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Most Important Leadership Skills And Competencies

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Question:

Evaluate the Most Important Leadership Skill and Competencies.

 

Answer

Introduction

The present report aims to examine and analyze leadership skills and competencies required for growth and development of an organization. Organizations require good leadership skills and competencies for achieving success in the competitive business environment of today The business organizations today operate in highly competitive environment due to presence of large number of companies operating in the same industry. There is presence of large number of companies that are selling similar products and services in the same sector. Thus, competition is causing business organizations to adopt changes in their organizational structure for gaining a competitive edge over their competitors. Competition is driving business organizations to adopt a flexible organizational structure in order to promote collaboration between all levels of employees.   Collaboration is required by businesses so that all employees participate in the decision-making process and thus enhancing their organizational commitment level (Mar, 2013). In this context, the report evaluates the case study of PepsiCo aiming to change its organizational structure into more flexible and efficient. The Consumer Strategic Insights (CSI) director of PepsiCo has introduced major changes in the organizational structure so that it becomes more creative and competitive. The report, in this regard, has evaluated the most important leadership skills and competencies required for PepsiCo company. The arguments cited in the report are supported by the leadership theories.

Critical Evaluation of Leadership Skills and Competencies Required for PepsiCo with the help of Leadership Theories

Consumer Strategic Insights (CSI) director of PepsiCo is planning to promote creative thinking processes in the company. The director has transformed the strategic structure of the marketing research department (MRD) of the company for making it more flexible and efficient. The structural designing of the company is divided into main sections, that are, insights BU’s and the CSI support center. The insight BU’s comprises of the groups inside each business unit for carrying out consumer research CSI support center includes teams that designs and conducts in-house customer studies for supporting marketing and sales strategies. Thus, there exists large need for PepsiCo to introduce major changes in the leadership styles for transforming its organizational structure. This is because the leadership style of top executives and managing directors of a company have a large impact on its growth and performance (Avolio et al., 2009).

 


The introduction of flexible organizational structure in PepsiCo requires major changes in the leadership styles of PepsiCo executives and directors. The flexible organizational structure in PepsiCo is essential for enhancing the creativity of employees and fostering innovation in the company. The flexibility in an organization is necessary to attain competitive advantage by adapting to new changes in the external environment. The CSI director of PepsiCo has developed a new marketing team to enhance the creativity of employees by decentralizing the organizational structure. The strategic nature of the marketing team was changed by the CSI director of the company so that all its employees can work in co-ordination with each other and develop new marketing and sales strategies. This was done mainly to meet customer requirements instantly and gain a proper understanding of their needs and preferences (Puccio, 2010).

This requires the CSI Director of the PepsiCo to redesign the work process for enhancing the employee’s productivity and creativity. The main leadership skill required for transforming the organizational structure by the director of PepsiCo is proper communication. It is highly necessary for the executives and directors of the company to provide clear understanding of the organizational goals and objectives to the employees. The changing organizational structure requires providing proper information to the employees about the necessity of initiating the change and its benefits to the organization growth and development. In this context, transformational leadership theory states that a leader must be able to work in co-ordination with all its group members for guiding and directing the necessary change in an organization. As per the theory, the successful implementation of an organizational change requires a leader to develop a vision for guiding and executing the required change (Shelton, 2012). The CSI director of PepsiCo is planning to implement an organizational change that aims at decentralizing its structure so that employees can become more productive at workplace. The structural designing of the marketing department of the company into two sections, that are, insights BU’s and CSI support center requires providing proper communication to the employees about the nature and designing of the team. This is essential for preparing the employees to accept the organizational change through proper motivation (Evans and Lindsay, 2007).

Thus, it can be said that transformational leadership skill is required in the top leaders of PepsiCo. The transformational leader would be able to successfully integrate the CSI department as required by the company for redesigning the organizational structure. The transformational leader would be able to successfully establish the vision, define core strategies, develop a team, assign responsibilities and execute the idea through proper communication and flow of information. The transformational leaders possess the trait to develop proper communication strategies that is required for guiding and directing the overall team to achieve the set goals and objectives. The successful achievement of determined goals and objectives require assigning proper responsibilities to the team members through proper flow of information. The most important trait of a transformational leader is proper communication skills required for creating a vision to guide and direct the overall team (Issaand Khine, 2014).

The benefits of adopting a flexible organizational structure must be properly communicated to the employees so that they become motivated to work under the new structural designing of the workplace. The CSI director must explain properly to the employees that flexible organizations provide more options to the employees for achieving their personal and professional commitments. Thus, besides enhancing organizational productivity and growth flexibility enables employees to attain a balance between their personal and professional life. The delegation of responsibilities is also a major trait of a good transformational leader. In this regard, it is required that CSI director of PepsiCo must assign properly the responsibilities to the team members as per their skills and competencies (Middleton et al., 2015). The transformational leader should also listen to the opinion of employees and support participative decision-making process. Also, authentic leadership style is also a necessary trait of transformational leader to work in co-ordination with the employees and discuss their problems and concerns. Authentic leaders promote openness in the workplace by developing honest relationships with the employees by valuing their contribution in organizational success. This increases the motivational level of employees as they become an integral part of organization and thus strives to achieve its goals and objectives. The self-esteem of employee’s increases as they are given proper to take decision at their level and this enhances their productivity at workplace. Thus, PepsiCo leaders must be authentic and transformational with the competency of directing and executing the organizational change of introducing flexibility in its structuring (Jandaghi et al., 2009).

 


In addition to this, as analyzed from the given case study of PepsiCo the CSI director aims to enhance the innovation and creativity of employees. In this regard, the top executives and directors of the company must possess the leadership skill of innovation. As per the authentic leadership theory, a leader must be able to promote openness and transparency through own personal capabilities and beliefs. The authentic leadership theory states that a leader should encourage openness in a group through supporting creativity of employees. The flexible organizational structure prepares employees to overcome challenges and enhance the organizational efficiency. Authentic leaders promote flexibility in organizational structure through making employees more efficient and focused through increasing their creativity skills. The most important skills required in the leaders for improving organizational performance are technical skills, human skill and conceptual skills. Technical skills refer to the capabilities of leaders to carry out their tasks with adequate use of practical skills related to mechanical, IT or scientific. Human skills refer to the capabilities of leaders to successfully communicate with other employees and thus develop relationship of trust and integrity within the workplace. Conceptual skills refer to the reasoning skills of leaders through which they can develop new ideas and concepts for improving organizational performance. The top leaders of PepsiCo must enhance the skills of employees through developing their technical, human and conceptual skills. Highly skilled employees of the company will become a strategic advantage for the company and enables it to be competitive (Mar, 2013).

In addition to this, the leaders should also possess competency of problem-solving, social judgment and knowledge. The top leaders of PepsiCo must be competent enough to analyze, identify and resolve the workplace problem by developing effective solutions. Also, the leaders should inculcate competency of social judgment that enables them to develop new ideas by analyzing the current attitudes of employees. Leaders should also possess adequate knowledge of all the business procedures that enables them to resolve the workplace problems effectively. The leaders of the company should enhance the skills of the employees through providing them proper training to enhance their effectiveness at workplace. The increase in skills and competencies also promotes employees to become more self-responsible through empowering them to take critical decisions (Benlamri and Sparer, 2016). Thus, the top leaders of PepsiCo must enhance the skills and competencies of employee’s skill so that they have the capabilities to think outside the box and can take important decisions. The CSI director of PepsiCo is planning to redesign the organizational structure so that it becomes a place of providing productive ideas. The creative workplace will enable to meet the needs and demands of consumers appropriately and thus enhances the organizational value (Tondock, 2015).

The Authentic leaders enhance trustworthiness among team members thus increasing their productivity at workplaces. The authentic leaders promote openness in business activities and thus support ethical decision-making process in the company. As per utilitarian approach of ethical decision-making, a successful leader must analyze the net benefits and costs associated with taking a particular decision and evaluate its impacts on all the stakeholders of an organization. The adoption of ethical decision-making will help in creating good for all stakeholders with minimizing the chances of any harm or suffering (Puccio et al., 2010). The authentic leaders are self-dependent and hold the responsibility of introducing major organizational changes on their own. They are proactive and creative and thus supports and enhances the innovative capabilities of employees. The flexible management structure supports sharing of work and gives the autonomy to employees to perform their work roles and responsibilities as per their schedule. The authentic leadership style also includes effective teambuilding qualities. Thus, an authentic leader is competent enough to develop an effective team that has the capabilities to handle variety of challenges and perform the work appropriately. The CSI director of PepsiCo is decentralizing the organizational structure for achieving competitive advantage in the external market place. In this context, it is essential that top leaders of the company should adopt authentic leadership style that promotes flexibility by encouraging workforce to identify and develop new ways of conducting business activities (Klenke, 2007).

 


The authentic leadership style at PepsiCo would enable the employees to improve their work and make their own decisions. This in turn would increase motivational level of employees by enhancing their confidence level to manage their work schedule as per their own interest. In this context, the theory of McGregor on employee motivation states that employees enjoy work when they possess control in the workplace and thus put extra efforts for resolving workplace issues and enhance the organizational performance. Thus, in this regard organizational leaders must provide new opportunities to the employees for taking responsibilities and thus enhance their motivational level to work in the organization. This style of leadership supports employees to become flexible by accepting the changes and enhancing their problem-solving skills. The creative employees would be able to meet the needs and preferences of customers more appropriately. Thus, it is necessary to achieve customer satisfaction by faster responding to their needs and requirements. The creative marketing team of PepsiCo developed through structuring of its marketing team would be able to gain a proper understanding of the customer requirements. Thus, it can design the marketing and sales strategies of the company effectively in accordance with the needs and demand of consumers (Hall, 2001).

The authentic leadership style also promotes openness that is leaders must be open to suggestions and feedback. The feedback would help in making a necessaryorganizational change that would provide strategic advantage to the organization. Thus, in this regard also, authentic leadership style should be adopted by the leaders of PepsiCo as employee’sfeedback is valued for improving the organizational effectiveness. In addition to this, it also helps in promoting a positive attitude in the organization as employees feel free to share their views and opinions with their leaders. This in turn assists in developing a healthy workplace and increase the productivity of employees. The employees are more likely to put in extra efforts when they work in positive environment and this in turn help in improving organizational growth and performance. Authentic leaders also constantly look for better opportunities that can increase the organizational performance. They are able to continually introduce organizational changes through their creativity and personal experiences (Gardner et al., 2011).

 


As analyzed from the case study of PepsiCo, the most important leadership skills and competencies required by the company to adopt flexible organizational structure is creativity and communication. In this context, the company must adopt transformational and authentic leadership style as supported by the theories of leadership. The transformational and authentic leadership style would enable the company to foster creativity at workplaces through proper communication of its determined goals and objectives (Mar, 2013).

Conclusion

Thus, it is analyzed and examined through the case study of PepsiCo that flexible organizational structure is necessary for businesses to attain a strategic competitive advantage in the market place. The flexibility in an organization promotes creativity of employees and enables them to provide more productive ideas. This in turn improves the organizational efficiency and productivity and helps in its growth and development. Thus, businesses are suggested to adopt and promote flexibility in their structuring process so that organizations become more productive and creative.

 

References

Avolio, B. et al. 2009. Leadership: Current Theories, Research, and Future Directions. Annual Review of Psychology 60, pp. 421-449.

Benlamri, R. and Sparer, M. 2016. Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship as Driving Forces of the Global Economy: Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ICLIE).Springer.

Evans, J. and Lindsay, W. 2007.Managing for Quality and Performance Excellence.Cengage Learning.

Gardner, W. et al. 2011.Authentic leadership: A review of the literature and research agenda. The Leadership Quarterly 22, pp. 1120-1145.

Hall, G. 2001. Leadership in Organizations.National College for School Leadership, pp. 1-4.

Issa, M. S. and Khine, M.S. 2014. Reframing Transformational Leadership: New School Culture and Effectiveness.Springer.

Jandaghi, G. et al. 2009. Comparing Transformational Leadership in Successful and Unsuccessful Companies.The Journal of International Social Research.

Klenke, K. 2007. Authentic Leadership: A Self, Leader, and Spiritual Identity Perspective. International Journal of Leadership Studies 3(1), pp. 68-97.

Mar, M. 2013. Global Structural Design and Results: PepsiCo Case. Journal of Strategic Leadership 4(2), pp. 6-13.

Middleton, J. et al. 2015. Transformational Leadership and Organizational Change: How Do Leaders Approach Trauma-Informed Organizational Change…Twice?Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services96(3), pp. 155–163.

Puccio, G.J, 2010. Creative Leadership: Skills That Drive Change. SAGE.

Puccio, G.J. et al. 2010. Creative Leadership: Skills That Drive Change. SAGE Publications.

Shelton, E. J. 2012. Transformational Leadership: Trust, Motivation and Engagement. Trafford Publishing.

Tondock, B. 2015.How Self-Compassion Can Enhance Authentic Leadership Development: A Quantitative Study. Anchor Academic Publishing (aap_verlag).

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