Many leadership theories have been applied, in different organizations, to help in attainment of the objectives of the organization. Leadership theories are many, but the most common include the trait theory, which assumes that different people inherit the qualities and also traits of leadership and later suit for the position of leadership. The characteristics related to the trait theory are behavioral and personality characteristics. There is also the contingency theory, commonly known as the modern theory, which explains that leadership changes with the environment and its situation. A style of leadership could be successful in a certain situation, but very unsuccessful in another. No leadership style is, therefore, convenient in all situations. What determines success is the leadership style, the qualities of the followers and the prevailing situation. The other fundamental theory of leadership is the behavioral/functional theory, which believes that all the great leaders are molded and that no person is born a leader. The behavior of the leaders is what determines leadership, and not just the leadership traits or any characteristics one holds (Cherry, 2012).
Difference between leadership and management
While management focuses of the end results and the procedure of getting things implemented, leadership focuses of the influencing of the followers through interaction with them. Managers will most of the time direct people using the formal authoritative positions, but leaders will influence the followers even in the absence of the formalities. Managers coordinate the workers towards the common goal of the organization contrary to leaders who creates excitement in the followers, and provides solutions that will influence a certain group or follower towards the objectives.
The leadership theory of Zeus Motor Industry (ZMI)
Zeus Motor Industry is a Corporation in the Eastern Africa region, which specializes in the manufacture and sale of spares for motor vehicles. Due to the nature of the market and operation of the organization, the leadership of the organization is based on the contingency approach, which is the most commonly used approach in the modern times. After the realization that there is no possibility for a permanent theory to be used universally and suit in all situations, researchers in the 20th century tasked themselves to find an option that was flexible to different situations in the organization. This is how the theory of contingency was conceptualized, and has recently natured many organizations to success including the ZMI Corporation. In the organization, the contingency approach has proved to be the most convenient, due to its possibility to change the styles of leadership in different situations experienced by the organization (Daft & Lane, 2008).
The styles adopted by the organization range from charismatic leadership to democratic leadership. For instance, when the organization's employees are less motivated, they will lose interest in their focus and duties. Leaders, who are the managers, apply charismatic leadership, where the managers infuse energy and eagerness to the workers (followers), and they gain motivation. The managers influence the workers to follow their steps. This has had an impact on the performance of the organization and has ensured workforce that is competent in the market. The organization also applies the democratic leadership style, in case the managers have to implement specific strategies. However, the managers respect the opinion of the employees before the strategies are implemented. The approach has allowed the followers to know the management considers their opinion, and this has led to the employee's satisfaction. The employees of ZMI enjoy the advantage of the contingency theory, as all of them feel they have their opinions heard and also play a crucial and important role in the entire success of the company. Leadership effectiveness is mandatory for organizations, and the efficiency of the styles of leadership are greatly influenced by the levels of competency that the leaders have (Justis, 1975).
The influence and power of employees in ZMI management
The leaders of ZMI have effected great change on the employees of the organization. Due to the contingency approach to leadership, the employees of the organization have developed skills and have strengthened their commitment to the organization's realization of goals. The employees have also built confidence in their leaders, because the leadership approach allows employees to participate in the decision-making processes of the corporation. There is a balance between the authority of the managers, and the freedom that their subordinated enjoy, meaning the management still retains the privilege and mandate to be the final decision makers. The followers in such a case of ZMI are employees, who have reacted by proving to be a motivated group, which is one of the mandatory advantages of ZMI over its competitors. The ZMI leaders appreciate that it is the high commitment working practices (HCWP) that lead to the company's success, and not the authoritative management practices that were used in ancient times such as dictatorships (Gill & Meyer, 2008).
The organization's success does not allow for different leadership styles, from what they practice. The other leadership styles, including the bureaucratic and laissez faire leaderships are not fit for the leadership patterns of the ZMI organization. If any of the two leaderships were to be implemented, then there would be conflict between the management and employees, as the employee's rights would be denied. The bureaucratic leadership would deny the employee freedom of expressing their views, as the approach vests extreme powers to the leaders. The authoritative styles are used to minimize corruption and ensure security, and are mostly used in banks, schools, hospitals and many other ventures. Business firms are comfortable with the contingency theory, because of the nature of the firms, which are adaptive and involve frequent and rapid changes (Michael, 1970).
Transformational and transactional leadership
Due to the changes occurring at ZMI Company and the increased challenges in the leadership of many other business firms, it is necessary to evaluate the effects of transactional and transformational leaderships. These styles of leadership are focusing on the relationships and objectives of the leaders and followers in current times. Transactional leadership at ZMI has affected the corporation in a manner that the leader provides the employees with that is expected to be done and accomplished, for the employees to reach their needs, including rewards and privileges due to high performances at the workplace. In ZMI, for instance, those departments that realize the biggest profits are rewarded. All the employees receive a pay rise of 15% on their basic salary. This has led to great competition in the organization's sales departments. Contingent rewarding systems are used, where the rewarding entirely depends on the performance and outcomes of activities by the followers. At ZMI Company, the employees have to increase the sales so as to demand more salaries, and also have to reduce, strategically, the general costs of the company, in order to get bonuses. Those who work hard and show great determination are rewarded with promotions, to higher ranks of the company. Nevertheless, the managers and the employees all remain flexible, so that the transactional leadership does not interfere with either the missions or any vision of an organization (Bertocci, 2009).
After critical analysis, results show that the ZMI Corporation uses the transformational approach more than the transactional theory. The transformational approach indicates that the leaders of ZMI Company usually motivate and also inspire their employees, who in turn react by increasing their performance levels. The leaders encourage charismatic, attentive and intellectual employees, who contain a sense of value, and think in a rational manner. The leaders of the organization, therefore, influence the employees positively, towards attainment of the firm's goals. This leadership style allows the leaders of ZMI to take advantage of the opportunities, possibilities for improvement and the innovative ideas, which the employees have (Bertocci, 2009). The ZMI firm enjoys the advantages of both the transactional and the transformational leadership.
Characteristics and traits of effective leaders in ZMI Corporation
Effective leaders are those that are ethical, and are result oriented. A leader is to posses certain traits that will assist the organization to attain the set missions and vision it has. Leaders have to show expertise in whatever they are doing, so as to gain ability to control others into the same path. Despite the numerous traits required by any potential leader, the five top categories, which are evidently found with leaders at ZMI Corporation, will be discussed. The five significant and mandatory characteristics that the leaders at ZMI have includes charisma, competence, skills for team building, honesty and visionary. Of the five categories, the most treasured is the honesty trait, as it affects both the employees and also the consumers of the products from the company (Shaw, 2008).
The leaders of ZMI maintain their honesty for better administration. The leaders are trustworthy, and this has led to assurance to the employees that word from the leaders will surely be fulfilled. The employees always work will positive attitude, as their payments are sure, strategies are straight forward, and biasness is evaded. The leaders of the company hardly…