Effective Leadership

2033 Words Dec 29th, 2015 9 Pages
An effective leader can be described as one who has the ability to inspire, influence and motivate people to achieve constructive change (Pierce & Newstrom 2008). Zand (cited in DuBrin, Dalglish & Miller 2006) further suggests that knowledge, power and trust are the three forces that contribute most to effective leadership. In assessing Gerry Harvey’s effectiveness as a leader, we have critically analysed his strengths and weaknesses in each of these areas by examining his leadership style, traits, characteristics and behaviours.

Background

Gerry Harvey is Chairman of the Harvey Norman retail chain and one of Australia’s most well known entrepreneurs (Retail Times 2007). He has been listed in the top 25 ‘true leaders’ by AFR Boss
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Despite this earlier failure, Harvey is about to venture into the online market once more (Murphy 2011), which shows his ability to act when an opportunity presents itself.

Harvey has a dislike for bureaucracy and hierarchy which is typical of an entrepreneurial leadership style. He subsequently has a small office and a fairly casual approach, stating “I haven’t got a big office and it’s in a very ordinary part of town. I’d much prefer to downplay than impress” (Wearring 2007). Furthermore he sees himself as “an ordinary bloke…people feel that they have a close relationship with me, they relate to me” (Wearring 2007).

The one area that Harvey differs to that of a typical entrepreneurial leader is in his preference for nurturing his internal stakeholders as opposed to focusing only on external customers. He values the contribution of his people and believes they “have made his business successful and that they perform best when properly valued” (Retail Times 2007). Additionally, Harvey prefers to fill senior roles via internal promotions as “when someone who started out as a salesperson becomes a business owner, he feels an enormous sense of pride” (Retail Times 2007). Harvey’s way of investing in the leader/follower relationship is typical of charismatic leadership (Chemers 2000; Pierce & Newstrom 2008; Seltzer et al 2010) and he “has been very successful in business by influencing others to his way of seeing things” (DuBrin,

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