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Good leadership qualities are essential in modern organizations because leaders influence people to do things willingly and with high standards beyond their norm. It also entails serving an organization or a group within it.
Unproductive leaders have a notion that their team must serve them because they take leadership for their personal gain, rather than a chance to serve the organization and more and the team. This paper focuses on development of leadership qualities, and the importance of the topic in the port environment.
Development of Leadership Qualities
Leadership is a unique role because it is concerned with responsibility of a group of people or a team. As compared to other capabilities where a person acquires skills and knowledge, leadership is different because it requires emotional strengths and good behaviors.
A winning management is not only concerned with assigning tasks to the group, but also having a leader who can motivate them to accomplish organization goals and reach their full potential. Many teams in an organization want to be directed by a leader who has a clear direction, and to be that kind of a person, there are many things that aspiring leaders need to be, know and do.
Many organizations expect their leaders to be high performers, turn around the organization, and persuade team members. A leader must first know how to lead himself so that he can be a good leader to others (Maglen, Hopkins, & Burke, 2001).
As a professional career, ports business involves many activities such as handling cargos, working with cranes and forklifts and hence, there is a need to develop good leadership qualities to build an affective team. Handling cargos than contains many items such as grains, fuels, and chemicals is not an easy task and thus, employees need to be motivated through proper leadership.
A leader can use several ways to develop his leadership qualities in the port. First, a leader must find out what a team thinks about his leadership style. This opens up his eyes and is able to make any changes, especially when employees give their opinions in an open environment. A leader should also listen hard when teams bring out work related matters, give alternatives, and create harmony.
Nevertheless, the leader should respect team’s capabilities and allow them to make some decisions related to their work. Sharing leadership within the team members is essential because a leader recognizes individual strengths.
Developing leadership qualities is a process that entails focusing on the areas that will enhance leadership skills. Montana and Charnov (2008) suggest that leaders need to be of high integrity, which means a leader must be trained to be honest and take responsibilities in any actions they may take, either as a team or individually. Passion is another trait that demands a leader to be zealous about their work.
In light of this, development of leadership qualities in the ports organization is important because it offers performance support through training within the context of work or outside. Leadership development programs benefits not only the managers, but the workforce as well.
First, it boosts the leader’s morale and thus, it is passed on to the workforce who in turn performs better. Well-trained leaders will produce positive outcome in the organization. It will also limit employee turnover since when they are motivated, chances of leaving the company are low, hence skilled staff will be retained.
Development of quality also increases productivity because competent leaders lead their team to success and therefore, leaders have better vision when they are well attached with the team. They are able to identify the issues affecting the team and thus, problem solving is much easier.
Likewise, a good leader is a facilitator and thus, he allows the team members to come up with new ideas and analyzing them in detail. These new ideas keep the company dynamic and ever growing.
Additionally, a leader needs to make himself effective through time management, priority management, crisis management, and delegation. A leader should have an ability to manage time in daily and monthly basis. Priority management entails doing the first things first and doing the right things.
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He ought to handle crisis in the right manner by taking up the crises, adapting to them, and then getting things back to normal effectively and fast. Leaders should learn to delegate duties to others according to their level of their knowledge and skills because they cannot do everything (Maglen, Hopkins, & Burk, 2001).
Similarly, commitment to developing others is part of leadership, which is done through performance assessment, where a leader evaluates individual performance and gives feedback. One-on-one session is good because group members can discuss issues in the open without any fear.
Both informal and formal coaching is also necessary to build individual skills. A team leader should empower the group members so that they can make decisions while performing their tasks. Hiring of the best staff makes leadership easier and so, a leader should create time for selecting the best.
Leadership Qualities and Career progression
Development of leadership qualities adds more skills in the process of developing a career at in the port environment. After acquiring many skills, a person can decide to either stay at the current job or look for another that matches the attained skills.
Many people develop their leadership qualities because by examining the job market, they learn more on the available jobs in demand, both today and in the future. Since most workers get jobs that do not go with their interest, they develop more qualities through training so that they can get jobs in places where they are satisfied.
Judge et al (2002) assert that people who desire to progress more on their careers develop their skills because of job dynamics and changes in career paths. In addition, leadership qualities development may take individuals to places with greater potential.
Thus, development of leadership qualities boosts confidence since a leader will positively influence a team and thus, he will be retained in the company due to improved productivity and creating an effective team.
Best Approach to address Leadership Qualities in the Workplace
Leadership qualities development in the port business can be addressed through giving more training on leaders so that they can improve their skills. The organization should train leaders on good communication skills, which will help the employees to give their ideas to the leaders for analysis.
Leaders should have good policies because if a leader does not know where the organization is going, then others will not. Leaders ought to learn how to turn out to be more effective. Leadership is natural to some people, but for many, it has to be advanced through training and coaching.
The port organization should also train leader on commitment, which entails working hard and having work done well. Leaders ought to develop courage because they lead difficult tasks whose risks are not known.
Setting goals is another trait, which should be developed since it will make leaders to work hard to attain the organizations goals. A skill on people development is essential to the leaders because they can train and build stronger teams. Leaders are supposed to learn on prioritizing the urgent tasks and putting more effort in completing them.
Top leaders will always get the best from their teams since they are content and motivated. They should make sure that between the team members, no one is above others. Good leaders get respect from their members because they have gained it rather than demanding it and are be able to cope with diversity within team members, their unique skills and personalities.
Several leadership styles are applicable at the port; they include participative and autocratic. Autocratic approach does not involve or take employees ideas as compared the participative style. The ports organization should consider using participative leadership style as it allows involvement of subordinates, group members, and some of the stakeholders.
However, the leader defines the level of team participation because at some level, he only listens to the team’s decisions, then decides or makes decision alone. The level of participation increases as we go down from the highest level of management since the next level allows the group members to suggest decisions, but the leader has the final decision.
In the tactical level, a leader may team up with the group to make decisions and thus, the level of participation is equal for all. In the operational level, decision-making is fully delegated to the group members (Montanna & Charnov, 2008).
According to Spillane, Halverson, & Diamond (2004), participative approach is the best because at some level, it allows joint decision-making. When a leader involves team members in decision-making, people are committed to achieving the organization goals since they share more rather than being competitive. In essence, people make good decisions as compared to individual decision.
Development of leadership qualities is vital in every organization because although some believe that leaders are born but not made, many people possess the ability for leadership, but only individuals who cultivate it become good leaders. Those aspiring to be leaders should understand that leaders may not have all the answers, but they make out the questions and build an environment where they can be answered.
Building leadership potential in the port environment would entail getting talents, which are related with the organizations requirements, and developing skills that both improve on performance and are relevant to a person’s strength.
Judge, T. A., Bono, J. E., Ilies, R., & Gerhardt, M. W. (2002). Personality and Leadership: A Qualitative and Quantitative Review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(4), 765-780.
Maglen, L., Hopkins, S. & Burke, G. (2001). Training for Productivity. Adelaide: NCVER.
Montana, P.J. & Charnov, B. H. (2008). Management: Leadership and Theory (4th ed.). Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc.
Spillane, J. P., Halverson, R., & Diamond, J. B. (2004). Towards a Theory of Leadership Practice. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 36(1), 3–34.