Effective leadership, commonly regarded as both a learned skill and innate ability, is an essential characteristic of successful organizations (Northouse, 2016). Great leaders are said to define purpose, create a vision for the future, set high ethical standards, and guide their organizations through many circumstances and into new directions (Morrill, 2007; Parris & Peachey, 2012). Leadership is also described as complex – it can mean different things to different people. Given there is no standard approach to leadership, scholars focus on the process of leadership as opposed to the definition (Northouse, 2016). As a process, leadership is not simply possessing
Gaughan, P. A., 2002. Mergers, Acquisitions, and Corporate restructuring. 3rd ed.New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Leadership at times can be a complex topic to delve into and may appear to be a simple and graspable concept for a certain few. Leadership skills are not simply acquired through position, seniority, pay scale, or the amount of titles an individual holds but is a characteristic acquired or is an innate trait for the fortunate few who possess it. Leadership can be misconstrued with management; a manager “manages” the daily operations of a company’s work while a leader envisions, influences, and empowers the individuals around them.
Throughout The Truth About Leadership; The No-Fads, Heart-of-the-Matter Facts You Need to Know by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Poser, they discuss the ten truths in regards to leadership and how they impact an individual to become an effective leader. These truths are concepts that can be actively applied to current organizations. By applying these truths to an individual’s organization, it can improve the leadership quality from within and as a whole. Besides the application to an organization, the ten truths compiled by Kouzes and Poser can be used to improve yourself and your leadership skills, whether it be in your personal life or career.
Organizations have leaders who are effective and ineffective. Many of us want to be leaders but, do we have what it takes to be effective or are we going to be ineffective. Leaders are people who build their organization and employees up. Ineffective leaders are those who only care about getting a check. This paper will discuss effective and ineffective leaders. The effective and ineffective leaders I have had the pleasure to work with.
The following review presents a discussion of five articles related to leadership. This discussion will identify themes shared by the five articles followed by a presentation of the author’s recommendations for applications of the concepts presented in the articles.
Leadership carries with itself many benefits. Conversely, leadership also possesses many demands and challenges. According to Clark (1997), ”leadership’s main function is to produce movement and constructive or adaptive change through processes, such as establishing direction through visioning, aligning people, motivating, and inspiring” (p. 1). Unquestionably, this is a monumental task by any standard. Moreover, many expect leaders to perform these functions perfectly. Leaders like all of us, however, make errors. Lapses in good judgment occur.
Downsizing, restructuring, rightsizing, even a term as obscure as census readjustment has been used to describe the plague that has been affecting corporate America for years and has left many of its hardest working employees without work. In the year 2001 we had nearly 1.8 million jub cuts, that’s almost three times as much as the year 2000(Matthew Benz). In the 1990's, one million managers of American corporations with salaries over $40,000 also lost their jobs. In total, Fortune 500 companies have eliminated 4.4 million positions since 1979 including the 65,000 positions cut in February of 2002 (Ellen Florian). Although this downsizing of companies can have many reasons behind it and cannot be avoided at times, there are simple measures a company can take to make the process easier on the laid-off employees and those who survive with the company.
Great leaders are often thought of as history’s heroes and corporate commanders, but they can be seen in all areas of life. Without them, our society would fall to shambles for “the problems that require leadership are those that the experts cannot solve” (Manthey, 2004). I used to feel that leaders and managers were the same. However, I have learned that you can be a leader without being a manager, and vice versa. Acceptable leaders are a dime a dozen, but exceptional leaders are few and far between. Every individual at some period during his or her life will come across both ineffective and exceptional leaders, as well as a vast range between the two; the best of them drive others to become great in their own right.
The learning obtained from the Leadership and Organizational Behavior course has been valuable. From this course, I have learned that while someone can be a manager or a leader, it is better to be both. The various topics discussed throughout the eight week course have provided the unique insight necessary to be an effective leader. The insight gained allow for the identification of the behaviors that an effective leader must possess and continually develop. By identifying these behaviors, I am better able to shape my leadership style and goals so that I can achieve my full career potential as a leader within my organization. Ultimately, I realize that it is important to both do things right and do the right things in all my actions within an organization.
Kellerman, B. (2004). Bad Leadership: What it is, How it Happens, Why it Matters. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Press.
Although there are many outstanding, albeit necessary qualities of a good leader, it is the leader’s beliefs in which greatness is given its first breath, fostered by action, and spread throughout the institution. A great leader believes in encouraging, not destroying; in setting the precedence instead of yielding to prominence ; in collaboration, not division; in giving, not taking; and in having high standards and volunteering to be the first of many to be held to them. A great leader does not take advantage of the people being lead, but instead, creates an advantage for the people by giving them the opportunities to lead. Only when people take ownership of an institution will passion be cultivated, action be taken, and greatness be achieved.
It is undeniable, in an honest examination of the world, to deny that leadership will determine the success, or lack of success in almost every endeavor. This holds true for small group projects through the largest possible business venture, and beyond. John Maxwell discusses principles followed by great leaders and utilized by others to increase their own talents. His book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, is a valuable resource to those who seek to improve individual leadership abilities.