Leadership integrates followers and leaders. It also influences organizational objectives and mission. This paper discusses a leadership plan in the context of Invitations Inc. It first offers an overview of the leadership situation of the company before establishing a plan that integrates leadership roles. It presents a leader as an individual, a social architect change agent, and a relationship builder. Finally, it investigates how the daughter and father can use the concept of moral compass to give directions to the implementation of a vision and/or contribute to the success and sustainability of the company.
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Joan, the daughter of the owner of a medium-sized party invitation company, seeks to take over the leadership of the company from her father. Although she has worked in some capacity in the company, her ability and recognition as a capable leader by the employees is inexistent. She is merely known as the boss’ daughter. Although her capability to set some strategic goals and directions for the company is evident in her list of areas of focus when she finally takes over as the CEO, the employees have not yet developed schemas, which can help them to accept her as the new leader.
This situation suggests that appropriate leadership is required in the process of implementing the company’s change. Indeed, before the father completely relieves himself off the leadership role in the organization, a smooth transition is required since followers reluctantly embrace new people in some situations to take over leadership roles. For this reason, Joan must develop a leadership plan as an individual, change agent, social architect, and as a relationship builder
Gaining competitive advantage in the modern organizations requires effective leading of people to achieve organizational goals, objectives, and visions. Joan should act as the long-term vision carrier upon considering that her father is only serving Invitations Inc for a short-term. Indeed, only effective leaders successfully enable their followers to achieve a set vision in the organizational strategic directions (Polychroniou, 2009). As the future leader of the company, Joan’s leadership should serve the functions of inspiring followers to work collectively in achieving specific goals at Invitations Inc.
Joan aspires to take over from her father as the CEO in the near future. Therefore, she must be prepared to execute leadership roles within the company. She must have the capacity to plan, control, direct, and guide other people towards the attainment of a common mutual objective or goal that is directed by the need to enhance profitability of the company whilst ensuring good relationships between the organization, employees, and the community that resides within Kent, Washington.
One way of achieving this goal is by ensuring that the company focuses on greener technologies in its business. For instance, although Invitations Inc. is situated in an area that is close to the paper source, such a cost reduction strategy may influence the relationship between the company and the communities as they (communities) become more conscious about the increased global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions. Joan seems conscious about this matter since she has identified the use of paper alternatives as a major strategic goal that she will focus on during her tenure as the leader of the company.
Joan recognizes the role of leadership in the organization as evidenced in her new plans when she takes over the company. Leadership has two main components, namely organizational and personal elements. Lussier and Achua (2004) confirm that success with time demands leaders to possess knowledge and commitment. Leadership influences the relationship between leaders and employees who act as tools for change within an organization, which must reflect on shared purpose of interaction between employees and leaders. With cognition of the role of leadership, Joan can then focus on developing her leadership as an individual in preparation for her new job as the CEO.
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A Leader as an Individual
Leaders are individuals just like any other person who works for an organization. This observation suggests that they have personality and cognitions, which guide their values, thoughts, and behavior. Leadership develops through a number of processes such as accomplishment, inspection, and expression (Ibarra & Hansen, 2011).
From the manner in which Joan plans on her takeover as the CEO, she is incredibly skilled in these processes. She explores all opportunities in an attempt to frame her expectation in a positive manner. Research demonstrates that leaders’ anticipations influence their actions, which in turn control the manner other people (followers) behave (Sakiru & D’silva, 2013). However, Joan also needs to consider various personality dimensions while developing an understanding of how the personality affects her leadership and relationship with her followers as the new CEO.
Joan needs to elucidate a range of influential end values, which will direct her conduct. Such individual values must be developed in the context of the leadership dynamics within Invitations Inc. She needs to define employee attitudes whilst explaining them in terms of her leadership roles. Currently, employees only perceive her as the boss’ daughter. They do not see her as the next CEO. To facilitate her acceptance as the CEO, she needs to prepare and change this attitude to have an impact on the organization in terms of influencing the followers and/or fostering obedience to any issued directions.
A Leader as a Social Architect
Invitations Inc. faces the problem that its current leader is unsure whether to carry on with some of his responsibilities when Joan takes over or not. This indecisiveness may cause the organization lots of trouble in the future since a change in leadership implies changing leadership models depending on the emerging environmental situations.
Joan should plan to function as a social architect of the organization. Currently, the company has the necessary skill for resolving the question of how to gain a competitive advantage that rests on the top leadership. Acting as a social architect, Joan must change this aspect by ensuring that power shifts from being held hierarchically on positional basis to its impartial distribution depending on employee knowledge and learning abilities.
In the capacity of a social architect, she needs to achieve the collective purpose of the Invitations Inc. as seen from the followers’ perspective. The goal is to ensure that employees do not follow the vision and strategic direction as set by Joan in a blind way. Indeed, businesses that are run in a competitive marketplace engage in sophisticated undertakings, which require the meshing of several functional areas to realize organizational objectives and goals just like the ones that have been set by Joan. A leader must act as a social architect to respond to this challenge as a way of enhancing an organization’s future together with its present survival (Ibarra & Hansen, 2011). In the short term, her father must play this role. However, in the long term, Joan will have to play the role.
For an organization to succeed in a competitive business environment, it has to derive a corporate strategy that aligns the projected future position of the company across all its areas of operation with its goals, mission, policies, and values. Through such a plan, it is possible to prescribe an effective direction for each division to yield success. This agenda requires organizational framework for implementation of the directions. To address the challenges that Invitations Inc. is facing, a new strategic direction needs to address areas such as business streams, finance, human resource, and knowledge streams of the company. This aspect requires the father to act like a manager who has a short-term goal orientation while the daughter acts as a leader who has a long-term goal orientation.
Father as a Manager who has a Short-term Goal Orientation
Vision, goals, missions, and objectives guide the daily operations of any organization. Leaders endeavor to ensure that people believe and work towards the achievement of these aspects while managers endeavor to administer rules and regulations, which ensure that things are accomplished using an established protocol and procedures. Compliance is the main goal for the management, especially upon the adoption of new strategic directions.
The management can induce motivation to work for a short period since employees are reluctant to change and resistant to authority with time (Sakiru & D’silva, 2013). The father is clear that he will work for the organization for a limited period, after which he will quit completely or be relieved of some leadership duties. Thus, he can successfully use managerial practices by functioning as a manager who has a short-term goal orientation.
The daughter will take over leadership of the Invitations Inc. in the long-term. Hence, she must deploy mechanisms of enhancing workforce motivation in the long-term. This claim suggests that rather than forcing or managing work, she must influence followers to pursue her strategic directions. She must focus on leading people in an unknown future. Hence, she needs to plan her leadership as a head who has a long-term goal orientation whilst endeavoring to transform Invitations Inc.
A good relationship between a leader and the employees constitutes an important catalyst of successfully driving organizational change as Joan aspires. She needs to look for strategies of ensuring that people contribute to the change process rather than being controlled to embrace the change. However, from the case study, some of the middle management people complain that she is doing a nice controlling. Having known how employees view her personality through their managers, she needs to utilize her father’s personality to induce the desired change. This claim underlines his necessity to continue working at the company during the change initiation phase.
Garet Salmon possesses an open personality. He wants to be close to the location of the action. This situation suggests that he not only has the personality to mingle with employees, but also watch over how they work. An open personality can help in establishing and building positive relationships with employees during any change initiation or the period in which conflicts of interest emerge. Once people get used to the change, Joan can take up leadership roles. Her controlling personality will help in enhancing change implementation. Unlike her father, she is not always close to the location of the action. Hence, she can help in inducing motivation in a changed work environment through delegation.
The Concept of Moral Compass
The father and the daughter need to deploy the concept of moral compass to give directions in their implementation of vision to attain success and sustainability of the company. This goal can be accomplished by understanding the complex moral challenge that is encountered in a globalized business environment by business leaders and putting measures to counter them. Moral challenges are akin to complexities that relate to the scope and nature of issues, including climatic change, human rights, economic issues, and IP rights (Thomson, 2010).
More challenging moral issues also emerge to introduce problems in the manner in which leaders can effectively execute their work. They include dynamics and structure of people’s moral judgment, existence of stakeholders who possess valid and competing interests, claims and values, and/or existing value systems that have stakes that can be considered in decision-making processes (Thomson, 2010).
To lead effectively, both the father and daughter require the tool to facilitate the engagement in decision-making on matters that involve moral values to achieve strategic goals. However, when attempting to meet the goal of sustainability such as shifting from paper-based technology to alternative technologies as the daughter intends, the father and daughter can lose their business due to their over concentration on the moral compass.
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For example, it is necessary to avoid greenhouse emission in the call for moral business responsibility to prevent global warming. However, budget invitation and high-end expensive paper products drive the company’s most lucrative sales. Hence, paper is the primary means of the product distribution. The father and daughter must then balance the moral compass on tree protection and the need to sustain the operations of the company.
Ibarra, H., & Hansen, M. (2011). Are You a Collaborative Leader?’ Harvard Business Review, 89(7/8), 68-74.
Lussier, R., & Achua, C. (2004). Leadership Theory, Application, Skill Development. Minnesota: Southwestern.
Polychroniou, P. (2009). Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Transformational Leadership of Supervisors: The Impact on Team Effectiveness. Team Performance Management, 15(8), 343-356.
Sakiru, K., & D’silva, L. (2013). Leadership Styles and Job Satisfaction among Employees in Small and Medium Enterprises. International Journal of Business and Management, 8(13), 34-41.
Thomson, L. (2010). The Global Moral Compass for Business Leaders. Journal of Business Ethics, 9(3), 15-32.