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Leadership in Management, Essay Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1778

Essay

Overview

MTV Networks is a company in the media industry.  This includes not only MTV or Music Television, but also a gamut of other media outlets ranging from cable television to internet presence for music, movies, television shows and special interest segments of entertainment.  Judy McGrath is the chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of MTV Networks.  As CEO, her control spans over thirty one different business units, each accounting for a media outlet of MTV Networks.  As with any company, the ability to predict the needs of the customer and to provide that need is always in flux.  This is especially true when it comes to providing entertainment in the media industry.  Judy McGrath’s challenge is to lead MTV Networks through the digital transformation and transform itself on a continual basis to remain relevant to the audience.  The challenge is to continually provide the end product the customer wants, when they want it and how they want to receive the entertainment.  What makes this challenge particularly difficult is that Judy McGrath must use her leadership, ingenuity and foresight to either predict what the consumer wants or drive the demand by providing new media and formats.

Challenge

The challenge to provide content for MTV Networks in the digital evolution of media is the fact that it is ever changing and needs a leader with not only the ability to understand what the customer wants but also how the customer wants to receive it.  Judy McGrath knows that she cannot perform the functions of running the business internally, scout new talent, drive innovation, perform the daily tasks to come up with new and creative ideas as well as construct a strategic vision to increase shareholder wealth.  Judy McGrath is seen as a model employee not only within her company but throughout the industry as noted in her many accolades and distinctions noted in the text.  McGrath drives to understand and realize the potential from her interactions with business partners and up and coming artists throughout the industry.  She adapts herself to become fully immersed in the culture of the particular event so that she can understand and build her company.  McGrath also builds her company to adapt and foresee opportunities by empowering her employees to innovate and be inclusive of one another.

Building the Solution

McGrath has built an environment where each employee is empowered to speak up and present ideas without the fear of repercussions or admonishment.  McGrath understands that to remain at the forefront of the entertainment wave it is imperative to have as many eyes and ears open to the world as possible to view the up and coming trends. While McGrath has the employees internally level set on innovation and creativity she also understands that every area has a center of excellence and a special niche in the market.  McGrath is facing the challenge of the fluid landscape of the digital environment by piecing together through acquisition, startups and partnerships as if she were weaving together a seamless tapestry that comes together as one.  She is an affluent leader that understands that it takes a team to keep the business prosperous and she leads by example through proposing new ways of solving old problems and developing strategic visions that help guide her employees down the path of success.

Complacency

While McGrath strives for her employees to come up with creative ideas to solution problems there must also have an element of execution (Jones and George 2011).  Follow through and completion of projects is what sets McGrath apart from the competition.  Taking a big idea such as collaboration between Microsoft and MTV to form URGE could not be completed if the vision in the minds of the executives did not reach the audience.  She understood that the media was moving away from physical ownership to digital ownership and in order to provide the service she knew that Microsoft held the expertise to provide that media vessel to her customers.  Both follow-through and execution play an important role in another key aspect of how McGrath is facing the challenges of the digital evolution.  She knows that complacency can kill any hope of success.  She addresses this issue by always trying to take the next step forward and not resting on the success of her past accomplishments.  While there is time for celebration, the industry is moving at such a high rate of speed even the most successful CEO’s can fall behind if they become complacent.

Solution to the Challenge

To solve the challenges facing Judy McGrath she focuses on three different areas.  The first area is empowering her employees to come up with creative and innovative solutions to doing business.  In the media industry, the ability to foresee the consumer’s demand is a critical skill set and by allowing the broadest spectrum of people to go out and pull in as much information to solution that problem the better opportunity for success McGrath is creating.  Empowerment, collaboration and a work environment conducive to free exchange of ideas facilitate the McGrath’s goals and objectives.  The next area that McGrath focuses on to solution the challenge is by not only doing all of the work within the MTV Networks environment but leveraging external sources for expertise and abilities.  She understands that MTV Networks are not the experts at creating technological means to move media as quickly and as reliably as possible.  In this instance she understood that consumers wanted music instantaneously and from a broad spectrum so she built a collaborative effort between Microsoft and MTV.  Through collaborations, partnerships and acquisitions she expands the abilities of MTV Networks as a whole to remain on top of the ever changing media industry.  The third area McGrath focuses on to provide a solution to the challenge is maintaining a ready state of change.  Never resting on her laurels and not allowing complacency to set in keeps the company in motion.  She makes sure that her company is always moving forward to create new opportunities, fill voids in the market or drive consumers to new innovations MTV Networks owns.

Leading to Drive Solutions

Judy McGrath utilizes “Leading” in regard to the four managerial tasks.  While she crosses all four spectrums of the task through planning, organizing, leading and controlling, in this challenge she is leading her employees to drive solutions.  Most importantly she is driving her employees through the empowerment of making the future of the company.  Empowerment of the employees takes a large amount of trust by leadership.  Empowerment of the employees gives each employee the ability to make decisions at each level of the organization.  As with any ability to make decisions this also means that each level that is making the decision would ultimately be held accountable for those decisions.  This could lead to a situation where leadership thinks they are empowering their employees to make decisions but in reality they may not have the environment to do so.  McGrath has created a culture where brainstorming, unorthodox thinking and solutions built at the lowest possible level are a situational normality.  McGrath used her leadership to build the empowerment abilities of her employees by creating a medium for transferring ideas to solutions without the fear of ultimate failure.  She leads by example with her energy and inclusive behavior.  She utilizes inclusiveness to bring the teams together so that they are not weary of bringing forth ideas.  Inclusiveness promotes the empowerment of the employees.

Current Events of MTV Networks and other Perceptions of McGrath

The article’s name is “Judy Mcgrath out at MTV networks.”

The citation information for finding this article is  Levine, D.M., (2011). “Judy Mcgrath out at MTV networks”. Retrieved from: http://www.adweek.com/news/television/judy-mcgrath-out-mtv-networks-131370. Aug 01, 2012.

In the article by D.M. Levine discusses the end of Judy McGrath’s tenure at MTV Networks.  As of May 2011, McGrath announced she was stepping down and that her position would not be filled after her departure (Levine 2011).  Although reading the article the tone and implications of the move made it sound that her position was no longer needed due to the ever expanding nature of MTV Networks.  Leadership stated that after her departure that “Viacom (parent of MTV Networks) would not miss a beat and would flourish” (Levine 2011).  The units that were under McGrath will remain with the same leadership structure that she implemented during her tenure as CEO of MTV Networks.  McGrath’s contract had not expired as the CEO of MTV Networks and she stepped down on her own.  This was potentially a business decision prior to realignment of responsibilities throughout the corporation.  The article goes on to mention McGrath’s motivation and business philosophy regarding discovery, innovation, creativity and reinvention.  She had an extremely successful run as a business leader for MTV and its affiliates.  She led change and creation of new and innovative media outlets and programs.  Her philosophy on innovation and empowerment is what ultimately gave her the ability to choose to step down as opposed to being pushed out(Jones and George 2011).

Leadership Style and Results

McGrath promoted empowerment and creating the ability to make decisions at the appropriate leadership and employee level.  As she built the conglomerate known as MTV Networks, she empowered the employees to lead.  She built the foundation to ultimately alleviate the need for a formal upper management structure.  This is a double edged sword when it comes to leading an organization.  The ultimate goal is to build a self-sufficient and efficient team that can run and make correct decisions on their own but also maintain a leadership role in the organization.

Thoughts

What happened in McGrath’s situation is that her solution to the challenge of building an empowered team that could provide the right answers at the right time came to fruition.  She built the solution through an iterative process following the traditional team building approach in which the team is brought together and faces multiple obstacles all the while becoming more proficient and gaining expertise in their areas of responsibility.  She built and put the right people in the right places that ultimately lead to the demise of her position in the corporation.  On one hand her solution to the manager’s challenge was ultimately successful because the digital evolution required empowerment of the employees and the ability to change direction, remain agile and influence the market by building the right team for the changes.  The ultimate goal was to do the right thing for the business to remain successful in the industry and not become stagnant and complacent in past successes.  McGrath created the environment to accomplish those objectives.

References

Jones, Gareth R, and Jennifer M George. Essentials Of Contemporary Management. 7th ed. new york, ny: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2011.

Levine, D.M., (2011). “Judy Mcgrath out at MTV networks”. Retrieved from: http://www.adweek.com/news/television/judy-mcgrath-out-mtv-networks-131370. Aug 01, 2012.

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