Leadership can be defined as a trait to motivate and empower others by taking up responsibility of a task and turn a vision into reality (Northouse, 2015). Several leaders all over the world are famous for their own styles. Hitler for his authoritative style, Martin Luther King Jr. for participative style, Warren Buffet for his delegative style are some of the examples (Almodaresi, 2015). Leadership is seen through and through in any business setting and each leader has their own style (Daft, 2014). The report below is an analysis of leadership styles seen in case of Coca-Cola, a century old beverage manufacturing company that has been through many phases in its course of development and has been under the guidance of several leadership styles (Penderghast, 2013). The report highlights three leadership styles that have put the company at the top and gives the examples of the three leaders who have displayed excellent leadership traits and decision making skill (Shetty, 2014).
Bill Gates (Microsoft)
Bill Gates is a businessman investor and computer programmer. He is the co-founder of the Microsoft, which is the world’s largest PC software company. Gates has held various positions in the Microsoft Corporation i.e. chairman, CEO, and chief software architect. He stepped down as CEO in 2000 and created the position of chief software officer. Microsoft brought the personal computer revolution making gates one of the wealthiest people. Through his career in the Microsoft Corporation, Bill gates practiced transformational leadership helping the corporation to stand out as one of the best personal computer software company in the world (Gates).
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Transformational leadership is a type of leadership style where the leader causes a change in individual and social systems (Hawkins). Bill Gates used idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individual consideration to manage the Microsoft Corporation. This paper will seek to analyze the transformational approach that bill Gates practiced.
Bill Gates used idealized influence on his followers thereby gaining trust, loyalty, and respect from the followers; he did this through the application of charismatic vision and behavior. He is known to have created the state of idealized influence by articulating the vision of Microsoft to the staff and explaining how the vision was to be attained in an appealing manner. He leads by example and Acts confidently and optimistically. From laying down the rules and following them, bill gates shared the risks with his followers. Microsoft is considered to one of the best corporations to work in this is because he let the staff have shares in the company. By giving the employees generous stock options, Gates made the employees millionaires in the process.
Gates showed a high level of ethical and moral conduct as a leader of the Microsoft Company. This was demonstrated by the way he handled the staff in a personalized way i.e. by writing employees a thank you notes. His actions emphasized values of transformational leadership; he showed that every employee was outstanding in his capacity by thanking them for every action that they did.
As a leader of the Microsoft Company, bill gates inspired his followers towards new idea and goals. He did this by articulating a clear and appealing view of the future through his quotes. Gates has several inspirational quotes that help his followers to have a clear picture of the future developments in the software business. For instance, he quoted that “success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose”. Here he is motivating the business people not to embrace know that failure is part of winning, and those successful should not believe that they can’t fail at one time in their businesses.
Gates is known to encourage followers to integrate and become part of the organizational culture and environment. He has been quoted to say “if you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.' This quote motivates his followers not to be lazy but try to do the best in everything that they assigned to do. He developed a shared vision in both economic and ideological terms in a manner that his followers would see a meaning in their work. He appreciated even the lazy people by encouraging them. For example, he is quoted to say that he would choose a lazy person to do a job because the lazy person would find an easy way of doing the job.
Bill Gates use transformational leadership to bring change through intellectual stimulation that aims at a self-reflective change of values and beliefs. He developed a climate of intellectual stimulation and nurtured it within the organization. He does this by making his followers think in rational ways and be both creative and innovative. The employees of the Microsoft Corporation are encouraged to come up with new ideas that will help the company to grow. This led to the staff coming up with new applications that were adopted by the Corporation.
Several Microsoft windows apps created by the corporation are as a result of ideas adopted by the staff of the organization. This intellectual stimulation has earned bill gates as one of the leaders practicing transformational leadership.
Bill gates’ approach in transformational leadership includes individual consideration i.e. he treats every follower as an individual rather than as an employee, he takes into consideration every individual’s talents and levels of knowledge, hence deciding on what best suits the individual. This leads to the attainment of high results from the individual.
Gates is known to have interacted with the employees on a personal level i.e. by writing thank you notes whenever an individual did him a favor. He made private notes of congratulations to the employees to boost their self-confidence. Microsoft Corporation also is voted to be the best company to work in; this is because gates ensured that there is a fair distribution of the workload.
Transformational leadership is necessary to change the way in which organizational leadership is to be practiced. In transformational leadership, the leader identifies the need for change, creates a vision to guide the change through inspiration, and he executes the change with the commitment of the followers. Bill gates is a business entrepreneur who is attributed to having practiced transformational leadership during his time as the CEO of the Microsoft Corporation. The success of Microsoft as the leading company in the provision of the software made gates one of the wealthiest people in the world as listed by Forbes. This is due to his genius practice of transformation leadership.
Microsoft corporate culture
Microsoft has often been described by many employees as having a developer centric corporate culture where a lot time and money is spent each year on recruiting young university-trained software developer and keeping them in the company. As an example, while many software companies often place an entry-level software developer in a cubicle desk within a large office space but Microsoft assigns private or semiprivate closed office to every developer. In addition, Microsoft also uses its own latest product in an effort to test them in real life situations and ask off the wall question to get its employees on their feet. From time to time Microsoft organize puzzle hunts to keep their from feeling demotivated. In 2006, Microsoft employees excluding Bill Gates has give $2.5 billion dollars to non-profit organizations worldwide making Microsoft the worldwide top company in per-employee donations.
Martha Stewart (American businesswoman) (autocratic)
Martha Stewart (born Martha Helen Kostyra; August 3, 1941) is an American business magnate, author, magazine publisher, and television personality. As founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, she has gained success through a variety of business ventures, encompassing publishing, broadcasting, merchandising, and electronic commerce. She has written numerous bestselling books and is the publisher of the Martha Stewart Living magazine, while her syndicated talk show, Martha, is broadcast internationally.
Martha pays personalized attention to every detail and remains meticulous and demanding of her staff. Martha follow her autocratic leadership style. She allegedly treats people as a commodity and critics opine she would have not have reached the brink of bankruptcy.
The reason why choosing her because Martha Stewart built her empire with personal attention to every detail. Whether you liked her or not, she was meticulous and demanding. She was also very successful in her endeavors, and in using her autocratic management style.
Martha Stewart has, in a number of ways, helped to bring about a contemporary sense of style that is expressed in the way Americans live, eat, and entertain. Joining the concept of self-help with consumption, Stewart has instructed a mass audience in the lessons of good taste and the values she has cultivated in her own life.
Described as the guru of good taste in American entertaining and the person who has had the biggest impact on the aesthetics of the average suburban American household, Martha Stewart has turned her lifestyle and tastes into a business empire. As a domestic arts expert and lifestyle consultant Martha Stewart has left her stamp on the way America currently views cooking, home decoration, gardening, and entertaining. In the process, Martha Stewart has revolutionized how-to and self-help into a state of mind and a way of life.
Muther kent (CEO/ COCA-COLA) (democratic leader)
Known as a democratic/participative leader, Kent is CEO and chairman of the board at Coca-Cola. He has a reputation for seeking input from others on key decisions. Kent has an inclusive style that reflects his commitment to diversity. The New York-born executive is as committed to improving managerial processes and manufacturing efficiencies as he is to teamwork. He worked his way up the corporate ladder, in part, by doubling Coca-Cola’s bottling operations output. As CEO, Kent built collaborative management teams to address slowing sales growth and tackled challenges from global competitors, reflecting a blend of autocratic and democratic styles.
Leadership at Coca-Cola
The vision of Coca-Cola consists of 6 P’s. People, portfolio, partners, planet, profit, and productivity (Svendsen, 2013). The company believes in a winning culture. It lives in its value of leadership, collaboration, integrity, accountability, passion, diversity, and quality. It believed in focusing on the market to achieve its vision. The employees are expected to act like owners and work smart. Their mission is to refresh the world, inspire moments of optimism and happiness, create value and make a difference. The mission, vision and the culture of the company clearly has been developed over several years working towards progress. The company achievement today is clearly due to the exceptional leadership at Coca-Cola.
It is impossible to survive in a food and beverage market for over a century if the leaders are not aligned to the organizational goals (Golema, 2013). Starting from Asa Griggs Candler to the current CEO Ahmet Muhtar Kent, the company has been led by intellectuals and effective businessmen to become one of the most reputed organization around the world. The leadership style in the organization itself is of a delegative style (Clark, 2013). A quick glance at the organization structure itself shows that the organization believes in need to delegate and rule instead of taking all the responsibilities. Dividing the organization based on the functions and ensuring that all the functions are not under the control of a single entity and using SME’s to work in each functional division is a brilliant strategy and a clear example of delegative leadership.