Role of Leadership Styles in Achieving Common Purpose
The inability to define and communicate a common purpose at the
outset of team formation is one of the most common causes of team
Fortunately, by following the leadership sequence shown in Figure
1, teams can create a common purpose. The sequence is as follows.
• Type One, communicating. Why? What is the value of doing this?
• Type Two, defining. What? What needs to be done to achieve the
• Type Three, doing. How? How will we get it done?
• Type four, challenging. If? If this works, what are the new
Concurrent Product Development is a good source of examples for
using the sequence of leadership styles, shown in Figure One, to
achieve common team purpose. Concurrent Product Development teams
face problems of dealing with a very large job scope and needing
major cultural changes. For these reasons, Concurrent Product
Development teams are particularly susceptible to the inability to
define and communicate a common purpose. By following the sequence
of leadership styles below, Concurrent Product Development teams
can achieve a common purpose:
• Why do we need to do this? We need to introduce manufacturable
• What are we going to do? Eliminate departmental hand-offs, ensure
quality of design at the source, consider manufacturing and
purchasing issues from the onset of the design.
• How will we get it done? Multi-functional team approach supported
by analytical tools and shared databases.
• If this works what are the possibilities? Two tothree times as
many new products as our competitors, incorporating two to three
times as many technologies, introduced twice as often with superior
What If We Used Learning Styles?
What if we put learning styles and leadership styles to work
building the learning organization? What would the outcome be?
Improved process design? Faster implementation?
The outcome will be improved rates of learning with the resultant
improved problem solving and process improvement capabilities.
In this section we will look at the impact of learning and
leadership styles on the following:
Sales and Operations Planning requires that senior management come
together and function as a process. Successfully motivating senior
management to define and implement a planning process is dependent
both on learning and leadership styles.
Concurrent Product Development depends on the ability to build
cohesive, cross-functional teams from groups of people who have
spent most of their careers in a single function. A knowledge of
learning styles can help these teams learn the technical, functional
and process knowledge needed to work together. Application of the
leadership style wheel in Figure 1 can help build mutual
accountability for achieving the team purpose.
ISO 9000, Class A Performance, TQM and other improvement programs
are dependent on the design and execution of a comprehensive
education program. Success of an education program is dependent on
the ability to account for the unique way in which people acquire
knowledge and skill. Learning styles account for this unique