Saturday, December 19, 2009

Modern Leadership Practices

Leaders are not born, they are made. There are many types of leadership styles. The best leadership style I prefer is the transformational leadership style. Transformational leaders are significantly more innovative than transactional leaders. Transactional leaders are those leaders who clarify tasks while at the same guiding and motivating those under their authority. Most politicians play this kind of leadership style. In contrast, Contingency leadership is not efficient in atmospheres of accelerated change because leaders place themselves into positions matching their leadership style.

Furthermore, leaders need to recognize how knowledge is valued so they will be acquainted with how the learners will react to a variety of learning opportunities. Being intentional and goal-oriented leads to planned change and this is what many organizations perceive as an accidental occurrence. Given the right tools and techniques, anyone with the right intentions can be a change agent. A change agent can be a manager or non-manager. On the contrary, an organization may be resistant to change due to chaotic randomness.

By building support and commitment, fear and anxiety will diminish. It will be a solid requirement to initiate emotional commitment to change so that inconsistencies may pave way for positive efforts. One thing that is of paramount importance is to undertake full-scale negotiation to lessen the level of resistance by addressing core individual and collective needs.

To avoid potentially high costs, negotiating with all concerned parties could herald an ever-lasting negotiated settlement. Another easy method of overcoming resistance will be the use of cooptation which usually leads to endorsement from those resisting change. Giving key roles to those resisting changes may be defined as a ‘buy off”. Unfortunately, coercion may be on the last of the list of overcoming resistance to change.

To better understand the true meaning of motivation, Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs best hypothesizes its definition when he categorized the well-known theory of motivation into five components:
1. Psychological: It includes hunger, thirst, shelter, sex, and other bodily needs.
2. Safety: Includes security and protection from physical and emotional harm.
3. Social: Includes affection, belongingness, acceptance, and friendship.
4. Esteem: Includes internal esteem factors such as self-respect, autonomy, and achievement; and external esteem factors such as status, recognition, and attention.
5. Self-actualization: The drive to become what one is capable of becoming; includes growth, achieving one’s potential, and self-fulfillment.

Experts in the field of Organizational Behavior often use different power tactics to achieve their objectives. The use of upward influence, downward influence, and lateral influence is used in different parts of the world depending on the culture of the organization. The collection of power tactics that work best for many include rational persuasion, inspirational appeals, and consultation as they tend to be more effective to influence people in the top management level and their subordinates. However, if the use of “softer” tactics fails, one will have no other option but to apply the “harder” stand which involves the use of formal power regardless of the costs and risks incurred. The use of ingratiation helps to better define a problem. We can draw from these statements and conditions, some drawbacks of the rational decision-making model:
1. It entails a great deal of time.
2. It requires a great deal of information.
3. It presupposes that considerable conditions exist to be agreed upon.
4. It assumes precise, unwavering, and absolute knowledge of alternatives, preferences, objectives, and outcomes.
5. It assumes a rational, reasonable, non-political world.

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