Contemporary and General Managerial Issues
Becoming an Effective Leader

A leader is someone who succeeds in motivating individuals or a group to accomplish common goals.  This is done in a variety of ways and by numerous means.  To be effective, a leader must wear many different “hats” or serve diverse functions.  The following is a list of the types of roles a leader plays and some hints on how to manage these functions. Of the roles of effective leadership will be discussed are: relating, regulating, informing and supporting.

Relating. Relating means the effective leader must: know members of the group as individuals, give members the feeling that they count and that their contributions matter, commonly use the word “we” instead of “I”, allow each individual to achieve status according to his/her ability, efforts and accomplishments, share leadership functions and display confidence in the ability of the group.

Regulating. Regulating in the context of effective leadership means: encourage group participation in formulating group goals, and periodically redefine these goals, attend to the agenda, provide continuity to the meetings, promote a fair division of responsibility among group members, keep the group on the task(s) at hand, make summaries for the group from time to time, end meetings at appropriate times (not too short or too long), know and utilize parliamentary procedure if/when necessary as well as develop leadership ability among group members.

Informing. The effective leader also play the role of informing, that is: act as a resource for the group, advocate expression of feelings and opinions from group members, encourage members to think and speak, allowing minority points of view to be expressed with respect to all opinions, provide continuous clarification of questions and/or comments, suggest new ideas or areas to explore and see that pertinent questions are asked by group, or ask them to the leader himself.

Supporting. Last but not least, leader must also play the role of supporting to be effective. Specifically, they should: respond to all contributions by group members, reinforce group members’ ideas with appropriate praise and recognition, incorporate individual contributions into group goals and activities, help to remove tension by identifying its source and addressing the issue, be fair in handling all questions, voice his own opinions and accept group decisions as well as to accept responsibility for any mistakes.

However, from another perspective, some academicians even argued that there are a total of 13 essential qualities of a leader. It is outlined as follow:

Coach. Personally works with his or her direct reports to advance leadership skills including mentoring, confronting, challenging, setting stretch goals, and providing sharp and timely feedback.

Talent Manager. Makes sure the right people are in the right jobs. Attracts, retains, and develops key talent to execute on results. This role of leadership aim to contribute in identifying and developing high potential talent.

Team Leader. Builds a cohesive team where people are united in pursuit of team goals and strategies and collaborate to accomplish results. Makes sure the group is tackling the right issues as a leadership team.

Function Expert. In this role, the leader serves as an overall expert for the unit, enhancing the credibility of the function with others. The leader should also understand what is “state of the art” within the functional area and aligns the function with the organization’s vision, strategy, and business goals.

Internal Influencer. Persuades and motivates key leaders within his or her area. Builds commitment of people one-on-one, in teams, and in larger groups. Educates and influences peers and superiors about the value his or her function can provide to the business overall.

Results Driver. Creates accountability for results at all levels in his or her unit. Establishes metrics and goals that keeps people focused on execution. Consistently delivers desired results.

Executive-At-Large. Operates as the executive for function area or business unit, but assumes responsibility and accountability as advocates for the overall business and organizational goals. Builds bridges between functions and business units to enhance execution across the organization.

International Executive. Maintains a keen sense of worldwide market forces and international opportunities. Ensures the area’s leadership has a well-developed global view and is sensitive to how business is conducted internationally.

External Influencer. Influences critical stakeholders that are external to the organization: shareholders, analysts, board members, industry leaders, regulators, policy makers, and/or key customers. Shapes the perception of the unit’s, function’s or organization’s image and reputation.

Visionary. Creates a genuine sense of enthusiasm about a compelling and engaging picture of the future. Aligns the unit’s vision with the corporate vision. Develops

commitment to the vision within the function area, across the organization and

upwards.

Strategist. Knows the internal and external forces that create sustainable competitive advantage of the business. Leads the function area in the development of strategy. Aligns the function area strategy with the business unit and corporate strategy. Communicates the strategy to guide decisions and activities.

Spiritual Leader. Articulates the values of the organization and demonstrates a personal commitment to living those values. Builds the culture within the function that supports the values.

Change Sponsor. Creates a sense of urgency for change that supports the vision and strategy of the function and the organization. Makes the case for change and communicates this throughout his or her area of responsibility.

 

Leadership is the capacity to initiate a nature distinct from the past. This is what distinguishes leadership from management. Management is the capacity to give order and structure in service of high performance. Management is not burdened with an act of creation – it’s about operationalizing goals and objectives. A distinct future is achieved through high engagement. The essence of leadership is about convening, valuing relatedness, and decentralizing its own role. It is not a personality characteristic or a matter of style; therefore, it requires nothing more than what all of us already have. In this way, leadership is a capacity that can be learned by all of us, with a small amount of teaching, and an agreement to practice – the ultimate do-it-yourself movement. An alternative future, sometimes called transformation, occurs when a community of people chooses to come together and be accountable for something larger than themselves. All we know about learning, exceptional performance, and creativity indicate that the existence of a supportive community is what makes the difference. Leadership, in these terms, becomes community-building. The strategic revolutions in today’s rapidly changing business environment clearly mandate a new leadership framework. To capitalize on developing trends and drive future success, organizations must begin building leadership strength now in the four leadership success quotients: agility, authenticity, talent, and sustainability. But the formula for achieving leadership success is a moving target. The leadership success quotients will evolve. Nevertheless, complacency is not an option. Global trends are hitting faster, harder, and wider, with results that can be both exhilarating and devastating for companies, industries, and entire regions. The winners of tomorrow will be those organizations with strong leaders who demonstrate agility, authenticity, connectivity to their talent, and sustainability. They will use their skills to remain at the ready, anticipate and harness the power of change, and stay ahead of the shifting business environment.

 

References and Bibliography

 

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Hellriegel, D., Slocum, J. & Woodman, R.W. 1998, Organizational Behavior, 8th edn, South-Western College Publishing, USA.

 

House, R.J. & Mitchell, T.R. 1994, ‘Path-goal theory of leadership’, Journal of Contemporary Business, vol. 3, pp. 21-36.

 

Ivancevich, J.M. & Matteson, M.T. 1990, Organizational Behavior and Management, 2nd edn, Richard D. Irein, US.

 

Kotter, J 1990, A force for Change: How leadership differs from management, Free Press, New York.

 

Luthans 2005,Organizational Behavior, 10th edn, McGraw-Hill, Singapore.

 

Mitchell, T. R. 1988, People in Organizations: An Introduction to Organizational Behaviour in Australia, McGraw-Hill, Australia.

 

Nasrallah, W.F., Levitt, R.E. & Glynn, P. 2000, Interaction Value Analysis: When Structured Communication Benefits Organizations, viewed August 9, 2007.

 

Rafferty, A. E. & Griffin, M. A. 2004, Dimensions of transformational leadership: Conceptual and empirical extensions, The Leadership Journal, Vol.15, No. 3, pp. 329–54.

 

Robbins, S. P. & Mukerji, D. 1990, Managing Organization: New Challenges & Perspectives, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

 

Robbins, S. & Coulter, M. 2003, Management, Prentice Hall, USA.

 

Pearson Prentice Ha Robbins, S.P. 2005, Organizational Behavior, 11th edn,ll, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

 

Robbins, S. P. & Judge, T. A. 2007, Organizational Behavior, 12th edn, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

 

Storey, J. 2001, New Perspectives on Human Resource Management, International Thomson Business Press, London.

 

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