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In a highly dynamic globalized environment, effective leadership is indispensible for managing business organizations successfully. Based on leadership development theory, the given paper explores the techniques, approaches, and practices that make a leader efficient.
Leader’s ability to act in a global environment and adjust to the rapidly occurred changes is essential for reconciling the internal business processes with the external, highly competence setting. Additionally, the role of the leader is confined to strengthening employees’ organizational commitment.
In order to define the effectiveness of leadership, the choice of the participants is premised on personal experience of cooperating with a district supervisor who employs global strategies.
While analyzing the leader’s behavioral patterns and implemented strategies, it should be concluded that her organizational loyalty is extremely strong because the manager has succeeded in controlling the working environment with the currently changing management trends.
The leader who served as a model for exemplary leadership was my district manager. She was time efficient, motivational, and a team player. Furthermore, she was a powerful player who made quick and effective decisions. These matters will be analyzed in light of theoretical frameworks.
Effective leaders are sometimes reflective of the era in which they belong, and modern environments are unique because of their complexity and turbulence.
Modern leaders must strike a balance between long-term and short-term thinking (Barton et. al., 2012). It is imperative for them to think of how their organizations will perform in two or three decades. However, they must also work out new ways of making things work in the present moment.
It must not be either one or the other. In dynamic environments, effective leaders should also be unshakable in the midst of a crisis. Unless one has the emotional and physical capacity to cope with stress, it is not possible to become an effective global leader (Friedman, 2005). In this regard, it is imperative to weed out non-priority issues and focus on the high-impact ones even during times of uncertainty.
Leadership development theory also provides some pointers on what makes effective leaders. Scholars assert that a good leader must know himself or herself. This ability is essential because it allows the person to make changes concerning his or her life. These types of leaders are deeply engaged with their situations.
They listen and build relationships regardless of the need to multitask and the constant demands on their attention (Freed, 2004). Leadership development also entails understanding one’s dark side and moderating it. If a leader exhibits fear, envy or jealousy, then the person has not mastered his or her competencies. They must be empathetic and realize that negative organizational factors immensely affect employees’ performance.
Highly developed leaders are also appreciative of the factors around them. Their attitude is one that allows them to navigate the tumultuous organizational environment without laying blame or wanting to control everything. Furthermore, leadership development entails being vulnerable. These leaders admit when they are wrong and allow their subordinates to hold them accountable (Goldsmith & Morgan, 2004).
Good leaders also have a retrospective attitude in which they look at their present situations from a different light. They question old ways of interacting and use new ones if they are available to them. For instance in an era where relationships have become so shallow, it is critical to use one on one interactions to as to establish that true sense of connectedness.
Some lessons on leadership also emerge from the organizational citizenship behavior school. In this school of thought an effective leader is one who causes employees to have a strong sense of loyalty and support for their organizations. One way of fostering strong organizational citizenship is by modeling the behavior. Individuals need to understand what good citizenship behavior is when they observe their leaders.
This implies assisting and supporting workers as well as giving them support when they need it. A good leader must also foster an organizational environment in which people react to unpleasant policies by taking positive actions rather than passively complaining about them.
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Their leader ought to allow for changes to take place by facilitating those changes rather than merely enforcing the status quo. Furthermore, such a person must defend the institution effectively even in the wake of strong criticisms from various angles.
Organizational commitment is also another way in which leaders become effective. These individuals are able to build a strong sense of commitment to their institutions of work. Supervisors or leaders can achieve this by focusing on job satisfaction (Pulakos et. al., 2000).
They need to design jobs in a way that challenges and grants autonomy to individuals. Furthermore, leaders need to foster a high degree of trust between themselves and their followers (Lepine & Wesson, 2013). Followers must not feel like they are mere tools to be used and discarded as well. Therefore, manipulation and control tactics have no place in today’s organizational environment.
Application and analysis
My supervisor and sales district manager was not a global leader, but her style of leadership epitomized these values. She knew how to strike a balance between long term and short thinking. For instance, she was constantly focusing on the store’s vision of the brand but was also using employee input to look for new ways of tackling current predicaments.
Additionally, the district manager was quite stable in crises. In one situation, a consignment was late, yet an impatient customer wanted to get it immediately. She found a way of dissipating the crisis by calmly explaining to the client how much the organization had already done for him. This had the effect of deflecting attention from the negative result and focusing it on the effort that the company had already put in the transaction.
It was also evident that the district manager had engaged in leadership development. First, she was empathetic and supportive of others. In this regard, if a person was not delivering or meeting their targets, she would establish the cause and work alongside the employee in carving out solutions to those obstacles. Furthermore, she often listened to subordinates and took notice when she had made a mistake.
Perhaps what was quite interesting about her was her propensity to treat all organizational members equally. It did not matter whether one was a minimum wage laborer or peer; she gave people the respect and attention they deserved.
One did not get the sense of invisibility that some leaders exude among workers. She seemed approachable, and it was always easy to pitch new ideas to her. Since some of them were not easy to implement, she found a way of politely declining an idea when the time was not right for it.
It is rather difficult to exhibit strong organizational citizenship behavior in hierarchical and bureaucratic organizations. However, the district manager overcame this hurdle by working on the trust issues in the company.
Members always felt like she was on their side. Since she represented top management, then the rest followed. Furthermore, she was always punctual and effective at making decisions. These were qualities that the rest of the team emulated. In essence, they modelled organizational citizenship.
Effective leadership was evident in the district manager because her behavior (quick decision making, time consciousness) elicited strong organizational leadership. She was also a well developed leader who empathized with other. The district manager had a way of staying grounded and focusing on what mattered for the organization.
In this analysis, I might have been biased by my ideas on leadership. Additionally, I did not work for a long time in the institution, and this may have hidden some aspects of her leadership style. Nonetheless, the district manager has shown me the relevance of modeling one’s behavior for others to follow. In the future I will use this to sharpen my leadership skills.
Barton, D., Grant, A., Horn, M. (2012). Leading in the 21st century. McKinsey Quarterly, 3(4), 45.
Freed, J. (2004). In search of sages. London: Sage
Friedman, T. L. (2005). The world is flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.
Goldsmith, M. & Morgan, H. (2004). Leadership is a contact sport. Strategy-Business, 36(3), 2-10.
Lepine, C. & Wesson, T. (2013). Organizational behavior: Improving performance and commitment in the workplace. NY: Longman.
Pulakos, E., Arad, S., Donovan, M and Plamondon, K. (2000). Adaptability in the Workplace: Development of a Taxonomy of Adaptive Performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85 (12), 612–24.