Devon and Isabella are both contenders for a promotion. The CEO of the company, Paul McAllister, has evaluated their resumes and then interviews them together for a last time to see who would be the best candidate for the job. He asks both of them the same question, that is how they plan to succeed if offered this position. From the responses that both of them give to this question, Paul has to decide who would be the most suitable candidate for the post. In this paper, I am going to answer some questions related to the leadership styles of Devon and Isabella.
Answer 1: From the response given by Devon to the question, his leadership style can be described as transactional type of leadership. Devon states that to be a “successful leader, one must be able to exert influence.” He feels that leadership is about rewarding and punishing good and bad behaviors appropriately. This discussion about behaviors demonstrates that Devon believes in the reinforcement theory. Devon also demonstrates a behavioral approach to leadership and some elements of a path-goal theory. Devon also states that he is an organizer and he does this by clarifying goals and providing the necessary resources to his employees.
Isabella on the other hand has a charismatic and transformational leadership style. She says that she inspires the employees by providing them with a vision (inspirational motivation), she encourages employees to innovate and think out of the box (intellectual stimulation), and she gives consideration to each employees’ input (individualized consideration). Isabella believes that due to her leadership, the employees would think the organization as their own and contribute significantly to it.
Answer 2: I think Isabella’s leadership style would be more effective. She has a charismatic and transformational leadership style. As Isabella has herself pointed out, it is not enough in today’s economy that employees simply complete the tasks assigned to them. Leaders must inspire employees to look ahead into the future, to innovate, and to be ready to make sacrifices for the company. Isabella says as a leader, she will create a vision of where the company is going to be 15 years from now. She wants her company to be industry leaders by working on new technologies. For this goal, Isabella’s transformational and inspirational leadership would be just what the company needs (Robbins & Judge, p. 714). The situational factors on which their leadership depends is the state of the economy, the stable position of the company, and the competition they face.
Answer 3: If I were Paul, I would definitely hire Isabella who is a transformational and charismatic leader. In today’s competitive scenario in the IT industry with new technologies emerging nearly everyday, a company needs to perform more than is just expected of it and indeed, needs to perform beyond expectations to survive. Just completing the tasks on time will not do, the employees need to make sacrifices for the good of the company. A leader needs to challenge his employees to look ahead to the future and to contribute ideas for the growth of the company. Isabella has a vision for the future 5, 10, and 15 years hence. She can pass this vision on to her employees making them enthusiastic about the company’s and their own future. Isabella has a program that she will inspire the employees to see the company as their own, rather than just a way to get their salary. She is a motivational leader and will most probably create a strongly motivated workforce willing to go that extra mile, which is just what an IT company needs in today’s competitive world (Robbins & Judge, p. 714).
Answer 4: The potential downsides to Devon’s leadership are that though he will be able to get the tasks completed on time, he will probably not try to venture into new areas, take risks, or take on new challenges. His employees will focus on following instructions and be satisfied with the rewards they get for completing tasks on time. Devon does not have a vision for the future and where he wants to steer the company in the next 15 years. He is not able to motivate his employees to do more than what their job demands or make sacrifices for the company (Robbins & Judge, p. 714).
The potential downsides to Isabella’s leadership are that she may focus too much on her vision for the future and may take unnecessary risks. She wants her company to be at the forefront in developing new technologies. Thus, she is at a risk of venturing into uncharted areas and meeting with unforeseen difficulties and problems. Developing new technologies may not prove to be fruitful as some of the technologies may not meet with success in the market. This may cause a loss to the company. Thus, Isabella needs to cautious while treading uncharted waters. In addition, Isabella has revealed an egotistical personality and it is not certain how this would emerge if she were given more authority (Robbins & Judge, p. 715).
Answer 5: In my opinion, Isabella’s employees will be more motivated. Isabella’s style of leadership is a motivational and transformational one. She believes that a leader should have a certain “something” that all people do not have. This “something” in her opinion is charisma. Isabella believes that leadership requires motivating people to perform beyond the formal requirements of the job. Thus, it is certain that she will motivate her employees to think beyond the norm, to contribute ideas for the progress of the company, and to challenge them to look ahead. Isabella believes in inspiring her employees to see the company as their own. Therefore Isabella’s employees are more likely to have higher job satisfaction, trust in leadership, and organizational commitment (Robbins & Judge, p. 714).
Answer 6: Devon would be most suitable as the head of a department, such as finance, operation, etc. in a matrix type organization. In a matrix organization, departments are based on projects with each project team having its own operation, finance etc. departments. It would be ideal if Devon is made the head of a department of a few project teams in a matrix structure. He would take instructions from his superiors. Since he is an organizer, will be able to give instructions and make sure the team has the necessary resources to fulfill them. However, Isabella would be more suitable as the head of a department in a functional structure where the entire company has common finance, operations, sales, departments. She has the ability to head an entire department and provide it a vision for the future. She has the motivational capabilities required to lead an entire department and the foresight to guide it to success in the future.
Robbins, Stephen P. & Judge, Timothy A. (2007). Organizational Behavior (13th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.