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Key aspects of Leadership, Planning, Strategy and Organisational Culture

Teams are everywhere: in professional associations, in business, in hospitals, schools and like. In fact, people everywhere try to gather to do and get things together. There are various types of teams.  There are management teams, executive teams, special-purpose teams, cross-functional teams and many others. The last two decades brought a lot of changes to organizations during the last two decades of the twentieth century (LaFasto 2001). However, any team depends on a leader. An effective leader is a person who understands genuine nature of leadership and is able to apply it to leading teams. A lot of researches suggest that leadership might be the most important thing in the teams’ success or failure (Zaccaro, Rittman & Marks 2001). There are several fundamental characteristics for the effective team performance.  First of all, team members gave to successfully integrate their individual actions. All of the members have specific and unique roles and their mutual performance contributes to their collective success (Blickensderfer, Cannon-Bowers & Salas 1998). Second, teams are required to perform in dynamic and complex environments. It means that the performance will require more need for the member coordination. However, team leadership represents the third characteristics. As a matter of fact most teams have such individual who are primarily responsible for determining team aims together with developing and structuring their team to accomplish these goals (Nygren & Levine 1996). It becomes obvious that successful leadership is probably the most crucial factor in the success of organizational teams.

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Brisbane Roar is a manager-led team. It has a large organization and a manager who is responsible for the management of goals and all processes to achieve them. This professional soccer team is not only manager-led team but also cross-functional team, where all members have to be highly skilled in their individual roles together with related roles in a team. It is required because they should be able to operate productively and interactively in their team. However, such teams have their life cycles. As a matter of fact, a new manager did not have to develop the team from the very beginning; however, he made a number of significant changes concerning the team membership. A wide soccer experience helped him to gradually develop all detailed ideas concerning the type of team that was desired to be created/ new manager was determined to change the style of play of the team. He made a clear distinction between management and leadership. His role was leadership, as his focus lied on distinctive vision, communicating and strategy. The roles of managing were fulfilled by other staff, meaning sport science group and assistant coaches. They had to implement Postecoglou’s strategy and vision. However, he was not the only one responsible for the leadership. As a matter of fact, he made a leadership group of five players of different age and personality types in the team. New players were included in the group.  He also understood that the recruiting of the right player was also crucial for the achievement of that special vision. As a matter of fact, he required the players who could play according to the rules of style that he wanted to preserve the peculiar style of the team.

The main thing which helped him was a clear step-by-step checklist. It consisted of everything that Postecoglou wanted to do and to achieve. It was a serious planning. First, he wanted to change the way the players thought about the game. Secondly, it was decided to change the way they were trained. That is why he did serious changes to the environment of the team. He planned to make the game their life. That is why he decided to change training into the full-time objective. That included morning and afternoon sessions every day, instead of slight early-morning training. As a matter of fact, it clearly showed professional dedicated players, because those who found that too hard due to everyday extra driving had to leave the team. However, Postecoglou had never planned short-term achievements of objectives. He persisted as he knew about the final objectives/ as a matter of fact he did not want competitors to know about his planning, but the informational board was kept informed for the player to know what to look forward to. Planning is a very important process of thinking and organizing various activities for the achievement of a desired goal (McCarthy & Eastman 2010).

His strategy was very peculiar, as he even replaced a number of high-profile players by players of a lower profile, but those were personally recruited and proven by manager. They had to be such players who could understand and play according to his desired style. His had a so-called high-possession strategy. It practically meant that team members had to move and think as one organism. They had to short passes to each other more often than members of other teams. This is a peculiar style of play which helps to show and organize team coherence rather than brilliance of single individual (Carron 1982). The day when players had to execute his strategy was the very day of the game. He had never been present during the game on the side line as he believed that he work lied in preparation only. As a manager, he had different strategy. He always dealt with stakeholders, owners and sponsors of the team together with media. He did not want the team to play to empty stadiums. He also organized his tem players the possibility to speak with spectators and sign autographs. Postecoglou understood that just winning of the game could not be the goal, he wanted to raise the bar for soccer in Australia and make the team favorite to everyone.

Key Elements of Change Management

Professional sport is much like business world. The team will always have to adapt to various future changes. It will be required to innovate the strategy, and improve everything to stay ahead of the competitors. The style has to be preserved and the goals are to be stable, despite the fact that members of the team will come and go from season to season. If this case was contrasted with the business team context, there would be several key elements of the change management. Generally speaking, change management is well-structured process which is made to deal directly and intentionally with various human factors involved in not only implementing and planning and strategy but through behavior change. The last is achieved by helping team understand the change what help to prepare them to be successful contributor in the future (McCarthy & Douglas 2010, p. 3). As a matter of fact, changes are of crucial importance, as no the strongest and the most intelligent species survive, but the most responsive to the changes. There are four factors for success when the change management is implemented in the organization. First, there should be the pressure for change. Secondly, the team should have a clear and shared vision. The agenda should be shared and show the benefits for the hole organization. Thirdly, the capacity for the change should be provided, which means that such resources as time and finance are to be provided. And lastly, plan has to become actions (GOSW 2007, p. 2). If we apply the case to business-team context, we will see that in a case of business-context team, change management wil include planning, defined governance, committed leadership, informed stakeholders, aligned workforce. Postecoglou developed planning, tem players knew what they have to achieve, however, in a business context it is also important to show the means how to achieve the aims. The objectives are also to be documented and not only written on a board for the team players. Secondly, Postecoglou established appropriate organizational structures. He shared the roles and responsibilities for the change, but business-context team required to engage stakeholders who will also support the change efforts. Thirdly, committed leadership was organized as ongoing across the team and it was lead by Postecoglou as an example, however, it was not from top to bottom. Business-context team requires committed leadership to be at top and across all organizational structures and people. Fourthly, the stakeholders should be informed. Postecoglou worked with stakeholders concerning crowded stadiums; however, he did not pay enough attention to encouragement of stakeholders and their commitment to the changes done. Stakeholders in a business context team should be informed and that would help to have an open communication to ensure the awareness and the understanding of various changes throughout the is highly recommended for everyone in the organization and even those who are interacting with the organization to know about the innovations and adoption of new strategies. That includes both internal and external stakeholders (George 1996). It will allow them to feel engaged and they will only pay the way for those innovations. If people are aware, they will be able to understand the change and accept it and after all they will commit to it. And the last fact, which is important in the management change, is the aligned workforce. It already concerns planning, and this factors is very important for both professional sport teams and business context teams. As a matter of fact, it is very important to identify as organizational needs. It helps to determine the desired workforce size, skills and competencies which are required in the future to support the environment changes. In the business-context teams it is highly recommended to create individual plans together with training and education of some employees (Gersick). The development of derided competencies and knowledge in already existing employees will help to successfully implement the change the organization requires for the achievement of objectives (QueenslandGovernment 2003, pp. 11-16). It is important to look for the support of management change from others, both inside and outside the organization. Postcoglou was afraid of competitors, and that is why he neglected this support. However, it did not preclude him from achievement of success (GOSW2003, p. 55).

Manager Versus Leader

The job title of Postecoglou is manager. However in a case we can clearly see that he was more of a leader. These two positions are very alike. As a matter of fact, leadership and management are to go hand in hand, because workers need their managers not just to assign some tasks to do, but to define objectives and purposes. Managers are to organize workers and not only maximize the efficiency of their work. They are also required to nurture their skills and develop talents what will inspire the desired results (Murray 2013). Leaders and manager have different attitudes towards goals. Manager has an impersonal and passive outlook and goals are more necessary than a desire. Leader has diametrically opposite outlook. Leader tries to change the way people think about desirable. Conception of work is also different for both. Manager balances opposing views, limits choices and tries to avoid risks. Leader develops fresh approaches and increases opinions. The relations with others are also different for both. Manager prefers working with people however manager avoids emotional involvement. Leader is attached to ideas and relates to other people directly and empathetically. Managers and leaders have different sense of self. Manager feels like a part of organization when leader feels separate (Zaleznik 1992, p. 1). From all above mentioned, we can make the conclusion that Postecoglou was of mixed type. On the one hand, he .had active outlook, tried to shape the ideas and change how people think about desirable. These are the features of leader. On the other hand, he maintains minimal emotional involvement and feels part of the organization and he limits choices making everyone do what he desires. These are the features of a manager. Generally speaking, manager is a leader with a number of vital things missing. Manager has a crucial organizational value. Manager has to make and execute plans and decisions of others and guide their efforts toward predicted results. Leaders also have to do these things (Perrin 2010, p. 3). However, they should demonstrate other interests and abilities. The combination of both is the best. Postecoglou combined two roles which helped him to achieve success. However, it is more important tp lead people and not to manage them.

Forms of Leadership

There are various types of leadership styles. The first one is called autocratic leadership. This kind allows manager to make decisions on his/her own without the input of other members of a team. This type allows managers to poses total authority. No one has the right to challenge the decisions. However, this style might be beneficial for those who requires close supervision (Johnson 2013). Another type of leadership is called democratic or participative leadership. This type encourages all group members to share idea and opinions. The leader retains the final say over other decision. Members of the group are engaged in the process and creativity is not only encouraged but rewarded (Cherry 2011). Another type of leadership is called bureaucratic leadership. This type follows a close set of standards. Everything has to be done in the exact and very specific way. That will ensure safety together with accuracy. The work environment usually is dangerous that is why these sets are requires to ensure safety (Fleming 2012). One more type of leadership is laissez-faire leadership. This type is defined as allowing of freedom of choice. Leader leaves them alone and they are allowed to do whatever they want. It is based on a strong believe that team players know what thy have to do. Leader here does not exert power and control which helps him not to be re-elected (Goodnight 2004, p. 820). There are also transactional and transformational leaderships. The first one is more about maintaining normal flow of various operations. The disciplinary power and array of incentives are use to motivate team members to do their best. The leader does not look forward, he is responsible for everything o flow smoothly today. Transformational leadership goes beyond such managing and crafts strategies for the future for the next level of performance and success. It is focused on team building, collaboration and motivation with team members at various levels of organization order to accomplish all changes for better (Ingram 2012). Another type of leadership is called charismatic leadership. This type gives the ability to lead others based on personal charisma and associated skills that can generate the devotions among followers. As a matter of fact, all popular politics, religious and social movements almost always owe their existence to charismatic leaders (Jacobsen 2001). However, charismatic leadership has negative effects in some cases. As shared vision and ideas between leader and followers creates enormous energy, it can be used in a very destructive way (Burns 2003). 


Postecoglou is a leader, who most often uses transformational leadership, as he is forward-looking and never thinks about short-term objectives. He is ready to loose something today in order to achieve everything a bit later. This type is based on team building, motivation and collaboration and these are the most important principles in his job.  The style really helped him to guide the team to success. A leader becomes a leader when employee feels comfortable and is able to achieve all desired objectives.


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