Leadership Styles and Subordinates


A leader is the one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way – John Maxwell

Too many say that organization’s leadership alluding to the senior most executives in the association. They are simply that, senior executives. Authority doesn’t consequently happen when you achieve a certain pay grade. Assuredly you discover it there, yet there are no insurances. Leadership has nothing to do with titles. Like the point above, only in light of the fact that you have a C-level title, doesn’t consequently make you a “pioneer.” In the greater part of my discussions I stretch the way that you needn’t bother with a title to lead. Truth be told, you might be a pioneer in your spot of live, your neighbourhood, in your family, all without having a title. To me leadership is beyond organisational positions and titles. A leader is someone who can lead and make others follow him.


What makes leadership powerful in a gathering or association? Researchers have been engrossed with tending to this key address maybe since the initiation of leadership as a formal field of exploratory request. One excellent approach that picked up conspicuousness throughout the 1970s and 1980s is contingency theory of leadership (Sage REFERENCE, 2012). This theory states that initiative adequacy is identified with the exchange of a pioneer’s attributes or practices and situational components. In the 1960s, Fred Fielder progressed the first hypothesis utilizing the possibility approach, the possibility hypothesis of adequacy. The principle thought of this early hypothesis is that leadership viability (regarding gathering execution) relies on upon the communication of two components: the pioneer’s assignment or relations inspirations and viewpoints of the circumstances. The leader’s assignment or relations inspiration is measured through the Least Preferred Co-worker 1scale (LPC). This scale asks pioneers to review an associate (long ago or presently) they work with minimum well and to portray this single person with appraisals on an arrangement of 8-point bipolar modifiers (e.g., distant– frosty). High LPC scores reflect more positive portrayals of the minimum favoured associate, while low LPC scores proof more negative observations. Fielder contended that a single person with a high LPC score is persuaded to keep up concordant interpersonal connections, inasmuch as a single person with a low LPC score is persuaded to accomplish tasks.


Management vs. Leadership

We can discuss this phenomenon as simply as possible: leaders develop followers and managers just manage subordinates. Leadership does not necessarily have to take a hierarchical structure, but it can happen at any point of the chain and can be portrayed in different ways; management on the other hand takes place in a structured organisational setting with prearranged roles and works towards a set of objectives (Mullins, 2013). Leaders create a vision and shape the culture whereas managers just “tell” vision and execute the culture of an organisation. Leaders focus on changing and managers are focused on stability. Leaders tend to be magnetic and give credit and managers usually take the credit for any succeeding element in the organisation. Leaders set the direction they want their followers to follow but managers take the already existing safe path towards success. The list doesn’t end here. Managers can also be leaders but they need to make sure that they do not betray the trust of their subordinates.

Management Styles vs Leadership Styles

John Maxwell, a motivational speaker and author quotes, “leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them” (Maxwell, 1999). Command and control management is becoming the old approach in today’s fast-changing globalised world and there has been an inclination towards leadership giving more empowerment to the employees. Organisations used to run on the concept of managers and bosses giving instructions to their subordinates for work giving them less flexibility to do work as employees please to. This may have a positive effect on some organisations but it limits creativity. The most discussed styles of management are autocratic, laissez-faire, and democratic. Western economies no longer quite use autocratic styles in organisations unless for strategic industries like  nuclear and armed forces.

Some Inspirational Leaders

We always talk about Steve Jobs of Apple Inc. to be a very inspirational leader and here is what he says:

He managed to create a cult following with his brand because of his transformational, inspirational and situational approach of leadership, which even after his death, it has up till now remained. He deviated from the traditional Theory X and Theory Y approach (Mullins, 2013) of management and made sure employees were taught the importance of quality customer services. We all know Apple has a fascinating customer service domain and this is not possible if customer services representatives were not “happy” with what they were doing.



Maxwell, J. C., 1999. The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow. s.l.:Yates and Yates.

Mullins, L. J., 2013. Management and Organisational Behaviour. 10th ed. s.l.:Pearson.

Sage REFERENCE, 2012. Contingency Theories of Leadership. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations.

CMI (2013) Understanding Management Styles Checklist 236, Chartered Management Institute: London



Me? A Leader?


Vision of Leadership

Leaders create a following. They create a vivid path for their followers so that they can exactly see what they have to achieve and how to get there. Leadership is based on charisma, the leader’s achievement and how appealing is the leader’s views for their followers (DVIR, et al., 2002). The most successful leader is that one that creates a cult following and no matter what happens around them, they will not leave their leader. There are many such individuals who have managed to create such charisma. It is not necessary for all leaders to show their “subjects” the “right” way, or the correct path. The power is in the ability to influence others. The power is in effective communication. The only reason that Hitler, Stalin, Ghengez Khan had such a large following is because they had the ability to communicate with their followers. Their ultimate goal was to kill masses but the reason they were able to actually achieve that is because the created a reasoning and vision for their followers and there was a need for bloodshed. These individuals’ speeches were so effective that they managed to keep their effect on followers and the only way they were able to do that is by igniting emotions among the people. Emotion is what stays with people, and if power is used in the wrong way, it can have detrimental effects.

My Inspirations

Google was such a company that started from a garage. These types of stories are what really makes one think how this all happened. It is all about the right opportunity, at the right time with the right kind of leadership. What made Obama win the presidential elections in 2004 was his inspirational, motivational speech. This was the time when people believed that he would change the conventional thinking and methods of the way the government is run.

Source: (THINKR, 2012)

This speech is what made Obama win. He didn’t focus on the differences among people, but he focuses on the fact that there are no Leftists and Rightists, no liberals and conservatives, but there is ONE America. This president runs an organisation that influences the entire world. Hofstede’s analysis on culture can be applied in this sense that Obama knew what kind of emotional culture America had and he had all the points that would trigger sparks in the American public.

Additionally, another individual who has inspired me to be influential and charismatic is Asad Umar. He was the CEO of one of Pakistan’s leading companies, Engro Foods. This man left his salary, income just for the betterment of Pakistan. He gave up the glory just to make a difference in the country, and “leading by example” (Mullins, 2013) stating the fact that monetary benefits are not the only ones that are the most important in the world. He joined Pakistan’s least corrupt party to make a positive difference in the country. This party preaches to earn livelihood via legal and correct ways and it is very important for

How will MBA help in achieving my style of Leadership?

I am trying to achieve all these qualities that inspirational leaders like Ghandi, Obama, Bhagat Singh, Mukhtara Mai had. They had the ability to do something good, if not all, to inspire, to influence, to show people the right way. That is what I would like to achieve in this duration of study. Learning about culture (Hofstede, 1980) and understanding differences between people, studying in an international environment is what will really make me the leader that I want to me. For me, being a leader is not about being in control. For me, it is LEAD BY EXAMPLE. Do so much good and carry out ethical conduct that followers are inclined to adapt your way of work and lifestyle. Being able to motivate is one quality that I want to improve on, and do possess to some extent. Leaders are also highly motivational. There is a reason that sometimes companies stay highly profitable for a really long time; they have great employee reputation, they have great CSR activities. This is because the leaders were successful in outlining the direction and strategy for their subordinates, and the work of the company has been absorbed into the employees’ bloodstreams. That is who I want to be. An inspiration, a leader, a mentor, a friend, a legend, someone that everyone wants to be!




DVIR, T., AVOLIO, B. J. & SHAMIR, B., (2002). IMPACT OF TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP ON FOLLOWER DEVELOPMENT AND PERFORMANCE: A Field Experiment. Academy of Management Journal, 45(4), pp. 735-744.

Hofstede, G., (1980). Motivation, leadership, and organization: Do American theories apply abroad?. Organizational Dynamics, 9(1), pp. 42-63.

Mullins, L. J., (2013). Management and Organisational Behaviour. 10 ed. s.l.:Pearson.

THINKR, (2012). The Speech that Made Obama President. [Online]
Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFPwDe22CoY
[Accessed 1 July 2014].



Is Ethics important for Organisational Effectiveness?


We usually keep hearing about McGregor’s Theory X and Y management styles but there is a third style of management which is also significant (Mullins, 2013). Developed by Dr. Williams Ouchi, Theory Z of Ouchi suggests that apart from the monetary and physical benefits, the Theory Z organisation focuses on characteristics such as employee loyalty, decision making by consensus but individual responsibility, all-encompassing concern for subordinates and employees as a natural part of management, etc. (Mullins, 2013). These points suggest the importance of interpersonal relationships within the along with the monetary motivational methods. Since the commencement of industrialisation in the 18th century, organisations had become extremely focused on the profit motive, mass production and specialisation, without focusing on the effects on employees, morale and effectiveness of leadership (Nash & Patricia, 1983). But now there has been extensive research and work done on how to improve working conditions and employee satisfaction in the workplace as it has become apparent that humans in the workplace need to be treated like humans.

Importance of Managerial Effectiveness

Managerial ‘effectiveness’ stresses upon doing the ‘right things’ to get work done which differs from ‘efficiency’ because efficiency is related to productivity. If an organisation has an ethical leader, it is quite obvious that the mission, vision and values of that organisation will most probably be in line with their ethical beliefs. We have to realise the difference between ethics and morals. Ethics is a set of rules from and external source that are made available to an individual but morals are how an individual actually perceives right from wrong.

You will see that most of the companies’ mission statements now mostly revolve around ‘doing good business’ and that means that the importance of the environment and stakeholders are increasingly being made aware of to the population. A leader is considered to be ethical when the inward virtues of that leader reflects their decision making (Kar, 2005). The 4-V Model of Ethical Leadership suggests that the leader should follow the subsequent model:

  • Committing and understanding individual core values
  • Framing actions and creating a vision for stakeholders
  • Voicing the created vision
  • Understanding that we become what we practice


(Kar, 2005)

The profits of an ethical leader are enhanced public image of the organisation, rebuilding or improvement of investor confidence, avoidance and decrease of criminal penalties, enhanced employee retention, and better customer satisfaction. This all adds up the effectiveness of management in an organisation. Leadership based on ethical values means that the goal and objective setting in an organisation and strategic decisions would be oriented towards values of the leader (Eisenbeiss, 2012).

Are there any downsides to ethical leadership?

We have seen all the benefits that an organisation can gain from an ethical leader but let us see some things that may impact it negatively.

Ethical leadership means that all the processes within and outside the organisation would all have to go through the proper steps and procedures. In some countries that can really slow down the organisation due to the long bureaucratic procedures in almost everything. Ethical Leadership is only effective when there is trust created with stakeholders and thereby creating a follower attitude among the employees and representatives of the organisation and the leader needs to make sure that the stakeholders think that the leader acts while considering their well-being (Eisenbeiss, 2012). This can be a difficult task and creating and monitoring that culture in the organisation is a tremendous challenge.

Ethics – A Set of Rules

Almost every organisation has a code of conduct that they should follow. In some countries this is a strict business, but in others things such as bribery are a common doing. The top ten unethical companies according to an activist group states their unethical activities and their consequences that in turn affected their effectiveness. For example, Halliburton was charged with a fine of bribery to the Nigerian officials of $559mn which created bad publicity for the organisation and may have affected employees’ faith in the company (Action for our Planet, 2014). On the contrary, having ethical leadership like Accenture, Adobe Systems etc. proves that companies can gain competitive advantage when it comes to hiring staff and studies show that these ethical companies are able to recruit staff that is more loyal to them (Forbes, 2012).

Choice of Leadership?

The choice depends on what leaders set the vision and mission for their companies. If companies stress on the fact that they need to adopt the right code of conduct, then they will naturally want to employ staff that is loyal and honest. However companies that need to carry out dirty work, especially the oil and gas companies, will obviously want to employ someone who would get the job done. Ethical leadership is an objective concept and ethics may not be the same for everyone. Unethical companies may also have effectiveness, no doubt, but we should be able to sleep at night, right?


Action for our Planet, 2014. AFOP. [Online]
Available at: http://www.actionforourplanet.com/#/top-10-unethical-companies/4545796858
[Accessed 23 June 2014].

Eisenbeiss, S. A., 2012. Re-thinking ethical leadership: An interdisciplinary integrative approach. The Leadership Quarterly, 23(5), pp. 791-808.

Forbes, 2012. Forbes. [Online]
Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2012/03/15/the-worlds-most-ethical-companies/
[Accessed 20 June 2014].

Kar, D. S., 2005. Ethical Leadership: Best Practice for Success. IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 1(14), pp. 112-116.

Mullins, L. J., 2013. Management and Organisational Behaviour. 10th ed. s.l.:Pearson.

Nash, J. & Patricia, M., 1983. Women, Men, and the International Division of Labor. s.l.:State University of New York Press.

Can Managers actually Manage?



“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new” – Socrates

We all know that change is something that we have to deal with on an everyday basis, be it a bad breakup or a hurdle in our daily routines. We usually have a habit of resisting anything that is different from what we are used to and in today’s fast changing technological world it may be one of the very difficult tasks for managers to create acceptance among their workforce to adapt to changes in internal processes of organisations.

Resistance to Change

The first thing managers need to acknowledge is the fact that not everybody has the same perceptions and frequency in reacting to changes. Differences in perception among individuals and personality can be caused due to their cultural background, family upbringing, income class, and their own intelligence and abilities (of course this is not the end of the list). According to Lisa Quast, a contributor to Forbes, people may resist to change because of the following reasons:

  1. The need for employees to accept too much change in a short period of time may make them resistant to change especially if there is a large element of surprise
  2. New management may not be fully trusted and respected by employees as compared to a management that has been able to earn respect over the years
  3. The sense of job insecurity may also cause resistance
  4. Some people just simply enjoy learning new things so that they can grow personally and professionally but others just prefer to follow a certain routine that they have created for themselves

(Quast, 2012)

Dr. John Kotter’s ideas about people resisting to change

Acknowledging change

There are managers who can adopt the “idiographic approach” if they want to focus on understanding motivation, career development and team relationships (Mullins, 2013). This approach regards individuals as responding to the people and their environments as they change. The following video shows different personalities that managers have to deal with on a day to day basis:

(Melkonian, 2011)

Open-minded and extroverted people are usually which are more open to change in organisations (Mullins, 2013) and it does not take much effort for managers to convince and motivate them to keep working. These people can even deal with neurotic bosses!

How Managers can overcome resistance to change (with example)

Telecommunications industry and their dependent companies (where I also intend on working in) is one that requires constant updating to technology due to its fast-changing demands and can be a perfect example to explore companies that have to deal with constant change. Newer and better technology persistently puts pressure to make employees think that they maybe soon replaced. Cisco showed effective results when introducing new operational frameworks into the companies within a span of 2 years (Cisco, 2008). This makes it apparent that Cisco realised that individuals in their organisation are different and therefore they created a complete step by step, vivid and clear cut transition into their new system. This is what is called effective leadership.

A Pakistani company, PTCL had to go through a major change when Etisalat took over majority of the shares in 2005 (Etisalat, 2007). There was a change in management and operational processes and due to this there was a significant improvement in employees’ satisfaction in the workplace and revenue boost because of effective communication and implementation (Etisalat, 2007).

Effective Leadership

Lewin’s Change Management Model of unfreeze, transition and refreeze and Kotter’s 8 Step Change Model are some models that organisations can develop for transitioning an organisation. Overcoming resistance to change can be a difficult task but applying the right method of communicating change to the parties involved with this transformation in an organisation. This fun video illustrates how change can be implemented in an effective way.

Coming to a conclusion, the reason why people resist to change is because they see that the risk is too high, requires too much effort and because they cannot see the fruits of the end result like the upper management can. In order to overcome this scenario, managers and leaders need to show the benefit to their subordinates as to how they will benefit from this change and not how the organisation will benefit from it. This is the point where miscommunication arises and the subordinates cannot see what the advantages will be. Therefore, managers need to be able to show that the gains from change is much larger than staying stationary in that position.


Cisco, (2008). How Cisco IT Implemented Organizational Change and Advanced Services for Operational Success

Etisalat, (2007). Annual Report 2007

Melkonian, E., (2011). 5-factor Model for Personality OCEAN.

Mullins, L. J., (2013). Management and Organisational Behavious. 10th ed. :Pearson.

Quast, L., (2012). Overcome The 5 Main Reasons People Resist Change

Diversity and Team Management. Problem or Solution?


Embrace Diversity

I have travelled more than an average person around the world, have met with people of different ethnicities, have met with people who speak languages such as Russian, English, Italian, Urdu, Kazakh, Uzbek, etc., and have worked with people of not my nationality. It is a relatively easy task for me to communicate with people from other cultures as I have lived in four different countries (Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Azerbaijan) in my childhood. When you become used to shifting to different places at such a young age, it becomes a need to change your location of residence. You develop that need to communicate with different people, and move to a different place. However, communication can become quite difficult, especially in a culturally diverse workplace, if you have lived in one place your whole life.

An Example Portraying Diversity  

Diverse teams usually suffer because it may be difficult to relate, trust or comprehend people from different backgrounds (Klein, 2007). In the following video, for example, it shows the difficulty that a culturally diverse team has to face when trying to communicate for a meeting.

Building the multicultural team:

(LearningCom, 2009)

Here we can see that there have been numerous misunderstandings between the leader of the marketing team and the rest of the subordinates. He failed to recognise the differences in their cultures and the differences in their professionalism. It is quite apparent that different countries have different styles of being professional (Pita, et al., 1999). We can see that the Asian woman needed more instructions and not just the team leader saying “I asked you to prepare something for the meeting”. Also, the Middle Eastern man thought that there was a more important event that he had to attend to and therefore, he thought that he would not work in this team for long because his personal needs were not met. This video has made it quite apparent that because of the major cultural differences between these individuals, there has been a significant detrimental effect on their productivity because every individual had a different way to perceive instructions.

Advantages and Challenges of a Diverse Team

The following video will show you the challenges and the advantages of working in diverse teams and how team leaders need to be in order to handle these teams.

Multi-cultural team management:

(CommLab India, 2010)

This video highlights the fact that leaders need to familiarise with four points which are, adapting to the team members’ characteristics, physically intervening into shaping the team appropriately, creating sets and rules beforehand in order for the team members to understand clearly what they have to and what they do not have to do, and identifying potential areas of conflict that may arise between different cultures (CommLab India, 2010). If some countries have a large difference in the way males and females are portrayed in the society, it would be wise for the team leaders to assign teams carefully. Even though overcoming some challenges may be a difficult task, the advantages of diverse teams can be noteworthy as well. For example, a culturally diverse team may be more tolerant towards each other, be more innovative, be more flexible etc.

Differences in Personalities in Different Cultures

According to Hans Eysenck, there are four defined personality types which are stable extraverts (talkative, carefree), unstable extraverts (impulsive, restless), stable introverts (calm, thoughtful) and unstable introverts (anxious, moody), and it can be quite apparent that some cultures depict one or more of these traits in their behaviours (Mullins, 2013). This makes it obvious that working with different cultures means that the leader has to be effective in their communication and empathise/sympathise with each individual so that the team members have a feeling of belonging to the team. This is because the team members will understand that their bosses have appreciated their differences. This can directly affect the productivity of these team members if they do not feel that they belong.

Conclusion: Which Type of Management Styles to adopt? Let us focus on McGregor’s Theory X and Y styles of management. We all know that ‘X’ style of management is for lazy individuals who need to be forced to work as their motivation levels are physiological and security needs but ‘Y’ style of management is for innovative, creative and responsible individuals who want to achieve their goals (Mullins, 2013). Effective communication may be the key to achieving high productivity among diverse teams. And not only that, a different style of management needs to be adopted for different team members. Some members need to be directed and given comprehensive instructions to in order to show results, but others just need a tiny nudge and they are good to go!


CommLab India, (2010). Multi-Cultural Team Management

Klein, K., (2007). Culturally Diverse Teams that Work.: University of California.

LearningCom, (2009). Building the Multicultural Team. s.l.: Learning Communications.

Mullins, L. J., (2013). Management and Organisational Behaviour. 10th ed.:Pearson.

Pita, D. A., Fung, H.-G. & Isberg, S., (1999). Ethical issues across cultures: Managing the Differing Perspective of China and the USA. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 16(3), pp. 240-256.