Leadership remains an important aspect of management. Proper leadership has the ability to ensure that an organization achieves goals and strategies in place. I have witnessed many organizations grow to be multinational organizations out of good leadership in place. At the same time, many organizations have also failed because of the poor leadership in the management system. This means that leadership easily influences success and failure of ay organization. Most importantly, it should be noted that leadership of any unit should ensure that people are motivated and inspired in order to fulfil certain objectives set by an organization. When employees are motivated and inspired, they concentrate their efforts towards ensuring that specific vision is achieved.
My definition of leadership must entail some of the future aspects that are in place in order to help other employees identify their places within the organization. For instance, leaders have the responsibility of ensuring that opportunities are availed for the people in order to prepare them for future growth of the organization. This focus on the future should first drive leaders to deal with present difficulties in order to prepare the organization for future success. On the same note, a successful leader should ensure that necessary changes are put in place in order to establish a foundation for future growth. Therefore, I believe that leadership should not emphasize on individuals who on higher positions in an organization. True leadership should be able to exhibit certain qualities that inspire and motivate people to achieve their optimum production in an organization. In times of crisis, leadership has the responsibility to motivate the staff through proper decisions that help to come up with success. Trust is also important when it comes to the ensuring that leadership is successful.
Literature shows a number of leadership practiced in different organizations in the world. In his work, Thomas Wren’s book entitled The Leaders Companion: Insights Through the Ages give and important historical analogy of different types of leadership methods practised over many decades. In his work, we see some of the old writings by ancient scholars like Plato, Aristotle, Lao-tzu and others. It comes out clearly that leadership and its challenges have existed for very many years, as seen in the writings of these ancient people. Leadership is a major issue into achieving management goals in the current times and one may be tempted to think that these challenges never existed before. Thomas Wren goes further to point to the current leadership challenges, noting that the relationship between leaders and followers is important aspect of management. On the same note, it comes out clearly that certain leadership traits help in ensuring success in the management of any organization.
There are differences between leadership and management, something not understood by many people. Most corporations, especially in the United States are managed and few are led. However, it is important to note that management and leadership are both important in order for corporations and other businesses to succeed. John Kotter’s article review points to the need for understanding differences between management and leadership in order to ensure success in organizations (1). This article strongly points to some weaknesses noted in most corporations. For instance, some of them emphasize on leadership while some only emphasize on management. It should be known that strengthening one and ignoring the other can easily jeopardize the intended plan to achieve success. Balancing between leadership and management skills is important in order to achieve the goals and objectives set in any organization.
On this note, John acknowledges that not every leader can possess management and leadership skills at the same time. Therefore, an organization that plans to succeed must ensure that both kinds of persons are involved in the daily running and decision-making processes. Companies can also prepare their leadership to be excellent managers and leaders at the same time. Management is important because it helps deal with complexities that arise from growth of multinationals. Twentieth and twenty-first centuries have seen emergence of a number of large organizations that require proper management systems in order to avoid chaotic processes. Therefore, management plays an important role of ensuring that quality is maintained in all processes within a large organization.
As much as Thomas Wren’s (23-54) work notes that leadership have existed for centuries, it is prudent to acknowledge that the current business environment has become so much competitive, leading to more leadership challenges in the process. How leadership challenges were tackled in the past may not be the same as to how they should be tackled at the present. Leadership is a challenge that does not belong to anyone. As noted by James and Barry (27-43), leadership is not easy and requires learning and commitment from all leaders at different levels.
On the other hand, leadership helps in coping with the changes within the organization. According to John Kotter’s in the Harvard Business Review (35-55), competition within the business environment is a major reason for the need to have stronger leadership skills in organizations. Current business environment is driven by technological changes, different kinds of instabilities and even market deregulation. Without proper leadership, an organization may not achieve much since there is need to make decisions that ensure competitive advantage in the market. It comes clearly that current success does not depend on yesterday’s method of doing things. Competition in the current times requires strong leadership that focuses on appropriate changes that inspire growth and success. Therefore, both management and leadership skills are important in order register success in the current times. The ability to understand how the two concepts work can easily help in driving organizations into profitability through better competitive advantages.
Assignment III: Case Study
Interpersonal skills are a very important aspect of leadership. According to the case at hand, it is obvious that Jennifer is an excellent accountant who highly esteems her work. What she has achieved in the past and at present is conspicuous and she deserves congratulations. However, the poor interpersonal skills she exhibits is a serious thing that may work to undo all the achievements made in the department. For instance, it is important to note that other employees in her department must corporate inn order to achieve the required vision for the accounting system. If I were the CFO, I would find time and talk to her about some of the observations made from the people who work under her. I would do this with an intention of finding out her reaction and developing a strategy towards helping her out. It obvious that Jennifer’s poor communication skills have affected most of the employees who work under her.
As the CFO of the organization, I would plan would entail an effort to help her understand that leadership has everything to do with relationship between people in the department and the whole organization. The ability to be a successful leader would depend on how people in her department embraced the vision at hand. I would ensure that she knows some of the negative impact that could arise from the poor communication skills on her side. One of the problems would arise from lack of corporation from other department members, while others who are very productive may decide to leave the organization out frustration from her.
I would coach her through the process by helping her understand some of the important aspect of proper communication skills to her department and the impact it could cause to the whole organization. I would make her understand that communication is a two-way affair that requires feedback from the other party. This means that in case of any improvement or a change of system in the accounting department, it would be better to ensure that communication is done in a way that the other members of the department have the opportunity to give their opinion on the same. This means that people she has to organize herself in terms of presenting and convincing the people on the need to make certain changes within the system without having to force it to them. She has to convince them that the changes are in the best interest of the organization and themselves. With this, people can easily adopt to the new changes as they feel part of the new initiatives.
In some cases, body language plays an important part in terms of delivering the correct message to the listeners. It is likely that she talks authoritatively and with finality, expecting everyone to abide by the stated instructions. Leadership requires motivating and convincing the others on the need to adopt certain changes within the department. Therefore, the best way to make communication would be to create a relaxed atmosphere where everyone is free to ask questions. Discussion is important as it helps in removing any fears that may be developed by the department members. I would help develop her communication skills through such processes because it could easily help motivate accounting department members into higher productivity.
Harvard Business Review. HBR’s 10 must Reads on leadership, Harvard Business Review
Press, 2011. Print.
Kouzes, James & Barry Posner. The leadership challenge: How to make extraordinary things
happen in organizations, 5th Edition, Jossey-Bass, 2012. Print.
Wren, J. Thomas. The Leader’s companion: Insights on leadership through the ages, Free
Press, 1995. Print.