The contemporary global business environment dictates which capabilities, talents, and competencies company leaders should have. It is true that expertise and experience are vital to managing organizations well, but they may not be enough. Personal character traits, innovativeness, and inquisitiveness are important for being successful as well. This essay will aim to demonstrate why this is the case through the analysis of Todd McFarlane’s leadership approach.
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The main trait of McFarlane as a leader is the passion for the things he does. It is valid to assert that due to a profound enthusiasm, he has a solid vision of what must be achieved and also becomes able to inspire others to attain the formulated objectives.
According to Tracy (2014), this quality allows leaders to see the very root of motivation that makes people commit to realizing the visions of success. Financial profitability is certainly an essential goal in McFarlane’s business but not the primary one. As a leader, he mainly focuses on the quality, uniqueness, and other values of his products. He clearly understands their intended position in the market and strives to be the best within this niche. Overall, such an approach instills greater meaning and purpose in regular work activities than mere financial orientations could do.
Other McFarlane’s qualities include adaptability, creativity, and risk-taking. Throughout his professional and entrepreneurial career, he made many non-standard and courageous decisions that led to success. For example, he bought Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball, while others considered this purchase crazy. However, the entrepreneur’s risk-taking is not reckless but is instead calculated and based on a rational evaluation of the potential consequences.
Tracy (2014) states that risk-taking is essential for those who want to excel, yet it must be backed by proper strategic planning to avoid unnecessary losses. The positive outcomes of McFarlane’s decisions show that although his actions may seem odd and out-of-the-way to others, they are nevertheless thought-through and a part of a greater success plan.
The mentioned leadership qualities are of tremendous help when dealing with the challenges posed by globalization forces that change the face of present-day business. Global competition and technology are the major of those forces. As Black and Morrison (2014) note, in older days, competitors appeared only locally but, nowadays, they can come from any country. As a result, a company should undertake more significant efforts to survive in the business, and even greater efforts are required to take a leading position.
As for modern technology, it is an integral part of organizational competitive advantage. At the same time, the fast pace of technological advances often makes technology disruptive (Black & Morrison, 2014). To implement it for its own benefit and minimize risks linked to rapid technological evolution, a company should be highly adaptive. It means that the maintenance of the status quo is no longer an option for leaders, and the ability to predict risks and handle them effectively is their primary challenge.
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In the situation of high competitive intensity, innovation is crucial because it allows standing out from others. Creative decision-making is necessary for managers in any industry if they want to differentiate their business and achieve positive results. It is possible to say that Todd McFarlane is a good example of an innovative leader. His leadership approach can be defined as transformational because he uses charisma and a keen interest in comics and cartoons to inspire his team members and partners to work towards goal accomplishment.
At the same time, his task- and goal-orientedness are manifested in the way he utilizes technologies and other strategic tools to increase competitiveness and product quality. By evaluating different, complex situations, he finds the best solutions to their solving and adapts to environmental fluctuations well and, thus, attains success.
Black, J. S., & Morrison, A. J. (2014). The global leadership challenge (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Tracy, B. (2014). Leadership. New York, NY: American Management Association.