Term Paper: Leadership

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[. . .] Leaders who are able to reach everyone in the organization and have them maximize their potential are the leaders I admire most, which is probably why this part of the human side of leadership appeals to me the most.

Organizations are ultimately just a collection of resources. Any leader can be effective in marshalling the non-human resources, because there is no variable of free will involved - your computer will always do what you ask it to do. This is not the case with human resources, yet these are the most powerful resources within any organization. The most successful leaders, therefore, are going to be the ones that can consistently, over time, get the most from their people. Tapping into motivation seems particularly challenging, despite all the motivational theories that exist. Each person is motivated differently and it can be the challenge for a leader to understand those differences and then find the right triggers to motivate people.

Social and ethical responsibility is all part of this. Employees are a critical stakeholder group and the leader has an obligation to mind the interests of this group. A leader therefore needs to be cognizant of this duty of care, but also be aware that there tends to be a link between treating employees well and maximizing their output in the long run. Organizations are therefore at their most effective when they are able to draw links between the different key success factors in the business, including human motivation. Dealing with people, a leader is capable of all kinds of harm, so being able to get the most out of the employees while upholding the duty of care to treat everybody fairly and with respect is a significant challenge. It brings with it, however, significant reward, and that is another of the reasons why I put emphasis on this element of human management that appeals to me the most. [END OF PREVIEW]

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