It is important to understand what a leader is because it equips an individual to become a better leader and also makes an individual obey authority. A leader is a visionary meaning that they guide teams to wards achieving common goals. A leader is a problem solver because he understands the dynamics of the team and knows how to solve the problems of each member. The leader is a team builder because he knows the strengths of each team member and knows the best place to use each skills. A leader is a source of inspiration to the rest of the team members although it is also good to challenge the leader.
What is a leader? What is a manager?
According to week 2 lesson, a manager oversees daily tasks to make sure that they are met to reach the greater objectives of the organization. A leader on the other hand adds brand new value, motivates, and inspires people to accomplish objectives, even if challenging the way things are done is necessary.
What were the most interesting parts that you will be able to apply to a work environment?
Working under a leader who does not empathize with the situation of the team is one of the biggest challenges that a team player can face. Sometimes, it is never possible to find people with equal potential in a team. Some individuals have more potential than others and others are talented differently. A leader who is empathetic with the situation of the team members and cares about what each team member is going through is an example of a good leader. Sometimes, not all individuals can be leaders. Whereas others can be managers, not everyone can make a good leader.
All that a manager requires to do is to oversee that the day to day activities of an organization are well conducted. That implies that every worker has to comply with the set guidelines that are formulated by the HR department. For example, coming to work late is against the policy of the company at all times. That is why it is imperative that a manager ensures that all workers are early to go to their places of work. However, a leader does not care about team members who report to work late. All a leader is concerned about is the attitude of the team member.
Leaders make life simple for people and reduce the amount of pressure that faces employees in the workplace. () indicates that a good leader will take all the necessary steps to ensure that workers finish tasks easily. A leader does not see the challenge in a given situation, but sees the solution in a given context. A leader allows the rest of the team to change their mindset and have a positive outlook at life. Thus, leaders are valuable assets compared to managers, but it is also good to have managers who have overrun traits with those of leaders. Then the workplace becomes such a wonderful place to continue working and job satisfaction is easy to achieve.
What does it mean when we talk about the leader as a visionary?
When it comes to leaders getting to dream and then passing their dreams to their juniors then the same thing that happens to organizations like Microsoft comes into mind. A leader is a visionary because they sell a dream to people who dedicate their time to solving that dream. At the end of the day, the leader acts as a guidance and the juniors execute the work of achieving the dream. Most leaders do not do the work that the rest of the team do, because their work is only to sell the vision whereas the rest of the team is to execute the dream. Therefore, leaders as visionaries simply sell their ideas to the juniors and the juniors take up the work of implementing the vision (Ateş, Tarakci, Porck, van Knippenberg & Groenen, 2018).
A good example of a leader as a visionary is Microsoft CEO and founder Bill Gates who has sold the dream of Microsoft to many junior employees working for Microsoft Inc. All these people have seen the vision of Bill Gates and that is one reason that they are a part of the corporation. It is not possible to work under a visionary leader if it is not possible to share with his vision. Thus a part of working under a visionary leader is looking at some of the things that they do and copying them into personal lives. Otherwise it is not possible to work under a leader whereas one does not represent the culture that the leader stands for (Ateş, Tarakci, Porck, van Knippenberg & Groenen, 2018).
Some of the theories that are discussed in week 1 such as Great Man theory, Situational theory, behavioral theory, functional theory and relationship theory back up this idea. For example, the relationship theory states that both leaders and followers are motivated and energized to accomplish common goals through their relationship and interaction with each other. In that case transformational leaders such as Bill Gates have visions that compel followers into action. Thus, the leader does not necessarily have to be present to stir up an action in a follower. The follower takes it upon themselves to step into action due to compulsion by the charismatic leader (Ateş, Tarakci, Porck, van Knippenberg & Groenen, 2018).
What does it mean when we talk about the leader as a problem solver?
It is not possible to imagine effective leaders who are not problem solvers, because effective leaders are faced with difficult situations. They are also faced by seemingly impossible circumstances, but they still prevail despite those tough circumstances. These effective leaders prevail because they are able to identify challenges within the context of their environments, whether those issues are external or internal to an organization. They are also able to consider additional external factors when they developed solutions. These leaders also possess excellent prioritization skills because there are usually many challenges that are facing them at a given time (Visone, 2018).
When it comes to solving problems, leaders have to be aware of the most important and most deserving of their attention at a given moment. Effective leaders at problem solving are able to prioritize which problems need to be solved first, manage their time effectively, delegate duties and tasks to other people and manage crisis when they occur. When prioritizing, leaders must evaluate which problems are the most important so that they can address those problems first. Time management involves managing time effectively, dedicating necessary effort and resources to addressing issues, despite the surmounting amount of work faced. When delegating, leaders must entrust work tasks to others for completion in order to effectively achieve goals. In crisis management, leaders must engage unexpected, emergency situations that require immediate attention (crises) and, hopefully, will resolve priority issues before they are so severe that they have created a crisis (Visone, 2018).
What does it mean when we talk about the leader as a team builder?
To achieve success and attain set objectives and goals most of the time it is important to have teams. Todays working environment is characterized by team development as a means of accomplishing goals because collaboration of individuals can produce outstanding results. Therefore, the increasing popularity of teams need leaders to be effective team builders and team developers. It is thus important to understand the challenges that faces teams today and tomorrow (van der Haar, Koeslag-Kreunen, Euwe & Segers, 2017).
It is crystal clear that leaders need to be able to influence and motivate people to work together to accomplish goals. Organizations are increasingly employing work teams as an effective means of utilizing employee talent and increasing employee motivation. All the same there are still challenges that are presented in fostering effective teams as a means of achieving strategic objectives. Leader thus play a role in creating these effective teams through thorough understanding of developmental stages and challenges faced by teams (van der Haar, Koeslag-Kreunen, Euwe & Segers, 2017).
When leaders are well aware of the stages of development that groups experience on their way to becoming high performing teams, they are better placed to make teams. There are five stages of group formation that have been referenced from a research from Bruce Tuckman (1965). A team must go through each of the five stages of development so that it can become a high-performance team. As long as a team must successfully go through these five stages of group formation, then it can rise to become on of the most effective teams. The five stages are forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning (van der Haar, Koeslag-Kreunen, Euwe & Segers, 2017).
A leader is an instrumental part of an organization due to many reasons, first he acts as a visionary. He is a charismatic person who inspires other people to take action towards achieving a specific goal or objective. Secondly, a leader is a problem solver who is able to use his skills to prioritize which problem deserves attention first. Thirdly, a leader is a team developer who helps in team formulation and development. A great leader is able to motivate individuals to achieve organizational goals and achieve personal success. Thus, a leader is a vital aspect of an organization and a part of individuals personal lives.
Ateş, N., Tarakci, M., Porck, J., van Knippenberg, D., & Groenen, P. (2018). The Dark Side of Visionary Leadership in Strategy Implementation: Strategic Alignment, Strategic Consensus, and Commitment. Journal of Management, 46(5), 637-665. doi: 10.1177/0149206318811567
van der Haar, S., Koeslag-Kreunen, M., Euwe, E., & Segers, M. (2017). Team Leader Structuring for Team Effectiveness and Team Learning in Command-and-Control Teams. Small Group Research, 48(2), 215-248. doi: 10.1177/1046496417689897
Visone, J. (2018). The Development of Problem-Solving Skills for Aspiring Educational Leaders. Journal of Leadership Education, 17(4), 35-53. doi: 10.12806/v17/i4/r3