In today’s business environment, corporations must be able to adapt and develop strategies that allow them to remain as competitive as possible within the markets they serve. Leaders within those corporations must be able to fully understand the most effective leadership style required depending on the situation at hand. One style may be effective in one situation while another style may need to be used in another. In this day of environmental dynamism, organizations have had to refocus on organizational capabilities in order to attain a competitive advantage in such an environment. This refocus has led to a break in routines and involves a shift in organizational norms and required knowledge. James Clawson discusses the three levels of leadership in his book entitled “Level Three Leadership: Getting Below the Surface.” This article will discuss some issues that may arise within corporations and what leadership styles may be most effective for differing situations based on Clawson’s text.
Level One Leadership
According to Clawson (2012), “Level one leadership, leadership that focuses on influencing visible behavior primarily, has been the dominant leadership model throughout history” (Clawson, p 211). Level one leadership more than likely began with the hunter-gatherer era and has remained the primary leadership style in organizations to date. In level one leadership, a person gets told what to do and he or she does it. If the objective is met, rewards are offered and if not, the employee can expect some type of discipline. Some people also see level one leadership as more moral because some are uncomfortable influencing one’s mind or personality and also consider it more ethical to focus more on physical behavior.
Hewlett Packard has recently been struggling to find its past success that it once obtained. The company introduced a model called “The Hewlett Packard Way” where employees were encouraged to work for themselves and to succeed for themselves rather than for the company. Unfortunately at Hewlett Packard, this model backfired on them. According to Torres (2013), employee dynamics at Hewlett Packard were being described in this way,
HP was traumatized, its employees disengaged. Internal "voice of the company" surveys revealed that morale had cratered. One top executive told Apotheker she felt "maimed" by Hurd's hard-charging style. A company hailed for its vaunted "HP Way” -which emphasized employee autonomy – had stifled creativity to the point where workers now had a rueful phrase to describe the way they tuned out and pretended to be clueless when executives asked them to do something. (Torres, p. 12).
Hewlett Packard attempted to employ level three leadership and in turn employees turned on the company because they needed more firm direction which is used in Level One leadership.
During this business drought experienced by Hewlett Packard, other organizations relied on innovation, while HP turned to acquisitions,...