Home | Forums Leadership and Management

  • Leadership and Management

    Posted by Asia Metropolitan University on February 8, 2021 at 1:59 pm


    When you joined Workplace Solutions Consulting three years ago, you were required to participate in an intensive interview process. After going through preliminary interviews with individuals of the same rank/title and a manager-level person in your division, you then met with the Director of the Consulting division. Everyone you met thus far from the organization seemed smart, outgoing, and friendly. Apparently the interview process had gone well as you were then scheduled to meet with company executives and officers. First, the VP of Customer Service, then the CFO, and finally the CEO of Workplace Solutions Consulting. The VP of Customer Service seemed highly meticulous in her interview questions, asking for detail behind every answer to her questions. She posed scenario questions to you regarding situations in which she was involved with tasks assigned on a daily basis.

    Then you met with the CFO. He was a graduate of one of the nation’s military academies (it was apparent from the office decorations and diplomas). His questions carried implication regarding your self-organization. Do you make daily lists? How do you prioritize your lists? How do you keep your calendar? He even asked to see your daily planner.

    Finally it was time to meet with the CEO. After the interviews with the VP and the CFO, you could only imagine what you were getting into with the company’s top leader. When you sat down with the person who had built this incredible company, imagine your surprise when he turned out to be the most pleasant, genuine, thoughtful, and enthusiastic individual you had ever met. He explained that his job as CEO was to ensure that every employee had what they needed to succeed. He told me that if you were hired, he would be working for you. You could not sign up fast enough to join his company!

    Forum Question

    What a variety of leadership styles, roles, and traits—and all in one interview process! Which interviewer do you think you would work best with? Why do you prefer the leadership styles, roles, and traits they demonstrated? What combination of leadership style, role, and trait would be best for the following business situations?

    A company with routine and unskilled job functions.

    A company with dangerous job functions (toxic waste handling or heavy equipment operation).

    A company preparing to disrupt an existing market with ground-breaking technology.

    A company preparing for an IPO.

    Please explain your thoughts for each situation.

    NURHIDAYATI BINTI ABDUL JALIL replied 12 months ago 8 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Lik Wai Toh

    December 22, 2021 at 5:54 am

    I would choose to be interviewed under the CEO from the scenario above. I love to work with democrative leadership. As a democrative leadership, he will lead job satisfaction and motivate the employees. Furthermore, he creates a positive working environment and allows inspiration in the organization.

    A company with routine and unskilled job functions – Autocratic leadership style: the leader himself is the best. Employees cannot criticize the leader on how or why the decision is being made. The positive thing about this leadership style is that the leader might have the best performance in the team and lead to speedy decision-making and great productivity under the leader’s control.

    A company with dangerous job functions (toxic waste handling or heavy equipment operation) – Bureaucratic leadership style: This leader always adheres to the organizational rules and policies. Thus, the leader will make sure the employees strictly follow the rules and regulations.

    A company preparing to disrupt an existing market with ground-breaking technology – Transformational leadership style: Such leaders encourage the employees to be innovative and creative. Also, the leaders will inspire and motivate the employees by promoting a consistent vision and a set of values to their employees. An example of transformational leadership company – Apple CEO Steve Jobs (https://applecorporate.weebly.com/leadership.html)

    A company preparing for an IPO – Transactional leadership style: We know that preparing IPO creates more irregular work than usual. Thus, to motivate employees to do more, the leader will actively monitor the progress and take action to prevent more mistakes at the end. In addition, the leader will motivate the employees by giving rewards such as providing employees shares options to the employees once the IPO is listed.

    • Pub Hon Low

      December 27, 2021 at 12:06 pm

      The example given (Steve Jobs) is good who is a role model in the market and bring huge impact and contribution to the markets and our daily life with his leadership in Apple.

    • Siti Zaidah Binti Abdullah

      January 15, 2022 at 11:41 pm

      Good example there Toh, about how the leaders foster innovation and creativity in implementing the work by employees.

  • Stefanie Ng

    December 27, 2021 at 10:53 am

    Which interviewer do you think you would work best with? Why do you prefer the leadership styles, roles, and traits they demonstrated?

    • My preference would be to work with the CFO as my working style is similar to his. For me I can work most efficiently when all are well-organized and planned in detailed ahead of time

    • There is not enough information on the CFO to describe his exact leadership style but based on his Military background, he may possess a combination of both Servant leadership as well as Transactional.

    Transactional Leadership: Providing clear directions and holding subordinates accountable for their actions. This leadership style is effective in the chain of command work structure. To me this is a productive way to get work done.

    Servant Leadership: Extreme dedication to the service of others before themselves. It is effective because leaders embody the characteristics of empathy and acceptance, a sense of community and a calling to serve others.

    What combination of leadership style, role, and trait would be best for the following business situations?

    1) A company with routine and unskilled job functions.

    Autocratic Leadership: Due to lower-level skills job, focus is on greater productivity under leader’s supervision.

    2) A company with dangerous job functions (toxic waste handling or heavy equipment operation).

    Bureaucratic leadership: Due to higher risk in work environment, leaders need to strictly adhere to the organizational rules and policies. Also, they make sure that the employees/team also strictly follows the rules and procedures.

    3) A company preparing to disrupt an existing market with ground-breaking technology.

    Transformational Leadership: In an environment that supports innovation, leaders can encourage creativity, adaptability and problem-solving.

    4) A company preparing for an IPO.

    Transformational Leadership: Employees need to adapt and change their ways of working as a listed company will have a stricter rules and compliance to adhere to, Leaders can inspire and push them to meet their goals.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  Stefanie Ng.
  • Pub Hon Low

    December 27, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    For the interviews, I will work best with the CFO, who has held a semi-structure interview, with open-ended questions and topics. By going through the interview, I can show my true characteristic and strengths other than my professionalism.

    The leadership styles is very collaborative and the CEO is a good communicator. He shared his role and vision in the company and also, he take his employee as an asset of the company and value them by saying “if you were hired, he would be working for you”.

    For below situation:

    A company with routine and unskilled job functions.

    Pacesetting and Coaching styles. A driven leader will push their employees to achieve better performance and also provide the feedback and coaching for the team.

    A company with dangerous job functions (toxic waste handling or heavy equipment operation).

    Autocratic and Affiliative styles. Due to the nature of the jobs, the leader need to be a commander of the team so that the employees can strictly follow the rules and regulation. The leaders also need to ensure the safety of his/her employees by taking “people come first” concept.

    A company preparing to disrupt an existing market with ground-breaking technology.

    Laissez-Faire and Coaching styles. With involvement of the people into the decision making process, employees are motivated. Giving the coaching to the team also empowered them for better performance.

    A company preparing for an IPO.

    Collaborative and Coaching style. Leaders have to be collaborative with the team when facing the challengers of the market. They also need to be agile and innovative to adapt the rapid changes of the stock market.

  • Hareeraja Thechina Murthy

    December 30, 2021 at 12:22 am

    In the new era, we are not able to use the Autocratic or bureaucratic leadership styles. The current generation is much fragile compared to baby boomers. However, the positive side of generation is that they are highly creative, love to be empowered, love the freedom to work, and highly prefer work-life balance. If we can provide these things to the right talent, then you can harvest all the necessary traits for that organization to be successful. In order to manage such talents, you need to have an interviewer with these three types leadership style, Transformational leadership style, Participative leadership style, and Laissez-faire (delegative) leadership style. One of the biggest successes of a CEO or the company leader is to sell the company’s vision to the employees and make the company’s vision as employees’ vision for success. Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Tan Sri Tony Fernandes are some of the great examples. In order to have such a successful story, Transformational leadership style is required. Transformational leadership places high value on corporate vision, uses motivation and inspiration to gain the support of employees, always places high value on relationships and they prefer high morale of employees. They believe in “right person for the job” rather than “The best”. Therefore, these leadership styles are able to identify the interviewees with high morals and values. One of the positive traits of the current generation is they love to contribute creative ideas and Participative leadership style is the best to identify such talents. Participative leadership style encourages creativity, they motivate employees and provide job satisfaction with a strong team. They can bring the best productivity output. Finally, laissez-faire or delegative leadership is also required to identify talents who can work with minimum supervision. Only talents with good intelligent are able to work smart. It is not easy to identify such talent. Laissez-faire leadership highly values innovation and creativity and ability to take advantage of the talents competency and experience to bring the best out of the talent. Laissez-faire leadership is the best to identify this talent from the interviewees.

    i) A company with routine and unskilled job functions.

    The best leadership to handle this situation is having bureaucratic leadership. Having routine work with unskilled job requires a set of procedures to follow everyday repeatedly. Bureaucratic leaders understand the process and shall establish the procedure clearly for everyone to follow and shall ensure the execution and operation are running successfully.

    ii) A company with dangerous job functions (toxic waste handling or heavy equipment operation)

    The best leadership styles for this situation shall be bureaucratic, democratic, and coaching leadership styles. When handling safety related matters such as toxic waste handling and heavy equipment operation, we need a set of procedures to follow and regulations to adhere. Therefore, you need bureaucratic leadership to establish these procedures and regulations and enforce them. Safety related works also require lots of educating processes and for that Coaching leadership ensures this process is done correctly. To ensure that this practice is done with a full ownership attitude, you need democratic leadership qualities to ensure that everyone understands and be responsible for the safety of themselves and people and property around them.

    iii) A company preparing to disrupt an existing market with ground-breaking technology.

    If a company preparing to disrupt the existing market with ground-breaking technology, we need laissez-faire leadership, democratic leadership, and transformational leadership. Managing innovative and creative talents, you have to have laissez-faire leadership, and to manage and bring the best out of them, you need democratic leadership. In order to disrupt the existing market, we need highly motivated people to ensure all the team involves is motivated and focused on the vision. Transformational leadership is the best to manage this situation.

    iv) A company preparing for an IPO

    Company preparation for IPO requires a lot of good corporate governance and management. This process is not easy as a lot of procedures and transparent corporate governing need to be in place. Also, your company’s growth in terms of revenue and profit should be in a healthy state. Four types of leadership are required for IPO, Visionary, Transformational, Transactional, and bureaucratic leadership. In order to have the idea of going IPO requires vision and for that visionary leadership is important and to ensure all the team is fired up to achieve the vision of IPO, transformational leadership is required to ensure all the team is motivated and aligned for that vision. Bureaucratic leadership is required to analyze and establish proper and transparent procedures and practices. Bureaucratic leadership also ensures the practices at the optimum level. Finally, we need transactional leadership who focus on performance. This type of leader is highly motivated to achieve the goal, mainly monetary. This mix of leadership will ensure success in IPO.





  • Mahalakshmi Pavithra A/P Sukumaran

    January 5, 2022 at 3:57 am

    – The VP of customer service has an authoritarian leadership style. She described the events in the interview, indicating that she believes in completing the work and responding appropriately in the conditions faced by the staff.

    – The CFO’s leadership style is authoritarian, where he likes to keep his employees under control so they can behave under his authority. He will gladly instruct you and expect you to do the chores as he directs and within the time frame he assigns.

    – The CEO of the firm has a democratic leadership style where he helps people reach their objectives while the organization’s goals are attained.

    – I’d want to work with the company’s CEO, who is both democratic and participatory. He would not only assist me achieve my objectives but also train me while working alongside me. He would be a good guide for me based on his expertise and position.

    A company with routine and unskilled job functions.

    Leadership Style: Autocratic

    Role: Assigning and monitoring tasks

    Trait: should be strict with the rules and regulations

    Explanations: Routine and unskilled jobs functions are highly task-oriented and must be done in the same way for a long period. Thus, autocratic leadership would be the greatest fit in this case, since it involves individual authority over all choices and limited input from group members.

    A company with dangerous job functions (toxic waste handling or heavy equipment operation).

    Leadership Style: Coaching

    Role: Explaining the ways to handle dangerous jobs and provide training to the employees’ while being on the job

    Trait: Should have good communication and teaching aptitude

    Explanations: When the work is risky, the leader must assist the employees to do their jobs properly, therefore the coaching style of leadership is suitable.

    – A company preparing to disrupt an existing market with ground-breaking technology
    Leadership Style: Democratic

    Role: Directing employees for market research and bringing in the creative ideas associated with the technology

    Trait: Should be motivating, creative, and innovative

    Explanations: An organisation trying to disrupt an established market with cutting-edge technology needs to collect as many employee suggestions as possible. Thus, democratic leaders allow workers to innovate freely.

    – A company preparing for an IPO.

    Leadership Style:

    Role: Should analyze the market and formulate the strategy so as to adjust as per the trends in the market

    Trait: Should have skills to infer the situation. Should have forecasting skills

    Explanations: A company preparing for an IPO should have a democratic leader since they are fresh to the market and must adjust their goods at different phases. These companies’ staff should be imaginative and creative in their work. A democratic leader may enable workers to be innovative in their work.

  • Siti Zaidah Binti Abdullah

    January 15, 2022 at 11:34 pm

    Part 1

    I prefer to be interviewed by the corporate CEO based on the above events. I often like the democratic leadership style as it ensures the organization’s employees’ satisfaction. Democratic leadership style is highly encouraging to the employees, therefore, would increase productivity. In addition interview with the CEO shows the creation of a favourable work environment and would facilitate much inspiration in the organization. The CEO would facilitate the achievement of the organizational goal.

    Part 2

    A company with routine and unskilled job functions primarily require an autocratic leadership style. In the authoritarian leadership style, the leaders have total control in the organization with minimal contribution of the members in the organization. This leadership style provides maximum performance by the organizational members and enhances the decision-making process; this improves organizational productivity. Proper supervision is required for a company with low skilled jobs as it enhances the productivity of the corporate leaders. In such situations, various processes are involved in the organization and to be followed daily with the leaders developing the proper procedures to be followed in the organization to ensure successful operations.

    A company with dangerous job functions (toxic waste or heavy equipment operation) requires a bureaucratic leadership style. The leaders in this leadership style strictly follow the organization’s regulations and ensure the employees abide by the organizational rules. The environment of the jobs are risky; hence the administrative authorities should be abided by in the organization. The leadership style to be used in such a situation would ensure the leaders prioritize the safety of the employees in the organization first.

    A company that prepares to disrupt an existing market with groundbreaking technology requires transformational leadership. Transformational leadership style promotes innovation and creativity of the organizational members. Besides, the leaders in such leadership styles would encourage the employees to develop a corporate vision that would improve the employees’ performance. An example of the leadership style is the Apple Company, whose CEO is Steve Jobs, who has immensely contributed to the market based on his leadership style. Transformational leadership also facilitates meeting the organizational goals through the inspiration of achievement of the employees. Due to the strict regulations in transformational leadership, the employees adhere to the rules to achieve the goals.

    A company preparing for an IPO requires a transactional leadership style. Preparation of the IPO requires more indefinite tasks in the company, which differs from the formalities. Therefore, in such companies, the leaders must constantly engage the employees by evaluating their progress factors and preventing the occurrences of various mistakes in the organization. Leaders also enhance the motivation of employees in the organization by providing rewards, including giving the employees the share choices upon the listing of the IPO. Transformational leadership enables adaptability to the organization setting and enhances the problem-solving skills in the organization. The transactional leadership style provides the practical and productive mode to carry out activities due to the organization’s effective command chain of roles.


    September 30, 2022 at 10:32 am

    I would prefer to work with CEO from the illustration above as I love to work with a democratic leader as it can motivate employees and increase job satisfaction. In a workplace where employees feel valued, and where their contributions are clearly respected and sometimes taken on board, team members are likely to feel more satisfied. Everyone has had the experience of being subordinate to a leader who has no interest in what we say or think, and who sees us only as an extra pair of hands: This is not how people will feel under democratic leadership.

    However, I would like to recommend the leadership style for the followings type of business:

    1. A company with routine and unskilled job functions: Affiliative leaders also known as facilitative leaders, aim to put employees first. They pay close attention to and support the emotional and professional needs of employees. Ultimately, this style focuses on encouraging harmony and forming peaceful, collaborative relationships within teams. Most decisions are left to employees, but the leader is still part of the decision-making process. Affiliative leaders often use praise and helpfulness to build individual and team-wide confidence.

    2. A company with dangerous job functions (toxic waste handling or heavy equipment operation): An autocratic leadership style, the leader is the best. Employees don’t have much chance to question on the leader’s decision-making. This leadership style has the advantage of allowing the leader to have the best performance in the team, resulting in quick decision-making and high productivity under the leader’s control.

    3. A company preparing to disrupt an existing market with ground-breaking technology: Transformational leaders, also known as visionary leaders, are strongly committed to organizational purpose and big-picture goals. They tend to set objectives by mapping out where the company is going and what will happen when they get there. This inspired, future-focused vision is used to set expectations that engage and energize employees. Transformational leadership is most effective in fast-growing organizations or organizations that have been drifting and need direction. Transformational leadership is also effective during corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, and other high-risk business transformations.

    4. A company preparing for an IPO: Transactional leadership. This style is about giving rewards and punishments are contingent upon the performance of the followers. The leader views the relationship between managers and subordinates as an exchange – you give me something for something in return. When subordinates perform well, they receive a reward. When they perform poorly, they will be punished in some way. Rules, procedures, and standards are essential in transactional leadership. In this scenario, a leader can motivate the employees by giving rewards such as increasing their bonus once the IPO is listed.