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Leadership Application

In: Business and Management

Submitted By zq8612
Words 1218
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Leadership Theory Application in a News Team

The organization I used to work for, as a news reporter, is News 3 New Mexico production team in KENW TV-3, public broadcasting facility in Portales, New Mexico. KENW offers professional equipment and first-class facilities to students majoring in broadcast production and journalism at Eastern New Mexico University. News 3 New Mexico is a student-produced nightly live newscast, which airs Monday through Wednesday at 5 p.m. Students work there, some as paid employees and some as unpaid volunteers gain hands-on experience in production, news reporting, graphics, directing and audio. It is a highly team-oriented working environment that everybody’s contribution and cooperation are critical to produce a successful newscast. Usually, there are around 15 students working in the news production team who act different roles such as news director, producer, anchor, news reporter, audio/video director, cameraman and floor director etc. Our faculty supervisor - Mr. Kirby along with two news directors act as team leaders. They distribute everyone’s work and direct in live production. Unfortunately, since the first day I joined this team, I realized the leadership problem is such an obvious issue and almost everyone there can identify and feel the tension and stress in news team. The overall working environment makes employees uncomfortable and unhappy. More specifically, there are two problems that I can identify with. First of all, news director and supervisor maintain tight control over student employees; sometimes even try to motivate them through fear, and make decisions in an autocratic style, eliciting little input from their subordinates. Every morning, news producer and director will assign student employees what story to work on and in which format. During a live newscast preparing and producing process, one of the news directors always yells to people in production team loudly once anyone not following her instruction. This yelling bothers and even scares people a lot because people consider it as disrespecting and distracting. However, Megan always explains her bad temper by stating that it is her leadership style and not targeting anybody in person. Since this tough leadership style is so appreciated and supported by our supervisor- Mr. Kirby, who is originally from Times Warner broadcast in New York city and so adapt to a “dog-eat-dog” environment, nobody dare to challenge Megan and speak out our deep grievances. News director’s bad temper and tough even become a “culture” of news team. Other employees sometimes also yell to other colleagues and display arrogant as what news director does. Some of them are not willing to help each other in team. For example, once a male audio director asked graphic designer “what’s the time now?” Graphic designer did not even look at him and responded by an “I don’t know and I don’t care,” which I think is so offensive and irrespective. Therefore, the situation is that employees cannot get along very well and lots of badmouthings are going on underneath. Secondly, to ensure the high quality of the news show, student employees’ job responsibilities are usually fixed. News director assign employees work to do before newscast. Mr. Kirby always educated us to do what we’re good at. Once a news reporter applied for a news director’s position, although she got opportunities of being trained as a director and observing news director’s work, she was never given a chance to actually direct a show. Her experience discouraged other employees’ intentions to try different jobs in team. To sum up, the leadership problem in News 3 New Mexico production team negatively affects the overall productivity of team. Mistakes frequently happen during a semester’s broadcast. Although someone may explain these mistakes as students’ inexperience, I would explain these by an inappropriate leadership style and failure on employee motivation. Facing with above problems, we would ask which leadership style is most suitable for News 3 New Mexico in order to increase team productivity? And how to release the stress of employees and increase their satisfaction of the work?
Leadership style and Team Leadership According to leadership style theory, Mr. Kirby and Megan are executing an “authority-compliance management” style. They put heavy emphasis on task and job requirements and less emphasis on people. Communicating with subordinates is not emphasized except for the purpose of giving instructions about the task. This leadership style can hardly be accepted by team members, lots of student employees complained that they feel less cared and they work for news team only for salary and learning experience, once they get what they want, they will leave news team as soon as they can. Since news production is such a team-based work, leaders in team should execute a “team management” leadership style, which promotes a high degree of participation, increases emphasis on interpersonal relationships and satisfies a basic need in employees to be involved and committed to their work. Also according to team leadership model, team effectiveness is directly related with leadership decisions and actions. One of the internal leadership actions is the action of relationship management, which means leader needs to implement certain actions to improve team relationships. These actions include coach team members in interpersonal skills, collaborating, managing conflict and power issues, building commitment and satisfying individual member needs of trusting, supporting, advocating. In News 3 New Mexico, bad interpersonal relationship is a key factor resulting low team effectiveness and high turn over rate. To solve interpersonal conflict, leaders must provide leadership support and encourage a nonhierarchical structure. For example, to create a more collaborating environment, instead of only authorizing news director to lead discussion of employees’ performance during every meeting following live production, everybody in production team should be encouraged to lead discussion and speak up their opinions to team performance. Supervisor should also emphasize some forms of human relations education to generate instilling healthy employee attitudes. Mr. Kirby could have one-on-one meetings with each employee outside work time to encourage employees to address any conflict, concern or suggestion they may have. Once any problem was addressed, supervisor should take action to provide support, manage conflict and satisfy individual member needs of trusting by either adjusting his own leadership style or explaining the logic behind performance to let employees comprehend. The belief is that proper attitudes will lead to efficient job and organizational structure. Employees will be motivated more by leader’s care and concern for them, and this won’t happen unless leader intentionally set aside time to be with each of them.
Employee Motivation How to help employees charge themselves up and increase their job satisfaction is another key issue the news team should deal with. According to the research, the motivator factors that are primary cause of satisfaction are: achievement, recognition for achievement, the work itself, responsibility, and growth or advancement. The dissatisfaction-avoidance factors that cause dissatisfaction on the job include: company policy and administration, supervision, interpersonal relationships, working conditions, salary, status, and security.
The main reasons cause unhappiness of employees in news team is non-trasparent management style, unchangeable work, and organization’s unfriendly social and psychological climate. People have drives to bond and defend, but the culture of the workplace makes employees feel threaten and less bonded with their co-workers.…...

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