The task of this paper is to select a leader that may be a good example for people
It should be a person, which experience may be really useful and may help to reach the similar success in life. One should learn not only his/her receipts of success, but also the type of leadership, since everybody tends to be a leader in this life. Taking into account these goals the paper is going to have the following structure: introduction (brief description of theoretical aspects of leadership), background information about the leader under consideration and analysis of his/her features and style of leadership.
To begin with it is worth to provide some brief theoretical description of such term as leadership. The essence of the term “leadership” can be described with the following words:
“In its essence, leadership in an organizational role involves (1) establishing a clear vision, (2) sharing (communicating) that vision with others so that they will follow willingly, (3) providing the information, knowledge, and methods to realize that vision, and (4) coordinating and balancing the conflicting interests of all members or stakeholders. A leader comes to the forefront in case of crisis, and is able to think and act in creative ways in difficult situations. Unlike management, leadership flows from the core of a personality and cannot be taught, although it may be learnt and may be enhanced through coaching or mentoring” (Business Dictionary).
Leadership and management should not be confused with each other
The main difference between management and leadership that comes to mind is that management is more formal category, while leadership is informal. Managerial principles are formal and regulated according to some rules, organization policy that are already implemented. Leadership depends on the informal relations between people, workers, and emotional relations. Also leadership depends on the personal qualities of a particular person – a leader.
Any social group inside an organization has its leader. It is very important to notice a leader’s potential of such persons because of the functions that leader executes. The following words prove that opinion:
“Good leadership skills are demonstrated by the way the leader operates. The functions of a leader are the aspects that get the necessary results and productivity” (Management Study Guide).
Among these functions the following ones could be differentiated
First of all, the main function of a leader is to unite his/her coworkers around some goal of an organization’s performance and around an organization’s values. Also leader represents the interests of working group in negotiations with managers and shareholders. Very important responsibility of a leader is to create a positive emotional climate in an organization.
A leader has to be a coordinator of all activities of a group. Moreover, a leader should be a controller of in-group activities. Generally, it means that a leader has to organize work of a group for the purpose of achieving stated goals.
On the other hand, a leader is responsible for formulating these goals, or probably it is better to say that he/she is responsible for transferring goals from the managers to members of a group. It means that a leader should be a reliable source of information for the rest of the members of a group.
Finally a leader should maintain a positive climate inside a group. He/she should not only be a leader at work, but also in a daily life. That is why a leader should have the following human’s features: confidence, persistence, sociability etc.
A leader represents his followers (employees) in relation with management and also transmits information from management to employees. In fact, he is the so-called mediator between workers and managers of a company. That is why his role just cannot be overestimated.
The leadership example of this paper is Ted Turner, the founder of CNN
He has found one of the most successful companies in media industry in the whole history. Also, he is considered to be one of the most charismatic leaders ever.
Also, he has created first 24-hour news channel. Thus, he can be perceived as an innovator. The ability to innovate is one of the most important characteristics of any leader. He is one of the richest people not only in the United States of America, but in the whole world. He is also a famous philanthropist. Some additional information about him can be got from the following quote:
“Ted Turner worked for his father at Turner Advertising until 1963, when his father committed suicide. He later started CNN in 1980. He sold Turner Broadcasting to Time Warner in 1996. When it merged with AOL in 2001, he became the largest individual shareholder, then lost $7 billion in two years after shares collapsed. Since that sale, he has largely turned his attention to saving the world” (Forbes).
It is important to understand that Turner was born in a family of billboard magnet. It was one of the factors that influenced his future professional career and the type of leadership. He was able to study experience of his father. As a result, he had not only fortune, but a great baggage of knowledge, starting his own business campaign. This factor is not directly related to his kind of leadership, but it has provided him with instruments to create environment, where leadership skills are able to develop.
Another factor that has influenced his whole personal and professional life is that he had got a great education. Knowledge, information and education are the main competitive advantage of any person nowadays. People followed him, because they were excited with his mind and intellectual potential. It is not only about specific knowledge, but about overall educational background.
Another important factor that has defined his style of leadership is that he was building his business empire during the different times. There were times of success and falls. He has survived a range of business crisis and made strict and even dangerous decisions during this period. It means that he is flexible enough to account changes in the business environment and overall environment in general.
Finally, despite a great success, he still feels responsibility for the whole world. We have already mentioned that he is a philanthropist and tries to solve difficult social and environmental problems.
Thus, his main features as a businessman and a leader are defined. He has a good education and knowledge background; he is really flexible; he has always felt that there is a powerful background behind him and, finally, he thinks that it is important to devote some part of your money and time to the problems of surrounding world. The last factor is extremely important, since it responds to the modern trends corporate social responsibility.
All the factors have contributed to his main principles of leadership
He has always followed these principles and they have helped him to reach a great success. Ted Turner has made several decisions to save his company, although those decisions seemed like "dangerous", even almost all his staff have the opposite opinion. So it is very significant for a leader to have the ability to make right decision. Ted Turner kept being honest to his staff. No matter how crazy his ideas were, he could tell the subordinates the truth. It helped him to be more credible; meanwhile he succeeded. He has always been grateful to the surrounding world and paid it for his personal success.
It was already mentioned that the company has experienced the different times during its history. Some times were really tough. Somebody had to make hard decisions. Such ability is attributing of a real leader. These decisions were related to laying off employees in the times of economic crisis, contracting with partner marketing and financial strategies. As history has shown, the decisions have been reasonable and justified. The company is still among the leaders in the global media industry.
It is important that his employees respected him and followed, despite even opposite opinion. It happened because he has always explained motives of the decisions. Also, he proved his words on practice, which was another important characteristic of his style of leadership.
In the end, he has earned support of the whole society, because of his role as philanthropist. He believes that he must and is able to do something in order to improve surrounding environment. It is a great example not only for other businessmen, but for any person.
To conclude it is worth to say that this person deserves respect and his experience can be used as a great example for any person that wants to reach success in this life. The main things from his experience could be pointed out.
First of all, it is important to be flexible
The business environment is changing every day and people also should change in order to meet its requirements. However, sometimes it is important to exceed the environment. A leader should be an innovator that changes the surrounding environment. Sometimes a leader should make decisions that are not accepted by society, but they can change it.
Second of all, it is important to respect and value people that surround you. Your employees and partners are the main factors of your success. Turner has always respected his employees, because they have built the value of his company. One of the thoughts that were provided during the course is that a leader should stop thinking about position or place and focus on the bigger task at hand. In fact, it is important to remember that individuals play game and teams win championships.
Finally, it is essential to be a good person
Any leader should try to gain a respect of not only his business stakeholders, but of a society in general. It will increase image of him and his company. Respectively, it will be resulted in higher financial result for the company.
Ted Turner as a good leader provides some practical instruments. These instruments are education and intellectual potential, flexibility, ability to take responsibility for decisions, ability to lead people, unite them around common goals, etc.