Introduction

China Life Insurance Company is the biggest insurer in the republic of China, appointed Yang Mingsheng was appointed as the chairman after replacing Yuan Li, who resigned as chairman and executive director. Yang is a former vice chair of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission. He was a man charged with a lot of expertise in the area of management. The Leadership offered by Yang Mingsheng revolves around capabilities characterized by a lot of dedication. Yang Mingsheng has purely ingrained leadership characteristics. He holds a sure magnetism on top of the poise to permit them to be planned as a role model for other people to follow. Leadership competencies closely relate to the possession of the requisite skills and knowledge useful in extending services as demanded by any profession. Yang Mingsheng has in the past helped in empowering employees manage their individual careers. This is useful in promoting active development and planning. Leadership aids in the creation of a compelling future, inspiring people, learning and sharing of knowledge, demonstration of passion to consumers and in the delivery of outstanding performance (Peter 2009).

Entrepreneurial leadership by Yang Mingsheng involves optimizing risks, innovating to acquire the advantages of opportunities that present themselves, managing change to the benefit of the organization and taking a personal responsibility. Yang Mingsheng is an individual who is enterprising and who builds capital through risk or initiative. He is influential since he helps others accomplish and direct activities within the organization, in such a way that they become more cohesive and coherent. Yang Mingsheng has the ability to influence others to accomplish goals and objectives of China Life Insurance Company. For any organization to succeed, it requires an effective leader who has the ability to steer it to the right direction.

Leadership is not about position, title or power that one holds in the organization. Instead, the most influential leader in the organization is one with the ability to influence others to pursue and achieve the objectives of that organization. This means that, such a leader is quite inspirational and acts as a role model to other people in the organization. China Life Insurance Company chairman has the ability to organize people to achieve their goals. This study is in reference to the chief executive officer of China Life Insurance Company.

Analysis of Yang Mingsheng leadership approach

In Leadership & Power, it means corruption for some people while for others they feel more successful when in power. Others have no interest in power at all. John French and Bertram Raven identified five bases of power in 1960’s through a study on power in leadership. This study shows how different types of power affect leadership abilities and accomplishment in a leadership role.

Yang Mingsheng‘s power is legitimate. This power comes from having a position as the chairman of China Life Insurance Company. He is the superior and a key affiliate of a management team. The power is manifested when the employees in the organization recognize the influence of the individual. For example, in China Life Insurance Company legitimate power is recognized by the influence of the CEO who determines the overall course of the business and the resource requirements of the organization.

Coercive power is conveyed through fear of being demoted, losing one’s job, having key projects taken away, receiving a poor performance review, among others. It is achieved through menacing others. For example, the chief executive officer threatening the division managers to meet the organization set goals on their divisions or get replaced. This is not the case for Referent power which comes from being esteemed and trusted. People can gain this power when others trust and esteem what they do and how they handle situations. For instance, the China Life Insurance Company CEO, always ensures that the employees are treated reasonably; hence he is highly esteemed.

The chairman of China Life Insurance Company has type of expert power which he has earned from others’ skills, knowledge or experiences. On gaining experience and skills in a particular area, expert power consequently develops and is used to get others meet their goals. For example, having worked in a similar position for many years, Yang Mingsheng, the CEO of China Life Insurance Company is an expert at solving particularly challenging problems to ensure that the company stays on track. He applies the situational leadership approach based on the assumption that each booming leadership is a bit different and involves a unique blend of leaders, followers, and leadership situations.  This implies that, successful leadership is a function of the leader, follower, and the leadership situation. These components have to complement others to achieve successful leadership.

Boss Centered vs. Employee centered leadership

The Tannenbaum and Schmidt's model of leadership behavior dwells on decision making.  It presents leadership behavior where leaders make decisions in relation to their managerial influence and the freedom available to subordinates. On the right side of the model is a leader who is democratic and equal with followers in the problem-solving group. This is the employee centered leadership. Using the China Life Insurance Company example, it is the situation where the CEO is democratic and considers the employees in decision making. The extreme left side of the model describes an autocratic leader who does not allow the followers an opportunity to participate openly in the decision-making process. This is a boss centered leadership where decision making is centered on the leader.

As the chief executive officer of China Life Insurance Company, Yang Mingsheng has the power to influence his team members. For him to have been an effective leader, it all depended on how he uses the power that his office vests in him. For his case; legitimate, reward and coercive powers were all at his disposal. It was upon him to apply them with the main goal of achieving results. He decided that he would endeavor to use legitimate power to a lower extent and instead embrace reward power and also forget the existent of coercive power. This has enhanced development of a strong bond between him and his team members. It is the strong bond that saw him win the trust of the employers which as noted earlier is an impetus to success (Burns, 1978).

Yang Mingsheng’s Transformational leadership

Transformational leadership theory consists of two key factors: contingent reward and management-by-exception (active). According to Weth, (2007), contingent rewards allow leaders to clarify expectations, make promises, negotiate, and reward for successful performance. Management-by-exception (active) is when leaders interact with subordinates when subordinates deviate from performance goals. Through active monitoring of subordinates’ performance, leaders proactively ensure that errors or performance decline is detected early and negated, which demonstrates a mistake-avoidance behavior.

With regard to transformational leadership, the C.E.O, Yang Mingsheng is incredibly proactive in motivating the subordinates. He has constantly created learning opportunities through the use of workshops and seminars in order to enhance problem solving skills among employees. Since the company headed by Yang Mingsheng was undergoing transformation, there was a need for leaders to possess qualities deemed necessary for effective leadership and management. The leaders are innovative, ethical, flexible, passionate, and responsive to internal and external organizational changes and challenges (Lewis et.al 2006). Such transformational leadership qualities are vital in stimulating organizational commitment and fostering a shared vision for organizational change. This is through increased innovation, creativity, strategic decision making, and increased organizational commitment. Transformational leaders like Yang Mingsheng strive to lead subordinates to perform above standard organizational performance standards, as well as their own personal standards (Denhardt & Campbell, 2006). At the company, it is not the transformational leader’s spoken or written words that facilitate positive organizational outcomes; it is the leader’s action.

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