There are many ways to define leadership, but perhaps the most laconic as well as accurate definition is presented in Peter G. Northouse's Leadership: Theory and Practice book (Northouse, 2013, p.5): "Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal". Individuals, engaged in leadership, use influence to solve challenges, which the groups under their leadership face, in order to succeed in their common goals.
In Leadership: Theory and Practice Peter G. Northouse examines various leadership styles and also looks at the concept of leadership from different perspectives. As a future leader I used Northouse's book to explore my leadership styles and ways to apply them in practice. In this paper I will describe a few of the recent challenges that my employer has been going through. I will determine which of the leadership styles, described by Northouse, correlate to me and how I could possibly apply my leadership styles to handling those challenges, if I was the leader at my organization. I will also reflect on my own profile in light of the provided leadership descriptors and categories.
Challenges at Workplace
I work at General Dynamics Information Technology (gdit.com, 2014), and during the past year our company has faced a number of financial challenges (General Dynamics. Annual Report, 2013, p.3). As General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) is a government contractor, these challenges are primarily related to defense budget cuts that are currently being implemented in the U.S. (Daleda, 2014). As Forbes Magazine article puts it, these days sthose companies that mainly provide services to the U.S. military are facing toughest times (Thompson, 2013). GDIT is one of these companies, and therefore between August 2013 and September 2014 the company has decided to implement massive lay-offs to cut down its spending and re-achieve sustainability (Robbins & Decenzo et al., 2013, p. 56).
While I don't have the details of how lay-offs were implemented elsewhere across GDIT, I can talk about the processes that occurred within GDIT's Trans-Regional Web Initiative (TRWI) which I am part of. In late August 2013 TRWI, a program that employed around 200 people, announced that it will lay-off over 30 people within the next 30 days.
When GDIT started choosing whom to lay-off, the leadership looked at the problem through the financial prism and let go all of its non-managerial employees with highest salaries. The leadership didn't consult first-line managers (Robbins & Decenzo et al., 2013, p.6) regarding this decision, and furthermore, first-line managers were deprived from their managerial roles (Robbins & Decenzo et al., 2013, p.9) in terms of providing advice how to implement these lay-offs so that the program quality didn't suffer. The leadership also didn't consider how such a decision implementation (Robbins & Decenzo et al., 2013, p. 74) would affect TRWI's...