Consider it a quick brainstorm. Provide a situation or experience where leadership was VERY effective or one where leadership was, simply, NOT effective.
Address the following:
1) Describe the situation and key characters,
2) Describe the messages or actions (it depends on your situation) put forth by the leader.
3) Describe the outcome or result of these messages or actions.
4) Describe why you believe the result was positive (if it was) or what might have been done differently (if it wasn’t).
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An interesting study of leadership styles can be seen in the Goodyear Tire Workers situation this past week. Workers at a Goodyear Tire and Rubber plant in Northern France forcibly prevented two bosses from leaving the factory on Monday. The workers objected to plans of closing down the factory and laying off its workers. The situation was resolved later in the week with a raid led by the French police to free the two bosses who were held hostage.
The leadership's messages forced a hardline stance against the unionized workers. The contention that the factory had to be closed down failed to take into account French labor law which is supportive of the workers. The message was one in which management, who disagreed with the law, was perceived to take their frustrations out on the workers. Management opposed the idea that French labor law prevented them from being able to close down a plant that was not yielding profit. This was read as a hostile act towards the workers. Leadership's actions developed animosity between management and workers. Ownership was more frustrated at the law than anything else. The fact that Goodyear did not realize that French labor law was designed in such a way or the fact that Goodyear did not properly address the legal hurdle that prevented them from being able to do what they want helped contribute to a skewed message.
The outcome of the actions have created a sizable chasm between workers and management. Management is seen as using the police to extricate them, helping to create resentment between both sides. For their part, workers are still resentful over the plans to shut down the factory. A striking lack of dialogue is present. Management not offering any type of concessions or dialogue to the workers, who have started to spray paint anti- management slogans and statements on the plant's edifice. Management has not developed good will with the workers. This autocratic leadership stance has helped to establish a condition in which traditional depictions of materialist business ownership has become pitted against resentful workers. This resulting paradigm is standard and one that prevents full cooperation and productivity on all fronts.
The result is not positive. It shows a lack of creative thinking on everyone's part. Leadership needed to have taken different approaches. A distinct one would have been to understand cultural differences and dynamics. Goodyear is an American company. Accordingly, it understands labor law as being mostly supportive of business. In France, the cultural condition is more geared towards workers. Even though France is a capitalist nation by all accounts, it still features much in way of legislation and social understanding that is pro- worker. There needed to have been a better working relationship between management and workers. This relationship could have been designed to embrace the capitalist need for profit, but in a culturally understanding way in recognition of French labor law and practices. Additionally, I would suggest that the relationship between immediate management and employees had deteriorated to a specific point. When "boss- napping" is evident, a fairly challenging interpersonal dynamic is present. Management needed to have recognized such toxicity before it moved to this point. A leadership style that reflected this understanding could have helped the situation.
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