Developing Leadership Capability

Introduction

Leadership refers to the concept of influencing others to motivate them to achieve a common goal.

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During the past decades, organizational leaders were perceived to perform their role effectively if there was close monitoring of how the staff performed within the organization. This was through close monitoring and incorporation of a control mechanism within the organization. This led to the establishment of a bureaucratic type of organizational leadership. Communication was supposed to follow a definite channel. According to John Welch, this demotivates the employees leading to the organization performing poorly. For organizations to perform optimally there should be a change of role from managing the workers to leading them.

Developing a vision

To succeed as a leader I have to ensure that I develop clear-cut visions and devise strategies on how to attain them. This means that I have to perceive the possible changes in the environment. Through this, it will be possible for me to develop goals that will help in the implementation of the vision. As a visionary leader, I will be in a position to share the ideas with other members of the organization so that they may be part of the achievement upon implementation of the strategies. As a visionary leader, I will be able to develop inspirational leadership characteristics. This will enable me in motivating the organizational members in their activities. This will ensure that they are aware of the possible changes in the organization so that they are not caught in surprise by the changes. This will ensure that they work out of their initiative (Robert 2007).

Open communication

Leadership ensures that there is open communication between the employees and their leaders (John 2003). This enables the employees to be conversant with the goals of the organization and share the vision that their leaders have concerning the business. This leads to the employees improving their performance even without being monitored. Open communication with the subordinates enables the leaders to know what is happening within the business environment thus ensuring that effective strategies are formulated resulting in increased business success. For instance, by adopting open communication within the organization, it would be possible for the management to sample the employee’s ideas on how the firm’s processes can be improved.

Teamwork

For organizational success, there should be the incorporation of the concept of teamwork (Robert 2007). This is through delegation of some of the tasks to the employees. This instills confidence in the employees and a feeling of appreciation through the delegation of responsibility. Leaders should not only be involved in managing the execution of tasks but they should be team players. This would ensure that they become effective facilitators of employees rather than being controllers. Becoming team players would enable the facilitation role of the leaders to be more effective. This is because they would be able to understand the roles being undertaken better.

Facing reality

An effective leader should be in a position to face reality related to the business environment. One of the realities that I have appreciated through the readings is the competitive nature of the business environment. The competition results from the domestic and the foreign market. Over the past decade, there were very many monopoly organizations that had a bureaucratic manager. This made a few business organizations dominate the market (Robert 2007). Currently, there is a great deal of transformation that is taking place within. Leaders should accept this fact and formulate strategies on how the business will forge forward despite the challenges that are posed by the environment. The leaders should ensure that the organizations develop a new dimension of organizational strength. The type of organizational leadership should also be a part of the transformation to cope with the challenges.

Learning from mistakes

I had a perception that mistakes should not be a part of the leader. This made me perceive mistakes as a great failure in my activities which resulted in a denial behavior. From the readings, I have appreciated the fact that mistakes should be a learning opportunity. According to John & Joe, I have integrated the importance of being candid. This is by developing a positive attitude towards mistakes committed and accepting them to improve in the future by not committing the mistakes. This means that the readings have helped me appreciate the importance of suppressing my ego about the ‘know all’ attitude. The idea of developing a positive attitude towards mistakes has been strengthened. This is because one’s ego can result in the inefficient performance of the organization due to the integration of the wrong strategies (John & Joe 2009). To achieve this, I have appreciated the importance of developing humility as a leader.

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Consistency of message

Effective leadership should ensure that there is consistency in the operation of the firm. For consistency to be developed, the leaders have to develop a message that they repetitively communicate to the members of the organization. For effectiveness, there has to be a good relationship between the members of the organization and the leaders. The message should entail ensuring that the organizational goals and values are fresh to the employees to eliminate chances of deviation.

Ideas strengthened by the readings

The leadership ideas that have been strengthened by the readings are the importance of developing open communication between the organizational leaders and the employees. This is because it will lead to the creation of good interpersonal relationships within the organization which can result in the effective operation of the firm.

The idea of learning from mistakes has also been greatly strengthened. This will enable me to change my perception of failure into a learning opportunity.

Main Influential Reading

The reading that had more impact on me is ‘Leaders must fit within their organization.’ This is because I believe in the principle of ‘putting the right man in the right job.’ This is a due appreciation of the fact that people are unique in their activities and have different competencies. To induct them successfully into to organization, the leader should ensure that they are placed in the department that is in line with their core competencies. This is because there are high chances of the worker producing excellent results due to his or her competence. After placing the employees in the right tasks, I have to ensure that I delegate some of the tasks in the effort to achieve the organizational needs. This will enable the employee to feel appreciated for their contribution to the organization hence increasing their motivational level. As a leader, I have to ensure that I receive feedback from the employees to determine whether they are satisfied with the tasks assigned. If they are satisfied, they will be passionate in the execution of the tasks resulting in optimal results.

How the key questions and journal reflections changed my ideas and behavior

Increased accountability

As a leader, I had not appreciated the importance of passion in the execution of activities. Lack of passion in my duties resulted in a lack of accountability for the results. Through the readings, I have appreciated the fact that passion can result in better results as of activities undertaken and hence the increased accountability.

Increased initiative

Initially, there was a lack of initiative in the execution of tasks. This made me shy away from undertaking challenging tasks. This led to a lack of innovative thinking resulting in redundancy. From the readings, I have developed an attitude of personal initiative in executing tasks rather than relying on the concept of ‘group think’. This will enable me to meet the set deadlines for projects and tasks.

Appreciation of new ideas

In my duties, I was rigid about ideas on how a task could be executed. Through the readings, I have appreciated the importance of teamwork. This has enabled me to be open to different ideas regarding the execution of tasks.

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Demonstration

As an employee of a firm dealing with software, I was involved in the research and development department of the organization. For effective operation, various projects teams were involved in researching market information to develop software that would enable the consumer in the need recognition. As the project team leader, the group was supposed to deliver the results from the field. I ensured that there was an efficient delegation of tasks related to collecting data from the market. Information on various variables was to be collected which included credit card data and bank debit cards. Upon completion of the task, the data was to be analyzed by the entire team, and in case of an error, the whole team had to find the solution. This meant that there was not to be pointing at a particular member to have failed in his role. This is because this would fail the entire group. The team members debated on how best to solve the problem

Changes in leadership

The readings on leadership have enabled me to change from an autocratic leadership behavior and appreciate a democratic type of leadership. I had always made decisions on my own even if they affected other people believing that I was always right. To enhance organizational effectiveness, I have appreciated the importance of a democratic type of leadership. This ensured that open communication was integrated into the team. The ideas of every member of the organization were respected by ensuring that his views are heard without refuting their suggestions instantly. Through this, it became possible to harmonize the various ideas of the team members thus ensuring that there was goal congruency. This enabled me as a leader to be able to identify the opportunities that were in the ideas by further refining these ideas. This enabled me to cope with the dynamic nature of the environment.

Actions Taken

Setting up the teams

In setting up the teams, I ensured that all the tasks that were assigned would be challenging to the team members. The team members were also given tasks that were in line with their competencies. This was aimed at increasing their level of motivation resulting in excellent results. I also ensured that the working environment was transformed from ordinary to project-like situations; the team members would appreciate the importance of meeting the deadlines.

Establishing a communication structure

For the effectiveness of the groups, communication is necessary. I ensured that communication is effective. This was by ensuring that the members of the group reported to the team leader on their progress. I also ensured that the team members are updated on the progress of the team after achieving a particular milestone. I ensured that the communication was open by making it to be done online. This would enable the various teams to post their suggestions regarding the project freely. Every team that did not deliver the expected results was informed so that they could improve in executing their task.

Rewarding the best teams

I ensured that the team members were rewarded collectively according to their performance. To motivate the members of the group and eliminate the risk of groupthink, team members who had extraordinary performance were recognized accordingly.

Experiment conducted

As a motivational strategy, I experimented on how the employees would perform if they were rotated amongst the various organizational teams. This was aimed at identifying the ease with which they would be trained for different tasks. This would enable them to fit in the dynamic nature of the organization’s environment. The rotational basis was effective since there was no variation in the expected results due to the incorporation of employee rotation.

Reference

  1. Leadership toolbox.com. 2008. Leadership styles: Democratic leadership style. Web.
  2. John, B. 2003. Great communication secret of great leaders. McGraw-Hill Company: New York.
  3. John, H.Z Joe, F. (2008) The extra-ordinary leader. Web.
  4. Robert, S. 2007. Jack Welch and the GE way. McGraw Hill Professionals: New York. Web.
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