Leadership Issues In McKinsey: Analysis And Recommendations

Contemporary Leadership Issues

Leadership is the process which directly influence the behavior of an individual to work willingly and in a proper manner to achieve the pre-determined goals. The relationship between the leader and the followers is mainly to achieve a common goal. The contemporary roles are related to lead the team with managing the conflicts, coaching for improving the performance of the team members (Amanchukwu,, Stanley, & Ololube, 2015). There are contemporary issues which includes the out of box thinking, globalization, change in the dynamic groups, technology and then dealing with the change and uncertainty. The company chosen is McKinsey where it has been facing different problems. It is seen that the context is important for a leadership and the leader performs well in that particular situation only. With changing European service business, we understand the records when markets are growing quickly but at the same time, there is a need to provide certain directions with imposing financial discipline on the business units, when there is a economic downturn (Brown & Treviño, 2014) . Hence, to analyze them, there are training initiatives where people come across different sets of assumptions to fit the same group of skills and leadership regardless of strategy. The planning is based on answering to support the acquisition led growth strategy.

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Decoupling the reflection from the real work: It is when the planning of program’s curriculum includes how the company tend to face a balancing act. The focus is on not only creating opportunities but also address the higher priority needs with the acceleration of new challenges of the product. It turns around the sales region with negotiating the external partnership and developing a new sense of digital marketing strategy (Bush & Glover, 2014). For McKinsey & Co., they need to focus on the participants in a leadership development program. The analysis is based on ability to push the training participants with reflecting on the real work experiences to apply for new and different approaches. The gap is between the urgent and must do projects with the availability of capable leaders, which is a major challenge (Day, Fleenor, Atwater, Sturm, & McKee, 2014).

Underestimating the different mind-sets: With effective leadership, it requires a changing behavior. The companies need to recognize that there means to adjust the mind sets where the organizations are reluctant to address the different causes of why the leaders act in a way they do. There is a need to promote the virtues of delegation and empowerment with successful adoption which is unlikely if the program participants are having any clear controlling mindset. The professional service business is where the business needs a senior leader to initiate the provocative with discussions related to the firm’s senior clients. The leaders have realized about understanding the commitment to concrete steps with ability to push them to change. One of issues are related to the concern with business unit leaders. The new approach is about saving time and then serving the greater learning opportunity for junior managers (Dinh et al., 2014). The company has decided about the marketing conditions where the senior sales managers becomes smarter about how they are identified, valued with the negotiated deals of potential. The mind set is shifted when the company is set up a control tower for reflecting the critical deals when there are peers involved in coaching.

Situational Leadership

Failure to measure the results: It is seen that McKinsey has issues related to the leadership with pay lip services to the importance of developing certain leadership skills. They have no major evidences related to the quantified values of investments. When the business fails to track and measure the changes over time, they tend to increase the odds with improving the initiatives which are not taken seriously. The approach is based on assessing the extent for the behavioral change with 360-degree feedback to exercise the program and then handling the leadership tools. They are mainly for demonstrating the own commitment to real change for themselves and organization. The evaluation is based on how the leadership development begins and ends with certain participative feedback (Higgs & Dulewicz, 2016). Here, the business performance program requires a complete assessment where leaders can easily learn from successes and failures over the time to make the adjustments. The other approach is to monitor the participants for the career development after the training. There is a need to monitor the business impacts, when the training is set with tying it to the breakthrough projects. The metrics include the cost savings and the new-store openings for the retail business. The example for this is how the sales of the new products are set when the program is focusing on the skills for building up a new and a better product strategy. The companies can avoid the common mistakes in leadership development with increasing the odds of success and matching specific leadership skills and traits to the context at hand (Landis, Hills, & Harvey, 2014).

In McKinsey, the leadership theories are depending upon the traits of executives with competitive challenges, legacies and shifting forces. The research is about organizational health where the organizations seek for handling managers for deploying different leadership behavior. The situational leadership explores the effectiveness for different kinds of leadership behavior with different states of organizational health. The organizational health and leadership is defined with effectiveness in turn. The interest is about identifying the leadership behaviors that is prevalent, depending upon the organizational current state of health. The analysis is based on the pyramid off behavior which is found to be analogous to Maslow hierarchy of needs with certain kinds of behavior (Latham, 2014). The organizational health improves with additional behaviors that emphasize on different situations to life organizational health of a company. The leadership is about the mold challenge which includes understanding about the leadership theories that helps in facilitating the ability to apply the multiple practices for achieving the desired goals and operational culture. The explanations are about the normative leadership theories that aids a leader in identifying the different responsibility or approaches to achieve a shared vision with his or her followers (Ma & Tsui, 2015). The goal is for the leadership theory with the sense of social empowerment towards a shared vision and a desired future state.

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The transformation leadership is about identifying the emergence from US with visions that includes the methods for leaders to instill ethics and values to motivate the followers. The leader inspires the followers with morals and character to aspire with development and community or society. The transitional leadership theory is where the leaders exchange the performance with certain monetary rewards. Hence, the focus comes mainly on the tangible recognition for performance. The idealized influence is about the theory of transformational leadership with aspire to become and work on selfless acts, with equality in responsibility of work. The discussion is on idealized influence with context to transformational leadership (Miner, 2015). The ability is to establish confidence of completing tasks with achieving a shared vision or desired future state. The transformational leadership is about communicating with the leaders and the team members to a higher level like the leaders can become a moral agent and a follower can become the leader. 

Transformational Leadership

The individualized consideration of transformational leadership includes how followers are educated and developed in art by organization. The consideration is on an intimate level of connecting the leaders and followers where the specification is to develop training and certain plans of improvement (Shamir & Eilam, 2018).

The research is based on the differentiation of the leadership characteristics where McKinsey can work on upswing the ability to take practices at some levels of organization. There have been shift in calls for behavior with places of a special emphasis on keeping the groups on tasks and oriented them towards a defined result. The perspectives are based on the qualities and the abilities to meet and motivate the model company values. The key challenges are including the lack of clear objectives or accountability with poor development and career opportunities for a higher performer. To meet the challenges, it is important that the leaders implement a set of integration of health and other performance initiatives with developing clear standards and outcomes. The company makes its objectives transparent with articulating a forceful strategic vision with specific operating goals and the milestones. The leadership is aimed to foster bottom up with employee driven solutions and encouraging the new and different perspectives. The identifiable forms of leadership are associated to the higher quartiles where an organization can work towards amassing on different kinds of behavior which are not attuned to organization specific situations. Hence, it can lead to the waste of time and resources as well (Sosik & Jung, 2018).

Trait theory: It is about focusing on identifying the characteristics with defined traits that are mainly related to focus on skills that are adaptable to different kinds of situation. The characters are for making a person trait with possessing skills that are skilled conceptually, creative, fluent in speaking with self-motivated and self-belief.

Behavioral Theory: It is about how the manager works on the critical issues like honesty, integrity and the loyalty. This leads the attention to be diverted with focus on human relationship and success performance too. The idea is about how the people will be learning to exercise the self-control and self-direction for achieving a particular goal or target.

Contingency theory model: The theory is based on how the manager will lead the team for a better outcome. The situations are for finding the best way with best outcomes. The defined condition is of a managerial task with leader and team member relationship, work structure or project structure. The manager need to maintain the relationship with the other team members with creating confidence and feeling free to think of different tasks and ideas. The theory rates are determined with task orientation where the variables are based on the favorable and unfavorable situations.

The large-scale organizational change has been always difficult and there are research about how the companies need to focus on sudden shifts in marketplace (Ma et al, 2015). The research and practices are about finding the transformation where they focus on the changing mind sets and behavior, with fostering the understanding and convention. The reinforcement of the changes are set through the formalized mechanisms with developing the talent and skills. McKinsey has been working on the changing nature of workforce with creating new opportunities and challenges. With the transformational leadership, McKinsey recommends that leaders help in developing a change of story with helping stakeholders to understand about where the company is headed, and why the change is important. The reinforcement is done with formal mechanisms, shaped by expected rewards and punishments that are associated to the specific forms of behavior.


Amanchukwu, R. N., Stanley, G. J., & Ololube, N. P. (2015). A review of leadership theories, principles and styles and their relevance to educational management. Management, 5(1), 6-14.

Brown, M. E., & Treviño, L. K. (2014). Do role models matter? An investigation of role modeling as an antecedent of perceived ethical leadership. Journal of Business Ethics, 122(4), 587-598.

Bush, T., & Glover, D. (2014). School leadership models: What do we know?. School Leadership & Management, 34(5), 553-571.

Day, D. V., Fleenor, J. W., Atwater, L. E., Sturm, R. E., & McKee, R. A. (2014). Advances in leader and leadership development: A review of 25 years of research and theory. The Leadership Quarterly, 25(1), 63-82.

Dinh, J. E., Lord, R. G., Gardner, W. L., Meuser, J. D., Liden, R. C., & Hu, J. (2014). Leadership theory and research in the new millennium: Current theoretical trends and changing perspectives. The Leadership Quarterly, 25(1), 36-62.

Higgs, M., & Dulewicz, V. (2016). Developments in leadership thinking. In Leading with Emotional Intelligence (pp. 75-103). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Landis, E. A., Hill, D., & Harvey, M. R. (2014). A synthesis of leadership theories and styles. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, 15(2), 97.

Latham, J. R. (2014). Leadership for quality and innovation: Challenges, theories, and a framework for future research. Quality Management Journal, 21(1), 11-15.

Ma, L., & Tsui, A. S. (2015). Traditional Chinese philosophies and contemporary leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 26(1), 13-24.

Miner, J. B. (2015). Organizational behavior 1: Essential theories of motivation and leadership. Routledge.

Shamir, B., & Eilam-Shamir, G. (2018). “What’s your story?” A life-stories approach to authentic leadership development. In Leadership Now: Reflections on the Legacy of Boas Shamir(pp. 51-76). Emerald Publishing Limited.

Sosik, J. J., & Jung, D. (2018). Full range leadership development: Pathways for people, profit, and planet. Routledge.