All entries for Tuesday 29 March 2011
March 29, 2011
The best way to improve one’s leadership skills is certainly, through experience, accepting the challenge when it comes and also to look at real life examples that are there around us. I personally feel that real life examples are the best ways to learn about leadership more than everything else. Even if it does not teach you much about the role, it surely helps you to realize what not to do in a given scenario. The way I have learned about leadership is through my uncle who I feel is a very effective leader but certainly not the most respected one. He is very professional, dedicated, and creative and a risk taker above all but does not possess a very healthy relationship with the people of our organization. People tend to fear him as he leads by fear and he also enforces orders and does not allow the employees to participate. In short, he wants them to follow orders and do as they are told. Although, I admire his dedication, hard work and creativity but do not like his leadership style because I feel it is not effective in the long run. Because, I feel there should be a good relationship between a leader and the people, so that they give their hundred percent at work and work for the system whole heartedly.
So, one gets to learn a lot from the real life examples that are present around us. They actually make you think about what would you do if you were in the same situation or position? And it is actually better to learn after knowing what exactly you are going to face in the real world.
When we talk about leadership, there are different styles that we look at and most of the leaders in different organizations around us fall under one of those styles. It is not necessary that people possess the leadership style that is the same as their real life personality. Some people might argue that people carry their natural style, personality and behavior wherever they go and whatever they do and it could also be true in some instances but not when it comes to leadership. Although a man faces a lot of situations in life when he needs to put his leadership skills into practice, in many day to day activities but when we talk about professional life and controlling complex work place situations he might change his natural or we can say built in leadership style and adopt some other one and this is how we get to see many people/leaders who are although very laidback and humble in real life turn into monsters at work. It is certainly not the right thing to do where one has to wear a mask daily when he goes to work and behave or act in a way that he otherwise would not have done. There was a very good example given by Paul against this attitude which was something like “Behave at work in a way that you could take your daughter along with you”, because if you do a personality switch daily as you reach work, she might see your split personality which would surely shock her.
So, we should avoid this attitude and although I believe that leadership skills are both in built and can also be improved with experience and training but I feel that we should alter our in built leadership style if it is not very effective but should not try to bring a 180 degree change to it. The change should be positive instead of being negative.
There are different roles and positions within an organization according to different hierarchical levels. We have the CEOs on the top and then we have different directors for specific departments which are actually the leaders of that particular department for e. g marketing directors, HR directors etc. The role of directors is very important within an organization because they are involved in all major and core activities which act as a source of guidance and set the tone for the other people within the organization for example the development of the vision and the mission statements etc. One of the most important roles that a director has is to take the best out of the people within his department, motivate them and also make sure that they work to achieve the major goal of the organization which is the fulfillment of the mission and the vision. The directors are responsible for all the activities under their department and they need to make sure that they are in accordance with the company goals, mission and vision.
So, if we get the chance to work as a director of some specific department in some organization we should keep these points in mind and try to avoid departmentalization, encourage effective communication among departments and work in alignment with the organization goals.
Democratic leadership is among many of the leadership styles that we have come across during this module. During one of the simulation, one of the group leaders also got the role of a democratic leader. Although a democratic style of leadership does seem very just and fair because its major aspect is the involvement and participation of the group members in all decision making and everything is done with proper consultation and agreement of the members involved but it also has some drawbacks that might affect decision making. For example the involvement of all the members in every decision and handling many different point of views is not always effective sometimes it also might lead to confusion because people might not come up with a proper solution or way forward with a lot of solutions on the table and the leader not playing a role which is not as powerful and influential as it is in some other styles.
So, whenever we talk about different leadership styles, it is important to realize that there are always some positives and some discrepancies attached and there is no perfect solution to all the problems that we face. We should always look at the shortcomings and also the given context, while selecting theories because that might help us in choosing, maybe the most appropriate one in that given situation.
Selection of a leadership theory is the most important task that we have to perform for our post module assignment. For choosing an appropriate leadership theory we have to look for the exact situation and context in which the theories are going to be applied for example what exactly is the leadership style being practiced within the organization in this instance we have to see the leadership styles of both the CEO and also one of the directors of the company. I think it is not possible to coach and suggest a leadership style if we are not sure about what the current style or situation is and would be pointless. I have chosen Deming style of leadership as well as the transformational leadership. I have found these two styles appropriate because I have myself led a team using the transformational style and it is about motivating and bringing the best out of people and the Deming leadership is based on the system of profound knowledge and 14 points.
I think it is very important to select the proper leadership theories for the given roles and treat this PMW as a real life situation and if we chose the appropriate theories after going through all the important ones this will surely help us in the near future to apply appropriate theories that will fit the situation that we might face and for that we have to have some knowledge of different theories that are being used today.