Minorities Leaders in the Workplace Assignment One. David Haile EDD 9100 CRN Leadership Seminar

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1 Minorities Leaders in the Workplace Assignment One David Haile EDD 9100 CRN Leadership Seminar Nova Southeastern University September 24, 2011

2 The following paper will compare and contrast two articles on the minority experience in leadership. The research on the articles written appears to cover only the perception of how the minority person is in the eyes of the participants. A possible follow-up study could be how is the minority person reacting in presenting his or herself. The question that comes to the forefront in this idea is does the minority person work harder to prove their worth of being in a leadership position? Is it possible they are thinking they are competent enough but feel inferior and possibly may have an effect on how they perform until they receive positive feedback? Can the minority person have a better connection with other minorities in a leadership role? The synergistic leadership theory paper focuses on the female in a leadership role. Many facts have emerged as the theory was forming. A gender bias has reoccurred throughout the reading. Examples included but not limited to: sexist language such as only using he and his in the language and females not having the same career aspirations as their male counterparts (Irby, Brown, Duffy & Trautman, 2002). In the reading, theories have been formed with the male model in mind. There is a need for a theory that includes a female perspective. In the workplace more diversity is showing up in the global economy. Lipman- Blumen (2000) stated. wildfires of diversity are breaking out everywhere. Wherever we look, globally and locally, we see assertions of distinctive identities and individualism: In heightened consciousness among women and in racially and gender-mixed workforces (p 4-5). Women have made significant progress in

3 organizational leadership. New leaders representing new centers of power are bringing different issues to the table including equitable treatment for women and other minority groups (Lipman-Blumen, 2000). In the synergistic leadership theory article, the masculine style is the expected stereotypical model being used where women were chastised if they did not adapt to this style of leadership. This can be a hindrance and has been proven by several leaders. A senior executive at Best Buy adjusted and expanded how operations are conducted in day-to-day life within the company by learning how to capture the purchasing power of women by developing more female employees. The Geek Squad is where the company sends technicians to offer support to people's homes. Historically, most geeks were men. The company started sending female geeks because female technicians may see things differently and also make the female consumer more comfortable with a female technician rather than a male technician. A female developed an additional training brochure for the female consumer. It has been noted that the increase in female staff in the stores and the GEEK Squad also produced higher sales Tichy & Bennis (2007). Women leaders tend to develop personal relationships, which leads to collaboration with all members of an organization. Irby, Brown, Duffy & Trautman (2002) stated, value-added leadership, correlated to Groganʼs caring leadership, as leadership that impacts employees personally and interpersonally more than anything else in the organization (p. 308). Employees should have an environment that is positive to be able to build relationships. Additionally, strong emphasis should

4 be placed on the importance of leaders working towards working as a team (Irby, Brown, Duffy & Trautman, 2002). Eagly & Carli (2003), declared, womenʼs leadership as interactive, involving collaboration and empowerment of employees, and menʼs leadership as command-and-control, involving the assertion of authority and the accumulation of power (p.810). This is an interesting to note that leadership now involves empowerment of employees and stakeholders and has probably been summoned from the female leadership model. Empowerment is part of a participative leadership model. A few characteristics of a participative leader include: listen to dissenting views without getting defensive, try to utilize suggestions, and show appreciation for suggestions. (Yukl 2002 p. 97). Kotter (1996) stated, Without sufficient empowerment, critical information about quality sits unused in workersʼ minds and energy to implement changes lies dormant (p. 166).. The best leaders donʼt waste other peopleʼs brains. Leaders need a core sense of confidence that allows them to be comfortable receiving input, including disagreement, from others as said by Beckhard, Goldsmith, and Hesselbein (1996 p.137). The synergistic theory of leadership have aspects where females leaders have helped in developing its theory: a) they were included in its development b) female leaders may be impacted by external forces c) female leadership behaviors may interact with the factors in ways unlike the leadership behaviors of males d) the theory acknowledges a range of behaviors and organizational structure inclusive of those considered feminine (Irby, Brown, Duffy & Trautman, (2002).

5 The purpose of the synergistic theory of leadership is to add to existing leadership theory including the female leadership experience, theory applicable to men and women leaders and a theory that addresses gender, culture and political issues. Another factor in minority leadership is not only the female in the workplace but also the white leader as in contrast to a non-white leader. A study was conducted to see if there was a racial bias against non-white leaders. Minorities have been underrepresented in the workplace in the past but have gathered more positions in the leadership role. The article about the studyʼs purpose was to present if a leaderʼs race had a connection to the leadership prototype. One attribute of the leadership prototype is the white leader is perceived as the prototypical business leader. The first experiment evaluators in the study concluded that the leader was white. There is a judgment that even when the industry has a larger representation of minorities the leader is assumed to be white (Rosette, Leonardelli & Phillips 2008). In the second experiment it was concluded that judging a leader after the organizationʼs success and the organizationʼs failure that white leaders were evaluated more favorably than minorities when viewed as responsible for the organizationʼs success (Appendix A). Moving on to the following step white leaders could take advantage of more and better career choices than minority leaders (Appendix B). In reviewing the articles the writerʼs experience has thought about the same situations that have been presented on minority leaders. In several jobs over the

6 course of many years there has been a white male in the leadership role until the career path of the teaching profession. From the time of the first teaching position there have been three white male leaders eleven minority leaders that were direct supervisors. Minority leaders ranged from female, African American to Hispanic. A total of 30 leaders have been at the schools where the writer has worked. The number of minority leaders where the writer has worked was over 75 percent. The leaders could be seen as competent and has shown good leadership skills. There were leaders who were not as strong as others. In the writerʼs experience there was not a difference in his perception of the leaders. However, the writer has seen other leaders who would fit the attribute of the leadership prototype and the white leader is perceived as the prototypical business leader. A leader must have vision and be able to communicate his or her vision. A leader needs to develop a vision and strategy. Kotter (1996) stated, the characteristics of an effective vision include being imaginable, desirable, feasible, focused, flexible, and communicable (p. 72). Melendez (1996) stated, Women and people of color need to have the usual set of characteristics and skills that all leaders must have in some measure, and they must be able to cross barriers of culture and experience to exercise leadership and engage others in their vision (p. 297). Quality communication skills are necessary to overcome any cultural difference in the workplace for leaders (Melendez 1996). Today there has been minorities working in leadership roles and it seems that the public may be getting used to this scenario. An example would be there are now

7 more African American head football coaches in the National Football League. Recently there has been a Hispanic head football coach. In the past six Superbowls there has been four minority coaches. The minority leader has won two of the Superbowls. It seems the public is getting use to a minority in a leadership position. It is interesting how in the workplace others including the writer wonder how a new minority leader is going to perform. There may be a bias until the leader does an action that make you forget that they are a minority and every worker is fine with his or her presentation and at that moment all employees get down to work and does not see a minority. The writerʼs view of minority leaders has only been slightly changed. The open mind has helped in determining a successful leader. The bias is not present in the writerʼs vision of a minority but more of a bias of is this person, minority or not, an effective leader. Drucker (1996) said, Effective leaders delegate a good many things; they have to or they drown in trivia. But they do not delegate the one thing that only they can do with excellence, the one thing that will make a difference, the one thing that will set standards, the one thing they want to be remembered for. They do it.

8 References Beckhard, R., Goldsmith, M., & Hesselbein, F. (Eds.). (2001). The leader of the future. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers Drucker, P. (1996). Forward. The Leader of the Future. The Drucker Foundation. New York. Jossey-Bass Eagly, A., & Carli, L. (2003). The female leadership advantage: an evaluation of the evidence. The Leadership Quarterly. 14 (3). Retrieved September 2011 from dvantage.pdf Irby, J., Brown, G., Duffy, J., & Trautman, D. (2002). The synergistic leadership theory. Journal of Educational Administration. 40 (4). Kotter, J. (1996). Leading change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press Lipman-Blumen, J., (2000). Connective leadership: managing in a changing world. New York. Oxford University Press Melendez, S. (1996). An outsiderʼs view of leadership. The Leader of the Future The Drucker Foundation. New York. Jossey-Bass Phillips, K. (2008). Transparent Barriers. Retrieved September 2011 from arriers Rosette, A., Leonardelli, G., & Phillips, K. (2008). The white standard: racial bias in leader categorization. Journal of Applied Psychology 93 (4). Tichy, N., & Bennis, W., (2007). Making judgement calls. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved September 2011 from Yukl, G. (2002). Leadership in organizations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall

9 Appendixes

10 Appendix A Mean Rating of Leader Effectiveness

11 Mean ratings of leader effectiveness after organizational success. The racial minorities in this study were African Americans Phillip (2008)

12 Appendix B Mean Rating of Leader Effectiveness

13 Mean ratings of leader effectiveness after organizational success. The racial minorities in this study were Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans. Phillip (2008)

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