Anda di halaman 1dari 13


Leadership paper -Frank Lowly



Executive Summary

Leadership plays an integral role in the modern organizations. In the absence of

effective leadership, a business cannot work efficiently. The organization is built with an

intent of achieving set objective through the human capital. It is important to control and

offer direction to the workforce in order to achieve the set goals. The intent of this paper is to

examine the leadership of Frank Lowy who is the Chairman of Westfield Group and other

organizations. The papers examine his leadership style, traits and suggest better leadership to

be utilized. Accordingly, the prosperity of Lowy can be attributed to his business-mindedness

and entrepreneurship as well a strong character that many credits to his Jewish background.

He seems to follow Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory of offering more rewards to

highly talented workers who offer superior results. Furthermore, his portrays transactional

leadership styles that can hinder creativity. To improve his leadership, Frank should apply

transformation style that is inspiring, motivation, visionary and mores the organisation and

followers ahead.

Frank Lowy

Frank Lowy is a heavy-weight in the business world. He is an Australian-Israeli

businessman who is ranked highly by BRW Rich ratings (Margo, Lowy & Westfield

Holdings 2000). Accordingly to 2010 ratings, he was ranked as the richest man in Australia.

His wealth runs into billions, and by 2011, the business magnate fortune indicated that his

richness was more than $1.75 billion (Mayne & Power, 2013). In 2016, Frank`s assessed net

worth was A$8.26 billion (Bonanno, 2016). Thus, was ranked third in Australia for richness.

Frank was born in 1930 in the Czech Republic, but he has made a business impact across,

Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the United States based on the phenomenal

shopping centers. In 1959, Lowy opened his first mall in Blacktown which is located in

Sydney with John Saunders, a business partner. Saunders was a Hungarian immigrant who

met with Lowy in 1953 (Bonanno, 2016). Together, they established Westfield Group, and by

the year 1977, the two had expanded their business operations into the United States market.

They were listed on the Stock Exchange of Australian in 2004. Accordingly, the prosperity of

Lowy can be attributed to his business-mindedness and entrepreneurship as well a strong

character that many credits to his Jewish background (Margo, Lowy & Westfield Holdings


Frank Lowy and Leadership

Leadership involves offering direction, motivating people and implementing plans

that ensure the organizational accomplishes the set goals. Various leadership styles have been

proposed by various pundits. Luna (2015) argues that the leader`s intellectual ability assists in

conceptualizing solutions and acquiring knowledge to a given job. The leaders influence the

success of their organization. As mention above, there are several leadership styles including

Authoritarian, democratic, laissez-faire, transactional leaders, transformational and

charismatic leadership. The authoritarian leaders stress on the division of the followers and

leaders. The autocratic leaders usually make a decision without seeking information or views

from the members even when their opinions or inputs can be very beneficial (Hughes, 2015).

This leadership is appropriate when decision ought to be made rapidly with no need for

agreement. Nonetheless, the style is known to be demoralizing. The democratic leaders may

make the final decisions, but they involve the people around them in the decision-making

process. Democrats encourage creativity and individuals are highly engaged in the decisions

and work (Voon et al., 2011). The Laissez-faire leaders offer significant freedom to the

followers. The members determine how the work will be done and the deadlines. For the

leaders, they offer resources and support where required. Otherwise, their involvement is

minimal. Another form of leadership style involves transformational leadership. These

leaders are characterized by high emotional intelligence and integrity. The transformational

leaders motivate individual by building a shared vision of the organization`s future. They

communicate effectively and show empathy and humility with care for others.

Another form of leadership involves bureaucratic leader who follows robust and

rigorous rules to make sure individuals follow procedures (Limsila & Ogunlana, 2008). This

leadership is only effective when managing people working in areas that have safety risks

(like dangerous heights, machinery, and toxic substances). Bureaucracy is useful for

managing a workforce that undertakes routine tasks (Voon et al., 2011). Also, Charismatic

leadership is commonly applied today in many organization. Limsila and Ogunlana (2008)

argue that charismatic leadership is similar to transformational leadership since it attempts to

inspire and motivate the members. Nonetheless, the variation lies in the intent of inspiration

and motivation. The transformational leaders desire to transform the organization and teams

but the charisma focus on their own ambitions. They do not want to change anything at the

end. Finally, we examine transactional leadership which is based on the assumption that

members will obey their leaders after accepting the job (Voon et al., 2011, p.24-32).

Transaction entails the company paying the employees in return for the time, efforts, work

done and compliance. The leaders can push team members if they believe their work is not

meeting the appropriate standards.

A deep examination Frank Lowy shows that he follows Leader-Member Exchange

(LMX) Theory. LMX model is based on leaders who focus on two-way relationship between

the followers and the leader (Hughes, 2015). The leaders usually develop an exchange with

their subordinate. The quality of the leader-follower exchange determines the subordinates

access to resources, responsibility, and decision. Frank Lowy seems to select the best

members and makes offers or rewards that they cannot resist. The leader`s action is not

similar to all members. Those who are highly talented and deliver superior results are more

respected and high ranking in the organisation. The relation to the followers is transactional

based and to some extent leader. As a transactional leader, he focuses on the results the

organization will obtain and conforms to the existing organizational as well as measures the

success of the organization (Pieterse et al., 2010, p.616). On the other hand, Lowy

demonstrates transformational leadership through his ability to grow his sons to take over the

leadership of the Westfield Group after he took a back seat as the chairman while they raise to

be the executives of the company. He shares with them the vision and nurtures them to be the

future leaders of the organization. Back to transactional leadership, Frank has had formal

authority and a big position in the organization since it was founded. He was the Executive

Chairman of the organization for a long time. Transactional leadership focuses on

maintaining a routine of a company by managing the individual performance while

facilitating group performance. As an owner of a football club and Westfield Group, he

believes that things need to be done in a specific way and above other organizations.

Transactional also called managerial leadership concentrates on organizing working,

supervision, and performance (Emery & Barker, 2007, p.77). Unlike the transformational

leadership, transactional leaders do not want to change the future of the people they are

governing. They only want the best for the organization and themselves. He applied a model

that pays attention to the followers to establish whether they are deviating from the norms or

any errors are occurring.

The transactional leaders set goals, focus on increasing efficiency and establish

standards that help the workers meet goals. Pieterse et al. (2010) note that Lowy has

articulated the goals of the Westfield Group even if he has left his sons in charge. Thus, he

has articulated what the organization expects from the workforce and how they will be

compensated or rewarded in case their meet their goals. The organization offers feedback

regarding the performance. In the football club where Frank is one of the owners, they focus

on increasing the efficiency and making more money. This is similar to transactional leaders

who establish procedures and routines with a focus on achieving efficiency. They are

concerned with employees following the existing regulations. As a rich entrepreneur, Lowy

does not want employees who will make him lose money. Workers who make him more

money and are highly creative are rewarded handsomely. As such, the organization

employees rewards and punishment in pushing its agendas.

Emery and Barker (2007) indicate that transactional leadership in the context of

Maslow`s hierarchy of needs theory of motivation works at the basic levels of satisfaction

whereby the leaders concentrate on the lower level of needs. The leaders employ the

exchange model whereby the rewards are offered for a positive outcome or good works. This

leadership calls for punishment for poor work performance or negative results until they

correct the poor performance. One approach utilized by the transactional leader to

concentrate on the lower level of needs includes stressing particular task performance. The

transactional leadership is effective in ensuring specific projects are accomplished by

managing every portion of the project individually. Spinelli (2006) asserts that transactional

leadership is concerned with the organizational process but not forward thinking. Frank is

seen to offer contingent rewards (contingent positive reinforcement) including praising

workers for work well-done or accomplishing ahead of time a given projects.

Spinelli (2006) examines the advantages and disadvantages of transactional

leadership. One benefit of transactional leadership is that it can help an organization

accomplish short-term objectives rapidly. The style rewards individuals who are motivated to

achieve set goals and follow instruction. Therefore, it reinforces positive behavior.

Accordingly, it offers an unambiguous organizational structure for companies that undertake

repetitive or routine work thus a reproducible workplace (Emery & Barker, 2007). The

organization clearly defines the rewards and penalties for the workforce in case a given

outcome is achieved. This is the case at Westfield Group where workers are offered yearly

bonuses for meeting specific objectives. Nonetheless, transactional leadership is not very

motivating since it considers the low level of needs. The style utilizes perks, bonuses, and

money in rewards the workers while neglecting other important issues of motivation

including work environment and non-monetary rewards (Spinelli, 2006). The leadership

limits creative since clear goals or objectives have been set. Furthermore, they do not reward

personal initiative. Transactional leadership is best suited for multinational organizations such

as Westfield Group where employees speak different languages (Emery & Barker, 2007).

Once the requirements are learned by the employees and the structure is put in place, it is

very easy for the workers to accomplish their responsibility effectively. The transactional

training is easy to learn and apply across the organization.

Leadership traits of Frank Lowy

One of the outstanding leadership qualities of Lowy involves being a visionary. Since

he was young, he had a vision of establishing a big company and becoming an outstanding

entrepreneur. In establishing Westfield Group, Frank clearly sets the objectives and provides

direction to the followers (Hughes, 2015). He sees what can be and works toward it to

achieve his dream. He turns his ideas into reality. Frank is a decisive leader who knows hard

decisions must be made to ensure the organization withstands trying times. He knows that he

cannot impress every person, but he is also aware that decision must be made (Nahavandi,

2016). While he seeks opinions from the workers, he understands that it is important to avoid

sideshows. Confidence runs through the blood of Lowy Frank. Since he was born, he does

not seem to fear people around him. He takes his family and hides them when his father does

not return home. He helps his mother and brother cross the borders and move away from the

war-stricken country where Nazis want to kill every person (Hughes, 2015). His confidence is

further seen in the way he develops his business. Thus, he instills confidence in his followers

that he can beat his competitors and become one of the best companies even in the world.

To some extent, Frank is an inspirational leader who motivates and nurture people

around him. He nurtures his sons on leadership and allows them to grow with role and

responsibility to take up the company`s leadership after he steps down (Germain, 2012).

Frank understands the importance of delegation. Since he is aging, he decided to take a back

seat in business by stepping down as Westfield`s executive chairman. However, he keeps a

keen eye on his businesses. Peter and Steven who are his sons have taken up the role of being

the Chief Executives and Lowy is just a Chairman. He assesses the people who can take up

after him and trains them then gives them the responsibility of being the executive. This

allows Lowy to focus his energy elsewhere while the young and energetic sons take

leadership in the organization.

Frank has a strong passion. This is seen in the way he crosses boundaries to ensure he

finds the best place to do business (Northouse, 2012). He loves what he does and more

especially his business. No matter how much Westfield Group becomes successfully, Lowy

wants to make it even better by seeking for ways of expanding his business. He is never

satisfied by small success but rather relentlessly pushes to achieve even bigger returns

(Nahavandi, 2016). It also takes patience to be in the position where Lowy has reached. The

path to his success was not easy. He is bold in taking steps against the order. He truly believes

that one day he will be a big person even if other people doubt his capability at first. His

shows open-mindedness as a get visionary with superior flexibility and innovation.

Frank has excessively determined. Frank`s early years saw him undergo a tough life.

As a young man, he moved around often Gonski & Niesche, 2016). When war broke out in

Europe and his father wanted to rescue them, he was killed by the Nazis. Lowy and his

siblings remain in hiding and live in a ghetto where they fight for survival. Frank never gives

up. This becomes part of the reasons why Lowy is determined in live after arriving in

Australia with no possessions and did not understand the English language. He is also loving

and compassionate Gonski & Niesche, 2016). He gives back to the society through

philanthropy. Lowly was appointed as the Companion of the Australian Order in the year

2000 for his excellent services of retail expansion in the Australia and his involvement in

cultural and social programs. In 2002, Frank was named as the Australia`s number one

philanthropist. Furthermore, in 2008 Lowly was commemorated on the postage stamp

alongside other Philanthropists from Australia.

Improving the leadership

The majority of the leadership skills depicted by Frank are transactional based. He

expects the followers to be compliant through the use of rewards or punishments. Therefore,

the leader does not intend to change the followers or improve the future. Lowy aims at

eliciting the desired behavior by using through external motivation. The relationships

between the workers at Westfield Group and the management is transactional based. Since

transactional leadership does not intend to transform workers, they tend to be highly resistant.

The style discourages independent thinking and innovativeness of the workforces. This is

because the independent thoughts or risky actions are avoided or frowned upon by the

leaders. Thus, there is constraint thinking making people be comfortable where they are. I

suggest the use of a different approach or style of leadership that will make Westfield Group

at a better place.

While Frank demonstrates some form of transformational leadership, it is not enough.

All his leadership should be based on transformational approach. As mentioned earlier,

transformational involves the process whereby the leaders and the followers will raise one

another higher in motivation and morality (Bass & Riggio, 2006). It involves a model of clear

goals, encouraging workers, ensuring integrity, providing support and recognition, inspiring

the workers to reach the impracticable, and leaders looking beyond self-interest. Lowy should

be a transformer who creates an inspiring leader for the future of Westfield Group and

motivates the entire organization towards buying into the vision and delivering it. He vision

should not be narrow and based only on making profit. However, Frank should consider the

needs of other people in the organization. It is important to also build strong and trustworthy

relationships with the workforce (Gumusluoglu & Ilsev, 2009). As a leader, Frank should

identify what motivates people and whom to improve performance. Workers should have a

sense of identity but not be utilized as tools for achieving the strategic goals of the

organization (Hughes, 2015). The culture of the organization should stress on the importance

of collective identity but not just make money for the family of Lowy Frank.


Leadership in the modern organizations is a vital function of management that aids

the organization to maximize her efficiency and accomplish the set organizational objectives.

It determines the level of motivation of the workforce and their productivity. The growth of

Frank Lowy to be one of the richest entrepreneurs can be attributed to his experience,

leadership styles, traits, and attitude. He seems to know how to ensure that the workers

achieve the set goals. He commonly utilizes transactional based leadership that rewards

people for behaving in a certain manner. Furthermore, he seems to understand the

significance of transformational leadership but does not apply the style effectively.

Transactional based leadership limits the workers and can be demotivating. I propose the use

of transformational leadership in Westfield Group by Lowy to inspire, transform, motivate

and create a better future for the organization.



Bass, B.M. and Riggio, R.E., 2006. Transformational leadership. Psychology Press.

Bonanno, K., 2016. Being a leader in your school community. Access (Online), 30(2), p.10.

Emery, C.R. and Barker, K.J., 2007. The effect of transactional and transformational

leadership styles on the organizational commitment and job satisfaction of customer

contact personnel. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communication and Conflict,

11(1), p.77.

Germain, M.L., 2012. Traits and skills theories as the nexus between leadership and

expertise: Reality or fallacy?. Performance Improvement, 51(5), pp.32-39.

Gonski, D. and Niesche, C., 2016. An interview with David Gonski. Company Director,

32(1), p.26.

Gumusluoglu, L. and Ilsev, A., 2009. Transformational leadership, creativity, and

organizational innovation. Journal of business research, 62(4), pp.461-473.

Hughes, R. L., (2015). Leadership: enhancing the lessons of experience.

Limsila, K. and Ogunlana, S.O., 2008. Performance and leadership outcome correlates of

leadership styles and subordinate commitment. Engineering, construction and

architectural management, 15(2), pp.164-184.

Luna, D., 2015. The Relationship between Leadership Behavior and Leadership Styles in

Health and Human Services Emergency Management (Doctoral dissertation, OUR


Margo, J., Lowy, F.P. and Westfield Holdings Ltd, 2000. Frank Lowy: pushing the limits.

HarperCollins Publishers.

Mayne, S. and Power, C., 2013. Policies under review as ASA names the longest serving

directors. Equity, 27(8), p.5.

Nahavandi, A., 2016. The Art and Science of Leadership -Global Edition. Pearson.

Northouse, P.G., 2012. Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage.

Pieterse, A.N., Van Knippenberg, D., Schippers, M. and Stam, D., 2010. Transformational

and transactional leadership and innovative behavior: The moderating role of

psychological empowerment. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 31(4), pp.609-623.

Spinelli, R.J., 2006. The applicability of Bass's model of transformational, transactional, and

laissez-faire leadership in the hospital administrative environme

Voon, M.L., Lo, M.C., Ngui, K.S. and Ayob, N.B., 2011. The influence of leadership styles

on employees job satisfaction in public sector organizations in Malaysia. International

Journal of Business, Management and Social Sciences, 2(1), pp.24-32.