“Vision without actions are a daydream. Actions without vision are nightmares”.

Leadership has been defined as the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness of their organization (CMI, 2017). For the past 10 weeks I learned how to distinguish between management and leadership, to lead and manage group, appreciate ethical models of leadership and much more. Through my university studies, work experience and mindfulness classes I developed my own vision of leadership, gained clearer understanding of my personal and career goals.

Firstly, I will give a brief summary of principles on which my model of leadership is based below.This principles are in line with ethical leadership, democratic leadership model and have been elements in 4V model. My model could be summarized as “Vision, Communication and Action”.


Develop your own view, think critically and be authentic.

Everything starts with a vision. People come together around a clear vision and things become a reality (that before seemed impossible). “There is no favorable wind, for the person who does not know where he wants to sail”.

To have a visions also means to be aware of the interests of all those you lead – not only your own interests. Understand the reasons for actions, and deep motivations. In business, this means thinking about the implications of objectives as well as the purpose behind work.

Vision must be clearly re-translated to those who will help to achieve your vision. Communication is a key for that.




Be interconnected, relate to people. To be able to communicate your vision clearly is one of the hardest yet most important aspects of leadership. If one is successful in showing his vision to others, an impulse reaches another individual and triggers an idea and reaction for creative productivity is created. Idea is like a spark that connects people around that vision and allows company to function as a single organism (beehive). It is the leader’s job to send, manage and reinvigorate these impulses among colleagues. Consultations brainstorm sessions and collaborations are examples of how to ensure that everyone understands the direction and is engaged in activities.

Action is important for a leader. “The best way to predict your future is to create it”

Actions must grow from the seeds of vision, and through ways of effective communication.


Importance of all these aspects was demonstrated during one of the leadership classes when our task was to build a copy of already existing Lego structure (Picture above). Task may sound simple enough, but the twist was that only one person could see the original plan that we had to build without the ability to interfere in the building process.  Idea has to be reflected through communication and put into action.

In my opinion in order to engage people, leaders must focus on few simple values, which I present below. He must lead through his own example as intangible values will deliver tangible benefits to a company (Forbes, 2016).

One of my goals as a future leader will be creation of innovative space and a happy environment with a commitment to the well-being of employees. In my point of view, principles how to make a great leader below can create a dynamic and productive space (Forbes, 2015). Other valuable principles include:

Increase Mindfulness- trained mind, increased self-awareness; Build on strength, keep positive and focus on happiness. “Negative thoughts and emotions not only can lead to wrong decisions but also waste mind energy.” writes the Dalai Lama (The Dalai Lama, 2009)

I am inspired to create compassionate, peaceful environment, full of mutual respect, and always to remember ethical principles (e.g. protect vulnerable). An example is a contemporary issue of refugee integration in the society/workplace (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights , 2016). Business cases of ethical leadership- management of related to migration processes, which is a necessity worldwide and a society-wide challenge (McKinsey, 2016).

Every problem has a solution, and having the positive attitude helps to find it. As well as promote mutual respect, know how best to motivate his employees, persuade his customers, and support its shareholders (Journal of Management Education, 2000).

How to achieve and develop these skills?  Through continues personal development, including courses, management qualifications , coaching and mentoring,

Modern electronic tools, CMI and other professional bodies, websites, literature and new technologies are useful. Embracing many dimensions of integrated management, certifications and knowledge up to date.

I am inspired by business leaders in companies which are highly rated as nice companies to work in (e.g. Genentech, Google, Yahoo, Expedia) who created a welcoming and thriving environment for staff  achieving high engagement; and importantly by spiritual leaders like Dala Laima, who has highly ethical views, leader’s charisma, energetic charge and strong moral principles. I believe, workplace in future will be more collaborative and innovative, and enhancing the physical, cognitive and emotional well-being of workers. I will lead from positive emotions like care and high believes not from negatives, like fears, greed or jealousy. Above model incorporated views of ethical and democratic leaders.

To conclude, I am inspired to be a modern ethical and compassionate leader, who is full minded and cares not only about profit but people.


Who Are Your Leadership Role Models? And why?

Please share your vision of leadership below.



CMI, 2017. CMI. [Online]
Available at: http://www.managers.org.uk/
[Accessed 03 2017].

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights , 2016. Speeches. [Online]
Available at: http://fra.europa.eu/en/theme/hate-crime/speeches
[Accessed 03 2017].

Forbes, 2015. integrated-thinking. [Online]
Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/rajeevpeshawaria/2015/07/23/integrated-thinking
[Accessed 03 2017].

Forbes, 2016. Managing Brand Ideas Flawlessly Across Agency Partners. [Online]
Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/avidan/2016/12/01/how-cmos-can-stop-roster-agencies-from-becoming-frenemies-and-collaborate-better
[Accessed 03 2017].

Journal of Management Education, 2000. A Decision Model for Integration across the Business Curriculum in the 21st Century, s.l.: s.n.

McKinsey, 2016. A road map for integrating Europe’s refugees. [Online]
Available at: http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/employment-and-growth/a-road-map-for-integrating-europes-refugees
[Accessed 03 2017].

The Dalai Lama, L. v. d. M., 2009. The Leader’s Way: The Art of Making the Right Decisions in Our Careers, Our Companies, and the World at Large. s.l.:Crown Business.





#4 Leadership and Change

Blog 4. Leadership and Change


Change is nothing new and a simple fact of life. Some people actively thrive on new challenges and constant change, while others prefer the comfort of the status quo and strongly resist any change.
(Mullins 2010: 753).

Change has been given the highest priority globally and across all types of organizations. Studies showed evidences that significant proportion of planned change.

Efforts failed (Center for Creative Leadership, 2017). How can organizations improve the chances of success for important change in modern world?

Leo Tolstoy (the Russian novelist) famously wrote: “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

This has been proven that change efforts often failed because individuals overlooked the need to make changes in them ( (McKinsey, 2017); and to advance the practice of leadership and cultural transformation, organizational change must be seen through prism of individual change (McKinsey, 2014).

The process of change within organisations usually results from interactions between four major elements (Table 1).

Table1. Key elements – lead of change (CMI, 2017):

Element of change programme Examples
1.     People Development of new skills, improved engagement, motivation, individual change  etc
2.     Processes Efficient working procedures, new standards, productivity, monitoring and evaluation etc
3.     Technologies Innovative technologies, new equipment, modernised software, creative use etc
4.     Organizational structure Optimized organisational structure, closing or opening new departments, manufacturing sites, scaling up and down), flexibility and efficiency of teams, boards and networking groups, company merges etc

Table 2. Effective change management process.

Priorities Actions
1 Assess (estimate the nature, ability, quality, limitations and benefits, scope of change and objectives etc)
2 Design of the implementation strategy
3 Time frames design
4 Set up – team of change leaders and managers
5 Establishment of project management practices
6 Effective training and skill development at all levels


7 Clear communication of your vision to staff members
8 Engagement process, stress minimization, collaboration, wide participation and strong motivation
9 Adjust tactics and resolve conflicts
10 Maintain, monitor and evaluate performance

Leadership values, culture, beliefs and practices are core capabilities during change or crisis, along with and in interaction with new systemic, organisational and operational restructure processes (Picture below).


Several models of change and its management were proposed.

Foundation model

“The Change Management Foundation” model   makes emphasis on managing technical aspects and people implementing change. This project management is at the base of the pyramid (process of change), and on the top is leadership setting the direction at every of determined stages.

This model is useful, when technical aspects and expertise are in the core for changes.

Deming circle (plan–do–check–adjust)

This model is used in business mainly for the control and continual change, e.g. improvement of processes/products. It allows optimization (smooth adjustments). It has advantages when new/innovative methods used – after a hypothesis is confirmed, many cycles extend the knowledge. Repeating the cycle brings process closer to perfection.




I found Deming circle model most valuable and view as a tool for crisis management (see business cases).

Below I assess specific organisational case studies (Contemporary Issues) and how change/crisis was managed:


  1. WADA (World Anti-Doping) and RUSADA ( Russian Anti-Doping Agency)

In the wake of the Russian doping scandal, in November 2015, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) suspended RUSADA from carrying out doping control within the country.

In my opinion, in change management, firstly, it was an incredibly important step in the right direction – public admission by the Russian President Vladimir Putin, that  ‘anti-doping system has failed”.
Secondly, priority is collaborative efforts of WADA-RUSADA. WADA is providing RUSADA with a road map to re-compliance. And thirdly, that WADA’s governance as well as RUSADA’s will be more independent from both sports organisations and governments.

Independent experts were appointed for the WADA governance working group to give independent advice on how best to reform the governance of WADA. WADA activities will be limited to five areas only, related to prohibited substances listing (Antidopingworld, 2017).

I believe, a valuable conclusion as a lesson from the crisis was made that the public and stakeholders need to know that the organizations are working together against doping, while what they sow and still see now is fighting not against doping, but against each other.

With regard to change model, it Deming circle model was useful here, due to the following process: establish road map for re-compliance,  monitor changes, adjust practices, then repeat the circle again until perfect process is established.


2. BP

Two accidents were the major blow to BP international reputation. In 2005 and 2010 explosions had a devastating effect on the environment and wildlife. It is still the largest ever accidental release of oil into marine waters.


Crisis management

  1. Clean-up of the Deepwater Horizon oil spills.
  2. Reassure the public that the incident was being rapidly resolved.
  3. Dismissal- Tony Hayward as company CEO was replaced by Bob Dudley.
  4. Leaders ensure that they personify the solution to the crisis, rather than its cause.
  5. Legal settlements


Similarly Deming circle model was a valuable tool to modify procedures and achieving safety in processes: roadmap for compliance, monitoring and adjustment until fully satisfied.

In my opinion, leaders are firstly to keep responsible for ups and downs in their organisation, and changing leadership team plays significant role in overcoming crisis, may secure future and enable focus on operations.


Cultural stereotypes present great resistance to changes. Globalization resistance and believe that it is “number one” threat to their customs, traditions, cultural and religious values is very strong worldwide (Belias, 2014)


Model of Culture change




Culture include tightly connected dimensions that play important roles in change/ resistance to change  – tangible culture (such as buildings, monuments, landscapes, books, works of art, and artefacts) and  intangible culture (such as values, traditions, language, and knowledge).

For example,   Roman Empire served as a foundation for later Western culture, e.g. via the Renaissance and Neoclassicism. Another example, monuments to soviet leaders in Eastern Europe were built but later destroyed so that implements new values and traditions, which demonstrates role and connection of tangible and intangible dimensions in implementing changes.

Tools for social and cultural change, examples (Table 3)

Table 3

1 Encourage educational aspiration
2 Develop positive narratives
3 Establish advisory systems
4 Targeted social marketing approaches.


5 Financial assistance
6 Develop community infrastructure
7 Partnerships and more one-to-one support
8 Use of regulation and legislation
9 Cultural capital promotion, e.g. the attitudes and sense of self-efficacy
10  Changing the value of the past place the artefacts that link it to the past.

Policy can achieve social and cultural change through legislation, regulation and information provision, parenting, peer and mentoring programs, or development of social and community networks etc.

In conclusion, while every change program is unique, studies and leaders’ experiences showed valuable insights into factors, tactics and actions that make it possible to sustain a profound transformation, such as improving personal skills, creating new networks and boards, boosting collaborations, developing more change leaders, ensuring training for staff, showing managerial optimism and building on strength.



Changes come at greater speed and with bigger leaps at present than ever before. Do you agree with this statement? Is this trend is sustainable long term?

What effective change leadership skills look like nowadays? Can individuals develop these skills?




Antidopingworld, 2017. IOC STATEMENT ON THE FIGHT AGAINST DOPING, 1. March 2017.. [Online]
Available at: https://antidopingworld.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/ioc-statement-on-the-fight-against-doping-1-march-2017/
[Accessed 03 2017].

Belias, D., 2014. THE IMPACT OF LEADERSHIP AND CHANGE. European Scientific Journal, 10(7), pp. 452-470.

Center for Creative Leadership, 2017. Navigating Change. [Online]
Available at: https://www.ccl.org/open-enrollment-programs/navigating-change/
[Accessed 03 2017].

Available at: http://www.managers.org.uk/KNOWLEDGE-BANK/CHANGE-MANAGEMENT
[Accessed 03 2017].

McKinsey, 2014. Change leader, change thyself. [Online]
Available at: http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/leadership/change-leader-change-thyself
[Accessed 03 2017].

McKinsey, 2017. The finer points of linking resource allocation to value creation. [Online]
Available at: http://modelfactory-prod.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/the-finer-points-of-linking-resource-allocation-to-value-creation
[Accessed 03 2017].

Mullins, 2013. Management & Organisational Behaviour. 10 ed. Harlow: Pearson Educaiton.




Is change always a good thing?

Are there any changes that you would personally resist?

Have you had any personal experience of overcoming change within an organization or a team?

Please leave a comment below

Blog #3 Leadership and Management Styles



How to decide on most effective leadership styles? Concept of management styles is quite complex. In the twentieth century a “command and control” style was seen as the norm. Also there was a perception that there was only one best way to manage, which would achieve the best outcome in every situation (CMI, 2017).

Nowadays, there is a growing belief that managers need to find a style, which is authentic for them.

At present, there is certainly a stronger emphasis on management style as the way in which managers relate to people (Coaching and collaborative styles) (CMI, 2017).

In general, there have been recognised two sharply contrasting styles that can be broken down into smaller subgroups Autocratic and Permissive.

Autocratic leader makes all decisions unilaterally, without any consultation. Donald Trump is an example of autocratic leader; though, he leads his country as a giant corporation, which resulted in increased change resistance and protests.

Theresa May and Margaret Thatcher are also examples of autocratic leaders, working efficiently and able to make swift changes during times difficult changes in the UK’s political life.

Permissive leader permits subordinates to take part in decision making and also gives them a considerable degree of autonomy in completing routine work activities. Subgroups include participative and consultative leaders. A consultative and participative management styles sometimes have been viewed as a combination of democratic and autocratic. These managers ask opinions from their staff, allowing them to feel involved and valued but ultimately make their own final decisions.

Laissez Faire Style  is another proposed subgroup in permissive mode (Forbes, 2016). A laissez faire manager sets the tasks and gives staff complete freedom to complete the task as they see fit, with minimal involvement from the manager. The manager is there to coach, answer questions, supply information (Goodnight, 2004)

John F. Kennedy displayed characteristics of laissez-faire styles when spearheading of the Apollo space program. In other case he showed autocratic leadership- his quick decisions during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Another example of permissive model is James Parker. In the wake of September 11, the former CEO of Southwest Airlines, he distinguished his company by recommitting to all of his staff members and avoiding layoffs, thus showing that their need were equally important to his own.

I summarised pros and cons of two main leadership models in the Table 1. I strongly believe, though, there is No one approach that works for all situations, all people and tasks. In my opinion, different people will respond uniquely   to different management styles, and different situations will require different management styles.

Steve Jobs (Apple) learned how to adapt different styles in different situations. He started out as a charismatic/laissez-faire leader, became a democratic leader, later became an autocratic leader, When he returned to Apple  more than 10 years later, Jobs combined several leadership styles and added participative to his repertoire, so that Apple survived.

Table 1. Democratic and Autocratic leadership pros and cons

Democratic leadership pros and cons



·       Increased job satisfaction and a sense of empowerment.

·       Consume valuable time

·       Creativity and innovation increase

·       Dependence on the expertise and experience of subordinates

·       Relationships are built on mutual trust

·       Dependence on agreement  of subordinates

·       Stronger commitment to performance

·       Can be costly

·       Absenteeism is lower

·       Challenge of overseeing experts

·       Solutions-centric workforce

·       Issues of multiple collaborative teams

·       Productivity increase

·       Problems of seeking consensus, to dead lines

                                             Autocratic leadership pros and cons



·       Effective at time of change and work to deadlines

·       Creativity is low

·       Budget-saving

·       Treat people as a commodity,  trust is low

·       Time-saving

·       Job satisfaction is low;

·       Strict industry standards

·       Absenteeism is high and low motivation

·       Good when team members have low expertise

·       Innovation is low

·       Work well at crisis and limited recourses

·       Staff turnover is high


There is also an ongoing debate about the concepts of management and leadership, with some seeing leadership as an aspect of management, while others as different and distinct concepts. Some argue that leadership is not just the prerogative of senior managers but can be exercised by everyone in their area of responsibility.

Main differences of the concepts of leadership and management are below.

Table 2. Leadership and management comparison


Factor for analysis Leadership Management
Meaning Art(leading others by examples) Skill ( day-to-day coordinating  in an efficient way)
Main foundation Trust Control
Emphasis Encouragement, Inspiration Organizing activities
Power Influence Rule
Focus Change Stability
Strategy Proactive Reactive
Formulation Concept Procedures
Perspective Long-term vision (good foresightedness) Short perspective.

In my point of view, even though management and leadership are conceptually distinct in theory, in day to day practice it is difficult to separate these concepts.


Selecting the correct leadership and management style will often lead to greater motivation and productivity from staff.  However, which model type should manager adopt to ensure success? Answer is not easy.

The most successful leaders are flexible and use a wide range of styles appropriately (Businessnewsdaily, 2015).What does “appropriately” mean?  In the table below (Table 3) I present analysis of two leadership models in relation to leadership traits, examples of various business situations and companies that adopted those styles.

Table 3. Leadership traits and appropriate situations

 Democratic style Authoritative  style
Intuitive leader Charismatic
Good observer Inspirational speaker
Pragmatic and rational Good motivators
Realistic Good foresightedness
Focused on accomplishing goal Proactive
Good collaborators, facilitators; multi-tasking Strong vision and confidence; Influential
Fair-minded and Adaptive Courageous and unbending willing
Appropriate when sufficient time, budget and expertise are available, focus on innovation and creativity, no reliance on sole decision making, competent and talented team, multiple inputs required in decision making, motivating top performers etc Appropriate at time of change, crisis, risks, working to deadlines, insufficient know how and expertise, misused authority or violated rules, limited budget, strict performance standards etc
Examples : Google, Gentech, Amason, IBM, High-tech and start-ups, Pharma

Leaders surround themselves with knowledgeable experienced key players

Examples:  Trump Organization, Sunbeam Corporation,  Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia


Leaders single-handedly effected changes


Many factors are involved in decision making, and multifactor analysis can be required (Philip, 2010). For example, characteristics above will influence the type of style adopted. Easily frightened, timid manager will find it uneasy to adopt an autocratic style.

I believe whatever style, a manager will adopt, and he should

  • Remain authentic and true to himself;
  • Understand the accepted style and culture in the organisation;
  • Be aware of strengths and weaknesses of the team; and personal roles in organization;
  • Avoid ignoring opinions of peers, superiors or subordinates.



Good leader is about knowing the team and the situation (Martindale, 2011). Currently, there are many tools, such as industrial psychology and personality tests (e.g. Mayers-Briggs Type Indicator) that are available to managers and help to decide what model to choose, how to interact with and motivate subordinates. It is important to judge the capabilities of the team (in team roles- facilitator, communicator, analyst etc). If management style is inconsistent with the dominant organisational norm, then it will be likely to lead to failure in optimisation of team performance.


In conclusion, the best approaches vary depending on circumstances and individual’s qualities. There is no single ideal, and every authentic style of leadership is decided with understanding and knowledge of organisational culture and nature of tasks.





Businessnewsdaily, 2015. What Kind of Leader Are You? Traits, Skills and Styles. [Online]
Available at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/2704-leadership.html
[Accessed 03 2017].

CMI, 2017. CMI. [Online]
Available at: http://www.managers.org.uk/
[Accessed 03 2017].

Available at: http://www.managers.org.uk/events-and-courses/2017/june/mentoring-and-coaching?sc_trk=follow%20hit,{86CB756B-AB02-44E6-995A-305C69252B29},Coaching+and+collaborative+styles
[Accessed 04 2017].

Forbes, 2016. /how-to-decide-on-management-styles-for-your-company. [Online]
Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckcohn/2016/04/06/how-to-decide-on-management-styles-for-your-company/
[Accessed 03 2017].

Goodnight, R., 2004. Encyclopedia of Leadership. s.l.:s.n.

Martindale, 2011. Leadership Styles: How to handle the different personas. Strategic Communication Management, 8(15), p. 32–35..

Philip, W., 2010. Democratic leadership: drawing distinctions with distributed leadership. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 1(7), p. 3–36.





How to decide on most effective leadership styles?

Which style of leadership/management do you think suits your country the most?

Please leave a comment below.

Blog #2 The challenge of managing diverse teams


Globalization, wider customer base, demographic and social changes resulted in increase in diversity of workforce around the world (Mullins, 2013).

Diversity is a broad term, and  includes age, ethnicity, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, religious beliefs, and work experience (Rahman, 2005). To achieve excellence through diversity, it’s important to understand how those dimensions affect performance, motivation, success, and interactions with others.

Workforce diversity can be used as a vital resource because as famous proverb demonstrates (image below), different people can perceive things differently and only by working together and well-managed they can really achieve much as a team. Flexibility and creativity are keys to competitiveness, that is why managing diversity well provides a distinct advantage (Forbes, 2012). Without diversity we are like blind people who only see part of the world that we are accustomed to.


According to Cox managing diversity is defined as “planning and implementing organizational systems and practices to manage people so that the potential advantages of diversity are maximized…” (Cox, 2001).


Diverse teams show improved performance over non diverse competitors. For example, firms with more racial or gender diversity had more sales revenue, more customers, and greater profits. Companies with more female executives were more profitable. Teams with a wider range of educational and work backgrounds produced more-innovative products (HBR, 2016). People with different ideas and different perspectives can boost creativity. Mixed-sex teams can produce more creative solutions. Google have found that diverse teams are often the most innovative (Economist, 2016).

On the other hand, if poorly managed diverse teams can often struggle to understand, trust, or relate to people from different backgrounds. This can lead to tension, hostility, lack of cooperation and poor communication with low team performance (Klein, 2014).

So how do we avoid problems that can arise in the diverse teams?

First of all, managers must be aware of how team development stages go. For that Tuckmans model of team development stages is applicable. According to Tuckman all newly formed teams go through Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing development stages (Madsen, 2015).

On each stage team undergoes different processes and its managers’ tasks to make right choices to ensure the best results.

The stages and responsibilities are shown on the diagram below:


My own experience shows that stages described in this model are accurate. While working on one of the first projects with my newly acquired MBA team members we underwent through all of the mentioned stages of the model.

At forming stage there was confusion about roles in the project as everyone came from different backgrounds and had different expectations regarding their role in the group so after a while storming period started where conflict regarding how things should be done arose. Luckily we managed to work through this period without any external guidance and found the middle ground where everyone knew what they had to do. In the end we reached performing stage and successfully completed our task.

Knowledge of this model in future will help all of us while assembling new diverse teams.

Tuckman model limitation is that it doesn’t help members and managers to understand cultural views of individual members and thus the full understanding within a team is not achieved.

To overcome these limitations Hofstede’s six dimensions of culture model can be used.

Geert Hofstede has defined “culture” as “the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from others” (Geert Hofstede, 2017).

By using research data from a multinational company (IBM) with subsidiaries in more than 60 countries, he identified five largely independent dimensions: Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Masculinity, Time orientation and Individualism.

Below table gives a short summary of these factors:


Hofstede’s research shows that different cultures have different expectations regarding these values and understanding of these differences will help managers and employees to work together in the diverse environment.

Weakness of this approach is that many cross-cultural studies did not recognize the difference between societal culture level and individual level differences, which led to numerous errors of interpretation and application (Madsen, 2015).


As an example of well managed diverse team PepsiCo should be mentioned, a current CEO of which comes from diverse background herself – Indian woman Indra Nooyi.

She has made a lot of improvements to the company policies and values. Providing a diverse and inclusive workforce for its employees globally is one of the pillars of what PepsiCo calls Performance with Purpose, which is PepsiCo’s plan for delivering sustained value.

PepsiCo sponsored the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Historically Black College and University LGBT Leadership and Career Summit to provide training to LGBT student leaders, and will provide internship opportunities to summit participants (PepsiCO, 2017).

In conclusion, increase in a diverse workforce is a reflection of a changing world and marketplace. If managed properly diverse teams can bring higher value to organizations. Respecting individual differences will benefit the workplace by creating a competitive edge and increasing work productivity. Various diversity management models should be used to educate everyone about diversity and its issues. Most workplaces are made up of diverse cultures, so organizations need to learn how to adapt to be successful.

What is your personal experience working in diverse teams and what can we do to understand people from different backgrounds better?

Please leave a comment below.



Cox, T., 2001. Creating the Multicultural Organization: A Strategy for Capturing the Power of Diversity. 1 ed. s.l.: John Wiley & Sons.

Economist, 2016. Diversity fatigue. [Online]
Available at: http://www.economist.com/news/business/21692865-making-most-workplace-diversity-requires-hard-work-well-good-intentions-diversity
[Accessed 03 2017].

Forbes, 2012. Diversity as a Competitive Advantage. [Online]
Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2012/05/11/diversity-as-a-competitive-advantage/#7cb02c7627eb
[Accessed 03 2017].

Geert Hofstede, 2017. Cultural Dimensions. [Online]
Available at: https://geert-hofstede.com/cultural-dimensions.html
[Accessed 02 2017].

HBR, 2016. Diverse Teams Feel Less Comfortable — and That’s Why They Perform Better. [Online]
Available at: https://hbr.org/2016/09/diverse-teams-feel-less-comfortable-and-thats-why-they-perform-better
[Accessed 03 2017].

Klein, K., 2014. Culturally Diverse Teams that Work, Irvine: University of California.

Madsen, S., 2015. The Power of Project Leadership 7 Keys to Help You Transform from Project Manager to Project Leader. 1 ed. s.l.:Kogan Page.

PepsiCO, 2017. Diversity & Engagement. [Online]
Available at: http://www.pepsico.com/company/Diversity-and-Engagement
[Accessed 03 2017].

Rahman, H., 2005. Empowering Marginal Communities with Information Networking. s.l.:IGI Global.

Blog #1: Leadership and Ethics


Leaders have to make decisions on a daily basis. How do they define what actions are  ethical?


First of all, let’s define what ethical is.

According to Oxford dictionary ethics are “Moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity.” (OxfordDictionaries, 2017)

On paper question sounds simple but is there an objective way to determine what is right behavior?

Philosophers have had disagreements about what precisely gives an action its ethical force, and to answer such complex questions over time  two principle schools of ethics were established offering distinct answers:  Deontological and Teleological.


  1. Deontological ethics

Deontological ethics (e.g. Kant) are concerned with the action itself and not the result, and believe that consequences have no role when judging a person’s action. People have a duty to do the right things.

Deontologists live in a universe of moral rules (BBC, 2017), such as:

·        It is wrong to kill innocent people
·        It is wrong to steal
·        It is wrong to tell lies
·        It is right to keep promises

The advantage is that you don’t have to question yourself; you know you have done right no matter what is the result of your action. However, not many people can act these principles out.  For example the philosopher Kant thought that it would be wrong to tell a lie in order to save a friend from a murderer but how many of us would actually live up to it?

  1. Teleological ethics

Teleological ethics (e.g. Mills) on the other hand argue that the morality of an action is based on the action’s outcome.  The more good consequences an act produces, the better. This principle gives a good general guidance on how to lead a life – maximize good consequences.

However, a limitation of this approach is that it offers no distinction between consequences that are foreseen and those that are intended. Consequences can be inconsistent, e.g. short-term results differ from long-term results.  For example, using cheap sources of energy has good economic short-term results but  produce bad long-term results for global climate.

Furthermore, happiness and unhappiness of the group can be subjective and easily influenced or controlled. Choosing different groups of people or different time may produce different results, and it is easy to bias in favor of particular groups.

Thus, both ethical concepts have their benefits and limitations, and I think that actions must be viewed through both prisms of moral rules and possible consequences. Had Bernard Madoff thought of both morals and future consequences over greed before starting his “Ponzi scheme” that spanned decades and defrauded customers of approximately $20 billion he wouldn’t have ended up in prison and left his family broken and shamed. (Guardian, 2013)


According to Rubin ethical leadership is: “The demonstration of normatively appropriate conduct through personal action….” (Robert S. Rubin, 2010)

A weakness of such definition is that it doesn’t explain what “normatively appropriate conduct” is. Cultural and social standards play a big part in perception of what can be considered “right” or “wrong”.

There are parts of the world where child labor and sweatshops are not considered abnormal. Companies like Apple don’t break any social laws by utilizing sweatshops in their manufacturing process but absent from the list of ethical companies (Forbes, 2016).

Since Apple is one of the most successful. Does that mean that companies don’t have to be ethical to be successful?

To gain more insight  let’s look at 4-V Model of Ethical Leadership.

4-V Model of Ethical Leadership


According to the Center for Ethical Leadership, “Ethical leadership is knowing your core values and having the courage to live them in all parts of your life in service of the common good.” (Center for Ethical Leadership, 2017)

The Center recommends a 4-V Model of Ethical Leadership as a framework that aligns leader’s internal beliefs and values with his or her external behaviors and actions for the purpose of advancing the common good. The 4-V model serves as a guide to put the needs and interests of the group ahead of their own. It creates commitment that makes all parties responsible in the pursuit of common goals.

In the past, the main goal of leadership has been to increase production and gain bigger profits. At present leaders also have the responsibility for ensuring standards of ethical conduct as the new concept of management. Various studies showed that more advantages for ethical work models than disadvantages, with positive effects on both individual and organization. It improves customers trust in the brand through high quality service. The ethical leaders are admired by the teams and the customers (Elc, 2012).

One of the examples of the ethical leader who influences employees through her own values is Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsico. Under her leadership PepsiCo was named World’s Most Ethical Companies for the 10th year in a row in 2016.

Through her vision “Performance with Purpose” initiative was established, which ties PepsiCo’s sustained financial performance to human, environmental, and talent sustainability (Pepsico, 2017). Her virtues are established through personal letters that she writes to the family members of each of her direct reports to enable the latter experience pride in their children and to know that they have succeeded in their roles as parents , which in order boost morale of staff and the efficiency of employees is increased.

In conclusion, concept of ethics is very complex. There is no single simple answer what is right or wrong and only time will tell whether ethical leadership is here to stay or are they just a trend or a fashion of modern world.

What do you think – in a profit driven society are companies trying to act ethically genuinely or they just use ethics as just another marketing tool?

Please leave a comment below.


BBC, 2017. Duty-based ethics. [Online]
Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/introduction/duty_1.shtml
[Accessed 03 2017].

Center for Ethical Leadership, 2017. 4-V Model. [Online]
Available at: http://www.ethicalleadership.org/concepts-and-philosophies.html
[Accessed 03 2017].

Elc, M., 2012. Social and Behavioral Sciences. The Impact of Ethical Leadership and Leadership Effectiveness on Employees’ Turnover Intention: The Mediating Role of Work Related Stress, Issue 58.

Forbes, 2016. the-worlds-most-ethical-companies-2016. [Online]
Available at: https://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=https://www.forbes.com/sites/karstenstrauss/2016/03/09/the-worlds-most-ethical-companies-2016/&refURL=https://www.google.co.uk/&referrer=https://www.google.co.uk/
[Accessed 03 2017].

Guardian, 2013. [Online]
Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/dec/12/jpmorgan-facing-2bn-fine-madoff-involvement
[Accessed 03 2017].

Independent, 2014. Bolivia becomes first nation to legalise child labour. [Online]
Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/bolivia-becomes-first-nation-to-legalise-child-labour-9616682.html
[Accessed 03 2017].

OxfordDictionaries, 2017. ethics. [Online]
Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/ethics
[Accessed 03 2017].

Pepsico, 2017. [Online]
Available at: http://www.pepsico.com/Purpose/Performance-with-Purpose
[Accessed 03 2017].

Robert S. Rubin, E. C. D. a. M. E. B., 2010. Do Ethical Leaders Get Ahead? Exploring Ethical Leadership and Promotability. Business Ethics Quarterly.

Week 9-10

Week 9 and 10 were mostly putting our time management skills at test since we had to do submit all of our final assignments by week 11.

Therefore, in these weeks we learned our final pieces of information we needed to finish our work.

APS was about finishing BMC certification and learning more about Bloomberg organisation itself.

Marketing teacher talked to us about STP (segmentation, targeting, positioning) analysis and 7P marketing mix.

Strategy teacher gave us Ansoff and BCG matrixes on top of our previous tools.

Which we had to apply in our Strategy report (3500 words) and Marketing plan (2500 words)

On top of that, we had to finish cumulative report for APS as well.

Despite planning everything in advance I managed to finish everything only on last day. Because I haven’t studied for almost 5 years, and spend that time working I forgot about small details that are very important when doing assignments. For example doing part right away is faster option rather not doing a rough sketch of the whole report and then returning back to finish it.


At the start, I had doubts about usefulness of this blog. However, I can already see that even though only 10 weeks passed I do not remember many things from the first weeks as clearly as they were, even though it seemed that they have crystallised in my mind forever. So it seems this blog will serve me will in the future. Once everything has been done and dusted.

Week 7-8

Week 7 included APS presentation on our Bloomberg trading game.
Despite being the first MBA group to give presentation in a room full of mostly unknown people our group set a high standard for the rest to follow.

All of us memorized our text and showed good presentation skills. This was especially evident in other groups as some of the people read their lines from paper, which disturbed the flow of their presentations.

My own presentation skills have also improved over these 7 weeks of studying. As a number of presentations increases so increases my confidence in these presentations.


Week 8 was a simulation week.

All other classes were cancelled and whole Friday was dedicated to organisation simulation.

Which was an interesting exercise.

At start everyone was allocated to their own table. MBAs from various courses participated in simulation. Each table meant specific department within organisation.


I was appointed to project development team which was ironic, since I wanted to understand how this department works. Because at my previous work i was working under “orders” of project development team. This time i was the one giving orders out to operations side.

Structure was as below:

Sales–>Project development–>Operations–>Department responsible for paper work.


The task was to create various gift cards for various events (Christmas, Easter and etc.)

Cycle was as below:

Sales had to ask clients what type of cards they wanted.

We (project development team) had to create design or template for cards.

Which we gave to operations department and they would make 10 or more of them, depending on the request.

After that they would give them to paper work department

after paper work was done they would give it to clients and receive money.


There were 3 cycles in total.

From chaos to order.

At first, no one understood what was going on and how to do their job but on the 3rd cycle almost everything was set it order.


So overall it was a good experience and allowed to learn not only about how various departments work but about organisational problems at the start, when procedures cycle hasn’t been ironed out.

Week 5-6

Most of the time in weeks 5-6 were spent on assignments. We finally finished our analytical overview of Barclays for which we had to apply various models (PESTEL, porters 5 forces, swot, tows, value chain and VIRO). Afterwards we had to do a presentation on the same topic.

Other subjects had their own assignments.

For APS this was the last week of trading game and we will have to do a presentation and our overview on our trading choices.

Marketing required preparation for the debate on Big data and its suitability in regards with marketing strategy.




Week 3-4

This is continuation of the APS blog for weeks 3 and 4.


Over these 2 weeks, we had to present no less than 3 presentations, submit an assignment-report for APS and also we started Bloomberg trading game.

All presentations were company analysis in which we showed our ability to use SWOT, PESTEL and Porters 5 Forces analysis and improve our presentation skills.

Bloomberg trading game meant that we had to allocate 1,000,000 virtual pounds on at least 5 companies and make use of our Bloomberg knowledge that we gained over the period of last month.

So far, most of the work we had to do were done in team groups and allowed me to polish my team working skills.

Overall, these 2 weeks were very intense due to high number of work that we had to present.


First two weeks


This blog is a part of an assignment for the APS course and will be updated once every 2 weeks until the end of the course.

Topic of this week assignment is to write what I have learned over the past 2 weeks.


First week consisted of Induction classes.

Induction courses were mostly about how important it is to work in multicultural environment with globalization and internet inevitably making every human being closer.

It seems these courses did not help much because despite the courses and recommendations by all teachers to work with people from different cultures. Most of the people continued to interact within the familiar boundaries and in their own pre set groups.


First week of actual courses consisted of 3 subjects: APS, Marketing and Strategy and implementation classes.

On APS we were introduced to the Bloomberg terminals. Introduction to Bloomberg terminals was a pleasant surprise because I did not know that we would get a chance to use them over the course. For me it was interesting because previously I have had some experience in trading on my own and if I will have a desire to continue with the trading at some point, these terminals will come in handy.

Marketing and Strategy were mostly introduction classes but they dug dip into my own memory to remind me of the SWOT and marketing 4P analysis that I thought were forgotten long ago.



Overall, all of the classes were interesting but interaction with various new people from different countries was the most interesting learning experience of the past 2 weeks as it altered my perception on the world more than any book knowledge.