The following is a research paper written by Andrew Kramer for his Leadership in Organizations upper level course at the University of La Verne: Zeb Welborn’s Leadership Practices
Chapter 1: Introduction
Zeb Welborn grew up in Southern California in the beautiful city of Chino Hills. He lived with his mother and father, brother, Rocky and his sister, Lacey. He just recently moved out to Chino and is renting an apartment so he can have a place to get some work done. He still maintains a good relationship with his siblings and actually has his sister running the photography for his business and building websites. He participates frequently in marathons with his brother, Rocky and golfs regularly with his father, Larry. Growing up, Zeb loved to play all kinds of sports. He mainly focused on golf and soccer with soccer being his greater passion. He played three years competitively on the golf team and still to this day plays soccer in an outdoor and indoor league. I had the pleasure of getting to play on the same soccer team with Zeb for a full season. I first started to notice Zeb’s leadership qualities when he became a substitute teacher at the high school I was attending at the time. Not too long after that he became a full time history teacher at the school as well as being an assistant coach for the men’s soccer team. It was clear that Zeb exemplified the leadership skills necessary to perform the jobs at hand.
Immediately after school Zeb attended Cal State University, Fullerton and got his degree in History, which he taught in high school. Not too long ago he started his own business working for numerous companies managing their social media. He named the company, Welborn Social Media, and that is how we came in contact with each other. I work at Los Serranos Country Club where Zeb grew up playing golf and just recently made them a Facebook page in an attempt to gain exposure through advertising and keeping up with the market trends. Zeb noticed I had created the page and together we turned in into a great project. We got it passed by the board of directors and currently get paid to run the social media for the golf course. This isn’t the only company that Zeb works for Scrapbook Expo, Wirespeed Systems, System 1 Interiors, Technology 4 Medicine, DLT Growers, Creative Scrapbook Source, Big Time Golf, Somerset Apartments, Krazy Kreations, Creative Minds & Visions, It’s Cheaper than Therapy and Mormino & Associates. The number of clients continues to grow as he is experiencing success in a number of different sectors. The duties that are expected of Zeb and his company are designing, managing, writing for and updating blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter, LinkedIn pages, YouTube pages, and Google+ pages. also responsible for designing website, logos and promotional materials. Zeb’s company is also responsible for managing Google AdWords campaigns and implementing strategies to increase search engine optimization including on site optimization and link building. Zeb also creates email marketing campaigns and manages the reputation of companies on ranking websites like Yelp and Angie’s List. These are just a few of the things that Zeb is responsible day in and day out and only a true leader can handle these kind of situations. The needs of every company is unique, but Welborn Social Media can work with any company on any budget to help build their own brand.
Zeb uses the experience from prior jobs to lead the group of people that now work for him. He has about four or five of us working under him and makes sure that everyone is happy with what they are doing. Zeb uses the three-skill approach, which depends on three basic skills: technical, human, and conceptual. Skills are what leaders can accomplish, whereas traits are who leaders are. I believe that after Zeb’s work in many different areas and working with many different people, he acquired the leadership skills necessary to manage people under him. Technical skill is knowledge about and proficiency in a specific type of work or activity. Zeb has a profound knowledge with computers and has done his research and taken courses on managing social media websites. Human skill is knowledge about and ability to work with people. Human skill is actually quite different from technical skill because human skills are people skills.
Chapter 2: Leadership Practices
Leadership vs. Management
Zeb has many traits that make him a great leader. I would definitely have to say that he is more leadership oriented than management. A few of these traits are obviously intelligence about the field that he works for, self-confidence in the work he does, and determination to continue to make his business grow and expand. Out of all these traits I believe that self-confidence is the most important one because it gives him the confidence and the ability to be certain about his competencies and skills. This also includes self-esteem and self-assurance and the belief that one can make a difference. To be a leader you must involve influencing others, and there is nothing better than feeling assured that his attempts to influence others are appropriate and right.
Relationship Orientation vs. Task Orientation
When dealing with relationships and task orientation I believe that Zeb excels in both of these subjects. He must maintain a good relationship with his customers and people he is working with, and a good way to do this is by staying task oriented. He gets the details from his partners on what needs to be accomplished and sets out a schedule on how to get it done in a timely manner. I would definitely have to say that these two matters go hand in hand and are equally important.
Goal Orientation and Performance Evaluation
Zeb stays very goal oriented in the way that he stays on top of things by staying organized. We have a clear mission of what we need to be doing and the harder we work, the more we will be rewarded. For instance, every business that I recruit to get started under, “Welborn Social Media” I get a raise and a certain percentage of what the company pays Zeb to do. As someone who works for Zeb this motivates me to find as many businesses that I can so I will get paid more. This is a key factor for many businesses and leaders. The more you reward your employees for good hard work, the more they will attempt to do the best work that they possibly can. The more Zeb stays goal oriented, the more his business will prosper.
Control vs. Delegation
I communicate with Zeb a few times a week and we meet at least once in that week to review and see how work is coming along. When we do get together we brainstorm and think of ways to stay innovative and on top of the current trends. We discuss also ways to improve our marketing and advertisement, basically in a sense how to get more exposure. We communicate via email, text messaging, and even sometimes through Facebook.
Rewards, Incentives and Punishment
Like I stated earlier, the way you will be rewarded is on how much work you are willing to get done. There are no punishments just lessons learned. Basically, the more work you get done and the more businesses I get to sign under the business the more i will get paid. It is a simple process that works well because it keeps us motivated with all the incentives at hand.
Since we run a social media company most of our communication is done over the computer. I would say that Zeb’s style of communication is passive, his social perceptiveness is the insight and awareness into how others in the organization function. For example what is important to others, what keeps them motivated, and how they react to change. Social perceptiveness means understanding the unique needs, goals, and demands of differences within the organization.
Chapter 3: Analysis of Leadership Practices
The situational approach is based on the idea that the employees move forward and backward along the developmental continuum, which represents the relative competence and commitment of subordinates. For leaders to be effective using the situational approach, it is essential that they determine where subordinates are on the developmental continuum and adapt their leadership styles so they directly match their style to that developmental level. “Once the leader has identified the correct developmental level, the second task is to adapt his style to the prescribed leadership. This is the one-to-one relationship between the developmental level of subordinates.” (Northouse 93) Some strengths of using the situational approach is that it is recognized as a standard for training leaders. It is also a very practical approach, which means that it is easily understood and easily applied. The situational approach sets forth a clear set of prescriptions for how leaders should act if they want to enhance their leadership effectiveness. This approach also recognizes and stresses that there is not one best style of leadership, instead leaders need to be flexible and adapt their style to the requirements of the situations. When in regards to the five major leadership theories, the one that stand out to me are of course the situational approach, the transformational approach, and team leadership. Transformational approach of course has a strong emphasis on followers’ needs, values, and morals. This kind of leadership involves attempts by leaders to move followers to higher standards of moral responsibility. This type of leadership sets it apart from the other four styles because it has a moral dimension. A leader very similar to the transformational approach is called servant leadership. This leadership emphasizes that leaders should be attentive ot the concerns of their followers and would emphasize with them, they would take care of them and nurture them.” (Northouse 385)
Leadership Style of the Leader
I would say the best kind of approach to describe the leadership style of Zeb would have to be team leadership. Zeb excels through the people that are working for him. Therefore, he must use team leadership to coach his team members in interpersonal skills. Collaborate with others by including and involving his team members in discussions. Using team leadership one must manage conflict and power issues while avoiding confrontation and questioning ideas. Build commitment by being optimistic, innovative, envisioning, socializing, rewarding, and recognizing other peoples achievements. Lastly, to excel at team leadership you must satisfy the individual needs of the members you are working with by trusting, supporting, and advocating them. You model your ethics by your principled practices by being fair, consistent and lastly, normative.
The organizations goals go hand in hand with the compatibility of Zeb’s leadership style and practices. The goal of the organization is to get as many clients to start using, “Welborn Social Media” and once we have them to perform everything we possibly can to satisfy their needs. At this time I have no recommendations for Zeb because his business is growing at such a rapid pace that I do not know what else he can be doing. If I did have one thing to say I would think that we should maybe get together more than just once a week to have a weekly report on how things are going. Sometimes I feel a little bit lost on what is going on or what we should be doing so maybe meet twice a week.
Chapter 4: Analysis of Leadership Practices: Delegation and Developmental Levels
Necessary Conditions for Effective Delegation
According to leadership styles I believe the most effective way for developmental levels is that there must be high commitment and high supportive behavior. In order for the sufficient amount of work to be completed an employee must stay committed and dedicated to the amount of work level he is inputting. Zeb encourages to stay committed to the mission within the organization. In this sense, Zeb uses the supporting approach that requires him to take a high supportive – low directive style. “The leader should not focus exclusively on goals but uses support behaviors that bring out the employee’s skills around the task to be accomplished.” (Northouse 93) This includes listening, praising, asking for input, and giving feedback.
Developmental Levels of the Followers
At this point in time the amount of employees are at a minimum so I would have to say that the levels are still in the developmental stage. D2 would probably be the most accurate description because it is still moderately low.
Delegation Practice of the Leader
The way Zeb delegates his tasks and responsibilities is by creating the sky is the limit approach. By saying this, I mean that he does not delegate many responsibilities to his followers because it is up to them to do as much work as they want. There is always room for growth in the type of business we are in so you get as much work done as you want to in a sense. But the more work you do accomplish, the more you will be rewarded.
The delegation practice that Zeb uses is very compatible to the developmental levels of the followers. Everything is still in the developmental process, but the business continues to grow at a steady pace so he must be doing something right. It has been a great learning experience to work with a true leader like Zeb and be part of a wonderful company with a passion to excel.
At this point in time I have no real recommendations besides the one I stated earlier. Scheduling meetings has been quite difficult with how busy things are so maybe just set a time that we can meet on a weekly basis. In other words, the level of communication must begin to increase as the company continues to expand.
Chapter 5: Conclusion
After writing this paper I realize that I am working with a genuine leader that I can take many thing away from . . . not only in the business world, but in every day life. The way Zeb works with people is truly the proper approach and getting to see it first hand is a blessing. Working with Zeb was a life changing experience because I can now apply the lessons I learned from his leadership qualities and apply them in every aspect of my life. I plan to practice the same approach that Zeb uses because I have seen first hand on how it functions and the results have been good.
Would you like to learn more about Zeb Welborn’s leadership practices? Visit some other sites created by Zeb Welborn – 19th Hole Media created to help golf courses get more customers and the Defining Success Podcast created to change the way we think about success.