Leadership Experience Paper
Running head: LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE PAPER 0
Leadership Experience Paper
Leadership Experience Paper
My leadership experience relates to my internship at one of the leading banks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Summer Internship programs are specifically designed to provide UAE nationals with a platform to translate their theoretical knowledge learned in class into professional practice. During my internship program, I actively participated in individual and group exercises while performing various roles and responsibilities of the bank. My main task in the bank involved working with clients in underwriting and distributing equity. My main goal was to screen, analyze and approve the client’s applications. As a team leader, my followers constituted of 5 interns in the same program.
As a leader of the team that was responsible for the task of underwriting and distributing equity, I adopted transformational leadership approach to leading my followers. This leadership approach helped my followers to improve their creativity and increase both individual and team performance. With the use of transformational leadership style, I was able to inspire, motivate and positively influence my followers towards accomplishing the shared objectives and goals. According to Garcia-Morales, Llorens-Montes and Verdu-Jover (2008), transformational leadership helps in influencing the fundamental assumptions and attitudes among members of a given firm, creating a shared mentality to achieve the organization’s goals.
Particularly, I often encouraged my followers to adopt new ways of doing thinking within the bank rather than relying on the conventional ways of doing things. Particularly, I encouraged them to be creative and adopt the latest data analytic solutions in analyzing the client’s applications. As a consequence, I effectively challenged the status quo while encouraging creativity among my followers. My leadership trait is consistent with Ahmad, Abbas, Latif and Rasheed (2014) definition of one of the tools of one of the tools of transformational leadership, intellectual stimulation, as the ability to motivate followers and make them good decision-makers and creative.
With effective display of charisma, I acted as a role model by taking risks relating to underwriting rather than being risk averse. As a consequence, I was able to positively influence my follower towards emulating me as a risk taker. This trait has been defined in literature as idealized influence – the ability to act as a role model and gain respect and trust from followers (Moynihan, Pandey & Wright, 2012). In addition, I was also able to motivate my followers to achieve the set objectives and targets on time and within budget. With the use of inspirational motivation, my team was able to achieve an increase in the number of new clients by 8% at the end of a two-month internship program. Furthermore, I was also able to create a supportive relationship among the team members through the use of effective open communication.
While transformational leadership style seems to be appropriate in this context, I could have incorporated this style with some aspects of transactional leadership style. Odumeru and Ogbonna (2013) defined transactional leadership as a leadership behavior in which the leader focuses on encourages his or her followers’ compliance through punishments and rewards. Specifically, I could have used intrinsic rewards such as recognition to encourage my followers’ compliance. This style is suitable for motivating the followers towards achieving short-term objectives.
On the other hand, my leadership style was also consistent with one of the four quadrants of situational leadership model: directing, coaching, supporting and delegating. Of these four quadrants, I exhibited telling style, which is characterized by high levels of support and high directive behavior. I not only directed my followers on what ought to be done but also provided them with both material and emotional support towards achieving organizational tasks. This style was consistent with my followers who were mainly students with limited professional experience in underwriting and distributing equity.
Given that there is no one-fits-all leadership approach, I could also work with 3 other types of followers using the remaining 3 leadership styles – selling, participating and delegating – based on the level of competency of the team members. Specifically, I can use selling style to when my team members have gained substantial knowledge, skills and experience in their roles and responsibilities within the bank. This approach will facilitate the members to start developing the necessary reasoning and skills relating to organizational tasks. However, the main challenge I could experience in using this style is that I may not be having the necessary experience given that I am also an intern. In order to be successful while using this leadership approach, I will rely on the directions given to me from the line managers.
With the use of participating style, I will take a more democratic stance while focusing more on building strong relationships among the team members and less on organizational task direction. Most importantly, I will encourage the members to develop their own goals but collaborate with them in the process of developing such goals. Finally, I will use delegating style by taking a hands-off approach to leading highly competent followers. With the use of this style, I will delegate all the roles and responsibilities to the members and act as an overseer.
As a team leader, I underwent through different phases of the so-called leader-member exchange (LMX) theory. This model construes leadership as a process that entails the leader-followers interaction as depicted in figure 1 below.
Figure 1: Dynamic leader-followers relationship. Northouse (2012)
Consistent with LMX model, my relationship with my followers went through three stages: role-taking, role-making and routinization. At role-taking stage, I took time to assess the abilities and skills of all the team members in order to assign them with various roles and responsibilities. In phase 2, members began working on their respective tasks. At this stage, I inadvertently categorized all members into the in-group because were shared a lot in common as interns. In phase 3, routinization, I had already established routines between me as a leader and my followers. Each member was conversant with her routine roles and responsibilities relating to underwriting and distributing equity.Conclusion
In conclusion, I was largely successful in leading, inspiring, and influencing my followers positively towards achieving the planned objectives. My success is largely attributed to the use of transformational leadership approach in combination with telling style. With these leadership approaches, I was able to encourage creativity, strong relationship-building and improved performance. My success was measured in terms of completion of tasks and achievement of planned objectives on time and within budget. Nest, time, I will use certain aspects of transactional leadership such as rewarding employees. Some of the aspects of transformational leadership that I value most include idealized influence/charisma, intellectual stimulation and inspirational motivation. With the use of these aspects, the leader is able to positively inspire, motivate and influence her followers.
Ahmad, F., Abbas, T., Latif, S. & Rasheed, A. 2014. Imapct of transformational leadership on employee motivation in telecommunication Sector. Journal of Management Policies and Practices, 2(2), 11-25.
Garcia-Morales, V. J., Llorens-Montes, F. J. & Verdu-Jover, A. J. (2008). The effects of transformational leadership on organizational performance through knowledge and innovation. British Journal of Management, 19, 299-319.
Moynihan, D. P., Pandey, S. K. & Wright, B. E. (2012). Setting the table: How transformational leadership fosters performance information use. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 22(1), 143-164.
Northouse, P. G. (2012). Leadership: Theory and Practice. New York: SAGE.
Odumeru, J. A. & Ogbonna, I. G. (2013). Transformational vs. transactional leadership theories: Evidence in literature. International Review of Management and Business Research, 2(2), 355-361.