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1.- Based on the below reading, using Critical Analysis, based on the concepts of text, comment,...

1.- Based on the below reading, using Critical Analysis, based on the concepts of text, comment, and answer What can we learn from the great business leaders? WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM GREAT BUSINESS LEADERS?

2.- Depending on the below reading assigned, using Critical Analysis, based on the concepts of reading, comment on your optics regarding the last three paragraphs of the reading conclusions. WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE BIG BUSINESS LEADERS?

William Henry “Bill” Gates III was born in 1955 in Seattle, Washington, in an upper-middle-class home. His parents wanted Bill to be a lawyer, but since the eighth grade, he began to show interest in computer programming, an activity he enjoyed with Paul Allen and other friends. Gates later enrolled at Harvard, without a definite course of study. He left college in 1974, and in 1975 he founded Microsoft with Allen, his childhood friend (Handy, 1997). Analysis of Leaders’ Formation Although the seven business leaders lived at different times, it is interesting to note that there are important similarities in their formation stage: • Rockefeller and Ford, born in the 19th century, had a limited education because there were few opportunities and incentives to follow regular studies at that time, but Sloan, Walton, Welch, and Laffey reached very high levels of formal education. Jobs and Gates had the same opportunity but left college to pursue something they liked more. • All of them, except for Gates, was born in economically quite modest homes, but such an environment did not constrain their success. • All showed talent at a very young age. They also knew what they wanted to do in their lives, working with much tenacity to achieve it, and showing great business vision and administrative skills. • Ford, Jobs, and Gates had technical skills in mechanics or electronics, but the interest to run a successful company prevailed in all of them. • Sloan, Welch, and Laffey joined and developed a career in existing businesses, but the others created their own company. • Certainly, all received help from others throughout their lives, but their accomplishments were achieved mostly on their own. As shown in the life of these famous men, there are many paths to becoming a business leader. However, the leaders are talented and creative, made the decision to run a successful company at a young age, and have the tenacity to overcome whatever obstacle may arise on the road to achieve that goal. It is difficult to determine if these business leaders were born with the conditions of endowment, creativity, and decisiveness that characterize them as leaders. However, all of them showed resoluteness at a very young age, and at least Ford, Jobs, and Gates showed genius and creativity since childhood, apparently an inherited ability. Th ere is much debate in the academic world about whether leaders are made or born. Among the many opinions on the subject, Avolio (2007) recognized that most scholars believe that leaders are made, with some leadership traits evolving over time and others are being fixed. Leaders’ Behavior John D. Rockefeller was criticized because of his methods of doing business. Skillful and unscrupulous, he built an oil refining and distribution monopoly that made him very rich. The U.S. government decided to prosecute him, and the U.S. Supreme Court forced him to divide his company, but Rockefeller took a long time to comply with that decision. Although it might seem that he made use of all possible means to achieve his goals, one of his biographers, Flynn (1932), stated that Rockefeller acquired his fortune honestly. Overall, despite his flaws, he is recognized as an intelligent and secretive persona, who strived in everything he did and surrounded himself with only the best. Henry Ford was a great innovator, according to Casey, Dodge, and Dodge (2010). He did not invent the automobile but made it a very useful invention and personally led the design of a car that exceeded the existing technical constraints. He also created new methods of car manufacturing, including the use of assembly lines, and was a pioneer of “welfare capitalism” (Vega Canales, 2014). Ford made efforts to improve the living standards of workers against the advice of Wall Street analysts at the time, establishing wages that doubled the rate of most of his workers while creating the 40-hour workweek. He also tried to contribute to peace during World War I. However; he was criticized for his attitude against labor unions and his apparent sympathy for Nazism and anti-Jewish feelings. Alfred Sloan made General Motors an icon of productivity, market dominance, and stable profitability (Farber, 2002). Drucker (1946) confessed that he formed his own theories of management largely from studying Alfred Sloan’ s General Motors. Sloan introduced business statistical and financial control methods which were then adopted as standards and sensed that cars had become more than basic transportation, bestowing prestige on their owners. He boosted the annual change of car models and the variety of brands and prices so that buyers could choose one according to their preferences and ability to pay. He was a pioneer in using market research and dealer sales reports. However, he was also remembered for his hostile attitude toward trade unions. Sloan was an intensely private man (The Editors of New Word City, 2014a). Sam Walton was a tenacious entrepreneur, always focusing on the customers (The Editors of New Word City, 2014b). He forced producers to yield power to distribution channels. He introduced the concept of self-service for customers. Walton based his success on operating shops with a small profit, but with a high sales volume at low prices, and was obsessed with cost reduction. He called his employees “partners” and implemented a plan of profit for all of them. He was also interested in helping the community. Tedlow (2001) observed that Walton was not a genius, although he was very smart, he was great because he had the courage of his convictions. Bergdahl (2006) affirmed that Walton learned all about the rules and then broke almost all of them because they did not make sense for him. He had great confidence in himself. Walton was governed by three fundamental principles: respect for people, customer service, and striving for excellence. He was charismatic and had a unique ability to gain the trust and support of those around him. He worked hard, with discipline, every day of the week, to create, nurture, and grow his empire of retail sales. Jack Welch was a tireless worker, restructured General Electric, and adopted new methods of management, making it a dynamic and competitive company. Krames (2002) stated that not only did Welch transform General Electric but he created leadership principles and strategies. Simplicity, informality, working without boundaries and promoting employee participation were some of his principles. Welch had the ability to understand a situation before other business leaders and then designing an organizational architecture that transformed the company. He firmly believed that developing a culture of learning was the key to creating a competitive business (Welch, 2001). Welch was a new kind of leader. McKelvey (2010) argued that Welch was an instinctive leader who knew how to properly handle the complexity by replacing the old management top-down style for “stress management.” According to McKelvey, Welch forced the company to face reality, incentivized employees to find innovative and better ways to do the job, emphasized a few clear and broad goals, renewed the workforce to make it more heterogeneous, developed the ability to make frequent acquisitions, established networks to generate ideas, eliminated layers of management levels, promoted personal contact between employees, and created a culture of learning. Although he was relentlessly inquisitive, A. G. Lafley acted calmly and respectful of employees instilled the value of listening, facilitated the interaction between employees at different levels, promoted the transfer of knowledge, and delegated much responsibility (Lussier & Achua, 2011). Lafley (2009) stated that the real task of the CEO is to link to the external world with the internal organization, a job that only he or she can do. Defining the business in which the company should be, establishing an appropriate balance between the present and the future, and shaping values and standards are also, according to him, the CEO responsibilities. In an interview with Dillon (2011), Lafley recognized that he made many mistakes but learned from them. According to his experience, you learn more from failure than from success and when you stop learning there is no development and growth. Steve Jobs has been recognized as a great inventor, mentor, and friend. He was overtly passionate about what he thought he wanted to achieve (Kurian, 2011). However, he had a difficult relationship with the press, and he was accused of creating a climate of fear within Apple, abusing public funds, exploiting workers, and having shallow and cruel personal relationships. Jobs believed in teamwork and said he was convinced of the desirability of hiring capable people, creating an environment that fosters individual work, listening to customers, feeling very passionate about what you do, and focusing on outcomes (Beahm, 2011). Isaacson (2012) believed that Jobs belongs to the class of great innovators such as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Walt Disney, who applied imagination to technology and business. Bill Gates, according to Handy (1997), was genuinely passionate and a great teacher of his own staff. He spent significant time appreciating people and communicating with them. Gates hired the best people he could and created what he called a knowledge company. He was not afraid to recognize his mistakes and learn from them. He tried from the beginning to establish a proprietary position and protect that position in every way possible. As a result, Microsoft was accused by the U.S. government of monopoly actions. But Gates has also revealed a deep social conscience. After leaving the direction of Microsoft he has tried to improve health and education in the most disadvantaged regions of the world. In a lecture at the Harvard School of Business, Gates ( 2008 ) stated that although capitalism has been successful in many parts of the world, the market has failed to improve the health, education, and welfare of many citizens of the world and solving the problems of the poor is the task not only of philanthropists but also of businessmen. Analysis of Leaders’ Behavior Similarly to identifying the formative aspects of these leaders, it is possible to identify common features in them despite the different times in which they lived. All of them: • Exhibited strong personalities. • Felt passion for what they did. • Acted with great perseverance to achieve their goals. • Worked hard and with great discipline. • Were original leaders, not trying to imitate someone else. Therefore, their behavior fits very well into what has been called authentic leadership (George, Sims, McLean, & Mayer, 2007). • Had great confidence in themselves, not being afraid of making mistakes, and willing to learn from them. Resilience and learning from adversity are precisely a distinguishing attribute of leaders according to Bennis and Thomas (2002). • Had a fi rm and stable style of leadership. None showed evidence of adjusting his style to the situation. Th ese facts diminish the importance of contingency and situational leadership theories, so popular in the second half of the past century. Leaders may act differently according to specific circumstances, but they do not really change their style; they maintain a relatively consistent pattern of behavior. • Were creative and innovative in managing their businesses, always challenging the usual way of doing business, which is the hallmark of a leader as highlighted by Heifetz and Laurie (1997). • Made a significant impact not only in their own organizations but also in their industries. Nohria and Khurana (2010) commented that scholarly work has failed to find a link between leadership and organizational performance, therefore questioning the impact of leadership, but at least these seven leaders made a genuine difference. However, it is also possible to find some differences between the leaders being studied: • Some, like Ford and Sloan, was reserved and discreet, but others, like Walton, Lafley, and Jobs were charismatic. Although Bass (1985) affirmed that charisma was essential to a transformational leader, the examples of Ford, Sloan, and perhaps some of the other leaders suggest that charisma may not necessarily be a condition to produce great changes in followers, organizations, and industries. • Some were analytic, such as Sloan, while others were intuitive like Jobs. • Rockefeller and Gates believed in survival of the fittest, but others, like Sloan, showed higher regard for the competition. • Some were hard and demanding with employees, such as Welch and Jobs, while others like Walton and Lafley treated employees with respect and appreciation. These differences also show that shared leadership, servant leadership, spiritual leadership, and other like forms of leadership may work for some leaders, but others may not need that kind of behavior to be eff active. Conclusions Th ere is much to be learned from the lives of the great business leaders. Without neglecting the importance of the lessons of great political leaders, the lessons from the experiences of business leaders may be more useful for the development of future leaders in the field of business. Th e main results that can be derived from the study include: • Although leaders are formed mostly on the experience of their lives, certain traits, such as intelligence, creativity, and personality, seem innate. • Higher education is not essential for success as a business leader, but it is helpful. • Although the help of mentors and others can be very helpful, these leaders appear to be individual achievers. • A successful business leader could create his or her own business or make a career within a large company already established. • Successful business leaders must have strong personalities, feel very passionate about what they do, try to surround themselves with the best people they can, act with great perseverance to achieve their goals, work hard and with discipline, and have a lot of confidence in themselves, not afraid to make mistakes and learn from them . • It is not necessary to adapt the leadership style to the situation; rather, it is convenient to have a very definite leadership style and consistently maintain it. • Business leaders are creative and innovative, not only in technology but also in business management. • A charismatic personality can help but is not essential. • Although some business leaders have been successful despite ill treatment of competitors, trade unions, and employees, it seems preferable to act with respect for all of them. About employees, it is important to trust them, encourage their participation, and get their commitment. References Avolio, B. (2007). Promoting more integrative strategies for leadership theory-building. American Psychologist, 62 (1), 25.

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Answer #1

We can learn the following from great business leaders:

  • It is not important to have a higher education to become successful but having a degree certainly helps in achieving the success.
  • Passion about the work you are doing is important to become successful.
  • Discipline, hard work and perseverance is important for an individual to gain success.
  • The pursuit to achieve perfection is also important.
  • Creativity and innovation in every sphere of life are the traits shown by most of the successful business leaders.
  • Successful business leaders have strong personality and they surround themselves by like-minded people.
  • The successful business leaders are great learners and they avoid making mistakes by learning from the mistakes of other people.
  • Great business leaders are confident and risk takers.
  • They respect everyone in the organization even if they do not agree with the thoughts of a few others in the organization.
  • The leadership style of the most of new age business leaders has been democratic.
  • Almost all the great business leaders have had the style of convincing people and making them follow the path which these leaders were showing.
  • The great business leaders have always shown open-mildness towards the ideas of their subordinates.

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