Stark (2004) discussed the transformational elements present in the state of leadership in his article. This article attempted to strike a balance by understanding leadership as more of a state of mind than a state of action. Five major conclusions were highlighted in this reading. The first suggests that strong and positive organizations are direct reflections of the collective state of the workers of that organization. The next suggests that leadership is not related to power and is a state of being. The third conclusion the author discussed that the fundamental state of leadership is results driven. The fourth conclusion mandated that leaders need to experience deep and serious change to enter a state of fundamental leadership. The fifth conclusion suggested that change is contingent upon the leadership's ability to accept and engage in change.
Lawler & n Golden's (2003) article embraced the idea of organizational change by developing a Built to Change (B2change) model that consist of three processes that help to identify an organization's true character and constituency. These authors suggested that orchestrating, or the manner in which an organization conducts its business is the most important aspect of this model. The B2change model is implemented in three phases and aligns the strategic outlook of an organization of firm with an appropriate leadership design. The endgame of the model is to create a virtuous spiral which " exists when everything comes together in such a way that critical configuration and dynamic alignment equally coexist for extended periods of time." Competitive advantage is promised if this model is properly applied in a balanced and deliberate manner. One disadvantage of the B2change model is that organizations are often changing too fast for this model to be applied in any reasonable manner.
Van Fleet & Van Fleet (2007) offered an explanation for the role of the boss in the workplace while highlighting ways to avoid sustaining a poor relationship with a supervisor or boss. The article is helpful because it demonstrated how and why all jobs are not tailor made for each individual. Both bosses and workers can both hold negative characteristics and it is up to the individual to decide if this relationship is beneficial for either person and the organization itself.
Reardon (2005) presented a rather bleak picture of the political nature of the workplace. The article is essentially a playbook on how to play the political game at workplace while defending the validity and effectiveness of this approach. Deception and wit are required to play this game according to the article and one must be aware of the political power structures that will inevitably exist at work.
Gigerenzer (2007) appealed to the more subtle forms of intelligence in his article to help reveal how intuition can assist people in their workplace lives. The unconscious mind is discussed as a reserve power that can greatly affect how one thinks and acts. Logic is dismissed as a sole beacon for guidance and gut feelings should replace this outdated mode of action according to this author.
Lennick & Kiel (2005) wrote that moral intelligence is one of the most important, yet overlooked aspect of workplace management. The article is premised on the idea that there is a universal right and wrong as we are born with these instincts. An alignment model is presented to demonstrate how one would match upon their actions with this dogmatic idea.
Kidder (2009) wrote about how a dearth in ethical behavior at the workplace is the root of many of the problems we are facing today. The idea that the ethical behavior is countercyclical to the economy reflected this author's principles of a call for ethical reform and creating a culture of integrity and honesty that is lacking in many areas of our environment. The author called for a revolution to turn towards ethical behavior as its main principle.
George (2003) suggested in his article that authentic leadership "involves those actions taken by people of high integrity who are committed to building enduring organizations relying on morality and character, " (p.226). He suggested that a model that is based on a mission-driven principle would best authenticate one's leadership position in an organization. Balance and self-discipline are offered as means to attain an authentic leadership style that would provide a whole and true picture of that organization.
Part 2: Application
To properly apply the aforementioned concepts and principles to my workplace organization is important to first give some information about my employer. I work for Lifeline in Ft. Wayne, IN helping to instill lasting change in many troubled youths and their family structures. Lifeline works closely with Child Protective Services, probation departments and other local law enforcement entities to provide family counseling services to these troubled youths and their loved ones.
Lifeline is an non-profit organization employing nearly 250 people. The company is guided by a Board of Directors that influences the methods, practices and ethical climate of our organization. Lifeline has several different services all dealing with some specific aspect of the troubled family which is headed by a director in charge of that specific program. I specialize in case management and am witness to many of the key aspects brought out in the assigned readings.
The readings themselves all are generalized and can be applied to most organizations including Lifeline. Even though the organization is a non-profit and competitive advantage is not relevant, leadership and organizational management theories still very much apply. As Lifeline is a stalwart supporter of the lasting effects of positive change and many of the suggestions in the readings reverberate with our message.
Our organization, like any other, often experiences leadership problems and mistakes are common. The general theme of the readings suggested that improvement should always be considered and my workplace is no different. Sustaining organizational change is very important to our work environment and is obviously necessary to implement them with prudence, foresight and wisdom if possible.
The ideas of moral intelligence and ethical approaches are also very applicable to Lifeline as it would be to most agencies of our nature. The unique position of intervening within the family life is a very sensitive and touchy issue for many within the community and it is important that our organization is aware of our ethical and moral approach and how it is or is not aligned with the overall organizational strategy as dictated by the Board of Directors.
The aforementioned readings all regard leadership as a key ingredient to organizational success and Lifeline is once again no exception despite its non-profit status. It is important that leadership qualities are reflective of our community and government as opposed to simply just a profit making corporation. In many ways, leadership is that much more important at Lifeline because the monetary element is not present and we are essentially working for a non-tangible and subtle principle of harmony and peace within the community. Healing these young people and their families cannot be approached with a money-making attitude as this is not our goal. A strong leadership approach is therefore necessary and imperative in order to fully convince others of our purpose and meaning.
Although Lifeline does have some bad bosses and bad workers in the organization, the impact of lasting change can alter these behaviors and produce a conformed effort that epitomizes the essence of leadership and guidance. We are lucky at Lifeline however because, in my opinion, most of the leadership is authentic and comes from a deep and caring place that transcends the notions of selfishness, attachment and stagnation.
Part 3: Comparison
Gigerenzer's article which discussed the unconscious mind's contribution to effective leadership is very appropriate within the culture of Lifeline. His main point suggested that sometimes information and data come from a place that is not intellectual and, at face value, may seem over-emotional or irrational. This approach is very necessary when dealing with the troubled youths we encounter on a daily basis.
Human beings are not machines and we should treat them as such. Intuition, gut feelings and unconscious intelligence, while difficult to quantify, do very much indeed produce successful and harmonious results at Lifeline. It is this human gift and instinct to look beyond what's at face value to truly isolate the causes of the problems.
George's (2003) writing articulating the components of authentic leadership also apply at Lifeline. He declared that "a leader's authenticity is based not only on differentiating right and wrong (the classic "moral compass") but also on a leadership style that follows qualities of your heart and mind (passion and compassion) as well as by your intellectual capacity." This holistic approach is unquestionably necessary at Lifeline where balance is a key to success. Spiritual and religious aspects of our work cannot be ignored as this important factor in humanity needs to be used in many cases to help heal and encourage our troubled youths.
Many of the youths and their families are very "street smart" and can often see…