All entries for February 2011

February 27, 2011

Why Do Leader Fail?

While the answer to the above question can be very long, one of the sources suggests some  reasons of this failure which are listed as follows.

1. Inability to Organise details. some leaders claim that they are very busy for arranging and initiating plans. and this leads to failure.

2. unwilling to do humble duties. a successful leader should be ready to perform any task when it is required.

3. ask for reward on their knowledge rather on what they do. this has been common especially based on the education system that give importance for the degree over the achievements for example. 

4. Fear of competition from the followers.

5. selfishness.

6. Disloyalty.

7. emphasis on the authority they have.

the above are some of many other suggested reasons of leaders failure. however, I see in them an attempt from a leader to both control and fulfil his ego. moreover, I think they are main contributors to cause the leader to loose his authority in the team.

Team Conflicts

conflicts among team members or between a team member and the leader are not rare to happen. it is embarrassing for team and drops down the team's productivity and might result in a complete failure.

all teams are usually made out of different people who have different characters and different experiences. understanding the uniqueness of each individual is crucial to avoid or at least to decrease  the possibility for conflicts to occur.

other factor that decreases conflicts is a professional leader. it is the responsibility of the leader to be professional during meetings and more importantly when conflicts happen. Being professional regarding dealing with conflict might include being open, clear, have the ability for discuss objectively and overcome the personal judgements and feelings.

many conflicts are initiated by misunderstanding. therefore, being open and professional and are very important characteristics of a successful leader. 

Final Word

many wonder if the final word should be the leader's. being a leader does not mean being a boss or a person who controls a group. on the other hand, being authoritarian and make decisions does not always mean that the leader is being selfish and practising repression against the followers.

every situation is unique. being autocratic  (having the last word in team) can be necessary in some cases; when a decision has to be made urgently for example. however,  the conditions that requires an autocratic leadership are rare usually.

there are many leaders say that authoritarian leadership is suitable when the team member are new employees who are motivated to learn. I would argue that even new employees have critical thinking skills and thier unique understanding  of the world. it is not fair to judge a person's ability to make a judgement based on him being new employee.

I personally prefer the participative style where everybody contribute to the decision. it involves sharing information with all members and engage their perspective, understanding and suggestions in the decision made which will make this decision more robust . however, even in this style and in any other style the decision is valid only when the leader authorise it.

February 21, 2011

Implicit Positional Leadership

If we assumed a situation where the team's  appointed leader is not effective and do not contribute to the team work and all members feel that they do not have a leader, what would we expect the logical result of that? would we expect a new leader to emerge among team members? or would they just do the task without a leader?

Focusing on the second scenario, why would they complete the task without a leader? it is because either they do not feel the need for a leader or they still consider the ineffective leader their leader. 

Again focusing on the second case, why would a group of people consider an ineffective person as their leader? it can be either because they have a personalities that do not like to be led and they are happy with the situation or because they feel the positional power of the leader and they do not want to resist it.

The second possibility expresses the influence that the positional power have on many people even though it is not presented in authoritarian way or by a dominant person who likes to practise their authorities.

February 18, 2011

Leaders and Managers

The way I would look at leadership is as a human- human hidden communication. Management is different. 

While the definition of manager in business dictionary is related mainly to their position and responsibilities the definition of leader in the same source is " Person or thing that holds a dominant or superior position within its field, and is able to exercise a high degree of control or influence over others" . leadership definition here is connected with knowledge and personal characteristics.

I would assume that a manger's responsibility is to manage, and managing people is one of these responsibilities.

Do these two positions clash? the question is valid when the two positions are practised by one person or by more than one.

What about this: "the integration can be a person who influences people in order to manage them effectively!"

February 15, 2011

Situational Leadership

Many definitions of leadership assume that leadership in situational; in sense that it emerges in a specific situation. accordingly,  we can define many situations such as transitive, emergency, and many others. 

This leads to assume that there are different types of leadership; each related to the situation that it emerged from. so we could have transitive leadership, emergency situations leadership an so on. this in turn leads to many questions:

Do leaders emerge in the same way in all situations?

What happened after the situation is over? will followers start looking for another leader who is suitable for the new situation?

What about the long-term leaders? long-term might include many situations. does this mean that some people have the ability to change their characteristics and respond to what people want/'need'? 

February 13, 2011

Participative VS Autocratic

some approaches to leadership seem to be judgemental. They are either black or white. They emphasis the benefits of personal participative  leadership and stress the weaknesses of positional leadership no mater what the situation is.

however, will the situation itself forces the people who believe in participative leadership to practise an autocratic leadership? for example, what happen if the time limits are critical ( the case of war for example)? will the officer make a vote among soldiers whether they should attack or not?

Another example, how would a manager behaves when they know that a building will collapse soon or a laboratory will explode? or what happened in the case of urgent financial decision? it is actually realted to saving situations or lifes.

is there cases when participative leaders were asked by their followers to behave autocratically? 

It is hard to judge an autocratic leadership unless we understand the leader (person) and the situation.

February 11, 2011

Emerge of Leaders

Here is a statement that can be debatable "when people feel threat, fear, and anxiety they start to look for a leader" this expresses that being a leader can be defined by people/followers rather by the person itself. 

some pshycological theories suggest that if a person was treated as if they have charisma or even a sex appeal they would start showing these features.

Accordingly, when there is a "situation", will people/followers start searching for the best person that can lead them and decrease the anxiety?  will they start to treat them as a leader and this will make them reveal some human characteristic that is hidden and consequently become a leader?

On the other hand,  is it possible that followers will decide that nobody has the leader characteristics and therefore they would go the journey without a leader?

February 09, 2011

Leadership Definitions

It was said that leadership cannot be defined but can be described. It is something that people felt  before any science came to life. It is something that can be recognised in animals too. It is felt and its effects are seen rather than defined.

The supporters of this idea claim that any definition of leadership or leaders came through observation of naturally emerged leaders and describing their characteristics and why they have followers. Accordingly, leadership definitions show confusion and are varied according to the writer experience. 

Trying to turn leadership into a science that can be measured or taught is valuable and adds to the management and social science. But can any definition describe all existing leaders regardless who they are, where they are from, and  if they are  leaders of the uncontacted tribes?

February 08, 2011

People Importance

It was interesting to know that there is a big debate about the importance of people in any organisation/business. the competitor of people in importance for many in money. and I would like to give some thoughts about the importance of people as an asset. 

Money/ cash is very important for a business because, according to many, it can buy the highest technology, best assets, best raw materials, and hire the 'best people'. That might be true, but does the mere having the best of everything lead to an excellent successful business? can the financial indicators of a small simple restaurant be higher that a five star one which has the best of everything? if there is such  a possibility , what is the factor that can drive this?

A last thought, if we assume that money can buy the 'best people', can it buy their enthusiasm, commitment, and loyalty?

February 2011

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