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Mastering the Four Styles of Leadership to Build High-Performance Teams - Book Review Example

7 pages
1892 words
Sewanee University of the South
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Book review
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The research looks into the work of Beck and Yeager in helping people to master the four styles of leadership. The research draws upon mostly primary sources such as case studies to complete the assessment of different leadership styles. The authors aimed to help the audience master the art of applying effective leadership for the success of a particular project. From the analysis provided, the research reveals that the performance of a team can be improved by using excellent leadership skills such as delegation of tasks.

Mastering the Four Styles of Leadership to Build High-Performance Teams by John D.W. Beck and Neil M. Yeager

Beck and Yeager in their book The leaders window, mastering the four styles of leadership to build high-performing teams, investigates how leadership and teamwork drive organization to success. However, in their analysis, they have stated that there are various challenges which face leaders such as the never-ending change and uncertainty of the contemporary workplace (Beck & Yeager, 2005). The purpose of the book is to offer an in-depth knowledge concerning leadership to business managers. In this case, enterprise managers are the primary audiences targeted by the authors of the book. The type of leadership applied in a business determines how successful that enterprise can be in the long run. As the authors state, leader motivates and inspire the workforce to maximize on meeting daily targets. In some instances, such leaders encourage the worker by having their increased, and their working conditions improved. Such a process improves employees morale, and they are in a position to commit their efforts to meet daily targets of an organization (Beck & Yeager, 2005). The global economy has put unprecedented pressure on all agencies to offer customers what they desire in a cost-effective manner. In this case, just as the authors put it the leadership style and the kind of a leader in a business can influence the success of a company.

The construction of the book, The leaders window, mastering the four styles of leadership to build high-performing teams, matches well with the contemporary issues facing business enterprises today. The importance of a leader cannot be underrated especially in the current environment which is characterized by a high level of competitiveness due to creativity and innovation (Beck & Yeager, 2005). From the reading material, it is clear that a company can only achieve challenging goals, take a swift in a decisive action, and inspire other people to perform well through leadership. Most employees who are monitored closely have higher chances of performing as opposed to those who are not supervised. However, depending on the level of motivation, some employees can perform excellently regardless of whether they are monitored or not (Beck & Yeager, 2005). For that reason, outstanding leadership skills are paramount in any business since well-motivated personnel can stir enterprises to success.

Consequently, the book has been written to business managers as the primary audiences. By mentioning leadership and teamwork as the two drivers of organizational success, the authors attempted to help enterprise managers to learn the skills of managing a business efficiently. The competitive business environment requires business people to identify the most effective leadership style to apply in their companies (Beck & Yeager, 2005). The reason for this is that not all management styles work in a firm. Therefore, it is essential for a manager to know the kind of leadership that works in every situation. On the same note, the knowledge of whether one has the right leadership approach with the right people at all times is essential. According to the authors, the best leaders know how to inspire groups to achieve significant accomplishments (Wren, 1995). Once people know what they do in an organization, the chances are that they will perform to the best of their potential.

The information in the book reveals two critical strategies that can be applied to improve the competitiveness of business. One of them is a strategy for leading individuals, and the other one is for orchestrating the group dynamics which have the capability of making or breaking a team (Beck & Yeager, 2005). The authors have continued to reveal that the art of putting the two strategies together requires various simple secrets which are necessary for the building and maintaining high-performance teamwork. One of them is motivation through better working conditions and better compensation. Inspiration has for a long time been regarded as one of the essential tools for creating a high-performance. By being paid well, workers feel that they are valued in the organization they work for, and thus they will provide the best. On the same note, such workers cannot feel the temptation to migrate to another firm. Another simple secret necessary in building a high-performance teamwork is constant communication (Beck & Yeager, 2005). When the top management forms the habit of speaking with teams constantly, it becomes easier for the workers to raise issues that affect them. In that scenario, the performance can improve since the management is capable of solving all problems facing the workers instantly. As the authors argue, it is evident that a teamwork that maintains high-performance attitude for a long time is vital for enhancing an organization's long-term success.

The pursuit of high-performance teams calls for the reader or business people to master the four styles of leadership. According to the authors, the leader can be regarded as a director, problem solver, developer, and delegator. As a director the leadership style which applies lies in the ability to make decisions unilaterally while communicating the same resolutions unequivocally (Beck & Yeager, 2005). The authors also state that a leader who acts as a director need to reward behaviors which are in line with the leader's wishes directly. In this case, it is possible to impact the conduct of workers directly by testing whether they are following what the manager desires at all times (Beck & Yeager, 2005). From the book, it is clear that the director type of a leader is concerned about his/her goals as opposed to the needs or attitudes of the workers. That is why such leaders tend to impose punishments and penalties to those workers who fail to comply with the directives and reward those who conform to the managers desires (Beck & Yeager, 2005). In this case, the employees ignore their attitudes and focus on the penalty or reward concerning the efficient delivery of services for the employer.

According to the authors' analysis of the leader who is classified as a director, the primary objective is to get the job done in the manner in which he/she has demanded. As the authors note, the effectiveness of such leaders comes in when they have a vision and are ready to assign other people the task of implementation. In this case, the managers must take full responsibility for the outcome of the implementation. The worker in this scenario cannot be questioned since he/she does what the leader has demanded. From the authors' viewpoint, this style of leadership approach is advantageous since the leader has full control over the completion of the task. By being available to monitor how things are going, the leader can easily identify and rectify problems as they emerge (Beck & Yeager, 2005). However, the approach is disadvantageous since the leader has to be available at all times to monitor the progress of a project. Similarly, the problem-solving capacity is restricted to the leader because he/she is the overseer and the workers do what they are told (Beck & Yeager, 2005). In the long run, the burden of success or failure lies in the hands of the leader. The authors assert that the effectiveness of the directing style can be effective when applied to the right people in the right situations and time.

The other classification of a leader as noted by the authors is the developer. Such a leader is not just responsible for designing a project but also coordination of the entire team to attain an objective. The leader in this situation must possess particular technical skills depending on the project at hand. In this case, he/she must be available to design a product which the other team members have to follow suit. The authors Beck and Yeager have described this type of a leader as the one who is supposed to access particular technical skills and then transfer them to the subordinates (Beck & Yeager, 2005). In this case, the leader leads with a perfect example by designing one product so that the rest of the team can follow suit. As noted by the authors, this kind of leadership is advantageous since there is almost no room for mistakes since the subordinates can design a product similar to what the leader has done. Consequently, the leadership style applies the doctrine of mentoring with a practical example. The leader in this scenario motivates the workers by revealing to them that he/she can accomplish a task within a specific time. In this case, the subordinates feel obliged to follow the supervisors footsteps in meeting organizational objectives.

Apart from the leader as a developer, the third classification of leadership styles as offered by the authors is the leader as a problem solver. According to them, this is the leader who identifies a problem in an organization and finds an innovative way to solve the issue. In a business scenario, the best leaders never lose hope even though there is a reason to panic. By remaining professional on everything that one does, a leader earns respect from the subordinates (Wren, 1995). The use of real business-related case studies by the authors is a professional way of delivering real-life examples to the audience. In this particular scenario, the authors have used case studies where leaders regularly solve problems involving the subordinates. The writers have revealed clearly that the problem-solving process calls for the leader to apply creativity and innovation. The reason for this is that some problems relate to the business environment or poor relationships between the workers and customers (Beck & Yeager, 2005). In the event of disagreements between the workers and customers, a professional problem solver makes sure that both parties are reconciled so that the business does not lose any of the two as they are critical stakeholders.

Furthermore, Beck and Yeager have laid much emphasis on the leader as a delegator. According to them, the ability to delegate is a critical aspect of every leader. A manager who can delegate wisely and efficiently is prone to achieve his/her goals as opposed to the one who does not empower in a wise manner (Levi, 2007). A close look at the authors analysis proves that delegating is important since it frees the leader the burden of tackling the mission of business alone. Additionally, delegation increases morale and confidence in subordinates making them produce more (Yukl, 2010). If a manager were to sit down and assume employees responsibilities, he/she would make a dissatisfied team. It is a clear indication that the leader does not have confidence on the subordinates. However, assigning essential responsibilities to the workers build their self-confidence, morale, and satisfaction.

The concepts derived from Levi texts and course articles relate well to the book about leadership styles. In the course articles, we learned that the type of leadership one applies to a businesss determines its success or failure. It is the leadership aspect that a manager att...

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