Concrete Experience and Reflective Observation
For almost 14 years of experience as a leader, I have managed to explore many various challenges and obstacles that arise in the way of managers and slow down the process of solving relevant organizational tasks. When I was appointed as a supervisory board member in 2005, it was hard for me to imagine that the performance of both individuals and the team as a whole depends on such numerous related factors. However, later on, while gaining experience and interacting with colleagues and subordinates, I learned much information about what nuances were inevitable in the work process and what phenomena required quick and responsible decisions from managers to ensure favorable working conditions. Today, 22 people are under my control. Based on personal experience, I can note that it is easier for me to coordinate the activities of such some employees than those of a few times fewer subordinates at the beginning of my career as a supervisor. Participation in various projects on developing leadership strategies and countermeasures to overcome intra-team conflicts allowed me to develop confidence and explore valuable techniques that could be effective.
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My first step related to current challenges that can be encountered in the process of organizational leadership is to identify the outcomes of working performance. Quite often, if I find that the productivity of certain procedures conducted by my subordinates decreases under the influence of particular factors, for instance, an insufficiently thought-out schedule, I try to correct a specific defect. In other words, actions are more effective than words, and if I do my best along with my colleagues, the probability of success is sure to be quite high, and the challenges determined will be solved.
My second step is the distribution of duties that are equal to the roles of subordinates and their abilities. If one employee does not cope with the tasks assigned to him or her, this can slow down the work of the whole team and create difficulties for solving the challenges. It is required to take into account the interests and talents of each employee in order to use the potentials with the greatest benefit and, at the same time, secure production against collapses. Therefore, preliminary analytical work devoted to the analysis and design of the objectives to eliminate problems is a prerequisite for organizational leadership.
Finally, project work within and outside the department is the step that helps me identify current challenges. When my colleagues from the supervisor team and I discover a problem that affects the workflow, we use all possible resources in order to find the optimal algorithm to fix it. For example, after the special training “Essentials of Leadership” in 2005, I began to understand better the importance of interacting with colleagues for solving and eliminating those issues that could have a potentially negative effect on production. In addition, I believe that the motivational activity stimulating subordinates for individual initiatives that I promote contributes to accelerating the overcoming of various barriers and obstacles. Therefore, I consider such methods relevant in the context of the outcome under consideration.
Theories and Principles/Abstract Conceptualization
Organizational leadership is a set of strategies that are aimed at creating productive conditions for the optimal solution to current problems. However, in the process of their activity, managers may encounter obstacles that arise on the basis of ethical, professional, and other disagreements. Therefore, it is essential to take into account specific theories that allow coping with these issues or finding ways of avoiding them.
One of the successful approaches that may be utilized is well-implemented transformational leadership. According to Johnson (2017), it allows creating a working environment that minimizes the tensions caused by ethical disagreements. Conflicts on the basis of different cultural, ethnic, and other backgrounds can be a significant challenge for employees’ productive activities. Therefore, correct adaptation to current conditions and adjustment of the working mode contribute to eliminating such an obstacle.
Another principle that implies using personal strengths to identify troubleshooting is the trait theory. As Meuser et al. (2016) note, this methodology allows adjusting individual experience and knowledge to current working conditions to identify gaps in management. For example, if a leader cannot control one group of subordinates, it is important for him or her to apply for personal strengths to involve employees in the work process and earn authority.
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Finally, the approach that involves clear and tough actions to identify problems is extreme leadership. Johnson (2017) argues that this methodology is relevant when a manager has stamina and is ready to respond to any difficulties, regardless of their background. Moral and ethical conflicts, the lack of authority, subordinates’ indifference, a failure to comply with job descriptions, and other problems can be solved through this approach.
Since challenges are inevitable, it is crucial to identify them at an early stage and take relevant measures to eliminate them. Specific leadership theories may be helpful in overcoming obstacles related to moral, ethical, professional, and other issues, which is an urgent task. Close contact with subordinates is one of the most significant success factors and contributes to strengthening the role of a respected manager.
Testing and Application/Active Experimentation
With regard to my personal practice as a leader, I see the first theory as a tool for adapting to the dynamic conditions of the group. My subordinates have a different cultural background, and I strive to ensure that conflicts on this basis do not interfere with a common goal. The second theory allows me to understand better which problems have the greatest impact on the work process due to changes in behavioral habits and the redistribution of duties. Finally, I rarely use the third approach, which is extreme leadership, but in some cases, when rapid response and solutions are required, I mobilize all resources to increase productivity quickly and decisively.
Johnson, C. E. (2017). Meeting the ethical challenges of leadership: Casting light or shadow (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Meuser, J. D., Gardner, W. L., Dinh, J. E., Hu, J., Liden, R. C., & Lord, R. G. (2016). A network analysis of leadership theory: The infancy of integration. Journal of Management, 42(5), 1374-1403. Web.