Leadership practice

Posted by Winnie Melda on January 21st, 2019


The company, a California corporation was established in 1977.The company is involved in designing, manufacturing and marketing mobile communication, personal computers, media devices and portable music digital players. It also sells related software, accessories, and services, networking solutions and third-party digital content and applications. The firm’s products and services include iPhone®, Mac®, Apple TV®, iPad®, iPod®, the iOS and OS X® operating systems, a portfolio of consumer and professional software applications, iCloud®, and a variety of accessory, service and support offerings. (Apple, 2015)

Vision statement and mission statement

Apple Inc. has changed its mission statement to reflect the current position of the company. Thus, the company’s mission and vision statement evolve over time to address changing market and organization conditions.  Apple’s vision statement is detailed and reflects the firm’s comprehensive approach in ensuring continued success. The vision statement detail as a number of major points including as the emphasis on innovation and simplicity. Apple vision statement is “on the face of the earth to make great products by constantly focusing on innovating. It believes in the simple, not the complex”. The company’s current mission statement is, “we design Macs, along with iLife, OS X, iWork and professional software. We lead the digital music revolution with iTunes and iPods. We have reinvented the mobile phone industry and are defining the future of computing devices and mobile media.” (Apple, 2015)

Leadership challenge

The modern day leader is working in a global environment that is characterized by employee diversity challenges. The life of today’s global leader is more demanding. Inside their organizations, leaders are required to work across organizational boundaries, motivate a diverse group of employees, achieve growth and improve efficiency. Externally, they also face a complex and globalized environment. They are required to keep ahead of competitors, keep up with government requirements and exceed the expectations of different stakeholders. Within the global environment, leaders navigate through numerous cultural considerations in order to be effective. Leaders are expected to work across cultural boundaries and alongside others who have diverse views, beliefs, cultures and other factors that distinguish one individual from the other. Diversity encompasses any characteristic that can be used to differentiate one individual from the other. The conception of diversity includes differences across age, gender, physical ability, religion, skills, sexual orientation and tenure. The list reflects a major source of contention over characteristics of diversity in today’s organization. (Cadotte, 2011)

Leaders differ in their ability to capitalize on the diverse characteristics of their workforce.  While good leadership skills are important, excellence across a broader range of skills is a baseline requirement for successful leadership in a diverse workforce.  In such organizations, leadership is critically important as it offers a pathway and direction in the seeming chaos. Global companies have increasingly accepted the concept of a diverse workforce.  When appropriately managed, it does not only bring positive benefits to the organization but is also a fundamental to organizational success. Many organizational leaders have implemented different diversity efforts in an effort to add value to the mission and objectives of the organization. As organizations move towards broadening the workforce across the educational background, skills, gender, ethnicity, age, and skills. However, for organizations that have experienced changes in the image of the workforce, previously unconsidered changes have emerged. New issues in managing people present leaders with a pressing set of challenges that were not relevant in a homogeneous workforce. There are several preeminent challenges that confront leaders in a diverse work group. Different leader attributes are required in order to enact effectively diversity initiatives. It is also a challenge to develop a leader who can face these challenges. It requires a comprehensive response, planned change initiatives and organizational strategy Of course. Diversity presents leaders with the various challenges. They include communication, group thinking, Individual versus Group Fairness, resistance to change, Group Cohesiveness, and Interpersonal Conflict. (Cadotte, 2011)

Resistance to change

Diversity presents leaders with the challenge of managing different employee programs. Managers are required to effectively implement different programs to diverse employee groups. Resistance to Change arises from long established corporate culture that is very rooted in the organization. Individual resist change to avoid losing their identity in the process of change. Resistance to change can be a major roadblock for minorities seeking to prosper and survive in a corporate setting. The signs of resistance to change may be passive or active. Active signs are such as being critical, finding fault, appealing to fear, ridiculing, intimidating or threatening, manipulating, distorting facts, blocking, sabotaging, arguing, starting rumors and undermining. People may cling to habits and their status quo.

Passive signs are such as agreeing verbally but not following through, procrastinating or dragging one’s feet, failing to implement change, feigning ignorance, withholding suggestions, support or help and standing by and allowing change to fail. Although workplace diversity is beneficial to the organization as a whole, managers and employees may not react positively to changes made. Employees who are against workforce diversity often reject new ideas and make work environments to be more difficult. If the organization does not appropriately handle resistance to change, workplace diversity initiatives fail to provide the intended benefits to the organization. To deal with opposition, leaders should explain the reasons for diversity and ensure that employees understand the benefits that changes in diversity.  Alleviating fears of workplace diversity may reduce much of the resistance.  Although workplace diversity may seem like a major challenge, idea, many organizations experience challenges when attempting to implement changes. Leaders should develop strategies for implementation, analyzing results and making necessary changes when results fail to meet the desired behavior or when strategy fail to meet implementation goals not as smooth as expected.(Cadotte, 2011)

Group Cohesiveness and Interpersonal Conflict

Workplace diversity may result in a lack of group cohesiveness. Workplace diversity also promotes interpersonal conflicts specifically when organizations neither recognize the importance of tapping into diversity and inclusion.  The response to any forced change is many cases met with grudging compliance.  A team effort can no longer be effective due to the lack of group cohesiveness.  The environment makes characterized by employee diversity is often filled with personal employee conflict. Interpersonal Conflict and Group Cohesiveness negatively impact communication efforts and discourage the flow of business objectives. (Yang & Konrad, 2011)

 In order to form an effective organization team, the individuals who make up the teams should also play particular roles at personal levels. Individuals are required to be team players and contribute towards quality and excellence of their team. Individual team members should work with others and also uphold communication and cooperation. To be a team player, they should practice social intelligence skills such as the ability to compromise, negotiate and persuade others. Individuals should also know their roles in the team and work towards fulfilling their roles as individuals.  Concentration and focus are also crucial towards building effective teams. Concentrating and focusing on main tasks and responsibilities is paramount to the achievement of optimum levels of performance. Essentially, the most effective communication in the organization occurs between people the right attitude ad state of mind.  Some group in the organization may feel threatened and formulate ways o defend themselves against encroachments. Group cohesiveness and interpersonal conflicts are factors that determine retention.  Hence, diversity is an all round factor that impacts numerous other factors that are important in the survival of the organization. (Adra & Fleming, 2011)


Diversity management is founded on the roots of effective communication. Communication is one of the biggest obstacles that are presented by diversity.  Communication is important in the organization as it promotes cohesiveness and sharing of information among all team members. It is the duty of a leader to promote internal communication by breaking barriers. The diversity of perception, experience, background and thought enhance creativity and innovation. Diversity should be about empowering people in the organization and capitalizing on their strengths. It also involves valuing and effectively using differences in people to make the best. Teams should make the most out of diversity by involving everyone to promote cross-pollination of ideas. Leaders should build and empower cross-functional teams to be able to harness the power of diversity. People from various cultures and disciplines can come up with something better.  A leader should promote communication between departments and force contacts to avoid silting up of internal communication.  Communication promotes team building and also ensures the extracting of the best out of the team members. Where communication is carried out efficiently, teams complete their work quicker and in a more accurate manner than others. This is because team members understand their roles and also develop a relationship with each other among themselves. (Munby, 2008)


Culture should be taken into consideration as organization changes are often hindered by resistance to changes that can be changed through changing the organization’s culture.  The culture affects quality in all aspects of the organizations operations that touch on the processes, effectiveness and efficiency of processes. Leaders should recognize that it is imperative to build an organizational culture that enhances and builds accountability into their systems with regard to creating a diverse and inclusive work place. It is common for leadership to say all the right things about diversity while the subordinates who create the experience of people who work there and actually run the organization don’t recognize the importance of diversity. They also don’t feel accountable for diversity and inclusion. (Munby, 2008)

What’s important for leaders is to identify relevant dimensions and make that part of how individuals are evaluated. It does not necessary involve inventing new measures rather using diversity as a lens to look at the measures. When diversity becomes one of the lenses through which individuals are evaluated, it becomes integrated into the organization's culture. If an organization’s customer base is diverse, then, the organization needs to look at diversity from a different perspective.  A focus on building a diversity organization culture will ensure that the organization attracts and retains top talent.When a leader recognizes the importance of diversity, the workforce is influenced and eventually builds cultural dexterity. Cultural dexterity allows the workforce to connect across backgrounds, myriad areas and focuses on the unique contribution of each member of the organization. It’s challenging to be a leader without a minimum level of cultural dexterity. Leaders also need to make sure they create a culture where every individual is valued for their unique contributions.

With a cross-functional team a leader may have representatives from a wide array of specialties operations, accounting, finance, human resources, legal and each person has his or her own perspective and issues. Diversity ensures cross-cultural teams to be highly effective.  Through cross functionality, Organizations differentiate processes, people, and structure to maximize efficiency. People specialize to develop expertise as they institutionalize rules, so they do not re-invent the wheel. They tighten the structure to minimize redundancy and to hold people accountable for doing their jobs and following the rules. Establishing organizational boundaries creates the accountability focus, and control necessary to maximize efficiency it defines the way we do things around here.

Getting people to work across organizational boundaries increase their performance in key areas such as decision making, planning, conflict resolution, and problem-solving.  Cross-functionality increases the ability to do the right things for the organization. In making tradeoffs between cost, quality and cycle time, for example, cross-functional teamwork gets people to go beyond what is right for their function and do what is right for the business. Leaders are charged with the responsibility of controlling and directing team members and. Therefore, their roles are significant in cross-functional teams. They must transform a variety of inputs into one final input.

Programs and policies

The thing that leaders can do to tackle the challenge of diversity is by implementing diversity programs.  Programs ensure that diversity is integrated into all of the processes of the organization.  This way, diversity becomes a lens for looking at, recognizing, developing, and enhancing talent. For example, during recruitment, an organization can educate all its recruiters about how to carry out their recruitment in respect to diversity of the population they recruit.  It is the role of a team leader to institute rules and policies to provide direction to the team towards fulfilling its goals. The leader’s role also involves helping the group understand the objective of the team in addition to creating a method to reaching them.  Members of the team should be fully aware of their roles and responsibilities in the group. A leader should also administer punishment to team members who fail to comply with the set rules.  A team leader also plays the role of motivating team members towards meeting the goals.  (Thomas, 2012)

He should also be a mentor to team members. Team members should be able to benefit from team leaders talent and mentorship. After all, credit goes to the leader in case his team performs well. The team member should have the freedom to walk up to their mentor whenever they are unable to take decisions on their own or be able to fall back on their leader anytime without the fear of getting rebuked. Another role of a leader is taking the initiative of bringing the team members closer.  Team leaders should also control members of the team to ensure that they do not lose focus and direction. Teamwork is nurtured and developed with a cooperative effort between the leader and the group.  The understanding by the leader regarding their role is an important aspect of team building. When the leader performs their roles, properly teams become efficient and play their roles properly. The first role of a leader involves resolving conflicts. Resolving internal group conflicts between individuals In a group facilitates team development in cases where conflict is threatening or damaging. The leader should monitor and determine when to step in and what method to apply in resolving the conflict.


Adra, S. F., & Fleming, P. J. (2011). Diversity management in evolutionary many-objective optimization. Evolutionary Computation, IEEE Transactions on, 15(2), 183-195.

Apple Inc (2015) About Us: Mission and Vision statement

Cadotte, M. W. (2011). The new diversity: management gains through insights into the functional diversity of communities. Journal of Applied Ecology, 48(5), 1067-1069.

Munby, S. (2008). Building the perfect team: leadership in the twenty-first century. Education Review, 21(1), 31-38.

Thomas, K. M. (Ed.). (2012). Diversity resistance in organizations. Psychology Press. Daft, R. (2014). The leadership experience. Cengage Learning.

Yang, Y., & Konrad, A. M. (2011). Diversity management practices: Implications. Group & Organization Management, 36(1), 6-38.

Sherry Roberts is the author of this paper. A senior editor at MeldaResearch.Com in assignment writing services if you need a similar paper you can place your order from essay writing services.

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Winnie Melda

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Winnie Melda
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