To begin with, it should be noted that in this paper the discussion centers on the problem of effective leadership examples. On the basis of the data currently available, it seems fair to suggest that leadership can be defined as learned behavior that becomes automatic and unconscious over time (Adair, 2009). For instance, leaders can make several important decisions about some problem in the time it takes others only to understand the question. Obviously, great leadership can be hard to come by. On these grounds, it can be stated that with all the politics that can go on within some average organization, many companies are lacking solid, good leadership from people who are able to cope with serious management problems. Thus, it is always important to see and examine good examples of effective leadership in the society (Adair, 2009). However, not all of the examples, which are presented in different specialized books, manuals, or lectures, are good one, and bring positive impact to those, who read or perceive them.
There is no doubt that the good example of effective leadership is shown by Costco’s CEO Jim Sinegal. It should be mentioned that over the five years from 2005 to 2010 Jim Sinegal has shepherded his company to impressive returns. During this time, Costco’s stock has doubled, and revenues continue to grow nowadays at an impressive rate. A closer look at the data illustrates that one of the main reasons of the company’s stability lied in the ability of Jim Sinegal to be mentally close and understandable to ordinary workers. His name tag plainly said “Jim”,he answered his own phone without a secretary, and his plain office at the company headquarters did noteven have walls. When most CEOs are paid in the millions and spend tens of thousands of dollars in order to decorate their offices, Sinegal paid himself a yearly salary of four hundred dollars. Without any doubts, it was a perfect management decision, especially in the complicated economic situation. His simple contract was only a page long, and included a section that outlined how he could be terminated for not doing his work. Needless to say, that his employee turnover rate wasthe lowest in the retail industry, over fourtimes less than rival Wal-Mart. It should be highlighted that in an age where CEOs were paid in the millions, Jim Sinegal was an anomaly. Therefore, his workers loved him for it.
It is obvious that the example of Sinegal’s management is good, because it shows one of the main principles of effective leadership. He was perceptive to his team, thus was more effective in knowing the needs of the team. It is important to understand that some teams value trust over creativity, while others prefer a clear communicator to a great organizer. In the conditions of economic crisis, Jim Sinegal has chosen the best variant for effective team building; he used market disadvantages to his company’s advantage.
However, not all the examples of creative approach in crisis economic situations are perfectly good. For instance, many journals and books propose the example of Glenn Kelman, the manager of Redfin, an online real estate brokerage company (Dive, 2008). His firm gave back two-thirds of the commission that traditional agents charge, thus, real estate agents started blacklisting anyone who used the service. In order to save the situation, Kelman started a company internet blog that focused on many of the negative aspects of the real estate business. He posted about internal struggles within the company, and criticized himself on many occasions. On the whole, customers loved the transparency and appreciated the fact that a CEO could ridicule himself and some dirty parts of his industry. Since starting the Redfin blog, business of the company has grown dramatically.
There has been an inconclusive debate about whether to consider the example of Glenn Kelman management to be good or bad. However, a close look at the principles of effective leadership indicates that it was quite a negative decision, which could possibly destroy the reputation of the CEO, company, or even industry. Furthermore, it took a long time and effort, which CEO could use in order to make some business structure optimization. Taking everything into account, it should be concluded that the example of Glenn Kelman is the bad example of effective leadership.
Adair, John. (2009).Effective Leadership: How to be a successful Leader. Pan Publications. 226.
Dive, Brian. (2008).The Accountable Leader: Developing Effective Leadership Through Managerial Accountability. Kogan Page Publishers. 260.