TITLE: DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP AND ITS CONTRIBUTION TO IMPROVING THE OPERATIONAL WORKS AND IN OVERCOMING THE BUSINESS BASED BARRIERS AT THE WORKPLACE
In Business, the importance of production can never be denied which is linked with land, capital, workforces and entrepreneurship. Similarly, in business, leadership is an important ingredient which can make everything to work in seamless way- without leadership all the business elements and activities will become dormant. In business, leadership refers to the ability of an individual to manage the entire organisation by achieving goal and competitive edge by instilling motivation and high performance efficacy within organisation. Leadership approach in business is important as it can tie both the external and internal stakeholders within industry and beyond and can trigger the productivity and performance efficacy of organisation to considerable extent. According to Peker et al., (2018, pp: 150), “leadership is not one blanket characteristic which can cure all illness, rather it comprises with several elements which is considered to be adequate for ensuring success of an organisation”. In this context, it can be said that, there are many different effective or in-effective leadership styles which mainly depends on the goal and business strategy of the respective organisation. “Just because a manager is jovial and other one is refined that does not mean that either the leadership style or approach is effective than others”. To select or to identify the leadership capabilities of manager within an organisation, it should be important to consider that how well the manager can carry out their duty.
The purpose of this assignment is to emphasise upon own reflection and professional experiences on democratic leadership and its importance to improve the operational performance by overcoming the business based barriers within workplace setup.
(Source: Al Khajeh, 2018)
Democratic leadership is also known as participative or shared leadership. The democratic leadership refers to the approach where the individual with a group can play participative role in organisational decision making process. This is a type of leadership approach which can be applied in wide range of organisations- private business to healthcare setup; educational institute to government (Al Khajeh, 2018). More specifically, it can be said that, democratic Leadership style is mainly based on the concept of mutual respect. This leadership style can often be combined with participatory leadership as it needs collaboration between leader and people to whom they guide.
So, to define the term “Democratic Leadership” the concept of John Gastil can be used. On 1994, in the article “A Definition and Illustration of Democratic Leadership”, Gastil had given a clear definition about this leadership style. According to Gastil, “distributing the responsibilities within the members and empowering every individual within a group and aiding the group’s decision making process is the main concept of Democratic Leadership” (Gastil, 2018; pp: 271).
For this proposed work, CaféPod Coffee Co. has been taken into consideration. CaféPod is a small scale business, based in London, which has started its operation since 2011 (Cafepod.com. 2020). IPO Status of CaféPod is private. Brent Hadfield and Peter Grainger- the two important name of Café Pod have taken an initiative to start an independent business at South West London. Now, in spite of being a start-up business Café Pod is running with competitive spirit and single minded ambition of transforming the mind setup of coffee drinker and coffee product to considerable extent (Cafepod.com. 2020). The CaféPod mainly tries to target the adventurous coffee drinkers of London with implementation of innovation in crafting of quality coffee. In case of such organisation, which has the prime aim is to become the UK’s most popular coffee super brand by providing coffee products to the consumer, the contribution of democratic leadership approach in workplace can never be denied.
By using democratic leadership approach, I as an employee of CaféPod can maintain a strong collaboration between the organisational hierarchy and working employees to achieve the highest aim of the organisation. In this leadership approach, every member of the organisation can get opportunity to participate and exchange their ideas freely and can feel encouraged to discussion about future business strategy. It is true that democratic leadership process tends to stress upon the group equality and free flow of ideas, but in workplace setup, the supreme role must lie on a leader to offer proper guidance and control over business decision making process. By taking the aim of this assignment into consideration, for the start-up business like CaféPod Coffee Co. democratic leadership will work best at workplace setup to meet the organisational mission by overcoming potential barriers (Rifaldi et al., 2019). This is because; democratic leadership needs skilled and competent group members who have the eager to share their idea and knowledge. Though, this leadership style has one disadvantage: in the situation, where the role of leader is unclear or time is limited, this leadership can cause communication failure or restriction in project completion.
The aim or purpose of this proposed work is to emphasise on democratic leadership and to underpin its contribution to improve the operational activities and to overcome the business based barriers in workplace setup. To meet this issue or purpose of this assignment, a small scale start-up business of UK “CaféPod Coffee Co.” has taken into consideration.
More specifically, the Democratic leadership is an approach which based on the understanding of maintaining a balance between “an act of allowing every individual to take part in organisational decision making and to make the organisation capable to meet targeted objective”. During 1930s or 1940s, Kurt Lewin together with his colleagues R. Lippit and R.K. white had tried to determine the distinctive characteristics of decision making style, which afterwards is considered as the most closely linked approaches with leadership (Gandolfi and Stone, 2017). These three leadership style which was used mostly at work place setup: autocratic, laissez faire and democratic and their decision making methods are outlined below:
Source: (Gandolfi, and Stone, 2017)
According to Kurt Lewin, the most important element related with Democratic Leadership approach are:
- The leader will expect that the subordinated must have the willingness to maintain a mutual understanding with leaders regarding their role and responsibilities in workplace setup
- The leader will expect that the subordinates may exhibit their self-confidence and proficiency to get the thing done without continuous supervision within workplace setup (Nagendra and Farooqui, 2016)
- The leader will expect that the subordinates must have the eagerness to get themselves involved in decision-making process of organisation and act in competent manner
Source: (Allafchi, 2017)
According to my view and experiences gained through working as a leader to CaféPod Coffee Co., democratic leadership is ideal for me to keep the employees informed about the organisational mission and vision and to encourage the employee to take part in problem solving and decision making practice.It is ideal to offer a continuous scope or opportunities to the employees to develop a sense of personal growth and job satisfaction in workplace setup.
According to Allafchi, (2017, pp: 168), democratic leadership can be described as an approach based on distributing power and to gaining consensus. In this article, democratic leadership has been explained on the basis of the concept “democracy” – an organised effort of governing. According to the CEO of Twitter and Square, Jack Dorsey “if I have to make a decision, have an organisational failure”. This reference refers to the fact that, in any organisation, team member should be responsible enough in decision making process. A democratic leader always tries to empower the organisational people and team to take active part in decision making process and to maintain mutual understandings within workplace (Dyczkowska and Dyczkowski, 2018). In 2012, Dorsey has made a statement that “if an individual believes on something to be right or correct, then that individual should focus on his work to prove it. Authority derives from merit, not in other way. Every organisation tries to focus on innovative ideas that can help the organisation to reach at the peak of the success”. By taking the concept of democratic leadership and its contribution in workplace setup into account it can be said that like any other leadership approach, it is not simple or comfortable, but by using democratic leadership., an organisation can motivate its people and can guide them to strive for organisational success.
To underpin the contribution of democratic leadership to improve organisational activities by overcoming barriers, Puni et al., (2016, pp: 7) stated that a democratic leader must be good listener. It is often visible in any organisation that, many subpar leaders try to hear their team members and collect their opinion as a receipt he thrown that away, later. But, a successful leader will always try to value and use the opinion, ideas and feedback of subordinates for the betterment of organisation. According to Derecskei (2016, pp: 103), a democratic leader must have the necessity to shift their conception from “I want it my way or you can have it by your way” to “we will try together to find out the best way”. This understanding between hierarchy and sub-ordinates within workplace setup will always stress upon the participation and involvement from the people to organisation. By fostering the feeling of involvement and inclusion, the organisational subordinates must feel important and valued. And this in turn may help the employees to be integrated into organisation and to contribute best effort for the benefits of organisation (Mohiuddin, 2017). And with the increase of minds of working on a single problem will increase the way of potential solution.
By taking the context of organisation like CaféPod Coffee Co. into account it can be said that, in this organisation, use of democratic leadership can be a way to create such workplace, where people can communicate, ideas can flow and seeds are sown for a strong relation within employees and employers. Frequent communication with employees can directly impact on the organisational operational activities and operation process. By using democratic leadership, it can be easy to make a team more tight-knit where every individual will feel higher level of commitment and involvement within workplace setup. Such work culture can trigger the implementation of innovation in production process and workplace set up to considerable way.In this context, GandolfiandStone ( 2017, pp:) has stated that democratic or partnership leader must have to play enormous roles and responsibilities in organisation set up. Organisation which incorporates democratic leadership approach needs strong leaders who must have the knowledge and attributes to avoid any downsides which can trip up a collaborative team while they lose their compass. According to (Kumarand Ayedee, 2017), if in a small scale organisation like Café Pod Coffee Co. the employees may feel lower in terms of their input are being ignored, then democratic leadership can help to enhance the employee satisfaction and their productivity in organisation by developing “power-sharing” arrangement.
The purpose of this proposed assignment is to identify the importance of leadership in workplace setup to improve the organisational productivity by overcoming all the potential threats or barriers. To meet the aim of this assignment, focus has to be given on the practice of democratic leadership.
The aimof this assignment is to underpin the key concept associated with democratic leadership. Every organisation tries to maintain diversity in workforce and create such a work environment where every individual can feel integrated to the company. In this assignment, the key concept associated with democratic leadership has to be included. Focus has also been given upon how an organisation can overcome all the potential barriers or challenges by using democratic leadership approach.
To meet the aim of this assignment, a small scale start-up business of UK has taken into consideration. CaféPod Coffee Co. is a small scale organisation in non-alcoholic beverage industry of UK, which started its business on 2011. The main focus of this organisation is to implement innovation in coffee and coffee-product and bring transformation among the adventurous coffee drinkers of the country. In such start-up business, as a leader my mission will be to set up such a workforce, who will be dedicated enough towards the organisation and always be ready to contribute best effort for helping the organisation to become one of the popular coffee super-brand in UK (Al Rahbi etal., 2017). Being a leader it should also be important to keep a room for diversity.And to fulfil this aim, as a leader it should be ideal for me to follow democratic leadership to help CaféPod Coffee Co. to lead to utmost business success. As a democratic leader, it should also be important for me to encourage and motivate the organisational employees to be committed towards their role, so that, I as leader of CaféPod Coffee Co. can manage the human resources and administrative activities to proper extent.
As a leader, my mission in this assignment should be to underpin that how by using democratic leadership approach, the potential barrier or threats can be overcome within workplace set up and can increase the organisational productivity to considerable extent.
So, as a whole, the aim of the organisationwill be:
To develop a diverse workforce within organisational setup and create a power sharing arrangements, where the workforce can take active part in decision making process of organisation by using the concept of democratic leadership.
To meet the aimof this project, it should be preferable to select a specific organisation as for instance. So, the first plan is to select a small scale organisation of UK, by using which, contribution of democratic leadership in workplace setup can be described, properly.
Secondly, to meet the purpose of this project, reflective analysis should be preferable to adopt. Through reflective analysis, the importance of democratic leadership in workplace setup can be explained elaborately.In this project reflection of leadership and management in practice should be included along with the issues that may arise in professional leadership practice and capacity building in workplace setup. The strategic focus will also be given upon the difference between democratic leadership and distributed leadership and management practice in organisational set up.
To meet all the objectives of this project, a thorough review of existing literature has to be carried out in accordance to the topic.
The structure of this project will be as followed:
To carry out any project, it should be important to keep all the ethical consideration into account. To meet the purpose of this project, CaféPod Coffee Co. has taken into consideration. Confidentiality of the organisational data should be maintained while reflecting upon own experiences regarding the use of leadership practice in workplace set up.
Be it democratic leadership or be it autocratic leadership, just because I become a leader in my organisation- it does not mean that the floor won’t drop out around me. There are several challenges a leader may face while practicing as well as developing leadership within organisational scenario.
Firstly, to adjust with the role: become a leader can be difficult to play the ownership role in organisation by an individual in proper way. There will always be some people in a team, in the organisation and in work life who seem to be difficult (İnce, 2018). As a leader, it will be foremost necessity to handle these people and their demand with kindness and grace. Work environment can also create lot of pressure while practicing leadership within workplace setup.
Secondly, a common misconception is often related with the leadership practice in professional area, that when an individual becomes leader, he or she must have the supreme power to control and oversee the everyone’s work (Veliu et al., 2017).But this can quickly be stifling for a team, if an individual within team cannot feel trusted or no longer willing to work as a team.
Third is the lack of communication. It often becomes a common problem for a new leader that he may find it difficult to communicate with team openly regarding the expectation, organisational requirements and issues that they may encounter while accomplishing the work. While the micro-managing is considered as one of the critical issue related with leadership practice and capability development in organisational set up (Erke et al., 2019). Though, at the same time, problem may also arise for a leader if he or she cannot transmit proper guidance to the team member regarding what the organisation or leader will expect from them. While the people will come to know about their roles and responsibilities they will try to accomplish the target, but here it should be important for a leader to ensure that every individual with a team and workplace setup is aware about how their roles and responsibilities should be aligned with organisational mission and contribute to the time for acquiring the organisational goal.
Lack of accountability is another critical issue, which is often related with leadership practice in workplace setup.it is often seen in organisation that good ideas fall through the cracks and that can be linked with lack of accountability (Xu, Loi andNgo, 2016). Being a leader it should be important to have a scoreboard where one can track the result that we or our organisation want. According to majority of CEOs, practice this thing in real time needs focus and self-discipline- to develop any system in organisation, a leader must have to maintain proper degree of accountability (Gandolfiand Stone, 2017).
Lac of clear vision can also be considered as another critical issue related with leadership practice and development of capability in workplace setup. What the company’s vision for future- if a leader does not have a clear vision about organisational requirement, then it may be difficult to maintain an alignment in organisational requirements and roles and responsibilities of workforces, and the vision of a leader must not be a fluff statement rather it should contain proper and sound corporate speak (Carter et al., 2018). A real leader should have the capability to create a compelling vision for the future success of the organisation and that should be implanted among the team members so that they can work hard and doing the right thing at right time. By taking the context of start-up business like CaféPod Coffee Co. into account, it can be said that today’s millennials have the belief that the work they do must go beyond the mere paycheque and should contribute for greater goods.
By taking all these issues related with leadership practice and capabilities development, into account, it can be stated that, democratic leadership is one of the best leadership practice in today’s organisational scenario. The basic concept related with democratic leadership is to encourage the creativity of team members and rewarded them on the basis of performance. Though, like any other leadership practice, democratic approach of leadership also stresses upon the fact that leader must have the supreme power to take final decision regarding the betterment and future outcome of the organisation (Dyczkowska and Dyczkowski, 2018). Though, in democratic leadership, the leader must encourage the subordinates to take active part in organisational decision making process and their ideas should be valued for ensuring future outcome of organisation.
By taking the concept of every leadership approach and organisational setup into account, it can be said that, every leader must have the ability to provide opportunities to the team members for taking active part in organisational decision making process, ideas should be exchanges and discussion should also be encouraged. Though, unlike any other leadership approach, democratic leadership stresses upon maintaining equality and free flow of ideas within organisation (Veliu et al., 2017). A democratic leader has the power to decide who will be in the group and who will get the scope to contribute to the decisions that are being made. So, the primary characteristics of a democratic leader should be included the followings:
- The leader must encourage the group members to share ideas and opinions, though the leader must have the responsibility to final say over the decision that are made
- Creativity and shared power arrangement in workplace and within team should be encouraged
According to research, a good democratic leader must have to possess certain traits, which include:
- Skills and competency
- Creativity and accountability (Xu et al., 2016)
- Honesty, good listening skills and fairness
The benefits of using democratic leadership in organisation is, as this leadership approach encourages to sharing of ideas and believes by the team members within organisation; so democratic leader can get better ideas and creative solution to any organisational problems.In this leadership approach, group members can also feel to be integrated in organisation and committed to the project which in turn can make them more efficient to contribute better performance (Carter et al., 2018). And by taking all these concepts into account it can be stated that democratic leadership can lead an organisation to higher productivity and future success, irrespective of the organisational size and scope.
Source: (Carter et al., 2018)
CaféPod is a small scale start-up business. The business has presently about 85 employees and in the past few years it has become successful to gain significant competitive edge in the non-alcoholic beverage sector of London. In the organisation I am working as assistance HR manager. With context to the organisation CaféPod, I can say that, the organisation to some extent follow the democratic leadership approach but the supreme power of decision making is in the hand of its owners and managerial head. Being an employee of this organisation I have experience that, the organisation gives enough value to the perspective of the managerial employees and provide those employees equal opportunities to participate in the decision making but the ultimate decision is taken by the leader. For example, few months ago, the organisation identified the requirement of new marketing strategy. So it conducts a meeting where all the managers are invited to participate and present their ideas regarding the issue and the final decision had been taken by the leader considering the views and ideas of all the managers. But also I felt that, the democratic leadership approach is not fully utilised in the organisation as, the lower division employees do not get the opportunity to present their ideas and effectively participate in the decision making process. Those employees also experience very limited opportunity of growth in their carrier that makes them de-motivated. According to Fiaz et al., (2017), a business organisation can maintain its growth path by keeping the motivation level of the employees high. As the motivation level of the employees is directly and positively correlated with the long-term organisational success. The approach of democratic leadership, allows the leaders to keep the motivation level of all the employees high by engaging them with the organisational objectives and make them feel that they are a part of the organisation. In CaféPod this approach is missing for the lower division employees. The more extensive use of the democratic leadership approach can bring huge benefits for the organisation. In democratic leadership, the flexibility and adaption are the two crucial values. CaféPod, is in the growing stage, it needs to be adaptable with the changing external environment where a number of strong competitors is playing against it. For such a situation by considering democratic approach, the production and management of the organisation could be handle in a more flexible manner, that also allows the employees to be more adaptive with the changing needs and requirement of the organisation.
As an employee of the CaféPod, I have experienced that, in spite of being a small scale business, the organisation is highly relied upon team work. For every kind of work such as: operational, administrative, production and so on, the organisation has different teams which look after different matters. By considering the democratic leadership approach in the organisational setting in a more comprehensive manner the team involvement, participation and engagement could be enhanced to a significant level. As this approach will encourage the recognition of the contribution of each member of the team which provide the team members self-interest to give best possible contribution in fulfilling the aims and objective of the organisation.
CaféPod Coffee Co. is a small scale coffee business, which emphasises upon production of strong and exciting coffee for adventurous coffee drinkers of London. CaféPod runs with a competitive spirit and single-minded ambition. To run business with innovation and use of craft in producing Coffee products-innovation the status quo is the DNS of CaféPod Coffee Co. To achieve this ambition or to fulfil this mission, the organisation always stresses upon using democratic leadership to implement flexibility and cooperation within workplace setup. The organisation always tries to capitalise their employees and their individual talents and strengths while benefiting from the power of democratic leadership approach at workplace setup. By using democratic leadership approach, CaféPod Coffee Co. is trying to implement operational changes, so that the leader and manager can get scope to resolve problems either individually or within a group. By using democratic leadership approach, CaféPod can also get a scope to keep the line of communication open for the employees, so that every individual can do their duty and responsibility to make the organisation able to acquire success. By using Democratic leadership approach, the leader and hierarchy of CaféPod can respect everyone’s ideas and input to considerable extent.
The concept of Distributed leadership advocates about the power distribution among multiple individuals instead of a single leader. In the distributed leadership model, leadership has been depicting as group quality which ignores the binary ideas associated with leader and follower, where the leader act as the ultimate power holder and the followers function as their subservient. In simple words, this model, distributed leadership model focuses on the shared distribution of power and rejects the idea of concentration of power only in the hand of one person(Zepke., 2017). The distributed leadership approach presents leadership as a concept of ‘centre stage’ rather than the individual leaders themselves.
The model is stand upon the full-scale reconsideration of the power dynamic of an organisation. Under this concept, the pluralistic engagement is encouraged form the strategy build-up to the achievement of the goals. The model does not rely upon the equal delegation concept, which suggests that a leader instructing and forcing his/her followers to fulfil their part of responsibility and the followers only role is to follow the leader’s instruction. So it can be said that, the delegation is not a healthy culture of work for any kind of community or business (Mihai, et al., 2017). Instead of that, the distributed leadership model is focused on active dialogue between the different levels of responsibilities. And besides that, it also emphasis on the ‘shared meaning’ within a community or organisation.
Source: (Zepke., 2017).
The above Figure illustrated the applied concept of distributed leadership within and organisational structure. According to this model, there must have certain level of autonomy in the hands of leaders which is necessary for maintaining a systematic leadership within the organisation. But, the leadership must be distributed among a group a group of skilled and efficient people. Otherwise, the idea of autonomy can make the leaders arrogant and ineffective, which could bring back the culture of delegation that in turn harm the process of creation of new leaders and a healthy pluralistic engagement within the organisation. The leaders must be accountable for the actions taken by them and also for the outcome of those actions. The term ‘capacity’ depicts the requirement for these autonomous leaders who completely believe that, they are accountable for their actions which are supported with the various resources necessary to implement their devolved strategy.
Distributed leadership model advocates for the “consultation and consensus” approach instead of “command and control” approach. This has major impact upon the internal environment of an organisation (Xu, Loi and Ngo., 2016). This model also focuses on the requirement of leader development, which is describe as the development of interpersonal competence for the selected individuals within an organisation.
The democratic leadership and management practice is distribution of responsibilities among the employees and empowering them with the employees and aiding the entire decision making process. The democratic leadership and distributed leadership are two similar approaches. Both the approaches rely upon the shared leadership, which is the distribution of decision making power from the hand of an individual to a group of individuals (Zepke, 2017). Both of the approaches emphasis on group leadership practice instead of individual leadership roles. In this course work, for the organisation CaféPod such an environment have been aims to implemented where there the authoritative persons allows their subordinate to actively present their ideas and also participle in the decision making process, so that, the employees become more engaged to the organisation and also give their best for performing their roles and responsibilities.
One of the most prominent aspects of distributed leadership is that it allows the employees to take the ownership of their responsibility. In democratic leadership also, the employees are allowed to perform their job with flexibility and creativity. So the employees are bound to take the ownership of their responsibilities. In the context of CaféPod, a more flexible working environment has been proposed to implement, where the employees could incorporate their creativity in fulfilling the job as they are now the owner of his/her responsibilities.
Both the leadership approaches encourage upward movement of opportunities, which is the people will get growth opportunities on the basis of their performance and contribution towards the company’s success(Al Rahbi et al., 2017). In distributed leadership approach and democratic leadership approach allows such a management structure within which upward movement of opportunities is possible.
When the approach of distributed leadership is undertaken everyone get the chance to participle in leadership activities (Malik, 2016). For example, the person posted in a formal supervisory role can also get the chance to perform the responsibility of leader for specific projects, and this approach develop the leadership quality of that employee, and makes his/her ready to become a future leader.
By taking the context of CaféPod Coffee Co. and the leadership practice into account, it can be stated that, being a leader, a strategic focus has been given while implementing leadership in organisational set up. By taking the piecemeal approach into consideration, the key steps are being followed in CaféPod Coffee Co. and its hierarchy to maintain alignment in moving succession planning from bolt-on programs to develop strategic process:
- Establishment of foundational framework for leadership development
- Develop organisational vision and mission
- Set up core values anchoring the culture of organisation (Gilbert, 2017)
- Use of anonymous process to identify the core competency of work forces
- Succession plan to motivate the employees to strive the organisational mission by using mutual understandings and shared knowledge and ideas
The intention of this entire coursework is to develop a constructive knowledge regarding the democratic approach of leadership and also to underpin its contribution and importance to improve the overall operational performance by overcoming the associated barriers within a workplace setting. Being an employee of CaféPod I have tried to maintain a strong collaboration between the organisational hierarchies and working employees to achieve the highest aim of the organisation. In this coursework I have portrayed my experience in leadership and I have discussed my approach as a leader, towards improving the organisation’s leadership and management issues considering the democratic leadership style in the introduction section of the coursework, I have provided a concrete background discussion regarding the democratic leadership style and also provide background information about the organisation CaféPod. Various important definitions of democratic leadership have been discussed and from that I have come to the understanding, that democratic leadership style allows the employees to take an active participative role in the decision making process within workplace setting. Every member of a particular group gets equal opportunities to present their perspective and ideas within a flexible working environment. This approach basically tends to emphasize equality and free flow of ideas within the guidance of the leader. A democratic leader does not simply put his/her decisions on others, the approach of controlled leadership is completely rejected in the democratic style of leadership, rather a democratic leader value the opinion and perspective of each of the employees and create a flexible and adaptable working approach under the guidance of his or her leadership(Mohiuddin, 2017). With the context of the organisation CaféPod, by considering the democratic style of leadership I could create collaborative and affirmative working approach which could in turn allow me to mitigate operational barriers like coordination failure, workplace conflict, de-motivated work force and many others.
In order to conduct the entire coursework in an efficient manner I have conducted a literature review considering a number of scholarly literatures and in most of the cases I have found positive results regarding the hypothesis of the coursework i.e. democratic leadership has significant contribution in improving the operational works and in overcoming the business based barriers at the workplace. However, certain literature also provides conflicting findings. The summary of the findings has been discussed here. The democratic leadership approach is made upon three basic assumptions: firstly, the leader will expect that the subordinated must have the willingness to maintain a mutual understanding with leaders regarding their role and responsibilities in workplace setup. Secondly, the leader will expect that the subordinates may exhibit their self-confidence and proficiency to get the thing done without continuous supervision within workplace setup. And lastly, the leader will expect that the subordinates must have the eagerness to get them involved in decision-making process of organisation and act in competent manner (Gandolfiand Stone, 2017). The success of the leadership style in improving the working environment of an organisation to a large extent depends upon the fulfilment of these assumptions.
A democratic leader does not perform the decision-making and problem solving responsibilities all by himself/herself, instead of that the leader consult the issue with its team and by conducting proper analysis of the issue and proper discussion it comes to the point of taking final decision. This process makes the leaders to evaluate the various perspective associated with the problem and also the various aspect of solving the problem. As while a group of people is engaged in analysing a problem and finding a solution, the different perspective of the different individual will be presented and from that a comprehensive solution come out. But, in this regard, I have found conflicting findings which suggest that, sometimes the group involvement of democratic leadership makes the problem more complex simply due to the involvement of too many perspectives. As a result the process becomes too much time taking and it sometimes actually deviates the leader from the optimal solution of the problem.
In this coursework, I also have conducted a thorough discussion regarding the issues associated with professional leadership practice and leadership capacity building. By analysing various literatures on this subject I have come to the conclusion that, being a leader is not an easy job. A leader must have an impressive personality and has the ability to deal with people with kindness and grace. The working environment of an organisation to a large extent depends upon the leadership style followed by the leader. In most of the cases a democratic leadership creates a more positive and flexible working environment compared to any other style of leadership. Lack of communication among the leader and the follower could be a major issue in the work place setting. The leader must have effective communication skill and it is the responsibility of the leader to create a proper communicative environment where the team members do not hesitate to present their views or ideas (Veliu et al., 2017). Considering the entire research work I have made the conclusion that a good democratic leader must possess some traits which include: effective communication skill, courage, creativity and accountability, honesty and fairness. By using the democratic leadership approach in an efficient manner within a workplace setting, the organisational problems can be solved creatively and also the productivity of the organisation could be enhanced. As this leadership style enhance the employee engagement by keeping the employees motivated and engaging them with the organisational aims and objectives.
I have incorporated the concept of distributive leadership model for measuring the implication of democratic leadership. And I have found that both the leadership approach is quite similar. The distributive leadership model emphasis the leadership quality of autonomy, accountability and capacity and similar to democratic leadership it also relies upon shared leadership. And lastly, I have discussed the piecemeal approach for the implementation of democratic leadership approach within the organisational setting of CaféPod, which shows the five stages of to maintain alignment in moving succession planning from bolt-on programs to develop strategic process.
Through the coursework, I want to reflect the importance of flexible leadership approach like democratic leadership within an organisational setting. As per the situational leadership theory, leadership needs to be tasking relevant and a leader should act with accordance to the demand of the situation. The democratic leadership approach makes the moves of the leader flexible as a result he/she can act according to the emand of any particular situation It is true that, the approach characterises with its own advantages and disadvantages. But for creating positive working environment and enhancing employee engagement, this leadership approach has a quite significant contribution.
By conducting the coursework, I have gained a significant knowledge regarding the importance of correct leadership approach and capability building. By considering the knowledge that I have gained from the coursework, I have set some objectives for future development of leadership skill which would help in strengthening my leadership skill for my growth in the carrier, the objectives are as follows:
- I will improve my verbal communication skill as a leader must have efficient verbal communication skill for motivating his/her employees
- I will improve my decision making skill. Though in democratic style of leadership, the leader consider the perspective of every team member but by judging the perspective and ideas of the team members the ultimate decision has to be taken by the leader
- I will try to become more empathetic. Good leader must develop empathy with his/her follower. This quality allows the leader to make a strong bond with his/her followers
- I will also try to become more accountable. As a good leader takes the accountability of decision and for the performance of the team.
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