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Posted on August 27th, 2012, by

Traditionally, leadership played a very important role in the functioning of various organizations. At the same time, approaches to leadership can vary consistently. Moreover, each leader has his/her own unique skills, qualities and characteristics which define his/her unique leadership style which may meet the general line of some leadership styles or may be totally unique. In such a context, it is possible to refer to the case of Sam and Bush who have developed absolutely different, if not to say antagonistic, leadership styles. It is important to underline that the leadership of Sam and Bush defines their leadership strategy and tactics, which they apply. At the same time, their leadership styles also produced a significant impact on their relationships with their subordinates and organizational performance at large (Dessler, 203).

On analyzing Sam and Bush, it is important to underline that they stand on totally different ground. Sam is a charismatic, enthusiastic leader, who attempts to inspire his subordinates and lead them in the direction he chooses for the organization. At the same time, Sam often goes beyond his subordinates’ current capabilities and expectations. To put to more precisely, it is Sam who is the main initiator of changes within the organization.

On the other hand, his strife for introduction of changes is not chaotic. In stark contrast, he is strongly motivated by the desire of taking the leading position in the market and getting the competitive advantage over its main rivals. Moreover, the strategy and methods he uses are grounded on the resources available to the organization. In such a way, through maximization of the organizational performance, introduction of changes and improvement of the effectiveness and productivity of work of employees, Sam attempts to use the full potential of human resources and material resources of the organization (Hesselbein and Cohen, 193).

At the same time, his leadership style is characterized by the use of experiments and search of new ideas. It is important to underline that Sam expects each idea is considered and not left aside. He stands on the ground that ideas can be very useful for the progress of the organization and, therefore, each idea is worth considering.

In stark contrast, Bush is unwilling taking any risks and changing the traditional way of his own work and leadership style as well as he avoids the introduction of changes around him, i.e. within the organization. His leadership style may be characterized as highly conservative because he tends to avoid changes and he expects the preservation of the status quo and the maintenance of the established order (Seuss, 2008). However, it is obvious that the maintenance of the status quo and avoidance of consistent changes is possible only on the condition that employees follow the leader blindly without any opportunity for creativity or autonomy since they can lead to the emergence of new ideas which can threaten to the existing status quo.

In such a situation, it is possible to estimate that the leadership style of Sam is more flexible and more prospective, especially in the contemporary business environment. Obviously, the introduction of innovations is an essential condition of progress, while conservatism of the protagonist makes his leadership style extremely rigid and, therefore, ineffective in the contemporary business environment, when the ability of the organization to introduce innovations and adapt to the changing environment are crucial for gaining strategic competitive advantage (Lussier and Achua, 221). In this respect, the anxiety of the protagonist in face of changes and his refusal to accept change indicates to his inability to adapt new strategies, approaches and methods of leadership and management, while Sam, in contrast, views new ideas, changes and innovations as the major way to the overall competitive advantage.

Along with considerable differences in leadership styles of Sam and the protagonist, it is also necessary to take into consideration their communication skills. In this respect, Sam seems to be in an advantageous position compared to the protagonist. In order to understand advantages of his communication skills and style, it is necessary to remind that, in terms of the communication theory, the process of communication is a two-side process (See Diagram 1). On the one hand, there is a sender of a message, while, on the other hand, there is a receiver of the message. The communication occurs through conveying the message encoded by the sender of information to the receiver of the message. Encoding occurs in the verbal form, when sender’s ideas are transformed into words. The receiver, in his/her turn, receives the verbal message and interprets the words he/she hears in his own way (Northouse, 183). This is exactly where problems in communication can arise because the original ideas of the sender of the message may be misinterpreted by the receiver of the message because either the former cannot adequately encode his/her ideas in verbal form or the latter cannot properly interpret the message he/she receives.

In this respect, the protagonist seems to be unable to adequately understand the message Sam conveys to him. He repeatedly rejects the idea of changing his style, in spite of all the efforts of the Sam. On the other hand, the communication skills of Sam are also far from perfect.

First of all, it should be said that, in spite of seeming diversity of approaches he uses to make the protagonist change his mind, he fails to reveal the essence and consistent advantages of the change offered to the protagonist. Sam’s efforts as well as communication style seems to be diverse but deprived of principal changes of communication since he simply pushes the protagonist to the limits in order to accept the change Sam offers.

At the same time, the communications skills of the protagonist are consistently poorer compared to Sam. He is repetitive and even stubborn in his refusal to accept the change. He apparently does not like the idea of the accepting the change, but he cannot invent or use an effective tool to make Sam either leave him alone or forget about the change at all. Instead, the protagonist simply refuses using the similar verbal formulas he hears from Sam. Such a communication style creates an impression that the protagonist is unable to communicate expressing his independently or shape his own ideas in such a way that they could convince his opponent. No wonder, eventually the protagonist gives in that is the evidence of the ineffectiveness of his communication skills and style.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that contemporary leaders should be able to apply diverse leadership style and be flexible to changes. At the same time, they also need to develop effective communication skills which allow them lead employees and make them support their ideas and initiatives.

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