Each leader runs there followers differently. This is something that can clearly be seen after you have worked under many different leaders. As a follower you are able to learn a lot about a leader on how they act when different situations are brought up. The path goal theory “is about how leaders motivate followers to accomplish designated goals.” (Northouse, 2016) With that being said there is one manager that I worked under for a while and I think the path goal theory is one that would really be able to describe the way she leads our team.
As our leader she was able pick a leadership style that beat fit the needs of our team and what we were trying to accomplish. (Northouse, 2016) The leaders name was Ashley and she was different than any one before her because she really would listen to all thirty of us and see what our needs were and so we could accomplish all the goals that the company put in front of us. As one can imagine with thirty people on a team there were many different opinions on how we should do things. Though we all had so many different opinions there was one thing that the company wanted and that was “to enhance follower performance and follower satisfaction.” (Northouse, 2016) That is where Ashley came in, she left her team in western New York to come to your office to help us really get our team in shape. First thing that she did when she arrived was have a meeting with us and take about what we wanted to see as employees. After a while of talking she told us that she was going to come up with a few ways to help us feel satisfied with the job. First thing was larger incentive pools; if we are doing the work we wanted to be paid for it and the second one for us to know as employees our company cared about us, which is when there were different activities around the building.
As she made things better so we were more satisfied you could still see there was a clear difference between her and the other leaders before her. When she first came down we as a team we all wanted to do the same thing get better as a department and hit the goals that the company put in front of us. Ashley was able to use the four path goal leadership behaviors which are directive, supportive, participative and achievement oriented. Directive “characterizes a leader who gives followers instructions about their task, including what is expected of them, how it is be done.” (Northouse, 2016) We as the followers wanted to get to the goal and Ashley knew how to make it happen. Every day when we came in there would be a piece of paper on our desks with the agendas for the day. She would tell us actually what she wanted done and a schedule to follow to make sure that we were accomplishing all tasks in time. At other times she was able to show supportive leadership. Supportive leadership “consists of being friendly and approachable as a leader and includes attending to the wellbeing and human needs to followers.” (Northouse, 2016) You could imagine what it is like having thirty people reporting directly to you; how busy one would have to be. Ashley never showed us that we were overwhelming her no matter how many times you were to bug her about something she would still be friendly and if you were having a bad day she would be able to see it on your face and would make sure that she had a meeting to make sure everything was alright. There was never a time that our team didn’t feel her support. There is nothing better though then feeling like you are a part of the decision making. In large companies sometimes that feeling is lost and you don’t feel that anything you say is heard. Participative leader “consists of inviting followers to share in the decision making.” (Northouse, 2016) Though there are some decisions we as followers can’t be in if Ashley felt it was something that we needed to have a say in she would listen to us and then she would fight for what we have to say so that it could be heard by all. Well she was able to motivate us, make us feel important and support us when needed to also pushed us. This is where achievement oriented leaders come in and it can be “characterized by a leader who challenges followers to perform work at the highest level possible.” (Northouse, 2016) As a leader she made it very clear what she wanted from us every day she wanted us to come in and put in all our effort and make sure that at the end of the day we gave it all we had.
With a team of thirty; one may think it is hard to make sure that we are all working to our highest potential while making sure we are happy. Ashley has mastered the path goal theory of leadership she was able to make a path to the goal and we were able to easily travel to the goal with some coaching and direction, she made sure that there was nothing standing in our way and she wanted us to be personally satisfied by our work. (Northouse, 2016) Though she is one person and there are so many of us she was about to “choose a leadership style that best fits the needs of followers and the work they are doing.” (Northouse, 2016) Ashley was a true leader that helped us achieve the goals that were put in place.
Northouse, P.G. (2016). Leadership: theory and practice. Seventh Edition. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.