The paper aims to compile an analysis of the leaders and team members through an evaluation of the outcome of the group discussions. The paper provides background information about the group and the members as well as the different assignments that were undertaken in the discussions. In addition, the readers are taken through a description of the different leadership styles used by the group leaders while at the same time critically evaluating these styles and the effects they have on the group’s behavior and performance. The paper also seeks to identify some of the challenges faced by the leaders and members under the different leadership styles and to recommend the best approaches to achieve effective leadership.
Generally, leaders are perceived as masculine and tough placing men at a better place for leadership than women (De Vries, 2010). In this regard, women face many cultural dilemmas when they aspire to compete fairly to take up leadership roles (Limbare, 2012). This is attributed in part to organisational culture seen as a basic determiner on the perspective given to female leaders. This is because most organisations place more importance and emphasis on men’s contributions than that given by females.
Limbare (2012) contends that when hiring and promoting staff, most organisations are generally influenced by gender stereotypes. Although there are gender differences across leadership styles, women have been found to make more effective leaders in the contemporary society, such that women’s style tend to be more transformational than men’s (Gonos & Gallo, 2013).
The group discussion can be said to have been a great success under the very able leadership of Ismail AlGhamdi. First AlGhamdi introduced the topic of the day to the group members and ensured that everyone in the group understood what the discussion was all about. He then allowed members to do a brainstorming session where everyone in the group was free to present the ideas they had researched on about the topic of women leadership without any form of analysis. Brainstorming is the situation when a group meets to generate new ideas about a topic of interest (De Vries, 2010). Telma Sousa was requested to note down all the ideas and concepts generated by the members. This approach emerged as an effective source of interactive learning where every member is free and comfortable to contribute to the group without fear of criticism or ridicule.
So many ideas were raised and noted, taking us to our next stage of analyzing the ideas through fact finding. Members were allowed to comment on each idea raised and to validate any argument through book citations. Validated arguments and ideas were then noted down and presented to the group. The members had an opportunity to ask for clarifications or questions that they had regarding the discussion or the topic. One of the major challenges identified with this type of approach is that it was found to be time consuming. It requires that the facilitator develops a well organized schedule to be followed and ensure that they are in control of the group to avoid criticism and arguments during brainstorming.
The leader of the group also applied the affillative style of leadership where he emphasized the importance of teamwork. Ismail AlGhamdi was able to create harmony in the group through his participatory approach that connected people together for the purpose of discussion. Affillative style of leadership creates emotional bonds that promote a feeling of belonging to an organization or group. This style works best when the aim is to rebuild trust among team members, in times of stress (Musselwhite, 2014). The affillative style coupled with the brainstorming approach worked perfectly well for this particular discussion.
During the discussions, members were able to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the topic of discussion through arguments, questions, and clarifications from colleagues and other sources used in the group. Members were specifically clear about some of the new ideas they had learnt for instance the contention that women make better leaders than their male counterparts a prompted a heated debate among the members.
Specifically, I raised a question on an issue that I felt required clarification, on whether the contention that women makes better leaders than men reflected on the organizational performance. Through literature review, the group was able to establish that effective leadership, including that of a female leader has a direct impact on the overall performance of an organization (Van Genderen, 2012). The question also elicited more information in that woman’s leadership is likely to achieve better results because they more actively encourage and motivate their employees and are genuinely interested in their development and progression.
The leader of the group, Ahmed AlHarbi, adopted the democratic style of leadership for the group participation. The participatory approach enhanced teamwork in the group through ownership where every member felt that they were a key part of the discussion. According to Rehman and Waheed, (2012) a democratic style of leadership draws on people’s skills and knowledge creating the groups commitment to the goals. One of the major challengers with this approach is that some people might not actually be in a position to work without much supervision. The leaders must, therefore, come up with clear targets and guidelines to be followed.
AlHarbi also delegated duties where every member of the group was assigned a role to play in the group. For instance Frawla Mohammad was to do the introductory part; Telma Sousa, Ismail AlGhamdi, and Shamraiz Khan were assigned the main discussion part. Giannis Christodoulou was to lead the group in the question and answer session while I did the conclusion. Teamwork ensured that to a great extent all members were active in the group. To start with, he was the non-directive leader where members were free to contribute to the discussion without many rules. However some members seemed to dominate the discussion while some ideas took excessively much time. This prompted him to change his style to directive leader setting a few rules for the group so that each person had time to participate.
After presenting the issue of discussion by the group’s leader, Frawla took into the introductory part through which the group was able to establish a number of ideas. For instance, the discussion generated literature on studies that have developed some basic requirements to guide organisations to achieve successful risk management. Consequently, the group established that an organization’s leadership should understand that at certain times in the life of the business cycle change is necessary and in such situations risk taking is inevitable.
The introduction part ushered the group to the main discussion where more concepts were generated, discussed, and validated. Telma Sousa’s idea that effective risk taker leaders do not set out to be reckless and change business policies and procedures just for the sake of change, rather, they recognizes a definite need within the company and strive to develop an approach that adopts a different technique of achieving goals. Further discussion presented more new ideas on the topic with members actively contributing to the discussion. Some of the more striking ideas learnt from the discussion were on decision making and risks involved in the process.
An important hallmark of leadership in any organization is effective decision-making. Leaders make decisions in countless areas that affect organizations and their members. For example, their decisions can influence organizational strategy, organizational change, and workforce structure. To conclude the discussion members unanimously agreed to the idea that if everyone in the workshop identify, discuss and collectively accept some risks. Finally, the group developed some recommendation that any project management methodology must include a standardized Risk Management process.
In the end, Frawla, who was taking down the notes for the discussion, was proposed as the one to write the essay. Lessons learnt from the democratic leadership style are that it requires leaders to be directive. In other words, the group or organisation must have very clear guidelines and rules to guide behaviour and work practice; otherwise the whole process is likely to turn chaotic with everyone demanding a listening ear.
Cheok San and O’Higgins (2013), postulate that a multinational company is an organization doing business in more than one country. Leadership in one country will differ to leadership in another country. In order to be effective in global countries, leaders will need to have a set of capabilities. The process of globalisation creates additional challenges to manage organizations effectively (Val & Kemp, 2012). Globalisation made difficult to manage the cultural diversity because of the differences in management and leadership practices worldwide. Globalisation created the setting where management and leadership process has to be directed from above (Darling & Heller, 2012). That means that on global level resources and capabilities are centralized; leaders have to implement the parent company strategy and goals while the knowledge is developed and rests with the parent company.
The group was quite organized during the discussion with all members motivated and actively participating in the discussion. The leader of the group Shamraiz Khanstarted introduced the topic and the guidelines that would direct all the stages of the discussion. The discussion was organized into three major parts namely brainstorming, discussion, and reflection. Each member was assigned a role to play in the group. Frawla was requested to write down the essay while I presented the conclusion. Ismail was to facilitate the brainstorming session while Telma, Ahmed, and Giannis took the group through the discussion. Shamraiz led the group into identifying clear up front about the intentions and the expectations of the group. Members were able to identify the objectives of the discussion which proved to be helpful throughout the discussion since it kept the group on track.
Shamraiz used the transformational leadership style and encouraged the group to pursue creative ideas and concepts and promoted the group’s enthusiasm, commitment, and optimism in participating actively (Paulienė, 2012). Transformational style of leadership expects team members to transform even under harsh conditions. This approach counts on all members to give their best while the team leader serves as a role model (Lorinkova et al., 2013).
My suggestion to the group was that members could be allowed opportunities to pair-share so as to build up confidence on the ideas they wish to present. The group leader requested other members to contribute on the same and everyone in the group agreed that it would be an effective approach for the group.
One of the members, Ahmed AlHarbi, requested for clarification on one of the ideas that were raised. Unfortunately, the members one by one broke into an argument that almost brought the whole discussion into a standstill. However, the leader was able to control everyone and to bring the group back into focus. From then on, Shamaraiz resulted to asking for follow-questions in an orderly manner and paraphrasing the comments and ideas for everyone to ponder. In addition, he could ask for clarification when he realized that the group members had not captured something that a participant said. Group members were also encouraged to add their ideas to build on other’s comments.
The discussion was effective in generating and acquitting the members with new and relevant ideas concerning the topic. Several important concepts were acquired from the discussion. For instance, when considered under the traditional view of intelligence, cultural, and emotional intelligences provide a framework for better understanding cross cultural leadership. This, therefore, implies that leaders need to have a clear understanding of the different business and political environments of the different cultures. This will then enable a leader to learn the trend, technology and perspectives of that particular country.
The group discussions presented platforms for the leaders to exercise their different leadership styles and skills and the members to participate actively as followers to achieve the group’s objectives. Leadership styles exhibited were the democratic, affillative, and transformational styles which to a great extent proved successful for each case, but not without some challenges. For instance, Ismail AlGhamdi through his affillative style was able to promote teamwork and cultivate participation of all members. The democratic style enhanced teamwork in the group through ownership and by drawing on people’s skills and knowledge creating the groups commitment to the goals. The transformational leadership style was found to encourage the group to pursue creative ideas and concepts and promoted the group’s enthusiasm, commitment, and optimism in participating actively. All the leaders found delegation a very useful tool in their leadership by ensuring that members are involved. Other tools that members found useful was seeking for clarification, reflection through questions, and brainstorming. Any effective leader as such would require at least some basic skills in communication, conflict resolution, and participation.
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