What kind of leader are you and what kind of leader do you aspire to be? The two main types of leadership that we will discuss today are transactional and transformational leadership. A transactional leader will focus on group performance and day-to-day activities to reach goals. Transformational leaders will on focus on a shared vision, which can be used to motivate and engage the group she or he is leading. Both leadership styles are certainly needed in organizations, and one is not necessarily better than the other. You can find each type of leader throughout all levels of organizations, but often, roles will be a large determinant of what type of lead you have the ability to be.
Expanding on what qualifies as aa transactional leader, there are particular characteristics that help define what a transactional leader is. One characteristic is close supervision of employees and their effect on group performance. This can result in closely monitoring each employees work and understanding where shortfalls have occurred to avoid them in the future. Transactional leadership typically involves a reward-punishment incentive system as well. Finally, transactional leaders operate within the current organization structure and tailor work to fit what that would usually dictate.
Transformational leadership, on the other hand, uses a variety of methods outside of reward and punishment to motivate their team. Transformational leaders are typically role models for their team and demonstrate a shared vision to establish a sense of significance behind the group’s work. This shared vision is an important pillar in motivating employees to complete goals successfully without the need for close work review by the manager. Transformational leaders also establish an environment that allows for “followers” to safely challenge ideas or norms and present ideas of their own. Individual needs from a leader are often considered by transformational leaders, who then work to successfully meet the needs of each employee to enable his or her success.
It should be noted that these two leadership styles, like much else in the world of supply chain, are not mutually exclusive. Both approaches can, and are often, seen working with some traits of one leadership style integrated into the other leadership style. One clear example is in transformational leadership. Transformational leaders are defined as finding various ways to motivate their employees, but that does not mean there is not a reward and punishment system at all. While finding different mechanisms to engage employees is a core tenet, an overperforming employee may still be rewarded for his or her overwhelming success. Regardless of what kind leader you are, it is important to understand different types of leadership and how you can incorporate different leadership techniques to your own unique leadership style. It is also critical to understand that because you are not a manager does not mean you cannot be a leader. Motivating your coworkers or leading the lead on a new project can be excellent ways to practice your leadership skills and prepare for moving up the organizational chart.
After reviewing both transactional leadership and transformational leadership, which style most fits who you are? What style does your boss fall under? Comment below!
Blockchain can be an intimidating term for anyone who has not learned much about it, but it is an important developing technology to understand in supply chain. Typically, blockchain is going to make one think of cryptocurrency, as blockchain facilitates the entire existence of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. What is critical to understand is that blockchain in supply chains can achieve elevations for businesses.
First, a blockchain is a database that continuously adds “blocks” of data in a chain to constantly be building. The way this is achieved is through an initial block, the genesis block, housing the initial set a data and its own unique hash. A hash is a randomly generated value that is unique to that specific block. Every block after that will include the data being stored, its own hash, and the hash of the previous block to create the “chain” of blocks of data. Any type of data can really be stored in the database from shipment information to transcripts to customer account data. As new data is created to build the next block, that block gets added to the end of the chain and is tied to the previous block through the unique hash. As a security measure, data changed in any previous block would break any of the subsequent chains unless approved by the parties involved.
Uses and Benefits of Blockchain
Blockchains are decentralized in the sense that all users have access to the database and the data is transparent to all users. This not only establishes integrity in the database, but builds greater trust among those partnering to use the blockchain. The blockchain also creates greater efficiency and security. The Maersk example is an excellent way of how blockchain can be leveraged to improve efficiency. Maersk intends to use blockchain to provide real-time information for its large volume of shipments across the world. This not only would greatly reduce the time and effort being put into tracking this information, but also adds a new layer of security. The blockchain is tamper-proof as it would take an incredible amount of computing power to change one piece of data in a block without disrupting every other block in the chain since every block after the change would also need altered. This means that security of blockchains is very mature and any attempt to manipulate data would be immediately noticed. It is estimated that blockchains would be transformative to business and potentially save millions to billions of dollars.
Every new technology does have drawbacks though. Blockchain is relatively new and there are different standards to how it should be constructed. Blockchain is also a ledger that is still developing and will likely continue to evolve over the years. Finally, blockchain would require old records to be entered into the chain in order to allow for the database to have more integrity. An example would be new academic records utilizing blockchain leaving older professionals at a disadvantage if their information were delayed in getting uploaded.
Supply Chain Implications
As industry professionals, a vast number of benefits to utilizing a blockchain in supply chains can be seen. The example of Maersk above is one major way that supply chain could be transformed and revolutionized by the technology. International shipments end up having a lot of parties involved from the supplier, the transportation company, a broker, and the customer (to name a few) and coordinating communication between all these groups can be very manual and quite difficult. Leveraging a blockchain could greatly improve the transparency and efficiency of tracking international shipments, which would allow for workers to dedicate more time to value-added initiatives.
Another example would be how Walmart is able to use blockchain to track the origins of materials or products. Having data integrity and knowing where every raw material comes from would be a key data point and also aid in ensuring ethical, sustainable operations. This can also be used with suppliers for consignment and vendor-managed inventory processes.
As we see above, blockchain has the ability to optimize the industry in a way we have not yet witnessed. For example, utilizing blockchain in supply chains can allow for customers and suppliers to share information of inventory management through a database of the highest integrity. How can blockchain make your business more successful?
Krauth, O. (2018, February 9). 5 companies using blockchain to drive their supply chain. TechRepublic. https://www.techrepublic.com/article/5-companies-using-blockchain-to-drive-their-supply-chain/.
Technologies with Potential to Transform Business and Business Education: Blockchain. AACSB Business Education Intelligence. (2019, May). https://www.aacsb.edu/-/media/aacsb/publications/research-reports/blockchain%20brief_final.ashxla=en&hash=FCFE1A43EFE1EFD5EF1A54D901801B2686133DDE#:~:text=Blockchain%20is%20a%20database%20technology,significant%20shifts%20in%20higher%20education.