I have never really thought of myself as a leader, but in my current position at my company I have taken on that role. Recently our company has gone through a major expansion and hired a large group of people right out of college. They are all highly motivated and highly educated people. The only thing they lacked was direction and a clear path to make them successful. When I examined my role as a leader with this group, I identified with Fiedler's Contingency Model.
The contingency model recognizes that leadership effectiveness depends on both the leader's style and the favorableness of the situation (PSU WC, 2013). While these new hires were very motivated, they were also very green. They have not yet been hardened by Corporate America, and I found them to be very sensitive to any sort of criticism from senior members of the staff. What seemed to work for this group was for someone who was motivated more by relationships than by tasks, which as it turns out, is exactly how I lead.
When I answered the questions for Fiedler's least-preferred-coworker scale (LPC), I was categorized as a high-LPC leader. High-LPC leaders are motivated by relationships (Northouse, 2013). The fact that I am motivated by relationships and they were looking for a leader that fostered that type of atmosphere, the situation fit.
Over time the new hires began to gravitate toward me for advice and counsel. I began to develop a sort of big brother relationship with the new recruits and have taken on the unofficial role as leader to them. Now that the relationship is sound, I find myself guiding them through their tasks and careers. We now meet once a month outside the office to discuss issues facing them and how to best navigate through the obstacles they face in their new career. I have been able to emerge as a leader to this group by being the right kind of leader in the right situation (PSU WC, 2013).
Pennsylvania State University World Campus (2013). PSYCH 485: Leadership in Work Settings. Lesson 6: Contingency and Path Theories. Retrieved from: https://courses.worldcampus.psu.edu/sp13/psych485/002/content/06_lesson/03_topic/03_page.html
Northouse, P.G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Los Angeles: Sage Publications