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Organizational Change and Effective Leadership - Essay Example

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Good leadership is indispensable to the success of any organization. Leaders are responsible for settings direction, usually new direction and new properties, helping people understand and meet expectations, and motivating people to want to make 'it' happen despite sacrifices and difficulties that will occur…
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Organizational Change and Effective Leadership
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Organizational Change and Effective Leadership Good leadership is indispensable to the success of any organization. Leaders are responsible for settings direction, usually new direction and new properties, helping people understand and meet expectations, and motivating people to want to make 'it' happen despite sacrifices and difficulties that will occur. Put simply, the leader is the major driving force that directs the organization to its expected end.
It is irrefutable that the world business atmosphere is constantly changing necessitating leadership styles to cope with changes. It is argued that a lack of leadership is a major reason why organisational change efforts fail. This essay identifies specific leadership characteristics and skills which contribute in effectively facilitating organizational change in the business arena. It will specifically focus on the start-up phase or the introduction of changes. Examples will also be utilized to illustrate significant points further.
Changes happen to all organizations. However, many organisational changes fail to accomplish what they are meant to: they cost so much that their value is compromised; they take so long that opportunities are missed; or degenerate into chaos, leaving everyone discouraged and confused. What organisational change ultimately requires is that leaders develop not just new skills and knowledge but a whole new way of looking at things. Indeed, in today's organisations, without experiencing and successfully managing a difficult transition, no leader can be effective for very long. That suggests reinventing most models of leadership development. The best leadership development programs implicitly address the challenge of understanding change they are experiential, tailored, to the needs of the leader, and based on delivering real-world results.
The business arena is currently undergoing a modification in terms leadership styles. Most notable is the high acceptance of transformational as opposed to transactional leadership. The transactional leader works through creating clear structures whereby it is clear what is required of their subordinates, and the rewards that they get for following orders. In contrast, transformational leadership starts with the development of a vision, a view of the future that will excite and convert potential followers. They make continued efforts to motivate and rally their followers, constantly doing the rounds, listening, soothing and enthusing.
Transformational leadership is needed in the modification of business entities. One type of transformational leadership known as servant leadership is regarded as important in meeting organization changes. Servant leaders follow ten key principles which include listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community. Charismatic leaders, closely resembles the style of servant leadership. They use a wide range of methods to manage their image and, if they are not naturally charismatic, may practice assiduously at developing their skills. They may engender trust through visible self-sacrifice and taking personal risks in the name of their beliefs. Like servant leadership, they show great confidence in their followers. They are also very persuasive and make very effective use of body language as well as verbal language.
In any organizational change, a charismatic leader will be influential in shaping the new organization. A charismatic leader needs to set the company's directions by setting out goals and motivating its followers in attaining the established objectives. The charisma of the leader will significantly help in instilling a dose of motivation to other employees. Five distinct behavioural attributes of a charismatic leader includes vision and articulation, sensitivity to the environment, sensitivity to members' needs, personal risk taking, and performing unconventional behaviour. Thus, a charismatic leader always stands out and is able to win people through his charisma. This fact highly helps the leader in carrying out his agenda. It should be noted that it is relatively easier to convince people if the leader has enough charisma in influencing them. Winning the trust of the people is a key to having people confide in the decisions a leader make. Thus, propagating new changes in organization will not be a problem. It should be noted that in the start-up phase of organization change, winning the employees' confidence is an imperative. However, charisma is never enough to build competitive, agile organisations.
Jack Welch, the former chief executive officer of the General Electric (GE) is the most notable charismatic leader in history. His success as a manager is often attributed to his strong charisma. It can be recalled that Jack Welch has implemented organizational change in GE. Welch worked to streamline GE and make it a more competitive company. He also pushed the managers of the businesses he kept to become ever more productive. Jack Welch applied the charismatic leadership approach in running GE. He strongly collaborates with mid and lower level managers. He listens, lectures, cajoles, and questions to his subordinates. Like other charismatic leaders, he is admired and followed by GE's workforce because of his charm and grace. Jack Welch has irrefutably implemented organizational changes but was able to function efficiently by utilizing charismatic leadership.
Organizational changes always imply radical changes in an organization. This should be matched by a modification in leadership strategies. Charismatic leadership can be applied in order to overhaul existing organizational procedures. Read More
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