By Alvin Mason
Leadership in today's organizations seems to have been a forgotten characteristic of today's managers and administrators. The lack of dynamic leaders in today's organizations are because of two primary reasons: First, too many people network into positions instead of earning their position with qualifications and achievements; and second, too many leaders and/or managers are insecure preferring to hold back a potentially great leader rather than help cultivate them for the good of the organization. Too many times, people are only looking out for themselves. Everyone who is in an organization whether a superior or subordinate should understand and appreciate leadership.
A leader has to get a task done through other people. Some leaders are task orientated, while other leaders are people orientated. The task orientated leader's primary focus is to accomplish the task, all too often without consideration for the people whose work will get the job done. The people orientated leader, too often is primarily concerned with how people perceive them.
The best leaders will adjust their leadership style contingent on the task and the people. The contingency theory incorporates the situation at hand and the capability of the people allowing the leader to adopt their style based on those variables and when necessary refocusing their approach on completing the task.
The leader has position power that is inherent in their job title. The most effective leaders will incorporate personal power with their position power.
A leader can be autocratic, making all the decisions without input from subordinates. Some leaders are democratic allowing employees to have input in decision making. Some leaders allow employees free reign to make decisions as a group. When the leader's style and personality is flexible, the decision to be autocratic, democratic, or free reign should be contingent on the task at hand, time constraints, the knowledge and skill to include the commitment level of employees, and the confidence the leader has in those employees.
Leaders usually influence their subordinates using positive motivation or fear motivation. Too often today fear motivation is used especially against workers that English is a second language to.
A good leader increases the positives in a work environment and minimizes the negatives; thus production and work output increase and lag time decreases.
Leaders are usually one of the following:
Family Leader:One or both parents in a family or the matriarch or patriarch of an extended family.
Social Leader:The head of a social club or the person with the most influence amongst a group of friends.
Religious Leader:A leadership position within a church, mosque, or synagogue.
Military Leader:This power evolves from rank. The leader has authority over anyone with a lesser rank.
Business Leader:Usually hired or promoted, and has a title that reflects a leadership position.
Political Leader:This position is usually bestowed by a vote of the people.
Effective leaders tie up loose ends and give attention to details, making sure the task at hand is not only completed, but done well. Leadership attention in itself increases production and improves performance.
The dynamic leader incorporates a little of all the aforementioned aspects of leadership, while earning the respect of the people under their jurisdiction. The dynamic leader can be a little more forceful with non-effective workers, a little more persuasive with non-believing workers and a little more open-minded with workers on his or her, own level.
An effective leader also will organize the workflow and take a systematic approach to problem solving. A good leader will attack problems immediately and effectively.
A good leader will also be an effective communicator, so that all people within their sphere of influence are on the same sheet of music. Effective communication particularly for a leader in middle management includes expressing upper managements objectives to his/her team, and expressing the team's concerns to upper management.
The one aspect that distinguishes a leader from a dynamic leader is the dynamic leader can integrate people's individual goals with organizational goals for the betterment of the individual and the organization.
Leaders who provide an organization with positive results while maintaining or earning the respect of their subordinates, should be a valuable commodity to any organization.
All leaders especially managers need to understand General Systems Theory (GST) as it applies to Business Management. Systematic Analysis incorporates studying every component of the whole.