Blog 1 – Diverse Teams and Team Roles

“A team is not a bunch of people with job titles, but a congregation of individuals, each of whom has a role which is understood by other members. Members of a team seek out certain roles and they perform most effectively in the ones that are most natural to them.” – Dr. R. M. Belbin

Leadership comes with various tasks. It is one of those occupations where people expect you to almost always do things right. Leaders are constantly sharpening their skills, helping others help themselves and the leader also helping him/her. Because we live in a rapidly changing world today, a leader is expected to also be versatile enough to keep at par with developments of change. This is also because with rapid technological developments the world is quickly becoming a global village; people are able to communicate and travel faster than ever before. Teams are made in organisations so that goals are achieved faster and better. Organisations are going global. As a result, organisations are now depending on having diverse teams in their environments so as to develop innovative products, improve efficiency and assist in informed decision-making (Dahlin et al, 2005).



What are diverse teams? According to CMI, diversity is defined as differences between individuals such as age, gender, ethnic origin, disability, family status, education, sociocultural backgrounds, attitudes, personality, values, etc. That diversity is anything that may affect workplace relationships and the achievement of objectives (CMI, 2008). In essence, diversity focuses on differences in individuals as this creates variety (Mullins, 2010). A diverse team is therefore a group of individuals who have different backgrounds in age, gender, ethnicity, personality, sociocultural backgrounds, nationality, etc. who come together to work towards the achievement of a common goal(s) (Financial Times, 2013; Hill 2000 cited in Mullins 2010).

Belbin (2012) identified nine roles of team members that he developed to manage diverse teams: the planter, the implementer, the completer-finisher, the coordinator, the monitor-evaluator, the resource investigator, the team workers, the shaper and the specialist. He stated that diverse teams needed to create balance among the strengths and weaknesses of each team member in order to work in the best way possible through bringing different types of behaviour together. These team roles were created in order to derive advantages from diverse teams.



Advantages of Diverse Teams

  1. Diversity promotes sustainable development and business advantage;
  2. Allow for a wider base of creativity, flexibility and innovation (Mullins, 2010; Forstenlechner, 2010);
  3. Promotes good customer relations;
  4. Cost effective employment relations (Mullins, 2010);
  5. More skills and competences to draw on (Forstenlechner, 2010);
  6. Wider source of information (Dahlin et al, 2005); thus increased knowledge base and source of expertise (Wegge et al, 2012).

Disadvantages of Diverse Teams

  1. Financial support to support flexibility;
  2. Sometimes a tense work environment that may affect harmony;
  3. Conflict due to bias and discrimination between people with similar characteristics (Wegge et al, 2012; Dahlin et al, 2005);
  4. Reduced cultural relatedness (Mullins, 2010);
  5. Communication barriers (Financial Times, 2013).

How a leader will achieve successful diverse teams

A leader will achieve results through having successful teams. In order to achieve this, he/she will have to build leadership capability; in that he/she needs to understand that building diverse teams comes with the greater complexity in leading. This means that the leader needs to be able to have the right support mechanisms for the team in order to reap benefits from it. This includes promotions, rewards and recognition, etc.

Before a leader can lead a successful diverse team, he/she needs to know that diversity in teams is not just about diversity in demographics. Diversity also refers to different personalities, different trains of thought and points of view. Once a leader understands this, then he/she will be able to reward, recognise, motivate his employees accordingly (Deloitte, 2011).

A leader must also anticipate differences of individuals within teams so as to be emotionally and mentally prepared (Gwynne, 2009). Once a leader is in touch with their values, attitudes and beliefs, then he/she will be in a better position to manage a diverse team (Mullins, 2010).

Chubb is a group of insurance companies that has been in operation since 1882. It is now one of the largest US-based corporations according to Fortune magazine (Chubb, 2013). Chubb is an organisation that has embraced diversity and been successful at it. Chubb accepts individual differences in women, race sexual orientation, bisexual and transgender employees and at the same time has seen excellent financial performance (Chubb, 2013).

Another example is from the Buckingham case whereby a manager at Walgreen’s- Michelle- was able to successfully integrate the individual differences in her employees’ teams in such a way that she was able to delegate tasks to them based on their idiosyncrasies. Through this, her employees’ performance levels were better and their output increased. This also goes to support the author’s view that diverse teams produce better results (Buckingham, 2005).

The fact that diverse teams are priorities for leaders to develop and use to leverage an organisation is a skill that is most essential for today’s leader. Diversity is not just having different individuals in a team just to show that an organisation is changing with the times (Liswood 2008 cited in Deloitte 2011). Diversity is about bringing together different individuals based on their demographic and external characteristics as well as their individual abilities and strengths, and using this to enable an organisation perform and achieve goals (Deloitte, 2011). Coupling the diversity in teams plus motivating them well leads to improved business outcomes (Deloitte 2011; Miller and Katz 2002).

In the fashion industry, diversity has been recognised for years. It manifests itself in so many ways- models from different cultures, ethnicities, working with gays, lesbians, etc. This shows how the fashion industry has embraced diversity in the workplace in order to produce better results (British Fashion Council, 2013; Fibre2Fashion, 2013). Other skills looked for are interpersonal skills, communication skills, ability to motivate the team members well so as to reduce turnover and achieve better performance, ability to reduce diversity barriers and encourage team cohesion and harmony (Deloitte, 2011).

All in all, we see that the ability to create and lead a diverse team should be a priority for leaders. Research suggests that homogenous teams are not as productive as heterogenous teams (Kamal and Ferdousi, 2009). As previously mentioned, diversity + inclusion (motivation through intrinsic and extrinsic motivation) = improved business outcomes. This means that leaders should be able to create a diverse team and motivate accordingly so as to gain better business performance. Diversity has its advantages in more knowledge, creativity and innovation and this helps give wider views and ways to achieve business goals. Diversity in teams therefore is essential in creating and sustaining competitive advantage in business.


Belbin (2012) Belbin Team Roles [online] available from <> [22 June 2013]

British Fashion Council (2013) Models of Diversity [online] available from <> [08 June 2013]

Buckingham, M. (2005) ‘What Do Great Managers Do?’ Harvard Business Review, 1-11.

Chubb (2013) About Us [online] available from <> [08 June 2013]

Chubb (2013) Chubb’s Diversity Vision [online] available from <> [08 June 2013]

Dahlin, K. B., Weingart, L. R. and Hinds, P. J. (2005) Team Diversity and Information Use [online] available at <> [07 June 2013]

Deloitte (2011) Only Skin Deep ? Re-examining the Business Case for Diversity [online] available at <> [08 June 2013]

Fibre2Fashion (2013) JC Penney teams up INROADS to promote leadership diversity [2 June 2013] [online] available from <> [08 June 2013]

Financial Times Lexicon (2013) Diverse Teams [online] available at <> [07 June 2013]

Forstenlechner, I. (2010) ‘When Arab-expatriate relations work well’. Team Performance Management, 5/6 (16) [online] available at <> [07 June 2013]

Gwynne, P. (2009) ‘Managing Culturally Diverse Teams’. Research Technology Management (1) 52, 68-69. [online] available from <> [08 June 2013]

Kamal, Y. And Ferdousi, M. M. (2009) Managing Diversity at Workplace: A Case Study of HP [online] available from <> [08 June 2013]

Liswood, L. (2010) The Loudest Duck. John Wiley & Sons Inc., New Jersey USA cited in Deloitte (2011) Only Skin Deep? Re-examining the Business Case for Diversity [online] available at <> [08 June 2013]

Miller, F.A. & Katz, J.H. (2002) The Inclusion Breakthrough. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, CA USA.

Montes, P. (2003) Managing diversity: Learning Guide [online] available from <> [08 June 2013] Ashridge

Wegge, J., Jungmann, F., Liebermann, S., Shemla, M., Ries, B. C., Diestel, S. and Schmidt, K. (2012) ‘What makes age diverse teams effective? Results from a six-year research program’. <> [07 June 2013]

Blog 2 – Adapting Leadership

According to CMI (2013), there is no single ideal of leadership. That leadership and management are dependent on the leader’s personal way of leading and the circumstances that surround him/her that may affect the way he/she leads.

Situational leadership is a style of leadership in which there is no best way to lead others because it is dependent on the situation at hand (Mujtaba and Sungkhawan, 2009). The Situational Leadership theory was developed by Hersey and Blanchard (1977) that stated that this model involved ‘primary situational determinant of leader behaviour that is the task-relevant maturity of the subordinate(s); where task-relevant maturity comprised two factors – job maturity and psychological maturity (Graeff, 1983). Job maturity refers to the ability of a person to perform the job through education or experience while psychological maturity is the motivational state of the person through their self esteem and self confidence levels. Besides this, Hersey (2008 cited in Mujtaba and Sungkhawan, 2009) defines readiness as a person’s willingness and ability to perform a given task. Hersey, Blanchard and Johnson (2001) state that leadership style is dependent on the situation at hand and the readiness of the follower. Coupling readiness and adapting the leadership style to match this is what brings about situational leadership. This is because effective leaders diagnose, adapt and delegate jobs through their subordinates’ readiness and other variables that depend on the situation (Hersey, 2008).

The Situational Leadership model identifies two dimensions of the model, task behaviour and relationship behaviour (Anon, n.d.; Hersey, Blanchard and Johnson 2001; Mujtaba and Sungkhawan 2009). Task behaviour is the extent to which the leader specifies the duties and responsibilities of the group or the individual (Anon, n.d.) by one-way communication and involves how tasks will be done, when and where (Hanke, n.d.). Relationship behaviour is two-way communication that involves some form of socioemotional support such as listening, encouraging and facilitating behaviours (Hanke n.d.; Anon n.d.; Litsikakis 2009).


(Usage data from Hersey & Blanchard’s Situational Theory of Leadership Daft, 1999 cited in Litsikakis 2009)

L’Oreal supports the view of the CMI. L’Oreal is the number one cosmetics group in the world, operating in over 130 countries with a brand portfolio of 27 brands and employing over 72,600 people as at 2012 (L’Oreal Annual Report, 2012). L’Oreal created a Talent Department in order to create an ad campaign tailored to various regions around the world so as to attract talent from all over the world. Targeted recruitment has emphasised the need for diversity that also aligns with the company’s business model. Testimonies shown on the L’Oreal website give a view of firsthand experiences of how leadership is conducted within the company. An example of situational leadership is shown in the following testimony:

 nicolas l'oreal

(Usage data from L’Oreal Annual Report, 2012)

By virtue of the fact that employees are given freedom to talk about their work and help in decision-making through suggestions shows that employees are allowed to work on tasks that they are good at and this helps them sharpen their skills. This shows how effective leadership is manifested at L’Oreal.

Situational leadership is quite a relevant model to employ in organisations today. Having previously worked as an intern at an animal health company before joining CULC, I can say that situational leadership is relevant for organisations if they want to move forward and achieve goals. During my time at the company I knew of employees who had various good ideas that would genuinely help the organisation but because of the manager’s attitude towards the employees, none of these ideas ever came to fruition. Employees I worked with were also very de-motivated; they complained that they were over-worked and underpaid and that they were not recognised for their talents or strengths. Over time, employee turnover has increased and even the last time I visited the company there were few faces I could recognise.


  1. Factors considered- confidence and maturity are the focus of the model;
  2. Simplicity- can be applied across various organisations


  1. The model may not apply to managers but may apply to those in structured leadership positions
  2. Theory may not apply in situations where there are time constraints and there are complex tasks

Following the definition of the situational leadership theory, it can be concluded that it is essential for both leaders and managers to establish relationships with their subordinates and get to know them over time: their strengths, weaknesses, values and personalities so that they can tailor-make their leadership and management styles accordingly in order to achieve the best results and meet goals. However, the situational leadership model should also emphasise on the resource of time as it is the most important and determining factor of how a leader or manager will lead others. If organisations seek to succeed then they must adopt this approach to effective leadership. As a future leader, it would be best to handle each situation differently given that there are no two situations that are exactly alike. Each situation must be treated in a different way so as to achieve the best possible outcome from it without any obstacles.


Anon. (n.d.) The Situational Leadership Model [online] available from  <> [15 June 2013]

Hanke (n.d.) Situational Leadership: A Summary [online] available from <> [15 June 2013]

Hersey, P., Blanchard, K. H. and Johnson, D. E. (1996) Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources (7th edn.) Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall

Hersey, P. and Blanchard, K. H. (1977). Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources (3rd edn.) New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Litsikakis, D. (2009) Leadership: A critique of leadership using the example of Lars Kolind, the CEO of Oticon for 10 years (1988-1998) [8June 2009] [online] available from <> [16 June 2013]

L’Oreal (2013) What People Say About Our Culture [online] available from <> [16 June 2013]

Leadership Central (2013) Technical Details [online] available from <> [16 June 2013]

We Build Leaders (2012) Dr. Paul Hersey – Situational Leadership [online] available from <> [22 June 2013]

Blog 3 – Organisational Change Management

As the world around us changes, so do its characteristics. The environment changes: organisations, groups and individuals change. Reasons for change may be: volatile economic conditions, political stability, social changes, and technological developments, etc. (Mullins 2010; Hellriegel et al. cited in Hassan 2013). Lewin’s change management model simply states this stage as the ‘unfreezing’ stage (Change Management Coach 2013). The unfreezing stage is about the organisation preparing itself for change and moving out of its comfort zone. This blog post sets out to find the pros and cons of change management in organisations and why there is individual resistance. It also highlights a contemporary case study of change experienced in companies in today’s rapidly changing world.

 time for change



  • Mullins (2010) states that organisational change will only be successful if staff members are made to participate in it because it involves changing their perceptions, behaviour and attitudes.
  • Change at the individual level refers to trying to change a person from the inside out by changing their beliefs, habits, values and customs (Hassan 2013). This shows that there is little that can be done about resistance to change.


  • Resistance to change should be expected because it is bound to be experienced and should therefore be planned for in advance. Those resisting change should have meetings with their leaders in order that they are made to understand the reasons for change and understand their reservations towards this. It allows to ‘break the ice’ and establish a rapport with them (Gans 2011).
  • Management are fully capable of dealing with individual resistance to change using 6 methods (Kotter & Schlesinger 1979 cited in Hassan 2013) through establishing relationships; cooperating with them; counselling and supporting them both socially and emotionally; through persuasion and meeting their needs; making them insider participants to change through giving them responsibilities and leaders using their power to make them change (Hassan 2013).
  • Change does not come down to the personality of the individual. Individuals fear being changed. This is why they resist. To deal with this, a leader should give their staff control to an extent. They should give their staff the freedom to make their own choices that will benefit the organisation as a whole. By giving them freedom, it allows them to feel involved and they also become part of the outcome (Bregnan 2009).
  • Resistance to change is not only found on the individual level but also on the organisational level. Organisations may resist change due to reasons such as organisational culture and stability maintenance (Mullins 2010). JC Penneys’ (JCP) organisational culture before the change was one that was pro-formality. Employees could not express themselves through decorating their cubicles and they only addressed each other using their surnames. This is what the company was founded on and this culture was deeply rooted. When the new CEO Ullman was brought in to implement change, he encountered resistance because the change did not reflect on the organisation culture. He however managed to implement this change through various campaigns and the outcome was a success (Purkayastha 2007).

In order to implement change, there are various roles that managers play. This stage is known as the transition stage (Change Management Coach 2013). Managers are collaborators when they help the employees embrace change throughout the organisation. Here, they provide them with an overview of what is done allow employees to have responsibilities and an extent of control to some elements of the change process (Smet et al. 2012; Gans 2011). Managers are also motivators- they ensure the safety of employees (Manuele 2012), recognise them for jobs well done and reward them accordingly (Gans 2011). Managers are communicators throughout the change process. They let employees know about the change and how it will be done. This gives the employees a sense of belonging (Merrell and Watson 2012). Resistance allows for a manager to practise their leadership skills by ensuring that positive outcomes are achieved no matter the obstacles. Change resistance allows an organisation to re-evaluate itself and represent change accurately so as to promote effective change (Chuang n.d.).



Primark, the UK’s leading value retailer, has also been affected by environmental changes in multichannel retailing. The fashion industry is predicted to be moving towards e-tailing to create convenience and leverage sales (Savitz 2013). As a result, Primark is trying to implement change by conducting a trial of online retailing through Asos, the UK’s biggest online fashion and beauty retailer (Retail Week 2013; Asos 2013). Primark was resisting to this because creating an online sales channel would compete with the Littlewoods brand under the parent company Associated British Foods. If Primark evaluates the outcome of its online sales then it might decide to adopt this. This stage would be known as ‘refreezing’. It involves keeping the change and making it part of the organisation culture (Change Management Coach 2013).

primark asos vs.


It is yet to be evaluated whether this change from Primark will produce a successful outcome.

In conclusion, change does not happen overnight. After all, Rome was not built in a day. Change is not easy either. As a future leader, I know now that through coordination and communication of the responsibilities and having a vision of the goals to be achieved at the individual and organisation level creates a platform for implementing change with minimal resistance and thus leads to successful outcomes for the organisation. Dealing with resistance through preemptive measures ensures that change is implemented smoothly.


Change Management Coach (2013) Kurt Lewin Change Management Model [online] available at <> [21 June 2013]

Kotter, G. and Schlesinger L. (1979) ‘Choosing strategies for change’. Harvard Business Review. 57 (2), 107-109.

Mullins (2010)

Hellriegel, D., Slocum, J. W. and Richard-Woodman, J. (1983) Organizational behavior (5th edn) 520-526 cited in Hassan, G. (2013) ‘Today Change Management is Necessary and a Requirement for Organisations’ Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business (10) 4, 458-468. [online] available from <> [20 June 2013]

Hassan, G. (2013) ‘Today Change Management is Necessary and a Requirement for Organisations’ Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business (10) 4, 458-468. [online] available from <> [20 June 2013]

Gans, K. (2011) “Should You Change Your Thinking About Change Management?” Strategic Finance 93 (4), 48-50. available from <> [20 June 2013]

Bregman, P. (2009) How to Counter Resistance to Change [28 April 2009] [online] available from <> [20 June 2013]

Purkayastha, D. (2007) Remaking JC Penney’s Organisational Culture. IMCR Centre For Management Research, India.

Smet, A., Lavoie, D., Hioe, J. and Schwartz, E. (2012) ‘Developing better change leaders’ McKinsey Quarterly (2) [online] available from <> [20 June 2013]

Merrell, P. and Watson, T. (2012) ‘Effective Change Management: The Simple Truth’ Management Services (2) 56, 20-23.

Chuang, Y. (n.d.) Individual Resistance from Employees to Organisational Change .Unpublished thesis. Taiwan: Ching Yun University.

Savitz, E. (2013) Retailing 2013: Fashion and Tech Trends to Watch [online] available from <> [20 June 2013]

Asos (2013) About Asos [online] available from <> [20 June 2013]

Goldfingle, G. (2013) Value fashion giant Primark starts selling online through Asos [online] available at <> [20 June 2013]


Blog 4 – Ethical Leadership in the Organisation



On one hand, it is said that ethical leaders lead to better individual and organisational results. On the other hand, it can be inferred that leader behaviour may/may not have positive results for the organisation (Rubin et al 2010). But, is this always the case? Are these leaders ethical all the time or just some of the time?

Organisations cannot perform to the highest standards without a leader. Nowadays, leaders are not seen to just help a company make a profit but they also need to have moral values and obligations that also help with the greater good for society (Mendonca & Kanungo 2006). Arbhiem (2012) states that there is a growing demand for organisations to practise ethics. Organisational leaders are emphasised to be ethical in their actions, as well as have good relationships with staff by treating them fairly because they are part of the organisation’s internal stakeholders. Organisations should have ethical leaders who treat employees fairly who in turn conduct business processes ethically and thus all stakeholders’ needs are met. Satisfied stakeholders lead to better organisation performance and better internal branding of the company (Abrheim 2012).



The Body Shop was founded by Dame Anita Roddick in 1976. The company was set up on the foundations of environmental activism and ethical cosmetics (Roddick n.d.). Roddick was a human rights activist who held commitments at the highest importance: supporting community trade, fighting against animal testing, defending human rights and protecting the planet (Marketline 2012). From this we learn that Roddick was an ethical leader. Through her own personal actions and values she was able to transform The Body Shop into one of the most successful natural and organic cosmetics companies in the world. However, controversy surrounding L’Oreal’s acquisition of The Body Shop led to a decline in sales for the brand. A case study by Marketline (2012) stated that some of L’Oreal’s practices contradicted The Body Shop’s ethical values. In my opinion, sometimes leadership in an organisation may change and as a result it may be difficult for the new leader to carry the ethical ‘torch’ of his predecessor. This may result in negative publicity. It is up to the leaders to rectify this mistake so that all stakeholders are not affected by this.



There are cases, however, where organisation leaders may not practise ethics in order to achieve goals. This reduces the leaders and organisations ethical behaviour and can cause conflict among internal and external stakeholders (Mayer et al 2012). Google’s organisation ethics was compromised during the Street View scandal. In an attempt to make online maps more accessible, the company installed cameras around the world and sent staff out to take pictures of the streets to help in developing navigation software. This move, however, proved to be unethical as it was said to have invaded people’s privacy. It was also reported to have sent some senior staff member and employees to participate in this (Strange 2012; Lietdke 2007). This compromised relationships with external stakeholders as Google had invaded their privacy (Rakower 2011).

All in all, ethical leaders’ behaviour can directly impact organisation effectiveness. As we have previously seen with Roddick’s ethical commitments towards The Body Shop helped it grow to become one of the most successful organic and natural cosmetics companies in the world with revenues. On the flip side, when a leader compromises ethical behaviour to achieve organisational effectiveness, conflicts arise between the organisation and the stakeholders. This may affect overall brand equity of the organisation. As a future leader, it would be wise to first weigh my options and think about future consequences of my actions before I can act in a way that would compromise the greater good.




Liedtke, M. (2007) Google hits streets, raises privacy concerns [online] available from <> [21 June 2013]

Marketline (2012) Natural, Organic, and Ethical Cosmetics: L’Oreal’s acquisition of The Body Shop

Mayer, D. M., Aquino, K., Greenbaum, R. L., Kuenzi, M. (2012) ‘Who Displays Ethical Leadership, and Why Does It Matter? An Examination of Antecedents and Consequences of Ethical Leadership’ Academy of Management Journal (1) 55, 151-171.

Mendonca, M. and Kanungo, R. (2006) Ethical Leadership. Buckingham: Open University Press

Perrin, C. (2010) Leading for the Greater Good [13 May 2010] [online] available from <> [22 June 2013]

Rakower, L. H. (2011) ‘Blurred Line: Zooming in on Google Street View and the Global Right to Privacy’ Brooklyn Journal of International Law (1) 37, 317-347.

Roddick, A. (n.d.) About Dame Anita Roddick [online] available from <> [20 June 2013]

Rubin, R., Dierdorff, E., Brown, M. (2010) ‘Do Ethical Leaders Get Ahead?’ Business Ethics Quarterly. 20 (2), 215-236.

Strange, A. (2012) Google Knew Street View Collected Private Data, FCC Says [online] available from <> [21 June 2013]

Blog 5 – (Effective) Leadership?

“The best way to find happiness is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Gandhi



I often hear that managers are different from leaders, but that managers can also be leaders, and leaders can also be managers. Anyone can be a leader (Robert, 2009). So who is an effective leader? An effective leader is a person that leads by example, someone who inspires others enough to emulate them (Robert, 2009).

My understanding of effective leadership has been inspired in so many ways. My grandfather inspired my understanding of effective leadership. He was the Chairman of the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya. He managed to bring the company out of turmoil to success in just the few years he was the chairman at the company. He was also a Member of Parliament of the Kenya Government whose leadership style was democratic. His focus of bringing development was more as involving others in achieving a common goal for the people in his constituency. He shared his visions and ideas with the people, and encouraged his large team to work toward the greater good.



Leading in all its forms and practices come down to a few things: the need to understand, articulate and continuously improve the philosophy of leadership in a simple and straightforward way (Figliuolo, 2011). As previously mentioned, managers can be leaders, and leaders managers. It is written in Mullins (2010) that management refers to getting things done through other people’s efforts, to achieve goals and objectives using various systems in a structured organisational setting by giving members roles. A manager thus works with others with the aim of accomplishing tasks and showing others how to attain a common goal. Mullins (2010) also explains who an effective leader is; one who possesses the following characteristics: a pace-setter, one who is democratic, facilitative, one who coaches, one who is commanding and visionary. My understanding of effective leadership has also been inspired by the video that speaks on leadership. Leaders are different, and so they get things done in different ways. How leaders lead depends on how the employee gets the job done, whether efficiently and/or effectively.



I have learnt that there are various styles of leadership and management, and they all differ from one person to the other. I have learned to manage others through example. It is better to be hands-on, showing staff what exactly is required in the way it is required. I have learned to become more observant, to have the need to get to know staff better- what they like and don’t like, what they are good at and what they are not good at, their idiosyncrasies and what makes them tick. I have learned that leadership is a process; it is not a one-off thing that happens and stops. Leadership is about continuous sharpening of skills, constant future and reflective thinking. An effective leader learns while on the job, helping others learn with him/her during that journey.



In my journey as a leader, I have gathered feedback from team members in one of my MBA modules at Coventry University London Campus. I have now become aware of my personal strengths and areas to improve on. My strengths include helping colleagues during presentations at moments when they may find it difficult to explain a point. I also always give personal opinions that relate to case studies at hand, as well as giving reasons and examples to support points. As regards to my behaviour, it was stated that I help my team members with information but to a limited extent, that I do not fully disclose information. Another point raised was that I hardly ever volunteer to make presentations despite having sufficient information and knowledge to do so. It was recommended that I “give more information during group work” as well as read and understand the case studies given beforehand. It was also recommended that I volunteer to represent the group during presentations.

All in all, I have learnt that being an effective leader requires an open mind. One should be able to adapt to various situations and be dynamic enough to be able to lead even when in the presence of obstacles and constraints. Leaders should also get to know personally the people they lead in order to motivate them and take them under their proverbial wing and fly with them on their leadership journey. Leadership is continuously changing and it is up to leaders to be able to cope with this change and move hand-in-hand with it. Leadership is about sharpening one’s skills and the skills of others.


Figliuolo, M. (2011) One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership. Hoboken, N.J., USA: Jossey-Bass.

Mullins, L. (2010) Management and Organisational Behaviour, 9th Edition, Pearson Higher Education.

Robert, R. (2009) What is Effective Leadership? [18 September 2009] [Online] available from <> [27 May 2013]