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Effective Leadership - Developmental Leadership

Essay by   •  December 7, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,410 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,559 Views

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Clark defines leadership as "a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent (2010)." I have heard many times that effective leaders are made not born. There are a number of characteristics that an effective leader must have. Listening, giving feedback, and direction are all different areas a leader is responsible for. I know there is a difference from being a manager or supervisor and being a leader. I think having effective leadership skills are of more importance.

Developmental Leadership is defined as "an approach that helps groups to evolve effectively and to achieve high supportive, open, creative, committed, and high-performing membership (236)." In order to understand developmental leadership we must be familiar with the term heroic managers which were contributed by Bradford and Cohen. "Heroic managers are those who have a great need for control or influence and want to run things (236)." The characteristics of heroic managers are as follows: the manager must always know what going on in the department, they should always have enough technical expertise to supervise subordinates, they should always be able to solve any problem that arises, and be the primary person responsible for how the department is working. The manager must focus on building heroes not being one. The responsibilities are a lot but if taken to the extreme it can be a negative factor. This idea of heroic managers is the goal of developmental leaders.

There are basic characteristics that a leader must have in order to be an effective one. The first is integrity which means most importantly honesty. Integrity can tie into the term morals. It seems when you have integrity you don't go against anything you believe in. integrity is not something you can physically see but you display it in your attitude and actions. The next one is having a vision or strategy in place. The leader is responsible for seeing beyond the typical work week. They should be able to see long term goals for the company. The vision is seeing the goal and making strategies is to accomplish the goals. Next, we have communication skills which are essential for a leader. Communication can be on a small and large level depending on the size of the company. Leaders must be proficient in informing and seeking out information. Relationships are another essential quality. The leader should develop relationships based on personal power. Having good relationships with other will make leading a lot easier. Persuasion is "the ability to influence others and cause them to move in a particular direction is a highly important skill in leadership (2007)." A good leader is able to persuade other to do certain things. If you are able to persuade people it means they trust you because you clearly communicate with them. Adaptability and flexibility are two more important factors. Being able to adapt from one plan to another with short notice is essential. Circumstances change and all you can do is adapt to whatever it is. Teamwork is not as obvious as the rest of the characteristics. Some people figure if you are the leader you do everything alone which is totally false. An effective leader has a great team behind them. There is no way one person can be responsible for everything that happens in a company. Coaching and developing is important to allow others to grow. You want your employees to be capable of anything that needs to be done. It is not a threat to your job it is an extra helper that you gain. Decision making is probably one of the most important skills a leader must have. All the decisions are placed on the leader so they must be able to comprehend and consider the consequences before making a reasonable decision. Planning is the last characteristic a leader must be able to do. Planning involves making certain assumptions about the future and taking actions in the present to positively influence that future. To plan means to focus more strategically.

According to Curtis and O'Connell the Base theory from 1998 states there are four main components of leadership. First there is idealist influence where leaders are admired and respected by those they lead. Then there is inspirational motivation where the leaders inspire the employees for their work. Intellectual stimulation is created by leaders that have advance knowledge such as creativity or problem solving skills. The last one is individualized consideration.



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