Leadership Interview with Vice President
The success of any business is dependent of how the tasks are carried out. Therefore, it is important that appropriate modes of leadership are set in place. However, being a great leader is a difficult act. Everybody has their own definition of who a leader is. I believe that to be a good leader, one must be natured. Nobody can be born as a natural leader. This is why I am very grateful that we were able to conduct this leadership interview.
I interviewed Waqas Tariq who is the Vice President of operation in an electronic cigarette company. One of the top tier companies both in BC and nationally. I chose him because he is a great person who strives to always be the best version of himself and bring out the best out of his employees. In addition, he has worked in many administrative positions in different sectors. In all these companies, he has risen to ranks through his hard work. In addition, I adore his mode of leadership. Therefore, through this interview, I garnered important information on how to ensure that I become a leader instead of a Boss.
Through the interview, I got a firsthand experience into the life of a manager. In the interview, I tried to look at factors such as decision-making process, conflict resolution, employee-employer relationship, and many other factors that will be addressed in-depth in the subsequent sections of this paper.
As I conducted this interview, I had in mind the different leadership theories that we have learned in class. Therefore, the interview gave me a link between theory and practice. Consequently, this interview also has a positive impact in my school life since I will remember these theories as I have seen them at work.
Leadership Style-leadership Interview with Vice President
There is an array of philosophies that Mr. Waqas has in place which makes him a great leader.
A leader is one who knows the way, shows the way and goes the way
This is a quote that he learned from the works of John Maxwell. He believes that one cannot lead a group of individuals if he does not have the experience and knowhow in the field. Therefore, a leader must have experience. That is why he reiterated the need to first serve before you can lead. A good leader must have an experience on how to perform certain activities. In addition, a leader is supposed to learn from the different positions that they have taken. For example, Mr. Waqas became a great leader since he has had experience in different fields. He even goes ahead and puts his class monitor experience into his work today.
Furthermore, as we talked, he provided that no department is the same. Whatever we think that we know about leading a particular department may not be the same way we are supposed to run a different department. Therefore, I realized that it is good to choose a leader who can go up the ranks. It is because he will understand how the department is run, he has some hands-on experience on how the company is run, and has seen the changes that the company has gone through over the years. For instance, Mr. Waqas has worked in sales, security, and health industries. However, even though he changed left one industry in the managerial positions, he went to the new industry and had to learn it before he could rise up the ranks.
Others may argue that one can learn on the job but I do not believe that it is the best way of leading. It is similar to going to a different country and trying to lead the natives on directions you have no idea. You are doomed to fail. Therefore, a leader must ensure that they are always acquainted with the industry before they can lead (Northouse, 2015).
Be a leader not, a Boss-leadership Interview with Vice President
He believes that there is a huge difference between a leader and a boss. A leader will always be involved in the running of the business of company whereas a boss will always be giving orders on how the work is to be done. Therefore, a boss will always strive to understand their employees. They will understand their employees. Mr. Waqas attributes this lesson from the fact that all through his working career, he has always worked with people. Therefore, even as he rose to the ranks, he ensured that he always has direct contract with the people involved in the organization.
A boss, on the other hand, will always end up believing that whatever he has said is the correct and only way of carrying out an activity. Therefore, there is no room for discussion. Whenever he says jump, the employees are required to ask, “how high?” Mr. Waqas provided that a problem that arises with bossmanship is that it bars the thinking capabilities of the employees. They become so used to receiving orders that they are unable to think on their own on how they can deal with a problem if it arises. In some cases, they may be ready to think outside the box and better the functioning but they are afraid of how the boss will perceive their actions. Consequently, bossmanship suppresses inventions and innovations.
Therefore, Mr. Waqas reiterated his position that we must be leaders. It is good for all the parties; the employees, employer, and the company.
Ensure the Working Environment is Conducive-leadership Interview with Vice President
A good working environment is important for the success of a company. However, what is a conducive environment. I learned that a good working environment comprises of many things apart from the beauty of the room and the machines. Although these are important, they must also look at factors such as the atmosphere and the rapport in organization. That is why the choice of the leader is vital for the success of the organization. A leader is a source of motivation for the company (Hunt, 1975). If the employees are comfortable around their supervisor, the company will get the most output from them. Mr. Waqas plainly put it that, “If people around you want to work with you and in doing so…” It means that the acceptance of the employees is vital. It is earned from the manner in which the leader relates with them.
However, we must ensure that we understand that people are different. In one organization, there are different ways of looking at issues and attitudes to how the organization is to be run. That is why it is important to understand them at a personal level. Consequently, we will understand how they prefer to be communicated to and even criticized. Even though we are supposed to have a good relationship with them, we must not forget that we are still running a business. Therefore, we must ensure that we deal with problems before or as soon as they arise. Therefore, we must give room for criticism.
However, the manner in which we criticize actions also matter on how it will be interpreted by the employees (Northouse, 2015). For example, nobody will be okay with an employer who is constantly shouting at the employees. It leads to hatred with defeats the main purpose of the whole process.
Have Clear Chains of Communication-leadership Interview with Vice President
Any business or institution always requires that the individuals are able to communicate with each other well. A good communication channel has different characteristics. They include, clear communication hierarchy. It means that every employee should know whom they are supposed to report to. Therefore, the employees do not have to wait for the overall leader to handle their issue. As a vice-president, Mr. Waqas is always too busy and it means that he may not always be therefore to hear all the complaints of every employee. That is why it is important to have department heads who have daily interaction with the employees. Consequently, the employees will have the chance of having their problem listened and evens tacked at the grassroot level. In some cases, the issue may not require the hand of the company’s managers. Therefore, the top managerial staff may only be briefed on the steps that were taken to deal with the problem when it arose.
However, Mr. Waqas provided that it is important to always have contact with the employees even though one is at the higher positions in the company or the organization. This clear mode of communication makes it easier for them to know their problems and deal with them appropriately. He provided that a leader needs to always communicate any problem when they arise. That is why he has to always spare five to ten minutes even on busy days to meet with his members of staff.
In addition, the relationship needs to allow him to interact with the employees both at work and outside work. It helps to promote honesty from his direction and from his employees. Through these off-book discussions, they may get new ideas on how an activity can be carried out. They can understand other issues such as the problems that they face. A leader needs to understand that the employees are human first before they become personnel (Northouse, 2015). Therefore, any personnel problems may find their way into their general performance. Consequently, a leader must try and even help in the employees’ personal problems if they come to learn of them (Hunt, 1975).
Always Motivate your Employees
There are different ways of motivating employees. There is positive and negative motivation. Therefore, a leader needs to ensure that they motivate their employees to always give their best at work. It may be through rewarding and punishment. However, a leader must think deeply before deciding on the direction they are to take. It is because both the positive modes of reinforcement have positive and negative sides.
Giving rewards is a common practice in work places. When one meets their goals, they are rewarded through acts such as a pay rise or a promotion. In some situations, a simple act such as recognizing their actions in secret or in front of their counterparts is enough motivation. Therefore, a leader must put some thought into how they will motivate their employees. For example, constantly rewarding may result into the reward losing its status and impact in the company (Northouse, 2015). Therefore, it is encouraged that one should reward sparingly.
Punishment is tougher than rewarding. It is because it is always difficult to come up with the best way of punishing an action. However, a leader must have clearly stipulated ways of punishment. Since nobody wants to be punished, by them knowing that going against the policies will lead to punishment, it may deter them from engaging in these acts. However, the leader can come up with better ways of dealing with the problem rather than punishing the employee. Punishments can be both a motivating and a demotivating factor (Hunt, 1975). Therefore, a leader needs to avert it in the most instances. Therefore, Mr. Waqas provided that a leader must try and block any chance for mistakes to occur. However, if they occur we must come up with ways of dealing with.
A Leader Must have proper modes of Decision Making-leadership Interview with Vice President
He provided that a good leader must be courageous. They must not fear anybody within the organization. However, it does not mean that they should be rude to others. I understood his point based on the manner in which they tackle the problems of the organization. Therefore, they should speak their minds. But also allow for the others to give their opinions. In cases that one goes against the company policies, the leader should follow due process as per the company ethics. Some individuals may be afraid to carry out certain acts because of the link that this individual has or their relationship. Therefore, a leader must never play favorite at the work place.
These decisions should be for the best interest of the company and the employees. Therefore, there needs to be collaboration amongst the leader and the subjects. By involving them in the decision-making process, the employees will be more motivated to carry out their duties. A leader needs to ensure that his staff always feel treasured by them and the company. Therefore, if their input can be considered, they will give their all leading to an increase in the company’s output.
A Leader Must come up with Clear Goals
Goals and targets will always ensure that the leader knows where they are steering the company. It gives vision to all the personnel. They will always strive to ensure that they meet or surpass these targets. Therefore, the leader needs to ensure that the goals are always achievable. Having goals and targets that are too high and impracticable, it may end up being a demotivating factor. These goals must then be communicated to all the members of staff in order for them to come up with a concise action plan.
The personnel also need to be involved in the goal-formulation process. They will give their thoughts on the plans since they are the ones who are the vessels to be used to achieve them. However, the leader still needs to have control of the process. In addition, these goals will ensure that the management can recognize factors such as mistakes and the capabilities. The goals will be the major determinant for an array of factors. These include the finances required, the personnel, and resources to ensure the success of the business.
The action plan will always be a measure for success of the leader. At the end of the financial year, it is important that they compare the performance of the company vis-à-vis their earlier performance and their competitors. Therefore, the owners can determine whether the book company is going to the right direction or not.
Lastly, an action plan will enable the leaders to determine mistakes, achievements, strategy, and the company’s capabilities. These are information that will make it possible for the company to decide actions such as expansion or even cutting down on the production. Therefore, it is important to have set of goals and objectives.
Know Your Strength and Weaknesses-leadership Interview with Vice President
A leader needs to understand his strengths and weaknesses. A leader must first understand themselves before they can understand their personnel. There are different ways that one can determine their abilities. Therefore, they may use these self-reflection processes to understand their staff. This understanding also makes it easier for them to formulate their action plans. Mr. Waqas provided that it is important that we always maximize the strengths of these staff members. On the contrary, weaknesses must always be diminished. They will always be part of the work that the employees carry out but steps can be put in place to keep them under control. For instance, they may be grouped with others who to help them deal with the weakness.
Future Leaders-leadership Interview with Vice President
He finished his interview with some strong advice to future leaders. He provided that our society today is used to things happening instantly. However, in business, there will be nothing like overnight success. Hard work is important. The input we put in the business will always determine the success of the business. Therefore, we should always strive to better anything that we do. Furthermore, leaders must always be ready to serve. It gives one a chance to learn. They need to learn from their successes and the failures and that of other within their surroundings.
Lastly, leaders must be very innovative in whatever they do. They should understand that they need to ensure that they should provide the best product or service or else they will end up being extinct. This made me think about Nokia Company. They were unable to keep up with the changes and they became extinct since they tried to play catch up with technology.
From this interview, I had an array of what it amounts to be a great leader. Firstly, I understood that it is important that I serve. Apprenticeship or mentorship is the best way of learning how to lead. Therefore, as future leaders, we need to ensure that we look for successful individuals who can direct us to the right direction.
Secondly, we need each other to ensure that we are successful. The employer-employee relationship needs to be well-founded if there is any hope for a business to be successful. That is why bossmanship should never be in our minds. We need to ensure that we lead from the front rather than let the others to risk their lives as we hope to benefit from their sweat. Therefore, leaders are supposed to foster a good relationship between the different individuals at the work place. It leads to the creation of a conducive environment for the individuals to carry out their duties. In addition, the leader must ensure that they always motivate their staff to ensure the greatest output in the company.
Thirdly, communication is paramount in any relationship. In this case, it is an employer-employee relationship. Therefore, the leader needs to ensure that they come up with modes of communication that best fit their companies. I realized that face-to-face contact is important and is the best for leaders. We should never be too busy for even the lowest ranked individual. However, we should have in place measures that allow for maters to be handled at the ground level. It ensures that it does not burden the managers and also helps to handle conflicts before they get out of hand.
Lastly, we must ensure that we have clear goals and objectives. It is because we need o ensure that we measure our performance as leaders. In addition, the goals will help when formulating factors such as the budget and the number of employees. Therefore, it gives us sight and motivation as we know where we are supposed to go.
Hunt, J. (1975). Transformational/Charismatic Leadership’s Transformation of the Field:An Historical Essay. Leadership , 129-145.
Northouse, P. (2015). Leadership. Michigan: SAGE Publishers.