The coin of success: Leadership & organizational culture
Interviewed by Hang Ngoc Tran-s3426291, group 2, RMIT SGS Campus
You may have experienced in feeling like an outsider of unfamiliar culture. The awkward feeling appears as you have just landed in another planet. It is difficult if the employees cannot feel like the insiders of an organization. In fact, each organization shapes its own culture. Organizational culture is “shared belief, values, customs held by the organization’s members” (Prentice Hall 2007). The leader will be the one who brings the culture to the members of the organization. Interestingly, leadership and culture are two sides of the same coin (Schein 2004, p.1).
“Leadership is the art. It requires a strong passion of heading to achieve the best success together with the team”, Ms. Pham Kim Phung says. Ms. Phung is a corporate communication and public relations manager for more than 7 years at New Markets Pte Ltd. New Market is 100% foreign-owned company since 1994. It invests in distributorship of heavy industrial equipment and marine engine in Vietnam. Their major clients are state-owned enterprises and private companies. As Ms. Phung points out that being a good leader and getting your team mates involved in the organization’s culture are never easy tasks. “What you have learnt from theories are just the basic steps, you have to prepare yourself for larger waves of reality”, Ms. Phung says.
Climbing the organizational pyramid
At New Market, employees receive bonus no less than their three-month salary. For long-term employees, they will receive suitable bonus for their long-term contribution. For working hours and condition, “we follow the government’s labor laws, our working hours is from 8am to 5pm”, she says. At the “involvement” stage, getting employees or teammates involved in the project or organization is also important. “You have to make they feel the organization is their home, they are the pieces of the project”, Ms. Phung says. Solomon (2008) also believes that “we are smarter together than we are alone”. Reaching the top of the pyramid is one of the difficult tasks to complete. At leader position, Ms. Phung believes that a good leader is also the one that gives the employees chances to grow with their skills. “A great leader will produce more good leaders who are better than him or her”, she says.
Four requirements of leadership
Ms. Phung explains that these requirements are essential for effective teamwork. Firstly, “we should understand and share targets to the team and make sure all team members will play each assignment, which is related tightly to the others”, Ms.Phung says. Kotter (1990, p.7) suggests that the idea of getting people going in the same direction is “not organize people but align them”. If they receive suitable task, they will push the speed of the project. Secondly, when the project is on its way, leader should track all team members’ results on a basic schedule and discussing very often methods of achieving targets. Thirdly, rewarding is very important to maintain the motivation of the whole team. Her mindset is similar with Kotter (1990, pp.9-11). The teammates will feel their efforts are recognized. This is one of essential stages in organizational pyramid. This will also help increase the quality of the work. However, remember to reward on suitable time for every good result. We have to recognize the team members’ efforts at the right time. Last but not least, evaluating every target including evaluation of method, timeline, investment on human resources that were achieved. We should keep all team members updating the latest success of the whole team.
To achieve the targets, team members are the crucial pieces and the leader is the one knows which pieces will fit with each part of the project. Organizational culture and leadership support each other and stick together like the two sides of the same coin. We have to hold this coin tightly like holding our success.
Word count: 668 words
Kotter, JP 1990, ‘What leaders really do?’, Havard Business Review, pp. 1-11.
Prentice Hall 2007, ‘Organizational culture’, course notes for COMM2384 Client management, RMIT University, Vietnam.
Schein, EH 2004, ‘Organizational culture and leadership’, 3rd edn, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA, p.1.
Solomon, R 2008, ‘We are smarter together than we are alone’, The art of client service: 58 things every advertising & marketing professional should know, Kaplan, New York, pp.100-101.
Global Recognition Inc. 2012, ‘Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the organizational pyramid’, image, Global Recognition Inc., viewed 27 April 2014, <http://globalrecognition.award-search.com/pl/why-use-recognition/Basics-to-Motivating-People>.
Kanketa Systems n.d, ‘Business growth for continued success’, image, Kanketa Systems, viewed 3 May 2014, <http://www.kanketasystems.com/business-growth/>.
The Mojo company 2012, ‘Flipping the coin’, image, the Mojo company, 9 May, viewed 26 April 2014, <http://themojocompany.com/2012/05/culture_and_marketing/>.