Changing Perspectives of Leadership in Different Economic, Social, and Political Contexts
Assess Changing Perspectives Of Leadership In Different Economic, Social And Political Contexts
Assess The Challenges In Leadership In Today’s Volatile Business Environment.
Clearly Explain Different Characteristics Of Responsible Leadership.
Analyse The Importance Of Demonstrating Responsible Leadership To Be Able To Lead The Organisation During a Process Of Change.
The role of leaders change depending on the changing economic condition of the global world. Due to globalization, organizations need leaders who are able to understand the ever-changing economy of the global market (Ryan 2013). This is particularly applicable to the multinational companies as they work across country borders and the leaders need to have the abilities to manage a diverse workforce and external environmental challenges. When companies expand to other countries or continents, the economic condition of the country decides the kind of strategy that the leader will take to penetrate the market, create brand value, promote brand image and manage the diverse workforce. For example, the developed countries provide a highly saturated market and extreme competition. The leaders generally take aggressive approach to penetrate the markets (Chiu, S.C.S. and Walls, J.L., 2019). While in the emerging markets, the leaders must use other strategies like cost leadership or franchising to penetrate the market. Thus, it all depends upon the leader and his decision making how the company will compete in the international market.
The leadership perspective also changes with globalization as globalization introduces new social customs and approach. Businesses operating in the western world operates differently than the eastern countries. Most of the eastern countries are based on collectivist culture and thus prefer top down leadership (Baškarada, Watson and Cromarty 2017). The western world on the other hand are more individualistic in nature and seeks equal contribution and role in the decision making process thus, leading to a flat organizational structure. Social aspects like cultural diversity, minority and social structure shapes the way a leader modifies the approach. In simpler words, people belonging to different social structure views leaders differently and have different expectations from the leadership.
The political environment too changes leadership perspectives. The leaders consider the governmental demands, policies and legislatures in a global business environment. Even while working in the home country, they must conform to the governmental policies in order to do their business legitimately. For overseas business, the government seeks development of the country through Foreign Direct Investments and sustainable planning for the environment and society. The governments of the emerging markets and the underdeveloped markets are more likely to compromise and negotiate than the developed countries. For example, when Google wanted to penetrate the Chinese market, they had to face much barriers from the governments and had to sit for many negotiations. Even after all that discussions, the government was unwilling to relent on some key terms imposed by them and the penetration did not happen.
Challenges in Leadership in Today’s Volatile Business Environment
The perspective of leadership has changed significantly through time. Earlier, leaders were more of a boss than people persons while in recent times; an effective leader is considered a servant of people rather than a boss. The difference being, a boss directs people, gives them orders and a leader experiences the journey with the people so that people find a guide. In the globalized business world, leaders need to focus on the incidents of successful leadership rather than theories so that they are able to learn from real life accounts.
Globalization has created a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) environment. Due to the volatility of the present business environment, many challenges have arisen for the leaders in present times. The first challenge is developing managerial effectiveness (Kok and Heuvel 2019). This includes key managerial skills like time management, strategic thinking and decision-making. Time management helps the leaders to effectively manage the multiple tasks and deliver the projects within deadline. Strategic thinking allows them to consider the situations of the global business environment and create strategies that will ensure the organizational competitive advantage.
Another challenge is inspiring the workforce. Due to the changing world, people’s needs and desires change as well. Moreover, due to differences in the cultures and beliefs, different things motivate people. The leaders need to consider these differences and ensure that the people that they are working with are satisfied with the job that they are doing (Tepper et al. 2018). Leaders also face challenge in developing the skills and ability of the employees. People come with different sets of skills and ability and the leader must ensure that the employees are experiencing growth in their work. Professional growth motivates people and increases their competitiveness. Additionally, training and coaching are different according to countries.
Teamwork and leadership is an integral part of working in a VUCA world. As more companies become multinational, the emergence of cross-cultural teams are becoming more common in organizations. Exceptional leaders have the ability to manage the multicultural teams and establish cohesion and cooperation among members. Team development and management is one of the greatest challenge that leaders can face in the present situation (Hall and Rowland 2016). Organizations must change periodically in order to maintain their competitive edge and the leaders are the most important drivers of a successful change. They are responsible for communicating the details and assure the employees. This, again, pose a hurdle to leaders.
Different Characteristics of Responsible Leadership
The greatest challenge that leaders face in the VUCA world is the rapid change that organizations go through. Due to technological advancements, the organizations need to update themselves constantly. The problem is that the leaders need to be prepared for the challenges in this volatile world (Alkhaldi et al. 2017). The frequency of change is also extremely high. Organizations shift from one change to another even before the earlier change has been assimilated.
Finally, the management of internal stakeholders and politics are complex set of jobs that the leaders must conduct. They must ensure that there is cooperation among the different organs of the organization and the internal relationships and political agendas are contained (Sarkar and Sarkar 2016). Statistics show that eastern countries like India, China, UK and US consider developing managerial effectiveness as one of the greatest challenges for leadership in a VUCA world with inspiring others and developing employees following closely behind. In Spain, team leadership and in guiding change in UK are one of the main concerns.
Many people believe that leadership is an in-born quality rather than an acquired skill. This has created a practice of choosing people with leadership qualities and placing them in the top management without proper training and coaching. This has led to long-term adverse effect for the companies (Alabi and Alabi 2014). This method has become obsolete now though many organizations follow this method. While people might think that, the leaders of different country face different sets of challenges it is not completely true. While culture and social practices affects how people behave largely, the basic challenges remain the same. The leaders nowadays need positive response and transformational qualities in order to lead in a global world (Gentry et al. 2014). The leaders first need to change their thinking and approach in order to guide the organization and its people through change. Responsible leaders have the characteristics such as influencing the workforce and drive people to perform better. They are also great orators and innovators that inspires other people to follow them.
Responsible leaders also need key abilities such as time management, prioritization and decision making abilities. The leaders need to set goals and milestones along with timelines to develop this capability. Task delegation and distribution is also key skill for leaders. Responsible leaders delegate tasks depending on the skills and abilities of the people that they work with. They are able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the individuals. Responsible leaders also ensure that the organizational interest and objectives are served and thus the strategies that they create align with the organizational goals and visions (Anuradha and Sujatha 2019). A responsible leader is also able to motivate the employees and develop their skills. Managing change and leading the organization through the process of change is one of the most necessary characteristics that makes a successful leader in the VUCA world.
Importance of Demonstrating Responsible Leadership to Lead the Organization during a Process of Change
Change in organization has become one of the most important prerogatives. The organizations are becoming global and thus they need to change their model and approach as they enter new markets or face shifts in their earlier situation. Change also increases productivity of the organization and increases the competitive edge in the global market. The leaders of the organizations have the responsibility of leading the people in the organization during the process of change (Gleeson 2018). The change model devised by Lewin describes the three different stages that organizations go through during a change process. The first phase is unfreeze, change and refreeze. In all the three phases, the role of the leader is indisputable. In the first phase, the leader needs to gather support from the management for the change and determine what changes are needed in the organization. They also need to address all the doubts and concerns that arise regarding the change.
In the second phase where the actual change take place, the leaders need to show their motivational and people management skills. In this phase, the workforce becomes restless and fearful of the changes and their consequences. Responsible leaders are able to include people into the process by seeking their input and views. The employees need to feel that they are still parts of the organization. They also need assurances of the security that they have experienced (Caulfield and Senger 2017). The main responsibility of leaders in this phase is to instill confidence into the workers. In the last phase, the leaders need to integrate the changes into the organizational culture. Responsible leaders understand each organization individually and respond to them differently. In the last phase, the leaders must ensure that people do not fall back to their old habits and make the change redundant. The motivational and people management skills are also needed in this phase.
Transparency is also a key characteristic of responsible leaders. During change process and management, the leader has the responsibility to communicate everything transparently with the whole organization. This creates a sense of trust and dependency on the leaders. Effective leaders change constantly themselves. They realize that large changes can only be brought after people see small changes happening and running successfully (Bolden et al. 2019). Bringing changes in their attitudes and approach shows them that leaders too are evolving themselves, which gives them a positive implication to changes. Transparency with the management on the other had ensures that the organization provides complete investment and support for the process of change. The management is able to trust the leader completely and the leader can focus their attention on the work force and the process itself. Leaders also need to emotional connection with the employees in order to manage them properly.
Responsible leadership is important in modern organizations as responsible leaders are equipped with emotional and culture intelligence (Chawla and Lenka 2018). Changes in organizations might take place when a merger and acquisition happens or the company expands theory boundary. There could several other reasons for bringing change. Due to the global nature of the present organizations, and culturally intelligent leaders are able to manage people coming from different cultural backgrounds effectively. Cultural intelligence enables the leaders to understand the differences among the cultural beliefs and practices and respect them. They have the ability to see people from a humanistic point of view rather than their cultural backgrounds (Osman-Gani and Hassan 2018). Cultural intelligence gives them the ability to manage multicultural teams. Emotional intelligence allows them to be empathetic and understanding which is valued by employees all cultures greatly. An empathetic leader is able to connect with the people easily and invokes their trust.
Communication is the key characteristics that makes an individual a great leader. Communicating with the employees and being able to change their view and resistance to change is one of the most challenging role that leaders have to play. Along with this, being able to incorporate the whole of the workforce into the decision making process indicates the qualities of a good leadership (Solomon and Steyn 2017). In an ever-changing world, even these expectations are increasing and leaders now have to innovate continuously in order to be able to guide the organization effectively.
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