Leadership and Emotional Intelligence - Essay Example

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This paper examines the concepts of Leadership and Emotional Intelligence with specific reference to the principles advanced in a notable book entitled Gung Ho! The book was authored by two business consultants who specialize in management practices that improve employee productivity…
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Download file to see previous pages ion not only allows this individual control, it actively encourages such behaviour, and is based on the belief that its workers’ ways to achieve goals are likely to be better than management’s ways. One caveat is that the work of each person cannot be beyond that person’s skills and training, while also demanding each person’s best effort and allowing each person to learn. (Blanchard and Bowles, 1998, pp.74-90) Gift of the Goose: The seemingly incessant honking of geese is their way of sending messages to one another that the authors describe as “cheering each other on” or “everyone cheering on everyone” for doing the right things. Moreover, this cheering on “brings enthusiasm” to the other two cornerstone principles. This is the simplest principle to explain but is not any easier to implement in organisations than the other two principles. (Blanchard, 1998, pp.129-136) In my opinion, these cornerstone principles have much merit as guidelines to lead an organisation to greater productivity, and I will address that further below. But in addition, I have concerns about two particular claims of Gung Ho! that the authors do not address: In order of importance to an organisation, the authors explicitly rank internal team members ahead of customers as the reason why organisations exist: “The work of an organisation is to look after customers, but the reason the organisation exists in the first place is to serve the people who work there, as well as the community they live in.” (Blanchard, 1998, p.54) This sentiment is at odds with what I have always understood to be the purpose of any business: to create and keep profitable customers. In fact, in a later book, Blanchard wrote “I’m always looking for companies that are trying to build themselves...
The clearest expression of the leadership philosophy of Gung Ho! seems to be this quote:“Your job as General Manager is the same as any true leader’s. Let people know why the work is worthwhile.  Decide where you’re going. Make sure the team shares the goal. Help set values. Get the resources in place. Hold the rule makers in check. Ensure you’ve got the support you need both inside and outside the organization. Keep your eye on the future to ward off trouble and be ready to change direction...It’s your job as leader to know where the plant is going.  It’s the team members’ job to get you there.” This expresses many important leadership principles, yet the book does not seem to explicitly advocate a “Situational Leadership” approach, in which “successful leaders… change their leadership styles based on the maturity of the people they're leading and the details of the task.”  Nevertheless, Situational Leadership principles occasionally can be inferred from the book’s narrative, as when the plant manager’s behaviour toward her Division Managers changes.  This is described as she and they begin to understand and share goals and otherwise begin to adopt Gung Ho! principles until finally, after three years, the organisation completes its development. For me, the strongest practical arguments for the success of such enlightened approaches to leadership come from the endorsements by legendary business executives. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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