The paper 'Understanding Effective Leadership' is a wonderful example of a Management Essay. Effective leadership is an aspect that has attracted much attention globally. Effective leaders are made up of various attributes which contribute to their effectiveness as a leader. An effective leader plays a key role in creating and maintaining a healthy working environment that enhances positive outcomes from the employees and all stakeholders (Lussier, & Achua, 2010). Additionally, it influences personal mastery, interpersonal effectiveness, financial and human resource management, care, respect, and critical thinking. We have met successful leaders on the globe that have left us wondering what empowered them to become effective.
Meg Whitman is amongst the most effective leaders known worldwide. Whitman’ s effective leadership was witnessed during her tenure as eBay’ s CEO. She propelled the growth of the company into higher levels with revenue increasing from millions to billions. This was attributed to her great leadership qualities and skills. Most often, Whitman found herself as a new employee in many organizations she worked for like eBay. Through this experience, she has developed to be an effective leader throughout her life.
This paper explores effective leadership based on Whitman’ s attributes and developing a human resource development program for preparing new and aspiring leaders to achieve the same attributes. One of her main attributes was collaborative leadership. Whitman described eBay as a collaborative network partnering with the community of buyers and sellers. Collaborative leaders are leaders who are good at articulating the vision and mission for the organization, inspiring employees to act as well as focusing on the concrete challenges and outcomes. More specifically, they are leaders that guide and motivate employees rather than control and direct them.
Whitman firmly believed in influencing the relationship with her employees rather than controlling them. According to the leader-member exchange theory (LMX), building or destroying relationships is based on the trust between the leader and employee (Lussier, and Achua, 2010). The relationship begins once a person either a leader or an employee joins an organization. LMX process has three dimensions; role taking, role making, and routinization. Role taking involves the assessment of a person once he/she joins the organization for his/her abilities and talents.
Thereafter, an opportunity is offered for one to demonstrate his/her capabilities. In role making, the leader engages the employee in a negotiation from which his/her role is developed outlining the duties and responsibilities as well as the benefits and repercussions. Trust-building takes a central position in this stage. Lastly, routinization is a stage where a relationship is established after several exchanges and interactions. However, the quality of this relationship is affected by various factors like task complexity. Additionally, this also affects the level of involvement. For instance, when the task complexity is a high level of exchange is high and vice versa (Clemens, 2008). The second attribute is motivation which is of vital significance in ineffective leadership.
Whitman motivated her employees by instilling a good vision and mission which all the employees were passionate about. Visions or missions that are too broad or vague, unattainable, and do not consider the role of individuals in achieving them, are characteristic of ineffective leadership. Research has proved that visions of most organizations are devoid of action (Bijlsma-Frankem, 2005). In addition, Whitman is very supportive of her employees.
She supported her employees emotionally and treated them with the utmost care and respect. Support is used to successfully implement the job requirements. This is because the leader will have one-on-one communications with the staff creating trust and understanding between the two parties. The leader will be able to openly tell the staff whether they are doing a good job or not. The leaders become more considerate about the human needs of their staff. Leaders who are considerate are proved to be effective and they get contented with the work of their staff.
Aside from the emotional well being, Whitman nurtured innovation from the employees. She believes that news ideas and innovation take place throughout the company and thus need to be supported/nurtured. EBay’ s incredible success was partly attributed to constant innovation.
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