Leadership and Total Quality Management

Leadership is a powerful concept that makes individuals and companies successful. Various managerial models, styles, and theories can be considered by those who want to engage others. This paper begins by listing and describing the major characteristics of a good leader. The discussion goes further to describe the major Total Quality Management (TQM) principles. The 14 tenets of TQM will also be identified in this paper. Several aspects such as “motivation by empowerment” and democratic leadership will be analyzed.

Characteristics of a Good Leader

Successful leaders are guided by various characteristics, skills, and philosophies. Each of these strengths can be applied differently depending on the targeted outcome and the existing situation. There are specific qualities that will make individuals victorious in their leadership roles. The first one is that of integrity. Good managers are honest and always do what is right. They outline and guide others to uphold the best values and existing codes of ethics (Veliu, Manxhari, Demiri, & Lahaj, 2017). The second attribute is confidence. This aspect empowers leaders to remain assertive, respect others, and engage their followers. The ability to inspire others is the third characteristic. The possession of this quality encourages others to address challenges and pursue intended goals.

Competent leaders are also good communicators. This fourth characteristic means that competent managers listen attentively, share a vision, and motivate their followers. The fifth quality is that of decision-making. Effective leaders are futuristic and make decisions that can deliver positive results. The ability to empower and the delegate is the sixth characteristic. This quality empowers leaders to assign tasks, offer resources, and identify incentives that can add value. Creativity (or innovation) is the seventh ability that empowers leaders to emerge successfully (Novo, Landis, & Haley, 2017). Finally, competent or good leaders must be able to apply the Total Quality Management (TQM) concept in their departments.

Total Quality Management (TQM) Principles

Total Quality Management (TQM) is a model that is applied in organizations to improve products, processes, and services continuously in an attempt to exceed the demands of the targeted customers and stakeholders (Chesser & Cullen, 2018). This philosophy has five principles that must be taken seriously. The first one is producing quality. This means that every activity undertaken should deliver quality services or products. Departments must coordinate to minimize wastes and failures. The second principle is customer focus. Operations and products associated with a given company should be able to meet the diverse needs of different customers.

A strategic focus on continuous improvement is the third principle. The meaning is that processes must be designed in such a way that quality services or products are available to every consumer. The fourth one is continuous improvement (Chesser & Cullen, 2018). This means that new methods and approaches must always be introduced to increase efficiency and improve customer satisfaction. The final principle is promoting teamwork and mutual respect. The purpose of this guideline is to create a positive culture whereby excellence is pursued.

Tenets of TQM

Companies and entrepreneurs who want to benefit from the TQM concept must consider each of the fourteen tenets. The first one is to create room for improving services and products. When there is a need for improvement, new ideas will emerge and eventually deliver quality to the end-user. The second one is that “management must take the leadership role in promoting change” (Chesser & Cullen, 2018, p. 158). The intended improvement or change is what this concept informs about. The third tenet is terminating any form of dependence on continuous inspection. This practice is intended to achieve quality results. The fourth one is to minimize costs by collaborating with one supplier. The fifth tenet is improving production and planning processes. Constant improvement will deliver superior approaches or practices (Veliu et al., 2017). The sixth attribute is instituting “training on the job” (Chesser & Cullen, 2018, p. 159). This means that workers will acquire new skills and deliver quality results. The seventh tenet is instituting and adopting appropriate leadership styles.

The eighth aspect is driving change without fear. The ninth one is breaking every barrier between leaders and their followers. This approach will promote teamwork and promote decision-making. The tenth tenet is eliminating existing exhortations and slogans. The new focus should be on the effectiveness of the workers. The eleventh one is eliminating numerical goals since they can affect management and the workforce. The twelfth approach is minimizing barriers that affect performance. The next tenet is implementing powerful programs for self-improvement. Finally, every individual must be ready to promote transformation in the targeted organization.

Motivation by Empowerment

The term “motivation by empowerment” is founded on the notion that a contented individual will be willing to work hard and deliver positive results. Skilled leaders can use this model to provide the right opportunities to their followers or workers. The situation will make it easier for them to express embrace their duties. Consequently, such individuals will be willing to make appropriate decisions, liaise with others, and address various challenges affecting them. Effective motivation, according to this term, revolves around the power of mentoring (Novo et al., 2017). Managers can use their competencies to develop and coach their followers. Consequently, such individuals will be ready to engage in innovative practices and pursue every outlined objective. This approach is suitable since it gives employees autonomy, thereby being in a position to exhibit most of the TQM principles and tenets described above.

Leadership Style

From the above discussion, it is evident that a democratic leadership approach will result in positive results. A person who uses this model will possess the above characteristics (Nanjundeswaraswamy & Swamy, 2014). Such an individual should embrace the power of “motivation by empowerment” to deliver positive results. Successful leaders such as Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Steve Jobs of Apple embraced these aspects to emerge successfully. They engaged their followers, made timely decisions, and shared vision with every employee. Consequently, they were able to achieve their potential within a short period.

Leaders who want to succeed must always be ready to listen to others, encourage them to solve conflicts and engage in continuous learning. This practice can result in the acquisition of superior concepts and ideas for leading their companies. Concepts such as TQM should also be taken seriously to deliver positive results (Nanjundeswaraswamy & Swamy, 2014). Effective communication, listening, critical thinking must be practiced by individuals who want to become successful leaders.


The above discussion has revealed that leadership is a complex practice that must be pursued diligently if positive results are to be realized. Good leaders should pursue (or possess) competencies such as problem-solving, decision-making, integrity, and creativity. The concept of TQM can also be considered to add value to business operations and meet the needs of customers. Individuals who want to become successful leaders must, therefore, embrace the power of democratic leadership.


Chesser, J. W., & Cullen, N. C. (2018). The world of culinary management: Leadership and development of human resources (6th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.

Nanjundeswaraswamy, T. S., & Swamy, D. R. (2014). Leadership styles. Advances in Management, 7(2), 57-62. Web.

Novo, B., Landis, E. A., & Haley, M. L. (2017). Leadership and its role in the success of project management. Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, 14(1), 73-78. Web.

Veliu, L., Manxhari, M., Demiri, V., & Lahaj, L. (2017). The influence of leadership styles on employee’s performance. Vadyba Journal of Management, 31(2), 59-69. Web.