My exposure as a community journalist makes me fit in writing socially relevant issues. Academically speaking, my graduate degree is in Social Psychology, which covers interdisciplinary approaches in sociology, psychology, social work, development studies, anthropology, and some parts of history and marketing.
My training in research (on-going) is into qualitative researches. However, I am also apt at quantitative methodology, including doing surveys and doing and interpreting statistical analyses (both descriptive and inferential, but more on descriptive).
I appreciate writings that are ordered at college and university levels, both undergraduate and graduate. High School writings are also ok, but not yet in doctorate. I guarantee 100 percent of my sources are from journal articles, as I do have access. However, I can use secondary sources if that is the paper requires.
Bob Jackson is born in around 1970, which makes him one of the Generation X. However, Bob’s attitude towards work appears to be congruent to Traditionalist generational group. According to United Nation Joint Staff Pension Fund (“Overcoming generational gap in the workplace”, n.d.), Traditionalist perspective towards work is very serious and committed. These people sets the rules and obey them as well. The rationale regarding this kind of attitude is because people born during this period (1925-1945) experienced several challenges in life brought about by World War II. This cultivated the people to be serious about their work, making them profoundly hardworking in order to attain optimum results and overcome the detrimental impacts of war.
Jackson manifest the same attitude towards work, he had been described to be a workaholic person. He work hard and set a goal that he aim to accomplish on a specific time. It was mentioned that Jackson plans to be the president of the organization prior reaching 50 years old. This kind of goal expounds United Nation Joint Staff Pension Fund’s description that traditionalist perceives that seniority is integral in advancing to one’s career. Thus, he works very hard in order to be promoted and make his way to his goal of being the organization’s president. Given Jackson’s loyalty towards the organization, he would also likely to always follow its rule and regulation. From this appraisal, Bob Jackson fall on the Traditionalist generational group even though he is technically born during Generation X. His strong attitude towards work which underscores how he significant exert effort for promotion and his dedication in reaching his goal, expounds that he is profoundly focus on his career and the success of attaining a great career would also delineate his success as an individual.
Jerry Thomas is born around 1986, which makes him part of Generation Y; however, his attitude towards work is well demarcated by Baby Boomers. The people born during 1946 to 1964, were more fortunate as compared to the Traditionalist, because they were the people who experiences abundance. The hardworking Traditionalist were able to revive the economy which lead to several success, thus providing better status for the society. Thomas was defined to be a young leader who is impulsive, self-centered, and do not observe the Organization’s policies religiously. Such kind of attitude can explicate the demarcation provided by United Nation Joint Staff Pension Fund (“Overcoming generational gap in the workplace”, n.d.). The organization explained that Baby Boomers would often perceived that the world revolving around them, which may explain why Thomas appears to be somewhat a self-centered individual.
Baby Boomers were also expound to be people who would disapprove absolutes and structures, and this factor explain why Jeff Thomas is unwilling to play by the rules. The somewhat self-centeredness of Thomas can also result to his ineffectiveness in handling negative feedbacks of conflicts, which also can be cultivated by his impulsiveness. The Baby Boomers generational group best fit Jeff Thomas situation because of the similarities of how they perceived work. For Baby Boomers they believe that they live to work, and with this kind of perception, room for errors is not accommodated. Since they are already on the state of abundance, they would feel significantly committed on their action to avert coming back from detrimental experiences.
My inspiration in writing has always been influenced by Science since I started writing action researches in high school. The first thesis paper I wrote right after graduating from university was about the perception of consumers about generic drugs. That time, the law about generics drugs has been recently passed, so it was appropriate to do a study that will measure how consumers perceive it. The result of the study showed that most consumers think that because generic drugs are cheaper, it is also less effective. Thus, even though cheaper alternatives are available, people, regardless of their age, educational attainment and income, still buy branded medicines. In that study, we also found that that most people are not aware that generic drugs actually have the same formula as branded drugs, which would make them as effective as branded drugs.
The second thesis paper was about measuring the effectiveness of crawling exercises for children with ADHD. Children with ADHD have been found to have poor academic performance because of their inability to focus and concentrate. Their inability to focus or concentrate has been due to what is called as STNR or Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex, which can be reduced by a programmed crawling exercise. The crawling exercise was applied to students with ADHD and their performance was monitored by recording a pre-test and a post-test. The result of the study also showed that the crawling exercise was effective in improving the behavior of the students in class, some may even concentrate and focus for longer periods of time, some students improved their academic performance. However, crawling exercises is still not an all cure for ADHD.
The last paper on Healthcare and Allied Health was an article about GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. The article is something that would be posted online like a blog site and because it was posted online, it has to mention the phrase GERD diet multiple times in the article.
Due to a previous part-time job I had online, I was able to write papers about marketing. Most of the papers focused on what influences consumers into buying a certain product or availing a certain services, such as those in the Hotel and Tourism Industry. One of the papers I wrote was about using social networking in classifying and categorizing consumers, understanding what factor influence them into buying a product or availing of a service, and using this data gathered on social networking, into creating an effective advertisement or campaign.
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Analysis of the Issue………………………………………………………………………….14-16
Challenges and Solutions……………………………………………………………………..17-18
Conclusion and Recommendations………………………………………………………………18
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to apply specific leadership characteristics and theories to resolve certain problems that may affect the success of an important event.
Approach – This paper was completed by reviewing available literature on leadership theories and previous studies about leadership.
Findings – Through the above approach, the researcher is able to present leadership theories and studies and use them to address present problems and issues on team leadership
Research Limitations – This study is limited to researcher’s knowledge about leadership theories and ways of addressing problems in leadership and change management
Keywords – leadership, challenges, change management, leadership style, leader behavior, participative, supportive, achievement-oriented, directive
As a leader, one has to understand the nature of team functioning as a significant leadership process. By understanding this process, the leader is able to articulate the role of leadership in promoting team effectiveness. However, various challenges and problems occur from the team or the organization, thus threatening team capability and making it difficult for the leader and members to achieve their goals. Nonetheless, these challenges can be addressed through the initiatives of the leader and the cooperation of the team members.
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To prevent future problems or easily overcome challenges in a team, they have to undergo two phases of the leadership process which are the transition and action phases. In the transition phase, the team engages in evaluation or planning activities designed to foster goal attainment. In the action phase, the team performs work activities that directly contribute to goal accomplishment. Over time, the team repeatedly cycles through these action and transition phases. It is through these performance cycles that collective (team) action occurs (DeRue et al, 2010).
Also in these two phases, the entire team is able to handle the problems and challenges by doing specific actions addressing the problems and issues. In the transition phase, this is where all team members should establish a team charter by outlining overall objectives, setting goals, deciding on a task performance strategy, developing positive team norms, developing a shared understanding within the team and distributing clear knowledge within the team. In the action phase, the team has to monitor output as they progress toward their goals. They are also expected to monitor system output inside and outside their team including resources, people, changing conditions and stakeholders. Moreover, they have to monitor team behavior, coordinate team actions, maintain boundaries and engage in high quality communication to avoid conflicts within the team.
The cooperation of team members is really important in solving problems within the team. However, more than anyone else, the leader is the person who is most responsible in the success of the team; therefore he is the one who must take initiatives and specific actions on resolving problems. As a leader, his goal is to reduce the occurrence of problems within the team
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or as much as possible, prevent them from coming. The reality of the workplace is actually tough. There are some difficult people that the leader will encounter which complicates matters even more. There are also many other factors that create problems and issues in the team. In this note, the leader has to be strong and courageous in facing such challenges. The team members, on the other hand, should be cooperative and obedient to the orders of the leaders. They must fulfill their roles as team members while the leader does the same.
In solving problems, whether in a big or small organization, the leader has to perform different strategies that are both efficient and effective. For one, transparent communication is required in problem solving. This simply means that every member’s concerns, ideas and suggestions are expressed and considered by the leader. However, there are times that those persons involved in the problem or issue would not express themselves because they were afraid that they the leader would blame them or it would threaten their job or position in the organization. In this case, the leader’s role is to listen to the persons involved and let them express their side, what actually happened and why. It may be difficult but the leader has to encourage them to speak up so they can easily identify the root cause of the problem. The leader also has to gain their trust that they are in a safe environment and there are specific solutions to the problem. Transparent communication between the leader and the team members will help the entire team solve team problems and overcome future challenges.
Furthermore, the people in the team must be open-minded especially the leader. This is important in breaking communication barriers. Also, all the team members must be open-minded when giving ideas and suggestions about possible solutions. If there is a member of the team that
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is closed-minded and cannot accept out-of-the-box ideas, it will be difficult for the team to make a solid plan. It is true that there are people who close their minds on certain things. But this should not discourage the leader to talk to that member and teach him the essence of open-mindedness. Instead, this should be taken as a challenge and a reminder of how the leader should guide and lead his team members.
Another effective problem solving strategy, which is actually the most important, is a solid foundational strategy. To solve any problem in a team, a solid strategy is important and the leader is the one to implement it. To do this, the leader must know how to congregate the right knowledge, resources, people and budget. Effective leaders have a strategy that serves as the foundation for how the problem will be approached and managed. They anticipate the unexpected and utilize the strengths of their people to assure the strategy leads to a sustainable solution (Llopis, 2013).
In this paper, I intend to present leadership characteristics and strategies and ascertain my roles as a leader to solve issues among my team members to make our event successful. In the scenario presented in this paper, I aim to do my responsibilities as a leader and perform various leadership strategies to achieve my team goals and turn this scenario into a win-win situation. Through this research paper, I will be able to incorporate my leadership roles and capabilities in solving problems and issues within our team.
Our team is required to put on the annual communication award ceremony. The department relies on our team heavily to make sure that the event will be successful. As a leader,
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I am the most responsible for the entire task and it is my duty to make sure everything is handled well. However, certain problems occurred concerning my team members. After delegating the tasks to them, I learned that one of my members cannot order the invitations since the designer missed the deadline and hasn’t submitted the final design and copy yet. Apart from this, there is another member who was assigned to work on the logistic plan. Unfortunately, his work was extremely flawed.
A study conducted by Abbas & Ashgar (2010) states that nowadays, leadership and its role are the most concerning issue for businesses and organizations. This study entitled The Role of Leadership in Organizational Change also enlightened that leadership can’t be viewed through multiple concepts and angles; though traditionally, it is a set of feature owned by the leader or a social occurrence that comes from group relationship. This study focuses on the role and significance of organizational leadership. According to the researchers, organizational role has a role in evolution and cultivating an organization. It can also help the member of an organization and working teams to face the challenges and to work for organizational goal in a worthy way.
In an organization, visionary leadership is also important. As a leader, it is important to have a clear vision so his people or members will know where to go. Since guiding the team is one of the basic roles of a leader, he must practice visionary leadership by perceiving things clearly and accurately and at the same time, using these visions intelligently for the team’s success and sustainability. Vision plays a key role in making useful changes in a team or in the
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entire organization. If the leaders, along with all his team members have a clear vision of the future, they will be inspired and motivated to become a part of an effort for achieving their team’s goal.
Another factor that makes a successful team is the leader’s ability to lead his team through innovative approach. Basically, an innovative approach to leadership is a new and unique way of seeing, understanding and handling things. This is very important for the organization to survive in today’s global competition. No matter how small of big a team is, it is still important for them to achieve their goals through innovations and new business model and strategies. For a team to grow and get along with the many changes and challenges they face everyday, the leader has to assure excellence and sustainability of the entire team; and this can be done by making an innovative approach to leadership.
On the other hand, a journal article written by Crossan (2012) focuses on how to develop leadership character. Basically, character is a significant ingredient which makes a leader effective and valued. Without a character, a leader cannot guide his team members and will also lack the capability and competence to achieve certain team goals. Apart from competence and commitment, a leader has to have a character in which his team members will see him as a good and effective leader.
Traits, values and virtues comprise a person’s character. Traits are habitual patterns of thought, emotion and behavior. However, they are not fixed since a person’s thoughts, emotions and behavior can change any time depending on the situation. Values, on the other hand, are beliefs of a person on what is important to them. In some ways, values affect a person’s behavior
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since most people act depend on their values in life. For instance, if an employee values his salary so much, he is going to work hard and do his best in the workplace. This is also the same with the leader. If a leader values his team, he is going to strive hard and do his best to achieve their team goals. While showing his values as a person, he is also showing his team that he is a leader with a character.
Another factor of leadership character is having virtues. Virtues are a combination of a person’s good traits, values and behavior. All twelve virtues that Aristotle once defined are all important in molding a person’s character; hence, they are all important ingredients to organizational leadership. These twelve virtues include generosity, temperance, courage, magnanimity, magnificence, good temper, right ambition, friendliness, wit, truthfulness and justice.
According to the writer of this article, individuals can develop their own characters and for leaders, they can help their members develop their character. Therefore, it is important for an organization to promote character development among all team members. Character is usually developed at an early age. However, there are some factors that affect the character of a person. One of these is habit. Often, a person is not aware of his or her habit. Yet, it can affect the development of one’s character. Habits are difficult to break so it is important to develop a good character at an early age. Nonetheless, there are many opportunities for a person, especially for a leader to develop his character. Everyday occurrences may help a leader examine his character and develop it to become a more effective and competitive leader.
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Another study by Basadur (2004) emphasized the importance of creative leadership in solving team problems. He stressed that a leader must lead his people to think in new and creative ways since executing basic creative skills can help a team overcome shortcomings and problems. Creative leadership does not only help in solving problems but it also helps team members to think innovatively and define new problems, thus implementing new solutions to problems.
However, shortcomings occur in a team when confronted with new ideas. Typically, people allow judgment to occur too fast without building compelling ideas. Sometimes, people think that there is only one right answer to a problem and they are not willing to take diversions upon reaching their goal. This is why leaders have to guide his members on how to use creativity and innovation efficiently and practically. The leader has to teach his members on how to grasp and accept new ideas in ways that can help them achieve their goal and not to discard and judge them too easily.
Nonetheless, such shortcomings can be overcome by the leader. This can be done by reinforcing training and open-minded thinking within the team. Such training and lesson will involve behaviors which aim to develop performance in problem solving, creative problem finding and solution implementation. This training will also develop their skills in separating idea generation from evaluation and evaluating ideas. Above all, through this training, the leader will be able to encourage his team members to risk trying new ideas and solutions and increase their eagerness to put off judgment on different problems.
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Furthermore, this study suggests that a leader must be a process leader, not just a doer. Initially, a process leader keeps track of how the team works on a certain problem. If the leader is just a doer, he will not mind whether his team is working well on a problem or not. A doer just fulfills his tasks without showing concern on his team. If one is a process leader, he will not jump from one step to another. He will make sure that every little step in problem solving will be considered. The leader’s process skills must be a model and inspiration to the members so they can use these skills themselves.
Path Goal Theory of Leadership is a contingency theory which addresses a leader’s interaction with each of the member of his team. This theory claims that leaders are flexible and they can change their style or behavior depending on the situation. This corresponds with the research that while nature (genes) may be our internal guide, nurture (experience) is our explorer that has the final say in what we do (Ridley, 2003).
The Path Goal Theory of Leadership is based on Vroom’s expectancy theory which emphasized that an individual acts in certain ways depending on the expectation that his actions will be followed by an outcome. Basically, the Path Goal theory of leadership model has four leadership styles. These include directive, supportive, participative and achievement-oriented leadership style. Directive leader behavior, for one reduces uncertainty among the team members. Instead, it leads the followers to believe that their effort will result in good performance and they will be rewarded from such performance. To use this leadership style, the leader has to inform his followers or team members on what is expected of them. The leader, as
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the head of the team, must guide his followers by telling them what to do, how to perform certain tasks and coordinating and scheduling work. The leader must also set clear objectives and rules for his followers and make sure they understand them well. This style of leadership is suitable for a team where members are inexperienced and unskilled. The role of the leader here is to direct and guide his followers so they can be more competent in performing their tasks.
Another leadership style is supportive behavior. To use this leadership style, the leader shows support to his followers by increasing their self-confidence and increasing their personal value of task-related effort. By being friendly and approachable, the leader is able to show his concern to his followers, thus making them feel more comfortable about what they are doing. When the leader is too distant, his followers will feel discouraged to express themselves or even ask for assistance and recommendations. Such negative behavior may result to conflicts so as much as possible; the leader has to do his best to build rapport among his members and make them feel welcome and appreciated. This leadership style best suits situations wherein team relationships and tasks are psychologically or physically challenging.
Participative leadership style, on the one hand, is used to clarify expectations, increase consistency of team goals and increase commitment and involvement to those goals. Like directive behavior, it also reduces uncertainties or ambiguities among the members. Instead of taking autocratic decisions, a participative leader chooses to involve his followers in the decision making. Though the leader always has the final say in everything, it is also important to consider and accept ideas and recommendations from all the members of the team. However, if the leader involves his followers in making decisions, they will have a better understanding of the issue and
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they are also able to help by giving ideas and suggestions. This behavior will also give the members a feeling that their leader trust them and they are all important parts of the team. This will also encourage them to work hard on their tasks expecting that their leader will appreciate it and the team’s goals will not be achieved without their effort and hard work. Participative leadership is most effective to use when the team members are skilled, experienced and devoted to their work.
The last leadership style according to the path goal theory of leadership is the achievement-oriented leader behavior. Like the supportive leadership style, it also boosts the confidence of team members and their personal value of goal-directed effort. This leadership style is used when the leader sets high goals and training to achieve the needed improvement in the team’s performance levels. In certain situations, the leader tends to set challenging goals so that his followers will do their best at work and perform at their highest level. However, the leader must show his members that he is confident about meeting their goals. This way, he is also able to show his followers that he trusts their abilities and he needs their cooperation to meet certain team goals. Leaders who use achievement-oriented style is usually tagged as aggressive leaders. But for such leaders, aggressiveness is sometimes the key to achieve team goals and to put pressure on their followers so they are able to realize the essence of hard work and competence. Leaders are usually aggressive when they are in competition and they feel they need to use their power to lead their teams. This leadership style is most effective in businesses and other professional work like sales, scientific and technical work.
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Analysis of the Situation
Our team is currently facing some issues and challenges for the upcoming annual communication ceremony in which I was assigned as the team leader. After delegating tasks to my team members, I learned that one of them is not able to order the invitations since the designer missed the deadline and hasn’t submitted the final design and copy. Also, another problem cropped up involving our logistic plan since the one who was assigned to work on it apparently did some mistake. As a leader, I understand that such problems are inevitable and it is common that challenges and issues occur every now and then.
After I learned about these issues, I tried to analyze the problem from its root cause. Such cause may be one of the basic types of causes which are physical cause, human cause and organizational cause. As for the problem with the invitation, I consider this a human cause since the designer was not able to complete the design or even secure a copy. The reason of the designer’s inability to fulfill his duty, however, may be a physical cause. The designer may be physically incapable to do the final design or something went wrong with his materials. It is actually not the fault of the team member that he cannot order invitations. However, knowing that the deadline was already four days ago and the task was apparently delegated to him, it is his responsibility to inform the leader about the missed deadline right away. But four days have already passed before he informed the team about the problem. If he informed the team about the designer’s incapability to finish the final design at the exact time where the deadline is missed, there will be more time to assess and address this problem. In this case, the team member aggravated the problem instead of doing something about it immediately.
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Unfortunately, this problem can have a big impact on our preparation for the event. Because the designer missed the deadline in four days, our team will be running out of time to make a new design and order invitations. This problem only shows the incompetence and unprofessionalism of the designer. It also shows the incapability of the team member to identify and handle problems.
On the other hand, another team member reported about the flawed logistic plan. Logistic plan is very important for our team since we are handling a big event. For every mission, it is important to accomplish a logistic plan and consider it at the very onset of planning. If the logistic plan is good, the event will be more cost-effective, more efficient and even more enjoyable for the team and the event participants. However, in this case, the logistic plan made by a team member was enormously flawed, which means the logistic plan is far from achieving the above benefits. This case, like the first problem encountered by the team, also occurred from human cause. It is difficult to say that this is a physical or organizational cause since none of the materials required for doing the logistic plan was flawed. Like the first problem, it is also caused by the incapability of a team member to accomplish a good or even an accurate logistic plan.
Making a logistic plan is not easy and is also complicated. A logistic plan is a framework for the management of service, material, information and capital flows of the event. Essentially, it involves complex information, communication and control systems. With this fact, it is not surprising that a team member will commit some mistakes while doing the logistic plan. However, I can say that the logistic plan made by my team member was enormously flawed because he made a complex logistic plan instead of a simple one. Since we have limited time
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preparing for this event and we are somehow under stress and pressure, simplicity is the key to a good and accurate logistic plan. Also, this team member should have used a flexible approach to the management of the team’s logistic effort. While working on the logistic plan, he should have asked for assistance if he is having a difficult time doing the plan. However, as a leader, it is also my responsibility to ensure that all the members of my team are doing their work efficiently. On my part, I can say that I also lack the initiative to supervise and organize my team well. Because of these events, I can consider myself in the lowest level of leadership which is the position level of leadership. In this level, the members follow the leader because they have to. This may be a fine starting point but having assessed the issues; I think my members only follow me because of my position not because they want to or I have done something for them. I believe that if I already achieved the higher levels of leadership, these problems would not occur in my team because they would work hard and do their best to prove their leader that they could do their tasks depending on my expectations.
The first process of change that the team experienced was the unfreeze stage which is the most difficult and stressful. However, this stage was overcome by the team through re-examination of the team’s core.
After the uncertainty in the unfreeze stage, the team began to resolve uncertainties and ambiguities. This stage was achieved by understanding the benefit of this change and how it can help the team address its present issues and problems.
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Challenges and Solutions
Undoubtedly, our team especially me as the leader, have encountered challenges in preparing and organizing the annual communication ceremony. For one, our team encountered stress while preparing for the event. I could see that most of my members were burn out by working under pressure and doing their tasks for long hours. I can also say that my members particularly those involved in the issues loss their self esteem towards the quality of their work. These challenges put some pressure on our team, thus creating some conflicts and issues involving the team’s performance.
Nonetheless, these problems can be addressed before the annual communication ceremony. As a leader, it is my role to solve these problems and as followers, my team members are expected to participate and cooperate in addressing the present issues and problems. It is also my duty to encourage them to give ideas and suggestions on how we can address the problems better.
Having learned the different leadership styles that a leader may use when there are problems and challenges encountered, I would like to use the participative leader behavior. This is because I believe that my team members are skilled and experienced to achieve our team goals. Though we encountered some challenges in the past, I believe that these were all because of pressure and limited time given to our team. This time, I will use participative leadership to bring my team together while working so if ever there are issues or problems a team member is facing, we can address the problem immediately and work on it together. Through participative
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leadership, my people will be able to express their creativity and demonstrate abilities and talents that would not be made apparent otherwise (Henson, 2012).
Conclusion and Recommendations
Being a leader is a difficult task especially when problems and challenges crop up. Nonetheless, there are many ways on how a leader can address problems and issues in a team. This can be done by using leadership styles or behaviors and managing change effectively. It is also recommended that a leader should develop his character to become a good model to his team members. Moreover, the leader must also utilize rewards for his team members so they will be more motivated and inspired to do their tasks well and help the team achieve its goals.
In conclusion, effective leadership requires good character, traits and behavior that will encourage the members to follow their leader. Managing and organizing the team well is also a key to addressing team problems and issues efficiently.
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Abbas, W.,Ashgar, I. (2010). The Role of Leadership in Organizational Change. University of
Basadur, M. (2004). Leading Others to Think Innovatively Together. Elsevier Inc. Ontario:
Crossan, M. (2012). Developing Leadership Character. Ivey Business Journal. Ontario: p.11.
DeRue et al (2010). Leadership in Teams: A Functional Approach to Understanding Leadership
Structures and Process. Journal of Management, Vol.36 No.1. Michigan: p.7.
Henson, R. (2012). How Participative Leadership Boosts Morale, Productivity.
Llopis, G. (2013). The 4 Most Effective Ways Leaders Solve Problems.
Ridley, M. (2003). Nature Via Nurture. Harper Collins. New York: p.15.