Power and Leadership

The style of leadership is very important, as it must always be properly adapted to the situation. It should coincide with the solutions that will be offered to a certain type of challenges a person or organization might face. The leadership style framework has been developed in 1930 by a psychologist Kurt Lewin. The styles include autocratic, democratic, laissez-faire and others. Separate categories are allocated to the steward, charismatic and transformational leadership styles (Mind Tools Ltd., 2014). Thereafter, the objective of the following paper is to discuss what recommendation can be given in relation to leadership styles in the specific case.

The case is about John who was a head of a successful international company. He was well-respected but also feared by his employees due to the leadership style he has selected for himself. Under certain circumstances, John has been asked to join a Status Gold Club, where he was supposed to lead certain department that was related to charity. This was a point when certain challenges and difficulties arose.

During the first meeting, John has realized that the task of collecting funds for charity from small and big businesses was not going to be accomplished that easily. Thereafter, he faced a situation where all the members have established a long-lasting relationships with one another and the previous charity drives have been used. During the first meeting, one of the members named Andy has intentionally interrupted John’s speech on a continuous manner, which has been followed by the other group members. It went even further as John found himself in the situation when no one was even listening to him nor was he participating in the discussions. The meeting ended with John being ignored and getting a task that was proposed by Andy (LSBF Global MBA, 2014).  Actually, everything went wrong at the first meeting, as the team obviously refused to treat him as a new leader and listen to him.

There are many reasons why there have been so many problems that John faced, but he major of them was his leadership style. John was definitely using an autocratic leadership style, as his subordinates were afraid of him and had to adapt in order to work harmoniously. As a result, John was used to making decisions without asking for an advice of other team members, even if the mutual input might help to obtain much better results. In certain cases, this is a benefit, especially when an urgent decision must be made. Thus, in the majority of situations employees get demotivated and demoralized, which might lead low productivity levels and high turnover rates (Mind Tools Ltd, 2014). Group members must have sensed or have heard about John’s leadership style and have immediately decided to react. They allowed the previously-selected leader, who let the team be fully involved in a decision-making process, to be in front.

The group has definitely been using a type of power known as connection power. This type is based on previously established relationships, when team member know one another. in the given case, they have been listening only to their own team members. Andy has also used that to his benefit, as everyone knew what type of person he was and were ready to follow him. They did not mind him interrupting John even before he had finished communicating all his ideas. It is important to mention that Andy also has a certain level of referent power, as he is well-respected and well-known. The main proof of Andy’s recognition is the fact that at the end of the meeting John was given a task suggested by Andy. It is possible that Andy also possesses an expert type of power.

On the other side, John has decided to use coercive power, which corresponds to his autocratic style of leadership. Thereafter, he thought that he was in the position to influence and even punish others, as he has been nominated to be the head of the Status Gold Club. His role was to ensure that the project related to charity would be successfully implemented. John definitely possesses a legitimate power (Lauby, 2010). Thus, neither of the powers have helped John to achieve his objectives.

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The most important advice that can be given to John is related to his leadership style, as autocratic leaders are the least affective. He should have scanned the team and used either democratic or steward leadership. The team was already established and John should have started by asking for an advice from them instead of giving directions. He was not seen as a real leader by the team. Moreover, if John chose autocratic leadership, he should have adopted a transformational style. It would have helped him to motivate the team members to contribute to the charity fund. 

It is also worth mentioning that John should not have relied on his type of power and wrongly assumed that coercive and legislative power would be enough to get the involvement of the team. Therefore, it is strongly recommended for him to look into the other types of power, such as an expert power, which would have worked for his advantage. He could have asked Andy to help him to establish good relationships with team members and later use connection power to achieve his goal.

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