ensure the efficiency of the plan by thorough preparation. As the first step, it is recommended to write a renewed program of the organization that will preserve its core values and simultaneously will introduce the changing nature of the interviewee’s position in the organization.
Then, the meeting should be held with the top management of the company, in which the principal stakeholders will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed plan and make changes accordingly. Finally, the new approach to leadership and management in the company should be discussed with the employees so that they felt included in the decision-making process. Accordingly, the full circle of the discussion will be made, and it will be appropriate to implement particular actions.
It is critical to ensure that that the changes in the leadership style would not be sporadic and drastic. In general, it is important to remember that the core approach developed by Dr. Johns is still efficient, and this recommendation does not seek to reinvent it and create something completely new. Instead, small changes are proposed that would be most likely to benefit the organization by narrowing down its working focus and changing the leader-subordinate relations.
In conclusion, it should be stated that in this paper, a profound investigation of Dr. Johns as a contemporary, efficient leader was conducted. It is evident that the problems of gender and race are still among the most important issues in terms of their adverse impact on the society of the United States. Therefore, the activity of Dr. Johns is highly important for contemporary society. The elimination of ethnic, racial, and gender inequalities, as well as the promotion of the intersectional approach to these problems, are the most important aspects of the work by the interviewee. This paper briefly overviews the organization in which Dr. Johns is currently working, as it is very important to understand the organizational context in which the leader operates.
Secondly, the discussion of the management and leadership abilities of the interviewee was the primary focus of this paper. It is possible to state with certainty that the interviewee is highly capable as a manager and leader of her organization. Specific leadership theories were also employed to explain the specific details of the work of Dr. Jones. Despite the fact that this paper recommends that the interviewee would implement a more authoritative approach to leadership as well as a more focused and narrowed scope of the work, it is still possible to state that Dr. Johns is an example of a highly efficient leader.
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Carter, D., & Baghurst, T. (2014). The influence of servant leadership on restaurant employee engagement. Journal of Business Ethics, 124(3), 453-464.
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