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Leadership in IBM

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What can you find out about the leadership style of the chief executive officer?  How would you characterize his or her leadership style?

Virginia M. Rometty has only been president of IBM for only one month and has already made significant changes. Before her promotion to CEO, Rometty had headed the strategy for five years with her colleagues. Of the three styles of leadership that Kurt Lewin (1939) outlined, Rometty seems to be following the participative style of leadership. In this approach, the leader is not all knowing but instead maintains a number of skilled workers who are involved in decision making. In an organization, with the size and magnitude of IBM it would not be possible for the Chief executive to be an expert in all fields and would, therefore, require a team of dedicated and knowledgeable workers to run the organization. This results in all the employees of the organization feeling as part of the organization which goes to motivate the workers. For example, she pushed for the employees to get the travel budget package that her predecessor had tried to stop. With this action she portrayed herself as human and part of the team who understood the needs of her employees.

Does the leadership style he or she has adopted match the situation confronting the organization?

Yes, I would, given the diverse and complex nature of the activities of IBM. This implies that her leadership style helps IBM attain the set objectives of profit optimization.

Would you characterize the CEO as an effective leader? How would you explain his or her success or lack of thereof?

Yes, I would characterize Virginia M. Rometty as an effective leader. An effective leader is one who leads the firm to attaining its objectives while still holding on to its core values. It was under her leader-ship as vice- president that profits rose to 42% unit in her first two years of service showing she is a skilled and competent leader.

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