Leaders/Managers Effective On Organizations. Essay, Research Paper
Leaders/Managers effective on organizations.
I have so many ideas of what an effective leader should be that I often feel overwhelmed and cannot imagine how I will become the ?ideal? leader that I want to be. There are many ingredients of effective leadership styles. I have read several books and articles on leadership and management. I have also participated in a few leadership training/education modules offered through my employers. There are many theories on what makes an effective leader. In my research I have discovered that there is many leadership styles and most are effective if used in the right situations. Information on the subject of leadership is plenty with some resources being quite in-depth, but most describe a specific type of leadership. I did find one book that was both easy to understand and made a lot of sense. In the book, Leadership and the One-Minute Manager, the theory and use of Situational Leadership is described. I think that this style of leadership is most effective. It describes that different forms of leadership are needed in different situations. The book defines leadership style as ?how you behave when you are trying to influence the performance of someone else? (p. 46). Therefore, one of the most important ingredients of any leader would be flexibility. The second most important ingredient would be understanding when to use a specific leadership style. The four basic leadership styles described are directing, coaching, supporting and delegating.
The directing leadership style would be needed for new hires, or less competent employees that show commitment and a desire to be productive. The employees at this development level would require very clear directions, and a lot of supervision. The atmosphere must be controlled and structured until these employees develop some competence.
The coaching style would be useful for existing employees who have lost their sense of commitment. These types of employees may still be inexperienced or may have been incorrectly supervised leading to their loss of commitment. Coaching style will also be useful on employees who need praise to build their self-esteem. The coaching style provides some direction with plenty of support. Support is important in building confidences and praise is needed to boost self-esteem. If the employee ?s confidence and self esteem is increased their commitment to the company and their ability to complete job duties will increase. This will ultimately improve the employee?s productivity and morale.
The third style of leadership is supporting. Supporting is similar to the coaching style but employees are not in need of direction. The employees who require a supportive leader already have the skills and knowledge of their job duties but either lacks motivation or confidence. This type of employee requires a lot of praise to encourage motivation and improve confidences.
The fourth style is delegating. Delegating allows the leader to turn over some responsibilities to employees who demonstrate both excellent job knowledge and the ability to work well with little supervision or support. This style would seem to be the ideal style, if you have a team of employees that all work well, are responsible and are committed to you and the company. All you have to do is release some authority and resist the urge to make all the decisions. Unfortunately, since the leader is ultimately responsible for the job tasks completion, it is often hard to delegate because of the need to ensure that the job is done right.
Situational leadership suggests that you combine the four basic leadership styles. The leader must diagnose the situation and determine which leadership style will be the most effective. I feel that this theory is the most accurate since all employees do not have the same abilities or characteristics. Because of this, you will need to lead them using different techniques.
I do believe that effective leaders must share some personality characteristics. As described above, an effective leader must be flexible. They must also have a caring, respectful and responsible attitude. They must have a participative approach to management and be willing to share power. Leaders must be continuous learners and never feel that they know everything. Leaders are usually calm and never make decisions from the hip. Each decision must be carefully planned and each option researched. Thus, patience is a characteristic of an effective leader. Effective leaders have also been described as visionaries, being able to foresee the results of their planning and successful obtainment of their goals.
Are leaders born or made? I have read many articles where this issue has been the hot topic being debated. I know that long ago many theorist felt that great leaders where born not made. Some today still think this way, but I think most have decided that effective leaders can be developed through education and training. I feel that some people may be born natural leaders, but without proper education and experience this potential may not get reached. I also feel that one?s life experiences and paths can develop characteristics in people that could help them become effective leaders.
I believe that not all managers are good leaders. I worked with a manager that was great at the operational side of the business but she was not an effective leader. She felt that everyone should be treated the same and expected the same productivity and accuracy out of each employee. The drive that she placed on meeting the operational objectives with disregard for the human culture only backfired. Instead of getting better results they worsened. Morale became an issue, as well as, absences, stress related illnesses and conflicts between co-workers. I believe these were all a result from the manager?s ineffective leadership skills.
In searching the web for information on leadership, I came across thousands of companies and consulting firms that offer many development and training programs that will help build employee?s leadership abilities. I hope that leadership skills can be taught, since I have been striving to develop myself into an effective leader. Changing your ideas about leadership is the easy part, developing the appropriate characteristics are quite difficult and require much determination.
Leadership development and training programs help the organization by equipping the employees with skills they will not obtain in their own work environment, but are very much needed. This in turn will create employees that are more knowledgeable in leading and better able to assist in meeting the organization?s goals. Since effective leadership is a positive qualification in any employee, the company can only gain from offering these types of programs. Employees who are offered these programs by their employers may feel a more positive association with the company. Companies that show a concern for their employee?s personal growth may find that employees will feel obligated to do a better job for the company
Blanchard, Kenneth, Patricia Zigarmi, and Drea Zigarmi. Leadership and the One Minute Manager. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1995.
Kelly, Kevin, ?You can?t Make Leaders.? Business Week 07 Dec. 1998: Enterprise My Company. Business Week Online Archives.
Maccoby, Michael, The Leader. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981.