Leader Follower Relationships

I am interning at Justrite as a corporate finance intern. Justrite is spread throughout the country as a part of Justrite Safety Group, however I am working at the corporate headquarters in Des Plaines, Illinois. At Justrite, work is structured to a variety of departments, and within those departments there are teams. For example, in the division I am working in the CFO is heavily involved in not only company operations but our specific team operations, and our team is composed of 3 members. Each member contributes a different financial aspect to the team operation, however, the parts are relatively interchangeable in that each member could help or assist one another if the need arose. In regard to how work is directed, there are standardized procedures set by the CFO and CEO, and as a result each employee completes the specific request set to them by upper management. The employees complete their work individually, however there is constant communication via email or direct messaging if certain files are needed or there is confusion about a number or formatting. As I have alluded to, decisions are made from a centralized standpoint. During my interview, I inquired about whether I would be working with or observing mergers and acquisitions, or other high level decisions. Both gentleman interviewing me unanimously agreed that it was the CFO and CEO who made those decisions, and that their job(and mine) would be to run the numbers that upper level asked them to run. As a result, it appears to be a highly centralized system in which the employees have very little say in decisions that are made. The leadership style of the upper level individuals within the organization appears to be more authoritative, whereas it appears to be a more social based leadership style at lower levels of the organization. As a result, it appears that the individuals at the lower levels complete their tasks with more enthusiasm and energy, whereas individuals slightly higher up appear to be more angsty and complete their tasks more out of fear of upsetting the CFO than out of their own desire. The CFO is highly effective in producing, however it appears that he puts high stress on his subordinates. This can be effective in producing results at times, however I believe that employees produce optimal results when they are happier and can work with a clear mind rather than when their minds are muddled by stress. Additionally, I believe people with an intrinsic motivation to complete a task are more effective and efficient in completing that task than those who complete tasks out of anxiety of negative repercussions.

One thought on “Leader Follower Relationships

  • June 14, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Sounds like you’re getting a sense of the organization and the way in which it operates. You allude to the more social based leadership style at the lower levels of the organization, but it sounds like the CFO does not exactly employ a relationship-oriented leadership style. Was not sure if there is a department head for your area? You mention the CFO being involved with your department, but was not sure if they are technically the leader for your department? If the CFO is not your department head, would love to hear more about the style of the individual in that role and the way he/she has developed a more socially based (presumably relationship cognizant) environment.

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