Leadership Development and Authentic Leadership

Leadership Development: the Key to Unlocking Individual Creativity in Organizations

Annotation

Leadership development is particularly critical in unlocking creativity and innovative capacity of organizational members to enable organizations to achieve their goals. The current business environment is highly competitive as organizations that do not encourage creativity and innovations hardly survive in the market. To set and sustain creativity and innovation as a part of organizational culture, management needs to identity and unlock creative capacity of its members through appropriate leadership.

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Usually, when organizational environment restricts or discourages creative expression of individual members, an organization will not perform effectively in achieving its goals. Thus, leadership development is a critical factor that is essential in unlocking creative potential of organizational members and boosting organizational performance.1 To analyze the impact of youth and adult leadership in an organization, the article hypothesized that individual creativity correlates positively with creative self-efficacy and perceived organizational support for creativity.

Leadership in youths and adults has different impacts on creativity and innovation in an organization; therefore, it needs special consideration in leadership development. In this case, youth leadership development mediates between individual creativity and self-efficacy, while adult leadership development mediates between individual creativity and perceived organizational support for creativity.

Self-efficacy is personal ability to be creative under challenging circumstances that need problem solving strategies and generation of novel ideas. Creative self-efficacy determines an individual’s capacity to perceive opportunities and apply creativity in the formulation of strategies and actions that are essential in problem solving. Leadership development in youths mainly focuses on acquisition of knowledge and skills, unlike in adults where leadership mainly focuses on influence and decision-making. Hence, leadership development in youths depends on self-efficacy and individual creativity.2 This means that, individuals who have experiences of youth leadership will have higher levels of creativity and self-efficacy as compared to the ones who do not have.

Leadership development in adults is more inclined to influence and decision-making in an organization; thus, perceived organizational support for creativity has a significant impact on creativity and innovation among adults. According to perceived organization support theory, fair management procedures such as favorable working conditions, supervisory support, and other related rewards motivate employees to increase their performance and creativity.

Perceived organizational support for creativity reflects how organizational members perceive motivational actions of management such as encouragement, rewards, and recognition of creativity. Thus, creativity model of management suggests that when leadership is collaborative and democratic, it provides an organizational environment that supports creativity since it has flexible structures that tolerate diverse ideas and views of creativity.3 In this view, the study hypothesized that, leadership development in adults mediates between individual creativity and perceived organizational support for creativity.

The findings of the study revealed that youth and adult leadership development have differential impacts on unlocking potential creativity of individuals in an organization. Since leadership development in youths mainly focuses on knowledge and skill, the study proved that childhood leadership experiences enhance individual self-efficacy in perception of opportunities and applying creativity in solving problems and generation of novel ideas.

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Moreover, the study revealed that leadership development in adults relies on perceived organizational support for creativity and individual creativity. Conclusively, the study findings imply that, while leadership development in youths mediates between individual creativity and self-efficacy, leadership development in adults mediates between individual creativity and perceived organization support for creativity.4 Hence, for organization management to utilize creativity capacity of employees optimally, it must consider leadership development in both youths and adults.

Personal Reflection

I agree with the authors of the article that leadership development is critical in unlocking creative and innovative potential among organizational members and enhancing organizations to achieve their goals. Management studies have shown that leadership is an integral part of management for it determines the course of organization in the competitive business environment due to globalization.

I hold that, for an organization to survive and thrive in a competitive business environment, it must have the capacity to mobilize all resources at its disposal, particularly human resources. Maximum utilization of human resources requires proper management that encourages leadership development in both adult and young members of an organization.

I agree with the authors that, youth and adult leadership development need differential requirements, in which, if provided in an organizational environment, they enhance creativity and innovations among employees. Therefore, I agree that leadership development in youths and adults provides a means of unlocking creative potential, which is inherent organizational members and boosts organizational capacity to survive and thrive in the competitive business environment due to globalization.

The proposal of the article that, leadership development is central in unlocking creativity among organizational members, is extremely valuable in reforming management strategies and formulation of policies amidst threatening effects of globalization. The proposal has enhanced my management knowledge and skills, since, I now understand that leadership plays a significant role in propelling organizations to achieve their goals.

Moreover, I have realized that youthful experiences in leadership and adult perceptions of management are key factors that management has to consider in the selection and motivation of employees to perform optimally. The findings of the study are relevant to organizational leaders, for they provide a basis of unlocking creative and innovative potential, which are inherent in employees through effective leadership training and empowering of employees. Thus, I observe that leadership development seems to be antidote of globalization issues that threaten the viability of classical management strategies.

Impact of Authentic Leaders on Organization Performance

Annotation

Authentic leaders play critical roles in organizations for they motivate, encourage, and shape employees’ behavior in a bid to enhance organizational performance. To differentiate the types of leaders and prevent unethical management practices in an organization, leadership domain came up with the concept of authenticity. Authenticity is the ability of an individual to reflect on inner values, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs in actions or behavior.

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Authenticity involves acting or behaving in accordance to true self, which entails portraying individual attributes that are consistent with inner values, thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. In other words, authenticity is consistency of relationship of one’s personal experiences and true self: harmony of expressed actions and true self.5 Hence, an authentic person should harmonize inner values, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings with expressed behaviors and actions. It means that one is fit to be an authentic leader if one has authentic qualities of leadership.

Authentic leaders have unique qualities that differentiate them from ordinary leaders in that, they have original leadership attributes and do not take leadership to achieve social status. Authentic leaders are ethical, resilient, optimistic, and can transform associates into leaders, which is a critical factor in propelling organizations to achieve far-reaching progress. In addition, authentic leaders have substantial management skills, since they earn loyalty and trust from employees because they mean what they say by acting accordingly in the right manner.

Authentic leaders are unique; they are deeply aware of their thoughts, behaviors, and actions, as well as having the ability to understand others.6 In addition, authentic leaders have transparent character that is worth emulating; therefore, employees in an organization feel motivated and empowered by such leaders. While ordinary leaders focus on manipulating and compelling employees to perform certain duties, authentic leaders focus on empowering employees to carryout organizational activities effectively.

Given that organizations require leadership at all levels, authentic leaders provide a platform that nurtures leaders because they focus on developing organizational members to take leadership roles. Thus, authentic leaders provide leadership with values, purpose, and integrity that is essential in building organizational capacity to meet its objectives.

Authentic leaders have an overwhelming impact on organizational performance because they motivate and transform employees’ behavior. Moreover, reliable leaders apply positive organizational behavior effectively, which is the application of physical and psychological capabilities of employees in enhancing organizational performance. Positive organizational behavior enables leaders and managers to enhance weaknesses of employees and maximize their strengths, which ultimately leads to enhanced performance of an organization.

Moreover, in an organization, authentic leaders play a significant role in shaping positive organizational behaviors through unique attributes of self-efficacy in their duties, creating hope among employees, generating optimism amidst challenges, and having resilience in hardships.7 Since organizations require managers who can mobilize organizational resources optimally, reliable leaders are the best managers for they effectively transform organizational culture and behavior towards prosperity. Therefore, authentic leadership is essential in management and optimization of human resources for it considerably enhances organizational performance.

Personal Reflection

I agree with the author that authentic leaders have a significant impact on organizational performance for they do not only supervise employees, but also motivate them to perform their duties optimally. Since reliable leaders mean what they say, their management strategies are full of integrity, purpose, and value, which is critical in building a reputation for organizations. Furthermore, I hold that authentic leaders motivate and enhance the capacity of employees because they effectively apply positive organizational behavior in transforming organizational culture towards achieving the set goals.

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However, given that authenticity is a new construct in the management domain, I find it truly subjective to define authentic leadership for different schools of thought are likely to have different perceptions on what constitutes authenticity. The emergence of the authenticity concept can lead to the emergence of authentic colleges that train authentic leaders and ultimately all leaders can become authentic. I, therefore, suppose that proper definition of authentic leadership should have a basis on empirical evidence rather than theoretical aspect, for anyone can claim to be an authentic leader based on own perception.

I believe that the concept of authenticity will have considerable impact on leadership in organizations because it deeply differentiates true leaders from fake ones. Leadership in many organizations has been ineffective because, though management teams might have right credentials, they do not have leadership authenticity. Unfortunately, inauthentic teams grope in organizational management by trying to apply theoretical knowledge of management in abstract circumstances.

In contrast, authentic leaders have inherent management knowledge and skills that are applicable in all circumstances, which make them the best managers of all time. Thus, I have noted that authentic leaders are essential in motivating employees and transforming organizational behavior when optimizing human resources. In this view, organizations need to choose authentic leaders if they want to achieve effective management of human resources.

References

Houghton, J., & DiLiello, T. (2010). Leadership Development: the Key to Unlocking Individual Creativity in Organization. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 31(3), 230-245.

Khan, S. (2010). Impact of Authentic Leaders on Organization Performance. International Journal of Business and Management, 5(12), 167-172.

Footnotes

  1. Houghton, J., & DiLiello, T. (2010). Leadership Development: the Key to Unlocking Individual Creativity in Organization. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 31(3), 231.
  2. Houghton, J., & DiLiello, T. (2010), 235.
  3. Houghton, J., & DiLiello, T. (2010), 235.
  4. Houghton, J., & DiLiello, T. (2010), 240.
  5. Khan, S. (2010). Impact of Authentic Leaders on Organization Performance. International Journal of Business and Management, 5(12), 168.
  6. Khan, S. (2010), 168.
  7. Khan, S. (2010), 169.
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