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It is important to establish and articulate your own philosophy about your values, attitudes and behaviours as a leader . Your philosophy statement should be a work in progress through this unit. It should incorporate the assigned readings, course activities, and feedback from the lecturer and classmates.

As you prepare this statement, consider the following:

  • What do you think about leadership What or who has influenced your thoughts
  • What key leadership experiences have informed your thinking
  • How would you describe your leadership style
  • How would you develop and share your vision as a leader
  • Under what circumstances are you willing to take risks
  • What personal principles are you not willing to violate
  • How do you make decisions? Are they based on evidence or intuition
  • As a leader, what decisions do you make individually and what do you make collectively
  • How do your personal beliefs (e.g. religion, inclusiveness, etc.) affect your leadership
  • How do you respond when your leadership beliefs or practices are challenged
  • What did you learn about leadership from your profile How does your experience reflect the leadership concepts discussed in this course or in your readings
  • Investigate ways to exercise leadership--with and without authority

This list of questions is not exhaustive, feel free to add to them as you define your leadership philosophy.

Application and Analysis related to leadership

  • Identify a key leadership issue (either past or present) in your organisation that requires you (a prospective or current leader) to make critical decisions.
  • Provide a brief overview of the issue, to contextualize it. Analyse the issue in accordance with Organisational Behaviour and Leadership principles.
  • Take a position on the issue and defend your decision in light of your leadership philosophy and based on a Christian worldview/ through a biblical lens. Readings from the course, class discussion, and independent research must be used to support key ideas expressed in this section.

Philosophy of Leadership Statement

Organizational Behaviour (OB) may be considered to be one of the most crucial and success-critical aspects of the studies of human resources in the business organizational context. OB may help to scrutinize the impact of the organizational structure, corporate culture and the behavioural approach of the organizational leaders for the purpose of improving organizational effectiveness. It has been viewed that the informal hierarchical system, poor communication style can result as a poor presentation of motivational techniques. As a result, maintaining a healthy employee orientation process and resilient commercial ethos has become problematic towards the organization leaders.

Considering the fact, the current study intends to identify some core issues of organizational behaviour and leadership traits exist in the Australian high-street retail chain, Woolworths. In the beginning of the study, the philosophy of leadership statement has been analysed followed by the application and analysis related to leadership.  The subsequent sections of the paper describe the key leadership issues in Woolworth in context of organizational behaviour and leadership principles. In this regards, several pieces of evidence and facts have been analysed to link up the issues and its prospective solution. Finally, the researcher concludes the discussion and analysis by way of recommendation with ending note.

2.0 Philosophy of leadership statement:

The leadership philosophy is the principle that creates the clarity to adopt decision making matrices and actions to inspire and empower the followers to support the shared vision. Several studies on strong and weak leaders have influenced my leadership thoughts. I worked as a part-time employee of Woolworth where I gathered knowledge of teamwork as a part of the customer service team. I had to take care of the other team members’ activity from which I learned overcoming hardship and genuine commitment to meet the shared goals. This experience helped me to critically think about the leadership attributes.

My preferred leadership style is ‘Empowering leadership’ which is the subpart of the ‘Catalyst leadership style that is the Stewardship’. As a leader, I believe in action and learning, with foundations on my past experiences. Based on that I would define the action goals and finally communicate with the followers. I believe in the well-being of the stakeholders and a balanced life. Thus, for a greater good of the company I would like to take the risk in the organizational change process.

I would not violate strong relationship building and the welfare of employee, organization, and society. Also, I believe in open communication. Hence, I will never violate this principle in my leadership career. As a practice of continuous learning and taking actions based on the learning, I always make decisions based on the evidence. However, intuitive decision making is also essential in a crisis situation. I would take the decisions related to the short-term financial planning and overcoming a crisis situation individually, as these decisions have to be taken in nick of time and cannot be reversed easily. In the decision concerning cross-organisational change management, I would prefer collective consultation since it would involve different parts of the organisation.

Key leadership issue in Woolworth

Personally, I would not allow religious belief to hamper any decision making across the organisation under my leadership. Being a believer of collaborative work culture, I would include employees in innovative problem-solving. I would imbibe the philosophies of being true to oneself and having faith and trustworthiness among the workforce, to be honest towards their responsibilities. In the face of challenge regarding my leadership practices, I give a deep thought about the situation. Depending on the circumstance either I would amend my methods or highlight the collective good in my leadership approach.

The most important thing that I learned is that a true leader not only focuses on maximising the profit and productivity of an organisation, but is compassionate to the employees as well. The concepts of integrity, inspiration, motivation, open communication and working alongside people, and emotional intelligence are reflected in my experience. With authority, a leader can take decisions, command directives to subordinates and control their actions. On the flipside, leadership without authority must be exercised by accepting responsibilities, empathetic listening, showing positive emotions and passion and by nurturing enthusiastic work environment.

 3.0 Application and Analysis related to leadership:

3.1 Key leadership issue in Woolworth:

Woolworth group is among Australia’s leading supermarket grocery retailing stores that account for more than 40% of the countries market share. Jones & Jones (2018) said that, in recent past, Woolworths has faced some turmoil including the departure of high profile executives from the leadership. At the same time, the leadership seems unable to hold onto their leading market stature in the section of fresh food that the company has dominated. Past research also points out some issues with the pricing strategy of the company. As a result, Woolworths is facing threat from ALDI and is unable to compete on the price of products.

The ‘Cheap Cheap’ campaign by the company leadership ignored the brand value and has shown desperate attempts to compete with Coles. According to Isfahani&Rezaei (2017), the company also lacks a customer-focused culture which is the effect of being among the oldest business groups functional in Australia and the prolonged monopolistic presence. The leadership has focused more on the profit margins and processes. As a direct impact, the company had to close many of the underperforming stores and release 500 staffs (www.abc.net.au, 2018).

As a prospective leader, I have to partake in the strategic decision to drive the company’s future and provide a competitive advantage. At the same time, it would be my responsibility to promote innovative campaigns that would drive profitability and a customer-driven organisational culture. Additionally, efforts for a consistent and improved performance of the staffs and the stores would also fall under my leadership.

3.2 The issue in context of organizational behaviour and leadership principles:

Organisational behaviour principles indicate that change has to be actively managed than to just fall into place. This characteristic was absent in Woolworths recent strategies which resulted in a void of leadership and unsuccessful strategies to tackle the pricing competition. According to Anning (2018), the company lacks value-based organisational culture which is evident from the lack of focus on customer-oriented practices.

Issue in context of organizational behaviour and leadership principles

The leadership of the company had shown the inadequacy of integrity and contingency approaches by abandoning the organisation in critical time and not being able to assess the market situation and the strength of the brand (Fisher & Robbins, 2014). The strict bureaucratic leadership lacked the employee motivation and negligence on the need for continuous training and development of the workforce, resulting in underperformance in many stores (Yukl&Lepsinger, 2006). The leadership failed to nurture the importance of relationship among themselves and the workforce and prioritised the task-oriented approach of profit maximisation and cost-cutting.

3.3 Recommendation:

Traditionally the leadership focus has been on taking charge, managing, controlling, finding fault and punishing or rewarding (Bordas, 2016). However, the modern business environment is volatile and the functional leadership styles fail to bring all-round growth and sustainability.

The issues of Woolworths as discussed can be addressed by the leaders acting as the catalyst for collective goal realisation rather coordinating by taking charge and persuasion. The steward leadership highlights the need for support and empowerment which brings people together and nurture the importance of relationship values. Bernstein et al. (2016) said that biblical philosophy of stewardship narrates a leader as a servant himself and is responsible to serve all the stakeholder as oppose to command them. Inevitably, this approach could build a motivated and skilled workforce and a customer-focused organisational policy increasing overall performance.

The idea of service before self can guide the company to rethink on the profitability projection in light of facilitating the community  The steward leader can plan value and service-oriented strategies offer a price based model to improve sales.

4.0 Conclusion:

Based on the discussion and analysis performed in the preceding sections of the paper, it may be construed that the followers look upon the leaders with the perception of being effective and ethical and it is their responsibility to foster positive organisational behaviour based on values, integrity, and service. The primary focus of steward leadership is on better process design rather than leadership traits. It is based on the fundamentals of accountability, diversity, ownership, and service. Empowering people and building a culture of collaboration and support with community service can bring overall growth and sustainability of any organisation.

References:

ABC News. (2018). Woolworths shares more likely to fall than rise: UBS. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-26/woolworths-supermarket-struggle-not-over-yet-ubs/7660804

Anning, F. (2018). A Practical Assessment of Management and OrganisationalBehaviour in Perspective. SSRN Electronic Journal, 4(7), 23-45. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.3236500

Bernstein, R., Buse, K., &Bilimoria, D. (2016). Revisiting Agency and Stewardship Theories. Nonprofit Management And Leadership, 26(4), 489-498. doi: 10.1002/nml.21199

Bordas, J. (2016). Leadership Lessons from Communities of Color: Stewardship and Collective Action. New Directions For Student Leadership, 2016(152), 61-74. doi: 10.1002/yd.20209

Christopherwilson.ca. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.christopherwilson.ca/papers/Moving_from_Leadership_to_Stewardship.pdf

Fisher, K., & Robbins, C. (2014). Embodied leadership: Moving from leader competencies to leaderful practices. Leadership, 11(3), 281-299. doi: 10.1177/1742715014522680

Isfahani, A., &Rezaei, A. (2017). The impact of perceived organisational support on organisational citizenship behaviour: the mediating role of organisational trust. International Journal Of Business Excellence, 13(4), 441. doi: 10.1504/ijbex.2017.10008195

Jones, S., & Jones, S. (2018). Woolworths: Where did it go wrong? - Mumbrella. Retrieved from https://mumbrella.com.au/woolworths-where-did-it-go-wrong-308694

Yukl, G., &Lepsinger, R. (2006). Issues & observations: Improving performance through flexible leadership. Leadership In Action, 25(4), 23-24. doi: 10.1002/lia.1129

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