Marissa Meyer’s Approach to Leadership Style
Nowadays, the success of any big organization is tightly connected with its management style. The distinctive feature of the modern world is its dynamic development and changeability. Therefore, the main task of each company under such conditions is to follow actual changes (Barine & Minja, 2012). Those companies which succeed in it receive high profits. Among them, there are such corporation as Facebook or Google. There are also less successful examples, such as Yahoo, which has been stagnating for the last decade despite its initial prosperity. Yahoo’s core problem related to its leadership style. However, with the hiring of Marissa Meyer – one of the most controversial but, doubtlessly, highly professional persons in the Silicon Valley – the new phase in Yahoo began. Her style of management in Yahoo has caused resonance and debates in society. Meyer’s style of leadership is focused on providing essential organizational changes. Therefore, there are different types of change-oriented leadership, which may be used to reach this goal. The aim of this paper is to analyze Marissa Meyer’s approach to leadership and its outcomes.
In theory, there are such styles of leadership as transformational, transactional, and charismatic. Transformational type of a leader is determined to reach the goal through the cooperation with all members of the team. The transformational leader leaves space for creativity and self-expression of each member. Moreover, he or she is a source of inspiration and intellectual stimulation for the colleagues. In such a way, a transformational leader both encourages workers to achieve better results and increases own authority. By contrast, a transactional leader bases his or her strategy on the system of rewards and punishment. There is no space left for creativity. Instead, there are clear and strict instructions, which have to be followed. Finally, a charismatic leader uses his or her communicative skills and abilities to influence people psychologically as the main tool in management. This type of a leader is especially effective in a crisis when the team needs a person who is ready to inspire them and give confidence in the future success (Rainey, 2009). Moreover, the significant feature of the charismatic leader is his or her ability to set revolutionary and ambitious goals without a fear of failure. However, there is no single effective leadership style, and the best option is to combine the advantages of each style to reach the best results in the working process (Jing & Avery, 2008).
According to the given above description, Marissa Meyer’s approach to a leadership includes elements of both transactional and charismatic leadership styles. As a transactional leader, Meyer relies on own decisions as the only right strategy of actions. From the beginning of her work in Yahoo, she showed her decisiveness and readiness to act rapidly. Thus, she fired a number of workers, changed the technological equipment of the stuff, and took other measures to make the working atmosphere at Yahoo correspond with the best representatives of the Silicon Valley. For instance, Mayer provided workers with free food, which was a common practice in most of the Silicon Valley’s organizations, but was still not implemented in Yahoo offices (Quinn, 2014). As a transactional leader, Meyer also took decisions, which were not pleasant to employees. One of them was to forbid remote work for employees in Yahoo. The majority of Yahoo team found this measure too strict, but as it behooves to a transactional leader, Meyer did not give the workers an opportunity to offer their ideas and preferred to provide them with clear and strict rules, which were necessary in her opinion.
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There is also another side of Meyer’s approach to work, which shows the features of a charismatic leader. According to the feedbacks of some Yahoo workers, Marissa Meyer supports and protects all the members of her team, whereas her attitude may be different to those who are out of her group (Quinn, 2014). It shows her responsibility and devotion to those people whom she promised to reach a definite result. As a charismatic leader, she received one of the key positions in Yahoo at the moment of company’s crisis. Mayer’s reputation of an effective leader and a smart engineer made employees believe in her ability to improve Yahoo’s positions significantly.
There are different opinions about Meyer’s style of management. Nevertheless, there are objective advantages and disadvantages of her approach to the work. The most important benefits include creativity, responsibility, confidence, and dynamism. Only with the help of personal creativity and highly developed communicative skills, Marissa Meyer managed to deal with “Tumblr” and sell it to Yahoo. It was a significant achievement, which received positive feedbacks from other workers of the Silicon Valley. Due to Meyer’s responsibility and desire to accomplish her work in the best way, the products offered to Yahoo’s users received high marks. People, who are close to Marissa Meyer, say that she may spend hours choosing a shade of color for one of the Yahoo’s products. Confidence and dynamism helped Meyer to hold various reforms in the organizational structure of the company. Despite criticism, the results were remarkable. Yahoo’s stock increased as much as twice since Marissa Meyer joined the team (Quinn, 2014).
However, tough approach to the working process has an impact not only on the profits of the company but also on the attitude of employees to Meyer. As it has been revealed, there are many specifics of Mayer’s approach, which the workers are not satisfied with. According to the words of Yahoo’s members, Meyer often neglects the value of others’ time. It may create an image of unreliable and irrespective attitude to other people. As a representative of the company, Meyer in her relations with business partners establishes not her personal reputation, but the reputation of Yahoo in general. There were often situations when people were waiting for hours to meet with Marissa, but she failed to appear. Moreover, when Meyer’s ideas were factually unsuccessful, she refused to recognize it and correct the mistake (Mclean, 2014). This is a significant disadvantage because reluctance to admit the failure may have serious negative outcomes for the company in general.
Therefore, there are some aspects which should be changed in Meyer’s approach to management. First, it is necessary for her to take into account suggestions and ideas of the employees. The specifics of the work in the IT sphere relate to the fact that the general result depends on the coherent work of the whole team. Therefore, the idea is that every single person may make an important contribution to the general work. Second, Meyer should change the way of meeting with people. Time is one of the most valuable things in the business world. The understanding of this fact should be deeply rooted in the minds of all the employees. However, if one of the key figures in the company fails to respect time, there are no reasons to require from other company members to be punctual. Poor time management endangers productivity and effectiveness in Yahoo. Third, there is no need to be always right. There are difficulties in any organizations, and the fact of failure is an objective issue. The main thing is an ability to accept this fact and move forward. Thus, Marissa Meyer should realize that even such a person as she, who has a high level of education and significant achievements, may take decisions that lack rationality.
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In conclusion, a successful and famous person is always an object of intensive discussions and criticism. Marissa Meyer arouses public interest because her actions are risky and provocative. As a leader, she has a strong and independent character, which causes some difficulties and disputes in cooperation with others. Meyer has both followers and skeptics. Nevertheless, both these groups come to the same statement that Marissa Meyer is a competent and enormously hard-working professional in her area. Although each her action will have different social evaluations, the main thing is that her strategy influences positively the status and economic state of the company.