The research paper is a critical examination of the various attributes that make someone a better business leader in this business world full of fierce competition and unpredicted changes. It is no doubt that there are thousands of individuals who seek employment opportunities in various fields.
On the other hand, employers are looking for individuals who are competent enough and ready to learn new things in order to stay longer in their organization since higher employee turnover is expensive for organization (Conley, 2001). For one to be able to be competent in a given organization, he or she needs to be fully aware of his/her different learning methods, ability to fully utilize their personal effectiveness skills among others.
Additionally, it is apparent that the only constant in the business world is change, and for this reason, for employees to be sure of coping with such changes, there is need for them to acquire certain skills that will help them be competent in doing business (Townend, 2007). This will definitely work well in ensuring that one turns out to being a better business leader.
Relationship between leadership and management
There is a closer linked between leadership and management that is has even proved to be a challenge to some individuals to differentiate the two concepts. However, for persons who are keen the two concepts can be easily seen from an angle of successful as well as unsuccessful organizations.
Leadership has been defined as a process whereby an individual can influence thoughts, ideas and actions of others in achieving a set of preset goals, tasks, duties and responsibilities (Stogdill, 1948). To have successful and highly motivated human product, how their thoughts are influenced is of significance importance.
This not being enough, effective leadership, which generally refers to the way of showing others the way forward by influencing their actions, beliefs and feelings by employing the most appropriate style at their disposal in light of the situation at hand is the major contributory factor in making an organizations prosperous hence making one a better business leader especially in this competitive business world.
On the other hand, while leadership provides direction by coming up with vision, management has been thought to refer to the mechanisms of controlling, directing, organizing the various resources including human resource in line with the existing values and principles predetermined by an organization.
It is management that ensures that there is compliance to various laws, procedures, and guidelines (Hackman & Wageman, 2007). In a nutshell, management uses existing principles to tune individuals as well as other resources to attain the mandate of an organization. It has been shown that individuals, who use either of the style exclusively, end up being looser and not desired by the staff and even the world of business.
However, a careful and balanced blend of these two concepts has seen to it that world class organizations such as Apple, Research In Motion, Google as well as Multinational Corporation such as Coca Cola to mention but a few have maintained their status despite the completion as well as other unfavorable external factors (Fullan, 2001).
A deeper analysis also shows that these organizations have business persons who are better and they are maintained at all cost. This is with the understanding of the organization that higher rates of employees turn over is detrimental to its existence.
Attributes that make one a better business leader
Within each and every organization, information sharing has been deemed to be vital either between workers or with outside stakeholders. For that matter individuals especially in managerial position opt to fully have tips on how to present information in the most appropriate manner.
To be successful in presenting ideas and views, there is need to fully understand the following aspects of presentation skills; answering questions in a competent manner, deliver presentation in a confident way, beating nerves associated with presentation, ability to use visual; aids in an effective manner and more importantly planning and writing good presentations (Valentich & Gripton, 1996).
Additionally, maintain an eye contact with the audience is a plus in making effective presentations. It is worth noting that keeping eye contact with the audiences usually makes them believe on your statements. Similarly, emphasizing on important points is key.
Lastly, ending the presentation with a strong finishing has been thought of as a skill that will keep the audience into action immediately after the speech. More importantly, looking your best is one point that opts to be mastered, dressing appropriately and putting a smile work in winning the hearts of the audiences (Fullan, 2001).
To ensure that one continually improves in how they present a post presentation analysis is vital. There is need to review the presentation, leverage it the later entails summarizing questions from the presentation made.
Effective decision making
It is no doubt that the moment of decisions is what shapes ones destiny. As we make decision each and every day individual or organization path to being successful is either jerked in either direction, positive or negative (Stogdill, 1948).
Poor decision making do have serious implications not only to individuals but more so to the entire organization as the reputation of the organization will be hampered, growth and expansion of the organization, morale of workers as well as productivity and revenue generation will go down. To make effective and rational decision is typically based on balancing between intuitive and rational thoughts (Dunn &Dunn, 1999).
Sinclair, 2007, was of the view that before engaging in making a decision, it is imperative to strictly do the following, determining the problem and identifying objectives to be attained by the decision to be made, engaging intuition, collecting relevant data however, depending on the time frame available there is no need of engaging in searching for too much information as this will delay the process of coming out with a decision.
Additionally, there is need of identifying actions to be accomplished the objectives and goals set. Creating a list of benefits and drawbacks of each and every action or alternative and weighing them against each other is of essence. Solicit for views of other workers before making an intuitive judgment with regards to the best alternative.
Expressing opinions in place of work especially in a democratic environment counts in making one an effective worker. The whole scenario entails putting forth your views whether positive or negative in a genuine way.
Being assertive is where one expresses themselves in an open and honest manner while having in mind the concerns of others at heart. Conflicts confront people while in place of work and the way they act dictates the future of the organization least to say of their own.
Showing respect for others go an extra mile for other to respect and acknowledge you. For that reason it is important to clearly master not only what one says but how it is said. With regards to what one says, it is of significance to always being specific and clear on what one are thinking, feeling and wants. This helps remove vagueness and timid statements.
Owing the message by utilizing first person will help do away with resentment in place of work (Townend, 2007). Learning how to ask for feedback and carefully listening to what other have to say is a skill that compound assertiveness. The ultimate goal of doing this is to ensure that consensus is arrived at and any misconception or understanding is ironed out.
Additionally, when it comes to how to say, maintaining eye contact, facial expression and gestures, timing, active listening, body posture and voice are key in ensuring that one acts in a manner that put into consideration of other workmates.
Successful organizations have in place an effective way of team building. The concept refers to a number of activities in organizations and institution of learning have in place aimed at improving team performance. The process of team building can encompass a simple process as bounding to complex ones for instance retreating with the aim of making group assessment among others.
The ultimate aim of tram building entails; improving communication, motivating team members, improving rapport between workers, making workplace environment more enjoyable, getting everybody on board among others.
For a team to be considered effective, each and every member opt to be geared towards sharing a common goal and at the same time highly motivated in order to use capabilities of other members in a positive and constructive manner. It is evident that each member of do play an integral part in propelling organization to greater heights.
Transformational leadership styles are qualities that are needed when it comes to developing shared goals and objectives within a team. Additionally, having in place a team is not enough, motivating them is key in ensuring that the ultimate goals and objective are attained (Goldstein & Hogarth, 1997). Similarly, it is of essence to appreciate the varying capabilities and differences in views of team members.
This can be attained by having a culture where the team aims at capitalizing on collective capabilities of members other than to maximize performances of individuals.
Lastly, in order to make sure that team work is improved, there is need to establish ownership of the shared goals, remove inhibitors, introduce enablers and utilizing health checks, 360 feedback mechanism as well as managing performance. All this makes a great leader (Stogdill & Bass, 1974)
Being a team player
Building a team is not the ultimate recipe of success if members are not team players. Having in mind that each member of the team has a specific role to play, there is need to have certain transferable skills and qualities to fit into being a team player.
These include; showing reliability, communicating constructively, actively listening to what others are saying, actively taking part in group activities, willing to shares to ideas in an open manner, show higher degree of corporation and desire to help others, exhibiting flexibility, depicting commitment to the entire team, always work towards solving problems and more importantly treating other team members in a respectful as well as supportive manner.
Effective management personal time
Everything that is being done or will be done in place of work usually has a time bound. It has been argued that not using time to plan is in effect planning to fail in day to day activities. Spending time in planning and organizing help in cutting down the time that could be spend while engaging in activities in future. Setting goals give one a sense of direction.
When asked the secret to amassing, one of the famous Hunt brothers from Texas replied: “First you’ve got to decide what you want.” Set goals which are specific, measurable, realistic and achievable. Prioritizing helps in isolating the valuables (Valentich & Gripton, 1996). This helps in making one to concentrate on things or activities that have the greatest rewards.
As suggested by Wren, 1994 other attributes that are of essence on properly managing time include using to do list, being flexible, considering ones biological prime time, doing the right things right, working towards eliminating the urgent activities, practicing the art of intelligence neglect, conquering procrastination and lastly rewarding oneself after attaining certain predetermined goals.
These attributes make someone to be a better leader in the world of business.
It has been thought that the most effective leaders in the world usually practice what they preach (Hackman & Wageman, 2007). For instance, if it is keeping time they are telling the subject, then they are the first ones to adhere to such a call.
Although this can be hampered by the current happenings such as technological innovation which counter the strategies and plans brought forth by a leader, employing transparency and accountability will work well in helping built trust with the subject.
When one turns to being open with regards to how the subjects are compensated, the results of the business being brought out clearly without any inclined alterations, then the subjects will have trust in such individuals.
With such an attributes it will be easy to convince the followers on taking certain course of action despite the fact that it may look to be unbearable and dim. The ultimate success attributed to such a bold step will in no doubt paint the person in the realm to be success and better in showing other the course of action.
Creating a democratic environment
Individuals in businesses who are capable of creating an environment in which the subjects are free to air their views, challenge those of the leaders as well as building consensus before taking action are attributes that need to be possessed by individuals who want to be better leaders.
Through effective communication as previously discussed democracy will help in ensuring that the subjects question the views as well as opinions of the leaders. With such an environment they will thus provide alternatives which may be indeed better than those initially held by the leader.
If such leaders are capable of incorporating the extern views especially from their subjects, then there are higher chance of success in the organization since there will be an understanding that the decision arrived at was all encompassing (Schein, 2004).
Additionally, when a leader is capable of ensuring the workplace environment fosters views, subjects will be encouraged to bring in new ideas and with the stewardship of the leader may work well in propelling the organization in question to greater height. The success attained then brands the leader to be a better person in the world of business.
Adopting various earning styles
According to Dunn &Dunn, 1999 different individual do have varying learning styles. Knowing ones learning style is of significance as it will not only work in eliminating frustrations related to learning but also enabling individuals to learn through other viable ways and not just in their preferred style. Additionally one is also able to an environment in which other can learn from you is made possible.
There are four different learning styles are activists, reflectors, theorists and pragmatists. For a leader to be better, they must show intention or have already incorporated more than at least two of the said learning styles.
Having a blend of learning styles will help leaders to make better and rational decisions, choosing the best alternative that is timely. Similarly, the approach when adopted make an individual able to acknowledge that people learn through various ways and for that mater a blend of having various learning skills makes one to improve on how to communicate with the subordinates.
When information intended to be passed reaches the majority and clearly understood, there are higher chances of the views presented being followed. This contributes to a better leader.
Adopting the culture of being a servant leader
With this philosophies, one is guided not being bossy but be a servant to the subordinates. In situation where one fully manages to place the interests of his/her subjects before their own, then there are chances for such individuals to be better leaders if other discussed attributes are also exhibited.
It is worth noting that when the same is transferred to customers as well as other relevant stakeholders such as distributors, governments as well as suppliers then the relationship generated is worm fostering mutual coexistence an environment conducive for growth of an organization.
Among the characteristics that need to be adopted as a servant leader include showing empathy, sympathy, higher levels of commitments, stewardship; these help in building trust hence a plus in being a better leader in the business field.
For instance when a leader fits into the shoes of the subordinates or his subjects and the later will feel he/she is cared for by the leader. For this reason, in situations where the former call for the help of the former, then the response will be positive. It is such a response and relationship that dictates whether one will be deemed a better leader or not.
Building morale of the subjects
It has been acknowledged by top performers leaders and managers that when one manages to fire up their workers using whatever methods at their disposal will work towards making them more effective leaders (Townend, 2007).
The ability to give workers a sense of importance for instance making them know that their efforts are of great significance in attaining the predetermine organizational goals and objective, appreciating their efforts through the various means more so by word help in building a team that is highly motivated and satisfied.
It is such a team that ensures that a leader is successful hence seen as being better in business organization (Steers et al., 1996).
Additionally, instilling as well as creating a culture where the success attained will not be viewed as being the effort of a leader but rather the efforts of the subjects being guided by the leader ensures that the subjects will feel part of the team that attained success hence will continue and even give more in trying to attain goals and objectives deemed to be challenging.
According to Yukl, 1994 aside from motivating staff, it is of paramount significance for one to be able to act as a coach to his/her subject. Better leaders are capable of focusing on how to maintain focus of the subjects. This is with the knowledge that when employees or followers keep their eyes off the desired course of action then their will be a serious problem.
In case the leader manages to ensure that subjects will not drift into courses initially not planned for that are in most cases attractive to individuals and not suitable for the business, then such a leader is deemed to be a better one.
Fully understand the limit of the subjects
For one to be a better leader in business world, it has been arguably thought that the ability of clearly understanding the limits of each and every subject is key. With such kind of knowledge, a leader can be in a better position to design responsibilities, tasks as well as duties that are at par with the knowledge and skills of the targeted subject (Goldstein & Hogarth, 1997).
With such systems, followers will be able to actively engage their skills and competence to the best of their knowledge. This coupled with the environment created where they are free to incorporate their innovation and creativity will yield tremendous results.
According to Eickenberry, (n.d.) this is a situation whereby a leader is capable of soliciting for human resources that are better skilled and more knowledgeable. In most cases there are instances that manners and leaders fail to hire individual who know more than them. This is a recipe for a failing leader.
When a leader is capable of picking talent purely based on excellence, merit as well as ability then this will ensure that the subordinates are motivated and know for sure that one day they will be rewarded.
It has been brought forth by Jack Welch that his success as a leader is attributed to the fact that he has never feared hiring great people with great skills, knowledge, ability and of course knowing more than he knows. It thus goes without saying that when one has a team that is great in all the desired attributes, then everything will be done right hence to the advantage of the organization and to the leader in question.
As noted by Kouzes & Posner, 1999 the ability to think outside the box especially when confronted with difficulties and acting rationally are among the attributes when successfully adopted and put into practice makes one a great leader of his time and even the future.
The potential of thinking in unbound way typically without being limited or having a feeling of being restricted with laid down rules, guidelines and procedures will always result if well thought a solution that will propel the organization to greater heights. However, it will be rational for the leader to have in mind the consequences of their action both internally as well as externally.
Similarly, involving the right stakeholders for instance employees, customers as well as shareholders is a plus. It is worth mentioning that such an initiative of creative thinking will also ensure that the leader creates new leaders within the organization (Conley, 2001).
From the review of the concept of leadership and management, it is evident that although they are different and distinct, they are important for an individual to be a good leader. Whereas leadership entails envisioning and providing direction, management entails control of resources based on certain principles.
In this changing world of business, there is need for individuals that seek to be leaders to adopt certain attributes that will keep them on track and hence better leaders in the world of business. As noted in the research paper, striking balance between management and leadership is of paramount importance in making one a better leader.
However, this can only be accomplished by attaining certain desired attributes such as being creative and innovative this makes one arrive at decision after making extraordinary action, being a servant leader ensures that one feels for the subjects hence understand their needs, ability to hire and maintain individuals of higher abilities, skills and knowledge, understanding of the subjects limits and capabilities; this makes one to be able to design responsibilities that are in line with subjects’ competence, acting assertively, building trust, building a team, being an active team player and motivating followers.
Other important characteristics that make one to be a good leader include; good presentation skills, effective decision making, ability to adopt varied learning styles and being effective in managing own time. Today environment calls for individuals who will be capable of standing the turmoil as well as stiff competition in business world; this thus require one to be an effective leader as well as a great manger.
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