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Leadership Case

Essay by   •  February 6, 2012  •  Essay  •  908 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,829 Views

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It is difficult in today's business world to fill the demand for leaders ready to take on challenges and help their business gain a competitive edge. Two styles of leadership are transformational and transitional. Both leadership styles each serve a different purpose. Transitional leadership looks more to filling a position and empowering that individual to make changes. A transformational leader seeks positive changes in those that follow and are defined as energetic, enthusiastic and passionate. Transformational leaders focus on helping every member of their team succeed and their strong traits of vision and personality inspire followers to change expectations, and perceptions in working towards a common goal.

Jack Welch is one name that is the most recognizable in business and synonymous with leadership. What he brought to General Electric as its CEO for twenty years can only be defined as legendary. In 1999, Mr. Welch was named "Manager of the Century" and is one of the most admired business leaders in the world. His management style and leadership qualities have set the bar and should act as an example for all business leaders. As Mr. Welch began his management role at GE, his leadership style could have been best defined as transitional. He opposed the bureaucracy in corporate America and envisioned changes that would eliminate old ways of doing business. He began his career at GE as a chemical engineer in 1960 and elected the youngest vice president in 1972 and in 1981, became the company's CEO.

As a transformational leader, Jack Welch used his idealized influence over his employees, and as a role model, his employees strived to emulate him and his ideals. For example, GE spends millions a year on education and training their employees and Mr. Welch appears at many of the training programs where employees see him as "The management theorist, strategic thinker, business teacher, and corporate icon who made it to the top despite his working class background" (Byrne). Mr. Welch is very involved in day to day activities of GE operations, and the example that he sets as a CEO reflects in the employee work ethic and productivity he gets from each employee. His top management emulates his behavior and their direct reports in turn do the same as it channels down through the company.

As a transformational leader, Mr. Welch not only challenges the status quo, he encourages creativity among his employees which in turn leads to exploring new ways of doing things and new opportunities to learn. For example, Mr. Welch conducts quarterly conferences where GE's accomplished executives exchange best practices and success stories. In these sessions, Mr. Welch welcomes un-filtered information, "Challenges



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