What is Leadership? According to Wikipedia the definition of leadership is both a research area and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual or organization to ‘lead’ or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations. I believe what makes a good leader is to have courage and determination to help make a difference in someone’s life. There are certain qualities that it takes to be considered a good leader. A few of those qualities would be Servant leadership, diversity, and knowing your leadership style. With these three elements I believe you can be effective in Management and leadership.
Effectiveness of Servant Leadership
When I think of servant leader, I go back to the book The Servant by James C. Hunter, and it talks about Love and how servant leaders always put and keep love at the center of their leadership philosophy. You have to ask yourself “will you serve those you lead”? One of the best examples that comes to mind that validates this is the Gospel of John Chapter 13 The story of Jesus washing his disciples feet, he seen the need for the task and got up and did it, for him a task has no ranking, only sees the need or usefulness. He done this as a teaching and set an example to serve his disciples , hence saying that leaders must serve their staff. Becoming an effective leader means having humility.
I also believe giving your followers empowerment is important , this makes those that you lead more confident in the job that they are doing allowing them to make decisions and backing them up on those decisions make them a stronger employee as well as motivates them to continue to do a good job, which goes into recognition and praise the fourth element in twelve elements of effective management studies show that our brain craves a surge of dopamine and people tend to alter their behavior to get that feeling, and positive words have specifically been found to activate regions of the brain related to reward. This chemical makes employees feel good when they get that praise, this creates an internal system that makes them want to repeat the behavior so making sure as leaders and managers we giving that praise and recognition can be detrimental to the success of your followers.
Servant leaders always provide an environment that encourages and enables the people they lead to flourish and grow in their work and in their lives.
Insight to Cross Culture Perspectives
The next point that I would like to bring up that I feel is important when it comes to management and leadership and that is Diversity. Diversity is about embracing many different types of people who stand for different things and represent different things and represents different cultures, generations, ideas, and thinking. I believe that adding diversity and inclusion to an organization can truly be an asset.. You want to have employees that look like the different types of customers you have or want to attract. Ways that I would implement diversity and inclusion in my organization would be to have fair representation and advertising, try to celebrate cultural holidays not only just the American holidays that we see on the calendar, having resource groups for the different types of ethnicities and even supporting events, or bringing in someone to teach another language. Here is also where I would use the fifth element “someone at work cares about me as a person” implementing this and forming a personal relationship with those you lead makes them feel like they are more than just a warm body they will give more effort and feel more comfortable giving their input.
Having insight to cross culture perspectives can bring different viewpoints, and backgrounds to an organization, this can also make organizations more competitive.
Knowing Your Leadership Style
The last point I am going to make that I think is important in management and leadership is knowing your leadership style. Hersey, Blanchard, and Johnson in the text refer to situational leadership as an interplay among (1 ) the amount of guidance and direction or(task behavior) a leader gives, (2) the amount of socioemotional support or(relationship behavior) a leader provides, and (3) performance readiness level of followers when performing a specific task.
Effective leaders should focus on others by looking at the strengths, needs, goals, and achievements of their people. And it is very important to know their performance readiness.
Knowing followers performance readiness then better helps the manager determine the leadership style they should use. There are four types of leadership styles Which are delegating, participating, selling, and telling. Leaders have a primary leadership style with which they are more comfortable they can also have a secondary leadership style. Knowing which leadership style to use with your followers can make you a more effective leader also being able to have flexibility with these different styles and changing your style with the type of person you are dealing with. Having the willingness to be flexible in your leadership style and being self-aware can lead to being an effective leader and manager.
I will conclude with this, a leader should want to help their followers to make a change and to be the best they can be. A true leader does not need to feel powerful; instead they empower those around them. Through out my life I have come across various leaders who have made an impact on my life and I believe it takes a special person to inspire and touch people’s lives.
- Brookins, Miranda. ‘Examples of Diversity in an Organization.’ Small Business – Chron.com, http://smallbusiness.chron.com/examples-diversity-organization-11968.html. Accessed 27 October 2018.
- Hersey, P., Blanchard, K., & Johnson. D. (2012). Management of organizational behavior (10th Edition).
- Hunter. J. (1998). The servant: A simple story about the true essence of leadership.
- Wagner, R. and Harter. J. (2006). 12: The elements of great managing (1st ed.).