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In management, Level 5 leadership is a concept that Jim Collins used to describe the highest stage of leadership where executive capabilities reach a maximum; thus, it makes a company successful (Collins, 2001). This indicates that the practice ensures that the company completely transforms from a state of mediocrity to that of the sustained excellence. Collins articulately described this kind of leadership presenting the leader’s humility and his/her will to manage the company’s affairs (Collins, 2001). In short, Humility + Will = Level 5 Leader. Actually, the leadership derives the company to excellence and prosperity by exercising high thinking. In this regard, Collins attributed the exceptional companies to those practicing Level 5 leadership, where both the organization and its leader become outstanding. Collins (2001) further indicated that the leader at this stage displays the specific characteristics such as "modest and wilful, shy and fearless" (p.1). Furthermore, he noted that leadership levels were increasing as the leader identified his/her administrative challenges and addressed them. The leader who cannot solve challenges, which he or she has come across on duty, will never achieve the Level 5 leadership.
Differences between Level 5 Leadership and Other Leadership Styles
Compared to other styles of administration, Level 5 leadership entails distinct characteristics of leaders. For instance, they are able to identify and include the qualified and experienced personnel to help them achieving the company’s objectives (Collins, 2001). This means that they delink themselves from nepotism or favoring people without adequate skills. Secondly, they are also ready to face the truth without losing a focus (Collins, 2001). This indicates that leaders are keen on the performance data for their companies and always strive to improve the situation. Thirdly, they are able to maintain the consistency towards achieving the organization’s purpose. Fourthly, they are able to understand in depth and make actual judgments on organizational matters without relying to the propaganda (Collins, 2001). Finally, as opposed to their colleagues in other levels, they are able to embrace some disciplined and pragmatic approaches in the task performance (Collins, 2001). In this regard, leaders use an applicable technology to derive the production system in the company. This enables them to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors to remain outstanding in the market.
Importance of Level 5 Leadership
Level 5 leadership style is important because of several reasons. Firstly, the application of this kind of leadership enables the company to develop a very unique culture that rests on its objectives and goals making it outstanding. Indeed, the organization culture is the entire attributes, which assist in developing the organization’s production and administrative systems. The use of Level 5 leadership indicated that the company’s culture has resulted from the efforts, which the people were having in their duties, while aiming at the organizational goals and objectives (Collins, 2001). These are the core attributes of success in the company embracing this kind of leadership. At that level, the leader will be able to realize self-esteem and get motivated to propel the company to greater heights of development.
In essence, the determination with which the staff could exhibit during its work in the company has resulted to the culture of success showing the level of leadership they had. Nevertheless, some cultural influences originated outside the company. The organizational culture embraced such principles as a span of control, formalization, centralization, departmentalization, innovation, creativity and open-mindedness in order to pursue the company’s goals, growth and knowledge (Collins, 2001). Apparently, the leader has developed passion and hard work, encouraging a straightforward coordination and specialization being a part of the company’s culture. Level 5 leadership also ensures that the workers and other stakeholders in the organization are contributing to the improvement of the company’s systems (Collins, 2001). For example, if the company’s production system emphasizes on the specialization, the desire to succeed in advancing the quality of services offered in the company must be strongly pursued.
The Presence or Lack of Level 5 Leadership in the Actual Organization
The study focused on the organization called Sonoran Excursions. Ideally, the organization has been established with the sole aim of reaping from the booming tourism sector in the United States. Noting that tourism has a lot of contributions to the country’s economy, a strategic company would make use of the status quo to reap from the benefits of tourism. The organization needed an appropriate leadership to cope with business demands of this sector. In addition, leaders focused on their work will always analyse different data from various researches about the company’s progress. Therefore, the success of the company has showed the presence of Level 5 leadership.
Impacts of the Leader on the Organization
In Sonoran Excursions, the impact of the organization’s leader has largely contributed to its success. For instance, as the company operating in a hospitality industry, the company majorly used a traditional leadership style, the so-called hierarchical type of leadership. In this situation, the decisions are made at the top, and then they are trickled down to the management and finally to workers. This indicated that the leaders were able to understand in depth and make the informed judgments on organizational matters without relying on propaganda (Northouse, 2006). The leader should be able to use his or her leadership structures and styles to create an impact on the organization. This means that the leader should be sensitive to structural adjustments in the company as it progresses to the highest level. Therefore, the leadership approach that the company used for organizing its workers aimed at achieving a given purpose and helped the organization in making key decisions and recommendations on the improvements.
How the Organization Benefitted from the Presence of the Level 5 Leader
Essentially, the organization has benefitted from the presence of Level 5 leadership because it contributed to its successful operations and achievements. Here, it could be deduced that the leadership style enhanced interpersonal relationships among employees and acted as a motivation factor in the company’s operations. The leadership style also improved the workplace environment perceived as conducive and favoring the company’s employees (Northouse, 2006). Indeed, this was a result of the coordinated efforts and ensuring that the workers optimized their skills in building this relationship, since it is an essential part of the tourism industry. The tour operation activities have also been perceived by many as interesting, thus, increasing the workers’ motivation and the extent they have cooperated with management in making the leadership approaches successful.
Noting that information was core in boosting the workers’ skills, the management used an approach that prioritized the further training and application of technology to improve the productivity. In this sense, the company also offered the career advancement and recognized the workers. One could also deduce that leaders also have practiced the equality in treating workers, thus, the company’s employees were respected and given an equal treatment and development in terms of career personal skills (Northouse, 2006). The other leadership skill that the company used was the enhancement internal communication. In this regard, the internal communication was seen as an effective and better management approach in making the information available to all the concerned parties; for leaving alone the benefits and monetary rewards, which the company has offered to their employees.
What Happened in this Organization and how the Leader Impacted on the Outcome
The problem that occurred in that company was numerous complaints from clients about a poor quality of the services’ delivery by its staff. Therefore, the leader encouraged the specialization of work, and employees were given an appraisal (Northouse, 2006). In this case, the company directed that each worker was given enough responsibility to keep them busy and accountable throughout their duties. Other than only enhancing the workers’ independence, the leader formulated policies, which guaranteed the employees’ job security, thus, making them become interested in serving visitors.
The lesson that I have learned about Level 5 Leadership which could be applied to my personal leadership style was that in order for the company to remain relevant in the market, competitive leadership was very important. As the company’s leader, I had to make a right decision to expand the production system so that the organization could realize its objective of being outstanding in the region and globally. In addition, I had to increase the efficiency in the production system meaning that I was obliged to embrace the technology. I also learned that the extent to which the company goes to remain relevant shows the leader’s commitment.
The Lessons Learned by Collins and His Team on my Leadership Style
The lesson learned about the level 5 leadership approaches by Collins and his team that improved my leadership style, thus, impacted on the organization of which I was a part, was that embracing focused on leadership and outlining strategic approaches to be used in the production system being the key aspects of success. This reason for such argument was that initiating a structural improvement in the company could not lead to the remarkable success if the leader did not have the will and zeal to implement the programs in the organization.
Applying the Information in the Own Life
I would apply the information in my own life by using practical and proper leadership techniques. In this regard, I would increase a strategic positioning of the company to reap from the market and remain profitable.
Impacts of Initiatives
I believe that leadership initiatives will make a difference in the company by increasing its productivity. The quality and quantity of products and services will remarkably grow to enable the company achieving its objectives. Therefore, the initiative was a progressive way of evaluating leaders and their leadership styles to improve a service delivery in organizations.