Leadership Skills and Competencies


The vision of an organization can be easily attained in an environment where there is shrewd leadership and strategic thinking of the management team. Hence, good leadership can indeed propel an organization to greater heights of prosperity. In addition, it is vital to mention that the success and growth of an organization is largely dependent on the aforementioned components (Naidoo & Lord, 2008). This paper explores various aspects of good leadership skills and competencies that can be put in place in an organization. The essay also discusses some of the key ingredients of leadership that are often ignored when selecting management teams in organizations. It should be noted that the subject of leadership is broad and therefore, it cannot be concluded in a single piece of literature.

To begin with, there are myriads of prevailing challenges that are usually faced by organizations. While the management teams may come up with specific objectives to be achieved within given timelines, such goals may not be attained if the leadership lack strategic decision making skills and competences. For instance, excellent leadership should not ignore the value brought about by strategic intent in organizations. On the same note, strategic thinking and leadership are also part and parcel of the most vital ingredients that must be pursued for the sake of efficacy in leadership.

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At this point, it is prudent to define leadership with respect to managing originations. The ability to influence the behaviors, emotions and values of individuals can be described as leadership. In other words, a leader should be in a position to pass his/her ideals to those who are being led. However, this type of influence is supposed to be positive.

Effective leaders should be strategic on all the decisions and actions that they take. Strategic leadership cultivates real change from an individual to organizational level. Moreover, strategic leaders should be in a position to empower their subordinates especially on how they conduct their various roles and responsibilities in organizations. Needless to say, flexibility among leaders is critical if real empowerment is to be realized among individuals who are being led. Static leadership skills have proved to be ineffective and also destructive to the overall well being of an organization. It is notable that improving the management of an organization is entirely dependent on the type of leadership that has been put in place.

Managing the complex information systems that are usually instituted in organizations is a vital tool that can be used to assess and evaluate the viability of leadership that has been entrusted to carry out integral functions on a daily basis. Although information management systems may be integrated into IT systems and therefore become cumbersome to interpret at a glance, effective leaders should be able to offer conclusive judgments based on the qualitative analysis of the data at hand.

Core competencies in organizational leadership and management

Effective leaders in organizations are often aware of how core competences can be explored in order to yield the best outcomes. Some of these competences include decision making skills, resilience, fair judgment, and honesty. When some of these competences are duly exploited, the set goals and objectives will be achieved with a lot of ease. For instance, leaders who have been deployed in the marketing department of a firm are obviously supposed to be well equipped with skills on persuasive marketing and financial management especially when it comes to the management of adverting costs.

The investigation of integrated correlation between the team performance and leadership is based on different variables. Moreover, it is vital to discuss the relevant information and explore areas surrounding the topic on leadership since it is essential in the comprehension, as well as enrichment of the relevant literature. Effective leadership should also be able to examine team performance and management based on ideological approaches. This discussion on leadership is significant and will guide us through the comprehension of role of leadership in organizations. Different styles used in the leadership process have also been expounded in the following sections.

According to the above perspective, participation boosts the morale of employees since they feel that they benefit from the process of production. Studies have shown that when employees associate work with their leaders, there is low productivity. Despite the essential role of supervision, leaders should ensure that employees regard themselves as owners of the organization so as to increase productivity. Assaults and public lambasting of employees by leaders has negative long term implications in the success of the organization. Low self esteem of employees and lack of organizational cohesion reduces the degree of job satisfaction and profitability of the organization (Vries, Van den Hooff & De Ridder, 2006).

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Scholars postulate that the past records have associated failure of self awareness with high levels of stress and lack of emotional intelligence. Leaders should be good listeners and act as peace makers in case of disputes. Leaders should also engage in private discussions with their employees and avoid any form of embarrassment. Public lambasting does not solve the problem but instead degrade self esteem of the affected employees. It equally leads to stigma in reference to other colleagues. Therefore, good leaders should know how to balance work and personal issues.

The extent at which employees are motivated to work as a team will determine the work performance either directly or indirectly. The outcomes may be positive or negative. When the members of a given organization work closely, there are higher chances of interaction and job satisfaction. Productivity will be positively influenced due to the sense of belonging and responsibility. There are also chances that cohesion can increase the level of dependence among members.

There is a positive relationship between cohesion and inspiration. This can be manifested in two ways. Firstly, a cohesive organization shares a common vision that is highly likely to lead to the desired goals due to the combination of ideas. Team performance is closely related to the inspirational power where people want to be associated with the leaders since they admire their skills and as such, want to follow them. If a leader has this form of power, all the members of an organization will believe in him. As a result, there will be additional commitment and better team performance in the organization (Judge & Bono, 2000).

Dialogue is extremely essential in the operation of every organization. Therefore, failure to implement effective communication methodologies will limit the much needed success. Open and effective communication will positively influence team performance. Communication is linked with the individual consideration that focuses on a particular person and not a group. Leaders who listen and help the individual members in the training or communicating increase the chances of openness due to empowerment that promotes better team performance.

Proper management of inevitable conflicts in an organization definitely translates to proper team performance due to the undisturbed concentration as well as cohesion of employees. Such conflicts can be healthy especially when they trigger better decision making platforms. However, this must be well managed in order to prevent disintegration or damage of the group unity or cohesion. An effective leader must be able to establish a functional conflict that will positively impact conflict management and thus better team performance.

The leadership theory

Postulations by scholars are very significant in the contribution of the leadership practice since they provide additional information that is important to all organizations (De Hoogh, Den Hartog & Koopman, 2005). There are issues such as the nature of training, structure of the team as well as the selection of effective leaders. Training meant for those who are already in leadership is necessary so that the latter can be nurtured and excellent use of time. Less time wastage leads to better team performance and efficiency due to proper training. The latter also ensures acquisition of the best managerial skills. Though there are those who oppose the inadequate time allotment for working at the expense of training sessions, empirical studies have identified a positive relationship between training and team performance.

The structure of an organization is also taken care of well in the presence of effective managerial leadership structure. Leadership theories often emphasize the need to articulate communication, cohesion and conflict management. Effective communication that brings about dialogue and openness of employees will trigger close relationship between the members and the leaders. Good relationship between leaders and other members of an organization will positively impact the team performance as well as the overall leadership. Effective communication will in return lead to cohesion among the members. The latter can equally influence participation and involvement of employees in an organization. In addition, the presence of cohesion implies that there is free interaction among members who can share diverse ideas and skills. The conflict management literature also highlights the importance of leadership practice and managerial skills. Focus should be on the study of the factors involved in the managerial leadership for the sake of better comprehension of various factors that lead to effective leadership ideals. For instance, the operation model theory has been modernized and also quite specific on the issues related to leadership and management of people in organizations.

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Enhancing Human Capital

The productivity and overall profitability of an organization can be boosted when human capital is adequately developed. An effective leadership should be able to enhance the development of human capital by making sure that employees are treated in a humane manner. While employee satisfaction may be automatically generated by the nature of the surrounding working environment, it is upon the leadership of any organization to take care of all the recurrent needs of workers so that they can feel a sense of belonging. One of the strategies that organizational leadership can use is the active participation of employees in matters regarding decision making. Employees should be part and parcel of all processes that affect them in one way or another. By so doing, an environment of inclusiveness and harmony will be created. This will consequently lead into positive growth and development of human capital.

When human capital is sufficiently developed and nurtured, it will place an organization beyond the level of other market rivals. It should be appreciated that the absence of a viable human capital base may likely lead to poor profitability of an organization.

Effective leadership and corporate culture

Junior employees do not have the express mandate to create corporate culture. It is upon the leadership of various teams to come up with cultural values that are deemed to be fit for an organization. Corporate culture defines the ideals and internalized values that are integral to an organization. On the same note, all the top and junior employees are supposed to subscribe to the same organizational culture. Besides, corporate culture is a unique identity and norm that can be used for the purpose of identifying an organization. This explains why corporate culture can hardly be ignored. Therefore, corporate culture can only be advanced by a well positioned strategic leadership. In addition, strategic leadership is required in order to facilitate long term vision and entrepreneurial spirit attached to the corporate culture.

Strategic Direction

Effective leadership is supposed to take care of strategic thinking that is required in an organization (Riggio, Riggio, Salinas & Cole, 2003). However, strategic thinking may not auger well in the absence of strategic direction. Effective leadership is the only type of leadership that can offer the required strategic thinking and direction in an organization. In order to realize the goals and objectives of an organization, it is prudent for strategic thinking and leadership to take center stage.

Leading versus managing people and organizations

There are outstanding differences between leading and managing people in organizations. Although efficacy in leadership is often supposed to yield impressive management outcomes, it is definite that a manager’s world is quite different from that of a leader. For example, a manager is largely expected to offer qualitative explanations of various departments such as finance, human resource and marketing and how they are progressing with their operations. In addition, it is the role of a manager to create and maintain vital contracts with suppliers, customers, and employees. In terms of tasks, a manager is mandated to control, organize and plan the general operations of an organization (De Hoogh, Den Hartog & Koopman, 2005).

On the other hand, a leader is instrumental in creating and maintaining long lasting relationships with all the stakeholders of an organization. Effective leaders should be able to perform this function with a lot of diligence. In spite of the fact managers are also expected to possess decent public relations skills when handling various roles and responsibilities, it is the sole mandate of leaders to ensure that a cordial working environment is maintained within and outside an organization. Secondly, leaders are supposed to empower all the stakeholders who are attached to an organization. As already mentioned in the above section, empowering people generates a lot of positivity and good will among stakeholders such as employees and suppliers. Thirdly, effective leaders can be able to define purpose of an organization by creating and sustaining shared values and vision.

From the above discussion and analysis, we can recap the paper by reiterating that leadership is a more demanding responsibility than the roles of basic management of people and organizations. It calls for personal sacrifice and irrefutable leadership y6lskills and competences. In addition, efficacy in leadership is closely aligned to the personality of a leader. Leaders should equally possess management skills so that they can be able to harmonize both the internal and external operations of an organization.

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References

De Hoogh, A. H. B., Den Hartog, D. N. & Koopman, P. L. (2005). Linking the Big Five- factors of personality to charismatic and transactional leadership; perceived dynamic work environment as a moderator. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26(7), 839–865.

Judge, T. A., & Bono, J. E. (2000). Five-factor model of personality and transformational leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(5), 751–765.

Naidoo, L. J., & Lord, R. G. (2008). Speech imagery and perceptions of charisma: The mediating role of positive affect. The Leadership Quarterly 19, 283–296.

Riggio, R. E., Riggio, H. R., Salinas, C., & Cole, E. J. (2003). The role of social and emotional communication skills in leader emergence and effectiveness. Group Dynamics. Theory, Research, and Practice 7, 83–103.

Vries, R. E., Van den Hooff, B., & De Ridder, J. A. (2006).Explaining knowledge sharing: The role of team communication styles, job satisfaction, and performance beliefs. Communication Research 33(2), 115–135.

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