Understanding leadership, specific approaches to it, and the relationship with followers is crucial for developing characteristics that enable efficient work. For instance, executives may apply employee rewards and punishment to encourage or discourage certain behaviors, which affect the efficiency of daily operations. In addition, it is essential to understand the relationship with the external components, which affect employees. This paper aims to summarize the fundamental theories and concepts that explain leaders and their behavior in an organizational environment.
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The first week focuses on providing an understanding of leadership as a concept. The first step to acknowledging the importance of this factor is in outlining the difference between a manager and a leader. While the two can often be confused because their work objective is similar, the distinct features of leadership are what helps organizations grow and develop. An executive in any company may possess the following factors – power, authority, and motivation influence. Each of these affects the personnel and predetermines the approaches to leadership.
The exciting aspect about this week is the impact that executives can have a critical role in enabling the efficiency of operations for an establishment. They are cable of accomplishing things that managers would be unable to do, although the latter can gain specific skills and competencies to become a good leader. Cultler (2014) presented the history of approaches for guiding organizations to underline the importance of developing specific traits that would enable one to manage people properly. The author states that leaders existed and were acknowledged long before extensive studies on the subject emerged.
One example is Lao Tzu, who researched and outlined the connection that followers and leaders have (Cutler, 2014). This provides an understanding that any social environment requires competent people who know how to set goals, communicate those with others, and achieve the targets.
In modern times, both for-profit and non-profit organizations look for employees who have certain traits and behaviors that enable effectiveness and success. For instance, Porath (2015) states that establishing a respectful and trustful relationship with followers is crucial because it affects the efficiency of work. The author researches the relationship between leaders’ behaviors and their impact on followers, which helps broaden the understanding of the matter.
The focus of the second week is on supportive leadership as the best approach, which enables efficiency. Additionally, the learning material provides more context into the difference between leaders and managers, which enhances the understanding of the benefit that adequate leadership has on organizations and the people they employ. Additionally, this week provided a clear understanding of how to identify and solve problems, which is crucial for executives to make certain that staff members can carry out their day-to-day tasks.
Interesting factors include skills, traits, and power sources that contribute to successful, supportive leadership. According to Cutler (2014), this approach is based on the path-goal theory, with the main focus on ensuring that employees are not stressed due to work conditions. The author states that workplaces that apply this approach have clear and simple tasks but lack authority and may have improper teamwork. Therefore, the primary goal is to impact the psychological state of the company’s personal and use various intrinsic factors that motivate individuals to work better. For instance, a leader may apply good listening skills to enhance communication within the company, which would affect the desire to perform tasks efficiently.
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Further understanding of these is provided by Deckers (2018), who states that intrinsic factors are more complicated because they are connected to a person’s wishes, for instance, to gain competence or excel in a particular field. The author’s work presents an extensive explanation of various motivational factors. In conclusion, a supportive leader can apply his or her competencies to enable this and help the personnel.
The following week explores a different approach to leadership, which is directive. According to Cutler (2014), such individuals have clear goals and tasks, which should result in employees following the directions. Directive leaders do not need to be authoritarian because they can benefit organizations by providing them with guidance and structure of tasks that should be performed to achieve a goal cohesively. Therefore, employees can be more satisfied with their company because of lower stress levels and good performance. One should be confident, have professional competence, excellent communication skills, and have an expert, legitimate, and resource power to become a directional leader.
This leadership approach is interesting because it sets a clear frame of expectations in regards to what the staff members of a company should do to succeed. However, some adverse effects emerge as a result of this method, for instance, Cutler (2014) states that in companies that use directive leadership, tasks can be tedious, which may result in demotivation. While the employees can perform well in group tasks, they would experience uncertainty when decisions have to be made individually.
This is substantiated by Lukowski (2017) because the author emphasizes that method limits creativity significantly; his work presents more insight into the particular components of this leadership approach. Considering this data, one can conclude that this method should be applied by establishments that employ inexperienced individuals who require directions for performing work.
The fourth week emphasizes the traits of participative leadership and its effect on organizations. The primary idea behind this approach is that an executive should interact with his employees before implementing and initiatives within a company. This method emphasizes the connection between leaders and flowers and implies that employees should participate in the process of changing practices in an organization.
According to Wu (2013), “managers can adapt to their employee’s ways of thinking, which allows them to participate in the decision-making and management of the organization” (p. 433). The author states that a lot of companies choose this approach because it can enhance motivation.
An exciting component of this week’s discussion is emotional intelligence, the ways in which executives can leverage it in their work. For instance, being self-aware is crucial to understand other’s emotions and motivation (“The behind-the-scenes impact of emotional intelligence,” 2018). Similar to the leadership styles discussed above, participative leadership has several adverse effects. Firstly, the tasks can be complicated and unstructured, making them difficult to perform for inexperienced employees (Antonakis & Day, 2018). The authors provide a useful framework for understanding this style.
According to Antonakis and Day (2018), the effect of authority is mitigated, thus making it unclear because each can voice his or her opinion regarding specific issues and solutions. Finally, the decision-making process can be overly long due to a need for consulting employees and achieving consensus. It can be concluded that in environments where individuals have a lot of work experience, they possess the information necessary to make particular decisions, and where the formal authority of an executive is weak participative leadership can be applied.
The next week discusses the rewards and punishments that can have both positive and negative impacts on individuals and ways in which leaders can use them. The most critical component of the week’s discussion is the adverse impact that improper administration of rewards can have on people’s motivation. Additionally, it is crucial to understand that managers can modify the behavior of the employees by applying punishments, which would result in a decreased number of adverse actions.
The exciting aspect of this week’s material is the fact that rewards do not always increase one’s work efficiency. According to Gurek, Lauer, and Scheuermann (2015), “leaders possess the power to administer positive and negative incentives to followers.” It is evident that one has to carefully select rewards and punishments while considering prospective consequences. Storey (2011) embassies the need for fair rewards in a workplace because those can enhance people’s ability to focus on the task and perform them well. However, in cases where employees do not understand the purpose and reasoning behind particular actions of their leader, the process’s outcomes can be adverse.
Another important aspect that should be noted is that rewards do not necessarily mean monetary bonuses. This is another aspect that a leader should know and communicate with his followers. For instance, opportunities for developing one’s skills and knowledge can be more motivating than typically applied approaches (Gurek, Lauer, & Scheuermann, 2015). Overall, the author’s work provided an understanding that an executive can influence the behavior of his employees through rewards, which would lead to an increase in the number of specific actions.
The exciting component that the sixths week emphasizes is boundary-spanning leadership. In general, the term describes behaviors of a manager such as communication with upper management, processing and communicate valuable information, and frame alignment (Cutler, 2014). A leader should be able to define boundaries, respond to external challenges, obtain resources for his or her team, and resolve conflict both within an organization and outside of it. Therefore, a leader serves as a link with the external environment, other departments, and managers, which allows the staff members to focus on essential tasks.
There are several roles that a leader may play within the company to ensure efficient boundary spanning. This component is necessary for establishments that operate using independent teams. Additionally, in cases when employees have to work in uncertainty, this leadership approach can help mitigate adverse influences. According to Van Meerkerk and Edelenbos (2018), leaders that can successfully use the discussed approach are necessary for establishments because they can connect the organization’s operations with its environment. This behavior results in the development of sustainable connections.
This enables the creation of a trustful environment both within a team and outside of it. Van Meerkerk and Edelenbos (2018) state that critical factors that impact boundary spanning are an organization’s characteristics, leader’s behaviors, and personal networks, which helps broaden the understanding of the issue. This article outlines the component as a necessary part of effective leadership because it provides a connection between the external forces that affect a team and its internal environment.
The final week’s materials present the importance of followership and its impact on the overall success of an organization. Although it is crucial to hire leaders who understand their responsibilities and can apply concepts discussed in previous weeks, it is also necessary to ensure that the employees are capable of taking advantage of them. This is the essential component of the discussion because it provides an understanding of the fact that although competent executives are capable of achieving their goals, they should be surrounded by an efficient team.
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Followership is an appealing concept because it provides an understanding of factors that impact a decision to listen to a particular leader and adhere to his or her recommendations. According to Antonakis and Day (2018), there are various categories of followers, each requires a different management approach. Their work provides an understanding that it is crucial for the employees to have a good knowledge of their job and perform daily tasks without close supervision. Additionally, they should demonstrate the ability to communicate their vision and ideas and collaborate with others. Cutler (2014) highlights goal setting as another necessary component that distinguishes effective followership. Understanding the factors that impact followers provides crucial insight into effective leadership.
Overall, this paper summarized the basic components that affect the relationship between a leader and followers in a company. It is crucial to understand the difference between a manager and a leader, as the latter has a more significant influence on the employees. In addition, one should choose an adequate approach to task distribution and communication with employees. For instance, the directional method can be used in companies that have inexperienced employees, while supportive leadership is helpful in stressful environments.
The meaning of the followers and their competencies affects the outcomes of the work as well and should be considered by leaders. The materials presented here would help me lead as they provide an explicit explanation of approaches that can be applied in different work environments.
Antonakis, J., & Day, D. V. (Eds.). (2018). The nature of leadership (3rd ed.). Thoudand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Deckers, L. (2018). Motivation: Biological, psychological, and environmental (5th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Gurek, O., Lauer, T., Scheuermann, M. (2015). Leadership with individual rewards and punishments: Do incentives reinforce leading by example? Web.
Lukowski, W. (2017). The impact of leadership styles on innovation management. Marketing of scientific and Research Organizations, 24(2), 105-136.
Porath, C. (2015). The leadership behavior that’s most important to employees. Harvard Business Review. Web.
Storey, J. (2011). Leadership in organizations: Current issues and key trends. New York, NY: Routledge.
The behind-the-scenes impact of emotional intelligence. (2018). Web.
van Meerkerk, I., & Edelenbos, J. (2018). Facilitating conditions for boundary-spanning behaviour in governance networks. Public Management Review, 20(4), 503-524. Web.
Wu, B. (2013). New theory on leadership management science. Oxford, United Kingdom: Biohealthcare Publishing.