In recent era, leadership is considered as a practical skill and ability of employee to lead others in an organisation. In order to attain the success, effective leaders in enterprise are essentially required to lead and guide individuals, teams and organisation. In this context, leaders mainly set the direction, guide and suggest the best possible options in order to give effective response to any type of problem or situation (Kiefer and Tymon, 2011). In organisation, leaders assist employees and team members to do right things at right time to move forward in positive direction. As a leader, he/she has several types of responsibilities like taking right decisions, setting objectives and motivates others in order to attain firm’s objectives.
The present essay helps in understanding the concept of leadership. For this purpose, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Next PLC; Simon Wolfson is responsible to lead the entire managerial team as a leader. The selected company is multinational clothing, home product and footwear Retail Corporation of the UK. The cited firm is successfully operating its business operations and practices in the retail industry. The firm is headquartered in Enderby, Leicestershire at England. The cited firm is a type of public limited company. In addition to this, firm has about 700 stores situated in the UK and Ireland. In respect to sales measurement in the UK, cited firm is considered as the largest organisation. Joseph Hepworth was the founder of this cited organisation. In addition to this, Next Plc also earns approximately 812.1 million profits in year 2015.
In every organisation, effective and skilled leaders are required at every management level and department. In respect to Next Plc, Simon is a good CEO as-well-as a skilled and efficient leader. In this context, there are various types of leadership styles such as democratic, autocratic, bureaucratic and charismatic. From all these styles, CEO of Next Plc adopts autocratic leadership style. This type of leadership style is effective but it also causes various types of issues that are not favourable in context of employee as well as organisation.
In addition to this, Wellman and Humphrey (2011) describes that “the effective leaders are considered to those employees in organisation who have the effective decision making skills, communication ability, motivation skills, risk taking attitude, problem solving ability and time management style” (Wellman and Humphrey, 2011). Furthermore, Dugan and Wagner (2011) define in research article that, “The leadership is considered as a process in which leaders influence the thoughts, attitude and behaviour of subordinates or other employees” (Dugan and Wagner, 2011). In addition to this, Clark, Abela and Ambler (2005) critiqued by defining leadership as a social influence process through which one leader effectively garner the help and support of other employees in organisation in order to attain strategic and common targets and objectives (Clark, Abela and Ambler, 2005). Along with this; effective leaders of any group or team lead the members and support them in every situation. The essay helps in understanding the concept of various types of leadership styles, theories and issues related to leadership styles that are adopted by the CEO of Next plc. In addition to this, it also describes the solutions of resolving those issues as well (Ogbonna, 2013).
In respect to Next Plc, CEO Simon has core responsibility to direct the organisation towards the right direction so that defined objectives and targets can be achieved in effective manner. In cited firm, the other leaders are also working effectively at every management level. In organisation, all leaders are required to communicate with each other for the purpose of conducting effective business operations. It is considered that communication and behaviour of leaders are associated with the organisational performance and outcomes (King and Nesbit, 2015). In respect to the leadership process, various theories, principles and styles are present. In this context, the leaders who follow this type of leadership style hold high degree of power and authority in respect to run the operations and undertake decisions. This leadership style has become less popular but few organisations still use it. These types of leaders want to drive their followers under their command to follow their ways. They prefer to make all the decisions without taking any type of input from other people (Palanski and Simons, 2012).
In contrast to this leadership style, one could use another that is democratic leadership style. This is the most preferred method of leading and is usually adopted by every leader. In this context, the leaders with a democratic style allow the sub ordinates and other people to share their ideas and suggestions with their subordinated and junior staff members. They also involve the other employees or sub ordinates in the decision making process. In this type of leadership style, the subordinates always get motivated towards the work because their ideas and suggestions are considered as an important thing.
The other style is known as charismatic in which leader develops the enthusiasm in team and always motivates the members to attain the targets in managed and effective manner (Beinecke and Spencer, 2007). In addition, the bureaucratic leaders basically believe in regulations and rules. At the time of taking decisions, this type of leader will firstly prefer to refer the books, laws and regulations. In this respect, perfect leader is regarded as the person who adopts any single style of leadership from the two discussed above. Leaders take the charge of situation and also act accordingly in order to give the right response. In this context, the leader as a CEO of Next follows the autocratic leadership style (Gardner and Laskin, 2011).
Along with these styles, few theories are also present such as trait, contingency, situational, behavioural and transformational etc. In this context, the trait theory defines that in individual, leadership capabilities are directly rooted with the personality traits such as extroversion, intelligence and self efficacy. Thus, Thomas stated that leaders cannot be created because they are born. There is one theory which critiques the concept of trait theory and is known as alternative theory. This theory describes that each and every person has the quality and capability to become a leader. This theory describes that leadership quality has no relation or link with the heredity. In addition to this, behavioural theory states that leaders are not born they are created (Kiefer and Tymon, 2011). It describes that with the help of proper training and guidance, everyone can become as effective leader. Whereas, situational theory describes that as per the nature of situation and condition, leaders select the best course of action to handle things in effective manner. In this regards, leaders are expected to be more knowledgeable, capable and experienced.
With respect to Next Plc, CEO uses situational theory because as per the nature of situation prevailing at the workplace, he takes the decisions. By following the autocratic leadership style, several types of issues are generated at the workplace which affects communication and motivation level of the organisation (Leadership Problems in Business, 2016). In undertaking decisions for business operations regarding project work, CEO does not allow the subordinates and other employees to share the ideas and suggestions. In addition to this, without considering the suggestions of others, CEO takes the decisions which sometimes result in positive manner. In some cases, company had to face the failure because things were not discussed and shared with the stakeholders of company. When team members are not asked or involved in decision making process, there are possibility that they may feel unvalued and de-motivated. With the changes in time, they also stop to explore the innovative and creative ideas. The problem increases because CEO follows “Me” concept rather than “We”. It also affects the communication process because communication gap increases continuously. The attitude problem reflects in the behaviour and communication process of the CEO acting as a leader. When the employees get de-motivated, their performance also gets adversely affected. The reason is the performance of employees that are directly linked with the performance of organisation (A Review of Leadership Theories, Principles and Styles and Their Relevance to Educational Management, 2015).
An effective leader is considered as an individual who works on few principles such as:
In respect to above described problem and situation of Next plc, if I were on the place of Simon as a chief executive officer in this company, I would like to adopt and follow democratic leadership style. With the help of this leadership style, I would have leaded the team in completely different manner by following best course of actions in order to attain the objectives. In respect to this, if I was put in the same situation in Next, I will allow my subordinates to actively participate in the decision making process and share the ideas and suggestions. It is to take effective decisions by discussing both pros and cons to make advance planning to give response to negative result so that they may convert into positive manner (Advantages and Disadvantages of Democratic Leadership, 2013). With the help of this theory, I will be able to distribute the authority and power among employees, subordinates and managers. This method will help me in managing the work in proper way and complete them on timely manner.
In addition to this, as per the nature of problematic situation and condition, I will adopt different types of leadership styles and theories. Through this I will also be able to distribute the responsibilities as per the capabilities of subordinates. In case, if they lack in some areas or face issues, I will discuss it by taking one to one meeting with them. By giving the authorities, power and permission to take participation in business operations, employees will be motivated towards their work. In addition, I will also empower the employees so that they can effectively accomplish their responsibilities. With the help of this type of theory, I will also be able to create a healthy communication process as well environment which will influence the employees to work hard and perform their best. By involving the employees and subordinates in decision making process, they start to consider themselves as an important part of organisation and get highly motivated to work (Gardner and Laskin, 2011). Through this, employees will also allow the subordinates to take the responsibilities of new employees in respect to train them. Through this, I will polish their leadership quality which will be beneficial for them as well as for organisation. In addition to this, I will also monitor their performance level and evaluate their lacking areas. By giving the fair feedbacks to them, I will guide and support them to improve their skills, capabilities and knowledge as per their weak points. As per their strength, I will also give them authorities to make their strengths more strong and powerful (Clark, Abela and Ambler, 2005). By establishing the friendly relationship among employees, the communication process at workplace can also be improved. I will try to change the attitude and thoughts of employees in positive direction. With the help of all these types of initiatives and actions, I will be able to make a strong impact on the followers like employees.
With the help of present research essay, it is articulated that to attain the success, every organisation requires effective leaders at every level. By following the different types of leadership styles and principles, leaders can make a great impact on their followers. By involving the employees in decisions making process, effective decisions can be taken in positive manner. The research helped to explore the presence of effective leaders at workplace and how set objectives and targets can be attained in efficient manner. In addition to this, by taking the positive initiatives how outcomes of action can be changed in positive direction with the help of guidance and support of leaders has been gained.