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Working With and Leading People Essay Sample

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Working With and Leading People Essay Sample

‘A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach, for which they hold themselves mutually accountable’. (Katzenbach & Smith)

Certain functions in an organisation performed more effectively by a team as opposed to individuals working on their own is due to the fact that it is a group of people who are working together to achieve the same organisational objectives. Teams normally have members with complementary skills and this helps in either maximising the strengths of members or minimising the weakness of members. Within a team every person will have different types of knowledge, skills and experience and this will be an asset for the team to fulfil their functions as they are working together. Teams in an organisation help the individual and also the organisation.

There are benefits such as staff may feel more motivated and committed to their work which will result in staff working harder and performing better, morale is high and it may improve leadership skills, they will feel part of the decision making process, with a team it clearly defines the goals and objectives, it improves the procedures and processes, it will improve the ability to problem solve and will also develop better relationships with management and team members. The organisation may have a higher quality of work, fewer accidents, fewer staff turnover and fewer problems and another is it may have an improved reputation and image on the organisations behalf. Team members will need to learn how to help one another which will in turn help other members realise their true potential and it will also create a positive environment which will allow every team member to go beyond their limitations. When an individual is working on their own it will be difficult to have all these benefits because there is so much one person can do. With a team it will encourage creativity and productivity among its team members where as with an individual there is a limitation to that.

Having an effective team there are benefits such as collaboration, communication, commitment, realism, an achievable pace and accountability. All these mentioned above should have great effectiveness from the team due to the fact that they have to work together, communicate with each other, all team members should have the same commitment and practicality and they should all understand that they are accountable for what they are responsible for within the team and the goals and objectives of the team should be attainable. When working with a team it has a variety of people that have different experiences, skills and knowledge and this is very important because it helps the team to become more effective and efficient due to the wide range of experiences, skills and knowledge that the team possesses. They will be able to share these with each other and in result it will have creativity and productivity. Some functions in organisations need to have team work because it may be too much for one person to perform or accomplish.

Within a team it should have dynamics such as support, communication, understanding, and good attitudes also assess who performs from who does not. These traits may help in motivating and promoting team spirit to support team members. Team members should have different roles in team assignments where each member has a position and a task which will make it easier on the team in accomplishing the goals. In this way the members are working independently and rely on their own skills and knowledge to do the task but the team still communicates and supports each other. Team work is very important to every organisation due to the fact it is critical to a work environment. Teams involve every person or individual working together in collaborating, communicating, having a certain commitment and practicality, also being accountable for what they were put in charge off and making sure that it is done in a timely manner which would result in achieving the goals and objectives of the organisation. With the different mixture of team members with different skills, knowledge and experience they will be able to fulfil the objectives and goals of the organisation.

TASK 1 (2)

The approach or strategies that would be used to ensure that the effectiveness of the team is sustained over a long period of time is by evaluating, rewarding, supporting, supervising and monitoring the team. The team should be supported by the organisation; this would encourage and motivate the team into accomplishing the goals and objectives of the organisation. Many teams have problems such as conflicts and disagreements between team members but the leader of the team should be able to help and guide the team to resolve conflicts by implementing improved team practices. When the team recognises that the organisation is taking interest and is supportive it will rejuvenate the team to perform and produce beyond their limitations.

By supervising teams it also leads to the effectiveness and successfulness of the team. Supervision is very important in teams because this is when the team leader is involved to know what exactly the team needs and making sure that it is provided so they stay happy and satisfied. For the team to be effective for a long period of time the leaders should be able to resolve conflicts within the team which cannot be resolved by its members, should be able to give direction and functional expertise to the team and its members, to find the resources that are needed and judge the performance of the team and the members. By the leader performing these roles the team will be able to stay intact and effective. Monitoring progress can be done on a regular basis if the effectiveness of the team is to be sustained over a long period of time. Continuously monitoring the team will make sure that the goals and objectives of the team are being accomplished. It can be measured by reviewing progress of the team and the members; identify opportunities for improvement and also learning from mistakes that have happened in the past. This will help the team by showing that they are achieving the objectives or not and how it can be modified to help in accomplishing those goals.

Evaluating the team will be able to tell if the team is successful and effective. There are certain criteria for team effectiveness such as task performance which is the fulfilment of the organisational goals and tasks and the effectiveness to which goals are accomplished and efficiency in the use of resources in attaining those goals. Team functioning is the constructive maintenance of team working and managing the demands of team roles, processes and dynamics.

The fulfilment of individual development and relationship needs is another criterion called team member satisfaction. When measuring team performance it can be measured against certain elements such as the quantity and quality of work performed. Performance can be judged by observing the teams’ behaviour on an agreed set of criteria, interviewing all who may have a view about the team and its performance and also a pre-prepared questionnaire can be administered to the team members and their managers. Evaluations can be based on a single evaluation provided to the group, individual evaluations for each team member or a combined assessment which is using both group and individual evaluations. Rewarding the teams will encourage the team to perform effective and efficiently. The organisation will have to design a reward system that the team recognises rather than it is based on individual success. For team rewards to be effective it should have certain characteristics such as distinct roles, targets and performance measures, maturity and stability, cooperation, interdependence of team members and also significant independence and thus influence over performance.

These mentioned above will be able to ensure that the effectiveness of the team is sustained for a long period of time because these approaches will be continuous so as long as the team exists. These strategies will be able to motivate the team members in achieving the organisations goals and objectives. By rewarding, supervising, monitoring, evaluating and supporting the team, their effectiveness will be sustained for a long period of time once it is continuous.

TASK 3 (1)

There are different types of theories of leadership such as trait, activity based, contingency and style. From this case the type of leadership theory used is the Contingency approach to leadership. This approach argues that the ability of a manager to lead and to influence his work group will vary according to the leader, the subordinates and the task. These factors can be ranged from tight to flexible and Handy said that the most effective style of leadership in an particular situation is one that brings these three factors into a ‘best fit’. The Chief Executive wishes to implement new technology into the organisation. From the case the General Manager and the staff are disinterested and reluctant to adapt to the change and the Chief Executive has ideas on how to deal with the problems. A best fit should be when all factors are on the same level of the spectrum and if not this is where the leader should decide which factors should be changed in order to bring three factors in line. There is also the Adair’s action-based leadership or situational model which sees leadership process in a context made up of three interrelated variables which are task needs, individual needs of group members and the needs of the group as a whole.

This theory is based on analysing what designated leaders actually do and how it is done. In this theory the total situation dictates the relative priority which should be given to each of the three sets of needs and also effective leadership is identifying and acting on that priority. This model stresses that effective leadership lies with what the leader does to meet the needs of the task, group and individuals and this model takes it nearer to the contingency approach mentioned above. In this case the Chief takes on the action based approach whereas the General Manager is the contingency approach. The Chief main concern it to deal with the problems the organisation is having and making sure the staff believes in his new approach to solve the problem and his approach deals with task needs, individual needs as a group and the needs of a group as one. The General Manager is contingency approach because his approach to managing from the case has always been to control costs and activities and also he concentrated on developing an efficient and professional team which worked for ‘him’.

His down fall was he was not concerned with the external factors of the organisation which were client dissatisfaction, new technology, increasing competition and rapidly increasing costs. He was on the tight end of the spectrum in this approach which was an autocratic style. There are four different types of leadership that Huneryager and Heckman identified these are Dictatorial, Autocratic, Democratic and Laissez-faire. In this case there is an autocratic style of leadership where the decision making in centralised which is the leader making decisions. These leaders are paternalistic, who offer consideration and respect to the workforce but make all the decisions. This type of leadership tends to be a success but the subordinates normally dislike the leader. In this case the Chief Executive wants to introduce the new technology over the next few years and it was mentioned that if it was not implemented the company may not survive.

The General Manager and staff are reluctant for these new ideas to be implemented but according to the Chief Executive these ideas must be implemented into the organisation within the next few years especially in the product/service departments. Since the Chief does not think that the General Manager is not capable of dealing with the internal and external pressure that the organisation is facing with at the moment, the Chief is taking the initiative and dealing with the problem through a democratic style of leadership which he always has managed to use. The General Manager, although in charge of this unit ignored the needs of the customers/clients and also the service that was provided by this unit. His leadership style could be considered Autocratic because his style of managing has always been to control cost and activities fairly tightly and concentrated on developing an efficient and professional team working for him and neglected the problems within the unit such as poor staff morale, low productivity and quality and lack of experience just too mention a few. With the Chief implementing the new ideas he has a democratic style of leadership because he wants the organisation to move forward, solve the problems and is concerned with the employees.

TASK 3 (2)

The techniques that should be used by the Chief Executive to motivate his staff and to achieve ‘buy-in’ of the new initiatives;

The main goal of leadership is they should be able to move away from the old systems which rely on position, reward and coercion power and move towards an organisational culture that is based on information, expertise, personality, and moral power. In order for this to happen the leader must be less controlling. There are four forms that can be used to motivate employees, which is by empowering them through information, expertise, personality and moral power. When the Chief uses these forms of power, the staff will have to decide on what course of action is to be taken. If the employees decided to follow the leader this is intrinsic motivation because the staff will recognises the course of action as a good thing. With this type of motivation the employees feel a sense of empowerment and independence of choice.

One way the Chief can motivate his staff is by giving information. Information can be used by the chief in order to involve the employee in the decision making process and empower them making them feel that the organisation is taking interest in them and their opinions. The chief will have to explain the benefits of why he wants to implement new technology and show the staff how it will benefit them and the organisation. It can be done by handouts and videos. The employee in turn will then analyse the information presented to them and then makes a decision. If the employees do decide to the change, they will feel empowered and the motivation would be intrinsic and the decision would be made independent on the chief. A leader who has expertise would also be able to motivate his/her staff by demonstrating how to perform tasks. The chief is a person who has done many other things for the organisation and is recognised because of his accomplishment within the past years. The Chief can also bring into the picture expertise of others for example implementing the new technology system he would have to hire specialist in order to motivate employees by showing how the new technique will be able to benefit the employees and themselves. In this case the employees will benefit by gaining new skills and knowledge from the new implementation of technology. It will be beneficial to both the organisation and its staff.

Another motivation factor is the leaders’ personality or referent power which is a person who is generally liked and admired by others. The chief by having so many accomplishments in the organisation he may be respected and admired by some of the staff members. If this is so the staff may comply because of the chief’s attitude and behaviours and so the employees can make a conscious decision to grant the leaders wishes. Moral power has communicated a shared set of values and obligations which lays out the right thing to do for the good of the employees, the stakeholders, the organisation and may be the community as a whole. These values of the organisation may be set as mission statement or vision. The mission statement or vision can drive the staff members to work towards the goals and objectives of the organiation.This can be arrived through discussion with followers and described thorough procedures, regulations and rules.

The chief can motivate and empower the staff by showing interest in the ideas of the staff members. Once interest is shown the staff will feel empowered and self motivated because they feel a sense belonging to the organisation. The chief should be able to promote the new system that is needed for the organisation showing the staff that they will gain knowledge, experience and new skills which would be for their own personal development. The chief can also motivate staff by opening promotions and offering them positions where they can lead in their own expertise. This will motivate the staff to actually buying into the change. All these mentioned will help the Chief in motivating the staff and will show them how beneficial this change would be to the company and the members of staff.


Essentials, B. (2007). Management. London: BPP Learning Media.

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