Part One – Understand the role of the leader and leadership styles and behaviours in supporting and developing the team and its members and providing a common sense of purpose.
AC 1.1 – Explain the importance of the team having a common sense of purpose that supports the overall vision and strategy of the organisation.
A common sense of purpose is vital for the unity of the team and consequently effective and efficient delivery of the strategy. To fully appreciate the importance of this unity it is first necessary to define what is meant be vision and strategy and highlight the place of the day to day tasks, the team carries out, in achieving this. Figure 1 is an example of a strategy pyramid showing the hierarchical structure of the various facets required to efficiently execute the vision. The tiers can be defined as follows;
MISSION – The mission can be thought of as the fundamental principle of the business i.e. why we are here. In the case of PBL, the mission statement is to protect patients’ health through the quality-assured development and manufacture of biopharmaceuticals whilst maximising revenues through worldwide sales.
VISION – The vision is a picture of a desired future that supports the mission, or an image of the future we seek to create. It is a specific destination that is concrete and achievable CITATION Kon18 l 2057 1.
VALUES – These are the altruistic ideals of how the company operates and will not be compromised for short term benefits. Examples of values of PBL include integrity and respect.
STRATEGY – Specific set of long term plans and broad principles of how to obtain the vision.
OBJECTIVES – Objectives are the measurable deliverables of the strategy and clearly map out the individual streams that are required to deliver each goal. It is important that objectives are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
IMPLEMENTATION PLAN – Is the minutiae of each objective and breaks these down into the specific tasks.
EXECUTION – Is the actioning of the implementation plans.
The requirement for the understanding of these facets, within the organisation, is of paramount importance to getting the necessary engagement and commitment off the teams to drives these goals to fruition. The executive is typically responsible for the higher levels statements and philosophies of the organisation and must take the responsibility to ensure that that the vision is cascaded throughout the company. The highlighted tiers are those that can be affected in a more local environment and is managed through day to day interactions and annual review type systems. As with any hierarchical structure the top levels cannot be reached without first establishing the foundation on which to build, in this case the vision will not be realised without those people “on the ground” having an appreciation and engagement of said vision.
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1: Strategy Pyramid adapted from ILM Course material CITATION Uni l 2057 266675014528800
The formation of a harmonious sense of purpose, and engagement with the corporate vision, can have vast implications on the working environment and delivery of the strategy. Some of the key positives that can arise from a shared purpose are;
Teams become united in their goals and work towards the commonality
Increased motivation of employees as they can clearly identify how their roles fit with the wider organisation and objective delivery.
Increases the feeling of loyalty and commitment to the company and team.
Helps to break down boundaries and promote cross functional working
Allows the organisation to share the success across both teams and individuals.
The embracing of this common purpose can also have a significant benefit to the external stakeholders and customers. The observation of a unified workforce will serve to enhance the brand and build confidence and trust in the brand.
AC 1.2 – Explain the role that the leader plays in supporting and developing the team and its members and give practical examples of when this will be necessary.
In my opinion, the supporting and developing of team members is the fundamental principle of leadership. The leader is the person that sets the tone for the entire team and consequently has the influence to destroy morale or encourage and engage. It is this tone setting that enables an effective leader to “sell” the vision to their team and create the common sense of purpose that is critical to performance. By championing the purpose the leader can be seen as the link between the corporate strategy and the local objectives. Whilst driving for this vision it is also vital that the leader recognises the individuality of their team and the personal aspirations and personalities. If employees have scope to develop and opportunities to learn new skills this can have a positive effect on the overall productivity of the team. By aligning these, sometimes conflicting, pathways an effective leader is able to synergise the teams’ skillset and still provide opportunities for personal growth and challenges for keeping individuals motivated.
In my leadership role I have encountered numerous scenarios where the desire of my team member, on a personal level, has not aligned with that of the team. I have had staff members that were actively seeking opportunities in a different department as that is where they felt their career would be best served. I then took the time to listen to the motivation factors of the team member and evaluated if there was any way I could aid in this pathway. I subsequently arranged training courses in the basic fundamentals of the new area, and highlighted how these new skills could actually be implemented in her current role, thus realigning the personal and team objectives. As a requisite of this course the employee was required to incorporate this learning into her current project, this has not only increased the employees’ morale but has led to and increased productivity in her current work.
Another key area of leadership is supporting team members through challenges that may not be as straight forward as a career change, but could be highly personal in nature. As much as we would all like to “leave our problems at the door” it is important to realise that external factors often affect performance as much as internal. According to Goleman good leaders are effective because they create resonance and are attuned to other people’s feelings and emotional state. Resonance comes naturally to people with high emotional intelligence CITATION Gol02 l 2057 3. The ability to move people to a more positive mental/emotional state will serve to have a positive effect on the team as a whole.
AC 1.3 – Describe the factors that will influence the choice of leadership styles or behaviours in workplace situations.
There is no “one size fits all approach” to leadership and consequently many different styles are required. Numerous factors can, and invariably do, influence the choice of leadership style in any given situation.
The task based factors can be a significant influence on the choice of style as if the task is tightly controlled i.e GMP manufacture a more autocratic style could be required. Conversely, in a research environment which promotes creativity, a more laissez faire approach might harbour the best results.
Relationship with the team member will also play a part in the adoption of a particular style. This can be thought of in terms of support & direction considered against maturity and competency. If a team member is mature and competent then a delegating style would work best. However, if the team member is a new starter then a more directive approach is required CITATION Uni l 2057 2.
Follower readiness and willingness, in its extremes can be described by the X and Y theory proposed by Douglas McGregor CITATION McG60 l 2057 4. This theory categorises leaders as either X – Authoritarian and assumes that their staff have no incentive to work, need direction and avoid responsibility. Theory Y leaders are parcipitative and assume that staff enjoy work, are self-motivated and take ownership of it. A team member who does not appear engaged could bias the leadership style towards the X type, with the converse true for a highly motivated team member.
AC1.4 Explain why these leadership styles or behaviours are likely to have a positive or negative effect on individual and group behaviour.
An effective leader is one who can recognise the requirement of a different style in response to a given scenario and personnel. Given that there numerous styles it is also true that all these styles can have positive and negative effects based upon the situation and people involved. Goleman theorised that there were 6 leadership styles which are summarised in REF _Ref518050216 h Table 1 and highlighted the probable effect on the climate within the team when utilising that particular style.
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 1: Goleman’s six leadership styles CITATION Uni l 2057 2Visionary Coaching Affiliative Democratic Pacesetting Commanding
Leader Characteristics Mobilises people towards a vision. Inspires belief in that vision, explains how and why. Listens, helps people recognise strength and weaknesses, encourages improvement. Creates harmony and builds emotional bonds, empathetic and morale boosting Superb listener, team worker, collaborator. Gains consensus through participation Sets high performance standards, low on empathy and impatient. Controlling, demands immediate compliance, “Do as I say”, drives away talent.
How style builds resonance Moves people towards a common goal Connects what the individual wants with the company goals Creates harmony between people Values peoples input and gains consensus Meets challenging and exciting goals Soothes fear by giving clear direction.
Impact on Climate +++ ++ + + Often –ve when used poorly Often very negative
When style works best. When changes require a new vision or direction To improve competent and motivated employees. To heal rifts and motivate during stressful times. To build buy in or get input from team. To get high quality results from competent and motivated team Crisis Management or to deal with problematic employees.
It is immediately seen that, generally speaking, the more positive impact styles are those that encourage and garner input from the employee. However the leadership model proposed by Hersey and Blanchard (summarised in REF _Ref518051596 h Figure 2) says that an empowering/delagating style would actually have a detrimental effect on an employee if that person is of low maturity and competence. In this instance they suggest a more commanding/directing approach.
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 2: Summary of Hersey and Blanchard Leadership Model CITATION Mul12 l 2057 5
It immediately becomes clear that the ability to select the appropriate tact is critical to obtaining a positive outcome to any given scenario. In general the main leadership styles can be summarised into three levels depending on the input from the staff in the decision making/goal setting process.
An authoritarian/commanding/directing leader does not ask for, nor value, input from the team and has little regard for feelings of those around them. They are often the source of conflict and do not usually foster an environment where the team feels devalued and unimportant. However this style of leadership comes to the fore when in a crisis situation or emergency, decisions are made quickly, as they do not require consultation and emit a sense of confidence in a panicked situation.
Delegating/Coaching/Laissez Faire leadership can work very effectively when you are dealing with a highly competent and motivated team. The staff can feel trusted and valued as they are afforded the opportunities to direct their own work and feel they can influence the culture. However this style can have negative impacts when things start to go awry and the staff can feel isolated and lost. This style does not typically work well with new starters.
Democratic/Affiliative/Supporting leaders generally empower their staff and offer support when required. The team feels valued as their opinions are always welcomed, even required, which requires a high degree of emotional intelligence. The drawbacks to this style are that no decisions are made without consensus and the leader must be aware of the competence levels of those that they are seeking input from.
Part Two – Understand the role of the leader in motivating and communicating in order to gain commitment to objectives and establish a common sense of purpose.
AC 2.1 – Describe the main motivational factors in a work context and how these may apply to different situations, teams and individuals.
Factors that motivate people are unique and subjective, what really interests and stimulates one person to perform can have the opposite effect in the next person, even if on the same team. Motivational factors can be broadly considered as two categories, namely intrinsic or extrinsic CITATION Lin07 l 2057 6. The latter focuses on the goal-driven reasons, e.g. rewards or benefits earned when performing an activity. Typical extrinsic factors can be incremental pay increases for members of the team that perform well at annual review; team bonuses for completing projects or targets. The former indicates the pleasure and inherent satisfaction derived from a specific activity in other words intrinsic motivation is defined as the doing of an activity for its inherent satisfactions rather than for some separable consequence CITATION Rya00 l 2057 7. Ryan and Deci have summarised the taxonomy of human motivational factors, as shown in REF _Ref518067304 h Figure 3, and highlighted that this is not necessarily two distinct factors but more of a spectrum and as such it is crucial to understand the individual to truly ascertain their motivational factors.
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 3: Taxonomy of Human Motivation taken from CITATION Rya00 l 2057 7
During discussion with colleagues numerous factors were discussed and are collated in REF _Ref518068120 h Table 2 and highlight the effect of that particular factor to an individual or team. It is important to note that as with leadership styles the motivational triggers can also change with time and as such effective leaders need to be in tune to their teams and individuals.
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 2: Summary of some motivational factors discussed during our sessions
Motivational Factor Intrinsic/Extrinsic Individual Team
Financial Extrinsic Can increase feeling of security, tangible reward for job well done. If people know that their performance could negatively impact others then they are more likely to step up.
Progression Extrinsic Promotions increase self-esteem which in turn can increase motivation to continue progression Could encourage others if they see the possibilities for progression based on performance.
Praise/Acknowledgment Extrinsic Emotional reward for performance. Feels good to be recognised for your efforts
Altruism Intrinsic Feeling of importance, that the work you do matters
Learning Intrinsic Continual self-development leads to increased confidence which can breed motivation. Group learning can have a synergistic effect by forming relationships that strengthen unity on top of the individual learning.
AC2.2 Explain the importance of a leader being able to motivate teams and individuals and gain their commitment to objectives.
It has already been established how important
AC2.3 Explain the role that communication plays in establishing a common sense of purpose.
AC2.4 Assess the effectiveness of own communication skills on the basis of the above.
Part Three – Be able to use feedback from others to assess and enhance own leadership behaviours and potential in the context of a particular model of leadership.
AC 3.1 – Assess own leadership behaviours and potential in the context of a particular leadership model and own organisation’s working practices and culture, using feedback from others.
AC3.2 – Describe appropriate actions to enhance own leadership behaviour in the context of the particular leadership model.
1 Konrad, “Blue Summit Strategy,” Online. Available: http://bluesummitstrategy.com/strategy/mission-vs-vision/2007/. Accessed 12 June 2018.
2 U. o. S. Wales, “ILM Level 3 – Leadership and Management,” Cardiff.
3 D. e. a. Goleman, Primal Leadership, Harvard Business Review Press, 2002.
4 D. McGregor, The Human Side Of Enterprise, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1960.