Leadership Competencies

AbstractThis research paper is intended to explore the various leadership competencies that have been researched upon and found sound and working in the field of leadership.

The basic assumption towards leadership competencies are that nobody was born being a leader hence there exists no inherent leadership qualities in any one individual. According to this research paper, the assumption is that these behaviors leading to leadership competency are skills that can be learnt. The research paper further tries to stress the significance of a systematic well-designed and planned system of acquiring and assimilating the sets of behavior leading to leadership competencies. Time is of crucial importance in the process because the entire process of developing the leadership competence needs maturity.

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Unlike other forms of research that assumes a scientific approach, this research adopts the mode of investigation based on personal intellectuality and collection of details and information on this particular subject. The weight of each leadership competency model gives the extent of challenge in the development of the respective leadership competency.IntroductionDiverse organizations exhibit diverse processes as well as cultures and therefore there is a failure of readily prepared tools as well as processes aimed to provide ownership to the participants. The different cultures, climates as well as nuisances always found in every organization require involvement of all individuals to participate in development as well as implementation of new process.

Extra-ordinary as well as demanding challenges are exposed to leaders in their capacity whether the leadership is at a personal or at an organization level. To achieve success, there is a requirement of a behavior that enhances a balanced approach that recognizes that successful results can only be obtainable through people.A leader influences others by his qualities, viz. confidence, communicative ability, awareness of his impact on others as well as perceptions about the situation and his subordinates.

The effect of a leader’s background experiences, his communication ability, self-awareness, confidence, his perceptions of subordinates, the situation and the self are shown below (Prasad, 2006, p.  264).;SOCIAL VALUES;ECONOMICCONDITIONS;LEADERSTRUCTURE;FOLLOWERS;POLITICAL CONSIDERATIONS;;[Source: Taken from, Prasad LM, (2006) Organizational Behavior, Fig 26.1 p 287];;All these factors interact together to determine the leader’s ability to influence others.

Almost every aspect of work is influenced by, if not dependent on, leadership. The leader is the chief communicator to people outside the group as well as within the group. The leader’s attitude and behaviour affects the motivation of the group.The leader is responsible for seeing that the group’s objectives are clearly understood and are accomplished.

The planning and control mechanisms are designed or modified by the leader. How the leader behaves influences employees’ satisfaction and affects the quality and quantity of output.All leaders have three limiting factors to contend with. Firstly, they are limited by their own ability, by their knowledge, skills, attitudes, weaknesses and inadequacies.

Secondly, they are limited by the level of experience, skills, proficiencies and attitudes of their subordinates. Finally, they are limited by their environment. This includes the resources and conditions, which are available to them in their effort to achieve their objectives. All these factors are constantly changing  (Yvonne, 2003, p.

189).The apparent action of leaders account for 70 percent of the view the employees develop as pertains the organizations’ environment. The collapse of a business can be out of ignorance of emotions in the business workplace. Vibrant leadership as well as the real leadership style is significantly a component of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness as well as relationship management, all of which makes up Emotional Intelligence as the most significant leadership competence.

(Ann, 2005).Commands as well as setting paces for employees by their leaders in the workplace climate are rather performance oriented, which for the benefit of the organization, be replaced by a continuous play between visionary, coaching, affiliate as well as democratic styles. They are crucial to development of motivation as well as a reservoir of positivity that unleashes the best in people. (Ann, 2005).

A positive leadership competence if it has to serve its purpose has to serve the following; show determination to achieve the most excellent results, focus on the market, find better ways to achieve the intended goals, demand top performance, inspire commitment and develop one self and others.Leadership competence is essential to helping a company become a leader and brings out numerous vibrant minds incumbent and still existing in the company but whose perception were not pronounced earlier. Leadership competence is essential to keep the company ahead of the competition while allowing the push of manpower ahead to the maximum.Leadership entails far much beyond the concept of commanding authority and giving orders, only for the managers and company executives who have an understanding of building trust a priority.

For the purpose of achieving a happy and a productive environment, which is conducive for all state to take responsibilities for the benefit of the company more efforts should be geared towards raising a working leadership competence. Today’s companies that excel in business are flexible and open to absorb and implement good ideas.What are Leadership Competencies?Leadership competencies refer to some measurable patterns of behavior that are of crucial importance to leading. The idea depicts knowledge, an understanding as well as a way of thinking and disposition.

The process of leadership development must begin at the formative age of youth, and continue in an individual’s lifetime because it is an endless life long process.Purposes of Leadership CompetenciesPerformance expectations are the leadership knowledge, skills, attitudes as well as abilities individuals should possess at various levels all aimed at enhanced mission performance. There are three categories of leadership competencies: self, which is fundamental to successful development as a leader in understanding of self one’s own abilities, including personality, values as well as potential preferences. Working with others: leadership involves working with others and influencing others to achieve common goals on diverse capacities such as supervisor, mentor, manager, team member, team leader, peer as well as subordinate.

Performance: challenges are expected in works’ mission operations whereby leadership competence is a daily duty, which must be applied to meet these challenges.However, most of these competencies overlap categories. Together these leadership competencies are key to success and contribute to the continuous improvement necessary to provide valued service as well as goods delivery to the public.The basic aims of leadership competencies are categorized as follows; bringing change through continued learning, creativity and innovation, building external awareness, being flexible and resilient, service motivation, strategic thinking and vision leading people through conflict management, leveraging diversity, integrity, honesty as well as team building.

Results are driven through accountability, customer services, decisiveness, entrepreneurship, problem solving as well as technical creativity. Building coalition can be effective through influencing and negotiating, interpersonal skills, oral communication, partnering, political survey as well as written communication. (Lovis, 2000).Ways to Develop a Leadership CompetenceLeadership competence entails a process that is characterized by purpose.

It is a flowing process involving a long span of time whereby a learner moves from a certain state in a situation whereby the learner cannot perform as according to the purpose in description learn is in a position to demonstrate the performance. This transition entails the learning the training involves making of some specific arrangements in the surrounding atmosphere of specific learner with experiences, skills and knowledge necessary towards confrontation and mastering the learning task, by which the learner can undergo a transformation to a different state that warrants the student to attain performance level as is so desired.Leadership development can never be looked at as being one single training course, a one-short-event or an overnight transcendence but rather it must be long-term, continuous, closely chained, systematically organized learning and skill, knowledge, experience-building undertaking. Further leadership competence should not take place in members’ isolation.

Peers’ support and encouragement offers a centrically important environment. Leadership is a combination of the group, the environment and the task; forming three dynamic factors that work in combination. Leadership functions should be performed by several members of the group. Several members are entitled to achieve a set goal, on condition of requirements the situation requires and the available resources, which include time, people as well as materials required and therefore leadership can as well be considered as a property of the overall group.

Leadership StylesLeadership styles are the patterns of behavior, which a leader adopts in influencing the behavior of his followers (subordinates) in the organizational context. These patterns emerge in the leader as he begins to respond in the same fashion under similar conditions; he develops habits of actions that become somewhat predictable to those who work with him. There are many dimensions of leadership styles: power dimension where superior uses varying degree of authority; orientation -employee or task-oriented; motivational-where superior affects the behavior of his subordinates either by giving a reward or by imposing a penalty. All these styles are leader of oriented.

Leadership style is the result of leader’s philosophy, personality, experience and value system. It also depends upon the types of followers and the organizational atmosphere prevailing in the enterprise. There may be situations and follower-oriented styles. However, such a classification may not be strict because in a particular classification, some elements of other classification may appear.

The availability of the various styles suggests that there cannot be a single best style, which can always be adopted  (Yvonne, 2003, p. 191). Motivational StyleA leader’s approach in influencing his subordinates can either be positive or negative. If his approach emphasizes rewards for followers, he is using positive leadership.

If he emphasizes penalties or fear and force in directing his subordinates towards the organizational goals, he is applying negative leadership. The stronger a penalty is, the more negative the leadership is. The same reasoning applies to rewards and incentives. Thus there exists a continuous range from strongly positive to strongly negative leadership.

Almost every manager uses both the styles, but his predominant style sets a tone within his group.A leader with negative approach relies heavily on control and formal authority of his position to fine, reprimand or discharge his subordinates. Negative leadership get acceptance in many situations, but it has undesirable side effects also. Workers are always guided by the fear of penalties, i.

e., suspension, dismissal or fine due to which their morale is lowered. But the leader with positive approach depends upon reward incentives and positive gains to the followers to induce them to direct their energies towards the common goals of the group. This approach is more complex.

Being fundamentally based on an analysis of human needs for maximum motivation, it requires a study of an individual to find out his needs and wants and then provides a work situation, which enables the follower to satisfy such needs while working towards the accomplishment of organizational goals (Ahuja K, 2005, p.436). The positive leader exercises power through people instead of power over people.;Power Style or Delegate StyleThe way in which a leader uses power also establishes a type of style of leadership.

Each style, autocratic, participative or free rein has its benefits and limitations. A leader may use all styles over period of time, but one style tends to predominate as his normal way of using power. For example, a factory supervisor who is normally autocratic, but he is participative in determining vacation schedules and free rein in selecting a departmental representative for safety committee. It should be noted that these classifications are not scientific.

In practice, a leader adopts a combination of styles because there are thousands and one styles of power which each manager applies in his own way (Ahuja K, 2005, p.439). Power use exists along a continuum ranging from total power to no power use at all and effective manager usually show some style flexibility along this continuum.;Task-centered and Employee-centered ManagersIt has been observed that managers secure somewhat higher productivity and morale if they are highly employee oriented.

The employee-centered manager is considerate of his men as human beings. He recognizes their needs and respects their human dignity. He tries to build teamwork, develop his people and help them in solving their problems. In this way he tries to build an effective work group with high performance goals.

As against this,;The “TASK CENTRED MANAGER” is concerned primarily with the performance of assigned tasks at prescribed rates, using standard methods, conditions and time. He believes in getting results by devising better methods, keeping people constantly busy and urging them to produce (Ahuja K, 2005, p.476). The employee-centered manager wants to help his subordinates with their problems, not only on the job, but even off the job.

He also tries to develop them for the next higher job and tries to get them ready for promotion.;Autocratic- Participative-Free-rein LeadershipAccording to this dimension, there are three leadership styles:1. Autocratic leadership2. Participative leadership3.

Free-rein leadership.Autocratic leadershipThis is also known as authoritarian, directive or monothetic style. In autocratic leadership style, a manager centralizes decision-making power in himself. He structures the complete work situation 4or his employees and they do what they are told.

Here, the leadership may be negative because followers are uninformed, insecure, and afraid of leader’s authority. There are three categories of autocratic leaders (Prasad, 2006, p.  245).(a) Strict autocrat, He follows autocratic styles in a very strict sense.

His method of influencing subordinates’ behavior is through negative motivation, that is, by criticizing subordinates, imposing penalty, etc.(b) Benevolent autocrat. He also centralizes decision-making power in him, but his motivation style is positive. He can be effective in getting efficiency in many situations.

Some people like to work under strong authority structure and they derive satisfaction by this leadership.(c) Incompetent autocrat. Sometimes, superiors adopt autocratic leadership style just to hide their in competency, because in other styles they may be exposed before their subordinates. However, this cannot be used for a long time.

The main advantages of autocratic technique are as follows:(i)                 There are many subordinates in the organization who prefer to work under centralized authority structure and strict discipline. They get satisfaction from this style.(ii)               It provides strong motivation and reward to a manager exercising this style.(iii)             It permits very quick decisions as a single person takes most of the decisions.

(iv)              Less competent subordinates also have scope to work in the organization under his leadership style as they do negligible planning, organization and decision-making.There are many disadvantages also:(i)                 People in the organization dislike it specially when it is strict and the motivational style is negative.(ii)                Employees lack motivation. Frustration, low morale, and conflict develop in the organization jeopardizing the organizational efficiency.

(iii)              There is more dependence and less individuality in the organization. As such, future leaders in the organization do not develop.Considering the organizational efficiency and employees’ satisfaction, autocratic style generally is not suitable. The autocratic management has been successful because it provides strong motivation and reward to the manager.

It permits quick decision-making, because only one person decides for the whole group. It has also been successful in such situations where subordinates are reluctant to take initiative.In nursing organization this style is quite common and has often succeeded. In future it is less likely to be effective because:(a) The coming generations less amenable to rigid direction and control.

(b) The standard of living of people is rising.(c) There is now social awareness among the people, they look for social and egoistic satisfactions from their jobs.Participative LeadershipThis style is also called democratic, consultative or ideographic. Participation is defined as mental and emotional involvement of a person in a group situation, which encourages him to contribute to group goals and share responsibility in them.

A participative manager decentralizes his decision-making process. Instead of taking unilateral decision, he emphasizes consultation and participation of his subordinates. Subordinates are broadly informed about the conditions affecting them and their jobs. This process emerges from the suggestions and ideas, on which decisions are based.

The participation may, be either real or pseudo. In the case of former; a superior gives credit to subordinate’s suggestions and ideas in taking the decisions while in the case of latter the superior preaches participation in theory, but really he does not prefer it in practice. (Prasad, 2006, p.  264)There are various benefits in real participative management.

These are as follows:(i)                 It is a highly motivating technique to employees, as they feel elevated when their ideas and suggestions are given weight in decision-making.(ii)               The employee’s productivity is high because they are party to the decision. Thus, they implement the decisions whole-heartedly.They share the responsibility with the superior and try to safeguard him also.

As someone has remarked, `The fellow in the boat with you never bores a hole in it’ is quite applicable in this case too. (Prasad, 2006, p.  268)(iii)              It provides organization stability by raising morale and attitudes of employees high and favorable.Further, leaders are also prepared to take organizational positions.

Keeping in view these advantages, management makes attempts for effective participation. The common methods adopted are democratic supervision, production, committees, suggestions programmes and multiple management. However, this style is not free from certain limitations, which are as follows:(i)                 Complex nature of organization requires a thorough understanding of its problems which lower level employees may not be able to do. As such, participation does not remain meaningful.

(ii)               Some people in the organization want minimum interaction with their superiors or associates. For them, participation technique is discouraging instead of encouraging.(iii)             Participation can be used covertly to manipulate employees. Thus, some employees may prefer the open tyranny of an autocrat as compared to covert tyranny of a group.

A democratic leader is one who gives orders only after consulting the group, sees to it that policies are worked out in group discussion and with the acceptance of the group, never asks people to do things without sketching out the long-term plans on which they are working, makes it clear that praise or blame is a matter for the group and participates in the group as a member. Participative leadership style favors decision making through discussion, sharing of power by allowing the group to make decisions and to let decisions emerge from the group. Participative manager decentralizes managerial authority. His decisions are not unilateral as with the autocrat because they arise from consultation with followers and participation by them.

Unlike an autocrat manager who controls through the authority he possesses, a participative manager exercises control mostly by using forces within the group.Free Reign or Laissez Faire LeaderSuch a leader does not lead but leaves the group entirely to itself. The chairman of the board who does not manage, but leaves all responsibility for most of the work to his subordinates represents him. The free reign manager avoids power.

He depends upon the group to establish its own goals and work out its own problems. Group members work themselves and provide their own motivation.Free Rein or laissez-faire technique means giving complete freedom to subordinates. In this style, manager once determines policy, programmes and limitations for action and the entire process is left to subordinates.

Group members perform everything and the manager usually maintains contacts with outside persons to bring the information and materials, which the group needs (Yvonne, 2003, p. 211).This type of style is suitable to certain situations where the manager can leave a choice to his group. This helps subordinates to develop independent personality.

However, the contribution of manager is almost nit. It tends to permit different units of an organization to proceed at cross-purposes and can degenerate into chaos. Hence, this style is used very rarely in business organizations.Emotional IntelligenceThe primal job of a leader is emotional-making employees feel good (inspired and empowered) is a job a leader should do first.

Leaders perform best when they stay emotionally connected to the realities of their business and to their teams’ personal goals and needs. Emotional Intelligence provides insight that are critical for complex organizations to survive the shortcomings of the command-and-control leadership culture.The need to lead and to respond to leadership is innate. Leaders who get their employees emotionally engaged accomplish far more.

The use of innate self-awareness helps the leader to be subjected to open criticism. Since one has to be fairly smart to be a senior manager, IQ among top senior managers does vary widely. However, Emotional Intelligence does thus those managers with high Emotional Intelligence will be more successful. Priming good feeling in employees is the fundamental task of leaders, when the leader makes or creates resonance a reservoir of positivism that unleashes the best.

(Daniel, 2002).Emotional Intelligence entails handling one’s emotions well when dealing with others while exhibiting resonance, bring out the best in people by being positive about their emotions. Four dimensions of Emotional Intelligence are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management.Self-awarenessExplicit understanding that one exists as an individual, separate from others with private thoughts, while understanding that other people are similarly self-aware.

It is a unique type of consciousness since it is always present and not sought after, since it is a basis for human trait. People may act differently when self-consciousness is lost.Self-managementImplies to the methods, skills and strategies at the disposal of a potential leader relevant to help the leader effectively direct some intended activities towards the achievement of objectives. These include goal setting, planning scheduling, task tracking, self-evaluation, self-intervention, self-development; all oriented to an executive and implementation of the policy issues towards the desired objective.

The issue of agreement on alternative choices are achieved which is unauthoritative.Social AwarenessReflects updated knowledge and consciousness of the problems facing individuals in any social structure or social institution. Social awareness has got its individual competencies.Empathy, which is the ability to pick emotional cues, is the main feature of empathy.

The unspoken or partly expressed thoughts, feelings as well as concerns of others are the true meaning of empathy whose end result is to understand people. This quality when in a leader allows the leader to read people’s mind, to respect and relate to people of different grounds as well as be an attentive listener.Organization awareness, which involves the ability to gauge the potential of the organization, helps to understand political forces, determine key power relationships while understanding value as well as culture.Social orientation, which is the desire to assist and serve, helps the leader to provide satisfaction to others, match the leader services and products to meet others’ needs and is always available.

Relations ManagementIt is the art of meeting people and benefiting from those relationships through obtaining information crucial to the further growth of the business.InitiativeIt is the readiness to embark on a new venture from a business perspective, ability and tendency to initiate, that means an initiative person can start an action such as raising a proposal and offering or assisting in a situation without being priory requested. (Ann, 2005).Self-controlIt involves behaviors to treat issues and circumstances in a way that personal control and power is sufficient to direct control and orchestrate while expecting no interference from external source or any other source of manipulation.

The leader becomes the master of concurrent destiny through checking barriers and obstacles that may threaten success. The leader copes with challenges and controls over-emotional responses thus giving the leader a healthy coping and acceptance of personal responsibilities. It moderates life by accepting the uncontrollable and unchangeable circumstances. The point to be helpless, manipulative, fixing and intimidating others are checked by self-control by detaching oneself from others and keeping relationships in a healthy balance.

Through self-control the individual is responsible mature and adult. (David, 1993).Self-confidenceIt is out of self-confidence that an individual trust potential own abilities, have a general sense of control and has a belief that whatever has been a wish, planned or expected is achievable, while these expectations are realistic. The approval of others for satisfaction is irrelevant but rather an individual should risk disapproval of others due to the degree of trust on individuals’ ability.

To develop self-confidence the individual should have personal credit for any trial made, take risks by taking a new experience as a learning opportunity rather than a win or lose occasion, try to do things well through self-talk approach, and evaluate progress achieved independently. To gain confidence of other players is a key way to success and be a source of inspiration of confidence to audiences, peers, bosses, customers and friends.It is the single competency ingredient to make a difference between success and failure. This leadership competency aids a leader towards presentation in an assured and unhesitant manner, ability to stand out in a group as well as acquire the opinion of being the most capable in the group.

(Lovis, 2000).Accurate Self-assessmentImplies the ability to recognize and identify inherent inner resources, abilities and limits and mainly entails identification of potential strengths and limitations. Individual may yearn for reciprocative feedbacks and new perspectives about individuals and a motivation for an endless learning and self-development while simultaneously targeting personal change environments. The possession of this leadership competency enhances the individual have a sense of human, be aware of personal strengths and limits as well as open to feedback.

(David, 1993).CommunicationGetting and giving information is possibly the most significant leadership competency. No progress can be achieved without communication. To be identified with a group and acculturated to the groups norms helps maintain membership.

Dealing with group members’ knowledge, skills as well as abilities is healthy and allows tackling the problems.EmpathyAs a form of leadership competence is a very crucial as well as an important talent needed by any leader. It refers to the ability to appreciate as well as understand the needs of others. It is double-sided in that it encompasses the ability to uncover needs and then on the other hand how these needs are sensitive.

An empathetic leader when in a group is helpful, willing to face problems as well as has a variety of problem solving tools at his disposal. (Kouzes, 2003).Other Leadership CompetenciesOther behaviors that cultivate positive leadership qualities include cheerfulness, enthusiasm, alertness, integrated character, deliberate control of will, taking risks as well as absence of suspicious anxiety. (Kouzes, 2003).

Greatest Challenges – Most Significant Leadership CompetenceIn developing leadership competencies there exists a biggest challenge in the development. It is also the most important leadership competence. The leadership competence that exhibits the greatest challenge and the most important is emotional intelligence owing to its weight and influences on the orientation of leadership in the workplace and any other social cultural institutions. To cultivate the emotional behaviour of individuals in a group is very crucial towards motivation of any one group.

It poses great challenges to accumulation of all details contained in this leadership competence since the intellectual brain capacity is in use. Not everybody has an equal intelligence quotient with another whereas the results of individual development of the leadership competence is expected to produce equivalent outcomes.On the other hand, individual group members do not have the same mental make-up and therefore they are expected to be handled in different skilled emotional ways to achieve the right motivational effects. It therefore requires a combination of the learning acquired skills as well as the inherent IQ of the respective learner.

DiscussionA leader is usually centrally focused as the prime guide of any organized group having a goal to achieve. A leader is therefore entitled to have knowledge, skills as well as abilities necessary for management because man is a social creature. Leaders’ share a definite set of skills called competencies since leadership is a skill, ability as well as competency that can be acquired. The elements of leadership behavior exist in a state of isolation as specific learning.

They are programmed in a systematic order and learning them is an extended long-term process of development. The development of a single leadership shill requires sufficient time so as it can affect the desired behavioral change towards the respective leadership competence. Competencies exhibit a cluster of about eighty aspects of knowledge, skills as well as attitudes and therefore a plan as well as a design is essential for an individual to acquire the desired leadership competencies, which is unachievable by accident.ConclusionThe changing globalization calls for very high levels of output.

The current workplace environment calls for the most efficiency use of available resources. Whereas most of the possible resources such as raw materials, capital and equipment can reach the maximum extent of supply, manpower as a resource can assume a flexible orientation. The only important factors are raising motivation standards of the potential employees achievable by the acting leaders of the team.For these leaders to afford the right motivation and the right working relationships knowledge, skills and experiences are of vital importance.

Due to the fact that all human beings are biologically different both in anatomy and in genetics there is a need for standardizing the personal leadership capabilities.A boss depends upon his authority and as such always drives and orders, but a leader relies upon his confidence and goodwill and always believes in coaching and advising his subordinates. The successful leadership calls for`The ability to comprehend that human being has different motivating forces in different situations, the ability to inspire, and ability to act in a manner that will develop a climate for responding to and arousing motivations.’ (Sharma & Agarwal, 2005,p.

99)Leadership competences have been very effective tools towards getting the solution towards this disparity. Their significance has been appreciated in bridging the gap between the ever-increasing human population in the globe and the ever-decreasing availability of resources. Man needs to survive despite the adversaries of nature and every new technology that would prop this scenario is highly appreciable and cherished.ReferencesAnn M.

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