Leadership in Organizations

Introduction

It is apparent that leadership style is what dictates the nature of work environment within an organization and ultimately the business success of any organization. Additionally from the situation and resonance as well as the nature of contribution to the work climate, there are some styles that contribute positively and other negatively. There is need to clearly understand the concept of leadership and how it impacts on the success or failure of organizations.

This assignment is very important since it will give me an opportunity to understand the meaning of leadership, its importance, difference from management, the desired qualities for an effective leader and finally the various styles of leadership (Koestenbaum, 2002). All this will play a bigger role in ensuring that I fully appreciate the whole concept of leadership usually applicable in all spheres of human life.

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Leadership importance

The concept of leadership has been in existence ideally since the beginning of mankind. Nonetheless, there has been a tremendous change and what was deemed to be the best leadership styles in the past is totally not accepted at present. By definition, leadership has been thought as; “a process whereby an individual can influence thoughts, ideas and actions of others in achieving a set of preset goals, tasks, duties and responsibilities” (Kouzes & Posner, 2007).

From the definition provided it is evident that leadership is of importance not only to the individual workers but the entire organization and ultimately to all other stakeholders. It is leadership that creates a desired environment in the workplace that will see to it that vision, mission and core values are set and strictly having best strategies to accomplish them.

Issues dealing with change management, motivated and satisfied employees, organizational success and performance can only be realized if the leadership in place is effective and all encompassing. It is no doubt that leadership makes use of all the resources especially the human capital to make organizations achieve competitive advantage vital for future survival of businesses in the presence of competition.

There is need to distinguish between leadership from management. The later has been defined as the methods employed to control, plan, direct as well as organize all the resources at the disposal of an organization so that the same are in line with the values as well as principles that guide the organization.

It is no doubt that the concept of management is responsible for ensuring that laws, procedures and guidelines are strictly adhered to. Together with leadership, management utilizes preset values and principles to tune the human resource in order to achieve the mandate bestowed to it.

Leadership qualities

According to Koestenbaum, 2002 all leaders are not equal since there are those who will be seen to be more successful than others. The secret behind this rests on the combination of leadership qualities possessed. In this section, various leadership qualities are succinctly covered. Having effective presentation skills is vital for leaders to be successful. It is no doubt that information sharing within and outside the organization is very important.

The ability to express ideas in the most effective manner, answering questions satisfactorily, delivering presentation confidently by using visual aids go an extra mile in making a good leader. The ability to make effective decision making usually differentiate between leaderships. Strict adherence to certain steps while making decision for instance establishing the problem as well as identifying goals to be objective, engaging intuition and collecting relevant data contribute to a successful leader when it comes to making rational decisions.

Additionally acting assertively is key in making an effective leader. This entails the idea of making one’s views, opinion and beliefs known in the most genuine manner while having in mind the concerns of others. It generally entails showing utmost respect for others. Another quality that makes one to be a better leader is the ability to successfully manage personal time. It is no doubt that each and every task bestowed to managers and leaders have time bound.

Leaders who are deemed successful will have in place mechanisms to set goals that are achievable realistic and measurable. Interestingly the ability to build trust is attained by leaders practicing what they preach. For instance world re-known leaders not only tell followers to keep time, actively listen but also put the same in practice. This idea makes the leader and his or her followers to have a mutual understanding (Griffith, et al., 2006).

The ability of a leader to create a democratic work place climate ensures that the subjects are free to air their views, opinion and beliefs that might challenge those of their leaders results to a more successful organization. Last but not least, being able to adopt various styles of learning is one important leadership quality. The possession of various learning styles such as activists, reflectors, theorists among others makes a leader to be more rational when making decisions (Kittle, 1994).

Leadership styles

Based on the various combinations of leadership qualities there are different types of leadership style. One of them is visionary leadership style in which the one at the helm of leadership believes in vision and shows empathy. Followers are made to understand that they are important to the organization and any success is attributed to them.

Motivation is key thus this style has unmatched contribution to success. This kind of leadership is very good in situations where firms are undergoing dramatic huge changes. An example of a leader who uses this leadership style is Mark Hurd the chief executive officer of HP Company. He allowed free flow of information as well as motivating his subjects towards attaining the common goal.

Democratic leadership style is where the leader creates an environment in which the subjects are allowed to freely air their views and opinions. Thus the same are utilized by the leader in arriving at a decision.

In situations where these views are seen in the decisions arrived at, the subjects will feel part and parcel of the decision hence support it to the bitter end. Additionally team work is highly encouraged where strengths and weaknesses will be known. Ideas are cultivated and encouraged. However, the style might lead to waste of time in making timely decisions (Griffith, et al., 2006).

Another style of leadership is pace-setting where the approach used is carrot and stick. In this performers are rewarded while failures are punished. Individuals strive to personally gain at the expense of the organization. Leaders in this category expect their subordinates to be position to carryout their duties and responsibilities. Leaders can role up their sleeves and rescue the situation in case things seems to go hey wire.

Lastly, commanding leadership is where those in the forefront hold a stance that is firm while commanding and giving directions to the subordinates. Leaders expect followers to fully comply with the principles, guidelines as well as procedures set by the relevant bodies (Kittle, 1994).

One is not allowed to come in with a new idea and the subordinates are always under surveillance. Interestingly, there is no time to actively engage in conversation to reach consensus. This kind of leadership is only applicable during crisis situations. One leader that utilized this kind of style is the British Airways CEO when the cabin crew went on strike mid 2010.

The two styles to be compared are commanding and visionary leadership style. The former is more advantageous than the later since it allows free flow of information, a working environment in which all followers are highly motivated is created.

Additionally through sharing of information, each and every person is at par with the happenings within the organization hence able to raise concern early enough (Griffith, et al., 2006). On the other hand, commanding style of leadership has been shown to be very detrimental since talent is not nurtured. Information is not shared accordingly hence there are those who are left in the dark when making decision which might later lead to resistance for instance in adopting change (Kouzes & Posner, 2007).

Conclusion

There is need to clearly understand the concept of leadership and how it impacts on the success or failure of organizations. This assignment is very important since it given me an opportunity to understand the meaning of leadership, its importance, difference from management, the desired qualities for an effective leader and finally the various styles of leadership.

Leadership qualities such as effective communication, adopting different learning styles as well as building trust are key to shaping successful leaders. The various styles of leadership discussed include visionary, pace-setting, commanding and democratic. Leadership is indeed different from management but the two go hand in hand in ensuring an organization succeeds.

References

Griffith, B., et al. (2006). Effective groups: Concepts and skills to meet leadership challenges. New York: Allyn & Bacon.

Kittle, E. (1994). Leadership skills: Developing volunteers for organizational success. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press.

Koestenbaum, P. (2002). Leadership: The inner side of greatness a philosophy for leaders. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Kouzes, J., & Posner, B. (2007). Leadership Challenge 4th Ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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