甲公司成立于2017年，在2017-2018年期间取得了显着进步，并在该公司总经理彭（假名）的领导下取得了出色的财务业绩。然而，从2018年至2019年，甲公司开始面临一系列问题，例如，财务部，酒店部和人事部等部门的几名高级管理人员相继辞职，猎头也将一些有才能的员工介绍给其他公司，这是什么？此外，由于第一方的大量应收帐款，甲公司也遭受了内部财务危机，当时第一方也遇到了财务困境；面对这些挑战，A公司没有现金流，几次濒临破产，在如此巨大的压力下，Dong做出了一系列决定，但是，生存之路非常令人沮丧和不安。在Peng的领导和努力下，A公司终于有了一线希望，并在2019年的破产浪潮中幸存下来，跳出了自己的舒适区。我曾是A公司的实习生，起初我不习惯Peng的领导风格，但是接下来发生的事情给我留下了深刻的印象，并且我衷心地尊重Peng的领导。1. Executive Summary
This Paper analyzes a leader whom the author knows in real life, by observing and analyzing the leaders’ behaviors and the consequent results via OB concepts and theories in the textbook, the author had a deeper understanding of what make an excellent professional leader and what build a sustainable and prosperous company. The concepts and theories used by the author are organization culture, communication, discrimination, the Leader-member Exchange (LMX) Theory, the Charismatic Leadership Theory, transactional leaders and transformational leaders.
2. Scenario description
Holytech is a national famous property service supplier in China, with over 20 branches in different provinces, and one of the branches locates in Xi’an of Shanxi province, here in this case I will name it company A. Company A mainly engages in 4 different business sectors, the first one is to provide property services like safeguard, sanitation, gardening, and infrastructure maintenance etc, the second sector is to sell property and parking lots, the third sector is to operate a local resort hotel, and the fourth sector is to operate local tourism business and specialty sales.
Company A was established in 2017 and during 2017-2018, it achieved a remarkable progress and generated great financial performance under the leadership of Peng (fake name), who is general manager of this company. However, from 2018-2019, company A started to face a series of problems, for instance, several senior managers in departments like financial department, hotel department and HR department resigned successively, some talented employees were also introduced by headhunters to other companies, what’s more, company A also suffered from an inner financial crisis due to a huge account receivable from the first-party, who was also experiencing a financial distress at that time; Facing with these challenges, Company A had no cash flow and was on the brink of bankruptcy for several times, under such great pressure, Dong made a series of decisions, however, the way to survival was very frustrating and uneasy. Under the leadership and hard-work of Peng, Company A finally got a gleam of hope and survived in the bankruptcy tide in 2019 by jumping out of its comfort zone. I was an intern in Company A, and at the beginning, I can’t get used to Peng’s leading style, however, what happened next really impressed me, and I deeply respect Peng’s leadership from the bottom of my heart.
根据教科书，组织文化是一个包含组织共有特征的共同价值观，信念和假设的系统。组织文化的六个主要特征是：适应性，细节导向，结果导向，客户导向，团队导向和诚信（P. 544）。 A公司将其组织文化组合成一首歌，所有员工都需要在上午的会议上一起唱歌。这首歌包含了上述所有特征，除了适应性，这鼓励了员工创新，灵活，敢于冒险和尝试。根据组织文化的四个类别，公司A属于“层次结构”类型，这是一种基于稳定性，员工价值正规化和常规化的文化（第544页）。当我遇到Peng时，我意识到组织文化正好反映了他的管理风格，并且可以确保员工按照他的期望以统一和可预测的方式行事。
当我第一次在办公室见到Peng时，他穿着正式，但看上去有点虚弱，脸色苍白，然后我才知道他是经过胃痛手术后才出院的。他在医院呆了几天，然后尽快回到公司，因为他非常担心公司中的一切。那时，我意识到彭是一个非常负责任的领导人，但另一方面，他也是一个独裁的领导人，因为在他请病假期间，任何人都不应承担全部责任。彭是一个矮胖的外貌人，但他非常聪明，显示出杰出的能力。根据教科书，我们知道总体能力由两种因素组成：智力和身体因素（第60页）。彭（Peng）具有很强的智力能力，他对数字非常敏感，擅长快速准确地进行算术，当我们召开预算会议时，他的计算速度比会计师要快，并且他几乎可以记住财务报告中的所有数字。此外，他擅长归纳和演绎推理，在谈判中，他清晰的逻辑和强硬的措施总是可以帮助他赢得更大的成功。这些才能和才能使他成为员工的榜样，我们所有人都对他的强大能力印象深刻，并信任他的决定。但是，没有人总是可以做出正确的决定，彭（Peng）有点自恋，更喜欢受宠若惊，因此在我们开会时，他花了60％的时间交谈和40％的倾听。这种领导风格造成了沟通障碍，例如过滤和撒谎（第380页），许多想恭维Peng的下属只会报告好消息或操纵信息，因此Peng会更喜欢它。这些障碍将使Peng看不到公司日常运营的真实情况，从而导致Peng做出错误的决定。2. Observations and Analysis
2.1 Organization Culture
Before I entered into the workplace of Company A formally, I was arranged to attend a introduction and orientation training program, which all new employees gather together to receive a military training and learn corporate culture as well as regulations and rules together, the whole team was organized in a militarization management mode, during this training process, everyone should behave according to the strict standards, for example, we have unified dress code, everyone should act cohesively and obey the order given by the commander. We were distributed into four different groups, and our personal contributions or faults will add or loss the total points of a team, and the team with the lowest point will eliminate a member from it, and that means, this employee fails to pass the training program. At first, I was very uncomfortable with this kind of organization culture, I think this kind of culture eliminates group diversity and innovation, and will shape everyone into passive listeners who can only obey orders. However, when I finished the training program and met General Manager Peng, I finally understand why Company A has this kind of organizational culture.
According to the textbook, organization culture is a system which contains shared values, beliefs, and assumptions that characterize the organization. And the six primary characteristics of an organization culture are: adaptability, detail orientation, outcome orientation, customer orientation, team orientation, and Integrity (P. 544). Company A composed its organization culture into a song, and all employees need to sing it together on a morning meeting. This song include all the above mentions characteristics except adaptability, which encourage employees to be innovative, flexible and to take risks and experiment. And according to the four groups of organization culture, Company A belongs to “The Hierarchy” type, which is a kind of culture based on stability and employees value formalization and routine (P.544). When I met Peng, I realized that the organization culture exactly reflects his management style, and it will ensure staffs act in a uniform and predictable way as he expects.
2.2 Communication and discrimination
When I first met with Peng in his office, he dressed formally but looked a bit weak with a pale face, then I got to know he just discharged from the hospital after a stomachache surgery. He stayed in hospital just for a few days and returned back to the company as soon as possible because he was very worried about everything in the company. At that time, I realized that Peng is a very responsible leader, but on the other side, he is also an autocratic leader, because no one can should the overall responsibility during his sick leave. Peng is a plain-looking people with a short figure, but he is extremely intelligent and shows an outstanding ability. According to the textbook, we know the overall abilities are made up of two kinds of factors: intellectual and physical (P. 60). Peng has an very strong intellectual ability, he is very sensitive to figures and is good at doing speedy and accurate arithmetic, when we have meetings on budgets, his calculation is faster that the accountants, and he can remember almost all the figures on financial reports, besides, he is good at inductive and deductive reasoning, during negotiations, his clear logic and tough measures can always help him win the larger pie. Those talents and abilities made him a role model among employees, we all are impressed by his strong abilities and trust his decisions. However, there is no one who can always make right decisions, Peng is a bit of narcissism and prefer to be flattered, so while we have meetings, he spent 60 percent of time talking and 40 percent listening. And this kind of leading style creates communication barriers like filtering and lying (P.380), many subordinates who want to flatter Peng will only report good news or manipulate information so Peng will see it more favorable. These barriers will keep Peng from seeing the true fact of company daily operation, and therefore leads Peng to make wrong decision.
Although Peng is very intelligent, he doesn’t show strong ability in emotional intelligence. He is a bit of hot-tempered when treating subordinates’ mistakes, and my colleagues always make a joke that you will not be a true employee of Company A unless you are blamed by Peng and burst into tears. According to my observation, Peng is easily to lose temper in front of his close followers and on inner meetings if subordinates failed to fulfill his expectations. According to the textbook, good emotion environment and moods can foster effective decision making, creativity, and motivation in employees, and leaders should also provide positive feedback to increase positiveness of employees (P.107). Therefore, Peng’s negative emotions can thus explain the depressed atmosphere and lack of innovation on meetings. China is a high-context culture, where context influences the meaning individuals take from communication (P.381), and Company A is a typical example of high-context culture, when Peng communicates with others, he will not directly give orders or suggestions, so the subordinates need to analyze his meaning by his nonverbal languages such as expressions, intonation, body language, this created many barriers in communication, people need to guess what he really means and when they guessed wrong, their actions would deviate from Peng’s true intention and therefore be criticized by Peng, so the vicious cycle started-fewer and fewer people would give suggestions honestly. Peng like to play jokes on subordinates, but he may don’t know the jokes he played actually are another form of discrimination, according to the textbook, we know discrimination is often very harmful for employees in workplaces (P.49), however, he seems like to give nicknames which sound insulting or mocking to staffs, or make fun of others figures and appearances. And when we have meetings, he often interrupt others report in a rude way, and the ambience suddenly become very depressed. It feels like we are having a trial on court instead of have a discussion. The above mentioned behavior can be classified into two types of discrimination, and they are “Mockery and insults” and “incivility”, Peng’s outstanding intelligence brought him not only wisdom in making decision, but also brought him arrogance and narcissism to discriminate others, and therefore widen the communication gap and power-distance in Company A.
教科书将领导力定义为影响团队实现愿景或目标的能力（第394页）。根据这一定义，彭是一个有影响力的领导者，在他的明智领导和努力下，这是一个新成立的分支机构公司在短短一年内就扎根于一个陌生的城市，并取得了丰硕的收入。他还聚集了一小群追随者，他们有一个微信小组，主要由主要部门经理组成。在这一小组中，当Peng发出命令或询问有关项目的问题时，他们随时可以进行正式和非正式的聊天。负责人会立即做出答复，在其他时间，他们会互相开玩笑或在群聊中分享文章或图片，当小组成员的生日到来时，他们会一起向那个幸运的人发送生日红包。在那小组中，每个人似乎都被一条看不见的领带，利益共享和友谊联系在一起。教科书指出，这就是“领导者交流（LMX）理论”，该理论认为，由于时间压力，领导者与一小部分追随者建立了特殊的关系。这些人组成了小组，他们受到信任，而领导者的注意力不成比例，并且更有可能获得特殊特权（第401页）。小组中的那些成员与彭具有相同的态度，个性，并且他们的关系以帮助，信任和高度互动来体现（P.401）。小组成员通过经常向小组报告项目进展情况，帮助Peng减轻了很多负担和压力。3.3 The Leader-member Exchange (LMX) Theory
The textbook defined leadership as the ability to influence a group toward the achievement of a vision or set of goals (P.394) According to this definition, Peng is an influential leader, under his wise leadership and hard-work, a newly established branch company took root in a unfamiliar city within only 1 year and achieved a fruitful revenue. And he also gathered a small group of followers, they have a Wechat group which are mainly consisted of major department managers, in this group, they have formal and informal chat at any time, when Peng gives orders or ask questions about a project, the person in charge will give instant replies, at other times, they will make jokes on each other or share articles or pictures within the group chat, when a group member’s birthday comes, they will send a birthday red packet together to that lucky man. In that small group, everyone seems to be bond together by a invisible tie, a tie of shared-interests and friendship. The textbook points out that this is the “Leader-member exchange (LMX) theory”, which argues that, because of time pressures, leaders establish a special relationship with a small group of their followers. These individuals make up the in-group—they are trusted, get a disproportionate amount of the leader’s attention, and are more likely to receive special privileges (P.401). Those member within the group shares the same attitude, personality with Peng, and their relationship is figured by helpfulness, trust and high interactions (P.401). And the group members help Peng released his burdens and pressures a lot by reporting the project progress to him frequently within the group.
魅力型领导理论依赖于领导者激发追随者相信他们的能力（第406页）。尽管彭有魅力型领导者的某些特征，但由于他是一个交易型领导者而未能激发追随者，因此他仍然不能成为魅力型领导者。3.4 The Charismatic Leadership Theory
According to the Charismatic Leadership Theory, a charismatic leader is the one who has both broad vision and articulation, he would like to take personal risks to achieve the broader company vision, and behave in a unconventional way, and most importantly, he is sensitive to follower needs (P.404).
To some extent, Peng has some trait of a charismatic leader, and he is worshiped by many loyal employees. Every year he will chair the Annual Operation Analysis Meeting, on which the annual target will be set. He is good at figures and can always set a clear vision by giving different departments different revenue targets. He is always the first to take risks and challenges, for example, once the headquarter called for all managers from branch companies to invest in a new project, actually, it is a form of compulsory inside financing to retain and stabilize the management team, so other managers are reluctant to do that, at this time, Peng become the first investor and called for others to invest and said he is confident about the project that it will make revenue years later. Another example of Peng taking risks touched me a lot, it is when the company was facing economic problems and cannot pay salary to workers, Peng spend his own money to pay the salary of that month and tried everything to overcome the difficulties, he is really a tough man with tough measures.
In company A, a large number of employees are those who work at the front line, including some middle-aged and elderly people who provide sanitary services for the community, most of them come from poor families and live a very hard life, Peng also comes from a poor mountain village and is sensitive to what these front line workers need, so he cares about them a lot by have meetings with them, listening to their suggestions and complaints, offering them sufficient supports like food, accommodation, welfare, and most importantly, respect. He never discriminate the front line workers, and we seldom see him losing temper in front of them, in stead, he always replies them with humble smile and a slight nod when come across with them in daily work, even when company A was in its financial crisis, Peng used tough measures to make sure the front line worker are get paid on time, so they appreciate and support Peng a lot, and choose to stand with the company regardless of its financial problems. Peng is also very wise and innovative, he can always think about innovative ideas to make money with the lowest costs.
Charismatic leadership theory relies on leaders’ ability to inspire followers to believe in them (P. 406), Although Peng has some traits of charismatic leader, he still cannot be as a charismatic leader because he is a transactional leader and failed to inspire followers.
A公司中愿意承担责任，做出努力和取得成就的任何人都会获得成就和晋升，我听说有一个案例，由于他在工作场所的积极性和贡献，在短短1年内有一名新员工成为项目经理。 Peng还异常地管理着公司，他向跟随者下达命令，下属只需要执行它们，但是一旦他们犯了错误，他们就会被纠正或批评。我经常听到他抱怨他太累又太忙。我认为这是因为他还没有学会成为变革型领导者，如果他试图下放权力并激励下属，对雇员进行个体对待，他可能不会感到压力和疲倦，因为他已经培训了一支合格的经理团队谁可以分担责任并为他解决问题。3.5 Transactional leaders and transformational leaders
Transactional leaders guide followers toward established goals by clarifying role and task requirements, while transformational leaders inspire followers to transcend their self-interests for the good of the organization (P.406). In this sense, Peng is a transactional leader.
Anyone in Company A who is willing to shoulder responsibility and make efforts and make achievements will receive accomplishments and promotion, I heard a case which a new stuff became a project manager within just 1 year due to his proactivity and contribution in workplace. Peng also manages the company by exception, he give orders to followers, and the subordinates just need to execute them, but once they make mistakes, they will be corrected or criticized. I often heard him complaining that he was too tired and too busy. I think this is because he haven’t learn to be a transformational leader, if he tries to delegate his power and inspire subordinates, treats employees individually, the he might not feel that stressful and tired, because he has trained a team of qualified managers who can share responsibilities and solve problems for him.
Just like most of the leaders, Peng is not the perfect one. He is intelligent, diligent, responsible, assertive, target-oriented, but he is not quite people-oriented. All this traits points out that he is a transactional leader instead of a transformational leader. However, confronted with big pressure and brain drain from the management team, he started to tap the overseas market and signed hotel management contracts with several 5-star hotels and brought Company A back to life, his indomitable spirit inspired all of us and won respect of every employee, including me.
So what is leadership? I think a leader might not be perfect in every aspect, but he must have some outstanding traits that could convince people to listen to his leading. Leadership is to lead a group of people to reach the target regardless of numberless difficulties and obstacles, and the leader is the one who take most responsibility, most risks, and most sufferings.
After learning this course, I got a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of what shape a good leader and what build an effective company, and how to be a qualified employee in the work place. The following are my key findings.
People are not born to be leaders, they can be trained. When we talk about leadership, there will always be some people saying leadership are a kind of talent, some people have, while some don’t. However, after leaning this course, I learned that leadership is a kind of skill, and it can be captured by specific training. So don’t easily say “I am not suitable to be a leader, because I don’t have that charismatic leadership”, this will only let great opportunities slip away. So, we need to train ourselves in different aspects consciously, and we can be excellent leaders if we know what compose a good leader.
First, we should know the work of a leader, it is can be categorized into four different activities: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling (P.6). Planing means to define a company’s goals, and establish an overall strategy for achieving that goal, and develop a comprehensive set of plans to integrate and coordinate activities. Organizing means to determine what tasks are to be done, who is to do them, how the tasks are to be grouped, who reports to whom, and where decisions are to be made. Leading means to motivate employees, direct their activities, select the most communication channels, or resolve conflicts. Controlling means that the manager should monitor the organization’s performance and compare it with previously set goals. If there are any significant deviations, then the manager should get the organization back on track (P.6).
Not all managers are leaders. As the competition in workplace is becoming increasingly fierce. The demand for managers also become even more stricter. They can’t only succeed on their technical skills alone. They also have to exhibit good people skills (P.6). They should be intelligent so as to make right decisions and anticipations, they also need a healthy body to support them keep working despite huge pressure and workload. These belong to the intellectual ability and physical ability. What’s more important is the emotional ability, for example, managers who want to be a good leader should respect culture diversity and treat all employees without discrimination; Managers should also try to improve followers job satisfaction by providing them good job conditions, adequate pay and welfare, right corporate culture and taking social responsibilities voluntarily; Managers should be good at regulate their emotions and don’t easily lose temper when get angry; Managers should also know how to motivate employees by using rewards, benefits and most importantly, by using intrinsic rewards. Most of leaders have high intellectual abilities, and they are more likely to be a transactional leader, however, a perfect leader should have the traits of the transformational leadership model, are best able to motivate followers to perform above expectations and transcend their self-interest for the sake of the organization.
Leadership is not only a skill, it is a kind of science as well as art. It is possible for everyone to become a great leader if they train themselves consciously, and the training will be a long way of accumulating experiences from mistakes and challenges.
Stephen P.Robbins, Timothy A. Judge, Organizational Behavior (18th edition), Pearson Publishing House