The Cosmetics Queen and the Software King refer to the great and successful business gurus May Kay Ash and Bill Gates. Each of these business personalities proved how diverse and dynamic leadership can be. A leader is a person who is able to motivate people toward a certain goal. Bill Gates and Mary Kay use very different leadership method to achieve their goals. Using Fiedler Contingency Model Bill and Mary can be analyzed efficiently enabling us to compare and contrast their leadership styles. The contingency model considers the LPC (least preferred co worker) and situation control (Singh, 2009).
The LPC test is a scale that is used to test a leader’s human relations orientation against their task orientation. A high LPC indicates that the leader leans more towards interpersonal relations; this is because in the test the leader is made to assess his or her least favorable worker. The responses are graded and positive things said result in a high score. Mary Kay was a leader with an extremely high LPC she cared more about the welfare of her employees than business .She had interpersonal relationships with her workers and spends time and other resources to further this. Her workforce, who mainly consists of women made her mission to create good business opportunities for women. She went the extra mile to ensure that her staff had a spiritual life and those they new God. Her employees were made to understand that the order of priorities to her was; God, families then work (Kennedy, 1997).
Bill Gates also has a lower LPC test score compared to Mary Kay this is because he is more geared towards task orientation. His main objectives are task focused; he wants things done his way. He is interested in innovation and systems advancement. He is concerned about his employees’ welfare but it is not a major objective of company, this is in contrast to Mary Kay Cosmetics.
Situational control is another parameter that gauges leaders under the contingency theory. Bill Gates has a high situational control this is because of the nature of his work and his personality. Bill Gates who in spite of his large company insists on being involved and aware of each major project the company is undertaking. Because of this he has higher situational control than Mary Kay (Cohen & Drucker, 2008).
Though these two successful business personalities are very different they are also very similar as all leaders are. Bill Gates and Mary Kay started their companies from the ground; they are both greatly ambitious, self driven and industrious individuals. The difference in leadership styles of the two can be explained by the fact that their companies are in two completely different fields. Their leadership styles can also be seen as strategy for making it big as they have done (Nahavandi, 2006).
I personally would prefer to work for the Cosmetics Queen because of her company great regard for family and spirituality which are very important to me.