Sample Essay on Leadership and Governance

 Leadership and Governance


Leadership and governance are key aspects and drive the success of any entity that deals with any group of persons. In this context, these groups of people often rely on a few people in the leadership positions to provide essential direction in defining goals and working towards their realization. It is necessary for each organization to stimulate in their personnel the aspects of objective thinking with regards to leadership and governance. The stimuli should in fact focus on changing contexts of leadership on the whole as opposed to the traditional and local institutional 6systems in place. It is not possible to use the old models of leadership in incorporating modern day solutions to current challenges (Innovation Unit Stimulus Paper 1). This paper will discuss the theme of leadership and governance and how it is directly and indirectly linked to the aspects of organizational change and sustainability.

Leadership and Governance Defined

As a multifaceted dynamic aspect, leadership is considered as both adiscrete and shared responsibility. It is essentially expanding in nature hence demanding the involvement of every possible effort in creating opportunities and analyzing past practices with an aim of improving (Rosell 6). Effective leadership is a process that entails diverse activities which promote liberation of creative energy and challenge existing historical assumptions that do not impact positively. To be a good leader one must, therefore, strive to create conducive environment for professional growth, generosity and profitable exchange. In addition, leadership must also endeavor to create opportunities that can foster growth of fresh leaders who can sustain and propel the growth of the organization in future (Innovation Unit Stimulus Paper 2-3).

On the other hand, governance provides a platform through which the ground rules set in place are successfully executed. It is therefore a universal concept because it entails availing resources and setting necessary boundaries so as to ensure that things get done. Additionally, governance embraces patterns of interaction that have been tried, tested and trusted hence considered crucial in choosing efficient and legal means of achieving mutual goals (Innovation Unit Stimulus Paper 4).

Leadership and governance are essential virtues in every organization because they depict the potential and complexities of current and emerging arrangements in the organization. Both express the need for deliberate and cognizant approaches to new arrangements yet at the same time demonstrate how dynamically interdependent these elements are (Innovation Unit Stimulus Paper 6-7).

Systematic Leadership and Governance Approach

The systematic leadership and governance approach is initiated and sustained from governance aspects such as resource allocation, policy and regulatory levers as well as new accountability.  It is an approach rooted in deep collective commitments even though these commitments may be subject to alterations and continued by different personnel. In order for effective leadership to occur, systems thinking and system leadership must be put in place. Essentially, a leader should have deep knowledge about the system and recognize the building blocks that can build it and the vulnerabilities that can damage it. This approach ultimately takes into consideration the different yet interdependent functions of each department in an organization which can be used to work together in the pursuit of a common goal  (Innovation Unit Stimulus Paper 3, 5).

The entire fraternity of effective leadership drive the generation of a common vision towards a mutual goal. However, the main challenge in implementing a system leadership and governance approach is to convince all localities to accept the vision (Smith et al. 57). The approach recognizes the need to develop a vision that can accommodate the views and needs of divergent groups within the organization. Before implementing any radical changes within an organization that practices the system leadership and governance approach, every stakeholder including the employees must be sensitized concerning the changes and convinced to embrace them. This can prove to be quite challenging for an institution that lacks authoritative and systems leadership. Systems approach is unique in the sense that it recognizes the importance and potential in organizational interconnections hence seeks to push forward ideas in a different manner that can address the needs and interests of the system in its entirety (Innovation Unit Stimulus Paper 4).

Social Cognition Model in Leadership and Governance

This model is stemmed in the phenomenological perspective of organizations. According to the model, change is strongly linked to appropriateness and a reaction to differences in intellectual perceptions. This model divorces leadership from existing environmental need, developmental contest and the visions of a leader from organizational change arguing that this type of change comes from individuals arriving at points of cognitive difference and intellectual dissensions. This can be attributed to change in values and perceptions of what is fashionable. Yet the dissenting views drive the individuals to pursue and effect change in their organizations. The model further explains that there is a complex approach to sustainable change because change does not occur linearly or in set stages. In fact, change is a result of a series of complex yet interconnected cross cutting procedures and obstacles as well as diverse individuals. Organizational change achieved through this model is considered the new worldview (Kezar 44-45).

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Social cognition model also scrutinizes how leaders shape organizational change and progress by outlining and seeking comprehension of the different ways in which individuals construe and make sense of change within an organization. According to this model, it is not possible for leaders to objectively determine reactions to change yet they play an pivotal role in interpreting situations.  For the proponents of this model, the inconsistent nature of the environment which is ever evolving reduce its significance as force of change. On the other hand, learning is considered as essential for leadership and governance because both leaders and employees of an organization develop understanding of worldviews and their knowledge through the learning process. Organizational change is therefore propelled through such people (Kezar 45).

The Role of Systems Leadership and Governance in Transformational Change towards Sustainability

The strength and leadership qualities of the leaders are pertinent to realizing desired change in an organization. For the success and sustainability of initiatives leaders must believe in and take the most suitable measures. Additionally, these leaders must have the courage of predicting and implementing the right measures that guarantee the success of the organization (Adams 3). The leaders must also have moral conviction that is powerful enough to convince other members of the organization of their visions for organizational success. This is particularly important because most members in many organization prefer to follow the path chartered by a competent leader who believes in the sustainability of this path (Smith et al. 57). For many individuals, it is important to be a part of team that takes a path towards a successful and sustainable venture that can propel the organization forward. The leadership must take charge and ensure that the administrative requirements for implementing viable plans are put in place and that the leadership styles favor sustainable success (Benn 197).

In order to nurture globally fit leaders, every organization must seek to develop the necessary skills for personnel in leadership and governance positions to handle all global related concerns. In the pursuit for stability and success, leadership and governance structures must be in a position to recognize and handle the emerging problems in a global setting which is ever changing and complex in nature (Smith et al. 57). This can only be achieved through the adoption of new business approaches and a paradigm shift. In old leadership ad management styles, the managers may have been the principle decision makers in governance matters and drove motivation of the workers using economic security (Smith et al. 58). However, for leadership to really qualify as successful especially in attaining sustainable organizational change, it is necessary to for the leaders to embrace the organizational code of ethics and be aware of their roles in shaping humanity. Furthermore leaders must recognize and respects their followers because this is crucial in enforcing desired change (Smith et al. 58).

It is important for boards to understand the relevance of sustainability in the organization because they make decisions that are pertinent to achieving this (Adams 3). In addition the boards must also recognize the importance of all stakeholders of the organization and involve them accordingly so as to facilitate smooth processes of change in the organization. Boards must also be in a position to understand criticalissues such as business models, long-term achievements and ability to deliver on strategy to enable them make informed decisions. For success to be realized it is important for the board to acknowledge the strong links between organizational change and organizational strategy (Rosenthal 247- 248).

9At the heart of any sustainable cause, lies cultural change and leaders must focus on this aspect. The reason behind failure to realize objectives by many leaders lies in the failure to change key thought patterns, perspectives and conduct of an organization’s workforce (Rosell 6). Failures to modify viewpoints help to retain old decision making strategies and activities hence act as a hindrance to new changes. Restructuring programs must be accompanied hand in hand with modifications on organizational culture for success to be realized. Like in any community, every organization must have diverse personalities that help to shape the organizational behavior and culture and it is thus the responsibility of the leadership to ensure harmonization and coordination of activities amongst all employees (Harris & Crane 215, 217). As social beings and systems, individuals in an organization are bound to respond to environmental changes and this can create a particular pattern of association amongst them. Such patterns form the basis of organizational culture and gain in-depth acceptance over time which can be extremely difficult to alter.  Basic changes such as improvement of management systems and technology cannot alter deeply entrenched cultures  (Fokkema et al. 221). For successful renovation that is sustainable to occur, there is need for alterations in norms and values that are linked to an organization’s environment and its welfare.  This change is only possible if both managers and employees embrace the new values. Sustainability creates a need for a new form of governnace where different relationships are formed to effect changes. This calls for flow of feedback and open communication lines that ease the flow of information. This should especially focus on information concerning the environmental and socioeconomic effects that affect the relationships between the employees and the leaders in an organization (Greenleaf Publishing 71, 78).

The process of sustainability change and cultural transformation may create misconceptions by the employees leading to the belief that the new activities and processes being implemented are an intensification of their workload and not an enhancement of their skills. Proper leadership can avoid this by taking an integrated, consultative and participative approach that involves all the employees from the initial stages of organizational change as opposed to during the implementation stages only (Gollan 21).


The role of leadership and governance as a theme in realizing sustainable change in any organization cannot be overlooked. Managing change allows for continued regeneration of the cause of an organization and its ability to serve the dynamic needs of its clientele (Todnem 1). One key and successful management strategy that can efficiently and effectively address environmental concerns in sustainable change entails deploying techniques of managing these issues that go beyond supervisory compliance (Rosenthal 255). These techniques link quality, production and service to the leadership and management system. Additionally, it is important to adopt techno-economic paradigm that can assist in aligning  systems leadership and governance with gradual, yet essential cultural changes in terms of communal assertiveness and evolving environmental interests.

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