Leadership theory and development has been critical to many organisations. Facet of leadership in context is built on the tenets of people coming together to lead together in the bit to address real challenges as a team. The purpose of this paper is to draw out themes from the three speakers in regard to their approach to leadership. The focal point of the first speaker is to lead change management that would be essential for an organisation to be successful. The focal point of the second speaker articulates on ingredients that constitute leadership. The third speaker articulates on knowing and understanding people that one works with.
In this regard, one thing that is apparent and common from the three speakers is that leadership involves multiple actors working in a collaborative way. Lussier & Achua (2010) argued that leadership does not only involve top managers leading their juniors, but involves any individual taking up the role of influencing others in deliberating on some given contexts to achieve certain results. Additionally, Roe (2014) pointed out that leadership is not a static or specific attribute, but rather a continued development that needs learning of new skills while improving the already existing ones.
Belout & Gauvreau (2004) stipulated that no single leaders can sufficiently make decisions that are comprehensive enough to enable an organisation thrive in a highly competitive market especially with the current fast changing and complex world. In this regard, according to new leadership models, many people who have traditionally been viewed as leaders such as managing directors and other managers have been acknowledged as having been supported by other people engaged in leadership practices, and who surprisingly may not have had the title of a leader in the past (Lussier & Achua, 2010). For instance, the first speaker argued that even though he was not among the top managers or influential people in soccer, he managed to influence top managers and other leaders in soccer from different clubs to follow him during his projects.
In light of this, it is apparent that organisations have to accept the fact that it is indispensable to have collaborations with other people if they have to maintain competitive advantage. When it comes to leadership into context, a leader has to influence behavior and of other people. Thus, leadership is glued to people's activities and team building. However, leadership in context is all about possessing skills, developing and perfecting them, and putting them into practice (Ricketts, 2011). This is what John Adair's model focuses on. When tasked with leadership position, leaders have to focus on the task they are given, the team working with and then apply their leadership skills in influencing and leading the team into achieving a set vision.
Rationale for setting vision in leadership
Roe (2014) argued that leaders can only perform if they know what they want to achieve. Setting a vision ensures that the leaders have to put mechanism in place to achieve certain goals. This is what makes leaders have an outline of what is expected of them to achieve certain goals. For instance, they are able to define the task ahead of them, understand the people working with, and understand the skills necessary to make things happen. Pulling out the required resources required in executing various tasks is indispensable to any leaders. The resources include followers and skills required to influence them.
Clawson (2002) argued that a leader has to ensure that there is good working relationship with followers. It is apparent that followers have divergent views and one has to ensure that those views have to converge at some point to come up with common view. However, to achieve this, leaders have to establish a relationship that is built on mutual trust with the followers. The first speaker noted that leaders have to bring followers together to work as a team. In a different dimension, Lewis & Heckman (2006) argued that working as a team speed up decision making, thus success of the organisation. Nevertheless, just like the 3rd speaker noted, a leader has to first understand the people he is working with and those that are working for him. This helps in determining the kind of relationships to build and the specific skills required in influencing them.
Since followers have different ideas, understanding who they are helps in deciding tips to use to bring them together and work as a team. For instance, if a leader has been mandated to lead a certain project where some people are more senior than him, it is apparent that he would be facing challenges of influencing his seniors. This is the same situation that the second speaker went through when he was leading a project where most of his stakeholders were senior than him. However, he devised ways of overcoming such challenges by listening and managing context of the given situations by sharing his ideas too.
Different situations and projects may require different skills to execute. Leaders have to have unique leadership characteristics to effectively lead other people given different situations. The second speaker pointed out that leaders have to be respectful of their followers. This way, the followers will listen to them and would be easy to influence them. Using his skills, a leader must motivate his followers. He should be in a position to encourage them even when things do not seem to be working out. Baron & Armstrong (2007) argued that the worst thing a leader can do is to run away from problems or challenges facing him. If it happens that leaders run away from problems, their followers would not feel motivated to working out on the problem.
Leaders have got to be people of integrity. The first speaker talked about the issue of leaders not losing their temper because they may end up losing control and this would have negative impact to the team. Lack of problem solving skills leads to disintegration of a team thus poor performance. A leader should be able to define a problem, bring in ideas from followers and make sound decisions based on a common understanding. This goes hand in hand with the trait of self-confidence (Roe, 2014). It is indispensable to show followers that one is capable of handling issues even during challenging times.
Knowledge of project or business at hand helps leaders make the right decisions. This knowledge is what the second speaker argued has to come as a result of exposing a leader to different opportunities because it helps in building and developing skills. For instance, a leader with project management would perform well than other leaders with a different career when mandated to lead a certain project. However, just like Roe (2014) argued, this has to be accompanied by other skills such as determination sociability and intelligence. The impact of these traits in any organisation as outlined by Belout & Gauvreau (2004) involve setting out goals that are achievable through broadening management focus and mobilising and forging consensus towards a vision. However, effective leaders have to be flexible in terms of switching the leadership styles.
With many deliberations on leadership in context, several things have emerged as focal points of effective leadership. This is achievable through building relationship with followers. Collaboration with followers is indispensable and every leader has to work towards working as a team. Leadership traits play a part in the success of an organisation. One thing that is apparent and common from the three speakers is that leadership involves multiple actors working in a collaborative way.
The first speaker pointed out that it is critical involving other stakeholders in the decision making process. In advising on the best qualities of a leader, the speaker argues that leaders should never lose temper because this can lead to such an individual losing control. The speaker is of the opinion that listening to different views and ideas from followers helps in making sound decisions. He also noted that teamwork helps in avoiding many problems and challenges that are evident when people work as individuals without any collaboration.
The second speaker argues that leaders have first to set a vision of what they want to achieve. In his deliberation, the speaker pointed out that just like in his leadership positions he have had previously, setting out a vision acts as a prior preparation that helps in preventing poor performance. He also noted that understanding the context in which a leader is working in is indispensable in that it helps in bringing together resources available and devising mechanisms of overcoming challenges that might come along the way. The speaker also argued that for the followers to follow the leader, it is important for the leader to respect them and being involved in different aspects of relationships with them.
The speaker points out that a leader should first know people he is working with and people that are working for him. According to the speaker, regular communication with followers ensures that every person is always updated and work towards achieving a common goal. He also argues that leadership is not about individual giving directions to his followers, but it is all about collaborating with them in deliberating on issues. The speaker also emphasised on knowledge by the leader. He believes that knowledge is powerful in that it helps leaders understand context of their leadership and the people working with. Additionally, Understanding mission statement of organisation one is working for is critical in deliberating on the best strategies to use in making the organisation successful.
According to new leadership models, many people who have traditionally been viewed as leaders such as managing directors and other managers have been acknowledged as having been supported by other people engaged in leadership practices. Organisations have to accept the fact that it is indispensable to have collaborations with other people if they have to maintain competitive advantage. Leadership in context is all about possessing skills, developing and perfecting them, and putting them into practice. Setting a vision ensures that the leaders have to put mechanism in place to achieve certain goals.
Leaders have to establish a relationship that is built on mutual trust with the followers. Since followers have different ideas, understanding who they are helps in deciding tips to use to bring them together and work as a team. Leaders have to have unique leadership characteristics to effectively lead other people given different situations. In addition, leaders have got to be people of integrity. They should be able to define a problem, bring in ideas from followers and make sound decisions based on a common understanding.