Tag: Leadership

Transformational Leadership Vs Servant Leadership

Over the past century, leadership styles have emerged as some of the most effective approaches to apply when aspiring to provide a clear sense of direction, motivating a group of likeminded individuals, and the execution of strategies. Leadership styles are currently applied in a wide array of fields with the primary intention of fostering the conceptualization of solutions to aid organizations in making considerable headway. Transformational leadership and servant leadership are two of the most common leadership styles currently in application today.

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            Although transformational leadership and servant leadership both endeavor to realize similar goals, they remain unique in their own right as inimitable styles and manner of application. Transformational leadership is essentially a structured system where leaders liaise with their employees and other subordinates to develop a deeper connection among those involved in this exchange (Bass, 2016). As a consequence, higher levels of motivation, ethics, and morality among leaders and followers are then recorded; ultimately resulting in a general rise in trust and productivity. On the other hand, servant leadership is based on an altruistic model where the wellbeing of followers always takes precedence as opposed to focusing solely on self-interest (Dierendonck & Patterson, 2018). From this foundation, it is possible to deduce the fact that transformational leaders work steadily to ensure individual employees are always motivated while servant leaders will focus more on helping employees as one of the main moral obligations.

Read also Great Man Theory versus Transformational Leadership Theory

Striking similarities are also present in both transformational leadership and servant leadership in relation to their application and mode of operation. As a rule of thumb, both seek to promote an aspect of continuity within an organization by working towards the creation of likeminded leaders within the organization. In both styles, leaders are acutely aware of the significance of human resource and, therefore, ensure that concerted efforts aim to raise the consciousness of staff members. This guarantees their comprehension of their role as an important cog in the organizational wheel and their role in ensuring that set organizational goals are ultimately realized. Leaders eventually avoid self-interest and acknowledge the actual importance of members of staff, which then fosters their drive to nurture, buttress, and empower them in any given situation (Gardenia, 2019).

Read also Concept of Servant Leadership and The Difference Between Servant Leadership and Transformational Leadership

Nevertheless, it is worth acknowledging transformational leadership lacks an ethical element to its overall application. Ethics serve an important role in servant leadership where followers are placed above leaders and regarded as equal partners in controlling various aspects of their organization (Northhouse, 2016, p.240). This ultimately impacts the actual manner in which employees are treated during management.

Abraham Lincoln’s Servant Leadership

Servant leaders are people in leadership positions driven by a given set of beliefs, values, and principles (Kumar, 2018). They are mostly pushed by beliefs that they are in their posts for the support and benefit of those they are given to lead. Although servant leadership emerged from leaders’ demands to portray a more Christ-like approach, they do not need to approach their duties from a religious or a Christian point of view. Servant leadership is about what leaders do, but the way in which they do it. The essay discusses Abraham Lincoln as the specific example of a servant leader.

Read also Does Abraham Lincoln Deserve the Accolade “The Great Emancipator” ?

            Abraham Lincoln is one of the most outstanding examples of a servant leader. Servant leadership concentrates on two specific areas that differentiate it from other leadership styles. The initial area of concern is sustainability that yields lasting transformation and may influence others to change. Kumar (2018) adds that servant leaders revolutionize the structure and empowers their people. During the American civil war, Abraham Lincoln got a platform to showcase servant leadership. Two of the most outstanding outcomes of Lincoln’s leadership style are the freeing of the slaves and the Union’s conservation. Lincoln’s allegiance to serve gave the greater good for most Americans both forever transformed and revolutionized a nation for several generations that have come after him. During his presidency, Lincoln’s prudent and careful leadership led to a radical and transformational alteration in America (Brown, 2016). He maximized the opportunity granted to him to globally ascertain America’s position as the top example of a functioning democracy. Moreover, Abraham Lincoln extended the chance for liberty to every American.

Read also Remembrance of President Abraham Lincoln

            The plan set by any servant leader is necessary for the good of the company itself but, most categorically, for the advancement of human resources within the organization. Brown (2016) asserts that Lincoln’s desire to become the U.S. President originated from his ambition to serve his country. This implies that Lincoln never sought the executive position to enjoy the power that would come with such a giant post. He knew that getting the presidency was the ultimate opportunity to work for the fellow Americans and guide the country to a more solid union. The executive position would provide Lincoln with the platform to fulfill this vision and for the U.S. and his countrymen. Lincoln understood that he would need to serve a position of power to attain this objective. Although getting the presidency was the precursor for achieving his goal for the nation, it contained an element of responsibility to the American citizens and the office itself.

Read also Comparing Authentic and Servant Leadership Style

            Abraham Lincoln realized that the critical American value of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were ownership for every American. But the 19th century Americans held that only a few chosen individuals from the entire American population were entitled to the chance of pursuing these liberties. Consequentially, Lincoln decided to confront the unwritten cultural norms entertained for several generations. Servant leadership tasks revolved around discovering the principles and held beliefs that oppose the real values of humanity and, in the case of America, the different idea that a state’s sovereignty replaced the growth of a whole country (Brown, 2016). At the time of America’s social and constitutional crisis, Lincoln was determined to revive America’s consciousness. The generations that have come after the Civil War in America have recalled Lincoln’s words of freedom, liberty, and nationalism. Additionally, it offered this nation the fortitude to head in the direction that started with the 16th president.

Read also Princess Diana Transformational and Servant Leadership

            The passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the constitution stemmed the momentum for the proof of durable leadership. These lasting alterations to America’s constitution – the book that guaranteed people’s rights-gave Lincoln direction in leading the nation. These transformations were evident in in-laws that were passed in Congress. The change had occurred, and the capability to continue the chase for a “robust union” in the wake of Lincoln’s executive office’s departure is an adequate exemplification of his servant leadership. Due to Lincoln’s loyalty to sustainable and service revolutionary alteration, Americans continue to offer a working democracy example. The U.S.’s example to the humanity of prosperity and liberty to those who desire to achieve it is another proof of Lincoln’s servant leadership.

Read also Servant Leadership in Diverse Contexts – Indian Cultural Context and Hinduism

In conclusion, the servant leadership exemplified by Abraham Lincoln led to the change of America’s paradigm. His interpretation yielded a fresh voice to the ideals demonstrated by our founding fathers. Lincoln’s declaration of independence and the different lens he used to interpret the constitution gave America a powerful sense of itself and liberty to its citizens now and tomorrow’s generations. Furthermore, as a result of Lincoln’s servant leadership, two different Americans are noticeable. Those Americans that lived prior to the executive leadership of Abraham Lincoln one in which the pronunciations of the founding fathers were delineated for the involvement of some and to the exclusion of four million other Americans. The resulting America that came out during Abraham Lincoln’s leadership that guided it through the force of the Civil War was the one that included all Americans who had the desire for liberty, life, and the pursuit for happiness. This is the America that exemplifies the 16th President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln, as the embodiment of servant leadership. In summary, Lincoln’s leadership style comprised a natural reaction to the circumstances and people around his presidency.

Wassmiah Case Leadership Style Analysis

Wassmiah Case

Wassmiah is a leader in a local hospital and works well in the environment. The hospital’s environment is characterized by well-defined individual roles where each employee knows what is expected of him or her. Employee conflicts are minimized as everyone understands his or her responsibility, and the coordination of all activities leads to goal attainment. There is no duplication of work. Wassmiah encourages people to perform well and rewards positive behavior to boost productivity. Most goals Wassmiah sets are short-term, making them easier to fulfill, less intimidating to achieve, and as a result, employees are interested in obtaining the various rewards. When a problem arises, Wassmiah directs the employees in what to do and is quick to point out if the employee does not deliver results. However, Wassmiah suspects that employees are not working when there is no supervision.

What style of leadership is most likely described in this case and why have you reached that conclusion? What are the advantages of this type of leadership and what examples from the case support your position? What are the disadvantages of this type of leadership and what examples from the case support your position? What are the implications for employee motivation with this type of leadership? What other styles of leadership might be complementary to that described in the case and why?

Read also Leadership Critique – Transformational And Transactional Leadership

Transactional Leadership Model in Wassmiah Case

The approach to leadership that fits the description provided in Wassmiah’s case is the transactional leadership model. One characteristic of this style is the emphasis on extrinsic motivation. The given case describes Wassmiah as a leader who rewards employees with incentives to foster positive behavior. She also encourages employees to perform well while supervising them closely. Another aspect that sets her apart as a transactional leader is conformity to order and structure. Wassmiah maintains a formal workflow to direct self-motivated people in a structured workplace. Essentially, transactional leadership concentrates on the existing structure of the business, success measurements, and reward system. The role of a transactional leader revolves around exercising authority and supervising the workers to facilitate performance targets, both on individual and group levels. This essay attempts to demonstrate that Wassmiah’s leadership attributes lean towards a transactional approach. A transactional leadership style holds a strong emphasis on organization, supervision, and performance.

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            One of the most distinctive traits of a transactional leader involves the use of rewards and punishments to obtain compliance. Transactional leaders are extrinsic motivators, and unlike their transformational counterparts, they are not concerned about the wellbeing of their followers (Dartey-Baah, 2015). An ordinary transactional leader espouses and utilizes the structure, culture, and goals of the current organization. This is clearly evident in the scenario of WassMiah who uses the firm’s reward system to motivate employees towards achieving short-term goals. Wassmiah is directive and action-oriented. She regularly wants her followers to work within the existing system. Although she constantly negotiates with her followers, the goals remain within a structured model of work where every employee is expected to comply or lose their rewards. As a transactional leader, Wassmiah thinks “inside the box” when seeking solutions to problems.

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            Another trait that makes Wassmiah a transactional leader is her passiveness. Rather than using inspiration and personal appeal, she adopts behaviors that help establish the criteria for maintaining the status quo and rewarding followers (Afshari & Gibson, 2016). This approach is advantageous in that it is very practical and result-oriented. The practicality relates to the use of powerful motivators and clear order to drive performance. External rewards such as tangible perks can serve as significant motivators for employees and may drive performance in the short term. Indeed, Wassmiah assimilates short-term goals that can be easily attained with a rewards system. With regard to rewards, two factors of leadership that emerge in Wassmiah’s case are a contingent reward and management-by-exception (Northouse, 2018, p.171). The former offers rewards to employees for their effort and performance while the latter attempts to maintain the status quo and intervene when employees are not attaining their job goals. Moreover, Wassmiah’s transparency in the workplace sets clear expectations for the employees so that they are constantly aware of their roles and rules of authority. Her workforce is always informed when it comes to questions of organizational structure and leadership.

            The benefits of transactional leadership are dependent on the context (Masa’deh, Obeidat, & Tarhini, 2016). Hence some benefits may not be realized in select situations. In Wassmiah’s case, benefits emerge when short-term goals are used, and workers have clearly defined roles, rewards, and penalties. Her style encourages productivity and offers an easy structure that is easy to understand. However, it limits the creativity of the workers, eliminates individuality from the production process, ignores empathy, and places more value on efficiency. Since a transactional leader is rigid and unyielding, she does not bend the rules to accommodate flexibility. This limits innovation owing to the fact that employees are expected to focus on assigned tasks. Even in situations where creativity applies, it is strongly regulated by company policies. Violation of policies normally leads to loss of reward and termination of workers. For this reason, a transactional leadership style is not applicable in flexible environments.

            One major drawback of transactional leadership is the use of extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic rewards do not last in the long-term because they are short-term incentives (Deichmann & Stam, 2015). By constantly receiving extrinsic motivation, employees quickly become oriented to short-term rewards than the value of the work and long-term goals. Employees who become extensively attached to short-term incentives are likely to become exhausted and eventually quit their roles. Additionally, employees who are subjected to a rewards and punishment system may focus more on rewards than the goals of the company. Those who do not value the rewards may exhibit low performance, especially when not under supervision. The overall attitude of a workplace that utilizes a transactional approach to leadership can give the workforce the impression that is being paid to work in a specific fashion. The transactional nature of the rewards could also drive down their value in the eyes of employees. Some leadership styles that may complement a transactional leadership style include autocratic leadership, which uses authority to achieve results and efficiency, and bureaucratic leadership style, which expects followers to abide by rules and procedures.

In conclusion, the approach to leadership that fits the description provided in Wassmiah’s case is the transactional leadership model since she emphasizes organization, supervision, and performance. Traits that make her a transactional leader are the use of a rewards system, conformity to the status quo, and exercise of authority and direction with the intent of driving performance.

Martin Luther King in Leadership

Scholars in the field leadership and strategic management support two common views about a leader. The first maintains that a leader is born and that leadership qualities are inherent in the person. The second theorizes that people eventually become leaders after undergoing a rigorous process of training that acquaints them with key leadership skills and behavioral inclinations to apply in specific situations. Early leadership theories were focused on the person rather than the qualities, but over time interest has shifted to variables affecting effective leadership such as skill levels and situational factors. This paper demonstrates how a key historical leader, Martin Luther King, abandoned one leadership paradigm for another to influence his followers. King’s shift from a lay leader to a frontrunner of the Civil Rights Movement compelled him to adopt a more charismatic, participative, and transformational leadership style.

Read also Great Man Theory versus Transformational Leadership Theory

The Universalist school of thought deems King as an inborn leader. This notion is inspired by the trait theory which maintains that certain traits are necessary for one to become a leader. Sample traits include intelligence and action-oriented judgement, eagerness to accept responsibility, task competence, understanding the follower’s needs, people skills, need for achievement, perseverance, assertiveness, trustworthiness, courage, and resolution, among others. King demonstrated many of these traits in his achievements. Perhaps more than any other person of his era, King understood his follower’s needs (Ling, 2015). As an African-American man, he endured and even developed depression as a result of racial segregation. Hence, he had a common mindset with civil rights activists and followers. His resolution was exhibited through his strong determination to push for equality of races. His proven track record of accountability from high school through post-college years and devoted loyalty to the African American community created a trusted leader (Fishman, 2019).  Altogether, King’s leadership traits enabled him to exercise influence over his followers.

Read also Approaches to Leadership, Their Strengths and Weaknesses

            As much as King demonstrated key traits of leadership, he mastered many skills through his life experiences, especially those relating to his role as a leader. For instance, King became increasingly proficient in communicating his views at a young age (Garrow, 2015). He displayed public speaking skills as early as high school. He was known for his clever use of oratorical and rhetorical devices such as repetition and alliteration. King’s famed Letter from Birmingham Jail further exposed his willpower to use any mode of communication to achieve the end. The letter exposed clergy members who were undermining the civil rights movement by calling the delay of demonstrations. His persistence was evidently an indicator of his transformational style of leadership. Transformational leaders create a vision and guide change through aspiration while upholding loyalty to the objective regardless of challenges. The Letter from Birmingham jail cost King in many ways, among them the bombing of his home, yet, he urged his team and followers to press forward toward the goal.

Read also Comparing Authentic and Servant Leadership Style

            Another key aspect of transformational leadership that King developed over time was the courage and determination to challenge the status quo. He began to challenge societal norms at a young age, partly because of his father’s ardent devotion to the civil rights movement. King continued to challenge existing state of injustice and segregation while advocating his case for democracy, brotherhood, and racial injustice. These actions demonstrated his will to motivate and collaborate with followers in raising the morality of the society, which is a critical trait of transformational leaders (Arnold, Connelly, Walsh, & Martin Ginis, 2015). According to Burns, transformational leaders use a strong vision and personality to inspire followers towards success.

Read also Leadership And Decision Making

            Other behavioral inclinations that make King a transformational leader include his ability to motivate followers; follow and execute moral standards; foster an ethical environment with priorities and standards; encourage followers to shift from an attitude of self-interest to interest in common good; emphasize authenticity and cooperation; and provide mentoring and coaching so that followers can make their own choices autonomously.  Among the most behavior that connect King’s leadership style with the element of transformation is his aspiration to evolve the minds the minds of values, beliefs, and attitudes of the followers (Riggio, 2017). By providing a vision of where civil rights activists were going and developing a culture that stimulates desired activities, such as peaceful protests and demonstrations, King inspired his followers. He also took time to empathize and connect with his followers. In rallies, King mentioned major challenges that the citizens were facing and encouraged them to keep up the fight. As a Christian leader, he had practiced and mastered the art of preaching ideas to populations that were willing to act with violence against those who showed violence (Reddick, 2018). Such ideals were communicated in his rallies and many speaking events King attended. King is seen as responsible for producing performance beyond ordinary expectations for his perseverance in the time of adversity. He transmitted the mission beyond the barrier of a jail cell, stimulated people’s learning experiences, and inspired new ways of doing things. Above all, he played the role model.

            One main reason why King adopted a transformational leadership framework instead of the then dominant autocratic style is the former’s knack to produce real and tangible results. Research shows that transformational leadership stimulates revolution and performance for the leader and followers (Riggio, 2017). This is particularly evident in the manner in which King’s style uplifted him and other participants of the civil rights movement towards a shared goal. King’s leadership style was the complete opposite of transactional style of leadership which involves the use of incentives and punishment in motivating followers.

            The contingency aspect of leadership is apparent in the way King cultivated and eventually matched his leadership style to situational characteristics. For instance, he developed empathy by undergoing the experiences that his followers were undergoing. To be the champion of people’s rights, he had to have a vivid understanding of the circumstances they faced and the challenges they endured. Hence, he spent time interacting with those he represented. Some interactions were achieved through official meetings while others were impromptu (Garrow, 2015). His efforts of identifying with his followers went beyond the “normal” degree. The relationship and interaction between King and his followers eventually matured into a proper match. This is consistent with all three contingency leadership theories. Indeed, outlooks of the Fielder, decision-making, and leader-member contingency theories were well illustrated by King. With regard to Fielder’s model, King’s behavioral style matched well with the degree to which the situation provided control. Fielder maintains that leaders are concerned with group relations; King closely monitored views and feelings of his cohorts (Riggio, 2017). With time, he adopted a more relationship-oriented attitude pf leadership. Leader-member relations are particularly important when it comes to leading a group of people as success depends on how the followers relate to their leader (Riggio, 2017). Although King had no significant position power, he used his charisma to grab the attention of like-minded citizens and authorities at large. Kings leadership shares a connection with the path-gal and decision-making theories in that he helped followers to attain desired goals and made revolutionary decisions, such as defying government orders to organize demonstrations.

            King is among the most renowned leaders in history that possessed charisma. He was an exceptional leader who appealed and identified with the plight of his followers (Taylor, 2016). Like other charismatic leaders, King validated his ability to communicate shared group goals while conveying confidence in his own abilities as well as those of his followers. The charismatic leadership theory maintains that leaders are more effective in situations where goals are not clear and where the conditions are unstable, precisely because they are capable of providing the vision of where the team should be headed (Nawaz & Khan, 2016). With exceptional social skills and the ability to connect with followers on an emotional level, King manifestly revealed his power as a charismatic leader. He possessed key characteristics of charismatic leaders, such as the ability to inspire, sensitivity to followers, and the desire to alter the status quo.

Read also Who Influenced Western Culture the Most? Luther, Columbus, Gutenberg, or Charles Darwin?       

In sum, King’s position in the Civil Rights Movement compelled him to adopt a more charismatic, participative, and transformational leadership style. He moved away from the level of autocracy that dominated organizations at the time. Autocratic systems of leadership value the leader’s input, but may fail to value the follower’s voice at all. An autocratic leadership style would have proven unsuitable to King’s circumstance as he would never had connected with his followers as he did. Additionally, the decisions he would have made would never had harmonized completely, if at all, with those of his followers. Today, the workplace is adopting King’s leadership style by encouraging collaboration between the leader and employees. King also illustrated flexibility in his endeavors. While he manifested key leadership traits, it is his accommodating attitude that led to his success in managing a large group in an unstable environment.

Read also Martin Luther King Jr and Thomas Edison Contributions To The World

On the whole, King espoused participative, transformational, and charismatic leadership styles. He combined them in different situations to account for varying team qualities. In the modern business environment, leaders are becoming more aware of their employees’ personalities and emotional needs. Hence, they are becoming better at reacting to different contexts in in unique ways. A shift from autocracy towards participation and transformation is not only inspiring direction by creativity instead of rigidity but also allowing followers to become more independent and motivated. However, leaders are obliged to remain available always to help their team where need arises. In future, leadership may continue to evolve, especially with the current influence of technology on organizations and management.

Great Man Theory versus Transformational Leadership Theory

The definition of leadership in organizational psychology has evolved over the years partly because of ongoing research and increasing complexity of operations in the modern business environment. Through time, a constantly changing business setting has compelled organizations to adopt more progressive leadership philosophies in order to keep up with competition and remain relevant to respective industries. This essay contrasts the simplicity of the Great Man Theory with the complexity of the contemporary transformational leadership theory. The Great man theory is unidimensional in that it focuses on mere traits of the leader while the transformational theory is multifaceted as it looks at multiple factors in leadership.

The great man theory emphasizes the natural attributes of highly influential and unique individuals who have made a positive impact on history. Attributed to Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlie, the theory maintains that heroes have shaped history through divine inspiration and personal attributes such as courage and superior intellect. Carlie publicized this philosophy in his book “Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History” where he pointed at the characteristic patterns emanating from the decisions, ideas, works, and even personal traits of heroes. He gave a comprehensive analysis of six major types of roles served by heroes: Divinity, poet, priest, a man of letters, and king. Carlie also asserted that research relating to heroes could be beneficial to one’s heroic aspect.

The Great Man theory of leadership emerged in the 19th century because of the wide recognition of heroic acts of the era (Spector, 2016). Examples of heroic characters at the time included Julius Caesar, Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, and Alexander the Great. Such personalities helped shape the notion that leaders are born rather than made. Proponents of the great man theory believed that the “right man for the job” seemed to emerge magically from the public to address existing problems and lead a group of people into success or safety. In fact, some of the earliest researchers in the realm of leadership explored successful leaders such as aristocratic rulers who achieved leadership positions by birthright. People of lesser social status had no chance of becoming leaders. Hence, the public espoused the notion that leadership was an inherent ability. The Great Man theory retains its relevance and influence in various population segments where people believe that prominent leaders possess the right personality and qualities for a certain leadership position.

On the other hand, transformational leadership theory is an approach to leadership that aims at causing a change in individuals and the organization (Bass & Riggio, 2006). Ideally, it creates positive and valuable change in followers with the ultimate goal of transforming them into leaders. The inner workings of the theory involve the enhancement of morale, motivation, and performance. Various mechanisms through which leaders apply transformational theory include connecting the identity of self to the collective identity of the organization; challenging followers to take responsibility in their roles; playing the position of the role model to inspire followers; appreciating the strengths and weaknesses of employees; and aligning followers with tasks in which they are proficient.

Read also Leadership Critique – Transformational And Transactional Leadership

The concept of transformational leadership emerged in the 1970s when James Macgregor conducted descriptive research on political leaders. The initial idea was to highlight the role of leaders in supporting followers and vice versa in the advancement of morale and motivation. Burns’ research was partly inspired by the difficulty in differentiating between leadership and management. The author pointed out various behaviors and characteristics and coined the term “transforming leadership” to explain how a leader transforms the life of the workforce and organization. The leader’s personality and ability to elicit a change by example, articulate the company’s mission, and challenge goals are at the heart of transformational philosophy.

Read also Princess Diana Transformational and Servant Leadership

The simplicity of the Great Man theory and the complexity of transformational leadership are evident. The more traditional Great man model did not look into the underlying psychological explanations behind the success of various leaders. Instead, it explored the outward traits portrayed by successful people. This tendency led to heavy reliance on heroic traits rather than fundamental rationalizations. Conversely, transformational theory takes basic accounts and a deeper approach to leadership by examining core psychological links between behaviors and performance (Hermosilla, Amutio, Da Costa, & Páez, 2016). In particular, research points at four essential elements of transformational leadership namely individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation, and idealized influence. The latter is a central factor in the earlier Great man theory. In essence, idealized influence means that a leader is a role model of high ethical behavior. Leaders instill pride and gains trust and respect.

Read also Concept of Servant Leadership and The Difference Between Servant Leadership and Transformational Leadership

Apparently, the Great man theory is unidimensional in that it focuses on mere traits of the leader while the transformational theory is multifaceted as it looks at multiple factors in leadership. In the former, followers are expected to emulate the traits of successful leaders – heroes. However, they cannot qualify to be leaders unless they are inherently born as leaders. The theory has been deeply contested by researchers for its unidimensional nature. In contrast, transformational leadership draws attention to the mechanisms through which certain leadership traits elicit positive change in organizations. The application of these mechanisms is not limited to various persons. Rather, they can be applied by any person who wishes to exercise leadership.

Tim Smit’s Effective Leadership in The Eden Project

The modern business environment has sparked a new generation of approaches to leadership which is fundamental to the success of any modern organization. Leadership revolves around the art of inspiring and bringing about change in the organization by attaining efficiency while showing concern for others welfare. This means that effective leaders should be responsive to change and concerned about what motivates their employees to attain their highest potential. Leaders in today’s business environment are compelled to abandon the traditional command line of leadership approaches in favor of modern collaborative approaches that allow them to influence and attain cooperation from their subordinates. They must sustain awareness of change by maintaining active bonds with those they work with to inspire vision and eliminate sloppiness (Todnem 2005. The co-founder of the Eden Project and executive vice chair of a company by the same name Tim Smit has wholly demonstrated this art of modern leadership by influencing and inspiring subordinates toward a delineated direction that benefits the growth and success of his organization. This paper explores his leadership styles and use of collaborative approach in managing teams and groups. He demonstrates that it is essential for an effective leader to ensure a collaborative climate, focus on the goal, build confidence, set priorities, demonstrate sufficient know-how, and manage performance.

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The first idea of the Eden Project originated from Tim Smit who one time had a fantasy of this plan and chose to display it to others. Born in Holland on 25 September 1954, he studied archeology and anthropology at Durham University. Tim worked for ten old ages in the music business as author/maker in both stone music and musical drama. He has undergone a truly troublesome endeavor of managing The Eden Project in a productive way, which implies that he needs to suit a useful course way. Hersey and Blanchard in 1977 recognized four distinctive driving behaviors and harmonizing to their findings, Tim’s category would be a “selling” behavio (Irgens,1995). This implies Tim is endeavoring to elevate individuals from staff to buy into his idea and the endeavors that should be performed at Eden. He puts a highlight on the relationship inside the organization and endeavors to keep up it positive. The marketing attack to bearing is to be utilized when individuals are spurred and willing to work and this is the occurrence with Eden as individuals worked there in light of the fact that they have confidence in what they do. Tim’s way is truly much about team work and having faith in the service they offer, thus Eden’s mental contract depends on team connections where both the organization and the representatives require each other (Mullins 2007). Representatives are profitable and they are altogether treated with respect. Eden has various segments; they are alluded to as “groups” keeping in mind the end goal to do them all appear to be all of significance.

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Tim is truly originative and he puts a bunch of endeavor into the delight in Eden. He organizes grouped occasions keeping in mind the end goal to determine customers amid off-top circumstances. He is somewhat eccentric, which on the one hand is truly moving and originative doing it a mainstream area for all age visitants. Despite the fact that on the other hand it causes arranged battles inside the organization. A few teams, for example, the Green Team of agricultural conservators, don’t concur with Smit’s tenet on doing Eden energizing and engaging and they feel that by the different occasions the works are continuing and Eden is losing its unique esteem. This style of leadership is built on the premise that each person approaches leadership in a unique way (Gold at al., 2010). As Smit demonstrates, the eccentric leader is candid, smart, and driven. They challenge the status-quo, break boundaries, passionate and innovative. Risk-seeking and boldness are also hallmarks. Smit’s style of leadership as far as the eccentric trait is concerned has led to undeniable success. Nevertheless, these traits also come with numerous challenges which can partially lead to frustration, misrepresentation, and swaying results. As leaders like smit strive to be understood, grow the organization and drive cultural compliance, the inherent challenge is to get every follower on the same page.  Tim proclaims that he is not into horticulture yet his occupation is to encourage individuals to get involved in the venture. This strategy can be unsafe for the organization as it conceivably amends the resolve of staff and could even lead to work stoppages or dissents.

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Perhaps the most manifest element of Smit’s leadership in the conception and success of the Eden Project is the element of change management. He has successfully overseen the transformation of an exhausted clay pit that had initially been in use for 160 years into a micro-ecosystem that attracts millions of tourists from all over the world and conditioned members of the organization to adopt a new way of thinking. To achieve this feat, Smit utilizes a blend of creativity, innovation, and knowledge from a team of knowledgeable individuals and applies a systematic approach to drive change (Proctor 2014. According to him, one must define and adopt a set of unique corporate strategies, procedures, structures, and technologies in order to accomplish change. When Smit collaborated with John Willis and John Nelson to conceive the Eden project, his main goal was to rebuild Cornwall’s reputation and to make it a highly regarded tourist attraction in addition to restoring the long-derelict gardens surrounding the stately home and seat of the Tremayne family at Heligan. To accomplish this immense change, Smit was aware he had to develop inimitable strategies and make use of matchless expertise. One key distinctive feature he adopted in the project was an exceptional design strategy. The architect of the project, Nicholas Grimshaw, developed a distinctive, bubble-like geodesic structure labelled “hex-tri-hex,” which was an unparalleled design feat. The final structure would take the look of a half-a-sphere and make use of straight planes with straight edges. The outer shell would then incorporate primary hexagonal pieces attached to an inner network of triangles, providing enough stability to eliminate the need of any internal supports even in a 240m span of the biggest biome. In addition, the core was entirely based on nature’s architecture or biomimicry, which includes a central trunk and a canopy roof that shades the inner ground and harvests the sun. The most noticeable and striking feature is the roof; it’s created from a complex of curved timber beams based on Fibonacci spiral patterns found in a majority of natural forms such as those of pine cones and sunflower heads. All these aspects of the design strategy and structure showcase the project’s blend of creativity and innovation.

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Besides creativity and innovation, Smit employed supreme problem-solving skills at the projects inception. ‘During the first two months of work, it rained almost continuously which resulted in 43 million gallons of water draining into the clay-lined pit. Smit viewed this as both a problem and an opportunity. The problem involved the design of unique drainage system that would prevent the site turning soggy during the average English summer. Given the ill-defined nature of problems, the route of finding a solution to this problem was not obvious and required a creative approach to be taken. Smit knew that clarification of how to solve the problem would involve gaining insight. Working with his team, he saw the opportunity to demonstrate the principles of sustainability and use run-off from the site. ‘The system designed to meet this purpose collects, on average, 22 liters a second, and almost half the water needed to run the project.’ Smit recognized the task environment, transformed the task into his problem space, and processed the data to move toward the goal. His problem-solving skills goes to reinforce the team’s optimism, organizational awareness, and his own credibility and strength.  The leader of team such as that of the Eden Project needs problems solving skills to catalyze change and energize and motivate the members in accordance with the vision.

Read also Jeff Bezos Leadership, View on and Contribution toward Innovation

 In order to get the workforce to work in unison and in line with his creative and innovative strategies, Smit picks individuals he prefers and gets on great with them in order to be a part of his team. Smit comprehends the Social Identity Approach and sees everybody as being equivalent in the team. In this, he is achieving the concept of self-classification. What is more, he observes everybody’s single achievements and using the Belbin Team Role Inventory he makes up a viable team. Tim’s Secret, if there is one, is by all accounts that he can pass on individuals of truly unique subjects and achievements together get them to conceptualize and unite and concoct the incomprehensible. Despite the fact that there are a few dangers related with trusting everybody who works for you there are other than many advantages. Tim Smit is taking a positive authoritative conduct strategy. He comprehends that working inside an organization in which he has a decent reverberation with his colleague’s prompts high job fulfillment and high confidence for everybody in the team. Having high sense of job satisfaction and good offices, he knows that the team will work harder and will be more originative and fiery ‘ they also work outside opening hours, often at night, to carry outcertain potentially hazardous activities, such as loppingunstable branches from trees in the rainforest.’. Another advantage to this plan is that ‘Groups have a tendency to be a perfect representation of their pioneers. Tim Smit trusts that the workplace ought to be brimming with individuals he gets on well with. Co-operation is basic for a team to attain success at work. The representatives will see this and respond Tim’s capacity to cooperate and co-work with each other. In light of Tim’s favor for his work collaborators, it might take him to be susceptible when conceiving assurance. In twist, this will block the progression of the team. Tim should be candidly versatile. This demonstrates a portion of the truly human employments related with such an undertaking including battles of inclusion between expectations from the leader and a portion of the expert groups.

Read also Approaches to Leadership, Their Strengths and Weaknesses

In choice it is sensible to express that Tim Smit’ strategies are profitable and strong. The achievement of his management requires both engaged and conclusive direction, in addition to intense collaboration. Tim Smit is an enthusiastic and adequate pioneer. Tim sees his leadership style not as bossy however as being ‘practically equivalent to the music executive of a symphony’. Tim’s Style can be viewed as bossy to a degree yet you cannot express that it is. He needs individuals to work together with him and the team yet he does not want individuals to see him as a non-valuable plus. Tim’s type of leadership behavior, in theory, is a value oriented leadership. He really pushes individuals to achieve the inconceivable and sets disputing ends for the team. ‘He can bring people of very different disciplines and skills together, get them to brainstorm and collaborate, and come up with the extraordinary.’

Smit also utilizes transformational leadership. This is evident all through his meetings and activities. He propels his squad to win and influences them to see his vision of which he is so energetic about my role isn’t horticulture. My job is to fizz people into getting excited about horticulture, which is a very, very different activity’. Tim’s achievements are not to make with gardening. Tim has a solitary capacity to gain individuals to achieve achievements they thought was out of their range. That is his main achievement, gaining the best out of individuals. In twist Smit can be viewed as a breezy pioneer. ‘The expansive word now connected with leadership is vision – the capacity to see the greater picture to take the long haul position’. In spite of the fact that he is not a horticulturalist and we see a few battles of association due to this as with the ice arena and the unmistakable radiations barricading the plantsman work. ‘Two executives of the biomes significantly loathed the irritation and damage done to their works by squads of lineman’s. ‘Crack between individuals from the green squad and Smit since many felt their qualities were being bargained’. It is sensible to state from sketched out over that Smit’s lack of involvement in cultivating does not block his leadership achievements.

A critical aspect of Smit’s visionary and innovative leadership is his ability to balance his leadership and membership while ensuring that the goal is clear. In the Eden Project, he emerges both as a team leader and member of the team by enhancing social relations in teambuilding. In organizational management, socialization plays an important role in ensuring that collaboration is achieved. Existing teams are normally governed by moderately stable set of norms, shared systems of knowledge and role expectations such as mental models and group climate. Smit exploits these informal structures through work-based and social interactions between him and employees in the Eden project. However, he exhibits flexibility as far as socialization is concerned. He considers it essential to like every member of his team. By integrating himself in a team, he is able to achieve better outcomes, higher efficiency, better ideas, and a greater sense of accomplishment. Teamwork leads to better business outcomes owing to the fact that a team brings more resources to bear against challenges (Deneckere et al., 2012).  Moreover, a team provides more oversight and thus a reduction of the risk of poor contributions. Teams can also apply different skills to a problem and come up with more effective solutions than one person in addition to having an effective effect on performance. Goal setting and clarification are especially beneficial to affective, cognitive and process outcomes, which implies that team building can help teams build trust and co-operation. Smit exploits these benefits and further pushes the concept of mutual support by motivating and providing support to his subordinates. Nevertheless, by having such a sanguine view of the people he works with, smit also risks limiting creativity, inheriting conflict, using more time in problem-solving processes, and tolerating unequal participation. Some workers may not work as well as other members and there can be a tendency of some members to repose. Smit’s team approach to leadership gives him an edge over through his acquired ability to instill a strong belief in the organization’s service. He ignites enthusiasm for what he does, thus inspiring his followers and creating a more effective work environment.

Smit trusts that his bearing strategy can be applied both to private profit making organizations and public organizations. ‘Eden trusts the way it runs the site ought to be a motivation and representation to both business and open bodies. Altogether, for any organization to work you require three cardinal aspects: Leadership, experienced staff, and great conveying’. Smit picks individuals he has a decent reverberation with to work in his organization. His driving achievements as a result of his enthusiasm for the endeavor are huge. His staff respond well to his pushed accomplishment of Eden and in the end they have top of-the-line imparting achievements as they are all part of a team and have their conclusion voiced. Eden is an endeavor that is in the general population yet it generates revenue ‘I guess it shows you can hold and manage organization that is to a great degree solid monetarily, naturally and socially’. Smit’s capacity to follow up on individuals and secure them to co-work solidly as a team is a fascinating point for both non-profit and for-profit organization. The Eden undertaking is the acknowledgment of one man’s unprecedented vision through intense team work and organizational co-operation. Smit’s bearing strategy is ideal for both for-profit and public organizations. Above all, smit demonstrates that when a leader pushes individuals to achieve beyond their capacity, the unthinkable will happen.

In conclusion, the Eden project describes Tim Smit as a team-oriented leader who is concerned with the utilization of available resources to make life bearable for everyone. The institutions focus of updating the skills of workers and driving them to work in harmony reveals Smit’s concern for maximization of production. While appreciating the diversity of employees and networks between teams, smit encourages others to inject new ideas to strengthen the organization’s vision. He values team work by running the Eden Project as a social enterprise from which he facilitates fundraising programs in the sustainability of wide objectives, while upholding future citizenship values. His leadership style has not signs of reticence and this serves to boost and inspire the fruits and contributions of the team. Above all, he adopts a structured approach to transitioning individuals and teams from a traditional state of mind to adaptable and more accommodating attitudes through three major streams of thought. First, he establishes change management as a systematic and formal process for organizational change by applying knowledge and utilizing a systematic approach. His leadership displays the aspect of change management as a means of defining and adopting new corporate structures, strategies, techniques, and knowhow to cope with change stemming from both internal and external conditions. Second, he views change as a means of leading, managing, and enabling people to approve new processes, technologies, systems, and values, and structures. Third, he uses change to align the organization with the marketplace. Smit’s leadership tasks re defined by the requirements of the modern globalized and quickly transforming world. He shows that leadership should be change-oriented and dynamic to meet the demands of societies and markets. It should also be team-oriented and horizontal to facilitate bridge-building across different cultures and sectors of the society. Moreover, it should broadly applicable and holistic to as many people and diverse circumstances as possible. Thus, smit shows that leadership should not be exclusive but rather inclusive. Most importantly, Smit displays that leaders should be more articulate on virtues and ethics with higher levels of liberty assuming higher thresholds of accountability through engagement as a way of addressing global challenges of the modern times.

Jeff Bezos Leadership, View on and Contribution toward Innovation

Jeff Bezos is the founder, president, and chief executive officer of Amazon Inc., a multinational technology company that focuses on e-commerce, digital streaming, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. Bezos has established himself as one of the most influential leaders in the 21st century due to the leadership skills, behaviors, and traits that he has consistently demonstrated over the years. Under his leadership, Amazon has experienced exponential growth and is currently ranked as the world’s most valuable brand. This paper seeks to analyze Bezos’ leadership approach using leadership theory and identify his view and contribution toward innovation. 

Leadership Theory that Best Describes Jeff Bezos

The leadership theory that best describes Bezos is relational theory. The model focuses on the relationship between people working together to accomplish change or make a difference to benefit the common good (Northouse, 2018). According to Northouse, the model emphasizes being inclusive and ethical. The model focuses on five fundamental components: ethics, purpose, empowerment, inclusivity, and process orientation. Hence, it emphasizes upholding values and standards of morality, having a common set of values and vision, empowering others to bring the best out of them, welcoming diverse perspectives and identities, and focusing on groups and how they can work as a team (Dugan, 2017). Thus, as per the theory, relationships are essential to leadership effectiveness. Comparably, Bezos’ skills, behaviors, and leadership traits align with the relational theory.

Jeff Bezos Skills

To start with, Bezos possesses excellent communication skills, demonstrated through how he inspires and motivates his employees to share his vision and work towards its success. According to Dugan (2017), leaders who adopt the relational leadership model must have plausible communication skills since their effectiveness relies on listening, sharing information, encouraging others, and making meaning of what they envision through words.  Another core leadership skills that define Bezos is influence skills. Northouse (2018) describes influence skills as having superior ability to behave in a way that offers others the invitation to change their attitudes, thoughts, behavior, and ways to accommodate the proponent’s wishes. In 1995 Bezos founded Amazon in the garage of his rented home. Fifteen years later, he has grown the company into the most valuable brand worldwide by influencing others to share his vision, set values, principles, and process (Anders, 2012). Undoubtedly, this demonstrates Bezos’ superior influence skills.

Jeff Bezos Behaviors

Bezos’ most distinct behaviors that underpin his subscription to the relational theory school of thought include idealized influence and inspirational motivation. Dugan (2017) explains that idealized influence relates to the ways leaders exhibit their influence within a group. Relatedly, Bezos is deeply respected not only by his employees but also by his peers in the corporate realm. Additionally, he provides a clear vision and a strong sense of belonging, which encourages others to share his ideas (Sata & Kelly, 2016). As such, Bezos is a powerful force of influence on the people he leads and those who idolize him as a role model. Regarding inspirational motivation, Bezos plays an instrumental role in improving the performance and raising his followers’ morale. Wanasika and Krahnke (2018) elucidated that he utilizes both intrinsic and extrinsic motivational techniques to inspire and motivate others.

Jeff Bezos Leadership Traits

Bezos has many distinct leadership traits, but the two that most stand out are inclusiveness and purposefulness. Bezos is inclusive of other people’s diverse identities and points of view. According to Sata and Kelly (2016), Bezos appreciate people’s differences and acknowledge that they are valuable in unique ways. He is also a zealot advocate of equality and fairness as he believes that every person matters and can make a difference. The trait allows him to excel in developing talents and building robust relationships. Concerning purposefulness, Bezos has consistently demonstrated individual commitment to goals or activities in a manner that is hopeful, positive, and optimistic. He possesses the ability to collaborate with others to find a common purpose and work toward its success (Anders, 2012). Bezos’ positive and optimistic attitude underpins his purposefulness.

Read also Arne Duncan’s Leadership Traits and Behaviours

Bezos’ Leadership Style

Based on the above-described skills, behaviors, and traits, Bezos’ approach to leadership chiefly inclines towards the transformational leadership style. Transformational leaders emphasize empowering and motivating their followers to innovate and create change that will facilitate their growth as well as that of the organization. They also influence their followers to embrace an established set of values, principles, and beliefs (Northouse, 2018). Notably, transformational leaders are keen on establishing and maintaining a positive relationship with team members.  According to Dugan (2017), an excellent transformational leader provides encouragement, empowers others, sets clear goals, models integrity and fairness, inspires team members to achieve their goals, and provokes positive emotions in others. Relatedly, these qualities describe Bezos as demonstrated by his leadership behavior, traits, and philosophy.

Bezos’ transformational leadership style has been remarkably effective. It has helped him grow and develop Amazon from a garage start-up company to become one of the world’s largest multinational corporations. The style has been successful because Bezos has emphasized inclusiveness, empowerment, and purposefulness. He is also ethical-driven and process-oriented. Consequently, this has influenced, inspired, and motivated his employees and partners to share his vision and objectives; thus, dedicate their efforts towards desired results (Anders, 2012). As per Northouse (2018), an effective transformational leader influences others to share his/her vision, encourage others to inspire action, provoke others to think outside the box and innovate, and show genuine care and concern for team members. Bezos has effectively implemented these principles, hence the success.

Jeff Bezos Contribution and View towards Innovation

            As one of the traits defining transformational leaders, purposefulness allows them to change processes and models by envisioning solutions, identifying goals, thinking creatively, and involving others in the vision-building process. Consequently, this facilitates innovation. Relatedly, Bezos is considered one of the most innovative leaders of the 21st century due to his ability to envision and develop new creative ways to address issues. Bezos has pioneered many innovative practices and products. For instance, his most renowned innovation is the practice of recommending what customers would like based on an algorithm that analyzes their previous buying patterns and compares them with those of other clients (Wanasika & Krahnke, 2018). In a time when most corporations focused on maintaining their competitive advantage through cost leadership, differentiation, strategic alliances, and defensive strategies, Bezos came up with a new creative approach. He emphasized investing in deeper customer relationships by leveraging technology; thus, he developed the algorithm. 

Bezos insists that Amazon must place the customer at the center of everything they do and are always ready to take risks, which others may shy away from, for the sake of improving their clients’ experience. The innovative approach has seen Amazon enjoy increased success over the years (Wanasika & Krahnke, 2018). Moreover, under the leadership of Bezos, Amazon continues to experiment and innovate in many other areas. It is worth noting that Bezos acknowledges that not all innovations will succeed, but the most important thing is to keep innovating and trying new things. This philosophy inspires and motivates Amazon employees to try new creative ways and things. Bezos has created an environment that encourages a growth mindset in that people are not afraid to fail as they are aware the setbacks serve as opportunities for learning and growth (Schoemaker, Heaton, & Teece, 2018). Consequently, innovation has become the order of the day at Amazon.

Read also Company With Best Innovation – Amazon


Therefore, Jeff Bezos is a transformational leader, whereby the relational theory underpins his leadership style. He demonstrates skills, behaviors, and traits that align with the transformational leadership approach. Bezos’ transformational approach to leadership has helped him achieve significant success as the founder, president, and CEO of Amazon Inc. It has also cultivated his innovative mindset, helping Amazon establish itself as one of the most innovative companies worldwide.

Approaches to Leadership, Their Strengths and Weaknesses

Trait Approach

The trait approach to leadership focus on a series of mental, personality, or physical traits that effective leaders possess. The approach is underpinned by the belief that effective leaders are born with certain traits, which one cannot possess through leaning  (Northouse, 2019). Thus, the approach centers its attention on the leader.

 There are four key strengths associated with the traits approach. Firstly, it supports the general perception in the society that leaders are a special type of people with the ability to do extraordinary things. Secondly, it is supported by a broad body of research. Thirdly, it only focuses on the leaders, whereby it thoroughly analyzes the component in the leadership process. Lastly, the approach provides some benchmarks regarding what qualities and attributes make good leaders (Northouse, 2019). 

On the downside, the trait approach to leadership has several weaknesses. To start with, it does not have a definitive list of leadership traits. The approach also fails to take situations into account. Additionally, it is overly subjective to interpretation and is not always based on research. Moreover, it is weak in explaining how leadership traits influence the outcome of teams and groups in organizations. Lastly, since traits are mainly fixed psychological structures, the value of teaching and leadership training then becomes of less value (Northouse, 2019). 

Read also Comparing Authentic and Servant Leadership Style

Skills Approach

While the traits approach focuses on the personality of a leader, skills approach, the skills approach to leadership takes into account the abilities and knowledge a leader possesses. Unlike the trait approach, the skills approach believes that a person can learn certain skills and turn into a remarkable leader. However, similar to the trait approach, the skills approach to leadership centers its attention in the leader (Northouse, 2019).

Read also Contemporary Views of Leadership Analysis, Evaluation And Synthesis

The main strengths of the skills approach include, it is the first one to conceptualize and create a structure of the leadership process around skills. Secondly, by describing leadership in terms of skills, it explains that anyone can become a good leader. Thirdly, it provides a broad view of leadership that consists of a wide variety of components such as social judgment skills and problem-solving skills. Lastly, it presents a structure consistent with leadership education programs (Northouse, 2019). 

The skills approach also has some weaknesses including the fact that the breadth of the skills it describes appears to extend beyond the boundaries of leadership. The approach is also weak in predictive value; it does not explain how the skills lead to enhanced leadership performance. Lastly, the skills approach incorporates some skills that seem trait-like (Northouse, 2019). 

Read also Impartiality – Leadership Trait that can assist in Managing Conflict

Situational Approach

The situational approach to leadership hypothesizes that different situations require different types of leadership. According to this approach, situational factors constrain a leader to adapt his/her style of leadership to suit the situation at hand (Northouse, 2019). According to Northouse, the approach has both directive and supportive dynamics.

Read also Leadership And Decision Making

There are four major strengths associated situational approach. Firstly, it is well known and frequently used for training leaders. Secondly, it is practical and easy to understand for application in different settings. Thirdly, it is prescriptive in that it shows leaders how to act. Lastly, it emphasizes flexibility (Northouse, 2019). Regarding weaknesses, the assumptions underpinning the situational approach are not justified by a strong body of research. Secondly, it does not address how demographic characteristics influence employees’ leadership preferences. Lastly, the model does not clarify its applicability in group settings (Northouse, 2019).

Barriers to Female Leadership in the MENA Region and Solutions

Barriers to Female Leadership in the Middle East and North Africa Region

Worldwide, the labor realm has transformed dramatically over the last decades. Declining fertility rates in various regions, elevated migration to fill the labor gaps, search for security and avoidance of conflicts, advanced access to education, and varying degrees of economic development and technological innovation have all led to shifting economic landscapes. These factors have also resulted in the empowerment of women around the globe. In some nations of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), women have remarkably advanced their potential. They increasingly participate in economic activities asserting their presence in the business realm. However, the MENA region is currently experiencing turmoil with considerable social, economic and political transformations underway. Given this circumstance, women are attempting to adjust their economic and social contribution and establish careers in the extremely competitive private sector. Though some women have succeeded in climbing the ladder and penetrating the glass ceiling or invisible barriers, in business leadership, many women leave the corporate realm mid-career due to compounding obstacles, leading to what has been termed as the leaking pipeline of women’s talents; however, there are strategies that can improve women’s leadership in the region.

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Exploring Inequalities

Data on women in top management, particularly in the private sector, are limited. However, according to a survey conducted on women by the ILO in 2015, chief executive officers in the MENA region indicate that the region has the lowest female representation globally. The survey indicates that the MENA region has a share of 13% of female CEOs compared to 21% typical share in all the developing nations . This survey is in line with the World Bank study carried out in 2009-2015, indicating the same trend. The World Bank survey reveals that only 5% of the covered firms in the MENA region have women as top managers . The representation percentage is also the lowest one globally. The table below indicates the percentage share and number of male and female CEOs according to the ILO 2015 Company  Survey.

 L.A. and CaribbeanPacific and Asia AfricaCEEMENATotalTotal excluding 3 CEE countries  
Male CEOs (percent)60847455877479
Female CEOs (percent)40162645132621

According to the 2019 World Bank report, female representation in organization boards is also low. In Asia and Latin America, the representation is around 6-9%, while in GCC nations, it is less than 2% [3]. Though in some MENA nations the situation is better, female representation in company boards is low, as the report indicates that only 12% of board members in the MENA region are women [2]. Women as presidents or chairpersons of the board are few across all regions. A company survey by the ILO conducted in 2015 indicates that only 7% of the companies surveyed had a female board president in the MENA region . These surveys reveal the wide gap between men and women in the companies’ top management in MENA and other regions.

Read also Female Representation on Corporate Boardrooms Policy Paper

Barriers to Female Leadership

Women in the UAE face similar barriers as women in other parts of the MENA region and the world as a whole when trying to attain top positions in management and business. The glass ceiling is a term used to refer to invisible barriers that women experience while attempting to achieve top leadership. The term labyrinth is another concept commonly used to refer to complex paths and channels that women are required to go through compared to their male counterparts to climb to the top leadership. Women in the UAE and MENA region face complex challenges of inadequate self-perception and cultural stereotyping. Women are also compounded with work and family burdens, care responsibility, financial access limitation, and gender-biased laws as well as limited networking. Additionally, the UAE and MENA nations’ labor and economic environments have positioned females at a weak starting point for catching up with their male counterparts in terms of business leadership representation.

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Weak Starting Position

The UAE and regional countries’ labor markets place women at a weak starting point. Women in the UAE and MENA nations register the lowest workforce participation [4]. The rates reduce considerably with age, which is the period when women have enough experience to take more responsibilities and high positions at work. For instance, in the UAE, female workforce participation peaks at 40% between 25 and 34 years of age and decreases to less than 25% between 35 and 44 years, the time when career achievement becomes more apparent . Many nations of the MENA region also experience women dropping out at key promotion points. For instance, in Qatar, 68% of women are active at the age of 25-30, with only 50% of these remaining active at the age of 40-44. Women’s employment profile in terms of vertical job distribution also minimizes their opportunities of reaching top leadership positions. Within the corporate realm, women mostly manage the support functions, such as public relations, human resources, and others . Women in these positions can climb up the ladder, but such experience prohibits them from moving along the vertical pathway that leads to top leadership. The poor starting point is the main invisible obstacle that blocks women from attaining top leadership in corporations.

Combining Family with Work Responsibilities

In the UAE and most MENA nations, the existing social norms consider women as children bearers and primary carers. Therefore, the most prevalent model of the family in the UAE involves the “female carer” and “male bread winners,” followed by female part-time earners and male full-time earners . The dual earners family model is still not common in the UAE and the entire MENA region. Time work survey indicates that women in the UAE spend seven times more time than their male counterparts in child care and other housework. In the absence of appropriate social support services providing quality family and domestic care, females struggle between two overdemanding obligations, which, considering the occupation requirements in the extremely competitive corporate realm, can affect their career improvement. A research study in MENA countries shows that women adjusting to family life and work is the most critical barrier to career advancement . It is also the main reason that women have for rejecting promotion since they feel that new professional obligations will demand sacrifices, and they do not want their care and family responsibilities to be compromised by their careers. Therefore, since the care burden is coupled with unaffordable and inadequate social services, balancing work and family responsibilities becomes the main challenge to women’s career advancement.

Women’s Self-Perception, Culture and Stereotyping

The convectional cultural norms that define men and women’s responsibilities and roles within the UAE and MENA societies form the pattern of influence, thoughts, perception, and altitude in the organizational realm. These can limit the advancement of women’s careers significantly if echoed by education systems and media . In the corporate sphere, there are two perceptions influenced by gender stereotypes, including the perception of female capacities by others and working females’ self-image as well as women’s self-perception of their leadership abilities. Women’s stereotyping by others develop an extra barrier for women who attempt to climb to the top leadership since they must overcome premeditated ideas that are not proven on the basis of their performance. For instance, research on the female executives conducted in the UAE, Tunisia, and Sudan indicates that women’s excellence in leadership positions makes them endure cogitative distortion, lack of sympathy, and negative feelings, rendering women’s place of job a hostile environment . The gender bias in working areas starts when women are classified as risky staff, especially those with children. In terms of self-perception, most women do not see themselves as equal to men in working places, and this aspect also forms a significant barrier to their career advancement.

Biased Legislation

The legal framework underpins females’ participation in the country’s labor force, and as a consequence, it affects women’s development and progress. The legal framework also influences motivation and human resource policies in corporations. They can form disincentives or incentives for women to exit or enter the labor force and advance careers. Even if the UAE and most MENA countries’ constitutions demand equality between women and men, transition and implementation mechanism regarding these principles is missing . For instance, personal status law covering marriage, relations, divorce, family, and inheritance in the UAE and other regional nations is based on conventional patriarchal family roles that do not embrace gender equality. Moreover, it is argued that gender discrimination is accentuated by interlinkage between cultural and social norms as well as practices existing in numerous Arab societies, and that is mainly established on the basis of individual status codes. Most laws that advocate for legal gender equality in the UAE and the region are considered to possess little practical value terms since personal and family laws have an overriding impact, even when they contravene provisions of the constitution, such as non-discrimination. Rules and policies can be particular obstacles for women with business aspirations who seek influence and autonomy. Additionally, even though sexual harassment laws exist in many MENA countries, gender-based violence awareness is insignificant in the region. Moreover, insufficient effort is put to immune women from sexual harassment at the workplace. Such discriminatory legislation acts as an obstacle against women’s career advancement.

Financial Access Limitation

A critical issue obstructing or supporting female entrepreneurs, especially in establishing and growing their enterprises, is the access to finance due to lack of property as credit collateral. In numerous cases globally, access to credit limit is not pure gender discrimination but an entrepreneurial problem for nascent enterprises. However, access to credit limitation, when combined with other gender-associated factors, such as discrimination on inheritance and property rights, luck of property, customs, and legislation, become problematic for women . Social norms tend to place resource or financial control on men as heads of families regardless of their economic activity. In the UAE, for instance, most refusals of entrepreneurial loans for both genders are due to the lack of acceptable loan security. However, women entrepreneurs are twice more likely than men to be affected by these collateral requirements. MENA nations typically experience these challenges due to conservative lending, the intricate application process, collateral requirement, and high interest rates. Even if insufficient data exist on gender disparity in financial access, the recently available data from the International Finance Corporation on the proportion of loans guaranteed to formally owned small enterprises indicate that female-owned enterprises in the MENA region receive less than 5% share . The World Bank study on men and women with an account at the credit union, banks, and other formal financial institutions shows a significant gender gap as in many MENA nations men’s percentage is twice that of women’s one . Financial access limitation is a common issue among men and women but it is more complicated for women due to other gender-related factors, hence becoming the major obstacle for women to reach high positions in the business.

Limited Networking

Networking enhances professional and social relations within the corporate environment and facilitates mentoring, information exchange, and lobbying. It is also considered an essential channel for leadership aspiration. Women’s networking nature that they build appears to be less effective than men’s one and offers limited access to influential connections. In the UAE, for instance, old boy networks dominate enterprise world, and they prove difficult for women to penetrate . Mostly, men are not likely to welcome female colleagues, and men in high positions tend to channel advancement opportunities to their fellow men due to the perception that they are more likely to succeed than women. Women also may not be comfortable networking in such a social context and may be unable to interact beyond working places due to cultural factors or family commitments as well as existing traditions. Female respondents from a study conducted in the UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait explain that due to women’s concerns about their reputation, female managers avoid casual networking established at working places, and this issue pushes them to the edge of professional socialization process . The weak networking is an obstacle to the progression of women, especially when combined with other personal connections based on power and other forms of influence on professional development regardless of merits. The dependence on social clout is widespread in the Middle East and North Africa region and tends to influence women who are not appropriately connected.

Strategies to Improve Female Participation in Leadership in Middle East and North Africa Region

Since there are many challenges that limit women’s presentation in the corporate and business realm, the UAE and the entire MENA region must put more effort in response to these issues. Governments must establish reforms, starting with legislation at the micro level. Corporates must also develop human resource strategies to support women in their professionalism. Women alliances must be set to support women in their career advancement. Among the strategies that can improve women’s participation, there are legal reforms, company strategies, and increased female networking through businesswomen associations.

Legal Reforms

Various reforms have been established in the UAE and most countries of the MENA region to support women. However, most reforms are not targeted at women in management and business directly. They aim to enhance opportunity equality that may later influence women’s outcomes and economic choices. However, more reforms must be introduced toimprove female participation in leadership. The UAE and the entire MENA region should include non-discriminative provisions in their constitutions. Such laws may consist of increasing paid maternity leave from three months provided by most MENA nations to at least six months. Gender wage imbalance should also be illegalized to ensure equality between genders, changing women’s self-perception. Together with such reforms, governments should establish supporting institutions to promote economic empowerment of women. These institutions should be full-fledged ministries particularly committed to women’s issues and promote opportunities and equality for women at the job. The government should enhance regulations protecting paid parental leave and criminalize discriminatory employment action as well as sexual harassment. Laws should also be formulated to ensure that gender equality is exercised in the entire education system to guarantee that women are equipped with appropriate career skills. Regulatory and legal reforms can serve as an essential catalyst to enhance women’s participation in leadership.

Company Measures

Companies should promote awareness of the essentiality of management’s gender equality. Executive training on the importance of gender balance can be one of the most effective strategies for career advancement among women. The companies’ board chair, senior executive team, and chief executives should be trained on diversity and equality issues and create clear accountability and governance mechanism to promote gender equality in the entire company. The top management must regularly demonstrate and articulate an individual commitment to diversity and equality. Company management and leaders should take individual responsibility for delivering diversity and equality objectives and targets, and this goal must be included in their personal performance evaluation review.

Read also Boardroom Equity for Women And It Impacts

Companies can also enhance women’s participation in leadership by assigning challenging and visible roles to women as well as exposing them to all organizations’ functions and strategies. The focus should be paid to develop self-belief and self-confidence among women and establish a portfolio of competencies and skills for leadership. Companies should also make career advancement and promotion path prospects clear for women. They should cut gendered career paths to save women from getting stuck in career silos that are historically associated with women, such as support roles,  communication, and human resources. Companies should be explicit on areas to progress women and help them acquire experience and skills to drive and manage the businesses on operational and technical positions. Companies should also create a culture of conscience and inclusion to promote women into leadership by building the insight, desire, and capacity of individuals to think, lead, act, and make decisions with the intent of including all genders.

Promotion of Female Networking

Since poor networking is among the main challenges for women’s participation in leadership, the UAE and MENA region should advocate for women organizations and networking through businesswomen associations to promote female entrepreneurship and leadership. Government ministries and humanitarian organizations should advocate for developing senior female networks, such as female executives and women in business networks, to enhance networking. Profiles and a database of board-ready females together with training on organization governance skills, mentoring, inspirational incentives, and role models for upcoming female leaders should be established. Female organizations and networks should be considered a crucial asset by the government in promoting positive initiatives in gender equality, advising on improvement, and constructively critiquing measures. Networks should partner in leveraging support by sharing lessons, working together, collaborating on initiatives, and prompting public opportunities to enable female leaders to become more visible and increase their effectiveness by attracting like-minded organizations. The gender ministry should mobilize a cross-sectorial strategic advisory organization for both men and women. Government and non-government bodies should concentrate on promoting female networking and organizations to establish gender balance on boards and improve organizational performance and the entire national economy.  


In conclusion, female leaders remain a minority in the UAE and the entire Middle East and North Africa region; in business leadership, many women leave the corporate realm mid-career due to compounding obstacles. These obstacles are deep-seated and multifactorial as they have existed for centuries. Perceptions and problematic beliefs held by both women and men are the main barriers to female leadership in the MENA region. These invisible barriers are individual mindsets, institutional frameworks, lifestyle choices, and community customs. Work and family responsibilities, financial access limitation, gender-biased laws, and limited networking are among the main barriers to female leadership in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Labor and economic factors are also among the obstacles to female leadership, and they position women at poor starting points, making it challenging for them to reach the top leadership in business due to insufficient experience. Most MENA nations have introduced various measures to deal with gender inequality, but more effort is required to address these barriers. Both government and corporations must adopt appropriate strategies, such as regulatory reforms and promotion of gender equity, to enhance female leadership in the Middle East and North Africa region. Companies must position women in areas where they will achieve the required experience to lead businesses. Female networking is also important in the promotion of women’s entrepreneurship and leadership.

Comparing Authentic and Servant Leadership Style

Leadership plays a crucial role in the growth and development of any organization. As an essential function of management, leadership helps a company maximize efficiency in achieving set goals. Different people have varying leadership styles based on their characteristics and the leadership philosophy that inform their school of thought. Two main leadership approaches include authentic and servant leadership style. The current paper seeks to compare the two approaches and identify the one that closely aligns with my leadership philosophy.

Regarding authentic leadership style, it refers to an approach that emphasizes leaders should act in a manner that is genuine and sincere to who they are as individuals.  Since the primary component of this leadership style is genuineness, every authentic leader is unique. However, there exist several qualities that authentic leaders share. Firstly, they demonstrate behavior which attracts people to trust them all the time. They also take ownership when they make a mistake. Moreover, they show the necessary courage to question the status quo, defend their people or process, and strive for continuous growth and development (Duncan et al., 2017). Owing to these qualities, authentic leaders possess the ability to let go of their ego; thus, they genuinely empower and develop others. Additionally, by practicing genuineness, they influence and inspire their followers or subordinates. Furthermore, by owning mistakes, they commit to their learning, consequently developing deep self-awareness. Lastly, authentic leaders are able to deliver excellent outcomes in the long-term (Covelli & Mason, 2017). Thus, authentic leadership not only helps leaders build trust and attract followers’ love and respect, but also facilitates long-term success.

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On the other hand, the servant leadership style is a philosophy practiced by leaders who possess a serve-first mindset. Leaders who abide by this style are focused on empowering and uplifting their followers or subordinates. Rather than emphasizing commanding others, servant leaders focus on ensuring other people’s priorities and needs are being served (Spears & Lawrence, 2016). According to Spears and Lawrence, servant leaders exhibit awareness, foresight, and stewardship. Other characteristics of a servant leader include listening, conceptualization, empathy, healing (supporting people’s emotional health), and persuasion skills. They are also committed to building a community and are committed to the growth of other people.  Eva et al. (2019) elucidate that a servant leader’s primary focus is the growth and well-being of people they lead and communities. Thus, rather than focusing on accumulating and exercising power and the said power, they share power with their followers or subordinates. Also, by putting others’ needs first, they help them develop and perform at optimal levels. Therefore, the servant leadership approach inverts the traditional norm so that instead of subordinates working to serve the leader, the leader strives to serve the subordinates.

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Comparing the two leadership styles has helped me identify, I abide by the philosophies practiced by both authentic and servant leaders. However, my leadership style is more inclined towards servant leadership. Notably, I make a deep commitment to listen intently and understand what people say. I also strive to understand other intentions, perspectives and intentions; thus, demonstrate empathy. Thirdly, I possess strong emotional intelligence and, as such, exhibit self-awareness as a leader. Fourthly, rather than using authority to command people, I prefer utilizing persuasion as a way of encouraging people to take action. Fifthly, I have a strong ability to look beyond day-to-day realities and conceptualize ways to bring positive change. Moreover, my leadership style demonstrates stewardship, foresight, and I am committed to the growth of people and building communities.