Reflections on Leadership Styles

Maintaining Motivation in the Workplace

Leadership style and motivation practices come naturally to many leaders.  My leadership style has been very transformational by nature, and I have been able to help people actualize their goals by helping them identify the intermediate steps of their journey.  Experiential understanding and early lessons in both psychological determinants of behavior and multiple intelligences have been influential and essential along the path of helping others. An area of weakness has been taking reflective time to do contingency analysis.  Leadership, followership, and situational forces can determine an appropriate path for motivating and leading employees. The forces inside of each person are unique based on their interests, values, and skills. Leaders must consider the goals and disagreements within a situation and organization to motivate people involved and keep on track with the executive mission.

Leadership Forces Motivate toward Mission

Forces in the leader include personal values, feelings of security, and confidence in subordinates.  I want to aspire to “the Jedi’s” use of “the Force” to be noble, genuine, and pursue happiness while helping others become wise, brave and prudent. (Romero, 2015) However, I have to accept that there are business people and artists in my industry that would like to exploit peoples’ fear, use their pain, anger, and hatred to distort reality and create a never-ending hunger for control and revenge. (Romero, 2015) Leadership, followership, and situational forces can determine an appropriate path for motivating and leading employees. Leadership contingency theory will be a guiding model to aid my development as a director. This theory invites me to reflect upon the mission of the organization, the terrain of the domain, and how my employees are functioning.

Inspiring people has been a strength of mine over the years.  This includes serving as an artist on Canton’s Development Partnership’s committee meetings and inspiring the First Friday events. When researching contingency leadership theory, I found that  Harris and Barnes (2006), explain role modeling and commitment to employees with the following:

“The commitment of a significant amount of time to their development by respected senior leaders is a powerful message and model to participants. The ability to interact in a deeply personal way with senior leaders is highly motivating to participants. The involvement of senior leaders in the design and development of programs gives them a strong interest in later participation. Being identified as an inspirational leader and having the opportunity to influence the next generation are personally rewarding to senior leaders” (Harris & Barnes, 2006, p. 38).

Recognizing my position and values allows me to discern which decisions and people are valuable for the organization. It also forces me to recognize the difference between those who are seeking to manipulate the organization and those who are professionals, and mentors within the organization. Leader charisma depends on authenticity, and that is because deception and control have nothing to do with inspiration. (Belu, 2012) Gaining skill in contingency theory will help me match the qualities of mentors, characteristics of followers, and understand the nature of the situation.

The feelings and values that compel me as a leader are influenced by the Holy Spirit.  This helper will also counsel my confidence in subordinates.  Leadership, followership, and situational forces can determine an appropriate path for motivating and leading employees. Leadership contingency theory will be a guiding model to aid my development as a director. Being an inspirational leader and using my spiritual compass while working with employees will also help my ability to discern the agenda and method for each situation.

Follower Forces Motivate toward Development

Forces in the follower include knowledge and experience, readiness to assume responsibility, and interest in the task or problem. Taking company time to understand the psychological determinants of followers will help identify the reasons an employee is motivated.  Leadership, followership, and situational forces can determine an appropriate path for motivating and leading employees.  The inertia and impact of life can be a struggle for all people to manage.  When companies take into consideration the lives of their employees, they can arrange the working condition so that the individual needs of the person can be met so they will be motivated to accomplish the mission of the job.

The fine artists I manage are extraordinarily talented and spend an unusual amount of time perfecting their gifts. They can also be known to use excessive genuine native charm for the purpose of dominating those in their proximity. Finding creative ways to redirect them toward the organizational mission is essential to retainment and philanthropic activism. According to Zigarmi and Roberts (2017), when “followers view a fit exists between the leadership behaviors they need and the leadership behaviors they receive, greater positive job affect, lower negative job affect, increased cognitive and affective trust in the leader and higher levels of favorable employee work intentions were evident” (Zigarmi & Roberts, 2017, p.41).  I will need to take a season to practice Fiedler’s contingency theory to understand what motivates the artist’s self-confidence, congruence, authenticity, and morality.

Fine artists have considerable depth of potency in the area of their artistry. However, they often have an ill ego.  It causes them to work overtime to be attractive, wanted, loved, and full of life. (Belu, 2012) Contingency theory would indicate these employees need a development plan that includes identifying which areas the fine artist needs coaching, supporting, and directing.  The knowledge, experience, readiness to assume responsibility, and interest will need to be clearly defined for the artist to thrive. Leadership, followership, and situational forces can determine an appropriate path for motivating and leading employees.  A development plan that takes into consideration the satisfaction level of the artist would help identify the best gifts to give them.  When companies take into consideration the lives of their employees, they can arrange the working condition so that the individual needs of the person can be met while the forward motion of the job is completed.

Situational Forces Motivate Timing

Forces in the daily, monthly, annual, planned, and spontaneous situations dictate where time, energy, and resources are allocated.  Understanding the organizational structure, type of information, and amount of time available to solve problems is influential in making good decisions. Leadership, followership, and situational forces can determine an appropriate path for motivating and leading employees. The delegation, support, coaching, and directing is essential to maintaining a balance for organizational success.  Board members, employees, and volunteers can experience a sense of fulfillment as I learn to apply the best level of support and direction for situations.

Short-term and long-term strategic plans require a review of the fit of people and timing.  In Zajac, Kraatz, and Bresser’s (2000) research we find that the timing, direction, and significance of strategic change can be reasonably anticipated based on variations in environmental forces and organizational resources. (Zajac, Kraatz, and Bresser, 2000) They go on to explain that organizations that diverged from their prediction of strategic fit suffered harmful performance concerns. (Zajac, Kraatz, and Bresser, 2000) Allowing reflective time to determine the leader, follower, and timing of a situation can establish the level of success.

Convictions that compel people in planned and spontaneous situations dictate where time, energy, and resources are allocated.  Having a perspective of organizational structure, information, and understanding the time available to solve a problem is vital for making excellent decisions. Leadership, followership, and situational forces can determine an appropriate path for motivating and leading employees. Fiedler’s categories of contingent decision making through delegating, supporting, coaching, and directing will be critical to balancing fine artists, employees, and volunteers for strategic success.  A sense of fulfillment will emerge as I learn to apply the best level of support and direction for circumstances.

Conclusion

Direction approach and inspiration practices can come naturally.  My style is undergoing refinement, and I’ll continue to rely on my instincts when helping others. Having the tools of trait theory, behavioral theory, power and influence theory, and the five forms of power at my fingertips will not only help me define the natural instincts I rely on but also cultivate them. Converging on contingency analysis for a season will bring depth to me, those I work with, and our organization.  Leadership, followership, and situational forces can determine an appropriate path for motivating and leading employees. The unique interests, values, and skill of people are based on personal conviction and discipline. I’ll need to consider their goals and disagreements within a situation and the organization to motivate them to remain involved and on track with the executive mission.

References

Belu, D. (2012). The Psychological and Statistic Instruments Used to Measure Detachment from the Other’s Opinion – the Basis of Leadership. Review of the Air Force Academy, 21(2), 109–114.

Harris, J., & Barnes, B. K. (2006). Inspirational leadership: involving senior leaders in developing the next generation. Industrial & Commercial Training38(4), 196–200.

Romero, L. E. (2015, December 17). How To Awaken The Force Within You. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/luisromero/2015/12/16/how-to-awaken-the-force-within-you/#7f9717193ee3

Zajac, E. J., Kraatz, M. S., & Bresser, R. K. F. (2000). Modeling the Dynamics of Strategic Fit: A Normative Approach to Strategic Change. Strategic Management Journal21(4), 429

Zigarmi, D., & Roberts, T. P. (2017). A Test of Three Basic Assumptions of Situational Leadership® II Model and Their Implications for HRD Practitioners. European Journal of Training and Development, 41(3), 241–260.

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