Leadership Attributes and Traits Leadership Traditionally, people worked in bits while trying to achieve goals allocated. People believed in individual achievement. However, today’s global world requires the ability to deliver good results working effectively in team as employees apply team spirit to realize the task assigned to them. They follow the criteria of team composition variables, which comprise of personal characteristics of an individual team member, importance of considering every employee’s traits in order to achieve performance improvement (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2009). Generally, tasks relegated to different employees in an organization have an effect on the organization’s performance.
Thus, it is equally vital to clarify and clearly define the tasks accorded to every team. As such, this paper will seek to discuss the impact of leadership attributes and traits on organization performance while basing its arguments on the Chief Executive Officer of General Electronics, Jeffrey Immelt. Based on the purpose of staying competitive and making profits simultaneously specially in this fast-paced, universal economic environment, organizations are recurrently looking for different methods in which to implement effective and refined business strategies.
Additionally, the international economic pressures have made American businesspersons and others from other nations rethink their premeditated goals and philosophies (Rowe, 2011). Consequently, team-based management has taken a center stage in the restoration of organizations’ productivity including General Electrics. Simultaneously, this team-based management is creating a working environment aligned with the workers’ nature. With that in mind, it is easy to analyze the leadership traits of Jeffrey Immelt. Immelt took over as the General Electrics’ CEO in 2000 upon the retirement of Jack Welch. Jeffrey’s management at GE is not that all pleasant (Lussier & Achua, 2010).
This is so because, since his instatement on the CEO post, General Electrics has undergone closure of 31 of its plants. Scholarly studies on personality traits and their effects on leadership reveal that, a good leader is one who possesses leadership traits such as low emotionality, congeniality, verbal fluency, liveliness, goodness, daring, and intelligence. Researchers report that such attributes help organizations distinguish between leaders and non-leaders especially when selecting a leader to lead any department of the organization or the entire organization (Abiodun, 2010).
With reference to Jeffrey, one thing is clear; General Electrics did not choose wisely when electing Jeffrey to head such a conglomerate. Attributes and traits of leadership have subsequent impacts on organizational performance. For instance, if Jeffrey was daring and intelligent enough, he could not have allowed the closure of the 31 plants mainly because their presence could have an additional value to the performance of General Electronics. In addition, Jeffrey has neither intelligent nor liveliness since there is no way he could posses any of these leadership attributes and have part of his organization undergo closure even after serving at General electrics for over 29 years (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2009). Failure to choose an effective leader while bearing in mind the leadership attributes and traits can have serious consequences on the performance of an organization.
General Electrics can bear witness to such a claim as since when Jeffrey took over as the company’s CEO, GE failed to manage its employees and ended up letting go of over 19,000 employees since 2008. On the other end, Jeffrey still bagged in $15.2 million last year (Rowe, 2011).
Truthfully, economic pressures and stiff competition can cause such a conglomerate lay off just a number of employees but it would definitely not be over 10,000 (Lussier & Achua, 2010). This shows that, being a leader entails more about what one can do as a person in charge to maintain the level of performance of an organization and at the same time try to formulate other policies capable of achieving additional value to the organization. Scientific modeling of attributive leadership asserts that, the correlation between leaders and ability to control masses or rather influence is negligible.
Nevertheless, defined and extraordinary intelligence, which is a vital element of a quality leader, is inherited as opposed to development (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2009). Empirical studies on the subject perceive that, leader trait models have low utility that can explain the emergence and effectiveness of leadership mainly because a person may not become a good leader because he possesses a number of traits and virtues. Substantially, attributes and traits possessed by the person leading an organization can have significant consequences on the ways in which a company performs.
Thus, a company may produce less or more, lay off some employees or recruit more, and/or realize deteriorated results or amassed profits (Lussier & Achua, 2010). Referring to Jeffrey’s situation it is true to say that, he was unable to exercise congeniality or liveliness that is why he had to lay off over 19,000 employees. This indicates that the company had undergone a series of non-productive activities that later forced it to render some of its employees useless (Abiodun, 2010).
Based on that fact, Jeffrey is indeed a bad leader as caused the company lots of losses and did not consider such a mess as devastating to the well-being of General Electrics and its dependants. Moreover, through his hand in leadership, the country had to absorb 19,000 individuals adding on to the number of the unemployed in America (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2009). Relatively, good choice of leadership is pragmatic to the success of a company. Nevertheless, it is risky to have a leader without attributive leadership qualities as such a condition renders the company prone to losses that could be in the form of assets among other essentials in an organization.
There is stable difference between Jeffrey, the current CEO of GE and Paul, the former. If Paul was able to sustain the company with the current ones plus those that lost their positions in 2008 during the reign of Jeffrey, it is agreeable that Jeffrey lacks qualities of an effective leader (Rowe, 2011). Apart from lost employees, individual dockets, and 31 closed plants, General Electronics’ stock fell with close to 60 percent.
According to the Forbes Magazine, Jeffrey Immelt falls under the category of the worst CEO’s that have ever led such a conglomerate like General Electrics (Lussier & Achua, 2010). Economic analysts and media columnists suggested that Jeffrey should have left GE in 2010. Their claims are justified because his leadership is leading GE to the worst economic status ever. The company’s stock dropped from $60 close to 12 years ago to $19, which is about 2/3 since when Jeffrey assumed office (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2009).
Critical analysis regarding this situation shows that, attributes of a leader can lessen the amount of stock a company has predominantly due to poor leadership. Poor implementation of policies and lack of teamwork can cause company great losses and has the ability to render a company a poor performer. An effective leader guides an organization towards achieving success on both sides of the organization and employees. Even Time Magazine name Jeffrey as part of the 100 most influential individuals on the planet in 2009, his influence seems to have no or little impact on his leadership at General Electrics.
In fact, he wanders in enriching himself leaving the interests of the company and those of its employees behind (Rowe, 2011). This appears so because the company entitles him to $53.82 million as compensation and he also received $15.2 million last year. A leader with effective attributes and traits of efficient leadership cannot allow such acts of selfishness to happen at his watch. Certainly, Jeffrey could have focused on taking General Electrics to a higher level if he had potential attributes of a good leader.
As a result, the company could have saved itself the loss of adequate production through retrenched employees, declined stock, and paying large sums of money to non-performers (Hitt, Ireland, & Hoskisson, 2009). In conclusion, leadership is a hard task to handle and it requires not just commitment, but also tangible performance. Leaders with good leadership attributes and traits lead their companies, employees, and themselves to success (Abiodun, 2010). Research findings suggest that, selecting leaders based on intelligence, congeniality, liveliness, and daring among other good leadership attributes is imperative since it provides individual ability to show directives and minimizes stress levels.
It is therefore recommendable for leadership practitioners need to develop inherent individual traits relative to their positions in order to realize cognitive organizational performance. Arguably, companies should develop different interventions capable of stretching their leaders’ capabilities in order to improve performance of the firm (Rowe, 2011). Preferably, General Electrics should retire or fire Jeffrey Immelt as its CEO because he seems to have achieved personal success instead of organizational performance improvement. This paper has provided the impact of leadership attributes and traits to organization performance with reference to the performance of Jeffrey Immelt, CEO General Electrics. References Abiodun, R.
(2010). Leadership behavior impact on employee's loyalty, engagement and organizational performance. S.l. : Authorhouse. Hitt, M., Ireland, R., & Hoskisson, R. (2009). Strategic management: Competitiveness and globalization: cases. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning. Lussier, R., & Achua, C. (2010). Leadership: Theory, application, skill development. Australia: SouthWestern/Cengage Learning. Rowe, W. (2011). Cases in leadership. Thousand Oaks, Calif. [u. a.]: SAGE Publications.