Leadership Style of the American Red Cross

1110 Words Jan 19th, 2013 5 Pages
The American Red Cross is one of the oldest and most successful charitable organizations in America today. Since its founding in 1881, the Red Cross has helped millions of people around the globe. Recently, the Red Cross has dedicated some of its vast resources with the guidance of a new CEO refocusing the leadership and mission of this respectable company. This company in recent past was floundering under a leadership and management style that had become bloated and unproductive. The board of directors had swelled to more than 50 members with no clear lines of communication between the board, the CEO, and management. This created a void as directives and tasks became poorly understood and remained unfinished. The goals of …show more content…
The affiliative style works best in times of stress, when teammates need to heal from trauma. There were several catastrophic events in America during the 2000s so an elevated scrutiny of The Red Cross created a lapse in the public trust of the charity. It was time to take a serious look at this charity to strengthen what was working and to correct what was not working with a new leadership style. A democratic or laissez-faire leadership approach would not work for this company. A consensus-building approach can be disastrous in times of crisis, when urgent events demand quick decisions and quick responses. The Red Cross spends a great deal of time operating in crisis mode implementing an immediate course of action. A decentralized corporate structure would not function well when dealing with a catastrophe. People and workers need to be safe by following a prescribed course of action in any situation in which there is an elevated risk of injury or loss. There are several sources of power within this organization. The first would be legitimate power or positional power. Legitimate power derives its authority from the position a person holds in an organization's hierarchy. Positional power works best when the person wielding it earned it legitimately. The Red Cross, after hiring, and firing seven CEOs between the years 2001 and 2008 finally found the right person for the job. The current CEO, Gail McGovern,

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