Running head: EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP
BUS 119 Principles of Personal & Organizational Leadership
Instructor: Sherry Phelan
March 12, 2019
Most people perceive the achievement of business success to the strategy the business
comes up with. Even though the strategy is one part of business success, other reasons exist
including leadership that has and continues to be one of the main reasons for business
success. A great leader should not be an individual who leads but rather someone other
people want to follow. This paper identifies Rosalind Brewer as one of the great and
successful leaders and looks at her history as well as well as her perception of leadership
Brewer's Brief History
Rosalind Brewer is an African-American businesswoman who is also the first African
American to become Starbucks' Chief Operations Officer (COO) in October 2017.
Additionally, Brewer is a director at Starbucks, and she is a former Chief Executive Officer
(CEO) of Sam's club, a major unit of Walmart. During her time at Sam's Club, Brewer made
her name by her commitment to the need to increase diversity on her team as well as among
her partners. Her tenure at Sam's Club began in 2012 and ended at 2017 where she was
regarded in two aspects including becoming the first woman as well as first African
American to lead Walmart division (Wiener-Bronner, 2019). At Sam's Club, Brewer
implemented a growth strategy that focused on information technology as well as innovation
that offered attractive locally oriented merchandise while also looking for opportunities for
the expansion of many club locations. There was also her emphasis on the expansion of ecommerce to give members the convenience of shopping anywhere at any time. Amazon
would later add Brewer to its board making her the only person of color who presently serves
on Amazon's ten-person board (DuBrin, 2015). Amazon announced Brewer's addition in
February 2019 as well adding that it appointed her to the board's leadership development and
compensation committee. Moreover, Brewer is the second black woman to have ever served
as a director of Amazon.
Brewer began her career at Walmart in 2006 as a regional vice president where she
oversaw operations in Georgia. After working as a regional vice president for some couple of
years, Brewer was appointed division president of the Southeast and would later become
president of Walmart East. Before she joined the retailer, Brewer worked for twenty-two
years at Kimberly-Clark as well as serving on the boards of Lockheed Martin and Molson
Coors Brewing Company after her graduation as a chemistry major at college (WienerBronner, 2019). Brewer began as a scientist in Nonwoven Technology and Product
development at Kimberly-Clark Corp. Brewer is well known for her desire to ensure
teamwork and partnership as highlighted by her mention of the need for an individual to
nudge his or her partners as well as the need for an individual to speak up and speak out
(DuBrin, 2015). Brewer mentions that when she works, she tries to set an example to other
people with her use of her platform to speak out and encourage other members and partners.
Brewer's Definition of Leadership Characteristics
In her leadership capacity, Brewer highlights some of the characteristics that she sees
as the best for effective leaders, some of which describe her leadership traits. Brewer
understands that an effective leader should have strong strategic, analytic, and operational
skills that would help one to manage a large and complex business (DuBrin, 2015). Her idea
of such characteristics may be depicted from her working in large and complex businesses
where she has had to deal with several people, most of which is an environment controlled by
men as well as the aspect of race as highlighted by her becoming the first African American
to be in some positions of leadership in business.
Moreover, Brewer believes that a team is essential for leaders where leaders should
encourage the team to do the talking while the leader focuses on ways of supporting their
needs. A team is crucial to success in various businesses and leaders can harness the strengths
of the team by building a good working relationship that would ensure its success. There is
also the aspect of experience that would help and teach leaders on various ways of leading
change through the identification of problems as well as the creation of teams and drawing
roadmaps (DuBrin, 2015). Brewer believes that such steps are successful formulas and set of
tools for leaders. Moreover, Brewer advises leaders to have some aspects of agility but should
not compromise one's core values no matter the strength of the pressures are for immediate
results. She mentions that a great leader should keep his or her ego under control because the
leader is not the business but rather the leader at the time.
Admittedly, leadership is an essential part of an organization, and the great leaders are
those others would want to follow. Rosalind Brewer is one of the great leaders as depicted by
her success in most of the organizations she has been to. It is no surprise that she is the first
African American and female to hold some of the highest positions in some of the prominent
companies. She mentions and advises leaders on the need to be agile in their work, but should
not comprise the individual's core values no matter the pressure for immediate success.
DuBrin, A. J. (2015). Leadership: Research findings, practice, and skills. Nelson Education.
Wiener-Bronner, D. (2019). Amazon names Starbucks COO Rosalind Brewer to board of
directors. CNN. Retrieved from https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/04/tech/amazonrosalind-brewer-board/index.html
Running head: EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP
BUS 119 Principles of Personal & Organizational Leadership
Instructor: Sherry Phelan
March 23, 2019
The leadership dimension that is evident from this example of Rosalind Brewer is
that of trait, and this is clear through various integrated patterns of personal characteristics that
have led to effectiveness in her leadership. It is also clear that her task competence and
interpersonal attributes contribute to her efficiency as a leader. As a leader, Rosalind has shown
some core traits which contribute to her effectiveness as a leader. Trait is an essential aspect of
leadership, and in this particular scenario, it includes personal character as well as other factors
of importance in characterizing good leadership. Rosalind has managed to incorporate the use of
these traits in administration, and these have made her an effective organizational leader.
Biggest Challenge Faced
However, as a leader, it is also clear that there are various challenges that she faces.
One major problem that she has faced has to work with large and complex businesses where she
has had to deal with several people. Most of which are in an environment controlled by men as
well as an environment filled with different races, bearing in mind that she is the first African
American in some of these leadership positions (Northouse, 2018). One important trait that has
helped her face this difficult challenge is that of social boldness, and this has enabled her to be
thick-skinned and mentally tough enough to handle the difficulty of the situation at hand.
She is also, and this is important since it has enabled her to be practical enough to
deal with the situations at hand throughout all these changes of working in a different social
environment. Self-assurance and resiliency are other important traits that have ensured that she
has been able to deal with the situation at hand (Northouse, 2018). This particular trait has been
necessary to her because she is socially aware in different situations and this means that she has a
foresight which has helped her learn how to interact in different scenarios. The use of these skills
has been essential and has enabled her to manage her challenges. Personality traits have played
an indispensable role in determining her level of comfort around other people. Rosalind was
successful in overcoming the various problems that she faced due to her resilience.
Style of Leadership
Rosalind has been able to use democratic leadership, and this has ensured that she
includes members in all the decision making processes of the organization. In her leadership
ideas are exchanged freely, and discussion is encouraged. Furthermore, she focuses on group
equality and the free flow of thought (Khan et al., 2015). However, as a leader, she still gives
guidance and control to the group members, and she still has a significant role to play in the
determination of the outcomes. Rosalind has been an active leader because she has been able to
instill trust and request in members of the organization and she makes members of the group
inspired to take action and also contribute to the group. She is also free in seeking diverse
opinions and ensuring that this helps her in her decision-making processes.
It is clear that Rosalind has encouraged good working environments due to her
ability to yield followers with high morale who are more motivated to generate and also offer
creative solutions to various problems that are faced at the organizational level (Crossan, Seijts&
Gandz, 2015). Through her leadership, she has been able to promote an environment of
cooperation as well as team spirit (Khan et al., 2015). The use of this type of leadership has also
helped encourage the setting of workable goals at an organizational level and the recognition of
employee achievements. As a leader, Rosalind has been able to develop plans with employees
and help them to evaluate their performances.
As a leader, she has also been able to provide regular opportunities to her followers,
and this has helped to develop a sense of personal growth as well as job satisfaction, therefore,
encouraging collaboration as well as team building. She is a flexible leader, and this has ensured
that she can work with both skilled as well as non-skilled employees (Khan et al.,2015). She can
capitalize on the employee individual talents and strengths and at the same time benefit from the
power of the whole. Rosalind is an energetic individual, and she does not feel threatened by the
flexibility as well as the commitment that is required.
She is also able to create a dynamic working environment that is filled with
motivated employees who are eager to succeed. Through democratic leadership, Rosalind has
been able to ensure that that entire she does fit with the current ideas of empowerment as well as
the engagement of staff (Khan et al., 2015). Furthermore, her leadership has also been able to
gain the most out of teams and at the same time foster creativity and a better flow of ideas. There
are various examples of why it is clear that Rosalind is a democratic leader. One example of this
is seen through her desire to ensure teamwork and partnership and at the same time tend to
individual needs at the organizational setting.
Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to recognize one’s own emotions as well
as those of others and at the same discern between different feelings and label them in an
appropriate manner (Crossan, Seijts& Gandz, 2015). It includes the use of emotional information
in thinking as well as behavior, as well as the management and adjustment of these emotions to
ensure adaptation to various environments and different goals (Serrat, 2017). Emotional
intelligence includes five components, and these include self-awareness, self-regulation,
motivation, empathy, and social skills. Self-awareness involves always knowing how you feel
and also knowing that actions and emotions affect all people who are around you. Emotional
intelligence constitutes of these characteristics, and together they will have an important role to
play for the leader of the organization.
As a leader, it includes being self-aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses and also
behaving with humility. It also provides self-regulation and leaders who regulate themselves
effectively will rarely make rushed emotional decisions or compromise their values. Emotionally
intelligent leaders are, and this means that they work consistently towards the achievement of
their goal (Serrat, 2017). Emotionally intelligent leaders also practice empathy, and this is critical
for them to manage successful teams as well as organizations. Social skills are another essential
component of emotional intelligence and leaders who do well in the social skills element are
good at communicating. Such leaders can manage change and also diplomatically resolve
Model of Primary Leadership Skills
The model of primary leadership skills is concerned with the specific roles that are
determined through the essential leadership responsibilities of directing, coaching as well as
supporting and delegating. An effective leader needs to master these skills to effectively lead
others (Crossan, Seijts& Gandz, 2015). Effective leadership, therefore, follows specific rules that
revolve around these skills. Leaders should also be able to monitor and weigh individual
decisions and always look for the best possible outcomes in a given situation (Northouse, 2018).
It is essential to balance these skills together with traits to ensure best organizational results. The
leader is expected to create a vision, develop strategy and also lead people. The use of conceptual
skill will be central to creating an image and strategic plans for the organization. Human skills
are people skills, and these will govern work with subordinates and with peers. The use of
technical skills is also, and this will ensure proper organization of management processes to
boost the effectiveness.
Communicating a Vision
As the leader of an organization, it is essential to understand how to communicate
the vision to other members of the organization. Sharing a concept is central to leadership, and
this will give members of the organization a better understanding of leadership hopes and
expectations (Sull, Turconi & Sull, 2018). It is, therefore, necessary for the leadership to set the
tone for other members of the organization to follow. It is also important to be crystal clear to all
members of the organization concerning expectations and responsibilities that the job entails.
Dialogue is the only way through the proper communication of vision and values can be done,
and this will help make a difference in the organization. Effective organizational leadership will
rely heavily on the ability to communicate effectively to the employees. The leader has the role
of communicating the corporate vision to the employees, and this will motivate them to work to
achieve the organizational objectives.
Crossan, M., Seijts, G., & Gandz, J. (2015). Developing leadership character. Routledge.
Khan, M. S., Khan, I., Qureshi, Q. A., Ismail, H. M., Rauf, H., Latif, A., & Tahir, M. (2015). The
styles of leadership: A critical review. Public Policy and Administration Research, 5(3),
Northouse, P. G. (2018). Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications.
Serrat, O. (2017). Understanding and developing emotional intelligence. Knowledge
solutions (pp. 329-339). Springer, Singapore.
Sull, D., Turconi, S., & Sull, C. (2018). Six Steps to Communicating Strategic Priorities
Effectively. MIT Sloan Management Review, 59(3), 1-4.
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