Lecturer: Part 1: Leadership Values at the McDonaldsMcDonalds is the largest food retailer in the world. It has operations in more than 100 countries and employs hundreds of thousands of employees. In order to remain competitive and an iconic corporate institution, McDonalds has developed leadership programs and strategies that motivate employees to be more productive and future focused. Although McDonalds is a very large organization, the chief executive officer is often recognized as the leader and hence a symbolic driver of the organization’s corporate ideals and initiatives. Generally, McDonalds has embraced the transformational approach as the main leadership style.
Through this approach, the organization has managed to reinvent the global fast food industry with a new vision and direction (Northouse, 2007). Basically, transformational leadership is a type of leadership style which results in positive changes in those who follow the leader. Generally, transformational leaders are energetic, passionate and enthusiastic. They are also concerned and involved in the daily business processes in addition to being focused on helping every member of the group succeed. At the McDonalds, the transformational leadership is characterized by such important aspects as intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration, idealized influence and inspirational motivation.
Over the years, McDonald’s leadership has not only challenged status quo but has also encouraged creativity among subordinates. The company’s leadership gives support and encouragement to subordinates and followers at individual level. In an attempt to nurture supportive interpersonal relationships, the company’s leadership maintains open lines of communication. This way, followers can feel free to share ideas and hence leaders can offer direct recognition for the follower’s unique contributions (McDonald's Corporation, 2008). At the organizational level, McDonald’s transformational leadership is aimed at becoming an exemplary organization in both leadership and management.
In the recent past, the company has been repositioning its products as being of high quality and image as being aligned with customer interests. As a result, the company has created a unique corporate image combining transformational leadership and strategic management. It is worthy to note that one of the most important aspects of McDonalds’ transformational leadership is that it involves constant reinforcement of a vision for the future as well as increasing value for employees and customers.
By encouraging creativity and leadership even at the lowest level of organizational hierarchy, the company believes that future leaders may emerge. Moreover, in order to increase employee productivity and commitment, the company promotes education program for all employees. Although the transformational leadership at McDonalds is not easily discernable at the surface, it is easily seen at the company’s restaurants through customer service experience. The care regarding customer satisfaction that is characteristic of McDonalds is largely a result of transformational leadership. The company’s employees are always polite and dutiful, which is in fact the secret behind the company’s global dominance of the industry.
Employees have a high level of morale even if they are involved in menial or custodial positions, which are hard to find in a fast food company (Northouse, 2007). By embracing transformational leadership, McDonalds has managed to create a pleasant working atmosphere for its employees. The company’s leadership is always focused on maximizing production and delivering ideal services to customers. A modern McDonald’s leader applies coaching strategies to motivate employees and encourage supportive and directive behaviours.
This notwithstanding, the company’s leadership has retained control of every step of the production process. At some instances when things go wrong, the transformational leadership comes in handy, coaching and directing employees on what they ought to do to achieve specific objectives. Although not everybody can be a super achiever, McDonalds owes its leadership success to team functionality as opposed to the efforts of any one individual. Trough transformational leadership, McDonalds has an integrated teamwork and is resultantly efficient in delivering the right products and services in a timely manner.