In all organizational operations, processes, and structures, leadership and teamwork are necessary for enhanced success. Leadership and teamwork are vital to organizations, especially in the current times marked by increased uncertainty, modification, and transformation in the business environment. Leadership, the mobilization of individuals towards the achievement of set organizational objectives, is not limited to top managerial positions; it is diversified to include each rank of management within the organization for effective and efficient realization of success. With such variations, the proficiencies of teamwork and team building have been interweaved with the capabilities of leadership within teams (Yahaya and Ebrahim 190-200).
In the modern world, nearly every demanding task is achieved by working in teams through successful leadership. Big companies normally employ teamwork in their projects, some of which have an international scope. Small firms employ teamwork to make sure that their services and supplies get to the maximum possible number of clients. Learning institutions, for instance, have enhanced teamwork elements in different lessons as learners work jointly to generate documents, resolve difficult problems, design presentations, and accomplish projects. The primary benefit of operating in teams is the capacity to merge expertise and abilities. With successful leadership, a team benefits from the broad scope of proficiencies that no person may possess alone, for example, analytical proficiencies and marketing abilities.
Group and Team
A group signifies the collection of people who manage their individual efforts, while a team involves individuals who have joined hands with a common purpose and who seek to achieve some objectives. Unlike in a group, members of a team are mutually dedicated to the set goals and to one another. Such mutual dedication generates joint responsibility that ensures the creation of a strong bond and motivation to succeed. There is a great difference between Teamthink and Groupthink. While Teamthink places the interests of the team, as well as the organization, above those of any individual, Groupthink entails individuals putting their well-being first before that of the group (Manz and Neck 7-9). Teamthink demands bravery and readiness to voice a disliked opinion for the benefit of the team, while Groupthink articulates personal opinions but feigns going along with others well, probably because of fear of being rejected. Teamthink results in the utilization of personal proficiencies, perceptions, and knowledge, with reimbursement being less important. On the contrary, Groupthink promotes the notion of what each person will acquire individually, and one may end up not contributing any longer in case there is no forthcoming compensation.
Groupthink has the benefits of ensuring individual gain and creating a sense of togetherness. Its drawbacks include a lack of proper utilization of the most effective approach because there is no combined effort and possibility of the group disintegrating any time if differences arise. The advantages of Teamthink entail enhanced confidence, proper utilization of skills because of enhanced teamwork, improved productivity, and the possibility of lasting cooperation. Its disadvantages include taking a lot of time to develop, the likelihood of conflicts, and lengthy considerations. Evolving a group into a team is a gradual process that starts with meeting the members and explaining to them that teamwork boosts motivation, cooperation, and productivity (Manz and Neck 8-11). The second step entails describing every member’s role. The third stage includes the development of objectives and deciding how the members may achieve the goals. The fourth step necessitates keeping the group informed of the progress. The final phase entails encouraging the members of the team to work jointly towards the realization of objectives. Organizational culture is important in the process of evolving a group into a team as it influences the manner in which workers interrelate with one another and individuals outside the organization. A strong organizational culture ensures that team members are actively and strongly engaged, which helps to uphold performance, build emotional attachment, and attain competitive benefit.
Styles of Leadership
Styles of leadership signify the combination of behaviors, attributes, and expertise that different leaders employ as they interact with employees. Although some styles might be inculcated in leaders through learning, others are inborn. Successful leadership and teamwork enhance the professional connections involving workers, leaders, and management. Promoting teamwork boosts confidence in the leaders and has a constructive influence on productivity. Nevertheless, there are hindrances to creating a high-performing team, and having the capacity to identify the challenges to effective teamwork is a significant task of successful leadership. In cases where leadership does not have the skills or capacity to handle teamwork successfully, the team lacks the enthusiasm and confidence required to work together as a single entity. Long-term objectives require subdivisions into smaller targets to make the group capable of recognizing its successes or failures and creating any vital modifications to its course of action. Where there are no evidently set objectives for the team to accomplish, the members of the team do not have a means of exercising their proficiencies or bringing together the talents toward accomplishing a common goal (Saleem 563-565). Leadership styles that are effective for successful management of multicultural groups and teams encompass autocratic leadership, laissez-faire leadership, democratic leadership, transactional leadership, and transformational style of leadership.
Autocratic leadership is anchored on the job. It entails leaders playing their role in an effort of making sure that work is promptly and successfully completed. This style of leadership relies strongly on employees following the instructions of leaders instead of a situation where managers have to offer extensive explanations. In this approach, multicultural groups and teams are compelled to work through threats and punishment (Walker and Aritz 452-455). Nevertheless, autocratic leadership has its advantages; for example, it ensures that leaders are respected, commends employees for successful performance, and guarantees promptness of work completion, which hinders employees in the present business settings from arriving at practices that influence others negatively. Some of the drawbacks of autocratic leadership in the management of multicultural groups and teams encompass the dissociation of employees, non-advancement of the skills of workers, and overreliance on leaders rather than applying shared decision-making. Autocratic leadership should be employed the moment an organization is on the brink of failure to realize its goals opportunely or in cases of disaster.
Although laissez-faire leadership is effective for the successful management of multicultural groups and teams, it has a negative impact in that it may make the leader static, reluctant to motivate, and give focus to workers. Such leaders run away from their responsibilities such as goal-setting, coordination of organizational aims, and many others while leaving them to workers, which may lead to an undue increase of their influence. This may make leaders assume that workers will make decisions and solve problems in time, even when it is not the case. However, laissez-faire leadership is advantageous as multicultural groups and teams have a chance to develop a good working relationship in informal situations while providing them an opportunity for success by solving problems individually (van Prooijen and de Vries 479-483). However, in the case of a domineering team member, it could lead to incorrect decisions being made by him or her, thus resulting in blame games that may lead to conflicts within the group.
Democratic leadership is effective for the successful management of multicultural groups and teams since leaders have revolutionary, creative, and risk-taking mindsets, which enable them to inspire workers to be a part of decision-making. Such leaders do this by meeting with employees regularly, listening keenly, and having trust in them (Choi et al. 377-382). Research shows that empowerment facilitated by democratic leadership results in the alertness of employees’ abilities. The motivation of workers is done through positive evaluations and financial rewards that boost morale. This has advantages such as improved commitment and few instances of resistance to change in multicultural groups and teams, increased performance, improved service to the community, and enhanced working relations, to mention a few. Nevertheless, the creation of ranks in multicultural groups and teams sometimes causes distrust due to variations in experience, unlike positions, and egocentric interests that undermine this form of leadership.
Studies have shown that transactional leaders are the ones who identify what they want to obtain from their chores and try to get it when operations allow. For effective management of multicultural groups and teams, the transactional style of leadership gives incentives and promises of inducements for successful performance. Workers are held responsible irrespective of their capability or resource accessibility (Choi et al. 378-383). Transactional leadership affirms that employees prefer leaders who are inspirational, where such a leader will initiate the vision (possibly jointly), share the vision, and guide the approach. The triumph of transactional leadership in the effective management of multicultural groups and teams in an organization relies on the power of leaders to strengthen the process that the employees use to accomplish the task.
The transactional style of leadership bears more disadvantages than advantages; this is because the leader is authoritative, shows high self-assurance, and is normally more absorbed in the task. Some leaders regard this style of command and control as being superannuated and unsuitable in the contemporary business environment. The transactional style of leadership is excellently suited for organizations that are under catastrophe since it provides contentment via providing an urgent resolution of problems. Nevertheless, the outcomes with transactional leadership are not very promising at times. Even though the transactional leadership style focuses on the requirements of workers, it does not provide chances for gaining inspiration, work contentment, or loyalty (Choi et al. 379-381). The transactional style of leadership is applied mainly in organizations governed by command and control systems where workers ascend the ranks within the organization through contest and compliance. Attributable to the failure of the transactional style of leadership (in terms of its command and control approach), leaders in most successful organizations that continue to use this method have a tendency of being autocratic.
The transformational style of leadership is apprehensive of the situation as it entails making sure that there is an evolutionary transformation in organizations, in addition to the performance of employees. Transformational leadership style can be termed as the capacity of a leader to inspire workers to outshine their personal ambitions for the excellence of the organization (Salas et al. 200-205). Transformational leaders are morally accountable and concentrate on initiating moral development, ideals, and principles in workers while supporting their commitment to serve the interests of others, the organization, and the community past self-centeredness. Transformation leadership is revolutionary and hardly backs the present condition, searches for opportunities amid risks, and tries to shape and generate rather than react to environmental situations. Transformational leaders express the capacity to manage multicultural groups and teams effectively, set objectives, and highlight social and interpersonal proficiencies.
Organizational change is the fundamental focus of the transformational leadership style. Transformational leaders must have great self-worth, self-regard, and self-consciousness to change organizational processes and structures successfully. The transformational style of leadership is anchored in four basic dynamics for the successful influence of behaviors and approaches. They encompass the idealized effect (appeal), inspiration, psychological encouragement, and personal deliberation. Like other leadership styles, transformational leadership has its merits and drawbacks (Salas et al. 201-204). Transformational leaders put emphasis on teamwork while strengthening and initiating the potential of employees with the aim of attaining the set objectives. Such leaders create a collaborative business environment, boost morale, are practical towards the administration of change, support empowerment, uphold responsibility, initiate effective communication, and resolve crises. In this regard, the leaders draw multicultural groups and teams towards inspiration and dedication to the objectives they set. Moreover, the transformational leadership style ensures that employees are stimulated and contented, display low instances of absenteeism, and realize increased productivity.
One of the drawbacks that have been observed concerning transformational style is that operations in most successful organizations require quick judgments and excellent decision-makers, while the transformation leadership style takes a lot of time and is perceived to be ineffective. Moreover, the transformation style of leadership has a tendency of disrupting a balanced and systematized mode of operation (Salas et al. 200-205). Nevertheless, the application of the transformational style of leadership is gaining impetus in the management of multicultural groups and teams since it is directly in disagreement with the superannuated command and control style that had been forced on workers for a long time in the past.
Multicultural leadership necessitates the management of an international workforce with employees from any part of the world who have different cultures, ethnic backgrounds, religious convictions, and languages. The autocratic leadership style that mainly contained less educated staff in the past cannot meet the requirements of the current multicultural business environment due to the demands of the personnel. Studies have established that multicultural leadership manages personnel with advanced education who have started adapting to change from the traditional promotional procedures to uplifting new leaders anchored in their education, competency, and functions. Learning offers more chances for success in multicultural business settings by permitting learned employees to widen their understanding and inquiry while strengthening the evaluation of the way services are offered.
Multicultural leadership is slowly diminishing the domination of the male gender in organizations since women are challenging the male workers for leadership positions, thus altering organizational culture gradually (Silvestri et al. 61-66). Currently, women have been integrated into the multicultural business environment, and this has assisted in eradicating the male-gendered prejudices resulting in unbiased systems and enhanced diversity. Such modifications in the style of leadership have greatly benefitted organizations by creating a wide pool of talents.
Women who are in positions of leadership have proved to more transformational, endeavoring to establish communication and judgment-making progressions. In this regard, the increase of women in positions of leadership will eventually weaken the basis of the command and control style of leadership and reinforce the transformational one. Different studies indicate that in the multicultural business environment, leadership styles are compelled to change by generational concerns. Presently, 4 major generational cohorts play a crucial role in the places of work (Silvestri et al. 61-72). These generational cohorts encompass Baby Boomers, Veterans, and Generation Y and X. The majority of the veteran cohort has either retired from the functions of leadership or re-emerged in a civilian form. The cohort that has mostly taken leadership positions in multicultural business environments is the Baby Boomers. Nevertheless, the Baby Boomers are starting to withdraw, and this will compel the remaining two cohorts to take up leadership positions, thus demanding increased organizational changes.
Multicultural leadership underscores flexibility, learning, and sharing of information among all the workers in organizations. Modification of the leadership tasks and the formation of organizational ranks have been linked to the increased embracing of unions. Traditionally, leadership never consulted union leaders in the judgment-making progression (Bradley et al. 243-245). Progressive leaders promote advanced working environments, efficiency, service provision, and augmented organizational dedication when incorporating union leadership into their strategies. Changes in the work settings are gradually being realized as leaders start embracing teamwork as a means of dealing with problems and achieving objectives.
Embracing teamwork or participative perception in the multicultural business environment alludes to a number of traits that encompass the transformational leadership style. Ensuring that workers take part in teamwork to complete assignments in an opportune time and resolve problems amicably has generated flexibility and adaptability. Studies have stressed three errors that ought to be avoided if a successful modification is to survive (DeRue et al. 1192-1195). The first error made by leaders prior to the implementation of change is the failure to include contributions from the employees who will be affected by the change. Secondly, leaders make the mistake of not allocating sufficient time to stimulation and persuasion personnel to whom the change will be favorable. Finally, leaders fail by not creating a tactical approach to promoting change. On this note, leaders in multicultural business settings should avoid such errors to make the process of change encouraging and less nerve-wracking.
Leadership and teamwork are fundamental to organizational success. They have a new meaning in multicultural business settings characterized by numerous challenges, risks, and uncertainties. In the contemporary world, virtually every complex task is completed successfully through working in teams and having successful leadership. With triumphant leadership, a team profits from the extensive scale of proficiencies that no single person may acquire alone, for instance, investigative proficiencies and marketing capacities. Facilitative leaders greatly decrease the likelihood that the team will go off target or be overcome by hindrances to productive teamwork. In spite of the existence of challenges that teams come across, if leadership is committed to assisting handle them, the organization attains outstanding outcomes. Successful leaders should strive to offer the strategies and assistance that teams require for effectiveness. Change is vital if organizations desire to keep abreast with the era; unsuitable leadership styles ought to be discarded as organizations stimulate and coach their leaders to be transformational. Future studies should demonstrate the effect of unsuitable leadership on the outcomes of teamwork and organizational success through the illustration of companies that have failed because of poor management.
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