This unit is interesting in the sense that it will help develop personal leadership and management skills to support the achievement of personal career goals and organisational objectives. There are three learning outcomes that are expected to achieve upon completing this assignment.
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First is the analysis of personal leadership and management skills to encourage achievement of organisational objectives. This would include an assessment criterion and analysis of the impact of organisational objectives, values and culture on the leadership and management role. It would entail assessing personal leadership and management skills and identifying personal development.
Second is to manage development of personal leadership and management skills to be able to meet organisational objectives. This would mean assessing of opportunities for development of leadership and management skills, constructing and managing personal development of leadership and management skills.
And the last is to evaluate the effectiveness of personal development plans to develop management and leadership skills. It is my hope that by being able to discuss task 1 and 2, I would be to learn some aspects of personal leadership and management development that would be helpful in the way I serve the organization I am affiliated.
To begin with, defining the meaning organization is necessary. Organisation means a social unit of people having a systematic structure. Such organization is managed so as to pursue collective goals or to respond to a need. This is on a continuing basis. For each organisation, there is a set of its own objectives, values and culture on the leadership and management role. An example would be the mission and vision of Lynde House Care Home. It aims at putting quality first in everything they do for the residents and its relatives. The staff members aspire to be the most and successful care providers. Such objective has a big impact on the leadership and management role. The achievement of the said objective in one’s own capacity as a leader/ manager is important. Then, what is the role of the leader in attaining these objectives.
First and foremost, the leader must raise the awareness of every member of the staff as regards the organisational objectives. There is a need for the leader to understand what and how each individual can contribute to achieving such objectives. Leadership logically needs authority. But it is not an authority which becomes a weapon to control people. As an objective factor, to be a leader, one must have the managerial ability and skill. It is said that the most common skills are technical skills and conceptual skills. Meaning one must have the sufficient knowledge of the organizational objectives and appropriate strategies to implement them. One must be able to understand organizational concepts and to make them comprehensible to the members of the organization. Subjectively, one must have personal qualities as leader like being person-oriented, good motivator, confident in their decisions, etc. One must have the competency for communication being able to respond and to negotiate.
Leadership has a major influence in the success of the organization. Leaders bring about the values and culture necessary for changes and innovation within the institution. Thus, they can adapt effective strategies and together with well-motivated employees such strategies will be carried out. Leaders are not only limited to management, that is focusing only execution and control but they can be any level of the organization.
If leaders have the ability to motivate positively those around them, especially the vital resource of the organization, the members of the workforce, then the organization will certainly benefit from them. In fact, through this influence of leaders and effectively encouraging the people to a “shared vision”, the organization can move towards developing its people, its resources and evaluate the clients use their services or interact with them. Leaders can also determine whether or not that experience is beneficial.
With leadership playing an important role in the favorable outcome of information centers and clients’ experiences, it would be helpful to discuss the different types of leaders and their potential impact, for example, on nursing home as an organization.
The current leadership theories classify leaders “based upon traits or how influence and power are used” to attain organizational objectives. For “trait-based descriptions”, leaders may be “autocratic, democratic, bureaucratic or charismatic”. If it is to understand leadership from the “perspective of the exchange of power and its utilization to secure outcomes”, leaders may be “situational, transactional or transformational”.
Grasping the meaning of these different terminologies can help provide a more meaningful discussion on leadership. It is worth mentioning that “not all leaders are created equal” and leadership quality greatly vary from one organization to another or even just within organization. It is an important aspect in leadership quality evaluation, to be able to identify the leader style of the individual. The leadership style will also gauge how effective the person is in leading the organization realize its goals.
At this point, it is necessary to look into some common leadership styles. To understand how leader’s style affect the organization and to look for positive benefits as regards some leadership style are also important. Below is a brief description of the different leadership styles.
In autocratic type of leadership, the leader dictates everything to be done. “Commitment, creativity and innovation” are not valued for members are controlled in the sense that they have to do as commanded. It is a “do as I say” type of leaders who forces the members to perform processes in the organization even services as dictated. The leader of this type generally makes the decision without consulting from the members. Working together for a shared vision or motivating the members do not become part of the style of this leadership. This type of leadership can at times be beneficial for example in crucial military conflicts or in poor organization resulting to an inability to meet deadlines for projects. However, this type of leadership can pose problems to the organization. Since the members are controlled and are not able to contribute their ideas, they become dissatisfied and can even harbor resentment against the leader. When this happens, leadership will fail and the overall performance of the members will suffer.
In order to attain the set goals of the organization, bureaucratic leadership will make clear and intelligible policies. For bureaucratic leaders policies will urge forward “execution, strategy, objectives and outcomes”. When policies are stated, bureaucratic leaders feel so secure that they can persuade the members to move on through policies. It is the policy that counts instead of the people. Policies directing the procedures and processes to be performed are more important for a bureaucratic leader than motivating and developing people in the workforce. This type of leadership can lead to antagonistic behavior or reserved and remote attitude from the members. But problems having to do with policies may not always be evident until the harm is done. Policies alone are not sufficient to motivate and develop people to commit themselves to achieve organizational goals. Bureaucratic leaders hold policies as primarily decisive that they become indifferent even tend to oppose any complaints regarding the said policies. Policies are needed for any good organizational management but they must be carefully considered. For lack of due though and care and blindly implemented policy will not give incentive for employees to perform well thus, resulting to frustrated desired outcomes. Both the autocratic and bureaucratic leadership styles lack the capacity to people’s development. It can be noted that there are more negative consequences in these leadership styles rather than something that promotes the well-being of the members or the organization in itself.
Democratic leadership is another leadership style in which the members’ thoughts, ideas or opinions are solicited in the decision-making process. In this style of leadership, the members are more participative, thus, creativity and increase of group morale can be evident. Since members could feel more involved, they can also be more committed to the projects. This may result in higher positive outcomes. However, this leadership style can have setbacks, too. For example, when the members cannot give quality contributions necessary for decision-making, certain projects can fail to move on. It is also hard to build a consensus when democratic leaders expect that everyone share the same level of expertise as regards decisions. For this style of leadership, a great amount of effort is needed thus, decision-making can be a very slow process.
Charismatic leadership can be an effective trait-driven leadership style. Charismatic leaders inspires, motivates the members. Not only do they have the clarity of the vision but they have the creativity to encourage the members to execute the said vision. Charismatic leaders have the personality, the capacity and the skill to translate an idea to something new, fresh and different for the good of the organization and can arouse the members to be part of the innovation. This style of leadership may sound the most successful yet, it has some drawbacks. Since the charismatic leader holds the group even attaining a “status of a hero”, the members can follow blindly and can become passive followers. With this kind of submission, they may allow the leader to manipulate them. If the charismatic leader departs, it can leave a big vacuum in the organization resulting to a confused and rudderless management. The organization can struggle for years for it is hard to replace a charismatic leader. Charismatic leaders can create happy and well-motivated members but rarely gives way for developing future leaders.
The “trait-based” leadership styles such as autocratic leadership, democratic leadership, bureaucratic leadership and charismatic leadership have been discussed. At this point, other types of leadership from the “perspective of the exchange of power and its utilization to secure outcomes” will be discussed. These are situational leadership, transactional leadership and transformational leadership.
Situational leadership refers to a kind of leadership where the leader continuously makes suitable adjustments and adopts various styles for different situations or outcomes. In practice, this kind of leadership is helpful especially for leaders who are experienced for they are highly sensitive to the needs of the organization and its members. This style may work well when members are inexperienced and need some kind of coaching. The leader tells them exactly what to do and how to do it. Leaders responding to situational factors can choose freely from one’s experiences of the different processes with the aim of approaching a desired result. But if the leader has applied the inappropriate style, problems can arise. Leadership of this style can be confusing especially when processes and decisions are not consistent. It can be said also that this type of leadership is management rather than leadership per se.
Transactional leaders provide clear structure of what is expected of the member of the organization and if one is able to perform it accordingly, a reward is given. Such reward can be in the form of good performance review, a raise, a promotion, new responsibilities or a desired change in duties. Transactional leadership can be effective when working on clear goals and objectives of the organization. The members are also clear of what is expected of them to accomplish such goals. However, if reward becomes the only motivating factor for the followers, creativity among them are less encouraged and it is likely that human development even professionally at a higher level will not be ensured.
In transformational leadership, leaders are able to provide opportunities for members of the organization to change and to transform them. Transformational leaders become role models for their knowledge, expertise and vision to change those around them. They have the commitment to the organization’s vision and inspire those they lead to work in the same spirit. Since innovation and creativity are valuable factors for transformational leaders, they develop each individual as quality contributors. It is considered as the best leadership for it considers each individual’s “own evolving thought process and changing responses”. They empower the members to give their best, thus, creating a “people-based” vision within the organization. Even if the leader is no longer present, leaders can come out from the “transformed members” and are able to continue to help the organization move on to productive outcomes. For environments that are fast-changing and that creative problem solving and customer commitment become a priority, transformational leadership can be effective. In any leadership, the personality and the behavior of leader are important; any limitation can pose a problem.
Each organisation has a culture; meaning the beliefs and values that have existed in an organisation for a period of time. Any organizational culture determines the beliefs and values of the members, thus, such culture has an impact on the attitudes and behaviour of the people in the workforce even to their commitment to customers’ service. Since the priority concern of administrators is the accomplishment of the organizational mission, there is usually an adjustment as regards leadership behaviour. And depending on the leadership style employed would also determine the job satisfaction of employees. Therefore, the relationship between organisational cultures, leadership behaviour and job satisfaction of employees must be grasped well.
The culture within an organisation is very vital. It has an essential role in determining whether there is a happy and healthy environment where the members can perform their work. There is a need to motivate the members to acknowledge and accept the fundamental organizational values, thus, communication and creativity of how to promote those values must be considered. Good relationship between the leadership and followers will create greater contribution to team communication and collaboration. It will also inspire them to accomplish the mission and objectives assigned by the organization. This will certainly enhance job satisfaction among the members.
Management in business terms can often mean just doing whatever to keep the organization moving on. If one desires to make one’s business to grow, to become more productive and to be more customer-based service, fundamental skills in leadership and management must be well assimilated. Such skills can help to prevent crisis situations. These basic skills include problem solving and decision making, planning, meeting management, delegation, communication and managing oneself. Certainly, they will support the attainment of the organisational objectives.
As a leader, one is required to know how to respond to any circumstances that may arise in the organisation. Leadership must understand well the organisational objectives, values and culture. A clear comprehension of the organizational objectives and its culture will help the leader determine the style of leadership to employ. This may need a bureaucratic type of leadership to be able to follow the organisational objectives accordingly. Members of the organization may find such leadership difficult but if the leader can acknowledge the contribution of each individual then the organization will be able to operate well.
What is the so-called personal leadership? Personal leadership is not a mere intellectual exercise but rather it is “a way of being and interacting with the world from the “inside out”. It is where the mind, the heart and the body become integrated so that one is fully present in one’s life as well as to the things outside himself. One is aware to his habitual behavior and shows willingness to encounter every situation with “fresh eyes”, with “beginner’s mind”. It is this kind of personal and professional commitment that help to become effective in an environment of cultural differences.
In personal leadership, one does not merely react from external circumstance but rather one tries to move to an inner experience where discernment of the best possible response can take place. For example when feelings like being frustrated or confused by a situation, the principles of personal leadership will lead one to pause to be able to create the so-called “critical space” between one’s automatic reaction and one’s righteous sense of being frustrated or confused. The critical space of being able to pause, no matter even for a moment will lead one to think a better way of saying or doing. This way of reacting shows, indeed, an “intercultural competence.” Personal leadership is actually leadership of oneself. It takes into account one’s own personal experiences, one’s own cultural programming and way of acting as one relates with others whether in one’s personal or professional life. This way of being brings about quality levels of “learning and insight, mutual collaboration and creativity in situations of cultural difference”.
Leadership and management skills must include an ability to solve problems and make decision; to do planning according to the organizational goals; to know how to delegate responsibilities to people and work load; to be able to communicate; to have meeting management skills; and most importantly to be able to know how to manage oneself. Thus, one must learn the behaviors and attitudes of an effective leader.
To be a good leader, one must be able to know one’s personal skills. Knowing what one is capable of will help the leader assess in what areas one can better contribute and to work more to improve weak areas. This can be done by having personal skills audit. A skills audit would mean the process which is employed to identify the skill gaps in an organisation. It has to be remembered that the objective of doing a skills audit is to improve one’s ability as a leader. To raise the leader’s capacity to a more excellent quality, the “training needs analysis” is vital for this will identify where training is needed.
Skills and work competency areas
Self assessment ã€€ã€€ã€€ã€€ 1 2 3 4
Using and developing my knowledge
Researching, investigating and problem-solving
Listening and interpretation, establishing rapport, understanding needs
Developing solutions and agreeing things with people
Speaking and presenting to groups
Using information and communications technology
Visioning, creating, and inspiring others with my ideas
Managing time, planning, and being effective, efficient, productive, and reliable
Behaviours, attitudes and personal style
Self assessment ã€€ã€€ã€€ã€€ 1 2 3 4
Striving for personal development
Taking personal responsibility to resolve problems, even those not of my own making
Understanding the way people really feel
Developing positive relationships
Keeping focused and productive, reliable and dependable
Managing stress and conflict
Having compassion and care for others
Managing upwards and sideways (my managerial superiors and my peers).
Using integrity and ethics in my judgement about work and organisational issues
4 Very well
I feel confident in my ability to use this skill.
I am able to use this skill well, but my ability could be improved.
2 Needs attention
My ability to use this skill needs to improve.
1 Needs considerable attention
I struggle with this skill and need to put in considerable work to develop this skill.
After doing the skills audit, the next step would be to plan on how to improve the areas that need most attention. There is always the possibility to develop more my leadership and management skills. This can be done, for example by asking some ideas from one’s mentor, by assisting training programs aimed at attaining certain levels of skills and attending some classes offered by the organisation.
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Personal development planning is a vital “process of shaping an action plan based on awareness, values, reflection, goal-setting and planning for personal development within the context of a career, education, relationship or for self-improvement”. To construct a personal development plan, one needs to have a clear objective to develop leadership and management skills.
Based on my personal skill audit, one objective that I can make is to improve my ability to talk before any type of audience and to act confidently regardless of what the situation may be. I need the courage to voice out my ideas and opinions and to be willing to try new things even to take some risks. I must be always open to look for new opportunities rather than walk the common path. I need to possess the confidence to be able to influence others in my decision-making; to be assertive and to be able to take control of situations. Feeling something is really good, I must be able encourage others to accept my recommendations, ideas and decisions. This would mean to proactively take the lead in as many situations as possible. When there is a group decision to be made, I must be able to be the first to give recommendations. At the same time, I need not agree with everything others say but be able to say no firmly. I need to stand firm on my own decisions without being influenced or controlled by others. And lastly, in terms of dealing with stress and conflict, I must be able to assess calmly any situation before reacting to it. Furthermore, I must look for positives in any circumstance and make the best of any un-favourable situations. I must work more to focus my energy on finding a solution to certain problems rather than losing my temper. These are some concrete areas I need to develop as regards my leadership and management skills.
In this task, I was asked to implement my plans and to show how I am going to manage my personal development of leadership and management skills. In task 2, I cited my plans and objectives based on my skills audit. An example cited was in terms of confidence. If I can have confidence, I can open new opportunities for myself. I will able to command more respect and to challenge others for more collaborative efforts to work for the organizational goals. I can dare to try new things and to do what others are not doing which can give me more opportunities for success and can make my life more interesting as well. Though it will take a lot of courage and patient practice, with confidence I will be able to allow radiating my authentic self
Through positive assertiveness, I can no longer follow other people’s will and decisions. I can choose for myself opportunities which can help me improve my personal leadership and management skills. By being assertive, I can be more participative and can make more quality contribution. It can further build my confidence and boost my self-esteem.
Learning self-control especially in terms of outburst of anger is important. It is maintaining a calm disposition and discerning a better way of responding. This would mean learning to choose one’s words and to refrain from saying things that I will be disappointed or distressed later on. In difficult situations, I will learn not to give vent to anger but rather I will think of ways of using my energy in a positive way. I can try practicing compassion in recognizing the struggle of others instead of pointless confrontations. Being able to attain positive feed back can only happen in a calm atmosphere where there is no blaming. At times it can be difficult in the sense that others may feel that I am too bossy and arrogant. If this perception occurs, they would not want to follow and even listen to your suggestions. Proper communication with them can help in making them understand the organisational objectives and my plans for the organisation based on its mission and vision. Communication can allow them to understand my attitudes and behaviour. It is a fact that it is difficult to keep everyone in the organization become involved but creating an atmosphere of trust where a good flow of communication is important.
In this task, I have reviewed my personal development plan in accordance to the original objectives at task 1. The aim is to render quality service in all aspects for our residents, relatives and staff. It is a vital to become the most successful care provider. Through my personal development of leadership, I have received a positive feedback from my colleagues and managers as regards the way I handled the new carer and some complaints of the service users. The managers are happy in my way of responding to such situations. The relatives and the service users are satisfied with the care that we are providing them in line with the healthcare and organisational standards. I think in order for me to maintain my leadership skills better, I would need to have good timing management, discipline and to stay focused on the task at hand. Further more, I think it is necessary to develop more my skills on decision-making by attending training programs and even attend some classes regarding good decision-making. Through these training, I can update as well my personal development plan. It is my desire to become a better and respectable leader in the future.
There are many leadership styles and certainly one can learn good aspects from them, yet, it is more essential to know the quality of one’s personal leadership style. Knowing this through skill audit is a tool to discover more the positive and apparently negative aspects in the way one leads. Self-awareness is the key to effective personal leadership and management development.
Each organization has its own particular environmental context of purpose, culture and needs. Before engaging in any personal leadership or management development, it will be helpful to spend time to get a clear grasp of the organization’s priorities, strengths and weaknesses, challenges and competency gaps. There must be a balance between “skills development” and “behaviour, attitudes and personality development”. The latter would require more sincere commitment and would be more on a long-term basis for each individual is different and unique. Any program for personal leadership and management development must support both the growth process of each individual and the growth process of the organization as well.
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