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Leadership and Management: Discrimination in the Workplace


On several occasions, leaders and managers have to deal with various challenges and opportunities in the workplace. Leaders who recognize opportunity in the challenges they face are more likely to be successfully and effective in diverse working environments. Widespread discrimination in the workplace is one of the challenges that managers need to pay close attention to. Leadership is the process of gaining the help of others to attain or achieve certain common objectives (Schein, 1992. p. 47). In my daily activities, I come across several leaders such as the manager at my workplace, the supervisor at that place where I have my laundry done, and the football coach at my school, to mention but a few. Like the rest of us, these individuals are of different characters and employ various techniques in influencing their followers to achieve the common goal they all are after, hence different styles of leadership. People’s characters and abilities influence their managerial roles and the leadership styles they deploy (Silverstein, 2007).

I possess desirable traits and abilities that make me a suitable candidate for leadership positions. To begin with, the current business environment recognizes two major forms of leadership styles; transformational and translational. I possess coaching, delegating, and motivating skills, all of which are part of the characteristics that promote both forms of leadership styles. This paper seeks to illustrate how the abilities stated above best suits a leadership position.

Transformational leadership

James McGregor Burns developed transformational leadership in the late 1970s. Initially, this style of leadership elevated political leaders to addressing a wide range of issues. Somewhat, it was later adopted by the business world. Transformational leadership entails aspects of charisma. Inspirational motivation is another component of transformational leadership. Intellectual stimulation involves inspiring people to explore their abilities so that they get the most out of it through such means as creative thinking and suggestion of new solutions to problems. Public criticism discourages people’s affinity to follow leaders who inflict guilt in their freewill. The leader should pay attention to their subordinates and help them meet their needs.

Motivational skills

My motivational and coaching skills are ideal requirements for this kind of leadership. In line with business practices, good leadership involves knowing what motivates the others to perform. In this case, it is important to note that it takes skill to develop and perform as a motivational leader. Discovering the fundamental needs of employees helps in understanding their motivational factors. These could be financial (for instance, good pay), social, or friendship, or both. Growth challenges in the profession provide effective motivation for newly trained staff. Individuals in high paying jobs may lose the motivation to perform if they cannot build friendship cycles within the workplace or even improve their professions (Pohlman, and Gardiner, 2000). This motivation should also include persistent practice. Since employees emulate the work behavior of their leaders, they should remain focused on the goals set so that they can guide their employees in the right direction. The goals should be ambitious but realistic. While some achievements boost self esteem and create satisfaction (for example, completing an upgrading course), nonetheless, reward activities in some tasks helps in motivating employees to perform better even no reward is forthcoming.

Largely, workplace environment determines employees’ motivation. The presence of professional in an organization usually motivates the subordinates to present quality products and services to the organization’s customers. Equal treatment by the management safeguards employees against discrimination. An employee who feels unfairly treated will not put in extra effort in performing allocated duties. In the same way, while controlling staff’s performance is good for quality, a little flexibility is useful to allow employees some degree of independence in their jobs. This creates a sense of fulfillment, thus, leaders should only ask employees to do what they would do in their positions and not what they would not (Hersey, Blanchard, & Johnson 2001, p. 18).

Coaching skills

In an organization, coaching is mainly a prerogative of the human resource department. The HR department provides all the required material during the coaching season in order to facilitate effective training. At the end of the coaching season, leaders assign workers to different roles depending on their competencies and skill. Thanks to my coaching skills, I was able to develop good working relationship with new employees recruited in our organization. Such a good rapport improves the employees’ performance. Being truthful is a requirement if one intends to realize a successful coaching process (Raines & Ewing 2006, p. 44). A good leader should desist from being dishonest and should be ready to admit it when he or she is not conversant with certain issues. In addition, it is important to be knowledgeable when coaching as employees look forward to getting solutions to the problems they are facing. In this case, being uninformed as a coach is of little help to them. This includes assisting the HR in developing their products, always being an educator, and avoiding looking down upon others (Mujtaba, 2008, p.18).

Transactional leadership

According to (Bass 1998, p. 163), transactional leadership is that which service the structure of relationships and regulatory norms that are already in place. This kind of leadership employs a leader to reward and punish employees depending on their competences, failures and achievements. The relationship between a leader and his/her followers is more like a transaction where people offer each other something in exchange for their valuables. A leader maintain the focus of the organization in a particular course expect in response to changes in the business’ external environment. A contract signed at the onset and employees get a clear picture of the kind of benefits and conditions that would prevail at their work up on accepting to work for a particular organization. In every organization, the leaders shoulder this responsibility of identifying potential worker who would provide the human resource critical to the organization. As such, leadership often recruits based on some strict criteria that takes into consideration different traits of the potential employees. This allows the leaders to find workers suitable for different tasks and committed to the objectives of the recruiting firm.

Delegation skills

My delegation skills are useful both in transformational and transactional styles of leadership and they help me to produce desirable affects that improve s our organisation. In the two cases, it provides employees or subordinates with the feeling that they are independent and good at what they are doing. There is also the feeling of growth; being able to perform what the leader wants or does and therefore one can step in the leaders’ shoes should there be need(McCubbrey, Editore, Haag, Pinsonneault, & Dovan 2006, p. 27). A leader who delegates duties however should ensure that the worker’s tasks correspond to their competencies. In the event that, there are no employees to handle specific tasks other than the leaders themselves, then this would present an opportunity for the leaders to devise strategies for recruiting the right person for the job. This is because poor delegation is counter beneficial due to dismal performance or incompletion of work. The leaders should also dispel leadership fear and fallacies in subordinates while delegating tasks and in a way prepare them for leadership (Griffin & Moorhead 2007, p. 58).


The above styles of leadership are applicable in different situations each with its pros and cons. Transformational leadership greatly empower people to achieve beyond their prior accomplishments and achievements in different tasks. Individual’s characteristics like coaching, delegation, and motivational skills, help in being good leaders of certain kinds. Choosing the type of leadership style to follow in an organization greatly depend on the functions of the organization. As such, leadership style varies from one organization to the next. Once an organization has established its leadership styles, the organization’s potential to succeed would depend on the dynamic nature of the leaders. This implies that situational leadership appear in all features of leadership

Reference List

  1. Avolio, J. B. & Bass, B.M. 2008. Developing potential across a full range of leadership. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  2. Bass, B. 1998.Transformational leadership. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  3. McCubbrey, C.D., Editore, G. Haag, S. Pinsonneault, A. & Dovan, R. 2006. In Management Information Systems for the Information Age. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.
  4. Griffin, R.W. & Moorhead. G.2007. Organizational Behavior: Managing people and organizations. Montreal: Cengage Learning.
  5. Hersey, P. Blanchard, K. and Johnson, D.2001. Management of Organizational Behavior. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
  6. Mujtaba, B. G. 2008. Coaching and Performance Management: Developing and Inspiring Leaders. Davie, Florida: ILEAD Academy.
  7. Pohlman, R. A. & Gardiner, G. S. 2000. Value Driven Management, How to Create and Maximize Value Over Time for Organizational Success. New York: AMACOM.
  8. Raines, C. & Ewing, L. 2006. The Art of connecting: How to overcome differences, build rapport, and communicate effectively with anyone. New York: AMACOM.
  9. Schein, E. 1992. Organizational culture and leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Company.
  10. Silverstein, B. 2007. Evaluating Performance: How to Appraise, Promote, and Fire. New York: Harper Collins.

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