Generally, when talking about leadership, the memory of a great charismatic leader who summons crowds such as Gandhi or Martin Luther King is evoked.
The groups are formed around a leader, who will lead a group of people to the successful fulfillment of a specific task.
The current situation of organizations requires flexibility and speed in decision-making, which often crashes into management authoritarianism because there is no perception that leadership does not depend on titles, positions, or the person by itself, or who holds it in power.
In his studies conducted from 1927 to 1932, Elton Mayo discovered the existence and impact that informal groups have within the organization: once the workers produce what they consider their normal quota, they reduce their work rate.
And this is where production programs and improvement projects crash if employees have not been involved in the change process.
A broad definition of leadership could establish it as the ability to influence a group to achieve certain goals. However, some authors, such as John Kotter of Harvard Business School, believe that leadership has to do with change. In this way, leaders set the direction by developing a vision of the future.
They then align people by communicating this vision and inspiring them to overcome obstacles. In addition, he considers that both strong leadership and solid management are necessary for optimal organizational effectiveness.
Thus, it can be stated that the leaders establish the unity of purpose and orientation of the organization, and have as their responsibility to create and maintain an internal environment in which the staff can become fully involved in achieving the objectives of the organization.
Advantages of leadership
Advantages for the company:
- People will understand and be motivated by the goals of the organization.
- The activities are evaluated, aligned, and implemented in a unified manner.
- It will decrease the poor communication between the different levels of a company.
The application of the leadership principle leads to the following:
- Consider the needs of all interested parties including clients, owners, suppliers, shareholders, local communities, and society as a whole.
- Establish a clear vision of the future of the organization.
- Set challenging goals and objectives.
- Create and maintain shared values, transparency, and ethical models at all levels of the organization.
- Establish trust and eliminate fears
- Provide people with the necessary resources, training, and freedom to act responsibly.
- Inspire, encourage and recognize the contributions of people.
It is extremely difficult to achieve excellence in an organization without the participation of personnel at all levels because these are its essence. The participation, satisfaction, motivation, and teamwork of the staff allow their skills to be used for the benefit of the company.
At the same time, recognition and reward for good quality work should be part of the leadership method, since the better the people understand the importance of their contribution, the greater their desire to contribute.
Aspects to consider
When exercising leadership, among the most important aspects that must be taken into account, we can mention:
- Assume responsibility for the acts.
- Promote the development and training of the personnel under their charge.
- Do not focus only on the results.
- Know the key productive areas of the staff in charge.
When it comes to discovering talents with leadership skills to occupy high-level positions, it is essential to look for five qualities:
Achievement and risk orientation with economic sense,
- Taste for the command and direction of people,
- High scores in dominance and influence over others,
- Self-control and self-control, and
- High intellectual capacity, in which the capacity for synthesis is somewhat superior to that of analysis.
Recent research suggests that the best managers use a range of different styles of management, and each in its proper measure at the most opportune time.
Such flexibility when acting is difficult to practice, however, the results analyzed support this practice, and what is better, can be learned.
The aforementioned range is composed of six leadership styles. These are:
1 – The Coercive Leader:
demand immediate compliance. This style consists of the leader making quick, radical, unquestioning decisions, without attending to suggestions or requests, wishing to create a shock effect in the organization (“Do as I say”).
Of all leadership styles, coercive is the least effective in most situations, as it strongly affects the work environment. The decision made exclusively from above makes new ideas never come to light.
2 – The Indicative Leaders:
mobilize their people towards their vision. Great enthusiasm and clear vision are the pillars of the orientate style (“come with me”). Of the six styles of leadership, this is the most effective, which improves all the variables of the work environment.
3 – The Affiliate Leaders:
bonding and fostering harmonious relations with its people. The affiliate leader says “people come first.” This style of leadership revolves around people – those who use it, and value individuals and their emotions over tasks and objectives.
The affiliate leader strives to make his employees happy and the relationship between them is harmonious. Manages through the development of affective ties to then collect the results of this approach, mainly strong loyalty.
4 – The Participative Leaders:
The Participative Leaders create consensus through participation. The participative leader invests time in getting the ideas and support of the people, fostering trust, respect and commitment.
By letting employees have a voice in the decisions that affect their goals and the way they do their work, the participatory leader increases flexibility and responsibility.
By listening to employee concerns, the participatory leader learns what needs to be done to keep morale high.
5 – The Imitative Leaders:
Imitative Leaders expect excellence and autonomy from their team. Like the coercive style, the imitative style is part of the leader’s repertoire, although its use must be moderated.
Basically, the bases of the imitative style seem admirable because the leader sets extremely high-performance standards and exemplifies them.
His obsession is to do everything better and faster, and he demands that all the people around him meet these criteria.
It quickly identifies people with low levels of performance and demands more from them. If they do not meet your expectations, replace them with more capable people. At first glance, it seems that such an approach would improve the results, but it is not so because it destroys the concept of equipment.
6 – The Training Leaders:
they develop their people for the future. Trainer leaders help employees identify their strengths and weaknesses and link them to personal and career expectations, encouraging them to set long-term goals and help them create a plan to achieve them.
To carry out these plans, they establish agreements with their employees regarding their roles and responsibilities and give a lot of guidance and feedback.
Trainer leaders are the best delegates, they give their employees challenging tasks, even knowing that tasks will not be done quickly, because they are willing to tolerate bigger problems in the short term when it means a lasting learning experience.
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