Discuss about the Leadership Reflection for Charismatic Leadership.
In this course work I have learned about the various concepts of leadership and management. Our textbook, defines leadership as “the ability to influence people toward the attainment of organizational goals” (p. 494). It also acknowledges that followership has a significant influence on leadership. Today, I can say that there is a considerable difference in the field of management and leadership. I have also studied the leadership styles of various leaders. I have particularly liked the democratic leadership style practiced by Steve Jobs. I have also learned about other leadership styles like transformational leadership, charismatic leadership and servant leadership. I have personally liked the servant leadership style a lot. This is illustrated by Daft (2013) in his Hot Topic discussion of how people have studied Job’s management and leadership styles due to the unprecedented success of Apple. Early in his career Steve was a leader and he used his skills to build up the company from 2 people in a garage to a huge computer corporation. But, his lack of management skill led to problems and his eventual departure. His return to Apple showed that he had learned a lot of sophisticated management theory and was able to apply it to become a super-successful manager-leader before his untimely demise.
I have also learned that the organizations should focus on leadership development and not only managerial development. The managers would often do the transactional work. However, leaders would often focus on the transformational work. I believe that the leaders have an integral role to play in all the four functions of management, planning, organizing, leading and controlling. According to Daft (2014) there are four functions of management: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Below are examples of the each and the challenges they present to both the manager and the leader.
Manager: Planning can be a challenge if the manager lacks conceptual skills or the ability to see the big picture, organizing can be difficult if there is constant turnover of employees, leading can be a challenge if the manager is not sensitive to the needs of direct reports or has difficulty motivating people, and controlling can become an issue if the manager does not confront problems as they occur or has problems with communicating expectations (Fulop & Day, 2010).
Leader: Planning can be a challenge if there are not well-defined goals, organizing may be problematic if the leader does not trust others enough to delegate responsibilities, leading may be a challenge if leaders don’t know how to listen or don’t demonstrate their own expectations, and controlling may be a challenge if a leader does not value the employee or understand what motivates them.
Differences between Leadership and Management
While Daft presents four functions of management, Plucknette (2014) describes four distinct differences between leaders and managers. I suggest people are not that easy to categorize. In the example above, many of the challenges of a manager and a leader can be minimized or eliminated by combining the attributes of each role and applying them as situations dictate. Managers cannot be successful if they do not possess attributes of a leader and leaders cannot be effective if they cannot be an effective manager (Dion, 2012).
I personally think that one challenged posed by serving, as a leader is being able to motivate your employees and looking at it from a planning, organizing, leading and controlling perspective is important. Planning to keep your employees motivated is a great start, first setting goals for the future of the organization, with the employees being included. Letting the employees in on where the company wants to be in the future and how to accomplish this all-important goal. Organizing a way to get the employees involved, such as having open communication, having employee unity, encouraging the employee to put in their own ideas and goals for the organization. As the leader a challenge would be one of helping make the employees feel that the organization is personally their organization, in other words, to take ownership (Pavur, 2012). The challenge posed for the leader is leading the employees to stay motivated. The leader should communicate the goals of the organization on continued bases.
Out of the four leadership theories of democratic leadership, transformational leadership, charismatic leadership and servant leadership, I would particularly like to focus on servant leadership. I believe that there is a long way for me to master the servant leadership theory. I have learned that planning is an important part of servant leadership and it is important that the leaders should be willing to serve. I have also learned that leaders should take all the people together while implementing and strategies and policies. The planning step for servant leadership begin by scanning of the environment and being aware of the critical contingencies facing the organization and economic goals. Objectives need to be establishing is this step, evaluation of alternatives, and course of action to reach goals. Challenges for managers and leaders in this function are not being fully familiar with the environment and economic status of the organization. Inability to integrate the plan into the culture, operations, and budget also causes a challenge for managers and leaders in this phase (Javidan, 2012). Not being aware of the organization vision poses a challenge for leaders in this function. Lacking a deep understanding of the products they perform, roles and responsibilities poses a challenge for managers in this function. The next step in the servant leadership is organizing. This step entails developing an organizational structure and recruiting human resources to ensure the accomplishment of objectives. A weak communication process could be a challenge for both managers and leaders in this step. Open communication will ensure everyone is using the same methods and is using the same policies (Knutsen, 2014). The third important step as part of servant leadership is controlling. This step consists of three parts: establishing performance standards, comparing actual performance against standards, and taking corrective action when needed. Performance standards are often measured by monetary terms such as revenue, profits, and costs (Carpenter, Bauer & Erdogan, 2014). A challenge for managers is this step is when they worries that what the organization did today will have a direct impact on his or her monthly goals, as a result they run equipment when there are indications equipment are in the process of failing, and focus on cost cutting as opposed to improving productivity. A challenge for leaders in this step is not to focus on “continuous improvement” and not focusing on people behaviors and leading indicators. Using leading indicators, they will invest in new equipment, people, and technology to grow their business and market share (Pluncknette, 2014).
Challenges of Planning, Organizing, Leading and Controlling as a Leader or a Manager
I have also learned about the differences between management and leadership. The manager is the employees direct point person. They are available, visual and are easily contacted for direction and assistance at all times. The manager leads by example through dedication, confidence and consistency of their performance (Mumford, 2013). The manager wears many hats such as mentor, teacher, leader, point person, as well as confidant. They are the one who is in charge of making sure the production remains high and the quality of what is being produced is on par with company expectations. Their primary concern is the application of rules and procedures to achieve efficient production (Daft, 2013). The manager is more detail oriented to the day to day tasks of staffing, fielding issues, employee complaints or mistakes. Every day is different and produces many issues that must be handled quickly and efficiently to maintain production. A manager must know their job and their employee’s strengths and weaknesses to be able to keep performance at its peak.
I believe that it is possible to be both a leader and a manger, whereas I have seen the people that display both. I have known a supervisor, she is always encouraging others, being supportive of others needs and concerns, motivates others to work to their full potential, and willing to help in any matter that she is needed. She always set goals for the both of us for success and set a path for a successful outcome. Leaders are goals setters, monitors, and leading others to be a leader, and have a vision and goal for long-term success. Mangers are the ones that push others toward the goal, give a direction toward the goal, and express the expectations of a successful outcome of the goal. I agree that not all managers are leaders and not all leaders are managers. The both must lead by example in order or their followers to work to their full potential for success. I do believe that is you desire that you can become both but have to lead with compassion but with authority by displaying trust, honesty, and being faithful to your followers. In order for an organization to be successful their leaders/managers have to work together for the good of the organization and their followers for a successful outcome (Birnbaum, 2014).
A leader is a visionary, leaders are always looking for ways to do things better (Kearney, 2014). I believe that it is possible to be both a manager and a leader. I believe that it takes someone that is dedicated to lead by example and is a servant leader as well as obtaining the necessary skills to manage appropriately. Very few managers can do that. It takes continuous personal assessment and making sure to stay true to personal core values. I believe that I have been an informal leader since childhood. I was always organizing neighborhood games or games on the playground during recess. People come to me for advice and my co-workers look to me to lead. I don't know that much about management but am excited by what we are learning. I think there are certain areas of management that I have learned by watching good and bad examples. I hope to put all that together and be capable of being a good leader-manager when I finish this program. I am very compassionate in my work and very humble to others needs. I feel that I would lead by example by putting others first and building a positive relationship with my followers and being supportive in all aspects. In order to be both you have to have a vision for a future growth and success that aligns with the mission of the organization.
Possibility of being both a Leader and a Manager
As a conclusion I would like to say that leadership and management are different foci on the same phenomenon. They are two sides of the same coin. A good leader must be a good manager and a competent manager must develop some real leadership skill and ability (Hough, 2012). In my professional career I would like to continue the path of servant leadership. I believe that there is something unique in servant leadership that keeps people together. The leaders that practice servant leadership style are loyal and they are always ready to support their leaders. As a leader, I would like to see myself at a place where I can lead from front. As a first step of leading, my first step would be to help other through serving. I can say that organizations should focus on leadership development so that people remain motivated and can focus on organizational development.
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