Essay: Nature of Leadership

Pages: 12 (3340 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Leadership  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Charismatic theory has enjoyed considerable support from a number of studies using a wide variety of methods and samples.

Innovative, enthusiastic, extraordinary, confident, and trustworthy words describe a charismatic leader. As noted the path-goal theory was instrumental in the creation of the charismatic theory, a theory inspired by the ideas of a sociologist, Max Weber. Behaviors associated with this theory are fundamental to solving problems in an organization that are associated with a crisis. Leaders develop a vision and enforce the act, therefore gaining the respect and admiration of superiors and subordinates.

Charismatic leaders have followers who share their vision and willing exhibit hard work on their behalf. Charismatic leaders can capture the attention of followers, make them listen and inspire them to achieve.

Robert House published one of the first writings on charismatic leadership. He wrote about the different behaviors and changes of a charismatic leader. House formed a basic view of the influence a charismatic leader has over followers; the desire to dominate and influence, and high self-esteem. In supporting research it was found that "human beings we behave in ways that seek to establish and affirm a sense of identity for ourselves (known as the self-concept). What charismatic leaders do is to tie these self-concepts of followers to the goals and collective experiences associated with their missions so that they become valued aspects of the followers' self-concept (Conger, 1999, p 145).

The theory assumes that charismatic leadership can change follower's ideas and achieve motivation outcomes through four mechanisms; changing follower perceptions of the nature of work itself, offering an appealing future vision, developing a deep collective identity among followers, and heightening both individual and collective self-efficacy (Conger, 1999).

A charismatic leader can communicate effectively to followers; make him or her believe in the organization's vision and the rewards. As a result of the expressions, followers realize their self-worth and efficacy.

A charismatic leader gains followers who not only believe and trust, but also desire to imitate the characteristics. Followers associate his or her self-worth with the confidence and strong energy possessed by such leaders. Reports state that followers claim that their motivation is based on validation from charismatic leaders.

A charismatic leader can speak in a tone that demands attention and influence followers who can articulate an inspirational vision can influence followers to adopt their attitudes and beliefs to help carry out the vision and mission of the company.

Guidelines for transformational leadership?

Though writers use the term transformational and charismatic interchangeably, the distinctive difference is that transformational leadership references ethical behavior. It appeals to what interest the follower. For example, a political leader will make promises to create jobs, reduce taxes and create legislations in turn for campaign support, and corporate leaders provide salaries and benefits to employees in turn for work performed.

Transactional leadership involves honesty, fairness, responsibility, and mutuality. The matter in which leaders influence the values of followers is essential to transformational leadership. According to researcher, Bernard Bass, a leader can be both transformational and transactional. It is his notation that transformational leaders motivate their followers to commit and realize the outcome. Three processes in realizing the outcomes; leaders heighten followers' awareness about the importance and value of designated goals and the means to achieve them; leaders induce followers to transcend their self-interests for the good goals, and they stimulate and meet their followers' needs through the leadership process and mission (Conger, 1999).

According to Bass, there are four behavioral components that make up transformational leadership: charisma; inspiration; intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration. Evidence has shown that transformational leadership does result in improved performance. It also aligns everyone around a common goal. Transformational leadership encourages everyone to challenge and not make assumptions. The need for transformation leadership in organizations includes a board of directors. Bass claims this is his reason for identifying both what is required of boards of successful organizations and how to incorporate into transformational leadership. Bass believed the transactional model worked regardless of the size or location of the organization.

Transformational leadership raises the level of human behavior and ethical aspirations of leaders and followers. Following Enron, Shell, Equitable Life and so on, business needs to assert its ethical standing again to customers and consumers (Venkateswaran, 2007).

Strategies for developing transformation leadership require creating a vision that followers can believe in. If followers can believe in a leader's vision if she or he is inclined to help in achieving those goals for the organization. Articulate a plan for bringing implementing the vision. Anecdotes are used to clarify the vision. Exhibit confidence and enthusiasm about the vision.

Reward followers for any accomplishments they make toward achieving the goal. Symbolize key organizational values. Transformation leaders should reinforce organization goals, model standards.

How important is top level leadership in organizations (2-7)

Top level leadership is important in every organization with respect to enforcing a vision and driving the mission. Top level managers are responsible for making important decisions, planning, and implementing strategies, setting policies and procedures, structuring the organization, and delegating resources to appropriate personnel.

Leadership is based on power and influence. By the term leadership situation, we mean the degree to which the leader has control, power, and influence over the group process and the task outcome (Fiedler, 1967, 1993).

Top level leadership is important to an organization, in that, the leader holds several roles detrimental to the successful operation of the entity. For example, top leaders:

Supervise personnel. They are important to the performance of employee motivation, training, and development.

Budget planning, making short- and long-range plans. Developing operational policies and procedures.

Use sound judgment in making decisions important to the welfare of the organization.

Monitoring internal and external forces that may affect the company.

Creating schedules and cost estimates.

Representing the and maintaining a positive image for the company.

Coordinating

Ensuring that all personnel keep current on technical developments.

The responsibilities of managerial activity describe four general processes; developing and maintaining relationships, obtaining, and providing information, making decisions and influencing people. As corporations progress, leaders focus on personnel staffing, motivating the workforce and coordinating responsibilities. Leaders are responsible for developing the organizations product or services and develop processes to increase the efficiency of operations.

Top leaders guide the organization, and are assertive and decisive in crisis situations. Leaders are important in defining problems, show initiative, identify solutions, and have strong communication skills. Studies show that confident leaders who exert their power are more effective in dealing crisis matters.

How are group decisions affected by the size and composition of the group? (Chapter 11)

In today's work culture teams are effective in brainstorming and collectively developing and managing organization projects. In fact, it is the norm for human resource departments to list 'team-oriented' as a requirement in job descriptions. Teams consist of a group of individuals with specific expertise and skills that all serve a common purpose.

There are different types of teams found in organizations; functional operating teams, cross-functional teams, self-managed and executive teams. Functional operating teams form for long periods, the members are somewhat specialized and team lead is appointed by a superior.

Organizations use cross functional teams to work on specific, complex projects. The teams consist of members from various subunits to be responsible for coordination, cooperation, and joint problem-solving. Members participate on a full or part-time basis, dependent on their level of expertise and desired contribution to a project.

Cross-functional teams are flexible, efficient deployment of personnel and resources to solve problems when they discover. The diversity of member background fosters communication with external sources of ideas and information, and it increases creativity in the generation of ideas and problem solutions.

Working on a cross-functional team helps members learn to view a problem or challenge from different perspectives, rather than from a narrow functional viewpoint. Members can learn new skills that will be carried back to their functional jobs and to subsequent teams. The advantage of forming cross-function teams is reduction in time. Effective leadership meets challenges.

In self-managed work teams, managers role in turned into team members. These teams are responsible for producing a distinct product or service. Most self-managed work teams are responsible for producing a district product or service. Self-managed teams perform the same type of operational tasks repeatedly and have a relatively stable membership over time. In self-managed work teams typically have similar functional backgrounds. Members share in performing the tasks. Being able to perform multiple tasks, increases team flexibility makes the work interesting and challenging an opportunity to learn new skills.

8. Describe how selection and placement can be used to improve leadership in organizations. (Chapter 11)

Leadership techniques constantly change when observing and studying what works and what does not. When managers and subordinates get promoted, change assignments or leave an organization. "We can teach leaders and their superiors how to select… [END OF PREVIEW]

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