Unilever: Leadership Knows No Boundaries

1409 Words Feb 15th, 2013 6 Pages
Unilever: Leadership Knows No Boundaries

Leadership is a complex subject that has been defined by numerous experts and theorists in nearly every industry around the world. There are as many definitions for leadership as there are companies that profess to be focused on leading their firms effectively. But merely talking about leadership and its application to the business world is no match for the application of leadership principles used to guide a firm’s decision-making and strategy.

According to Stephen Covey, in order to be effective one must be focused on being proactive, seeking understanding, working together, as well as focusing on the end goal. These characteristics could also hold true when evaluating leaders.

Michael Brunner
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In order to meet its stated purpose, leadership must begin at the top of the organization and flow through all levels to insure commitment is present across all of Unilever's employees.
Leadership at Unilever begins with Paul Polman, CEO, who shares his thoughts on the leadership conviction at Unilever as: “…everybody is a leader, as far as I'm concerned (Servant leadership - empower). And my definition of leadership is very simple: if you positively influence (managerial power: Power should be used to influence and control others for the common good rather seeking to exercise control for personal satisfaction) someone, you are a leader:” With leadership beliefs such as this at the top of the organization, it is clear why Unilever has been able to achieve such a high level of success in its industry. However, the leadership vision and commitment needs to transcend further into the organization in order to truly make a significant impact on the organization. Furthering the belief in leadership across all levels was reiterated by Unilever's Fergie Balfour, who said, “What does an effective business leader do? He or she makes it possible for others to do, and be, their best. Simple as that. And the way to do that is by

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