24 May Leadership: The Unsolved Rubik
Leadership has been in existence since creation. God gave man the mandate to lead and have dominion over creatures and oversee to their well-being. Technically therefore, every human being has the instinct to lead in one capacity or the other.
“Why do leaders fail? Why does leadership seem like a difficult task? Why does it seem like some people find it very easy to handle leadership roles and some people fail at it, why do some people start very well and end up as bad leaders? The questions continue to ring in the minds of people”
We have read success stories of great leaders with exemplary leadership traits, which they have exhibited in their organisations and how they have gained grounds in and outside their countries. Business leaders like Jeff Bezos the C.E.O amazon.com, who has changed the face of online shopping globally in the last few years. Jeff started with a few members of staff and now he has employees in almost all countries of the world, this can be attributed to his organisational leadership style. With his excellent leadership skills, his organisation has become one of the most recognised online shopping malls in the world.
A leader can be likened to a chef who has to prepare a delicious meal and uses several ingredients to get the job done. With appropriate use of the ingredients the meal will be delicious, however using the ingredients in a wrong quantity and order results in bad food.
The answers to this questions lies within us, knowing the difference between a leader and a manager answers the question. People confuse the two, a leader and a manager.
Here are the problems facing leadership in organisation’s (by John T. Williams)
“Me” Versus “We”– Companies operate in a global economy. That means an expanded lot of potential customers and competition. Organisation’s link to internal team members and external suppliers, associates and allies, whether the permanent or temporary, from anywhere at any time. A focus on collaboration advances a company further than focusing on competition, yet much of today’s leadership grooming concentrates on what the individual can accomplish on their own. Leadership direction in companies needs to focus less on a singular leader who rallies the troops to win the battle, and more on a coach or mentor that directs and encourage a team and helps to advance the company.
Faulty Assumptions: The lone boss can operate under flawed notions that can hinder a team or company if left unchecked, especially if executives promote individuals based primarily on skills experience or expertise. Newly promoted personnel conclude those skills will convert directly into management expertise, or that their expertise is the most important aspect of their new job. They may focus on the work and search for simple, logical solutions to problems, ignoring the personal aspects of management. They may also assume that employees and team members possess similar levels of technical competence, or similar work styles, and fail to adequately take charge of the staff or direct the work flow.
Confronting Challenges: Executives faced with internal or external talent searches to fill management vacancies may exacerbate the problem by paying too much attention to ideal leadership attributes in their managers that reflect what they want the corporate culture to convey, rather than finding people to match the issues facing the company, Executives must start with the corporate strategy, ensure it answers the primary challenges facing the company, and then look for managers who can take charge of groups to confront those challenges.
Attitude Issues: Beyond skill sets, the attitude a manager brings to the workplace influences team productivity. Attitude problems include out-of-control emotions, being too cheerful or too dejected to match the actual event or putting off decisions and frequently hiding behind too much analysis and planning. Managers can also fail to understand the personalities of team members, taking a one-size-fits-all approach to handling staff. One example of a problem personality is the autocrat: a person who insists on total control over the entire environment, from personnel to projects, barking out orders and insisting on immediate compliance, with no second guessing. This manager is not above using fear to get his wishes getting realised.
Communication Concerns: Personality issues spill over into communications, and if people don’t convey information appropriately, work stall. Managers in a position to direct communication traffic can block flow by avoiding conversations if they deem it too uncomfortable, or close themselves off to feedback. Conversely, they can fail to realize different people need different content directed through different channels. So, they may use jargon that clouds the issue or they talk too much, smothering staff with too much information. For example, autocrats tend to dominate every conversation and workers are unable to reply to demands. They make statements rather than ask questions, assert their assumptions and opinions as fact, and they see things in black and white rather than in neutral shades of grey.