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Leadership is defined as the effectiveness, power or authority, which can be gained with the help of employees, followers or participants. It actually depends on the motivation, participation, input, cooperation, and efforts of employees or followers. In other words we can say that to be a good leader you need good and energetic followers. One cannot achieve the goals as a leader if he/she doesn't have participative followers. Leadership can also be defined as someone who takes initiatives from others and looks for ways for them so that person or leader discards all the hurdles that were in the way so that the others move freely in order to be successful.
Previously people believed that leaders were like owners or captains. They thought the leaders were only sleeping authorities and they couldn't participate or get involved with human beings. But now the scenario has changed a lot, both entities the employees and the business look to them as participative, active, involved and wholehearted individuals. They need to be in touch with the people or with their followers. Now the demand and need has changed, businesses need leaders to be aware of what is happening around, what needs to be done and what is the current scenario demands.
The world is changing and moving with a speedy pace. This pace has an impact on leaders and leadership styles. Leaders were seen as hero, individuals with power, strength, intellectual ability and those who motivate their followers. This idea is not acceptable in the current happenings of the corporate world. This old view has complications and problems when it is introduced with leadership. The Gallup survey has shown that belief of people about leadership is that the leaders direct the behavior of the people not the company; they are the ones who make workers feel good and happy. They create the culture and manage the company and work situations. Therefore leaders are with us to innovate and introduce new things to us by showing their actions to us.
Leadership is a very wide subject area and dependent on the angle it is viewed with. Theorists that debate leadership are varied in their conclusion thereby necessitating the need to evaluate the topic from different viewpoints and this really helps determine an understanding of what leadership is but can also be detrimental as it causes confusion. Only the point, which says that it has its own influence on people and directs their behavior with motivation, which can easily, leads towards achievement.
Another important point is that the difference between the managers and the leaders. People always confuse themselves in separating leaders and managers and often do not know the difference. Many theorists and practitioners have different views and conclusion on this issue. But is has commonly been found that it should be differentiated.
Bennis(1989,p.7), Leaders are the one who suggest guides and directs people under them towards any goal or objective. They allow others to do particular actions by motivating them with the help of their actions as a role model. They teach them and guide them to take actions, which are necessary and important. They shouldn't look at the darker side of the mirror but always think positively and motivate people and their followers/supporters. They don't actually predict but they actually know what should be done in a right manner for the well being of the people and for the welfare of them because these actions make them a good leader.
There are many theories of leadership. As the famous saying goes that 'leaders are born and not made'. They polish themselves as time goes by, they have the inner ability to analyze and predict which the trait with which they are born with is. All the qualities they have are actually God gifted that's why we often say this those great leaders are born to be leaders.
Trait Theories of leadership
According to this, the biggest problem of this theory is that, managers in the organization think that they should know the qualities of a great leader and a successful leader. Obviously any adjective can be used to describe a successful leader.
Group and Exchange Theories of Leadership
This theory has roots in social psychology. Traditionally we see that followers of the leader have a greater impact on the leaders and this theory is neglected thus far. The leader tends to be more successful when their followers are performing well. So, we can say that followers affect leaders more than leaders affect the followers. Followers drive the car in this situation.
Contingency Theory of Leadership
This theory focused on the situation based effectiveness of leadership. It depends upon the different relationships of the leader has with their followers and is dependent upon differing situations and leadership styles.
The Leader-member relationship
The degree of task structure
The leader's position power obtained through authority
When these above mentioned dimensions are present a favorable situation arises. The relationship of the leader with their followers should be good enough to get the work done; this also tells us that the opinion of the people for any decision also matters. In many firms we see that the management exercises their right to select the board of directors and leaders for them. Feilder (2006) "The leader must be accepted by people. The leaders who make bad or wrong decisions in an unfavorable situation or time them are far better than those who made no decision".
Path Goal Theory of Leadership
This theory is influenced by hope or the possibility to do something. It has to do something with the performance and the motivation of the employees.
First one suggests that the people know that what is demanded from them and the leader directs them, second one suggest that the leader is friendly and supportive, he is in touch with people and gives a response in the most appropriate manner. The third role indicates that the leader want people to give suggestions and comments and looks to his followers before he makes a final decision. Fourthly and the last one suggests that the leader motivate employees to attain goals and objectives.
The recent year theories emerge differently as compare to previous ones. These include the transformational, charismatic, cognitive and authentic theories.
Previously we believed in the relationship between the leaders and followers but according to this theory the leadership is based more on creating and shifting the meanings, values, needs and beliefs of the followers. It's like a leader leads to innovate.
This theory says that the leader are more energetic, have charisma, confidence and vision. They produce strong performance beyond the expectations in followers. They have strong commitment to the leader and to their mission and this is the major difference between the followers and the leader.
Social Cognitive Theory
According to this theory both the followers and the leaders are fully involved in the work and concentrate on their own as well as other people's behavior. This is regarding the collaboration of the followers with themselves and the leader as well to complete some given task. This is very common now a day as we see people working in some organizations with each other forming some teams etc.
All of these theories still need to be reviewed and research needs to be undertaken to provide a better and complete understanding of the difficulties and complexities involved in the leadership and business to practice it effectively. As leadership is a wide topic there would have to be certain boundaries of research.
Produce recommendation for your own personal leadership development
Tammy Vela (2002). Reading is something, which can give you lots of knowledge regarding how our past great leaders led. How did they behave and what did they do in what condition. It's really a thought provoking task to do which can give us lots of exposure. Apart from this a leader can also involve him-self in a combination of psychological exercises' and outdoor adventures. This is very much tested in many aspects; it gives a person to be competent and to know how to empower others and oneself in the race of life.
There are certain models for this approach and a modern one; 'the competency approach' is one of the most important approaches for ones development. It includes three competencies.
Research based competencies are actually derived from the successful and well-known leaders and their practices. This practice helps us to find out the way to direct the behavior in an easy manner and it shows the direction, which can lead towards success. We can also easily refer to decisions of the past leaders in case of any hurdle.
Secondly it is the strategy-based competency, which actually results in key persons and their information regarding company issue and matters. These again require good followers to provide key information. On the basis of this strategy and directions are decided to follow up and complete the task. Third one that is the value-based competency is actually derived from values, norms and culture of the company, which has already been mentioned and suggested by leaders. In other words, life experiences, events and happenings all play an important part in development. Both the painful events like loss of partner or a loved one and the good events like to achieve a task or get good grades are the essential for development.
Out of these three ways the most preferred is the research based one for a new comer this will be helpful for him/her as we have discussed that it gives lots of exposure. This is why lawyers refer to past cases and judgments to help their case effectively.
Benjamin Franklin; "Empty the coins in your purse into your mind and your mind will fill your purse with coins."
We can also enhance our own personal development by setting short-term goals, for example to complete a task within one week, and then we can delay it for a month. Once we have accomplished short-term goals then we must start long term goals for ourselves and this activity makes us goal oriented.
Great leaders imagine an ideological vision that is set on a basis of deeply held ethics of their followers. It should describe and define the future clearly. Great leaders have passion for and have a strong believe and have courage to succeed. They have moral correctness of their vision; they have extraordinary behavior with others and ready to make sacrifices for the interest of company's mission and vision then they set goals and ensure they achieve success. They face challenges and they have confidence, determination and faith to gain success. They display a great amount of faith in themselves. They put every possible effort for the assurance of their vision. Their moral belief is also at high due to complex challenges. Then Image building is an important consideration. They build their image as positive as possible. Their image is very important for them. They set themselves as true role models for their followers. External representation is one of the key issues. Only internal matters of the organization are not important. External spokesperson for their organization gives them a true batch and symbol of leader. They communicate with their employees effectively. Great leaders have confidence in their followers. When employees provide with some convenience and an innovative environment, they feel free to give suggestions, which will help for the achievement of goals and ideas set by leaders.
The recommendations have focused on two aspects of leadership, which are leadership style and leadership skill. I have focused on styles and skills because they are the two key elements, which should be considered in order to get the desired outcomes as a leader. Leadership styles actually recommend the ways, which are important in gaining a competitive advantage as a leader as mentioned earlier.
Competency and vision are the two key points to be considered most properly. Because if you have no competency and vision than, surely there will be no outcome. In order to survive in the current scenario these points should be considered and recommended.
Firstly cultural flexibility deals a lot to do with leadership change process. When dealing with cross culture or international assignments, it requires the awareness of different cultures, even in the domestic culture where this skill is needed most. Leaders must consider this because they need to be organized and create a value for the organization. They should possess this skill in order to face these challenges.
All skills, that relate to communication that is verbal and the leader should effectively handle non-verbal. As a backbone to present the followers communication skill matters a lot.
As we know that in today's world human resource management skills become most important part for the leaders. They need to create an environment of learning, organizing, training programs, designing, selecting, and transmitting information, results, and change and adaptation activities.
Innovation is now considered as a tool to differentiate. It provides the competitive advantage in the intensive competition of the global market. Leaders must not only be creative and innovative themselves but also need to create such environments and encourages their followers to be creative.
Self-management of leadership
As I have discussed earlier that leader need to be adaptive. This suggests that the contentious improvement and learning of new knowledge, skills and changed environments. They need to self-change when required and they must be self-learners.
Although there are many skills as defined earlier but human resources and creativity are the important ones. Leadership clearly defines a wide range and variety of settings for business and industry. Effective leadership requires consideration of the above-mentioned skills and styles performed by the leaders.
Recently there are many changes that have occurred in the organizational process. Today the corporate world is moving and changing with a rapid pace. Everyday there has to be some change in order to stay in the market or survive against intense competition.
Organizational changes occurs significantly, when there is overall change in strategy of an organization for success, change of practices, adding or removing major guidelines, and want to change the nature of operations. It also occurs when an organization moves along with life cycles and they want to develop or undergo considerable change at different points in their development process. That is why organizational change and development has become prevalent in communication about leadership as well.
Leaders and managers frequently make hard work to achieve successful and considerable change. It's a part of their job. Some really deploy this well enough more than we appreciate, while some repeatedly resist and fail. That's over and over again the difference between people who flourish in their roles and those that get shuttled around from job to job, eventually settling into a role where they are annoyed and unproductive.
Thriving organizational change can be rather difficult to achieve. It's like when anyone wants to change his/her habits. But, there are quiet good tools and practices available from which we can learn. There are numerous approaches to guiding change. Some designed, explicit and structured while others are implicit, organic and unfolding. Some approaches works in a cycle like starts from future to present, at the start visioning and then planning action about how to get that vision. Other approaches work from the present to the future, outlining current goals or priorities and then planning action to deal with those priorities.
Organizational change involves vision as to initiate the change. Seeley (1992) defines two types of vision, both related to Cuban's (1988) concepts of first and second order changes. Using the construct of first order changes, those that deal with improvements, Seeley asserts that these changes are connected to first order vision or program vision. An example of a change requiring program vision is an adoption of new technology in the operations.
Second order changes are those that require restructuring or a re-conceptualizing of an organization's roles, rules, relationships, and responsibilities. Seeley (1992) asserts that such second order changes require system vision.
An example of a change requiring system vision is the redesigning of shifts of labor work hours, which can be either increase in work hours or splits into different shifts. Some of the major changes related to this vision are reorganizing some new tasks and activities, which can be more adaptable in nature. Let's take some real world examples, which show how changes affect, and its importance.
At the conclusion of its Monday November 5, 2007, meeting, Time Warner's board of directors announced that Jeffrey Bewkes would succeed Dick Parsons as CEO of the cable and media company. On the other hand many other companies failed to change the leadership at the CEO position. Time Warner opened a new standard based on the leadership of Dick Parsons who will remain Chairman of the Board of Directors at Time Warner.
In the early part of 2006, Dick Parsons made his job, as agenda item for the Board of Directors of Time Warner, while the complete detail of that meeting is not known. It can be taken reasonably as a consequence of Mr. Parson's actions.
The Board of Directors began the process of planning and making the action of recruitment of a new CEO of Time Warner and further pushes the company forward beyond its beleaguered past. It is the start of the change process, which is a bold step. It has been observed that weather it's a family business or international conglomerate, succession planning and then the ultimate election can be very difficult. It involves emotional decisions for people who struggle to come to a collective agreement on whom and which direction is the best for the company. Time Warner was helped truly by his Director who saw himself as catalyst and bridge to the future as opposed to a man soon to be loosing responsibilities, including the role as CEO of the Time Warner. He actually foresees the need of leadership after having served for five years. It brings the stability and managed to trip over itself continually even after merged with AOL in late 90s.
With a strong ancestry at Home Box Office Mr. Bewkes assumes the role of CEO having been the President and Chief Operating Officer since 2006. He inherits an organization still redefining who it is after Parsons spent the better past five years. Focusing on interactive services, cable systems, film entertainment, television networks, publishing, Time Warner has positioned itself for a bright future as evidenced by Dick Parson's comments about Bewkes when he called him a result-oriented leader. Now Time Warner is at a place of health and security it can focus on growth and building out further core strengths, something Bewkes is good at it. Companies that are looking for a flourishing way change will find Time Warner a perfect example. Dick parsons knew that he neither desired nor needed to be CEO for a long time. His vision was to get Time Warner a specific place and then pass the baton to someone who could take the reins.
Effective leadership in the change management process is particularly important because of all the factors involved in organizational change. McShane and VonGlinow (2004), a leader must be able to "influence, motivate and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organization." Stabilizing the organization after the change process begins is critical to continued success.
Produce recommendation as to the lesson you have learned form the change process that will enable you to more effectively enable change in the future.
To begin any successful change process, you must first start by understanding why the change must take place. Kurt Lewin, (1995), This is the unfreezing stage from which change begins. When we look at change process with distinct stages, anyone can prepare for what is coming, make plan according to it and manage the transition. One needs to be look before you leap, so to speak. All too often, people go into change blindly, causing much unnecessary turmoil and chaos.
In the early 20th century, psychologist Kurt Lewin identified three stages of change that are still the basis of many approaches today, Unfreezing, Transition and Refreeze.
This has been observed tendency of people that they seek towards context where they have relative safety and control. In order to establish themselves, they attach their identity to their surroundings. Taking towards the future is seldom enough to move them from this 'frozen' state and significant effort may be required to 'unfreeze' them and them moving. This often requires push strategy to start an action.
A key part of Lewin's model is the belief that change, even at the psychological level, is a journey rather than a simple step. This way may not be so simple enough and people may go through complex steps of misunderstanding before they get to other side. A classic trap in change is for the leaders to spend months on their own personal journeys and then expect everyone else to cross the chasm in a single bound.
Although transition may be hard for the individual, often the hardest part is to start. Even when a person is unfrozen and ready for change, that first step can be very scary.
Transition can also be a pleasant trap and, as Robert Louis Stephenson, (1906) 'It is better to travel hopefully than arrive.' People are more relax and calm in impermanent situations where they are not responsible for the happenings and the outcomes of their work and where talking about change may substituted for real action.
On the other end of the journey, the ultimate goal is to 'refreeze', putting down roots again and establishing the new place of stability.
In practice, refreezing may be a slow process as transitions seldom stop cleanly, but go more in fits and starts with a long tail of bits and pieces. There are good and bad things about this.
In modern organizations, this stage is often rather tentative as the next change may well be around the next corner. What is often encouraged, then, is more of a state of 'slushiness' where freezing is never really achieved (theoretically making the next unfreezing easier). The danger with this that many organizations have found is that people fall into a state of change shock, where they work at a low level of efficiency and effectiveness as they await the next change. 'It's not worth it' is a common phrase when asked to improve what they do.
Lewin's change model is a simple and easy-to-understand framework for managing change. By recognizing these three distinct stages of change, you can plan to implement the change required. You start by creating the motivation to change (unfreeze). You move through the change process by promoting effective communications and empowering people to embrace new ways of working (change). And the process ends when you return the organization to a sense of stability (refreeze), which is so necessary for creating the confidence from which to embark on the next, inevitable change. We can take example:
If you have a large cube of ice, but realize that what you want is a cone of ice, what do you do? First you must melt the ice to make it amenable to change (unfreeze). Then you must mold the iced water into the shape you want (change). Finally, you must solidify the new shape (refreeze).
Tichy and Devanna (1990, p27) put more emphasis on the importance of leadership to the change process by stating that. The chairman of a major American steel company was participating in a seminar about the problems that the industry was facing back in the early 1960s. He attempted to explain the growing dominance of the West Germans and Japanese in the industry by saying that their plants were more efficient because they had all been built after World War II. "Why," the chairman said, "we would have been better off if our mills had been bombed during the war just as theirs were." An anonymous response emanated from the back of the room, "I dare say, sir,that would be true only if your management had been locked inside (p27)."
John P Kotter Kotter's highly regarded books 'Leading Change' (1995) and the follow-up 'The Heart Of Change' (2002) describe a helpful model for understanding and managing change. Each stage acknowledges a key principle identified by Kotter relating to people's response and approach to change, in which people see, feel and then change.
Kotter's eight step change model can be summarized as:
Increase urgency - inspire people to move, make objectives real and relevant.
Build the guiding team - get the right people in place with the right emotional commitment, and the right mix of skills and levels.
Get the vision right - get the team to establish a simple vision and strategy, focus on emotional and creative aspects necessary to drive service and efficiency.
Communicate for buy-in - Involve as many people as possible, communicate the essentials, simply, and to appeal and respond to people's needs. De-clutter communications - make technology work for you rather than against.
Empower action - Remove obstacles, enable constructive feedback and lots of support from leaders - reward and recognize progress and achievements.
Create short-term wins - Set aims that are easy to achieve - in bite-size chunks. Manageable numbers of initiatives. Finish current stages before starting new ones.
Don't let up - Foster and encourage determination and persistence - ongoing change - encourage ongoing progress reporting - highlight achieved and future milestones.
Make change stick - Reinforce the value of successful change via recruitment, promotion, and new change leaders. Weave change into culture.
Armenakis and Bedeian, (1999) suggests that the change process is primarily supported by effective communications with five important components:
1. Identifying the gap between where the organization is now and where it needs to be to achieve the vision.
2. Convince people that the content of the change is appropriate to fill the gap.
3. Convince people that they have the power and ability to effect the change.
4. Convince people that leadership is firmly behind the change.
5. Convince people of the benefit the change will have for them.
The recommendations for the change process are the eight principles proposed by Kotters and the examples of Time Warner.
There will be as many recommendations we can make on the basis of lessons and life experiences. As a student with limited knowledge I have tried my heart out to convey what I learned. All recommendations and solutions are not the end points. They can add to as many as possible, this topic is still debatable and incomplete.