Premium Essay

What Leaders Really Do

In: Business and Management

Submitted By
Words 1152
Pages 5
What Leaders Really Do In the article Four Seasons Goes to Paris we learned about the ins and outs of Four Seasons’ transition into a market they were not in until 1999. The transition was extremely smooth and, as the article showed, that was due in large part to their rock solid approach to international growth. While it didn’t hurt that Four Seasons was already the world’s leading operator of luxury hotels and that their revenues increased at a compound rate of 22.6% per year from 1996-2000 (Hallowell, Bowen, & Knoop, 2003), for a company as deeply committed to customer service as they are, the real success of the Paris venture would not have been possible without their exceptional leadership and human resource management. Former Harvard Business professor John P. Kotter has done extensive research in the field of organizational change and development. His article What Leaders Really Do examines the role of leadership and human resource management in the transitions of an organization, which closely relate to the challenges that Four Seasons faced.
Introduction
Kotter promoted the theory that management and leadership are different but complementary and that, in a changing world, one cannot function without the other. While each have their own functions and specific activities, in an increasingly complex and volatile business environment, they are both necessary for success. He found that US corporations tend to be overmanaged and underled and that successful corporations aren’t waiting for leaders to come along, they are actively seeking out people with leadership potential and exposing them to career experiences that are designed to develop that potential (Kotter, 1990). Kotter said that smart companies value both strong leaders who are not strong managers, and strong managers who are not strong leaders. Four Seasons not only differentiated between...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

What Leaders Really Do

...BEST OF HBR 1990 What Leaders Really Do They don't make plans; they The article reprinted here stands on its don't solve problems; they own, ofcourse, but it can also be seen don't even organize people. as a crucial contribution to a debate that What leaders really do is began in 1977. when Harvard Business prepare organizations for School professor Abraham Zaleznik change and help them cope published an HBR article with the as they struggle through it deceptively mild title "Managers and Leaders: Are They Different?" The piece caused an uproar in business schools. It argued that the theoreticians of scientific management, with their organizational diagrams and time-and-motion studies, were missing half the picture-the half filled with inspiration, vision, and the full spectrum of human drives and desires. The study of leadership hasn't been the same since. "What Leaders Really Do" first published im99O, deepens and extends the insights ofthe 1977 article. Introducing one of those brand-new ideas that seems obvious once it's expressed, retired Harvard Business School professor John Kotter proposes that management and leadership are different but complementary, and that in a changing world, one cannot function withoutthe other. He then enumerates and contrasts the primary tasks ofthe manager and the leader. His key point bears repeating: Managers promote stability while leaders press for change, and only......

Words: 4191 - Pages: 17

Premium Essay

Leadership

...Southern University Deciding what to write about for my reflection paper was really very difficult. I looked at each topic provided and decided on the first topic question of “What are you most interested in and passionate about? How does that fit with what you are pursuing here at Columbia Southern University?” I spent a long time thinking about what that question really meant to me. What was I really interested in and passionate about? How would it fit into my degree? I took a long hard look in the mirror and decided I really cared about leadership. Leadership is one of the main reasons I am working towards a degree in Human Resources Management. Before you can understand why leadership is important to me, you need to understand what and how I define leadership. I first learned about leadership in the United States Army. The Army defines leadership as “the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization” (The Center for Army Leadership, 2008). I truly believe that if you have this as a foundation for your style of leadership, you will always be successful. To me, a leader is someone who always places the needs of his subordinates and his company before his own. Someone who is not afraid to get their hands dirty and work right alongside those that he supervises. A great leader understands that we are all different, and what motivates one person will not......

Words: 1027 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Leadership

... * Homework after session 2: Chapters 4, 5, 6 and 7 * Homework after session 3: Chapters 8, 9 and 10 * Deadline for the complete file (hard copy; so, print out everything): to follow on BlackBoard and via your lecturer ------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1: surprising facts about leaders 1. your turn, page 3 Already done in the first session 2. your turn, page 4 The idea that leaders differ in personal traits makes me realize that every leader has a different view on things and that it does not have to matter for the quality of the leader. Everybody is able to be a good leader, as long as they the right training 3. your turn, page 7 I think Hesse portrays Leo as a servant to make the point that good leaders are not only leaders but also servants. To achieve a goal the leader needs his members and will do as much as he can to fulfil the needs of the group or company. This means for instance that a boss of a jewellery shop also needs to stand in the shop from time to time to see if everything is going well with his customers and employees. 4. your turn, page 8 I consider Peter Coffeng as a servant-leader. I work in the workplace of a jeweller in Amsterdam and he is the head of the workshop. Normally he sits behind his desk helping customers and he makes sure everything goes well in the workplace but when it is very busy he helps us out by also sitting behind the workbench repairing jewellery. Fill out the ‘instrument...

Words: 4902 - Pages: 20

Premium Essay

Importance of Leadership

... 2 Abstract What comes to mind when the words leader or leadership are heard? Usually a president, a teacher, a C.E.O, a work supervisor or a prime minister comes to mind. Well these are people who are considered to be leaders because they work to achieve a positive change for a particular organization or community. Leadership is the process in which a particular individual influences others to achieve an objective or a common goal. This paper will explain what the term leadership means, the key factors that make up a true leader and the impact as well as the importance that leadership has in our lives. LEADERSHIP 3 Leadership describes the influence certain individuals have on others to carry out a specific objective or goal. According to authors Susan Komives, Nance Lucas, and Timothy McMahon (2007); “leadership is a relational and ethical process of people together attempting to accomplish positive change” (p. 2). This practically means that leadership is mostly about the kind of relationships a person has with others. Personal awareness and personal development are key to learning leadership, which at the end it focuses on the development of relationships with others. A leader is not someone who just tells someone else what to do, or someone who makes up rules, a true leader is someone who develops a good relationship with a......

Words: 2445 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Manager at Work

...and methodology 8 What we did 9 4. Analysis of leadership capabilities 12 Vision 12 Creating an environment 14 Forming relationships 17 The use of Power 21 Leading performance 23 Understanding self 30 Communication 32 Contextual factors 39 Summary 44 5. What sets outstanding leaders apart 51 Think systemically and act long term 51 Bring meaning to life 55 Apply the spirit not the letter of the law 61 Grow people through performance 65 Self-aware and authentic to leadership first, their own needs second 68 Understand that talk is work 74 Give time and space to others 78 Put ‘we’ before ‘me’ 82 Take deeper breaths and hold them longer 85 Summary of the nine themes 89 6. The wall of nuance 92 7. Contacts 96 List of Figures and Tables Figure 1: The focus of leadership theory over time 8 Figure 2: A representation of the coding frame broken into key categories 10 Figure 3: Summary differences between good and outstanding leaders 50 Figure 4: the three organising principles of outstanding leadership 95 Table 1: A breakdown of the interviews conducted with leaders, direct reports and line managers 10 Table 2: Key differences between outstanding and good leaders 45 10 Exceeding Expectation: the principles of outstanding leadership 3 Leadership models tend to be conceptually derived and there are very few theories of leadership that emerge from empirical research. The Work Foundation sought to resolve this omission through a major qualitative study centred on what leaders themselves......

Words: 41712 - Pages: 167

Premium Essay

Coach K Paper

...coach and leader. He had the most career wins in NCAA Division I history. His is a prime example of exceptional leadership. Throughout the book Leading with the Heart I have seen prime examples of the following leadership theories: transformational leadership, trait theory, behavioral theory, and power and influence theory. Coach Mike Krzyzewski is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He played point guard for the Cadet team. He retired from active duty in 1974 and started his coaching career. Coach K took over Duke during the 1980-81 season. He lead the Blue Devils to the NIT quarterfinals in his first year. Under his leadership the Blue Devils won their first national championship in 1991. They also won in 1992. He also led the team to another national title in 2001 and then again in 2010. Coach K is the definition of a leader. He has everything it takes to be a successful leader and he has proven that time and time again. He is more than just a leader and leading people to win games. He wants his team to get the best experiences possible. He believes in treating people fairly and what you put in to it you get out. Transformational leadership is the leadership style Coach K participated in. Transformational leadership is where the leader constantly inspires their team with shared ideas of the future. The leader’s enthusiasm is usually passed on to the team, but it is important for the leader to also have “detail” people. These leaders look......

Words: 1189 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Sr. Scientist

...2001: I strongly correlate with this article. I was once a very bad negotiator. I have found so many new tricks in this article on how to become effective negotiator. I am so surprised to read the story of Theodor Roosevelt. How effective a new look can be towards the problem at hand! I use to neglect the other side’s problem and use d to concentrate more on what I want out of negotiation (mistake 1), in many situations I have made mistake 2 and 6 too. However after reading this article I came to know how I should avoid the mistakes. I always try to see every negotiation with viewpoint of both parties, and that also helps me to find the middle ground. BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) is the new area for me to learn and improve on. I was in that many people who would withstand the damage with bargaining power. Now I know how I should evaluate my BATNA alternative when it comes to tough negotiation. But I am amazed with the last column in article which talks about superior negotiations. If this trick really works, it will be amazing. I need to practice that for sure some time somewhere. Wow, this article is really an eye opener for me. Fluid Teams: Solution to the problems of unstable team membership: Gervase R. Bushe, Alexandra Chu: I partly agree with the points provided in this article. Fluid teams does help to allow the use of specific skills of people required for a specific project, however I have not came across of any situation where teams members......

Words: 2076 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Cross Cultural Management

...will be considered as bad people. Because of that, this world has various types of culture that are adopted by different people. Still, even though every culture is different, we cannot judge the other culture is bad only because in our culture doing those behaviors are not considered as good things. The differences on culture make the leadership type of every country is different too. First we have to know what the meaning of leadership is. Leader is someone who gives positive direction to the organization and has the full responsibility of an organization. Leadership itself is the ability of someone to give directions to his or her organization in order to accomplish the mission of the organization. Not all people can have the ability to become a leader because by being a leader means that that person has a full responsibility of everything that has been done in the organization. If that person cannot be a good leader for his or her people in an organization, surely the work of that organization will not be done as what the mission is. A person who becomes a leader has to be strong physically and mentally. Also, that person has to have abilities to manage something, think critically, open-minded, not being a panic person so if there is a sudden...

Words: 2714 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Conscious Capitalism

...them together I can say that Toyota and Google increased by over 2500%? A proper method to present this data would be to dismiss the highest and lowest performing company to bring the data to more realistic terms. By having Google in the equation, this skews the results dramatically and makes a skeptic like me severely question the rest of the data presented. A second issue from the class discussion came from the exercise of identifying traits of someone we admire. Once we identified those traits, the conclusion was drawn that we should be able to expect those same traits from our leaders. What if the person I admire is a famous guitar player and I look up to him because of his incredible performance skills. What does that possibly have to do with a leader? The initial question should have been what LEADERS we admire, so we can identify traits of that LEADER we admire and then say that all leaders should have those traits. To me, this would have...

Words: 877 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Lebanon

...ARTICLE REVIEW FORM Full Reference in Harvard Format:James R. Baker. (1993). Tightening the Iron cage: n Concertive Control in Self- Managing Teams. Administrative Science Quarterly, 38 (3), P208-417 | Summary of main arguments/points: Control has been a major problem in businesses. To achieve a bigger goal some individuals have to sacrifice. Although bureaucracy offers the fairest and most efficient method of control, it can also slow and make the organization a much more inconsistent environment. ISE was the example used by James R. Baker to demonstrate the study of self managing teams. Self management is a group of employees whose job is to plan and manage their work under no supervision. In self management, responsibilities are shared throughout the groups, so employees who were previously managers have become helpers for the team. All the ideas are shared and discussed and the best decision will be taken from the whole group. The self management had a major impact on the way the employees view their job. In ISE they had a bureaucratic system whereas now they are divided into groups and given equal responsibilities. This shows us how the power has shifted from the managers to the workers. In 1988 Jack Tacket vice president of ISE started implementing self managing teams, he divided the employees into 3 different groups (Red, blue and white).Each employee was chosen based on the field that his experienced in. Although problems occurred during the process like......

Words: 2397 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Mr.Moore

...one of the few families in town that had no family members employed there. He remembers thinking that he didn’t really know what all of his friends’ parents did at American Family, but he knew he never wanted to work there.   Things changed, however, after Leon attended college. After graduating with a business degree, getting married, and having a baby all within a year’s time, he admits that he simply needed a job! He started at American Family as a Claims Adjuster and was soon promoted to Claims Manager. He later moved to the Southern Region as a Consultant before being selected for his current role as Regional Manager.   When asked about his career success, Leon advises that he was always the guy with his hand raised. He volunteered for every opportunity that came along, more so out of a desire to learn and gain new experiences than it was to get himself noticed. He stresses that the best way to stand out, at American Family or in any organization, is by doing a great job at whatever it is that you’re currently doing. This is still true for Leon today. He states that he strives to be the most effective, most collaborative, and most results-driven leader that he can be.   A defining moment of Leon’s career was when he began his first leadership role as a Claims Manager. It was then that he realized that it wasn’t about him and what he could do. What really mattered was how he could influence his team and bring about results through others. He...

Words: 13373 - Pages: 54

Premium Essay

Leadership

...this week's articles tells us that "judgment is what matters most." Richard Lyons tells us global leaders need to be “creative’ and “ambiguity tolerant”. The Jesuits seem to think self-awareness is the key. Another article tells us that multilingualism is important to seeing the world “through others’ eyes”. The Wall Street Journal article gives you very good advice about the kind of leader you want if you are climbing Mt. Everest. So, please tell me: 1. What exactly is it that the ethical and effective Global Leader should be trying to accomplish (Conquer emerging markets? Build a just society? Climb tall mountains?) 2. What are the key characteristics these leaders should have? The second assignment questions are tough. Not just because every articles had a different approach, but also because we are at week four and it seems to me that leadership is a real science, so it’s really hard to summarize my knowledge so far and to give a valid analysis about a great leader. But let’s try it. Since I attended a Jesuit high school and college in Hungary and the continuity of values plays a significant role in my life I feel good right now that I got the opportunity to study at Canisius. And it’s also very cool that we have a discussion like this. Sadly not in the Discussion Board, I’m really interested in about my classmate’s opinion. I, as a “product” of the Jesuit Education, strongly believe that develop social justice leaders is one of the most important issue. Today,......

Words: 994 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Sefic Riseba Tasks Semester 2 Year 2

...TASK 2. a) Nowadays business environment is characterized by increasingly high levels of uncertainty and change. Businesspeople need to prepare themselves to adapt successfully to a rapidly changing business environment. This changes have significantly impacted everything we do , including the way we live and also they have had dramatic impacts on business. One important driver if change is the amount of information the world generates is increasing, also the amount of knowledge the world generates in increasing. This increases is being generated is creating a major headache for business, and the companies don’t know how to act and solve the questions through the huge amount of information. All organization at one time or another face substantive modifications to some aspects of their business. Supervisors can prepare themselves to adapt by following a variety of tips, such a –becoming aware of situation. –understanding change –improving skills and knowledge etc. b)Technology is another driver of increased complexity. Firms had adapt to a radical new technology. If they set long term strategy before, now companies are finding flexible approach to their business. Companies need to constantly review and adapt their strategy and ensure that they build an organization that is able and willing to change continuously. At the same time, new technology makes our life easier , particular in business. Business owners can use technology to reduce business costs. Business......

Words: 1919 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Leading Quietly Case Study

...Summary Traditionally, we think of great leaders as people who bring about change by their charisma, passion, and dedication to a noble cause. Thus, most of us think of leaders as courageous risk takers or in other words, heroes. Yet, in our daily life, we often find that the most effective leaders are rarely public heroes. They maintain a low profile, but do what is right for themselves and their organizations unnoticeably and without casualties. Harvard Business School professor Joseph Badaracco calls them "quiet leaders"--people who choose responsible, behind-the-scenes action over public heroism to resolve tough leadership challenges. Badaracco believes that what drive the society are the millions of small but important decisions that individuals make on a daily basis. He points out in the book that everyday leadership is not so dramatic, and daily leadership decisions are rarely being made by the top management of an organization. Thus, the book focuses the study on the middle and senior-level managers who make the ordinary decisions that ultimately determine an organization's success. The book is full of practical advice as it describes eight strategies for making effective leadership decisions in murky situations where the "right" thing is far from obvious. It also describes that good leaders are those who are honest with themselves about how well they truly understand a situation and how much control they really possess. Effective leaders learn to trust their mixed......

Words: 1549 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Leadership

... Leadership When I think about the concept and definition of the word “leader”, a good deal of people, things and ideas come to mind. I am a firm believer that one must have certain qualities in order to be a successful leader. I also have confidence in the fact that, as humans, we lead by example. One of the most important characteristics I think an effective leader must possess is selflessness. A leader must not be selfish with desires, but solely interested in the needs of others. How can we lead if we are only focused on what we can profit? Effective leadership also comes from intentionality. How can we truly put our whole self into everything that we do? Leaders must intentional with actions, words and people. As we become more intentional, we provide ourselves a new way of thinking and a fresh understanding of all aspects of life. As previously stated, I am fully certain that humans lead by example. In my sophomore year of high school I started getting heavily involved in a program known as YoungLife. When I started, I had no idea how much of a bearing YoungLife would have in my life. YoungLife is a remarkable program that meets high school students where they’re at, and aspires to show students Jesus. Through YoungLife I have met three of the most amazing, role model leaders that I hope to have in my life for eternity. I think that as a successful and effective leader you must have wholesome communication skills. I also think that appreciation and......

Words: 705 - Pages: 3