Every organization is like a ship run by its captain, someone that directs the course of the ship and runs the various activities in the ship to ensure its smooth sailing voyage. In an organization, it is important that there is a leader that is will make sure that everything will be alright. Being a leader is quite a difficult and daunting task. It requires knowledge, expertise on the job at hand, good communication and leadership skills and charisma. Leaders are the people who handle the various activities that concern the organization. They keep things organized and in place to also ensure the organization’s stability.
Concepts and practices of leadership suddenly gained popularity as many people are seeking and trying to understand the various aspects of leadership. Organizations today face challenges and changes that they never encounter before. The concept of leadership is important in ensuring the organization’s effectiveness and managing change. Leading or being a leader is an innate human activity. That is the reason why every man is capable of leading any organization. However, many people make strong assertions and assumptions about leadership without understanding a great deal about the concept (McNamara, 2008).
Many people assume that leadership is about being the first, biggest and the strongest of all. Little that we know, leadership has a more meaningful definition. A leader is someone who sets direction through effort and influences others to follow the same direction (McNamara, 2008). How leaders direct and influence people depends on how they carry out their tasks.
One of the factors that affect the leadership of a person is the leadership style that he employs. There is a wide array of leadership styles that leaders can employ to achieve maximum efficiency of the organization. The role of leadership in an organization largely depends on the culture of the organization. The leadership style is also influenced by the leader’s beliefs, values and attitudes. There are several leadership styles which have their own advantages and disadvantages.
First is the autocrat. An autocratic leader is a dominating leader that continually coerces the members to achieve the organization’s goals. Overall, this type of leadership style is inappropriate for team and to bring out theirs best performance. However, there are instances that require this type of leadership style such as circumstances that call for urgent action and demand an authority to set directions to the subordinates (“Leadership Styles”, 1997).
The Laissez-Faire manager is the complete opposite of the autocratic leadership style aforementioned. This particular leadership style exercise little control over the group that he manages. He left them to manage and sort things out and to their work with minimal supervision and participation of the leader. Generally, this type of leadership style allows members of the teams to do things in their own way with little direction and motivation (“Leadership Styles”, 1997).
There are also circumstances that Laissez-Faire approach is best employed. This leadership style is proven to be effective when leading and managing a group of highly motivated and skilled people who proved to produce excellent work. Once a leader established that his teams is capable of handling the job, it is often best to take a step back and refrain from interfering to the task for it may generate resentment and decrease their effectiveness. By allowing them to do work by themselves, you can empower them to reach the set goals (“Leadership Styles”, 1997).
The democratic leader, on the other hand, does not easily make decisions without consulting the members of the team first. Still, the leader manages to maintain the control of the group. The democratic leader allows his team to decide how the task should be done and who will get the job done.
This type of leadership style can be seen in two perspectives: A good democratic leader encourages participation from the team and delegates wisely by soliciting ideas and views from the team members. Still, he never denies the fact that he is the leader of the group and has a crucial responsibility to lead the team. He values the group members’ ideas and can be seen as solicitation of the strong points in order to obtain the best performance from the team. His way of motivation is empowering the team members by directing them and guides them with less supervision. However, this can also be seen as a leader that is unsure of himself and his capability to manage the group. Every move of the team is dependent on the group’s decision (“Leadership Styles”, 1997).
Good leadership must be a leading with proper ethical modes and characteristics. It begins with the way the leaders perceive and conceptualize the world and culture around them. Ethical leadership, organizational ethics and social responsibility are three inseparable concepts. In short, the role of leadership is to bring out the best of human potential of the stakeholders of the organization to achieve the desired objectives and goals. Effective and efficient leadership requires four vital components which include knowledge, authority, trust and purpose.
Organizations must first understand the fundamentals of leaderships before they make crucial decisions in line with their acquired authority. Leaders are not born. In order to become an effective leader, it involves time and effort to hone the important skills and abilities of being a leader. It is essential that leaders undergo training to constantly hone their skills and adapt on the modern leadership trends.
Leaders in an organization do not have to be the authoritative types that always ask to do things. Leaders must inspire, motivate and integrate. The leadership needed in an organization and the various roles that they have to serve greatly depends on the current status of the organization.
The leadership’s primary role is to create a clear vision for success and to communicate this vision clearly and consistently throughout the members of the organization. In short, leadership must lead the effort. It is leadership’s primary responsibility to assure that the goals, objectives and progress are properly aligned with those of the whole enterprise. This can be done by modifying the organization in such a way that the member of the organization naturally pursues the attainment of goals and objectives. This requires the creation of new positions and departments, modifying the rewards, incentives, recognition and compensation systems.
Leaders are the people who manage crisis and dilemmas in and out the organization. They deal with the various problems that concern the organization, especially those that threat the stability and image of the organization. For example, Leadership also plays a crucial role in creating a diversity-sensitive organization. The successful development of a diversity-sensitive organization is not simply increasing the percentage of the minority’s representations. It also requires effective leadership starting from the highest position to commit to the recruitment, retention, development and support of the people that were underrepresented or unrepresented before (Dreachslin, 2007).
The leadership must educate and convince others that this is a strategic value and the long-term directions of the organization. It is their responsibility to maintain the focus on complying with the direction and avoid or minimize resistance. While the success of any inclusion initiative is the result of the complex interplay of several factors, I believe that leadership commitment and buy-in is a foundational prerequisite (Dreachslin, 2007).
Research findings found out that diversity in an organization tests the leadership skills of a person in a deeper and a more personal level. It proves that the leader must adapt himself to the various cultural and ethnic groups for the whole organization to achieve their goals and objectives as well as to effectively manage the group (Dreachslin, 2007).
Furthermore, diverse groups most likely experience socioemotional conflict because of the style difference and perceptions of interpersonal biases. Thus, the leaders of the diverse groups are challenged to address these conflicts and ensure a well-functioning productive team. Also, because diverse groups spend more time in resolving their differences, the leaders are required to hone their interpersonal skills and motivate the group to effectively perform tasks at hand (Dreachslin, 2007).
Race and ethnicity, gender, generation, profession, and other diversity dimensions are often the proverbial “elephant in the room” of the organizations. Conventional approaches to leadership that fail to identify and address diversity dynamics tend to exacerbate dysfunctional conflict and interfere with teamwork in diverse organizations. The leaders’ awareness that diversity dynamics are present in the organization and their ability to utilize the diversity as a unifying force will transcend such differences in perspective and validating alternative viewpoints are vital to a positive climate (Dreachslin, 2007).
Leadership is a vital element in an organization. It drives the whole organization to better place. Leadership has the ability to transform individuals, improve working conditions and revolutionize the whole organizational procedures and processes. Leadership plays various roles in the organization aside from directing and assigning the members of their tasks and responsibilities to achieve the goals and objectives set. Good leadership requires skills and aptitudes that are needed in managing people of different backgrounds and different motivating factor. Good leaders try to make both ends meet and synergized the whole organization to bring out their maximum human potential.
Good leaders employ leadership styles that are appropriate for the situation, circumstance and organizational need. The type of leadership style employed in an organization is based according to the needs and demands of the organization. Leadership organizes and shapes the whole organization and run important tasks needed to increase the productivity and efficiency of the organization. Leadership is also employed to ensure that all members are guided of the tasks that they needed to perform and get done, so that time and money of the organization is not wasted because of misuse of the members.
Leadership also deals with the problems that occur in the workplace. They try to resolve the different issues concerning the organization, its management and its employees. Good leadership finds a way to always achieve a win-win solution to the problem or find a way to compromise the two parties. Leadership is a crucial factor in an organization for without it the whole organization will not be directed and managed accordingly.
Dreachslin, Janice L.. (2007). The role of leadership in creating a diversity-sensitive organization.(DIVERSITY). Journal of Healthcare Management. American College of Healthcare Executives. Retrieved March 31, 2009, from http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-164594509.html.
Leadership Styles. (1997, February 6). Retrieved March 31, 2009, from http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~gerard/MENG/ME96/Documents/Styles/styles.html?http://www.ee.ed.ac.uk/~gerard/MENG/ME96/Documents/Styles/styles.html.
McNamara, C. (2008). Overview of Leadership in Organizations. Free Management Library. Retrieved March 31, 2009, from http://managementhelp.org/ldrship/ldrship.htm.