Identify a leader that you would like to interview. The intention of this assignment is to describe leadership skills, ethics, and communication which impact motivation and improve ethical performance.
Create five to seven (5-7) questions to ask your chosen leader to determine his / her views of motivation, ethical leadership and performance. Then, conduct the interview based on your selected questions.
HINT: The following are some examples of questions. Feel free to select them from here. However, we urge you to revise your Assignment 2 for some ideas of what you would like to know from an experienced leader.
How would you define leadership?
As a leader, what do you do when people on your team aren’t pulling their weight?
What is one of the greatest leadership challenges you have ever faced? What did you do? What was the result?
How would you describe your communication style?
Describe a situation in which effective interpersonal communication skills contributed to your success.
Describe your personal actions by which you convey to your staff that ethics/ethical behavior is a high priority with you and that you also expect it to be a high priority with your staff.
Related to the previous question, describe how your personal actions (demonstrating ethics is a priority) have impacted your staff and/or colleagues.
Describe a situation where you recognized a need to communicate clear expectations for ethical practice. How did you recognize that expectations had to be clarified? What did you do or say to clarify the expectations?
Analyze the leadership, motivation, and ethical values of the leader interviewed and assess its impact in the ethical performance of the organization.
HINT: You should summarize the answers that you gathered in your interview. Thereafter, you should compare and contrast his / her point of view about leadership with your own perception of it.
Effective leadership is a recipe for success in any organization. The relationship that exists between the management and the employees determines the nature of the workplace (Naile & Selesho, 2014). Managers who are team leaders create a more conducive environment that promotes employee motivation, improving productivity. On the other hand, authoritative leaders create a more tensed working environment that does not appreciate the views of the employees towards achieving the desired objectives (Mihelic, Lipičnik, & Tekavoc, 2010). An interview with Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple provides a better understanding of the leadership skills that successful leaders have, and the role played by leaders towards achieving employee motivation and ethical behaviors.
Me: How would you define leadership?
Tim: I believe that leadership is the willingness and commitment towards leading others to achieve the common objective by providing a positive influence. Every individual in a team has a role to play and providing them the freedom to contribute towards success is what I have noted to be effective leadership.
Me: What Leadership Skills have contributed towards your success?
Tim: leaders are faced with various challenges in their day to day activities. However, I believe what defines a leader is the ability to take risks. People fear to take risks due to the fear of failure, but the fact remains that without a possibility of failure, there can never be a success. The other important aspect is the need to be a good listener. By listening attentively to those around you, you learn new ideas that are resourceful towards success. Lastly, trusting others is a key attribute that a successful leader should possess. It is important to appreciate the fact that as a leader, it is not necessary that you know everything, and the people under you may be better than you.
Me: As a leader, what do you do when people on your team are not pulling their weight?
Tim: Leadership plays an essential role in determining the work behavior of an employee. When employees are not giving their best, the chances are that they are not motivated. In such a situation, I work towards integrating an individual’s personal goals with organizational goals, which can be possible through effective communication that builds healthy relationships and creates an open environment for sharing ideas. When the employees feel appreciated, they work towards achieving the desired objectives.
Me: How would you describe your communication style?
Tim: Most people say that I am excessively quiet, but I would say that I am a good listener, capable of giving everybody an ear regardless of their stature in and out of the company. It is through listening that I get to make informed decisions about a situation at hand. Since I am a good listener, employees feel at ease to share their ideas, an aspect that is essential towards their motivation. I thereby talk when I have enough information, a reason that I attribute to my success, especially in tough situations.
Me: Describe your actions by which you convey to your staff that ethics/ethical behavior is a high priority for you and that you also expect it to be a top priority for your employees.
Tim: While most companies would seek to exaggerate on what they offer to attract customers, I believe in doing the right thing and providing products that solve the needs of the customers, hence attracting them towards our products. Ethical behavior to me can be simply summarized as leaving things better than you found them, something that I tell my employees every time. I support ideas that protect customer needs, the environment and employee expectations. By doing the right thing at all times, I expect my employees to follow suit. To ensure that ethical behavior is part of the company’s culture, we have defined the expectations of each member in the company code of conduct.
Me: What is one of the greatest leadership challenges you have ever faced? What did you do? What was the result?
Tim: I encounter new challenges each day, but I would say one of the problems that I recall well is when the Indian government rejected our application to sell refurbished iPhones in the country. I knew that the Indian market was a dynamic and fast-growing market that would have been a significant breakthrough. To increase the chances of entering the Indian market, I visited the country where we had a discussion with the government officials who maintained their stand. Since the market was promising, I made the decision to discount the first handsets, making them appear as cheap. The decision paid out as over two million iPhones were sold in 2015.
From the interview, it is evident that effective leadership is about guiding others towards achieving organizational goals. Successful leaders are risk takers and also good listeners, who are ready to give an opportunity to all employees in contributing to company growth through idea sharing. Employees who fail to give out all their efforts towards achieving set targets are likely to be less motivated. Building strong relationships through communication helps them feel appreciated and motivated towards performing as expected (Naile & Selesho, 2014). Ethical behaviors are what defines a company, and they should not be compromised at all times (Mihelic, Lipičnik, & Tekavoc, 2010). Although I agree with Tim in matters to do with leadership, motivation, and ethics, I believe that he is not right as far as communication is concerned. Employees depend on leaders for direction, which can only be effective through continuous and efficient communication. Being a good listener and staying calm in tough situations undermines leadership.
Mihelic, K. K., Lipičnik, B., & Tekavoc, M. (2010). Ethical Leadership. International Journal of Management & Information System , 31-43.
Naile, I., & Selesho, J. M. (2014). The Role of Leadership in Employee Motivation . Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences , 175-183.