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How would you define leadership in terms of its relative functions and components?

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How would you define leadership in terms of its relative functions and components? Have you been led by others and/or have you been a leader? Was your experience positive or negative?

Exercises

There is currently no grand theory of executive leadership. But you have become involved in a research project to develop one. Your objective in its development is to link the behaviors of leaders and managers. Your resulting theory might state, "leaders are the best part of managers" or "leaders are people-oriented managers." What does your theory state? Defend your theory with examples taken from your readings. You might give an example where you witnessed a manager focus on the people in the organization rather than on the problems at hand, or you might have seen a leader resist change rather than embrace it. Explain the event(s) and its effect on your theory development.

Remember, this is your opportunity to be creative. Be imaginative. Explore the possibilities. The objective is to exercise your creative thinking muscles while exploring the application of what you have learned in this module.

Professional Development

Describe some of the major approaches taken by researchers in the study of leadership.

Issues to Consider

Do you have the qualities to be a leader? What qualities of leadership do you lack or need to enhance?

Discussion

What are the differences between leaders and managers? Which would you be most comfortable being?

Solution Preview

How would you define leadership in terms of its relative functions and components? Have you been led by others and/or have you been a leader? Was your experience positive or negative?

Leadership is defined as the ability to lead and inspire people towards a common goal. This quality is very important because it can determine the success or failure of an organization. If the objectives and goals of the people are not aligned with the company's mission and vision, this will have detrimental impact on the financial bottom-line and eventual survivability of the company. However, if the people are dedicated and work together in the same direction as the organization, they will achieve more as a group and ensure the company's success (along with their individual accomplishments). A leader's role is to ensure that the people work together in such a way that it would benefit themselves and also the organization. This benefit would be in terms of financial compensation, personal growth, and the fulfillment of psychological and emotional needs. For the company, this benefit would be in the form of financial success, continued growth, and contribution to society.

Personal Experience

In the past I worked for a voice over IP company called Ocen Communication. There, I have encountered many corporate environments with different cultures and leadership styles. There are really a lot of factors that can influence what type of leadership that can be used. It's true that some principles are tried and tested, such as personal integrity and concern for other people. However, there are also some principles that are effective for some but not for all situations. In my first company, the leadership style was very autocratic. It was a startup company and most of the employees were fresh graduates. Due to lack of experience, the senior staff was inclined to direct all activities and schedule of their group. The junior staff didn't see this as a problem because they themselves were just starting to become familiar with their responsibilities and needed direction, even if it means being ordered around. As the company matured, and the junior staff became more experienced, the management started to let them participate in making small decisions. Some staff eventually got promoted and became team leaders. Their style adopted more and more of the participative leadership concepts, and their teams also started to contribute more. This is where I observed that leadership styles also evolve as an organization grows.
In another company I worked with, an outsourcing accounting firm, the leadership style was of the delegative sort. It was a large multinational company who employed a lot of experts in various fields. Because of the large number of employees, delegation was necessary. It seemed inevitable for management to allow some people to take full control of their teams, even if the trust level is not yet high. Eventually, ...

Solution Summary

1600+ words talk about the functions and components of leadership along with the Path-Goal theory of leadership.

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