About the Interviewee
Claude R. who is among the key financial officers of FedEx was born in Jackson. Almost eighteen years ago, he graduated from the University of Mississippi and started his career in goods delivery (FedEx, n.d.). During that period, FedEx was a young and promising company providing freight forwarding services, and Claude became one of its financial staff members (FedEx, n.d.). Sometime later, his leadership traits were noticed by the upper management, and he took on the job of a financial manager at one of the subdivisions of FedEx. The 2000s became the years of career advancement for this person since he managed to change a few leadership roles (FedEx, n.d.). Nowadays, he is a financial vice president of FedEx Freight. As for this person’s key responsibilities, they include generating financial plans, conducting analytical reviews, and using data to improve the company’s capital investment strategies.
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About the Organization
FedEx Corporation is one of the most successful companies providing delivery services in the United States and abroad. The organization is headquartered in the state of Tennessee, and it is famous for the speed of shipping services and the innovative approaches to package tracking. FedEx was among the first companies to implement the systems letting clients receive timely updates on the location of their packages. Nowadays, the company has five organizational subdivisions that are responsible for the provision of different services such as express shipping, international shipping, and IT counseling (see Fig.1).
The “Big Five” in Leadership
A five-factor model is a well-known tool that can be used to analyze individuals’ preferred leadership styles. It is believed by modern researchers that the dimensions that help understand people’s behavior at work are extremely different in terms of predictive ability (Nahavandi, 2015). For instance, the most significant predictor of effective job performance is conscientiousness, which involves having self-organization abilities and a hard-working nature (Nahavandi, 2015). On a downward spiral, the presence of leadership traits is also predicted by the degree of manifestation of “extraversion, openness to experience, emotional stability, and agreeableness” (Nahavandi, 2015, p. 118). Together, these factors form a unique approach to leading others.
From a short conversation with Claude and the perspectives of his followers, it is clear that extraversion, conscientiousness, and emotional stability are among his brightest personality traits. The specialist agrees that his strong points include being open and just to his followers. Based on that, the ability to evaluate the outcomes of people’s actions and their effectiveness with no reference to relationships and attitudes are among his secrets of success.
Transactional Leadership and Its Benefits
The combination of strongly manifested personality traits discussed above (conscientiousness, extraversion, and emotional stability) belongs to the number of factors that shape the interviewee’s approach to leadership. The most common leadership styles used by people at top management positions are different in terms of the degree to which employees are involved in decision-making. The ability to delegate tasks is strictly interconnected with leaders’ opinions about the unique talents of their followers. Claude’s key values related to work include the need to maintain order, honesty, positive atmosphere, and motivation, which characterizes him as a good transactional leader. The use of the aforementioned leadership style is believed to have some disadvantages for employees’ personal development, which makes it appropriate for specific situations. In particular, transactional leadership is an approach to leading others that involves the use of positive and negative motivations for followers to improve their performance (Nahavandi, 2015). The help of transactional leaders is extremely important in difficult work-related situations. Claude manages to use this style to prevent unnecessary deviations from accepted rules and, therefore, eliminate costly mistakes.
Roles, Workplace Incidents, and Experience Gained
The person being discussed has first-hand knowledge of multitasking at work and it’s hidden hazards since he is among the people responsible for the financial results of FedEx. The roles that he fulfills being a chief accountant officer are numerous. For instance, he is expected to approve any financial actions planned to be taken by the company, coordinate the efforts of financial analysts, and review the results of other people’s work to propose alternatives and feedback. To be successful in these roles, this person has to possess good communication skills, analytical abilities, and stress resistance.
Claude believes that his skills and professional experience help him overcome numerous difficulties related to work and personal issues. For instance, they helped deal with conflicts with other people in managerial positions. Also, Claude and other people responsible for the company’s financial success have to squeeze the most out of their leadership skills in case of external threats to the reputation. Two years ago, the company was in a difficult situation due to a high-profile scandal related to money laundering and shipping illegal drugs (Rodionova, 2016). In the end, the charges were dismissed, but the situation was potentially dangerous for the company’s social image.
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To deal with these difficulties, Claude and other leaders had to design and implement a range of measures aimed at improving its compliance policies and maintaining financial stability. As is clear from the company’s current position, the decisions were practice-oriented and quite successful. Probably, the lessons learned from this case and similar situations were related to the need to promote ethical values in the workplace and improve the approaches to risk assessment. Also, the real meaning of “concerted efforts” made to stabilize the situation turned out to be an important lesson. When a team of specialists is required to minimize the negative consequences of their colleagues’ actions and mistakes, the ambitions of individuals become secondary. Therefore, with the help of such situations, leaders get acquainted with new ways to unite employees and prevent disputes caused by interpersonal problems.
Every leader knows that being responsible for other people and the results of their work involves different kinds of emotional stress. Being exposed to stress at work sometimes leads to serious health concerns. Taking this into consideration, those in managerial positions are expected to find ways to cultivate emotional stability. The ability to focus on tasks and goals instead of panicking (especially in emergency cases) helps achieve success in fulfilling different roles, but it is especially important for leaders.
In the end, being among the largest shipping services in the United States and other countries, FedEx Corporation presents a public company that values initiative and well-developed leadership qualities. Both leaders and those responsible for fulfilling specific tasks such as the delivery of packages should demonstrate several specific abilities to propel the quality of service to the next level. As is clear from the example of the interviewee, emotional stability, the sense of justice, and responsibility present the building blocks of successful leadership.
Dvornechuck, A. (n.d.). Monolithic brand architecture example – FedEx Corporation [Image]. Web.
FedEx. (n.d.). Our story: Leadership. Web.
Nahavandi, A. (2015). The art and science of leadership (7th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.
Rodionova, Z. (2016). FedEx accused of trafficking illegal prescription drugs from online stores by US prosecutors. Independent. Web.