Leadership Interview Paper Final
- Pages: 18
- Word count: 4251
- Category: Leadership Skills
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Managers within the workplace are all different when it come to how they develop and lead their employees within the company so it ca be successful. Each manager has to utilize as well as determine what some of the different skills, techniques, and styles they will use in order to help properly lead their employees within the workplace. In order to establish some real world techniques used by managers in the workplace today, two different mangers were interview to help gain their perspective of leadership that is implemented where they work.
First the paper starts off with information about each manger in terms of where they work, what they do, the department they’re positioned in, and who they directly report to. Next, some brief information about each company the managers work at is given followed by a discussion of the leadership behaviors exhibited by each manger. Then some of the differences and similarities of each manger is discussed utilizing leadership theories as well as models to highlight the different leadership styles displayed by them. Finally, different moments throughout the interview that highlight critical leadership points are discussed and final information about leaders in the workplace are established. Information About the Managers
The first person I had the pleasure of interviewing was Eloise Hill who worked at a Restaurant called Schlotzsky’s located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota that is no loner in service. Her position title while the restaurant was in service was the Shift Manager so worked in the management department of the restaurant. So Hill was in charge of opening and closing the store, assigning some of the work hours to employees, directly supervising the employees, and taking care of any customer issues as needed. She directly reported to the Head Manager of Schlotzsky’s named. She took all of her orders from her in terms of things that needed to be done within the restaurant on a daily basis. Hill also reported anything of importance to her when it came to customer, employee, or business issues. Manager 2
The second person that I was able to interview was Mary Iverson who works at a company called Sauce Analisa located in Minneapolis, MN. Her position title is basically being one of the Lead Training Managers of many of the other employees within the company. Iverson works in the training department of the organization and she basically trains various employees on how to properly do product demonstrations for different food companies such as Wholefoods, Kowalskis, boutique stores, and co-ops. She directly reports to Lisa Oconnell, who is the Head Manager of the company. Iverson takes all of her orders from her in terms of the thins she is supposed to train other employees, how it should be trained, and for how long should the training sessions be held. She also reports many other things of importance to her such as how the training of employees are going, is it effective, and if the employees are demonstrating a certain willingness to want to learn or be trained. Information About the Companies
The Schlotzsky’s Company
The schlotzsky’s Company was founded in 1971 in Austin Texas and its menu only consisted of one delicious sandwich that was basically, “composed of a unique combination of premium meats, cheeses, and marinated black olives served on hot Schlotzsky’s sourdough bread” (Website). It started off as a small restaurant on South Congress Avenue in the state of Texas and has developed into a international franchise restaurant chain 40 years later. Furthermore, it has various different locations in over 30 different states and it also has a few locations in foreign countries as well. As the company continues to grow, it recognizes that their customers tastes have evolved, which is why they’ve implemented creative new menus.
They contuse to sell the very first sandwich that used to be the only one on their menu as well as other things such as other delicious hot sandwiches, fresh baked bread, specialty pizzas, toasted wraps, Artisan flat breads, tossed salads, etc… Since the year of 2011, the Schlotzsky’s restaurant look has been upgraded as well as remolded into a creative as well as inviting design that is appealing to customers. Many of the locations also serve Cinnabon’s classic cinnamon rolls that are very delicious homemade treats. With everything that has been expanded within the business, Schlotzsky’s is a restaurant that continues to remain true to their roots, which revolve around using the highest quality ingredients possible to present customers with the best sandwich in the world. The Analisa Company
Lisa Oconnelle, the owner of the company has family that is originally from Naples, Italy. Her grandparents Anna and Louis immigrated to a small town in Northern Minnesota after World War II. Her Grandmother opened a small Italian restaurant called the Woodland Inn since she loved to cook and has great cooking skills. Lisa was able to spend most of her childhood with her grandmother Lisa at her restaurant. This is where she, “learned so much about fresh, homemade, authentic Italian fare” (Website 2). By observing her grandmother Anna prepare her sauce, Lisa was able to see how she only used the freshest herbs, vegetables, and sun ripened tomatoes. She will always remember the scent of the sauce with specific ingredients that were used such as garlic, thyme, oregano, and fresh basil. People would come from all over just to enjoy a fresh batch of her grandmother Anna’s sauce.
Today, Lisa has re-created this sauce by continuing to select the freshest ingredients with no artificial flavors or preservatives being added to the jars or sauce that are prepared. Each batch is simmered for over 10 hours and the sauce can be used to layer lasagna, top spaghetti, brush across a pizza pie, or even dunk with crusty bread. People are able to buy this sauce that Lisa created created using ideas from her grandmother online using the company’s delivery services. Overall, the company sales healthy wholefoods products to stores as well as people and mainly he sauces that Lisa has created are the number one thing that is sold. Leadership Behaviors
Their are two sets of behaviors that can be demonstrated by leaders including task-oriented behaviors and people-oriented behaviors. Hill seemed to demonstrate the leadership behavior of a democratic leader, which is someone who, “shares decisions with followers, encourages participation, and supports the teamwork needed for high levels of task accomplishment” (Schermerhorn, 2012, p.263). So she exhibits a high regard for both the tasks and people, which constitutes as some of the characteristics of some of the most effective leadership techniques. One of the leadership traits that she exhibits is good business knowledge because she seemed to be very knowledgeable about the things that went on within the restaurant as far as running the cash registers, the back room, and some of the managerial responsibilities. Other traits that she exhibits include having drive, self-confidence, creativity, cognitive ability, motivation, and honesty. As far as Hill’s personality goes, she is an extrovert, which means she was super talkative during the interview, confident, and very engaged in the conversations. She is a very people person and she enjoys meeting as well as interacting with new people.
One example of how Hill supports the idea of teamwork in getting things done is shown in how she helped organize how the backroom of the restaurant used to be conducted in terms of putting employees into groups. Upon entering the backroom of the restaurant, it was clear to see that teamwork was highly utilized in terms of the flow of clear communication that goes on, the organization in terms of the groups of people who work together to prepares certain food items, and the way that others pitch in to help another person who may be having trouble within their groups. One example of how she would share decisions she’s made with her followers is how when she’d come into work every Friday, she would hold a short company meeting. During this meeting, Hill would thank her employees for doing good job that week, update them on ways they can continue to be successful within the restaurant, and notify them on any decisions that were made regarding the restaurant that had already been discussed with her by the head manager. Human Relations Leader
Iverson seemed to demonstrate the leadership behavior of a human relations leader, which is someone who is, “interpersonally engaging, cares about about others, is sensitive to feelings and emotions, and tends to act in ways that emphasize harmony and good working relationships” (Schermerhorn, 2012, p.263). So she exhibits a high regard for people over tasks, with is much different than a democratic leader who focuses on them both. One of the leadership traits that she exhibits is motivation because she seemed to put a high regard in making it known that she enjoys motivating others in terms of training on how to properly demonstrate products within her company. Other traits that she exhibits include having a lot of business knowledge, being flexible, possessing a lot drive, cognitive ability, and honesty and integrity. As far as her personality goes, she seemed to be extrovert just like Hill. During the interview she was extremely talkative, fun to talk to, very knowledgeable of her company, and seemed to be very interested as well as engaged in our conversation.
One example of how Iverson focuses on maintaining good working relationships is seen in how she tries to develop good work relationships with all of her employees by getting to know them. When employees come into her office for training, they often talk to her about their life and she uses that as a chance to become more familiar with them so that good working relationships can be established. For example, she has gotten know one of her employees very well and they have even developed a very good friendship. She has even been able to act as a mentor for this employee because they often come to her office for advice in terms of work and even some personal things in life.
Iverson cares about her employees and she often gives them each little gifts to show them appreciation for doing well at work. For example, one employee was performing really well in terms of selling the company products and making a lot of sales. Iverson had already gotten to know this employee very well and knew she needed some new shoes for her dog. Iverson ended up buying her dog some new shoe in order to show the employee appreciation for making a lot of sales. It is little things such as this that are great way in which managers can show their employees appreciation as well as maintain good work relationships. Comparison of the Leaders’ Leadership Styles
Hersey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Style
Hill’s leadership style seemed to be focused on the Hersey-Blanchard situational leadership model (HBSLM). This style basically suggests that successful leaders adjust their styles based on the level of maturity their followers may posses that may be indicated by their readiness to be able perform in different situations. The readiness is really just based on their level of confidence, maturity, as well as if they’re able or willing to perform the tasks they’re required to do. This model incorporate four different leadership styles that focus on a combination of task as well as relationship behaviors, which include delegating, participating, selling, and telling. Hill would typically demonstrate all of these leadership styles when it came to the way she would deal with a new employee that would be be one of the new team members within Schlotzsky’s. She explained that all new employees would start off as team members and it was her job as the manager to eeffeciently guide them so they could be molded into a good team member.
According to the HBSLM, telling can be defined as, “giving specific task directions and closely supervising work; a high-task, low-relationship style” (Schermerhorn, 2012, p.267). For example, Hill would utilize this style of leadership when the employee is going through the process of training to be a good team member giving them very specific directions on what they need to do and how they need to do it. Selling can be defined as,”explaining task directions in a supportive and persuasive way; a high-task high-relationship style” (Schermerhorn, 2012, p.267). For example, Hill would utilizes this style of leadership when the employee is continuing their process of training to be a good team member while giving them encouragement as well as the support they need to ensure them that they can perform the required tasks this job requires. Participating can be defined as, “emphasizing shared ideas and participative decisions on task directions; a low-task, high-relationship style” (Schermerhorn, 2012, p.267).
For example, Hill would utilize this leadership style in terms of helping employees feel more confident about performing their job of being a team member by sharing with them her ideas in terms of how do successfully be a team member and continuing to give them support. Finally, delegating can be defined as, “allowing the group to take responsibility for task decisions; a low-task, low-relationship style” (Schermerhorn, 2012, p.267). For example, Hill would utilize this leadership style when employees are fully confident in knowing what it takes to be a good team member so all she may do at this point is share any of her ideas and input to enable them to continue to successfully perform well in their position. House’s Path-Goal Theory
Iverson’s leadership style seemed to focused on the path-goal theory (PGT) that was advanced by Robert House. This theory basically suggests that leaders can be more effective when they help their followers move along paths that may help them successfully achieve both work goals and personal goals. It focuses on the fact that the some of, “the best leaders create positive path-goal linkages, raising motivation by removing barriers and rewarding progress” (Schermerhorn, 2012, p.267). This theory focuses on obtaining the right fit between leadership as well as characteristics with the indication that a leader can move back and fourth among four different leadership styles including, directive, supportive, achievement-oriented, and participative. Mary would typically demonstrate all of these leadership styles when it came to how she would deal with many of her employees in terms of training or when they visit her office.
According to House’s PGT, a directive leader, “lets others know what is expected; gives directions, and maintains standards” (Schermerhorn, 2012, p.268). For example, Iverson utilize this leadership style when employers come to her office and need to learn something new about a product. She would basically tell them about the product, explain about how they need to demonstrate it to customers, and let them ask anymore questions they may have. A supportive leader basically, “makes work more pleasant; treats others as equals, acts friendly, and shows concern” (Schermerhorn, 2012, p.268). For example, Iverson may use this leadership style when employees come to her office for training because the conversations they have may drift over to subjects about their life. Employees may sometimes feel comfortable sharing this information with her since she genuinely dose care and wants to provide any advice or support that she can.
Achievement-oriented leader can be defined as someone who, “sets challenging goals; expects high performance, and shows confidence” (Schermerhorn, p.268). For example, Iverson uses this style in terms of how she expects her employees to sell products and sometimes she may look at their sales numbers to talk to them about ways in which they cam improve when selling the products. She gives them advice, examples, and expects them to try to have a higher performance in terms of sales the next time they come to her office to talk. Finally, a participative leader basically, “involves others in decision making; asks for and uses suggestions” (Schermerhorn, 2012, p.268). For example, Iverson utilizes this leadership style when she asks her employees for suggestions on how she can help them with training in terms of making sure they can be successful in selling the products the company sells. What do you think we can do to meet your training goals? How can I support you in this training process? These are the kind of questions she will ask in order to let her employees know that she values their input as well as suggestions. Similarities
Both managers demonstrate a few different leadership techniques that highlight ways in which they’re similar to each other. Hill utilized the HBSLM and Iverson utilizes the path-goal theory, but there are ways that both of these different perspectives on leadership can be seen as the same. When it comes to the selling leadership style of the HBSLM that Hill uses, it can be seen as being similar to the supportive leader style from the path-goal theory that Iverson uses. This is basically because both of these leadership styles focus on showing employees support when it comes to explaining tasks as well as just offering assistance that they may need. Furthermore the focus on support that is shown through both of these styles helps makes for a more pleasant working environment for the employees.
When it comes to the telling leadership style of the HBSLM that Hill uses, it can be seen as being similar to the directive leader style from the path-goal theory that Iverson uses. This is basically because both of these leadership styles focus on directly leading employees as well as guiding them in terms of giving them giving directions, monitoring them, and maintaining standards. Finally, when it comes to the participating leadership style of the HBSLM that Hill uses, it can be seen as being similar to the participative leader style from the path-goal theory that Iverson uses. This is basically because both of these leadership styles focus on involving employees in the decision making terms of tasks, sharing ideas, and taking suggestions. Ah-ha Moments/Learning and Value of Assignment
After interviewing both of the managers, I was able to get a understanding of leadership as well as management from a real world perspective. Both managers highlighted some key information about what they believed to be the most critical skills that leaders should possess. Some of the skills they listed include communication, technology, educational, patience, mathematical, and motivational. It is true that good communication skills are needed so they can interact well with customers as well as other customers. It is truly the foundation of what great leadership is based on because communication is constantly used in our daily interactions with people especially within a place of business. Technology skills are also useful for leaders to have since technology is used constantly in the world today so you need to be competent in terms of knowing how to utilize computers. Educational skills are also good to have because its important for an individual to be knowledgeable about their position so they can be able to perform their job well.
Patience is another skill that is great to have because sometimes when dealing with customers or employees, it may take a certain level of patience. This is especially in terms of employees because people learn or do things at their own pace and managers have to be able to come to terms with that by utilizing patience. I think mathematical skills are also good for leaders to have in terms of making sure they know how to handle money correctly, but I think its mostly for leaders that may actually have to utilize math within their profession. Motivational skills are also a really useful skill to have because its important for leaders to provide their employees with a certain level of motivation that will enable them to feel like they can succeed and do well within their job positions.
Its also important for leaders to keep in mind that people may have different things that will motivate them in terms of work so its their job to try and figure out what those things may be. I imagined that both of the managers I interviewed would list maintaining relationships as critical leadership skill, but they didn’t. Maintaining relationships is an extremely critical skill a leader should have because its important to be able to gain relationships with employees so that you can get to know them and try to figure out how you can help them be successful. Furthermore, it goes along with creating a positive relationship with employees so they can feel like they have a boss who does care about them and as a result, the employee may perform their jobs better and love coming to work.
Two things that both of the managers I interviewed reinforced about my concept of leadership and management at organizations is that mangers utilize more than one leadership style and they all have different personalities that dictate how they perform their jobs. I already had a pretty good idea that managers may use various different leadership styles when it comes to dealing with their employees. In the interview, Iverson stated that she developed her leadership from role models that are mangers at other companies in industries such as banking, health, and publishing, Hill noted that her leadership style was self directed, which means she basically taught herself how she could be an effective leader from personal experience and learning.
So after conducting the interviews, it basically reinforced my thinking about how managers take on many leadership styles and I was able to get some real world perspectives on this. Its all about them understanding what approach they may take when dealing with an employee and figuring out exactly when they are going to take on that approach. For example, a manager may take on a directive approach when it comes to training an employee because they have to give direction, sets standards, and tell an employee exactly what it takse to do whatever it is they’re being trained on.
When it comes to personality, I already had a pretty good understanding about how mangers will each have different personalities. A managers personality is basically shown through how they will interact or communicate with their employees as well as the customers. After interviewing each manager, it basically reinforced my thinking about how managers may have different personalities because I was able to get real world experiences about how they would deal with employees or customers that shed light on personalities. Furthermore, how each of them acted while interviewing gave me some information about what kind of personalities they had as well. During the interview, Iverson was very talkative, outgoing, and she really had a lot to say. I couldnt keep up with all that she was saying, so I often had to ask her to repeat things. She was very nice, extremely perky, and talked about her job with a lot of passion. Her personality was along the lines of extrovert because she was super talkative, very comfortable, and very confident about the things she had to say.
During the interview, Hill was also very talkative, outgoing, nice, and had many different things to say. She also gave me many great example without me having to ask for them. Her way of speaking was very blunt and she got straight to the point. She spoke slow enough for me to be able to understand what she was say so I didn’t have to ask her to repeat things very often. Her personality was also along he lines of extrovert because exuded a lot of confidence, she talked a lot, and she was comfortable when she spoke to me answering every question with ease. Overall, its safe to say that both of these managers may incorporate their extrovert personalities within their work in terms of how they treat their employees and customers. Conclusion
In conclusion, I enjoyed interviewing Hill and Iverson to help gain real world perspectives as well as their own personal insights on leadership within their organizations. During the interview, I was able to see how each manager was different in terms of their personalities, leadership behaviors, and leadership styles. Hill demonstrated a democratic leadership behavior approach when it came to how she managed her employees and this is evident in how she relied heavily on tasks as well as people. The human relations leadership behavior was displayed by Iverson and this is evident in how she relies heavily on interpersonal relationships with people. When it comes to leadership styles, Hill demonstrated techniques as well as the skills exhibited in the HBSLM and it could be seen through ways in which she interacts with employees during their process of becoming an efficient team member.
Iverson’s leadership style was more aligned with the PGT and it could be seen through various examples that showcased how she interacted with employees at her company. Its very evident that both mangers shared many similarities as well as differences when it came to how they portray their leadership at their companies. They also shared some of the same thoughts on what some of the critical skills are that managers need to utilize to succeed in the business climate. Overall, its important to understand that every manager is different and when it comes properly managing their place of business, they each will have to utilize the leadership style that works the best for them.