Malcolm Muggeridge, towards the end of his life, reflected: “Looking over my 90 years, I realize I have never made any progress in good times. I only progressed in the hard times.” While this may not be easily acceptable in today’s ears, in leadership, whatever progress in personal goals is made and sustained most of the time, not in good times, but during difficult times.
Leadership Behaviors to Sustain Momentum
Firstly, leadership has something to do with change, stimulation of ideas, enthusiasm and encouragement for the tasks, and influence. I wish to enumerate three vital traits, each one linked with a specific function for leaders (Beckhard, R. 1969).
1. The imagination to innovate
To promote innovation, successful leaders assist in cultivating novel view, the ideas, paradigm, and applications of expertise that makes an organization distinct. During the course of the implementation this particular trait is important especially that there will be delays, resistance to the change process that normally occurs. A good leader is ingenuous to create something which will contribute to enhance and sustain the momentum.
2. The professionalism to perform.
Leaders offer personal and organizational capability, assisted by personnel preparation and education, to implement impeccably and dispense worth to ever more difficult and exacting customers. There will be criticisms to come, many personal-all of which can possibly help if the leader knows how and what to do with them. He is a professional, and an important virtue that he should characterize is to be able to deliver and keep his cool whenever difficulties arise.
3. The openness to work in partnership.
Leaders create associations and linkages with partners who can enlarge the organization’s contact, improve its contributions, or strengthen its systems. Since an organization is composed of people, this leader knows a lot about human nature and behavior in group settings so he can appropriately anticipate and plan as well as adjust to various personalities.
Authors Sullivan and Decker, wrote a very effective communication piece in the 2005 book Effective Leadership and Nursing Management in Nursing. The authors tried to convey the idea that the practical application of the skills comes in two important aspects and that they are indispensable as well as distinct and inseparable. The authors identified that organizations are designed in their specific arrangements as they function and these are pertinent in how the people working in their specific areas are handled and led.
According to Dr. Jacques (1997), there are prime values placed on every part of the organization which he postulated in his stratified systems theory. When he called for the individual responsibility, he meant that whether the person in the spotlight may be the rank and file individual or happens to be the plant manager, the type of leadership that is seen is expressive of this core value.
Management then implies the adoption of accountability and this summarily implies leadership knowing as mentioned in the preceding page on influence and exercise of power, when a person exercises accountability, he actually exerts leadership; leading by example and it is fundamentally ethical and transferable. Management and leadership are seen then, as interchangeable essentials, and according to Dr. Jacques, the existence and continuity as well as the perpetuation of a successful team depend much on the kind of leadership exemplified in the theory he posited.
This need has never been brought about only by factors which inevitably affect not only the established structures and ways of doing things within the personnel area but also by the more meaningful and substantial task of managing the organization’s most important asset – the human capital.
Among these factors are: stiffer competition in business; rapid changes in technological, competitive and economic environments; the explosion of technical and managerial knowledge; spiraling wage and benefits cost and so many others. These factors have no doubt been responsible for the emergence of the personnel function as a vital area in the implementation of corporate strategy.
The leadership approaches are important to imitate and assimilate as I go about my own quest for the implementation of leadership behaviors in my own workplace. Certain people who have been visible today who are worthy to emulate include men like Collin Powell and women like Oprah Winfrey. Although not all of their decisions are acceptable or popular, certainly their manner of leading have taken the world’s notice and made them trailblazers for others to follow.
- Permissions Department, 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ07030 USA.
- Jacques, Elliot. 1997. Requisite Organization: Total System for Effective Managerial Organization and Managerial Leadership for the 21st Century. London: Gower. GBR
- Mulhauser, Greg. Management Skills and Leadership Skills. Accessed March 17, 2008. ;http://coaching.mulhauser.net/executive/manage-vs-lead.html#evidence;
- Sullivan, Eleanor and Phillip J. Decker. 2005. Effective Leadership and Nursing Management in Nursing, with Student Video (4th Edition).