Business is responsible by a leader with a successful leadership. Responsible leadership is important as almost every aspect of work influenced by leadership in a business (Overton, 2002:2). According to Rodney Overton, the definition of leadership is ¡¥the ability to get work done with and through others while gaining their confidence and cooperation¡¦ (2002:2). It is intent, in this brief essay, to discuss further the importance of being a responsible leader in business, the involvement and the examples. Discussion of business students learning to be a leader and also the perspective of responsible leadership also provided.
There are several writers that discuss differently the leadership in business. All companies are still acting like traditional approaches in making profit but in a different way, according to Tim Ooi (Cheh, 2004). We cannot just make a profit without taking care of the environment because if they do so, people will not consume from them (Cheh, 2004). In this case, that company will lose business or even newspaper or Current Affair will publish a scandal about their company (Cheh, 2004). In his point of view, we must socially responsible to be a successful leader in a business (Cheh, 2004). Fujio Cho, president of Toyota Corporation state that ¡¥Toyota and the other automakers will not survive the 21st Century unless we pull together now and find ways to limit the car¡¦s impact on our earth¡¦ (Hermance, 2001).
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Phil Crosby states that a leader ought to have a clear schema, in being consistent and needs to be patient (1996:ix). He also said that leadership is not a ¡¥system¡¦ because there is nothing that called ¡¥system¡¦ to be installed to conquest the job of management (Crosby, 1996:2). Leadership is the result of actions taken by an individual and leader to attract their followers for pragmatic reasons with offering something that the followers wish to have (Crosby, 1996:2). People will unable to do anything if they or others cannot understand the definition of leadership (Crosby, 1996:2).
There are five components that written by Rodney Overton in term of the productivity of the leadership lineup in any company (2002). These include individual job actions of a manager, individuality in work that associated situations of the manager, power base of the manager, outline of the company¡¦s raw material, tasks, capital investment and related factors, and the company¡¦s background (Rodney Overton, 2002). In Overton¡¦s view, ¡¥no one is a born leader¡¦ or else they may have to work at it when there are certain skills that allow them to develop to be a leader (Rodney Overton, 2002:3).
John Adair was the author of “Leadership Skills,” his view also the same as Overton that there were no people born to be a leader (Management-Today, 1998). He said people must ¡¥absorb new knowledge and then have time to reflect on it¡¦ in the first place (Management-Today, 1998). Adair said that ¡¥nobody can teach you leadership¡¦ and he explains that there is needs of learning for oneself by looking at what is going around where we are (Management-Today, 1998). There are still a small percentage of people that hard to train to be a leader; it means that they are not the person with ability to be a leader in a business (Management-Today, 1998).
Leaders have three restraining factors; there are knowledge and skills, subordinates¡¦ skills, and the working environment (Overton, 2002:2). There were four sources of leadership, leadership¡¦s role appointed ¡¥Legitimate power¡¦ by the organization (Overton, 2002:2). The second sources of leadership were ¡¥expertise or skill power¡¦ in which having knowledge and skills that will help the group to accomplish the goals (Overton, 2002:2).
The third source was ¡¥respect or affection power¡¦, where a leader will have influence over a group of people when they are liked and respected by their subordinates (Overton, 2002:2). Finally, a ¡¥reward and or coercive power¡¦ that influence pay, promotion and recognition of followers from the power (Overton, 2002:2).
Leaders have ¡¥vision¡¦, which they having a future clear vision to be able to communicate the vision, believe in vision as well as themselves and live the vision (Overton, 2002:17). In business, leaders have ¡¥values¡¦ that have clear ethical codes and strong view to decide right and wrong; values protected and promoted by the leaders (Overton, 2002:2). Leaders are ¡¥focused¡¦ in which they are purposeful in positive and ambitious, their focus was on the ¡¥big picture¡¦ and the tasks that required accomplishing it and they oriented the goals (Overton, 2002:17).
Peter Switzer mentions that leadership is important whether in a small business, a home-based business or a big business (2004). It is more important to develop leadership skills rather than the other because there is no one to be lean on but the leader oneself (Switzer, 2004). He noticed that there is very successful small businesses and medium in size businesses the coaches¡¦ roles and mentors is more important in progress to run their businesses (Switzer, 2004). They liking for external advisors to help them develop the capabilities of leadership and also recommendations that can improve their performance (Switzer, 2004).
According to the interviewee, Tim Ooi said that socially responsible is very important to be a responsible leader in business (2004). The company could not just think of making a profit without taking care of the environment (Cheh, 2004). To be successful in being a leader, he or she should think of the best solution to solve the problem that occurs and be able to compete with the competitors (Cheh, 2004). To recognize all the people, leaders need to prove that they look after the environment. This can be proofing by sponsor charity or design a new strategy for environment friendly (Cheh, 2004).
An example of responsible leadership in business is “Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Ltd” (Cheh, 2004). Toyota Company designs a new car and began the development of ¡¥fuel cell hybrid vehicles (FCHVs)” in 1992 as well as ¡¥electric vehicles (EV)” and “Hybrid vehicles (HV)” (Toyota Motor Corporation, 2002).
This design is an electronic control to generate to achieve the fuel efficiency nearly twice for conventional petrol cars, as well as to reduce emissions (Daily News Page, 1997). The power sources engage was depending on driving circumstances (Daily News Page, 1997).
Toyota Company¡¦s aim of sustainability is to protect the environment and economic growth that are not mutually exclusive (Hermance, 2001). The penalty is reckless in which economic growth ignores environmental and resolving the issues of environment without addressing the need of economic impact is unrealistic (Hermance, 2001). This century must be the ¡¥era of environmental partnership¡¦ (Hermance, 2001). There is more examples refer to the summary from the interviewee in Appendix 1.
Business students need to recognize their own learning other than learning in the class, as it may not willingly evident (Rha & Helfman, 2003). For example, students are required to write a ¡¥daily log of three things¡¦ that had been learned in the class session (Rha & Helfman, 2003). The learning of leadership skills remains the hard works on documenting and measuring (Rha & Helfman, 2003).
While the philosophy of targets improved student¡¦s engagement as the pride and joy of effective learning; study advances of theory stepping out the instructional model tested in this supplementary by engaging in acting out leadership scenarios, and then analyze what have learned (Rha & Helfman, 2003).
All students have an innate capacity to improve and practice leadership (Overton, 2002). Servant-leaders are that underlying philosophies or values base on a number of programs offered by colleges and universities (Kelly, 1995). The concept that involves “increased service to others, taking a more holistic approach to work, promoting a sense of community within an organization and between an organization and the greater community, sharing of power and decision-making, and a group-oriented approach to work in contrast to the hierarchical model,” said Spears” (Kelley, 1995).
My perspective is that leadership is really important in a business. I agree those leaders need to have knowledge, skills, and responsibility to lead peoples or to accomplish the goals. Without that, internal will lose control, employees may steal by the other competitor or business will go bankrupt.
It is also important when making a decision. A good leader can make a good decision and help out in solving problems. When decision-making was coming in false, which is unlikely that it will cause the business to lose money and also will hard to convince the subordinates to listen to the leader for a second time.
Although there are several different of definition for “responsible business leaderships”, all the meaning is quite close and stating the same things. In this century, only the organizations that look after the environment will stay longer in the business. It is always recommended to remember and understand the definition of responsible leadership.
Cheh, P.Y., 2004, Interview with Mr. Tim Ooi, Internal Control Coordinator, August 29th, MIBT, unpublished. (Appendix 1)
Crosby, P., 1996, The Absolutes of Leadership, Pfeiffer & Company, USA.
Daily News Page (1997), Emerging Technologies: Toyota Tries Hybrid Propulsion, www.industryweek.com, accessed 29/08/2004.
Hermance, D. (2001) ¡¥Sustainable Transportation¡¦, www.zevnet.org, accessed 1/09/2004.
Kelley, M., 1995, Reflections on Leadership: The New Leadership, Chapter 18, John Wiley & Sons, New York.
Management-Today, 1998, Effective leadership takes a lifetime of learning, n.d., p.14.
Overton, R., 2002, Leadership for the New Millennium, Martin Management, Australia.
Rha, J., Helfman, A., 2003, Learning Awareness, Student Engagement, and Change: A Transformation in Leadership Development, Education for Business, Volume of the Journal, pp.11 – 17.
Switzer, P. (2004), ¡¥Leadership¡¦, http://au.smallbusiness.yahoo.com, accessed 1/09/2004.
Toyota Motor Corporation (2002), Toyota to Open Hybrid-vehicle Exhibit at Johannesburg Summit, www.toyota.co.jp, accessed 31/08/2004.
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