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What Makes a Leader - a Review

Essay by   •  June 29, 2011  •  Book/Movie Report  •  490 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,787 Views

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In the "What Makes a Leader" reading, I can quickly relate the reading to the president of my previous organization. The president of my previous organization was faced with a daunting task of not only consolidating an organization that was involved in a merger with an equal sized competitor, he was faced with two organization that faced enormous amounts of debt that would hamper future growth, same product offerings, and a recession that directly impacted revenues/profits. The president was appointed to the position with having no background in M&A or experience in turnarounds. He was a corporate controller prior to his appointment and a long career in accounting only positions. The questions that arose throughout the organization were why would C-level management select an inexperienced individual in M&As nor turnarounds to lead in the execution of a turnaround in an organization through a very difficult time.

Throughout the turnaround process, the organization quickly learned that the choice by C-level management to select the president was the correct decisions. The president was very emotionally intelligence as exemplified during "town meetings" where he expressed compassion to his audience and expressed that he understood what people feel about the difficult changes happening in the organization and he would keep everyone aware of all the changes; however, difficult decisions had to be made in order for the organization to exist. By telling individuals that he knew the difficult challenges that all individuals face and expressed that he would continuously communicate, he showed empathy to all employees. He also made it clear to all that when a decision he made did not work as planned, he was very well aware of it and brought forth new directions. In addition to his awareness that the earlier decisions did not go as planned, he laid out the reason behind why his decisions did not pan out as he originally had planned it. It was clear that he had a gift of self-regulation in this example.

Another key attribute that made the president a leader during the organization's transformation was the fact that he was a great motivator. He challenged us to achieve benchmarks and that all of our efforts will help in the turnaround. He kept enforcing that without all of us challenging ourselves, the firm faces the possibility of non-existence. He brought this sense of urgency that fired most of the employees despite several rounds of layoffs. In all decisions that the president made throughout my tenure at my former employer, it was evident that he was an authentic leader that he had a passion to turnaround the organization through his various decisions and was discipline enough to get results from his staff. Based upon the characteristics of what makes a leader in the readings, it is clear that the president of my former employer was a true leader.

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