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What can you find out about the leadership style of the chief executive officer? How would you characterize his or her leadership style?
Before her promotion to CEO, Virginia M. Rometty had headed the strategy for five years. Of the three styles of leadership that Kurt Lewin (1939) outlined, Rometty seems to be following the participative style of leadership. In this approach, the leader is not all-knowing but instead maintains a number of skilled workers who are involved in decision making. With a team of dedicated and knowledgeable workers running the organization, the workers would feel as if they are part of the organization, which motivates the workers. For example, she pushed for employees to get the travel budget package, something that her predecessor had tried to stop. This action portrayed her as human and team-player who understood the needs of her employees.
Her performance in the previous capacities depicts Virginia as a transformational leader. She has enhanced the performance, morale and motivation of her followers through varied mechanisms. As the above example shows, she has connected herself and the followers’ sense of identity to the organization’s collective identity and mission. Besides challenging the followers to own the work more, a transformational leader understands the weaknesses and strengths of the followers. The leader therefore assigns them with tasks that would maximize their performance. A transformational leader starts off by coming up with a vision or a view of the future that excites and converts the potential followers (Bass 35). Only when the leader believes in the idea would the followers buy into it. Some buy into such visions at a slower pace than others and, therefore, the leader has to be committed and unrelenting in the efforts to make get the followers on board (Bass 39).
In line with path-goal theory of leadership, Virginia is a supportive leader. A supportive leader considers the needs of the followers and is concerned with their welfare. She aims at creating a harmonious and friendly working environment, which is shown in the previous example (House & Mitchell 17). Her success in the previous positions could be attributed to this leadership style as she ends up increasing the self-esteem of the followers and enhancing the compelling nature of the job (House & Mitchell 35).
Does the leadership style he or she has adopted match the situation confronting the organization?
Yes. Like most companies, the organization of IBM is hierarchy system. Rometty has been an employee since 1981; she comes to the CEO because of her competencies. Currently, IBM offers five principal business segments: Global Technology Services, Global Business Services, Software, Systems and Technology, and Global Financing.
IBM has certainly carved a niche for itself in the computer world. Initially, the company had captured the personal computer market. However, it lost the market to c.............
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