Leadership Studies Paper on Topic 3: Effective Business Leadership

Topic 3: Effective Business Leadership

            The question of whether effective business leadership can be learned remains a contested debate. Many individuals believe that business leaders are born. It is the year 2020, and I have been allotted to teach Effective Leadership in an MBA program. The three hot topics in this course include the most important skills of a business leader, learning effective leadership, and managing a diverse workforce. Leaders in organizations are handling these topics through supporting employees to enroll in management courses. Students need to learn the topics to become successful organizational managers and leaders in the future, and this has led to the significance of the topics. I will know if the course has been successful by posing questions to students after its completion and gauging their understanding. This paper seeks to raise the understanding of how effective business leadership can be learned and challenges of diversity overcome. In literature, it has been established that many people fail to lead effectively due to the perception that successful leaders must have unique leadership chromosomes while others, who have the notion that leadership can be learned, learn and excel at it (Schiffer, 2017). In the business world, people think of leaders that actively encourage unsavory reputation and publicity like Donald Trump, Jack Welch, and Lee Iacocca. Any person with unwavering desire to develop their skills can learn effective business leadership and become successful.

Skills of a Good Business Leader

            Any person can learn and develop leadership skills. The primary challenge to developing leadership skills is the notion that persons without particular chromosomes cannot be leaders. Some people learn business leadership skills at an early age. However, this does not mean that one cannot learn leadership skills at a later age. To appreciate that effective business leadership can be learned, it is imperative to understand the skills of a good business leader. One of the primary skills of a good business leader is that they never stop learning (Schiffer, 2017). One mistake that many people make is being complacent. Some individuals remain in a given rank for a long time and think that they understand everything about the position. It does not mean that one should not feel skilled in their job. The problem is that feeling competent might result in one being complacent, thus not becoming a successful leader. For one to learn effective business leadership, they need to look always at their roles in new ways.

            An effective business leader is a good listener and talker. Such a leader also understands the importance of communication. One can always learn new things by communicating and listening to the coworkers. For instance, a manager might acquire knowledge of an organization-wide challenge through collaborating with workers. Additionally, a leader may acquire leadership skills by discussing with employees how to handle particular tasks (D’Auria, 2015). Being a follower is another critical skill for an effective business leader. It does not denote that once you become a leader, you cannot learn something from your juniors. Spending time with employees from different departments gives leaders an excellent opportunity to learn various skills.

Learning Effective Leadership

            Transformational leadership is the best approach in dealing with subordinates. Derue, Nahrgang, Wellman, and Humphrey (2011) argue that transformational leaders have the ability to influence their subordinates. The leaders encourage followers to shelf their interests for the sake of the organization. Transformational leaders are creative. They help their assistants to establish organizational goals and work towards their realization. In most cases, transformational leaders are fervent about transforming the organization. As a result, they inspire their followers. A good example of a transformational leader is Steve Jobs, the former chief executive officer of Apple. Jobs inspired his subordinates leading to remarkable innovations in Apple Company.

Excellent leadership skills promote innovation amid the subordinates and enhance their performance. Organizational leaders ought to alter their management styles based on circumstances. A leader has to change his/her leadership style according to the development level of the subordinates. Further, changes in circumstances influence the needs of various stakeholders within an organization. Hence, a leader has to vary his/her approach to satisfy the needs that arise. Managers can use leadership skills in different ways to enhance employees’ performance (D’Auria, 2015). The managers should identify the differences amid employees and ensure that they consider those variations when setting goals for the workers. Additionally, leaders should use leadership skills to educate employees in the subtleties of professionalism in the organization.

            Many people believe that effective business leadership entails having a charismatic personality and high profile. Effective business leaders are products of an immeasurable practice of proficiency and character improvement. Effective business leaders grow through a series of continual learning about their careers, relationships, and personalities. Every individual possesses leadership skills. Nevertheless, some people may not have meticulous leadership skills to manage specific departments, organizations, groups, industries or businesses. The world history comprises numerous examples of business leaders who acquired leadership skills through learning. Leadership skills are learned with respect to the support of culture, and the learning practice begins as the children are growing up. In the family context, the parents act as leaders. The children learn the fundamental business leadership skills from the parents. They observe how the parents manage the family business and later build on the skills when they start their businesses. In other words, children are not necessarily born with business leadership skills. However, they may learn some skills from their parents. In the same way, a person can learn effective business leadership by working in business organizations or interacting with persons with trade shrewdness (Derue et al., 2011). The learned skills can help an individual to succeed in running an enterprise once they assume leadership roles.

Life offers people an opportunity to learn new things on a daily basis. Every day comes with a new learning opportunity. One can learn effective business leadership by reflecting on their achievements and failures or studying how successful businessmen conduct themselves. The trick to successful business leadership is having time for the hard work that constant learning demands (D’Auria, 2015). People can learn effective leadership by updating themselves about what is taking place in the business world. Besides, one can learn business leadership skills by taking the time to analyze the internal and external factors that affect a business. Learning effective business leadership requires the ability to have a stance on things. Business leadership entails a learning process. What motivates a particular group of employees may not necessarily persuade all workers. Thus, a leader learns the leadership skills by interacting with the subordinates and getting their feedback.

 Numerous books give details on how one can become an active leader in the business world. Besides, various leadership theories teach on how to be a successful businessperson. Studying such ideas and books might assist one to get knowledge in successful leadership. However, the most efficient way to learn effective business leadership is by emulating renowned leaders; students can learn business leadership skills by identifying the qualities that such leaders possess (Derue et al., 2011). Further, an individual can quickly learn effective business leadership through working with a person that they consider an effective leader. Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of an effective leader can go a long way to bequeathing a person with business leadership skills. In other words, students can learn business leadership skills by analyzing the achievements and failures of other leaders.

            In life, people do not always get an opportunity to decide the role they undertake, but they choose how to do it. This mantra can help individuals to acquire business leadership skills regardless of their experience. Good leaders have to pursue a demanding, and infinite course of learning that requires them to maintain an open mind. People can learn business leadership skills by shunning their ego and working with all kinds of employees (D’Auria, 2015). Domination and control have no place in the present business environment. Hierarchical thinking is a fundamental impediment to learning effective leadership skills. It denies a person the chance to learn from others who might be below them in the hierarchy.

            The journey to effective leadership begins at a personal reflection level. The literature reveals that many advocates of the reflective process, from students to intellectuals, acquire effective business leadership through incorporating personal reflection into learning. Personal reflection kindles self-discovery in a career life. Additionally, it enables one to develop the perceptions that lead to a holistic appreciation of questionable circumstances by encouraging a person to query and even change personal postulations. Personal reflection helps to develop ethical and moral responsibilities that are core to effective business leadership. Research has confirmed that through reflection, a person can acquire emotional astuteness and in due course leadership skills (Mišić, 2013). This plays a key role in promoting universal patterns of thinking that are fundamental to successful leadership. Consequently, it may help one to acquire business leadership skills, particularly in a work-based learning environment.

            Business leadership constitutes great self-awareness coupled with psychological and social intellect. Good leaders are the ones who understand their weaknesses and strengths and are familiar with the emotional needs of the employees (Schiffer, 2017). Leaders that have emotional and social intelligence are skillful at exploiting the behavioral cues of the employees. They use the signs to determine the emotional needs and moods of the workers and react accordingly. There is no doubt that some individuals naturally possess emotional and social astuteness as well as high self-consciousness. However, it does not mean that those who do not possess the attributes are disadvantaged. One can acquire the traits through contact with instruments such as the DISC Behavioral Styles framework. This framework gives individuals ideas about their ideal character traits and behavioral styles. Therefore, it leaves people in a better position to enhance their leadership skills. Once a leader understands their strengths and weaknesses, they can work towards improving their business leadership capabilities by leveraging the strengths and moderating the weaknesses.

            Effective business leadership is a skill and not an innate character. The perception that one is in a leadership position because of their inherent qualities may be unfortunate. The thought of a hereditary leader is a practical joke. A person cannot be an effective business leader without a professional knowledge of the company. One can learn business leadership skills through support, training, and experience. Research proves that the most effective leaders are those with a clear knowledge of the primary goals of the organization. Nevertheless, being a professional alone does not constitute an effective business leader. One must possess learned management and leadership skills to be an effective leader as the natural traits are not sufficient to make one successful (D’Auria, 2015). An individual can learn business leadership skills by enrolling for management courses. Besides, one can acquire leadership skills through mentorship programs or accumulation of experience. Being a successful business leader is not a one-time issue because it takes much time to attain effective leadership qualities. A person acquires successful business leadership abilities through persistent learning and practice. Practicing leadership skills enables an individual to be dynamic at any level of their profession in spite of the nature of the organization. Enrolling in an MBA program goes a long way to helping the student become an effective leader.

            The majority of successful business leaders were not born as managers. Many argue that they learned how to lead. They never woke up one day and decided to lead. Instead, one person (the leadership teacher) instilled in them the qualities and skills of leadership. Many leaders hold that after learning, they nurtured the leadership skills through taking risks. They were keen to take risks in areas that many workers were reluctant to try. One can learn effective business leadership abilities by volunteering to do hard and at times challenging assignments. Additionally, one can foster business leadership skills through performance (Schiffer, 2017). For one to become a business leader, they have to demonstrate superior achievements. Such performance acts as a stage in which leaders can enhance their skills. It also builds self-confidence that enables one to retain and develop leadership skills.

Management of a Diverse Workforce

            Organizations with employees from diverse backgrounds perform well, provided their leaders have skills to manage diversity. Employees from diverse backgrounds are endowed with different skills and experiences that are invaluable to an organization (Ibarra & Hansen, 2011). As a result, leaders should be in a position to assemble and lead a workforce comprising employees with diverse backgrounds, cultures, disciplines, and generations. A diverse workforce can gather information, brainstorm, and come up with a productive conclusion. Jabbour, Gordono, Martinez, & Battistelle (2011) posit that the cognitive assortment of a heterogeneous group engages many different perspectives that can result in resourcefulness. Diversity enhances decision-making within an organization. The minority members of a group express their criticism leading to the team coming up with the best decision. According to Jabbour et al. (2011), diversity has a symbolic effect. A diverse workforce serves as a sign of a collectively just institution. An organization with a diverse workforce has a high chance of attracting and retaining skilled workers. Diversity enhances the legality of business. It makes potential candidates believe that the firm values equality and treats all employees uniformly regardless of their cultural backgrounds. Jabbour et al. (2011) argue that diversity can also boost the sales of an organization as many customers prefer to shop in an enterprise with a heterogeneous workforce.

Leaders should have the capacity to bring together a workforce comprising people from different cultural backgrounds, disciplines, as well as generations. According to Olsen and Martins (2012), managing team diversity helps an organization to reposition itself and broaden its perspectives, approach, and strategic tactics. Additionally, managing team diversity helps an organization to benefit from culture-specific and synergistic advantages associated with a diverse workforce. Olsen and Martins (2012) argue that diversity management boosts the competitive edge of the business. In the contemporary business world, organizations should have the capacity and agility to change. Olsen and Martins (2012) affirm that the ability and agility to change necessitate the dexterity to learn and effective learning incorporates diversity. Managing team diversity enables an enterprise to reach a wider customer base and boost employee productivity.

            The capacity to manage a diverse team is an essential skill in the technological industry. The technical industry is innovation-oriented. Therefore, it requires a workforce with diverse background and experiences. The industry needs a manager to utilize a synergistic approach to exploit the knowledge of a diverse workforce and produce better outcomes. A manager is supposed to use the cultures of the employees to establish organizational systems. For instance, Dion Weisler, the chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard (HP), applies the synergistic approach to bring out the potential of his diverse workforce. Jabbour et al. (2011) allege that Weisler encourages cultural synergy by establishing disparities in community, workplace, and marketplace. Hewlett Packard comprises employees with various frames of reference. The employees enable the company to analyze problems from different perspectives and come up with novel ways of handling challenges.

To address the limitations associated with diversity, organizational leaders should often communicate to promote cooperation amid employees. Bringing employees together in times of crisis and involving them in decision-making may help to eliminate the in-group and out-group mentality that hinders cooperation. Additionally, organizational leaders should establish rules for workers to understand the anticipated consistencies (Rawat & Basergekar, 2016). Corporate leaders should help the employees to appreciate that conflict is inevitable in a diverse workforce. Nevertheless, it should not deter them from pursuing organizational goals.


No one is born as a business leader. Anyone can learn effective business leadership skills as long as they are determined to be a leader. For one to be an effective leader, they have to exhibit several skills. A person has to be open to learning. Additionally, one has to be good at listening and communicating. The perception that successful business leaders are born with particular leadership chromosomes is unrealistic. One can learn and nurture effective business leadership skills through interacting with employees from different departments. Besides, after learning, a person can cultivate business leadership abilities by reflecting on failures and achievements. Understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses serve as the starting point of a journey to effective business leadership. People can learn effective business leadership in MBA programs. Diversity management, one of the hot topics in the program, is critical to an organization. It helps to build the reputation of an enterprise, thus boosting its sales volume and ability to attract and retain skilled workers. A diverse workforce promotes creativity in an organization. Employees with different backgrounds share experiences and come up with innovative ideas that help to improve organizational performance. Corporate leaders have the duty of promoting diversity.


D’Auria, J. (2015). Learn to avoid or overcome leadership obstacles. Phi Delta Kappan, 96(5), 52-54. Retrieved from http://content.ebscohost.com/ContentServer.asp?T=P&P=AN&K=100515828&S=R&D=aph&EbscoContent=dGJyMMvl7ESep7U4yOvqOLCmr0%2BeprNSrqe4S7CWxWXS&ContentCustomer=dGJyMPGntUmxrbRMuePfgeyx43zx

Derue, D. S., Nahrgang, J. D., Wellman, N. E. D., & Humphrey, S. E. (2011). Trait and behavioral theories of leadership: An integration and meta‐analytic test of their relative validity. Personnel Psychology, 64(1), 7-52. Retrieved from http://content.ebscohost.com/ContentServer.asp?T=P&P=AN&K=58139236&S=R&D=bth&EbscoContent=dGJyMMvl7ESep7U4yOvqOLCmr0%2BeprNSrq24SbaWxWXS&ContentCustomer=dGJyMPGntUmxrbRMuePfgeyx43zx

Ibarra, H., & Hansen, M. T. (2011). Are you a collaborative leader? Harvard Business Review, 89(7/8), 68-74. Retrieved from http://krinetix.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Harvard-Business-Review-Are-You-a-Collaborative-Leader.pdf

Jabbour, C., Gordono, F., Martinez, J., & Battistelle, R. (2011). Diversity management: Challenges, benefits, and the role of human resource management in Brazilian organizations. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 30(1), 58-74. Retrieved from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/02610151111110072

Mišić, M. (2013). The role of human resource management in professional development and promotion of women in organizations. Journal of Engineering Management and Competitiveness, 3(1), 22-26. Retrieved from http://www.tfzr.uns.ac.rs/jemc/files/Vol3No1/V3N12013-05.pdf

Olsen, J. E., & Martins, L. L. (2012). Understanding organizational diversity management programs: A theoretical framework and directions for future research. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 33(8), 1168-1187. Retrieved from http://content.ebscohost.com/ContentServer.asp?T=P&P=AN&K=82300914&S=R&D=bth&EbscoContent=dGJyMMvl7ESep7U4yOvqOLCmr0%2BeprJSsq%2B4SrGWxWXS&ContentCustomer=dGJyMPGntUmxrbRMuePfgeyx43zx

Rawat, P. S., & Basergekar, P. (2016). Managing workplace diversity: Performance of minority employees. Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, 51(3), 488-502. Retrieved from http://content.ebscohost.com/ContentServer.asp?T=P&P=AN&K=114168286&S=R&D=bth&EbscoContent=dGJyMMvl7ESep7U4yOvqOLCmr0%2BeprJSsa24SLGWxWXS&ContentCustomer=dGJyMPGntUmxrbRMuePfgeyx43zx

Schiffer, E. (2017). The dreaded team assignment: Developing essential leadership skills. Techniques, 92(4), 30-35. Retrieved from http://content.ebscohost.com/ContentServer.asp?T=P&P=AN&K=122072578&S=R&D=tfh&EbscoContent=dGJyMMvl7ESep7U4yOvqOLCmr0%2BeprJSs6u4TLaWxWXS&ContentCustomer=dGJyMPGntUmxrbRMuePfgeyx43zx