Discuss about the Leadership in Business for Cengage Learning.
The leadership is one of the most important tasks of a manager. Every individual is supposed to lead in some way or the other and guide his followers for the purpose of the achievement of the organizational objectives. The leaders are responsible for getting the things done by others. They are responsible for setting the right direction for their followers. The leaders are responsible for inspiring vision of the team members in order to enhance their productivity. This reflective report would centrally deal with the concepts of leadership journey and the impact of leadership on the achievement of the team goals. It would also discuss the linkage of the leadership theory and how they are implemented in a practical scenario.
As a leader, I will guide the team in planning and execute a weekend hike in climbing Mt.Everest. The purpose of the hike will be having fun and studying the local flora, fauna and the geology of the Mountain. Different areas have different geographical appearances and various flora and fauna. This will help the group in learning more and also will have fun being a part of the hike.
The team is comprised of members of the same course. This will aim at the cohesion of the learners, and the practice will also improve how the students interact with the environment outside class work. The act of seeing as well as practical will enhance the memory of the learners improving their ability to remember therefore will result in the improvement of grades of the students. The skills the group will expect of me are excellent communication skill. Excellent communication skills improve the trust and the confidentiality in which the team has in me as their leader. Communication is the key to any successful practice. Therefore, this will be highly expected of me by the team. Engaging the team members in a conversation as they air out their expectations and their demands will be important and will help keep the group focused on the aim of the hike.
Every practice has its fair of challenges. Hiking will see some of the team members being affected by the severely high winds, some of the hikers may be at a risk of being thrown off the mountain, others may suffer from reduced amounts of oxygen present in the mountain. Some of them will have difficulties in breathing. Another challenge likely to be faced is extremely cold weathers some of the hikers will freeze, and this affects their practice.
As the group leader, I will be expected to deal with the anticipated challenges accordingly. The problem of reduced amount of oxygen will see the group organize how to get some artificial oxygen for the critical case that may arise. In the case of the severe winds, the team will be advised to be very careful and not to walk alongside the mountain cliff to avoid being thrown off. The extreme cold will be addressed through encouraging the members to carry many warm clothes to avoid freezing.
The set goals of the team will be to study the flora and fauna of the mountain. The flora and fauna of the mountain vary from the bottom to the top. The group is expected to know the different vegetation in the mountain, from deciduous trees forest, needle trees forest, bushes, Alm meadows, open grassland, cushion plants, mosses and lichens and barren rocks at the top. Being the leader of the team I will make sure the group attains their goal of learning more about the mountain and having an experience of a lifetime by climbing the mountain (Boussuges et al. 2012).
The leadership exercise involved the planning as well as execution of a weekend hike schedule revolving around climbing of Mt. Everest. The first job is the goal setting activity. The goals of the hiking activity would include the in-depth study of the flora as well as the fauna of the mountains. The students are expected to gain knowledge regarding the different vegetation patterns observed in the mountains. This task requires considerable amount of leadership activities involving the students. One of the most important aspects of leadership identified in leadership exercise is the communication between the team members. The team consisting of the students was expected of maintaining excellent communication skills in between the team members. The leader strived to engage the team members in open communication so that every team member is sharing ideas with each other (Dinh et al., 2014). The leadership exercises also identified some of the challenges of the team while engaging in the hiking activity. The leader was supposed to deal with these probable challenges and devise suitable solutions. Some of the identified challenges included reduced oxygen supply, falling from the mountain range, difficulties caused due to extreme cold weather and others. The different solutions are also sought by the team leader. The different solutions devised by him are arranging artificial oxygen, careful walking across the cliffs of the mountains, encouraging the students to wear woolen clothes and others. The leader ensures that the goals of the team are being achieved and the students have an enjoyable learning experience.
Leadership is concerned about giving the right direction at the right time to the fellow team members (Goleman, Boyatzis & McKee, 2013). It is a long-term process which involves the adoption of long term, positive and highly accurate process. The leadership process involves the co-existence of leaders, context, follower and the outcomes (Daft, 2014). There must be a context in which leadership exists, which is driven by the leaders in order to bring desirable outcomes by tapping the full potential of the followers.
I was actively involved in the process of mountain hiking. The leader should be involved in each of the process of organizing a task. It is important to understand the motivations behind a particular task. I understood the expectations of my team members and their motivational factors behind undertaking the hiking task. I understood their reasons of participation and how they can be motivated for a better experience. The team wanted to have fun and frolic while studying the geology, flora and fauna of the Mt. Everest.
I was involved in the goal setting activity of the team (Vidyarthi et al., 2014). I helped the students in formulating an objective for hiking which is useful for educational purposes as well. The identification of the goals is important for setting out the activities towards the achievement of the goals. I formulated the goals as per the SMART principle (Munson & Consolvo, 2012). The goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and should be achieved with the given time frame. It is important to determine goals of the team so that they can put collective efforts towards its fulfillment. I planned several activities based on the goals. I performed brainstorming activities and I asked every student to share their own ideas. I motivated the students to have “out of the box” ideas. The purpose of the trip was formulated based on the collaborative feedback of the students as well as my own personal feedback.
I believed that communication is one of the most important aspects of team work (Grant & Stronge, 2013). It is normal that the team members would have a busy schedule; however, they should be informed about every detail of the task. The task priorities should be decided and the most important tasks should be done first followed by the less important tasks (Verburg, Bosch-Sijtsema & Vartiainen, 2013). I encouraged regular meetings with my team members so that everyone is aware of the progress of the task. This kind of meetings fostered the extracurricular activities of the students.
I believe in effective delegation of the tasks (Levi, 2016). The division of work among the students is important for the achievement of the goals. Everyone should take ownership of the tasks and must perform their work as per the guidelines. I segregated the tasks based on the skills and behaviour of the students. They were given tasks as per their abilities and the level of confidence possessed by them. This also made it possible for accomplishing the goals within the required timeline.
The assessment of the organization as well as job tasks is important in a team work (Linder & Foss, 2013). It is important to perform a comprehensive assessment as well as common understanding of the present scenario. In this case, I engaged in the assessment of the geographic environment of the Mt. Everest. I analyzed parameters such as business environment, current strategy, core processes, coordination and others. This would help in the policy formulation regarding the hiking experience. I also identified the strengths as well as weakness of my team members which helped me in meeting the team goals successfully.
My leadership capabilities helped in the achievement of the team goals (Landy & Conte, 2016). The goal setting activity of the team helped me to define the range of activities that would be undertaken by the team. It helped me to achieve our goals in a perfect manner. It also helps in proper planning as well as execution of the same. I was able to identify the geographical locations of the mountains and helped us to take preventive actions. I also worked hard to motivate my team members so that they can perform their job duties in an effective manner. I also identified the challenges associated with the hiking activity which helped me to take a proactive approach. The anticipated issues helped me to devise suitable solutions which would remove the obstacles from the path of goal achievement. It is important to minimize the number of barriers in the path of the goal achievement. My leadership skills helped me to achieve adequate level of communication within the team. Communication is important in any team as it helps in maximizing operational efficiency (Pyzdek & Keller, 2014). The delegation of my tasks helped me to sort out the tasks as per the laid down objectives. It helped me to identify the most suitable persons for fulfilling the specific tasks. It also made sure that the given job responsibilities are fulfilled in the best possible way. My assessment of the situation helped me to identify the intrinsic details of the environment and take steps accordingly.
I am very ambitious person and I have specific goals in my professional life. I wish to enhance my performance metrics so that I can be most productive in my workplace. The organizations evaluate the employees based on several parameters such as productivity, performance, competency and team building skills (Appelbaum, 2013). I strive to excel in each of these roles so that I can add value to my organization. I also aim to get rewards and recognition for the hard work that I would put in my work. A promotion usually involves commitment, planning and execution so that the deserving employees are given adequate recognition for their contribution in the organizational success (Adnan & Latif, 2013). My long-term career goal is to attain the top management position in a multinational company that would help me to strengthen my career aspirations.
My personal mission statement provides me the path required for the attainment of success. It also helps me to minimize the number of distractions so that I can attain my professional goals. My “personal mission statement” is to “Maintain a balanced life in which I would be able to reach the top position in an organization as well as give time to my personal life and apply my ethical principles so that I can make significant difference in life”. I wish to devote my time equally to both personal life as well as professional life. I also strive to apply ethical rules towards my professional life and never involve in dishonest means.
My leadership style is similar to the “behavioral theory of leadership” as I have a strong personality and I have a positive approach towards life (Chemers, 2014). I have the least ego which would help me to manage my team in a better way. I am able to initiate group activities for my team, organizing various tasks, clarification of the tasks and the information gathering regarding various team activities. I am a people oriented leader who encourages, observes, listens and coaches the team members (Hackman & Johnson, 2013). I am prepared to help my team in the event they are facing any kind of issues. I feel that this approach of leadership is achievable since I was able to manage my team in the leadership exercise.
I faced many difficulties when performing leadership within my team. There were instances when there were conflicts in the team. The members did not communicate well with each other and there were misunderstandings between them. I took active initiative in the conflict resolution of the team. I fostered an environment of positive culture with enriching mutual relationships. I made them learn to work together and not work against each other. I also faced issues regarding delegation of authority, as there were some members who rejected the jobs offered to them. However, I make the team members understand the bigger picture of their individual job roles and motivated them, which helped them to accept the job tasks.
Linking Theory and Practice
According to Nohria and Khurana (2013), there exists a gap between the practice and purpose in the different institutions that are in the process of developing leaders. This is a theoretical view of leadership. It argues that there is adoption of enhanced leadership mission in the business schools that teach students the basic concepts of leadership. The principles of leadership don’t follow the standard procedures always. It is not necessary that the leadership observed in the organizations would be based on theoretical foundations. The leadership principles must be customized for the specific organizations according to their individual needs. A number of different perspectives are given that identify the multidimensions of leadership.
Raelin (2016) argues that the occurrence of leadership is as per “practice”. It is not dependent on the characteristics of an individual. The traits of an individual rarely decide the degree of his leadership qualities. The “leadership as practice” focusses on the team work by arguing that a leader is not so influenced by his thoughts but rather than their feeling of accomplishment together. This is a practical dimension of leadership that does focus on collective action of the leader in specific situations rather than attributes of the individual.
The conceptual and practical framework of leadership are inter linked as they relate to the practical aspects of leadership in modern age. The traditional concepts of leadership have changed and there is increased incorporation of leadership practice. It emphasizes on modification of leadership as per the organizational needs as well as the situation demands.
This exercise was very relevant in today’s modern organizations. Leadership is very important in all types of organizations. The multinational companies are successful in managing their global business operations by displaying effective leadership. I have learnt some of the most important leadership components in this exercise. Some of the important concepts learnt by me in this course is delegation of work, goal setting, assessment of the environment and others. I have learnt that having a smooth channel of communication is very important for the accomplishment of organizational tasks. I am committed to maintain clear communication with my team members and also encourage my team members to share their ideas with each other as well as communicate the progress of the task. After doing this course, I feel that I should improve my decision-making abilities so that I am able to take wise decisions at the least possible time. I should also try to effectively delegate the job responsibilities in my team.
Leadership is an important concept in the organizations. It is important to learn not only the theoretical concept but also learn its practical aspects. The leadership exercise gave me practical viewpoint of leadership and I am able to understand the practical tasks of a leader. I assumed myself in the position of a leader which helped me to apply my theoretical concepts into practice. I am also able to link the practical aspect of leadership into practice which would make me an effective leader. The commitment statement would help me to manage the leadership tasks in an effective manner as I would be knowing my career goals well.
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