Successful management requires an appropriate leadership style by the leader. Effective leadership and management skills lead to successful management of organizations and business. Interviewing a person in a leadership position helps in understanding the most effective leadership style. The focus of this essay is an interview conducted with Flagon Martin, the manager of Phillips Academy. The paper will begin by identifying the interviewee and her position in the organization with a brief description of the company. The investigation will also discuss the leadership style of the individual using the five-factor personality model with an illustration of a problem-solving incident and the lessons learned.
I had the privilege to interview Mrs. Flagon Martin who is the manager of Phillips Academy. Martin if 49 years old and she is a teacher by profession. Martin has a master's degree in Education and management from the University of Bridgeport. From the interview, I also realized that Martins has experience in teaching and management of 20 years. Martin is also a family woman; she is a mother of two children who are now grownups and a wife to Richards Bromley. During the interview, I realized more about Phillips Academy beyond its history of academic excellence and location in Andover, Massachusetts, USA. The school is one of the best high schools in the US. The school has a capacity of approximately 1,200 students. As a co-educational university-preparatory school for grades 9-12, it has enrolled pupils from different parts of the country. As a result, leading such a big institution requires Martin to have suitable leadership skills (Casimir, 2015).
My conversation with Martin showed that she is a transformational leadership style. In a transformational kind of leadership, leaders, and followers assist each other in succeeding to higher levels of motivation and morality (Sadler, 2016). In the dialogue with Martin, I realized that she is a transformational leader as I realized that she raising leaders in the institution expecting them to succeed in higher levels of motivation and morality. Like any other transformational, she is acting with integrity to initiate change in herself, staff, and the entire institution. When I inquired on how she transforms her staff. Martin reported that "I motivate them to act more than they intend by setting more challenging targets and expectations for them." I came to understand that as a transformational leader, Martin expects higher performance from her staff (Saini, 2015). From the talk, I recognized that through the application of transformational leadership style, Martins has very satisfied and committed followers.
In the conversation, I was also able to note that Martin's transformational leadership style has a basis from the five-factor personality model. As per the model, Martin has conscientiousness seen in her ability to have awareness of every consequence from the actions taken (Casimir, 2015). Martin takes actions with the consciousness of its effects to the institution. In her responses when asked on how she deals with cases of poor performance in school. Martin responded that "I begin expecting better results from our candidates because of best preparations actions are taken for best performance because I understand poor preparations definitely lead to students failing in their exams". As per the five-factor approach, Martin also has the quality of openness. Martin is able to establish and implement new ways of carrying out activities in improving the welfare of learners and employees (Sadler, 2016). In her position as the manager to the school, she has invented new ways of solving issues affecting the school like indiscipline and truancy.
The interview also indicated some management and leadership roles practiced by Martin in her duty as the manager at Philips Academy. One of the evident roles identified was the decision-making role. Managing such a big learning institution requires apt skills in decision-making (Saini, 2015). Martin is able to make the best choice from a list of alternatives for improved outcomes. For example, when asked on how she decides on the menu and schedule in a school with learners from a diverse background. Martin answered that she fully applies decision-making skills to arrive at the best alternative that will satisfy every stakeholder. Martin reported that she carries out some research from learners, teachers, and parents in coming up with the best option in decision-making. The other leadership and management role seen in Martin was the informational duty. Martin was an effective communicator because of her proper manner of receiving and sending information either orally, written (Sadler, 2016). For example, Martin reported having various platforms of receiving and sending information like emails, phone calls, one-on-one conversations, as well as posters. Martin uses the right channel, person, language, and mechanisms in communication.
The talk with Martins led to the realization of one incident where she had to apply problem-solving skills to handle a difficult problem. The issue occurred in 2016 when the students' performance dropped from position two to nine in schools found in Massachusetts. Martin had not expected students to fail their exams, and the stakeholders involved really wanted to know the cause. The problem was difficult because it was hard to explain to parents and directors as to why students have drastically failed in their final exams. Due to the low marks recorded in final exams, most of the parents had opted to take their children to other schools. Martin said that she almost lost her job together with other teachers in leadership. Martin had to apply problem-solving skills to solve the issue (Casimir, 2015).
There are some lessons that Martin stated following solving the unexpected problem that befalls her when the students' performance went down. One of the lessons she learned was the identification of the root cause of the problem (Saini, 2015). Martin learned that identifying the root cause of the problem leads to coming up with the most appropriate solution to solve the issue. In that case, Martin investigated and realized that the root cause for the poor score was the increasing level of indiscipline and truancy. The manager was able to solve the issue and the school became position two in the following year. The other lesson Martin learned from the issue was the importance of communication in problem-solving. Communication is essential when solving a problem because it leads to having various views on how to arrive at a solution (Sadler, 2016). In that situation, Martin collected views from different stakeholders leading to arriving at the most fitting solution of increasing discipline among students.
Conclusively, every manager requires an appropriate leadership style for successful management roles. I interviewed Mrs. Flagon Martin who is the manager of Phillips Academy. My conversation with Martin showed that she is a transformational leadership style as she helps her followers and to succeed to higher levels of motivation and morality. I was also able to note that Martin's transformational leadership style has a basis from the five-factor personality model by having conscientious and openness abilities. The interview too indicated that Martin has decision-making and information roles of management and leadership. One incident in Martin's role as a manager at Philips Academy that had a difficult problem was when students performed poorly in their final exams. Martin leaned on the need for finding out the root cause of the problem as well as communication in during problem-solving. Therefore, the choice of a correct leadership style based on the five-factor personality models as well as the application of problem-solving, decision-making and communication skills leads to a successful management role of Martin at Philips Academy.
Casimir, G. (2015). Combinative aspects of leadership style. The Leadership Quarterly, 12(3), 245-278. doi: 10.1016/s1048-9843(01)00079-0
Sadler, P. (2016). Leadership. London: Kogan Page Ltd.
Saini, D. (2015). Integral Leadership Style: A New Perspective. International Journal On Leadership, 3(2). doi: 10.21863/ijl/2015.3.2.007
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