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Leadership Challenges and Opportunities

1. What challenges or opportunities does a leader who is introverted have when compared to an extraverted leader? Can an introvert or extrovert change? Support your explanation with theory.

2. Teams and groups continually make decisions and act on them. Think back on your experience working in groups. In your view, what is the most effective method of group decision-making? What role does leadership play in the group decision-making process? Elaborate.

3. What should be done with the group cynic? This is the person who finds fault and who is generally negative. Is it possible to facilitate a cynic to the advantage of the group? If so, how? If not, why not?

4. Regarding your behavior at work, what might be the reason(s) that you resist change? How do you dig your heels in and resist change when you believe it is important to do so? If you believe you have never resisted change, explain why.

5. In the context of change theory, some managers or organizations make frequent changes to follow popular ideas and fads. What is happening regarding leadership when the management fad of the month is tried and fails time after time? Provide an example to support your answer.

6. Review the case study Restview Hospital from below. After two years of using the new software unsuccessfully, you have been contracted as an I/O consultant to work with Mary Carter, who has been assigned by the CEO and the Board of Directors, to resolve the ongoing software problem. Examine your role as the consultant. What strategies might you use to influence the outcome? How would you help Mary to influence the board to approve the proposed software? As the I/O consultant for this case, how do you succeed at influencing leaders?

Restview Hospital
Mary Carter was the accounting manager at Restview Hospital, a large residential health care facility. The facility administrator, Jack Morelli, explained that he wanted to modernize Restview's system of accounts billing. He asked Mary to investigate available software packages that would be compatible with their computer system. Jack explained that he and the Restview board of directors would like to make a decision about this matter at the board meeting next month.
A week later, Jack asked Mary about her progress, and she reported that she had identified two vendors with appropriate software packages. Jack asked why her list of potential vendors did not include Standard Software Systems, the vendor from which they purchased the software currently used to process Restview's payroll. Standard had just recently developed a software package for accounts billing as a new addition to their product line, but few hospitals were using it. The preliminary information gathered by Mary suggested that Standard's software package was less appropriate for Restview than the packages offered by the other vendors. However, Mary knew that the president of Standard Software was a personal friend of Jack, and she agreed to include Standard among the vendors selected for further consideration.
During the next two weeks, sales representatives from each vendor were invited to make a presentation at Restview to demonstrate and explain their product. Mary had planned to invite the board members to these presentations, but Jack said they were too busy to attend. When the presentations were held, Mary and her office staff asked many questions, but Jack looked bored and said very little. Mary also visited some other hospitals that were already using each type of software package to get firsthand opinions about how well they worked and the difficulties experienced in installing them. During the course of her investigation, she learned that Standard's new software package was less flexible and less user-friendly than the others. All three software packages were about the same price, but the software package from Reliable Computer was clearly the best one for Restview's needs. She prepared a short report to Jack detailing the advantages and disadvantages of each product and making her
The next day Mary met with Jack to give him the written report and summarize her findings in person. She explained the reasons for her recommendation to purchase the software package from Reliable Computers, and she reviewed the evidence supporting it. Mary also offered to present her findings to the board of directors at their next meeting, but Jack said he could handle it himself. The board meeting was held the following week, and afterward Jack informed Mary that they decided to go with the software package from Standard. He explained that the board wanted to reward Standard for excellent customer service last year when installing their payroll software at Restview. Two years later, after thousands of dollars of unnecessary expense, the accounts billing software was still not operating smoothly for Restview.

7. To what degree have you seen leadership development courses change human behavior in the workplace? What happened? If you have not seen changes, what might explain the absence of change?.

8. Are leaders born or made? Substantiate your reply.

Solution Preview

1. Introverted leaders are good listeners. They leave the execution part upto their extroverted followers. However, it becomes tough for introverted leaders when they are surrounded by extroverted coworkers who are more likely to gain recognition by putting themselves in the spotlight. There are many examples of historical leaders like John. F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jack Welch who had extroverted behavior and was very successful. These leaders had bold behavior, were energetic, assertive, and adventurous. This enables them to communicate a strong and dominant vision which inspires others to follow them. This trait is missing in introverted leaders. However, it is possible to influence introverted leaders by the management and make them feel comfortable about their behavior. By encouraging them, comforting them about their strengths, helps create a positive working environment. Similarly an extroverted leader can be toned down if required to make him or her more effective.
2. The most effective method of decision making is by consensus. In this method, collective decision is arrived at through an effective and fair communication practice where all team members are listened to and their thoughts are valued. In the process, team members feel understood. They also actively listen to others and instead of imposing their own beliefs and opinion on others, members try to reach a consensus. Consensus decision making is an alternative to top down decision making practiced by most hierarchical organizations.
The role of leadership in the decision making process is to model good listening and communication skills. An effective leader provides direction to the group and help in directing their energy towards reaching consensus. The leader can create an environment which generates greater cooperation in reaching agreement and sets stage for greater cooperation in implementing the resulting decisions. In some situations, leaders have to act as facilitators for effective communication by asking people not to interrupt others, quieting dominant members of the group, or encouraging quieter members to speak up. Hence, leadership ensures that the decision is truly reached by consensus and not from selected group of people.
3. Cynics are people who believe that nothing is going to change and disagree with the methodologies of organization. While no company can expect ...

Solution Summary

The challenges and opportunities leaders who are introverted have when compared to an extroverted leader is determined.