“Finest Touch” Event Specialist Jennifer Bailey Leadership and Management OM – 3503 Matthew Brown August 28, 2012 Introduction Jennifer’s “Finest Touch” Event Specialist is a company that takes pride in making your occasion distinct and unique. Our goal is to provide a custom designed affair that fits the expectations of the client for that special event. Upon discussing an idea of your dream vision for the day, we will design and coordinate a breath-taking setting that truly reflects your style and personality. Our personal consulting service will work to deliver an affair that will meet all your expectations.
Communication is the key to our success. Consistent interaction with our clients is the key to ensure that the event comes together smoothly. Our goal and mission statement is to make sure all of our client’s ideas and wishes are carried out so the day can be enjoyed to the fullest. The purpose of this paper is to define and reference subjects that were taught in the Leadership and Management class OM3503 and explain how they can be utilized to build a successful business. WHAT IS LEADERSHIP? Leadership is defined as, a person who guides or directs a group (Hersey, Blanchard & Johnson, 2008).
To be a great leader there are certain qualities that must be held. Examples of some of the skills required are, having the ability to influence, understand each situation, be authoritative and give direction in a positive manner in order to maximize the greatest potential from your employees. Use your employee’s strengths in a manner that is most beneficial for the company. Remember that people make the company. A great leader learns from experience. Leaders do not know everything. A valuable tool to utilize is listening to your employees.
Take advantage of data provided and absorb the information, use it to your advantage. A great philosophy is that there are no dumb questions. Evaluate every situation and make the decision and if a mistake is made, use it as a learning tool. What type of leadership is needed for this specific business? L = f (l, f, s) The equation for leadership is L = f (l, f, s) (Hersey, Blanchard & Johnson, 2008). In translation, leadership is a function of the leader, the follower and other situational variables. There are numerous characteristics that are needed in building a successful business in being an event specialist.
The goal of the business is to provide a pleasurable, memorable experience and if there are negative reviews the reputation of the company is at risk. Reputation in this type of business is an important factor in being successful. It is a highly competitive market and in order to be one of the best, the service provided has to be of the utmost quality. Employees have to be led in an organized manner in order to get the event fulfilled with no major issues or setbacks. Meeting or exceeding the expectations of the client the event is designed for is the major factor in becoming and maintaining a successful business.
Theory “X” vs. Theory “Y” The “X” and “Y” theories both come into play in this type of business. The situational demand of the specific environment is a factor in determining the type of leadership approach that is needed. Theory “X” is defined as an authoritarian leader. This type of leadership is needed for guiding employees. The focus has to be placed on the task at hand. There is great detail that has to be satisfied in order for the event to successful. The emphasis on organization is important. Required responsibilities have to be defined to each employee.
The expectation of what the employee is responsible for, when it is expected and how their tasks are accomplished has to be communicated to each employee. Consistent and effective leadership is required. Consistency between the leader and the employee enhances the learning ability of the employee to become the best he/she can be. Effective leadership will build the confidence of the employee and eventually he/she will be able to perform the tasks on their own with little guidance from the employer. Theory “Y” is defined as a democratic leader who focuses on the people or relationship.
In the event planning business this element is important for communicating with the customer. People skills are a must. The relationship built is a form of trust that the customer is placing on you to provide the service. Trust is not only important for the customer but is important when dealing with vendors such as, photographers, caterers, hotels, rental halls, musicians etc. The relationship needs to be built and maintained so the vendors will be willing to work with your company on future engagements. Once this is developed with the vendors, the vendor becomes familiar with your expectations.
The ability to communicate is established and the expectations are easily conveyed. Situational Leadership Task Behavior vs. Relationship Behavior Both task behavior and relationship behavior are major components in establishing a lucrative event planning business. Task behavior is one way communication between the leader and the follower (Hersey, Blanchard & Johnson, 2008). The responsibilities must be defined so the employee will know what is expected of him/her. If the tasks are not defined the employee is set up to fail. Communication is an integral part of getting the employee to become the best he/she can be.
Positive communication empowers the employee to give all they have and builds the esteem that is needed to be their best. If the employee has little or no knowledge of what is expected of them the scheduled event could become a disaster. Relationship behavior is the leader participating in two-way or multi-way communication. (Hersey, Blanchard & Johnson, 2008). Building a relationship with an employee through listening, facilitating and giving an explanation on why something has to be done a certain way helps the employee understand why he is performing in the way to get the optimum result.
Relationship behavior offers support which builds the confidence level of the employee. S1-S4, R1-R4 There is no set guideline on what is the best way to inspire people. The leadership style used should be contingent on the level of competency the employee has regarding the task that he/she is required to handle. There are four basic leadership styles. Style 1 (S1) is needed when you have an R1 employee (defined as an employee who is unable, insecure and unwilling to do the required task). S1 leadership is a high task/low relationship. The communication is one way and directives are given to the employee. Close supervision is required.
There is not much room in the event planning business for this type of employee. The leader does not have the time to invest unless there is potential to build the confidence and attitude of the employee and change them from an RI type to an R2 or above. Style 2 (S2) is needed when you have an R2 employee (defined as an employee who is unable but confident or willing). S2 leadership is a high task/high relationship. Through two- way communication as the leader makes the decisions that the employee can follow. The leader needs to give praise and constantly evaluate the employee to see if they understand what is expected.
This type of employee can possibly become a great employee if the ability to maintain the knowledge exists. Style 3 (S3) is needed when you have an R3 employee (defined as an employee who is able but is insecure or unwilling). S3 leadership is high relationship/low task relationship. The leadership encourages input, listens, let’s the employee make decisions and gives positive comments when the task is completed with no issues and when issues occur this leadership skill provides constructive criticism. This type of employee is worth investing in but the key for the event planning business is to turn them into an R4 employee.
If this type of employee cannot build the confidence within himself/herself they become a liability that the leader has to watch over and there is no time for that in the event planning business. Style 4 (S4) is needed when you have an R4 employee (defined as an employee who is able, confident and willing). S4 leadership is low relationship/low task. The employee has the ability to know what needs to be done and little or no supervision is required. This is the perfect employee and is a must in the event planning business.
If the employer has the time to invest in order to turn an average employee to a great employee they should do so. The ability to identify the needs of the employee in order to gain self-confidence can be developed into a valuable asset for the company. If the employee has the ability to grasp the knowledge conveyed to them the employer can mold them to fit their specific needs. Management Who Carries the Monkey on Their Back in the Event Planning Business? If the event planning business is owned privately by one or two individuals the monkey is carried on the back of the owners.
Ultimately the owners are responsible if there is a failure. If the business is owned by a Corporation then it is the manager/leader in charge of the venue that is responsible for carrying the monkey. This is where the importance of hiring the right people for the job and training is important. Multiple tasks are going on during the event and management has to have confidence that their employees are fulfilling their portion of the detailed duties that are required. Value Added vs. Non Value Added Value added and non- value added in relation to the event planning business.
People are willing to spend large sums of money to have the perfect wedding or celebration. The event planning business provides a service and if a customer pays for a service it must be provided. Value added is vital. One meticulous detail could be the determining factor if an event is a success or failure. If a contract is generated for a set amount and small details are not accounted for the event specialist could lose money or damage the company’s reputation. Non value added could be the deal breaker on whether you get the contract to host the event or lose it to another event specialist.
The customer wants all and more for the dollar they are spending. If two contracts are being reviewed and there is non-value added services quoted the customer will notice and go with the company who can meet their expectations at the lowest price. Examples of non-value added are, if a customer pays for ten cases of champagne when only 8 were needed or if excessive food quoted. It is crucial that the event specialist knows how to quote for items such as food, refreshments, decorations, entertainment etc. Spending must meet quoted cost while maintaining quality service. CONCLUSION Leadership and management have two different skill sets.
A manager focuses on the, how and when. A leader focuses on the, what and why. Neither skill set is better than the other. Influence and leadership skills can be switched to fit the needs at that moment. The type of leader/manager needed at that moment depends on the situation. The statement leads self/lead others has power. Lead self, lead others analogy. Learn to recognize changes that need to be made. Situations arise and how they are handled is noticed by the people around you. Learn self-control in your thoughts and actions in order to maintain the respect of the employees who look to you for guidance.
This ability is hard to maintain but is a necessity needed in maintaining the business and building future business. The event planning business is very competitive. There is a large market and people are willing to spend the money in order to have the perfect event. Lifetime memories are created. If there are major issues and complications the reputation of the company becomes perceived in a negative way, which affects business. If the event is not pleasurable to the customer a treasured memory is damaged and can be devastating to the client. The event planning business is a detailed and organized profession.
If those qualities can be achieved and retained the establishment should be rewarding and profitable. References Oncken, W. , Wass, D. L. , & Covey, S. R. (1999). Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey?. Harvard Business Review, 77(6), 178. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Accession number: 2434961 Collins, J. (2001). Good to great, why some companies make the leap – and others don’t. New York: Harper Collins. Hersey, P. , Blanchard, K. , ;amp; Johnson, D. (2008). Management organizational behavior. (9th Ed. ). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.