I attended five meetings on a change in leadership of which one I was a chairman and the other one a note taker. In the meeting, leadership was described as a relationship that exists amongst followers and leaders. According to this viewpoint, leaders have the power to effect changes to influence the behavior in others. Apparently, during the meeting leadership was also defined as a process that is transformative and able to influence followers to achieve more than what is expected of them. Despite the many definitions of leadership, the following components can be acknowledged as fundamental to the phenomenon: to begin with, leadership is a process because it involves a transaction of events that occur between followers and their leaders, a process indicates that a leader impacts and is impacted on by followers. Moreover, headship consists of influence whereby the leader can convince the followers. Thirdly, leadership takes place in groups where a leader is supposed to influence a group of people with a common objective. Finally, leadership involves attainment of goals where a leader should be in a position to direct a team to accomplish a task.
During the meeting, different styles of leadership were exhibited in that; a certain role was not permanently fixed on one individual. Also, the members who were to take part in the meeting were all punctual. Blanchard and Hersey`s Situational Leadership Model comprises of four basic leadership styles: telling, selling, delegating, and participating. In one of the workshops attended by our group, the members filled a questionnaire on leadership behavior, which was later analyzed. Apparently, most of the individuals in the group and I fitted in the selling style of leadership where there is an attempt by the leader to convince the individuals in the group that the leader is the one in authority (Lerstrom 2008). According to Blanchard, Hersey, and Johnson (2001), the selling type can be described as a means used in clarifying, explaining, and persuading. During different activities in the group, I have attained the selling type of leadership style in performing most of the activities whereby, a leader can change his or her style of performing tasks to meet the needs of the people they serve (Lerstrom 2008). Ostensibly, there are several occasions where I have adopted the telling leadership style during the planning process where I issued instructions to the group members to achieve a common objective. An example is where I gave instructions to individuals to divide work amongst themselves to complete the tasks in the shortest duration (Lerstrom 2008).
From the meeting, I learned that although leadership and management are two distinct factors, they are both essential for an organization to be successful. Apparently, they also share some similarities since they are both involved in the alignment of resources, motivating the workers, and establishing direction for an institution (Kotterman 2006). However, managers are responsible for planning and budgeting whereas leaders are responsible for determining direction. Also, whereas managers' focus on organizing resources and maintaining order since their roles are narrowed down, leaders focus on developing new goals as well as aligning the business enterprise (Kotterman 2006). Ostensibly, it is not normal for a person to have both skills of leading and managing and hence in most cases organizations hire consultants of leadership to offer training aimed at developing and teaching leadership skills. However, managers are still able to display leadership traits and may lead a team or a project but they will still end up performing the role of management. Improving the performance of both the managers and leaders helps an organization improve its performance(Kotterman 2006).
Apparently, most of the corporations in the United States are underled and over managed and hence there is a need to develop a capacity to practice leadership. Corporations that are successful actively identify individuals who are potential leaders and consequently expose them to career opportunities that are aimed at developing the potential (Kotter 2007). Notably, with careful selection, encouragement, and nurturing masses of people, individuals can play an essential role in leadership roles in the organization. Apart from improving the leadership abilities of individuals, companies should also focus on the management abilities of the people. However, the main challenge comes in when an organization tries to balance between strong management and strong leadership (Kotter 2007).
Any group made of business-minded individuals can give a detailed report on the qualities of a good leader. To begin with, a good leader sets strategies from which he or she will achieve set objectives. Secondly, a leader motivates the followers in ways that may be used to increase the efficiency of the work or tasks performed. Apparently, there is limited information on, which leadership behavior yields the best results (Roe, 2017). Apart from the leadership qualities, there are also qualities that make an individual a good follower. Such attributes include self-management in that a follower should be able to make decisions for themselves instead of waiting for instructions from the leader. Followers should be confident enough to challenge the superiors when they are wrong. Another quality is the commitment, which means giving devotion to something or someone. An active follower should be able to devote him or herself to any task (Roe, 2017). The element is essential regarding maintaining focus and motivation. Thirdly, an active follower has good personal attributes such as honesty, credibility, courageous, and insightfulness. An added advantage of this quality is that the follower will do what is right and restrain from doing what is wrong regardless of where the orders are coming from. The final quality is continuous self-development in that an effective follower should always strive to improve him or herself both at peripheral and core level (Roe, 2017).
The greatest challenge experienced by leaders is formulating strategies to effect change in an organization. Often, reorganization is feared because it affects the status quo as well as it is a disturbance to the standard ways of doing things. Change is difficult to effect because of different reasons such as lack of trust and misunderstanding among people with a common objective (Kotter and Schlesinger 1989). Individuals fear change because they are afraid that the move might result in losses than profits. Such difficulties usually arise when there are disagreements amongst the parties involved in effecting the change. Another reason why people resist change is the fear that they will lose something valuable in the process. In essence, the resistance to change is as a result of self-interest instead of the interests of the organization. However, leaders can effect change in an organization by communication as well as education to the members of an organization on the advantages that come with change (Kotter and Schlesinger 1989). Education process comprises of a one-one talk with the people involved whereas communication involves informing the people on the logic and need for change. Additionally, the resistance to change can be reduced by involving the resistors in the change process. Alternatively, leaders may reduce the rate at which people are resistant to change by implicit and explicit coercion where the leaders force the people to accept and embrace change through firing, transferring, or threatening them. However, leaders are not limited to using any method of effecting change in an organization(Kotter and Schlesinger 1989).
Leadership is defined as a process that is transformative and able to influence followers to achieve more than what is expected of them. The following components form an effective leader: he or she does activities in an organized process; he or she is influential, and finally, he or she able to achieve the set goals. Different theories relate to leadership such as the Blanchard and Hersey`s Situational Leadership Model Theory, which comprises of four basic leadership styles: telling, selling, and delegating, and participating. Management and leadership share similarities since they are both involved in the alignment of resources, motivating the workers, and establishing direction for an institution. Although leadership and management are two distinct factors, they are both essential for an organization to be successful.
Hersey, P., Blanchard, K.H. and Johnson, D.E., 2001. Management of Organizational Behavior. New Dehli.
Kotter, J.P., 2007. What leaders do. Harvard Business Review, 68(3).
Kotterman, J., 2006. Leadership versus management: what's the difference?. The Journal for Quality and Participation, 29(2), p.13.
Kotter, J.P., and Schlesinger, L.A., 1989. Choosing strategies for change. In Readings in Strategic Management (pp. 294-306). Palgrave, London.
Lerstrom, A.C., 2008. Advising Jay: A case study using a situational leadership approach. NACADA Journal, 28(2), pp.21-27.
Roe, K., 2017. Leadership: practice and perspectives. Oxford University Press.
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