Leadership is about going somewhere, it is about taking people to a new destination. so the first thing you have to do when you are a leader is to ask yourself what is my vision? What are we trying to achieve; what are we trying to accomplish; where am I taking the organization to; what is it that I am asking from my team. The vision is not a strategy nor a goal, these are tools to accomplish your vision. Vision is about a dream that you want to take everyone to.

All great and inspiring leaders and organizations in the world whether it is Apple or Martin Luther King or the Wright brothers, they seems to all think, act and communicate the same way, and it is the complete opposite to everyone else(Ted, 2014). According to Ted’s golden circle, every single person or organization knows what they do, some knows how they do it, but very few people or organizations know why they do what they do. That is also the way ordinary people think and communicate is from the outside in and it is obvious we go from the clearest thing to the fuzziest thing. However the inspired leaders or organizations regardless of their industry all think, act and communicate from the inside out.


Take the example of Apple.The way Apple communicates with people is from inside out of this gold circle, firstly, Apple said “Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo, we believe in thinking differently.(Why) The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly.(How) We just happen to make great computers.(What)”(Ted, 2014) All Apple did was reverse the order of the information, this proves to us that people do not buy what you do they buy why you do it and it explains why every one is comfortable buying a computer from Apple as well as a MP3 player or a phone from Apple whilst all their competitors are equally qualified to make all these products. The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have, it is to do business with people who believe what you believe (Ted, 2014).They have different visions at different times. At the beginning Steve Jobs was very focused in fighting the empire with Vivo of Microsoft. However at some point he said we need to end up this era where we see everything as a competition between Apple and Microsoft and try to focus in the customer experience. He tried to answer questions like what extraordinary benefits can I give to the customers and transformed the cell phone industry off to the smart phone era (Johnson, 2011).


Maslow’s hierarchy of needs states that everyone has his need. As executives, to motivate their subordinates you must understand what their needs are, so regardless of the approach to the team members, the bottom line is that the needs of your subordinates has been satisfied (Cherry, 2010).


Some leaders say that vision is about to define the ideas, to communicate them and to make sure everyone understand them (Eduardo P. Braun, 2013). I agree, but I also think that to that vision, you need to put emotions in that vision for yourself and for your team. The emotions for learning, growing and really making a change around you, because that emotion is what makes you and your team jump out of the bed every morning.

Another example is Richard Branson’s vision with virgin. He wanted to create a worldwide brand which was well respected and that people could say once virgin went into a particular industry this industry will never be the same. You do not have to be the boss to establish your vision, you can just be a team member and try to take your team goal as a challenge and make competitions to have fun in the process. So wherever you are in the process whether you are an employee or the top boss its key that you establish your visions and put emotions in them.

As per my colleagues’ feedback through this term’s engagement in the M005 Leadership module. My team members think that I give great ideas during our group meetings while brain storming for our presentations. They also think that I made the presentations easier for the rest of the teams by motivating every one during the introduction of the presentations. My thought of the reason I can have that effect is that I try to make a eased mood for everyone by being humorous. Like I said in the beginning to put a cheerful emotion into my team members, once they feel relaxed they will enjoy the process of the presentation. One of the skills that I need to improve myself on is time management. As a good leader I have to first make sure that I am on time for everything, it will influence the rest of the team that if they are always late for presentation materials or team meetings, they will feel uncomfortable and sorry for the leader and the rest of the team.


As a prospective manager in the oil and gas sector, it is my aspiration to lead organizations in an ethical manner, to communicate with all my team members effectively, finally make sure every member of my team gives all their strengths to achieve our common goal. Besides, I think in order to be a good leader I need to inspire others by my own actions, I need to identify each team member’s strengths and weaknesses and respect and utilize the diversity of my team in an innovative way.


Cherry, K. (2010) Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: What Motivates Behavior?. Available at: (Accessed: 20 June 2015)

Churchill, W. (no date) Leadership Characteristics. Available at: (Accessed: 20 June 2015)

Eduardo P. Braun (2013) Leadership – Vision with Passion. Available at: (Accessed: 20 June 2015)

Johnson, J. (2011) 5 Industries That Steve Jobs Helped Change Forever « Mac.AppStorm. Available at: (Accessed: 20 June 2015)

Maude, B. (1978) Leadership in management. London: Random House Business Books

Millins, L. J. (2013) Management and Organisational Behaviour. Tenth edn. UK: Pearson Education Limited

Organizational Leadership (2003) Developing Effective Engineering Leadership, pp. 45–68.

Ryan, J. (2009) The Three Fundamentals Of Effective Leadership. Available at: (Accessed: 20 June 2015)

Yan, A. (2012) ‘How To Improve Your Leadership Skills’, in Available at: (Accessed: 20 June 2015)

abconvo (2011) Vision of Leadership. Available at: (Accessed: 20 June 2015)



Leadership & Change

Change in our society and organizations is a widespread part and it is inescapable. The business environment for corporations are becoming more volatile. In order to develop an organization must change, the uncertainties in this unstable environment influences the companies which lead to inevitable changes constantly (Mullins, 2013). However, actions of corporations can be affected by these changes, the modification of behaviors is a obligated process for planned organizational changes (Mullins, 2013). The nature of managerial work may be affected by changing organizations. According to Crainer, many managers refuse to accept the necessity of change. Instead of being proactive, change is often reactive (Crainer, 1996). Despite the potential benefits of change, resistance for change is always there at both organizational level and individual (Mullins, 2013).

Some common excuses for individual resistance to change within corporations consists of the following:

-Selective perception

– One’s habit

-Inconvenience or loss of freedom

-Economic implications

-Security in the past

-Fear of the unknown

Some common excuses for organizational resistance against change are as follows:

-Organization culture

-Maintaining stability

-Investment in resources

-Past contracts or agreements

-Threats to power or influence

The effective management of change must be based on a distinct understanding of human behavior at work (Lawrence, 1970). Even though change is resisted in many cases, Cunningham maintains that one of the greatest myths in management is the generalization that people resist change. In fact people love changes which make things better. The most common reasons for resistance is where people feel a potential loss (Lawrence, 1970).

The successful management of change is clearly essential for continued economic performance and competitiveness. New thoughts and innovations should not be perceived as threats by members of the corporation. I would like to introduce an eight step model listed by Kotter and Cohen for successful large scale change.

Step 1 is to create a sense of urgency among relevant people;

Step 2 is to build a guiding team with the credibility, skills, connections, reputations and formal authority to provide change leadership;

Step 3 is to create visions which are sensible, clear and uplifting, and sets of strategies;

Step 4 is communicate the vision and strategy in order to induce understanding and commitment;

Step 5 Empower action and remove obstacles that stop people acting on the vision;

Step 6 is to produce short term wins that help to provide credibility, resources and momentum to the overall effort;

Step 7 is do not let up but maintain the momentum, consolidate early changes and create wave after wave of change.

Step 8 is make change stick by nurturing a new culture, and developing group norms of behavior and shared values

(Kotter and Cohen, 1996)

The main point is “there is not one type of change, and there is not a single way to approach change. Change management methodologies are only helpful if they are applicable both to the change you want to make and the environment in which you work. The approach you take to change must be tailored depending on the nature of the change you are making and the character of your organization.” (Mullins, 2013)

Constant changing process are subjected to the oil and gas Industry. The change of oil price will lead to influences to the economy and organizations and people’s life. Technology is another main character in oil and gas industry which needs changes constantly to enhance HSE requirements and to make their product more environmentally friendly. In addition, new clean energy sources stimulates the oil and gas industry for further changes. Cars running on electricity or even biofuel challenge the conventional energy source. In order to maintain dominate position in this business environment, oil and gas companies need to make sufficient changes with effective management.


Kurt Lewin developed a change model involving three stages: unfreezing, changing and refreezing.

The model represents a very simple and practical model for understanding the change process. For Lewin, the process of change entails creating the perception that a change is needed, then moving toward the new, desired level of behavior and finally, solidifying that new behavior as the norm. The model is still widely used and serves as the basis for many modern change models.


Crainer, S. (1996) Key Management Ideas. London: Financial Times Pitman Publishing

Guy, G. R. (2005) Effecting Change in Business Enterprises: Current Trends in Change Management. United States: Conference Board

Jones, J., Aguirre, D. and Calderone, M. (2004) 10 Principles of Change Management. Available at: (Accessed: 17 June 2015)

Kotter, J. P. and Cohen (1996) Leading change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press

Lawrence, P. R. (1970) ‘How to Deal with Resistance to Change’, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 12(5),

Lewin’s 3-Stage Model of Change: Unfreezing, Changing & Refreezing – Video & Lesson Transcript (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 18 June 2015)

Mckinsey&Company (2014) The irrational side of change management. Available at: (Accessed: 16 June 2015)

Mullins, L. J. (2013) Management and Organisational Behaviour. Tenth edn. UK: Pearson Education Limited

Scheid, J. (2013) Three Examples of Successful Change Management Practices. Available at: (Accessed: 18 June 2015)

Sims, R. R. (2002) Changing the Way We Manage Change. Westport, CT: Quorum Books

Most effective Leadership & Management Styles & approaches

Management and leadership are similar in terms of their functions, but are quite different in terms of themselves. People sometimes get confused about the role of a leader and a manager, though these two terms are often used interchangeably. Managers are promoters to the success of their subordinates. In order for the team to be successful and productive managers have to provide their employees the necessary resources (Benincasa, 2012). That is to make sure all employees are equipped with necessary skills by training, get the problems out of their way towards the completion of tasks and to ensure that employees are disciplined. Good managers are good at getting things done efficiently and effectively through others, furthermore, they need to be good at influencing, teaching and understanding others(Kevin Armstrong, 2013). We can refer managers as coaches.

Contrarily, a leader could be someone with distinct personality or capability, it could be anyone on the team as long as they can think out of the box which can inspire the others (Benincasa, 2012). A leader’s fascination is reflected on his own special strengths not on his position, it could be one’s previous experience in specific areas which sets them the authority of that area(Barbara, 2007). Based on Kevin’s video about difference bewteen leadership and management, you are a leader if you:

  • Do the right thing.
  • Look to the future.
  • Have a vision.
  • Have a set of clear beliefs.
  • Act in accordance with those beliefs regardless of what anyone might think, say or do.


People follows the leader because their leaders because they have strong beliefs (Kevin Armstrong, 2013). For example, Steve Jobs at Apple had a vision and belief of keeping things simple, he did not care about what other people’s thought. A great spiritual leader Martin Luther King JR. believed that “Every man should have equal rights regardless of skin color.” People followed him not because of him, but because of what he believed in (Kevin Armstrong, 2013).


A research shows that if you take a leader of a sports team and put him in a position of coach, you will have a less than 28.2% chance to succeed (Kevin Armstrong, 2013).

We can use these three key behaviors to measure each managing styles:

  • Task direction

This behavior is when a manager tells a employee what to do, as well as when, where, and how to do a task. This may involve teaching and training as well as directives and instructions(lynda, 2014).

  • Decision making

Decision making is the extent to which a manager involves employees in a decision making process which can be ranged from no involvement to complete involvement(lynda, 2014).

  • Relationship building

This is how the manager forms relationships with each employees as well as creating a work culture for the team, it includes coaching, motivating, open communication and respect(lynda, 2014).

According to Mullins there are Three leadership styles which are:

  1. Authoritarian

-Task direction: High

-Decision making: Low

-Relationship building: Low

This style is appropriate when employees have low levels of skill and initiatives or when the organization is in the crisis and needs immediate change. However the employees are not motivated and do not get opportunities to develop (Mullins, 2013).

  1. Democratic

-Task direction: Medium

-Decision making: Medium

-Relationship building: High

This is when a manager seeks input and feedback from all sides. They focus on what is best for the group as a whole so often make decisions based on majority preference for consensus. The down side of this style is that they may take too much time seeking input or ignoring the best decision (Mullins, 2013).

  1. Laissez-faire

-Task direction: Low

-Decision making: High

-Relationship building: Medium

We can call this style the visionary style, this leadership has an exciting vision in a good inspiring or persuading others to get on board. Often they are great at strategic thinking, but not so good at tactical skills. These managers are exemplified by the phrase: “Follow me” To thrive under this style, employees need to be independent, because they have to figure out the day-to-day work for themselves (Mullins, 2013).

Based on the above analysis of each different managing styles, the suggestions made by CMI 2013 is appropriate since there could be various circumstance and individual characteristics. As of myself, my preferred leadership style is the democratic style. Team members could express themselves and given instructions when necessary, in the end I would like to build a pleasant relationship with the leader in order to enjoy the work.


Barbara, K. (2007) ‘What Every Leader Needs to Know About Followers’, 85(12), p. 84.

Benincasa, R. (2012) 6 Leadership Styles, And When You Should Use Them. Available at: (Accessed: 16 June 2015)

Buckingham, M. (2005) ‘What great managers do’, IEEE Engineering Management Review, 33(2), pp. 3–3.

Cardinal, R. (2013) 6 management styles and when best to use them – The Leaders Tool Kit. Available at: (Accessed: 14 June 2015)

Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (2005) Inspired Leadership: ‘Insights into People who Inspire Exceptional Performances’. Available at: (Accessed: 16 June 2015)

Goleman, D. (1998) ‘What makes a leader’, Harvard Business Review, 76(6), pp. 93–102.

Kevin Armstrong (2013) What’s the difference between Leadership and Management. Available at: (Accessed: 16 June 2015)

Lynda (2014) Management tutorial: Pick the right management style | Available at: (Accessed: 15 June 2015)

Mullins, L. J. (2013) Management and Organisational Behaviour. Tenth edn. UK: Pearson Education Limited

Susan, B. W. and Michae, S. (2008) ‘Goal setting: How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Goals (2nd edition) by Susan B. Wilson and Michael S. Dobson’, Personnel Psychology, 61(4), pp. 931–933.

The challenge of managing diverse teams

The challenge of managing diverse teams


The trend of the world is becoming more and more globalized, with a more complex business environment and competitions, needing to coordinate multi-cultural workforce in projects which have been dispersed geographically. especially in the oil and gas industry, you could have the design team in one part of the world and the construction site on the other part of the world. I used to work in an international engineering company called WorleyParsons, it is located in Beijing China,  used to do projects with offices in other countries. For example, the design team which I have worked in had always cooperated with one of our offices in Calgary Canada. We do the designs on the same platform which is the WorleyParsons global server, Beijing office create models for 8 hours, then by the time we get off work and go to sleep Calgary office which is on the other side of the world wakes up checks our models, give comments and continues to create models where we left off and by the time they finish their 8 hours Beijing office is back on duty again. This way of operating oil and gas projects saves huge amount of time in the designing phase, it doubles the efficiency. We know time is a crucial component in the oil and gas project delivery, the oil price changes by time, the sooner we can put on production the sooner we can generate profit for the stakeholders.


Now I would like to show a short vedio talking about the key point which can decide on whether the perfomance is good or bad of different diversed teams.

Maya Hu Chan is a specialist in global leadership, executive coaching and cross-cultural business skills and the founder of Global Leadership Associates.

I strongly agree to her when she said that the key deciding factor that set the differences are how well those differences are appreciated and managed. This is why leader ship is so important in a diversed team to make sure everybody works hard to be inclusive. Then the leader can leverage their differences and utilize them as one’s advantage which could make a organization more creative and more innovative and performe much better than a homogenous team.

“Diversity can be based on various characteristics such as nationality, ethnic, gender and cultural group etc, or on indicators of cognitive diversity such as international experience, education, industry and work experience that can all lead to different perspectives (Financial Times, 2011).”

For example, Nokia’s leadership group is a diverse team of thirteen members.  This consists three women, one non-white, six Finns, four Americans, one Canadian, one British and one Australian. Three were born in the 50’s, one in the 70’s and the rest in the 60’s. Their work experience covers Europe, North American and East Asia and their educational backgrounds include engineering, technology, psychology, law, economics and finance from a variety of institutions while the team members represent many functions(Financial Times, 2011).

Research shows that diverse teams produce better performance on complex decisions and problems, just the type of challenges faced by international organizations. The ability to manage a diverse team is increasingly necessary for oil and gas industry, to ensure a global mindset, and for long-term cultural agility. In much of the literature, diversity is seen as balancing the tendency for homogenous groups to think in similar ways (Financial Times, 2011). If different views can be associated and utilized in problem-solving or decision-making, the result is usually better than that of a single view, this is the synergy of working with diverse teams.

Nevertheless, diverse teams can also experience their differences as barriers to communication, so that reaching a common understanding or outcome takes more time and effort, and raises the transaction costs of teamwork (Financial Times, 2011).

According to Mullin, team formation should have features of sharing the commen goal, trust among each other, discipline, good communications(Mullins, 2013).

My conclusion is that a global mindset, often defined as openness and global knowledge, is the hinge to managers and leaders to be successful in such highly interlinked world.



Bilimoria, D. (2012) Inclusive Leadership: Effectively Leading Diverse Teams. Available at: (Accessed: 6 June 2015)

CHAN, M. H. (2010) Welcome! | MAYA HU-CHAN. Available at: (Accessed: 11 June 2015)

Ebokosia, A. (2012) How to Lead Diverse Teams to Common Goal. Available at: (Accessed: 7 June 2015)

Financial Times (2011) Diverse Teams Definition from Financial Times Lexicon. Available at: (Accessed: 14 May 2015)

Gerush, M. (2010) Best Practices: Five Strategies For Leading Diverse, Distributed  Teams To Success

Haymarket Business Interactive (no date) Top Ten Tips: How to manage diverse teams. Available at: (Accessed: 8 June 2015)

Holland, J. (2011) Leading Diversity. Available at: (Accessed: 10 June 2015)

Hopkins, M. M., Broadfoot, A., O’Neil, D. A. and Bilimoria, D. (2008) ‘Invisible leadership: Gender, emotional intelligence, and performance and potential ratings’,

Mullins, L. J. (2013) Management and Organisational Behaviour. Harlow, ENG: Financial Times Prentice Hall

Wayne Chan (2013) Maya Hu-Chan: Managing Diverse Teams. Available at: (Accessed: 6 June 2015)

Leadership and Ethics

Leadership and Ethics

Baker indicates that ethical issues are complicated and they are not just black and white analysis. In traditional standpoint, leaders in business organizations are those managers who represent the interest of the owners in achieving economic success for the organization. From this point of view, ethical leadership could be ahieved as long as economic outcomes is maximized which benifits the owners while fully comply with the laws and moral standards(Mullins, 2013).

The two principle areas of study: Deontological Ethics (rules, morals, values & virtues) and Teleological Ethics (consequences, results, outcomes)

Deontological Ethics are defined mainly by a focus upon adherence to independent ethic rules or duties. Therefore, in order to make the correct moral choices, we simply have to understand what our moral duties are and what correct rules exist which regulate those duties. When we follow our duty, we are behaving morally. When we fail to follow our duty, we are behaving immorally(Ethics: Deontological, Teleological, 2010).

The strengths of Deontological theory are motivation is valued over consequences, which are beyond our control. Justice is always an absolute, it ensures that everybody is treated equally. There is also less hypocrisy, which means it is more true(Haines, 2010). Weakness would be It is difficult to be objective because we are humans and social and cultural factors do affect us(Haines, 2010).

Teleological Ethics are defined mainly by a focus on the consequences which any action might have (for that reason, they are often referred to as consequentalist moral systems, and both terms are used here). Thus, in order to make correct moral choices, we have to have some understanding of what will result from our choices. When we make choices which result in the correct consequences, then we are acting morally; when we make choices which result in the incorrect consequences, then we are acting immorally(Ethics: Deontological, Teleological, 2010).

The strengths of Teleological theory could be those of which it allows us to be more open-minded towards other ethics applied by different cultures, it presents a more realistic way of using ethics(Haines, 2010).

The 4-V model demonstrates the framework of an organization internal factors(beliefs and values) and the external factors(behaviors and actions).

Below is the framework of the model, it serves as the organization approaches the common good.


(The center for Ethical Leadership, 2014)

  • Values – Ethical leadership begins with an understanding of and commitment to a leader’s core values. By discovering the values which make up the core of our identities and motivators, we begin the process of integrating our unique values with our choices in our personal, professional, and civic lives.
  • Vision – Ethical leadership requires the ability to frame our actions within a picture of “what ought to be” – particularly in the area of service to others.
  • Voice – Ethical leaders must be able to articulate their vision to others in an authentic way that enlivens them into action.
  • Virtue – Ethical leaders strive to do what is right and good. They practice virtuous behavior by asking “How are my values, vision and voice in alignment with and supporting the common good?

A good example of an organisation who demonstrated typical core value is Apple. “Build the best product for people” is the core value of Apple Corp. It can inspire people, but also represents the spirit of the Apple Corp. Every historic change apple’s have benefited from the company’s core value. Just like what Steve Jobs said about there’s nothing that makes my day more than getting an email from some random person in the universe who just bought an iPad over in the UK and tells me the story about how it’s the coolest product they’ve ever brought home in their lives.

According to Brown and Mitchell unethical leadership can be defined as “behaviors conducted and decisions made by organizational leaders that are illegal and/or violate moral standards, and those that impose processes and structures that promote unethical conduct by followers.”(Brown, Mitchell, and Philosophy Documentation Center, 2010) Trafigura is a multinational formed in 1993, trading in base metals and energy, including oil. It makes almost 80 billion USD a year. In 2006, it caused a health crisis affecting 108,000 people, after a ship leased by the company was told that, due to toxicity levels higher than expected, the price of transferring the waste on board to the processing plant in the Netherlands had increased twenty-fold. To avoid the charge, Trafigura ordered the ship to dock at other seaports until they could find someone who would dump the waste. At Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, one of Africa’s largest seaports, the waste was handed over to a newly formed dumping company, Compagnie Tommy, which illegally dumped the waste, instead of processing it. Many people there became sick due to exposure to the waste, and investigations began to determine whether it was intentionally dumped by Trafigura. Trafigura said in a press statement that their tests showed the waste not to be as toxic as had been claimed.
This was proven false by a 2009 UN report posted by Wikileaks.

Ethical leadership is relevant to all the managers. It could make one become ambitious, hardworking and aspirational, it also makes them more broad-minded and more competent. It provides courageous, loyalty and hope to those who has sense of responsibilities and make them more capable of being an ethical leader, a good leader.

Daniel Goleman discusses how setting ethical norms and ground rules is an important task in leadership and plays a major role in positive collaboration.

Featured image


Brown, M. E., Mitchell, M. S. and Philosophy Documentation Center (2010) ‘Ethical and Unethical Leadership’, Business Ethics Quarterly, 20(4), pp. 583–616. doi: 10.5840/beq201020439

Canal de stevenote (2012) Steve Jobs talks about Core Values at D8 2010. Available at: (Accessed: 5 May 2015)

Copp, D. (2006) The Oxford handbook of ethical theory. 1st edn. New York: Oxford University Press

Ethics: Deontological, Teleological (2010) Available at: (Accessed: 6 May 2015)

Haines, N. (2010) Kant’s Ethical Theory. Available at: (Accessed: 6 May 2015)

Leigh, D. (2009) How UK oil company Trafigura tried to cover up African pollution disaster. Available at: (Accessed: 6 May 2015)

MoreThanSoundnet (2011) Ethics in Leadership. Available at: (Accessed: 4 May 2015)

Mullins, L. J. (2013) Management and organisational behaviour. Tenth edn. UK: Pearson Education Limited

Steenkamp, J.-B. (2014) ‘How global brands create firm value: the 4V model’, International Marketing Review, 31(1), pp. 5–29. doi: 10.1108/imr-10-2013-0233

Top 5 – The Four V’s of Operations Management (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 3 May 2015)