For a better understanding of what leadership practice entails, it is essential to understand what leadership is all about. Concisely, leadership refers to the process through which a person manages to influence others in a coherent and cohesive manner so that they can accomplish a certain objective. Practicing leadership requires essential knowledge and skills from the leader. Leadership practice depends on the four factors namely leader, followers, communication, and situation. Leadership practice is closely related management to a certain extent but there are certain differences that set the two organizational necessities apart. While management includes chiefly the administration and organization of workers, leadership goes ahead in nurturing skills, developing talents and inspiring positive results.
Leadership versus Management
Managers as Effective Leaders
Management requires a steadfast relationship between conceptual, technical, and human relation skills in showing their typical weighting at different levels. Technical skills refer to the ability of a manager to apply methods, techniques, and processes of managing in managerial activities such as budgeting, planning, and workgroup reorganization. The conceptual skills reflect on the mental ability of managers to visualize how different factors in a given situation coordinate and fit together interactively. The conceptual skills by managers help them know both the direct and indirect consequences of either the decisions they make or those they do not make. The human or interpersonal skills involve enhancing cooperation with others, understanding them, as well as leading and motivating them in their work place. From the above three important management skills, is clear that other than administration and organization of work practice in the organization, management involves a touch of leadership especially when nurturing employee talents and motivating their efforts.
More so, accompanying the above managerial skills, there are important roles played by the managers in the course of their service delivery to the organization. They play an informational role, which includes acting as monitors and spokespeople. In addition, they also play the designer and strategist role, which focuses on the means to adapt their organizational structures to external opportunities and challenges. While playing these roles, the managers portray a figurehead, much as a leader, since others look unto them to make decisions, which they then follow, writes Lussier (2008, p. 14).
Leaders as Effective Managers
All the organizations in today’s world face constant competition requiring the need to incorporate flatter organizational structure hierarchies. In as much as leaders are supposed to provide motivational influence to their followers, who in this case mean the employees in the organizations, they must understand the extent of the diverse working conditions involving various multi-dimensional teams. It is in light of this that companies turn to high-performing and active leaders with the ability to double as providers of motivation and employee guidance to towards following the direction leading to the accomplishment of organizational goals, notes Daft & Marcic (2008, p. 414).
Management roles played by leaders happen to be a key factor in developing and improving the performance of an organization through increasing workplace productivity and employee motivation. The good qualities of a leader enables him or her to effectively carry out effective duties as done by managers, supervisors, directors, and any other personnel representing another level of management. Using the leadership traits of empowering, coaching and motivating employees, leaders are able to accomplish the managerial role of helping an organization to meet its strategic goals stipulated in both the mission and vision statement.
Balancing Between Management and Leadership Demands
In the traditional thinking present in all organizations, leadership separates the roles of a manager from those of a leader, writes Cassidy (2008). The rationale behind this is that managers are people who operate under control, they administer through focusing on already existing structures and systems. In this traditional view, a manager appears to be a person with a short-range business view, always follows a set path of procedures, is analytical and critically looks at relevant data before making any decision. Meanwhile, under the same perspective of the traditional school of thought, more glamour appears in the leadership role. The leader surfaces as a person who actively generates new ideas and processes, focuses a lot on people, and takes a relatively long-range business perspective. This thinking portrays the leader as a decision influencer who not only challenges originates alternate developmental ideas.
However, there must be a balance between both management and leadership demands for the optimal survival of any organization. It is true that leadership provides the necessary charge required by an organization to remain innovative and hopeful in future excellence. However, these alone cannot drive an organization towards optimal success. It is important to align them with the key requirements of any organization including resource allocation, planning and budgeting, and cash flow analysis. This key requirements fall in the domain of management roles. Effective and successful organizations thus require both the leadership and management roles to operate simultaneously, complementing and supporting each other in the process, Daft & Marcic (2008, p. 413). Both leaders and managers are vital for the positive performance and success of an organization. Leadership skills model a way forward while management skills enable arriving at the set target. This means that, striking a balance between leadership and management demands in an organization requires an effective leader to carry good management skills and similarly, an effective manager must bear and use good leadership skills. This brings the idea of managerial leadership. As organizations become complex in structure and activities, each division operates under an independent vision, performance targets, processes and operating methodologies. Within the system of such an overarching structure, the balance becomes very necessary since ‘managers’ create local systems set to generate results as expected and planned by the ‘leaders’. For success in such a case, the same person plays both the roles of a leader and a manager, in a balanced ratio.
Effective Leadership Promoting the Achievement of Organization Objectives
Being an effective leader involves having honesty and integrity knowing that you could get away with not having it since nobody is watching. It involves doing the right thing when even when chances and circumstances make it easier to do the wrong thing, writes Stanfield (2009, p. 13). For effective and efficient achievement of organization objectives, an effective leader has to bear good leadership traits. Effective leaders must be visionary. Each of the relevant stakeholder may have a very good vision but very different from any other by fellow stakeholders in the organization. This in return results into a conflict of interest, which is a huge barrier to development or growth of the organization. However, with a good leadership system, this problem disappears through visioning, Ronis (2007, p. 6). This involves the ability to make all organization stakeholders share a common vision that everybody can follow towards the accomplishment of the common organizational objectives.
All organizations operate under specific strategies. In essence, a strategy refers to the long-term planning in an organization, writes Cunningham & Harney (2012, p. 47). Good organization strategies are one of the factors that lead to performance excellence. Particularly, strategies that are competition oriented play a great deal in marking an organization’s field of play in the industry, against its competitors. However, strategies do not just happen. It is upon the organization’s effective leaders to make good and workable strategies that promise positive returns. More so, the long-term effect of strategies means that it is upon the leaders to ensure that everything goes as planned during the long time that a business strategy takes time to materialize, Gronfeldt & Strother (2006, p. 106). In light of this, it is evident that good strategies culminate into positive performance, which in is a core organizational objective. The effectiveness of such strategizing depends on the effective leadership present in the organization.
For an organization whose aim is to achieve success in meeting its organization objectives, teamwork is very essential. This is so because employee involvement, employee empowerment, and teams enable easy decision-making processes concerning the activities of the organization, Daft (2009, p. 433). However, it is always a big challenge for organizations to create teams, enhance teamwork, or engage in team building initiatives without a proper and effective leadership system. It is true that an organization can reap many benefits by operating in an environment that fosters individuals who work and rely on sole efforts. However, teamwork synchronizes all the good individual ideas and efforts into a major and big cumulative idea that works the best for the entire organization compared to what the individual efforts could possibly do. In light of this, an effective leader is able to create a good working condition that fosters the freedom of interaction and as a result enhancing objective attainment.
Effective Leadership Enhancing Organization Communication
Poor communication is a root cause of many complications within the operations of almost organizations. Without proper communication channels, it is not easy to accomplish much in an organization, especially objectives. Communication problems in most organizations mostly apply because of hitches in the organization structure, Miller (2009, p. 191). The organization structure defines and gives the proper channels of communication flow between the top management, the senior, and the middle-level management, all the way to the subordinates. Without effective leadership, the organizational chart becomes dysfunctional. This promotes failure to accomplish organizational goals, which leads to poor overall business performance. However, effective leadership ensures that the organizational chart promotes successful conveyance of information. This means that communication between all levels of employees, as well as between all units and departments in the organization, happens appropriately. This coordination of information across the entire organization depends on the efforts of effective leadership.
Impact of Effective Leadership on Empowerment in Organizations
In the modern day world, employees pass as the key resources of an organization. This is relatively true since the presence of all other factors of production is useless without the necessary human resource input. In light of this, one aspect to observe while planning for success in an organization is the extent to which the employees are flexible and able to express their views in the course of the organization’s business, Huq (2010, p. 15). Organization performance excellence depends on specific the levels of employee empowerment. Therefore, to create an environment that is conducive for the growth of an origination, effective leadership involves empowering the subordinates. In this case, they enjoy a significant control over their work. They work in an environment that grants them the ability to express their ideas about their work as well as the objectives of the organization in general. One mark of effective leadership is how well the leaders are able to empower their subordinates. Empowering lower level employees usually results to positive organization growth. The positive results of such empowering include employee’s readiness to embrace change, better customer services, and improved organization performance, writes Swamidass (2000, p. 183).