Leaders within an organization have the role of ensuring human and physical resources in the organization has been managed effectively and effectively. They have the power to plan, control, and implement strategies that yield high results in an organization. The main difference between effective and ineffective leadership is how either uses power, play organizational politics, network, and negotiate for better terms for their organization (Hannay 12-67). This paper discusses, leadership power, involvement in politics, networking systems, and negations; it will discuss the above topics using examples of international companies.
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Power can be defined as the influence that managers have towards their subordinates that make them perform and meet the organizational goals, mission, and vision; power is the driving force in an organization and how well the power is put in use determines whether an organization will be competitive in a contemporary changing business environment or not. When someone has power, he poses some potential influence over his followers; to exercise the power, it does not mean the physical use of energy to make this work, however, the perception that the leader has the power of influence is enough to control and make things move in the organization. After enacting a certain project or strategy, what makes employees work and comply with the demands of the strategy is the power behind the strategy; leadership power.
In formal organizations, there are two main sources of power; positional power and personal power. Positional power is offered by the structure where positions with different mandates and powers are divided into the organization. The top management or the board of directors is expected to be having the overall power of which they delegate to the people down the ladder. For example, at Apple Inc., the company has a formalized structure where the topmost person is the chief executive officer (Steve Jobs) has the overall power in the organization but exercises the power via the different heads of departments like human resources head, research and development head among others. When delegating the powers, the extent that the power is delegated defined by the structure and definition of duties (Muller, MacLean, and Biggs 34).
Personal power comes with charismatic leaders; they are people that can command followership either in formal or informal settings, they find they are controlling a certain number of people who are willing to be guided and follow the advice offered by the leader. In organizations that are able to establish the leadership traits in their employees have been able to combine a personal source of power with positional sources of power for the good of the organization. For example, Wal-Mart’s West President, Michael Bender combines both charismatic sources of power and positional power sources.
Power determines the influence that leaders have in an organization, when the power is well utilized, then management is able to develop effective communication strategies in the organization and create a positive organizational culture that embraces change and creates a favorable room for creativity, invention, and invention (DeRue and Susan 627-640).
Within and without an organization, leaders need to enact policies and strategies that can assist in networking of different organizations or people; the idea behind networking is maintaining a chain of the process where there is interdependence with the main aim of effective production. When a leader has effective networks with the organization, the result is satisfied employees, job satisfaction, and enhances performance in a certain sector; management experts or scholars have argued that to have continuous learning within an organization, then there should be adequate networking. On the other hand, when an organization has good organizational learning, then the chance of creativity, invention, and innovativeness are high.
Other than in the internal structure, an organization needs to network with other organizations for mutual benefits; this takes the form of strategic alliances, mergers, and sometimes acquisitions. The main role of this is to ensure that the company has strategic alliances that work for the benefit of the organization. for example, Starbucks Coffer outlets have enacted a number of networks with their suppliers in different countries like the East African community countries like Kenya and Uganda to ensure that it has an adequate supply of coffee beans throughout all seasons. The networks by the company have seen it enjoy a supply of high-quality coffee beans and it has maintained leadership in the industry because of the quality products it offers to its customers (Crother-Laurin 4)
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In certain situations, management needs to consult, interpolate, and analyze different situations with their subordinates; the discussions may in conflict management or as a way to get their input in a certain decision that the company wants to make. The discussion is in the form of negotiations were using the interaction and difference in views, the best approach to a certain issue is developed. Other than in the internal operations, leaders find themselves negotiating with other firms may it be suppliers, buyers, or other stakeholders for the best deal.
Leaders should have the self-drive, emotional intelligence, and appropriate business skills to engage in negotiations whose final verdict benefits the organization. For example, Wal-mart stores are able to keep their prices lower than those of its competitors are because it is a strong negotiator, it is able to get products at relatively lower costs than the case with other players. To do this the company uses skills like economies of scales, price, and cost management tools among others (Harold and Michael 56-123).
Every organization has some politics that are unique and tends to influence the direction that the organization takes; politics are to a high degree influenced by organizational culture, organizational structure and communication approaches in the firm. When a leader is aiming for a certain position, the organizational structure has the pathway that the person can use to get the position, in organizations that are well structure and reward performance, climbing up an organization ladder is solely on the performance and the capability of the employee.
Leaders need to understand their employees so that they can learn their behavior and the way it is influenced by politics within. Competition for power is likely to bring personal conflicts that hinder the attainment of corporate goals and objectives. Leaders should ensure that the policies of gaining power are well documented and those people who meet the qualifications can be accorded the power they deserve in the organization, lobbying should be avoided (Bruce, Myron and James 12-78).
Recommendation for an effective combination of power, politics, negotiation, and networking
Leaders have the role of creating an enabling environment that ensures that things are done, employees are motivated, and their talents have been effectively established, tapped, and used for the good of the organization. To attain this role in the spheres of politics, power, negotiation, and networking, the initial stage should be understanding of the prevailing environment or situation by leaders.
When deployed in a certain position, leaders should take their time, analyze how things are, internal and external environment, and then come up with the best approach to manage the dynamics prevailing in the organization. Leaders should enact policies that facilitate the building of effective teams, and maintaining respect in the teams. To know the team members, the leader should engage them in different activities that yield to the good of the company (Lussier and Achua 108-123).
For example, to be able to grow leaders, and establishing charismatic leaders, organization should be having occasional team building activities where they engage in activities that assist in building team spirit and facilitating communication in the firm.
In the fast-changing business world, the management of a company should assume the responsibility of training, mentoring, and coaching their leaders on current emergences and needs of contemporary business environments. They should pay for management guru’s seminars and training sessions to ensure that they are up to date with what is happening on the ground. On the other hand, leaders should take the personal initiative to update themselves with what is going on in management spheres; this will help them improve their skills (Armstrong 12-34)
Leaders have the role of enacting strategies that make their business effective and competitive in the changing business world; they have the role of using their power, negotiation skills, and networking skills for the good of their organization. To ensure that they remain effective and make responsive decisions leaders need to keep themselves informed with current happenings in contemporary business environments.
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Lussier, Robert, and Achua Christopher. Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development. New York: Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.
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