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Organizational Leadership

02 Dec 2016Career

As we look towards the world today, we see many people running after success and dignity. According to Maslow’s “hierarchy of need” he explains that each inpidual has some need and once the bottom need is satisfied, the person tries to fulfill the upper level need. But as we talk about the higher level people they are in search of the “Self esteem” and “Self actualization” need, while the lower level people are basically in search of their “physiological”, “Safety” and “Social” needs. And that’s how we define a job of a leader. A leader is the one who satisfy or influences a group of people working under him to achieve a specific goal. A leader is the one who can motivate people to accomplish a purpose within time boundaries and maintaining their level needs without ignoring their desires. He is the one who leads and asks everyone to follow him and tag along the rules he desires, but not only this a leader should have a complete knowledge of the goal he’s planning on and a deep-rooted commitment towards the task and should strive to achieve it no matter if his followers denies to do so. (Stephen P. Robins, pg 316)

According to Webster’s Dictionary, a leader is a person who exerts authoritative decisions and with the help of good, motivating examples uses his talents and plays a direct role in order to achieve a specific set of goals. It further says that leadership is that component of one’s personality that causes a group of people to follow. A good, successful leader has three major attributes Dedication, Passion and Charisma. Leaders play many personality roles at a time, they are also observed as being good and evil. Some examples of great leaders are

  • Mahatma Gandhi, Quaid-e-Azam who devoted their entire lives on a mission and accomplished their goals.
  • Abraham Maslow: who gave the basic theory about the needs of each inpidual, working in organizations.
  • Jerry Yang: who gave the idea of “Yahoo.com”

There are many leaders in the world history and many more will come with time. As we take a look over the past few years, we encounter many innovations, and changes in the organizational behavior. We have seen governments changing from autocratic to democratic; these changes are due to the great leaders who came up with the concept of self-governing. (Kotler, pg 596)

After featuring to what leadership is, now coming towards what “influence” is. Influence is when an inpidual’s behavior is somewhat changed by the impact of his peers, organizations, political environment, social gatherings etc. Influence is basically catching other person’s personality or getting inspired by the person. It does not always result in a positive manner. A famous quote simplifies it further “A person is known by the company he keeps”, this shows that an inpidual’s behavior is mixture of his nature as well as his surroundings and heredity. But it depends on an inpidual that to what extend he/she believes that they need to change their attitude or behavior in order to adjust in an organization, and carry out specific tasks. It depends on the leader that up to what degree he tries to influence his followers and how lasting his influence is on his followers. (Kotler, pg591)

We cannot say that leadership is another word for influence because a good leader is a person who influences others in order to get through a particular task in a most effective manner, but this influence can be good or bad. “To every action there’s a reaction”, same is the case with influencing, but here dependent variable is the reaction which is highly dependent on the determination of responder, which could be equal or may be opposite to what the leader has expected. A leader has the right to express preferences or give examples by using models to whatever he considers is appropriate but this is not guaranteed that the outcome would be the same what he was actually waiting for. The real job of a leader is not just influencing but to tolerate every intrinsic and extrinsic influence, and maintaining a level of distance and controlling all the risks that come from the exerting sources. (Robins, pg 335)

A leader should be mixture of good nature and a leading attitude, a leader should have a quality of motivating others without hurting their needs and desires, an ideal leader should be the one who can easily feel the need of their followers and shows them that he is acting in their interest, the leader should be clever, spontaneous, sharp and he should know the value of time. A person who knows how to lead a group of people, he can lead by the help of good examples and setting up great examples for others, examples of honesty, sincerity, truth, devotion etc. He should have a positive attitude which can help him to deal with thorny problems. He should be quick in decision making and should have a clear cut idea of the problem and its origination. A leader is the one who coaches other, he never says “I” he always says “WE”. A leader should set a path of guidelines for his followers so that in outlook everyone remembers his good deeds.

On the contrary, a good follower is the one who accepts the orders of his leader with full devotion and respect. We have seen examples where a leader gets annoyed and use abusive words which are intolerable for a follower; in such cases a follower should challenge these flaws with a firm attitude. This can also help the leader in making his leadership behavior more accurate and effective. The follower’s respect and commitment plays a great deal in an organization. A good follower is a good leader in the future; it gives cohesive grounds to the person and he could implement all the ideas and strategies he experienced in his past. And it is often the most rewarded time of a leader’s career. (Kotler, pg 348)

Traditionally, organizations were using the theories of leadership, but know the system has moved to practicality. We now need practical, convenient examples of great leaders. We have seen many and still the world asks for more. Organizations can achieve good leaders if they arrange proper training programs for the top-level managers so that they could implement new strategies in the department. The training programs should include about the decision making process within time boundaries and effective use of recourses. Training should include; on the job and off the job training programs and a sensible use of such training in everyday assessment. Leaders should know about the different roles they play in an organization.

They should have a straightforward and precise idea of what role to be implemented in what situation. If the decision is about an acquisition of a fixed-asset; the leader should know how and where is to be purchased and he should also have a keen knowledge about the budget as well. But when a decision is to taken in a war, a leader has to be quick and sharp and should order his team in a millisecond. A leader can be a liaison, resource manager, an initiator, a trouble shooter etc. As Kotler mentions that a leader is the one who copes up with change, as change is always resisted at first and is not welcomed by the employees so it is the role of a leader that how he motivates his team to accept the change because it hinders progress. Stephen P. Robbins also states that there are six important tactics that need to be implemented in order to accept the change, the tactics are: communication, education, facilitation and support, negotiation, participation, manipulation and cooptation. Management should arrange such training programs and workshops that can educate leaders on each of his roles and each of the six tactics he can use in order to alter his styles. (Robbins, pg 218)

Leaders can mould an organization if they want.

A leader has great powers and their one reaction or initiative can turn the organization. How to train an employee, what to teach them and how to evaluate is the job of a leader. To be a good leader a person needs to be a good human being because this is only way by which he would be able to understand the desires and wants of his employees. (MacGregor, pg. 112)

Work Cited

  • James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner. Leadership Challenge. (July 2003) Jossey-Bass Inc. pg 95
  • James MacGregor Burns. “Leadership” (August 1978) Harper Collins, pg. 53
  • Jim Collins. Good to Great: Why some companies make the Leap…and others don’t (October 2001) Publisher: Harper Collins, pg. 80
  • Rudolph W. Giuliani, Ken Kurson. Leadership, (October 2002) Publisher: Miramax Books, pg. 180
  • Virginia P.Richmond,  James C. McCroskey, LindaL. McCroskey. Organizational communication for Survival: making Work, work. (July, 2008). Allyn and Bacon, Inc. pg 200

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