For any organization to strive or succeed in attaining its strategic goals or objectives good leadership styles must be put in place. According to research organizations usually succeed because of the style of management and leadership styles they employ. Leadership is the ability to give guidance to others by influencing and ensuring that you give them support in order to do what is right so as to achieve the objectives and goals set in an organization. A leader should be able to identify, channel and enrich the potential that is already in people in an organization.
A leader should posses’ leadership skills that will guide them in ensuring that they carry out their leadership tasks with less difficulty. Such leadership skills include the following;
Human skills; this is defined as the skill or the capability to work efficiently with the entire human resource in the organization and including the ability to formulate viable group teams that can effectively accomplish firm’s goals. Technical skills; this is the persons knowledge of technique and his ability to execute it in any type of a process carried out in the organization. This is the distinguishing feature of how a job is performed at operating levels or at professional level. Examples of technical skills include the skills practiced by engineers, toolmakers and accountants.
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The final skill that a leader should have is the conceptual skill. Conceptual skill deals with ideas and it’s the ability to think in terms of models, frameworks, and broad relationships which include long term plans. A leader should also have traits which will enable him have effective leadership. Research has been done to identify these traits which include; personality, intellectual which are usually different between leaders. These traits don’t guarantee a successful leadership because they cannot be created but they are personal proficiency. Leadership comes in different styles and theories which include the following; (Michael, 2006)
The leaders in this category do all they can to ensure that they decentralize power and ensure that their power is not in anyway unilateral as it emerges in the autocratic form of leadership that other leaders use to manage their workforce. They ensure that they bring their workers together and make them work as one and divided therefore making a unit. They create room for the workers to have self expression and air their views without fear. They enlighten their workers on terms and conditions that face them and these gives them room to get full information and challenge anyone on how they feel things should be done to bring about changes for the good of both the firm and the workers themselves.
Managers in this category highly depend on consultations to ensure that they do the right things that are acceptable to all and can therefore offer solutions that are welcome by all. When all are involved, they feel mentally and emotionally considered and part the decision making process and these becomes a recipe for improved performance and great achievements for the firm and therefore leading to success. The workers become more involved emotionally rather than only needing them to only do the physical tasks through instructions and in that case making to have no choice but only follow what they are demanded to do. (John and Keith, 1997)
When workers are involved in decision making it makes them contribute and also feel that they are regarded highly and taken as important and therefore also position them in the way that they can be of help and give solutions through their positive contributions. The workforce can also easily accept the decisions that they were involved to contribute and make. The acceptance is very important as they will do the work while they are motivated. Roethlisberger and Coch clearly stated in the Classical studies that it was a tool of management after their experiments that managers could be encouraged to use to be successful as it led to improved performance in firms. (John Newstrom, 1997)
The leaders in this category ensure that they bring power to themselves by centralizing it in all manners. The workers are denied the opportunity to think and give their contributions but are only expected to follow the orders that are given to them by their seniors. All the authority only comes from the top authority as they are the only ones that assume the full responsibility and lock out the others and only expect them to be of help by following what they are told to do by their bosses. Those who do what they are not supposed to do are punished and made to repay for their faults and mistakes when they choose to do what they are not expected to do by their seniors. Leaders who support this style argue that it leads to great achievements since they can make very quick decisions since you don’t have to consult other people and lead to delays since there is no room for arguments while trying to ensure that all contributors are accommodated.
The leaders in this category play a minor role in coordinating the workers since they allow their workers with the freedom to work based on their own set principles. The leaders in this category usually avoid power and responsibility but they depend largely on the workers to establish their own goals and work on them. This kind of leadership empowers the workers to be able to work largely on themselves without a controlled kind of leadership since they are able to train themselves as a group and to provide their own motivation. Leaders who embrace this kind of leadership are at a risk of making the organization to end up in chaos.
This is because of the different elements constituting the organization will work based on different principles and guidelines causing some conflicts to occur yet the elements of the organization are supposed to work as a whole in order to achieve the organization’s goals. Free rein leadership ignores the leader’s contribution towards the organization although he/she plays a minor role in the day to day activities of the organization. A positive, considerate, and a participatory leader is more effective in many cases, however employment of many styles of leadership is more successful. A leader should first analyze the situation, discover the goals and objectives of the organization and then suggest a good leadership style which will help in achieving the goals of the organization.
Theories of leadership
These theories were generated by the research conducted by David C. McClelland of Harvard University. His research focused on the drives for achievement, affiliation and power.
The theories include competence theory, power theory, achievement theory and affiliation theory;
This theory states that there should be a drive or an inner motivation in order to allow one to be good at something in order to provide tasks of high quality. This enables leaders to make use of their own skills in order to tackle problems that may arise in their places of work. It allows the leaders to perform their work capably in order because of the high self esteem from achieving a well done job. Such leaders expect high quality work from their staff which is so dangerous since they will be expecting their requirements to be met. This can make the leaders to overlook the importance of the social aspect such as teamwork within the organization. (John and Keith, 1997)
This theory states that there should be a drive to influence people within the organization and to change different situations that may arise in the organization. This makes the leaders to ensure that they leave a legacy or an impact in the organization which is accompanied by risk taking. Leaders under this category make excellent improvements for their companies if their motivation is based on the organization as a whole rather than on self. Leaders with such powers are usually accepted by the workers fraternity and usually make the organization successful.
This theory states that there should be a drive to influence people to pursue and achieve goals. The leaders in this category usually want to achieve goals for the organization as a whole and make it become successful. This theory dictates on hard work in order to enable leaders to expect their workers to emulate their example thus making them to become oriented towards achievement .This theory has a setback in that there can be high set expectations which may become difficult to be achieved especially for mere average employees to satisfy the leaders’ demands.
This theory states that there should be a drive to relate to people effectively on a social basis .Leaders under this category are expected to motivate the workers to work better through ensuring cooperation and a friendly environment. This can lead to success being achieved on the aspect of the employees enjoying working together as teamwork. This theory has a setback because leaders in this category with strong senses for affiliation can become ineffective since they can have a difficulty with controlling and assigning tasks, activities and monitoring work effectiveness of workers.
Information and Leadership
With informed, correct information one is able make correct decision which helps in avoiding situations of stress, conflicts and crisis arousal out of guessing. This is important especially in an organization as the constituent units will be able to share information aimed at improving the organization as a whole which in turn will be integrated and offer a unified whole solution towards the organization’s success. Contribution of information is also important in the aspect that it contributes coordination at the workplace. In case it fails it results into uncoordinated way of doing things which lead to inefficiency. This will lead to teamwork participation, collective participation and resulting into increased productivity.
Contribution of information leads to better performance due to job satisfaction that result from good communication. It makes the workers efficient and competitive as they learn their work better through communication. They also feel more as a unit of the organization when they receive the right information and in due time. It instills confidence in workers as they operate on a point of knowledge. Contribution of information brings about cooperation of the workers from the senior managers, supervisors and lower cadre. This is important as no single unit is isolated. It is mainly important for the firm to realize its mission and vision and can therefore lead to successful operation in the firm. (Debra and Perry, 1997)
A well integrated communication helps firms to have a competitive edge over their competitors as the information received can be used as input to come up with strategies to ensure growth and success. This leads to better performance and an increase in wealth creation by the firm. Communication is the only tool that helps accomplish the management functions which include: leading, controlling, planning and organizing so that organizations can be run effectively and efficiently. It also becomes the tool through which instructions can be passed to workers by those in authority or management.
They can therefore do their duties as required to avoid wastages and increase value. Contribution of information helps in ensuring that human resource department can better offer on the job training to equip the workers modern technologies. This puts the company or the firm on the global map to better compete effectively and efficiently. Managers embrace communication to help them in their day to day activities in order to achieve results daily. They will depend on communication to clear doubts and give a direction to all in order to ensure uniformity.
Communication is the only tool that helps give benchmarks to all workers in order to serve effectively and observe the required standards. This ensures the customers are served uniformly and workers also give equal value of service to all. Leadership goes hand in hand with management. A good leader should also be a good manager who is able to plan and organize activities of the firm and also control the movement of resources. As a manager and a leader one should be able to direct activities to others and create a vision and inspire others to achieve this vision.
A proper leadership style coupled with good communication ensures that the vision that is set by the firm and the managers is attained. It is through good communication and leadership that the visions and missions can be set and targeted to realize results for the success of the firm in general. Human Resources in any organization are considered to be the most important assets in the organization and therefore require good leaders who can utilize good leadership styles in guiding the working force towards achieving the common goals of the organization. In the modern world there is an argument that managers are no longer needed in the managerial activities of a firm but instead good and charismatic leaders are needed that can easily influence the working force of an organization quickly to achieve the set objectives without much difficulty. (Armstrong, 2006)
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Debra, J. & Perry, J. (1997):- Strategic Human Resource Management: Public Personnel
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