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Leadership is an integral part of the management which cannot be separated as the attributes of leadership serves as a foundation for the field of management. In the world of business, without the vision of a leader no organization has ever gained the top position in the global business whether it is Apple or Microsoft. In all the cases, the leader is important to lead the way for its people because being a manager only organization targets can be achieved for a short term, the mission is hard to follow in the long term (Anderson, Baur, Griffith & Buckley, 2017). There is a huge difference between a manager and a leader because the leader leads the way from the front where the manager stands on the back and leave the work on his employees. Attributes like integrity, honesty, decision making power, accountability and setting examples can only be found in leaders. This world is in a desperate need of effective leadership in the business as not everyone can be considered the right person to hand power and authority to (Antonakis & Day, 2017). Leaders influence people and this is what makes all the difference. Sometimes rewards and promotion are not enough but appreciation, support, assistance, guidance is also crucial while working in a tough environment. The process of leading people or an organization to achieve specific goals with a clear vision is known as leadership. There is more to leadership than to management. Management talks about objectives whereas leaders have a proper vision in mind and they know what they want to achieve and does not need others approval for the mission. Leaders teach us how to achieve the almost impossible goal without determination and hard work. This research paper is written in an effort to analyze the leadership in personal work experience and the business environment we work in. The paper aims at acquiring all the information related to the leadership in the personal setting of the workplace. This paper will also throw light on the leadership theories that are there to evaluate the kind of leadership we have in the workplace, the effect of power, qualities of an effective leader member and the perspective on the leadership.
Leadership theories in relation to workplace
There are many leadership theories present in the literature that reflects on the various kinds of leaders exists in this world. Some theories state the fact that leaders born and not created while other theories support the argument that those leaders are made and trained. Many other theories are of the view that it in the behavior of the person that makes him a leader. These leadership theories include great man theory, situational leadership, trait theory, contingencies theories, the participative theory of leadership, role theory, transformational theory of leadership, transactional theory of leadership and many more. It is not necessary that the leadership of a certain individual requires the approval of all these theories in his leadership style as cases can be different and leadership style varies from one setting to another. In the organizations where performance is strongly focused and the leader emphasizes on the productivity of the employees, transactional theory of leadership is followed (Holten & Brenner, 2015). This is similar in case to my organization. Working in an environment where the performance I closely observed and activities are monitored, my supervisor follows the theory of transactional leadership. Transactional leaders are more related to the managers as like managers, transactional leaders also supervise and oversee the employees when their performance is concerned. My supervisor is very considerate on the quality of performance provided by all the teammates, he makes sure that the daily targets of the organization are achieved. The best example of a transactional leader is Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs always placed the performance of his employees on top and never compromised on the quality of the work being performed. He used to call employees on urgent basis even if they were on leave because he thought that the work should never be stopped and it is the topmost priority of Apple. Just like that, my supervisor makes sure that I never underperform and he is ready to provide all the assistance I need to work more effectively.
Effect of Power and Influence of the leader
In any organization, the foremost element needed to create a comfortable and peaceful environment is the ability to listen. Leaders should be able to listen carefully to what their followers are saying and address the problems of their team members so that the members open up about their concerns. Dictator attitude in a leader often loses the interest of the members in building a harmonious relationship with their leaders. In my organization, my supervisor is cooperative enough to consult the team members first before taking any decision. If the matter is about their performance, he calls them in private and arranges a meeting with them so that their side of issues can be sorted out and the performance can be improved. He knows very well that harsh attitude will only harm him and this is why he adopts a soft and polite way to tackle the problem and to make us work harder to achieve the goals of the organization. All the leaders possess power and can influence their followers in the organization but how they use the power and authority given to them tells a lot about their leadership style. Many cases are seen in the organizations where the leader bosses around and throw orders on the followers but they help them learn anything new. This way of approach is dangerous because the followers will not put full efforts in the tasks given to them, they will only meet the requirements, not the potential they have. There is always a response from the follower's side to the influence made by the leader and most of the times this response is not very healthy due to the leader's inability to lead effectively. The organization where I work if my supervisor wants me to do extra work for him then he appreciates me for all the work I have recently done and gives me the task with the surety to assist me throughout. This is why my teammates are also very receptive and makes sure to not let down the leader as he takes care of our needs as well.
Although many leaders are not a perfectionist because they can make mistakes too but the strategy they should always adopt is to be emphatic and more emotionally intelligent towards their followers. Being empathetic will make them understand the issues which are present there but are never addressed. They should be kind enough to treat their followers well and strict enough to know professionalism in work.
Role and effectiveness of leadership styles
Transactional and transformational both are similar in a way where leadership is concerned but they have different approaches to the leadership. In the transformational leadership, a leader has a strong charisma due to which his followers automatically obey all the changes he wants to see in the world. Transformational leaders want to bring drastic changes in the with their examples and they revolutionize the world according to their vision and mission. The best example of a transformational leader is Mahatma Gandhi. The element in his leadership that differs him from the rest of his contemporaries is his power to influence and inspire with his vision. Transformational leaders are supposed to inspire people to work with them, they motivate people. They have a clear vision that differentiates their quality to lead from the other kinds of leaders. This is not the case with the transactional leaders. Transactional leaders do not have much to do with the vision and inspiration, they are more concerned about the traditional management style and organization like Steve Jobs. Although he revolutionized the world with his work in the technology he never meant to inspire the people, he only wanted to achieve the dreams by making his vision come true. It is hard to find the transformational leadership style in managers these days as this feature is exceptional and is not very prevalent. However, transactional leadership is very common and can be identified quite easily. Transformational leadership is very effective if applied to the organizations but it requires the equal contribution of the group to show equal responsibility for their leader. Transactional leadership will enhance the productivity level of the employees but will not give satisfaction to the employees. Looking at the differences in both transformational and transactional leadership styles, it is now more evident to state that the leadership we have in our organization is transactional and not transformational.
4. Traits and characteristics of an effective team leader
An effective team leader is a leader who makes his followers challenge their potential and explore different talents within themselves. He is confident enough to help them achieve new heights of success with diversity in their work. He inspires and motivates his followers to outperform one another by building a positive competition among them. He takes care of the matters of the integrity of each member and protects and defends them if they are not at fault. He recognizes their efforts for the organization and appreciates them publicly to increase their morale. An effective team leader has strong expectations from his team members and he believes they can do anything with his support. He never doubts their abilities to accomplish the benchmarks he has set for them. He is honest with them and addresses the issues openly which is disturbing the performance of his team members. He is very adaptable to change and also makes him team members experience and welcome the change in their work environment. Being a part of my organization, I can say that my supervisor is cooperative, supportive, dedicated, honest and flexible enough to supervise the team he is assigned to from the top management.
5. Leadership, vision, mission, and strategy
There is no leadership without the concept of vision. There must be something that inspires the leader, the purpose he has to fulfill and the mission for which he is struggling. Vision is considered as the destination of a leader where he must reach and the journey which guides towards this destination are the strategies he will undertake in order to get there. The whole process of going towards his vision is the mission which he must accomplish in order to bring a transformational change in the existing world. Leaders cannot change the existing world but they can bring about effective changes in the way this world works. A leader is given the only responsibility of guarding the vision he and his followers have and he becomes of the planner of the strategies to be achieved. Not everything is considered as vision as vision involves the merge of imagination with the reality with the help of energy people have. This is why leaders induce the vision they have seen into their followers so that his team members know what they are striving for. It is very necessary that the vision should be a part of an organization's mission and is tied to their values and policies. It is the leader's responsibility to make the connection in the vision, mission, and strategy in a way that the organization can comprehend the needs easily and is ready to provide the support.
As far as my organization, my supervisor makes sure that we perform according to the vision of the organization. He knows our potential and supports us to achieve the objectives of our organization. Anything that deviates from the mission of the organization will be exempted. Visions act as a lighthouse for the ship of leadership and guides towards the right path. Organizations have a vision statement to direct t heh employees to present their performance according to the expectations of their leader.
6. A personal perspective on leadership
If I were given a chance to lead the team, I am currently a part of then I will first of all change the policies of the organization. The reason for this step is that sometimes unclear and non-supportive policies also becomes a matter of conflict in the different levels of management. Top management pressurizes the lower management over the policies which they have created for the organization and most of the times those policies are only serving the interests of one party. Policies should always be designed in a way that serves the interests of all the parties involved. One-sided policies make employees leave the company and increase the doubts of job insecurity in their attitude. A leader should always make his team members realize that they are a part of the organization and the performance of the operations depends on their attitude towards work. I will change my attitude and will turn the fear of job insecurity of my followers into something that will make them relax and more productive by increasing the commitment towards the company. Employees should not be targeted openly in front of others for their weak performance because there might be many authentic reasons involved which affect their working capability. They should be called in private and instead of threats of termination should be told about the incentives and bonuses they might get if they perform well. Nudge should be given to enhancing their productivity level.
Leadership is an integral part of every organization and without leadership, nothing in an organization can function or regulate properly. Leadership consists of different roles and styles which enable a person to perform according to the criteria set by the higher management. In accordance with the organizational policies and rules, a leader performs their work with quality and exceptionalism. The aforementioned critical analysis essay analyzes the role of leadership in personal work experience and the business environment. The research paper focuses on every aspect of leadership in a workplace and helps visualizes leadership theories consisted in most work places. Power and the quality of work performed show the attributes of an effective leader. Every prominent organization has a tree of effective leaders who work with complete dedication and performance in order to achieve a maximum target for their organizations. The goals and objectives set by the organization are achieved with the help of an effective leadership.
Antonakis, J., & Day, D. V. (Eds.). (2017). The nature of leadership. Sage publications.
Anderson, H. J., Baur, J. E., Griffith, J. A., & Buckley, M. R. (2017). What works for you may not work for (Gen) Me: Limitations of present leadership theories for the new generation. The Leadership Quarterly, 28(1), 245-260.
Holten, A. L., & Brenner, S. O. (2015). Leadership style and the process of organizational change. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 36(1), 2-16.
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