Leadership and management training is very essential for successful organization. This is because the future of any firm is too important to leave to chance. Strong leadership and management in an organization form the backbone of successful organization operations. While leaders are required to motivate and inspire the organization workforce, the managers are tasked with planning, organizing, coordinating, leading and directing how the organizational projects will be carried out. All these important functions by leader s and managers require training and support to maximize their effectiveness. The modern challenging business world requires extensive training and development of skills by management to ensure competitiveness in the organization (Northouse, 2012).
The effectiveness of a leader or a manager in an organization is greatly affected by the organizations culture, visions and aims. Although a person may have all the traits associated with good and effective leadership, an organization may have culture, aims and objectives that make it difficult to practice such traits. It is always important to have leadership skills that match organizational visions and aims. Every organization has its mission, vision, aims and objectives and plays a significant role in developing leadership and management skills (Abeysinghe, 2009).
For instance, organizations have values and norms that dictate what and how things should be done in such organizations. Financial organizational objectives vary from one organization to another. This calls for leaders and managers of the different organizations to have skills that match the organizational objectives. If the organization has great concern in increasing finances rather than customer satisfaction, then the organization leaderships must strive to learn traits that will help gather more finances for the organization. Leaders and managers must be result oriented and must enhance e their skills in such fields. The organization expects results from the leaders and this call for them to direct their energies towards effective activities that will help organization achieve its financial objectives.
Organizations may at times have a vision of being customer focused. Customer focus calls for leaders who have the capability of understanding their customers and act to their satisfaction. Understanding customer needs will help organization get the best results for the overall success of an organization. Failure by the organization to know its customers and what they need can be very detrimental to the overall success of the organization. Leaders should be trained on the effective ways through which they can understand the organizations customers and what they need. The leaders should be trained how to gather information from customers through interviews and questionnaires. Traits of effective communication and listening skills should be developed for effective leadership.
Other organizations are product focused. Under such circumstances, the organization objective is to provide a certain quality of products. Leaders in such organizations must be well equipped with traits that will help the organization achieve such objectives. This call for visionary leaders who make the followers to understand what is exactly needed in an organization. Leaders must create a vivid picture in the minds of the subordinates of what the organization expects in terms of product. The leaders must have skills on how to instill the company’s vision to the subordinates. The leaders must also strive to motivate and inspire the followers to produce products that will satisfy their customers.
It is also important to understand that every organization must by law have policy in place. There must be a regulatory framework that guides the operations within an organization. Such frameworks may have great impacts on the role of leadership and management in an organization. Laws regarding diversity, equality and discrimination must be described on how the organization implements such policies. The legal status of your organization may greatly affect the leadership style within an organization. For instance, where there strict laws on equity and discrimination, leaders may be hinder from getting work done through others as some would sue for discrimination. This calls for more training on the leaders to ensure that their leadership is in accordance with the legal framework.
Leadership and management have for a long time been used interchangeably in the business world. However, it is important to understand the two concepts are very distinct both in meaning and application. For one to be a good manager, one must understand what it takes to be a great leader. Leadership is one of the major roles of management which also include organizing, planning and directing. Both leadership and management are associated with different skills, competencies, behaviors and attitudes associated with their effectiveness. These skills are improved through a never ending process of training, learning, practice and experience.
For instance, one of the major characteristic of a manager is very basic in the sense that they are people given authority by nature of their role. They have the obligation of ensuring that things get done and are always focused on their day to day tasks as well as manage the activities of others. Managers are expected to have skills that will enable them carry out tactical activities in a directive and controlling approach. The tactical approach in management is a very important characteristic in management especially the modern dynamic business world. Ability to organize people with an objective f achieving organizational objective remains a great asset for organizational success.
Leaders are quite different from managers and thus make their characteristics to be also very distinct. The major distinction is that while managers are expected to direct others through tasks, leaders are expected to motivate and inspire employees to drive themselves. Leaders have art of emotional intelligence and they apply it in a way that it attains the best out of the employees. It is important to understand that while management is more of a science, leadership is more of an art.
Though the managers receive their authority based on their role, it important to understand that leaders’ authority is innate in approach. It is also noteworthy to understand that leadership skills are difficult to learn as compared to management skills since they are more behavioral in nature. Building new characteristics of leader is very difficult and challenging to managers.
One of the major characteristic of a good leader is the ability to be focused on change. This plays a great role in the success of an organization. Being able to lead their teams through change management, rather than manage them through it has infinite rewards. This makes a very important leadership characteristic.
It is important to understand that both leadership and management should be carried out together. As it is well known, leadership is doing the right thing while management is doing things right and this calls for the two to work together. Inability to demonstrate both leadership and management skills will be very detrimental to the achieving organizational objectives. On the other hand, good management skills with no leadership skills will hinder employee motivation thus leading to decreased results. Being able to blend these two styles is truly a paramount skill set. Remember there are an abundance of managers in the world but very few truly embody the characteristics of a leader. Embodying the two characteristics is very essential in ensuring competencies in the success of an organization.
The management and leadership roles in an organization are also determined to a great level by the personal skills possessed by such people. Effective leaders and managers must have certain distinct skills that will help achieve desired results in an organization. For instance, a leader is expected to have a skill of thinking strategically. The leader is obligated o have the vision of the organization at heart and have a road map to implementing the vision (Ghuman & Aswathappa, 2010).
Leaders and managers are also expected to have effective communication skills. There is always need for communication in an organization if success is to be achieved. Conflict resolution as well as communication of the organizations objectives and vision can only be communicated by those leaders with effective communication skills. The communication will also enable continuous feedback as well as skills audit in an organization.
2.0 Development opportunities
Leaders and managers in different organizations are always striving to develop their skills and competencies in their work. There has been several development opportunities offered by the modern business model. The dynamics in the modern economy has also made it essential for managers and leaders to develop their skills so that they can maintain the expected levels of competitiveness in an organization. In this chapter, we will have a vivid discussion on the various development opportunities available for the organizations to carry out their development agenda.
For instance, coaching has been an effective development opportunity for managers and leaders who want to enhance their skills. The modern economy has several changes and managers in these organizations must be embraced to deal with such changes. The coaching process will enable persons, teams and systems to enhance their productivity and uncover their potential that otherwise could never be tapped. To adopt more relational, collaborative, and consultative models for leading and influencing, businesses are evolving to build coaching cultures that encourage organizational learning and adaptability. Coaching has over the years proved to be among the best ways through which individuals learn to think and work together with increased efficiency.
Another very important development tool for leadership and management skills is the mentoring process. At times, organizations have combined both mentoring and coaching as tools for development. In modern economy, employees are dealing with smaller teams, fewer colleagues and more personal responsibility. On the other hand, leaders and managers are struggling to help their juniors cope with such landscapes. Mentoring has for several years been adopted as a key to improving individual and organizational performance. It has over the years been proved to give positive results as far as problem solving and decision making are concerned. Networking has also been greatly used in developing management and leadership skills in an organization.
Organizations have also embraced training and capacity building in their organizations in order to improve leadership and management skills in an organization. The formal training has played a great role in such development since the organization can train its staff on the modern techniques in leadership and management. Members in an organization can get skills to meet new challenges, anticipate and mitigate problems and also learn how to work more effectively with others and in teams (Stacey, 2012).
2.1 personal development plans
Personal development plan is a roadmap that will guide leaders through a consistent growth in several leadership skills and attributes. It serves as a great foundation to leaders who wish to improve their skills in leadership and management practices. In order to have an effective development, it is important for the leader to have the goals and objectives to be achieved at the end of the process. The leadership gaps that need to be filled must be clearly identified in order to carry out an effective personal development plan. A given time frame must also be spelt out to ensure that these objectives are achieved in a timely manner.
The process involves analysis of the current skills and attributes possessed by the individual. The strengths and areas for growth are identified at this juncture. This analysis will be very important as it will enable one identify key areas of growth and development, develop goals and outline ways to accomplish them. After identifying the goals and objectives, it is important to understand the activities that should be carried out in to achieve these results. The personal development plan can also be reviewed by the coaching and mentorship program.
2.2 Personal development
After implementing the personal development plans it is important to have constant preview on the progress of the plan. The individual must always check whether or not the objectives of the development plan are achieving desired results. Taking views from colleagues and other senior management can be very essential in determining the effectiveness of the personal development plan. The activities carried out in the plan must be continuously assessed to see the development in the objectives of the plans. The leader must have a check list through which there will be an assessment of the development of the plan.
The leadership and management of any organization must be in constant review of the organizational objectives and the skills that match such objectives. The leaders must always review their achievement in the attempt to get the desired skills to improve their leadership and management. The development plan must be accompanied by a checklist whereby the leader will constantly check the objectives achieved in the course of the development plan. Since the development plan is time framed, the individual must constantly check whether the desired objectives are realized within the stipulated time frame. For instance, if the individual had planned to have achieved a certain level of communication within a period of two weeks, then the checklist will be marked accordingly (Syer & Connolly, 2006). Failure to achieve the desired results within stipulated time calls for the individual to adopt a new set of activities that will help realize such objectives.
The accomplishment of the personal development plan can only be achieved if the original objectives are realized. Constant review of these original objectives is very essential in order to make necessary changes just in case the objectives are not achieved according to plan. The review process will help the organization to determine the level of success in terms of leadership and management within the organization. The review process should be a continuous process and very involving whereby even the other team members should be concerned with the level of development achieved.
At times, the organization may opt to review the development plan’s achievement against the original objectives. There are several possibilities in such review process and is concerned with assessing the level of achievement as compared to the set objectives in the development plan. For instance, the review process may establish that the development plan has achieved according to the objectives. On the hand, the plan may be behind schedule as stipulated in the development plan. It is also important to understand that the development plan may be very behind schedule and the original objectives of the plan may prove difficult to achieve.
The review process will be very important since it will provide remedy to any of the above occurrences. For instance, if the development fails to achieve the desired objectives, then the leadership and management of the organization must re think the personal development. It will be very important for them to understand the nature of the objectives and understand why it has been difficult to achieve them. It is at this juncture that the team will understand whether or not the objectives were SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely). If the objectives lacks one of the named factors may be very difficult to achieve and thus necessary changes must be made to ensure that the factors are fully considered( Hitt & Ireland, 2009).
Failure to achieve the original objectives may tempt the leadership of the organization to change the personal development plan. The change should be in accordance with the observations that have been carried out in the previous development plan. The new personal development plan should be based on the weaknesses observed in the previous development plan. Individuals must also reassess their strengths and areas of development to ensure that the personal development plan does not become a disappointment for the second time.
The review process may also discover that the personal development plan may achieve the desired original objective ahead of the stipulated time. In case of such instances, the leadership team will be pleased with such results. However, the personal development plan may be improved to cater other areas of weakness. The team may decide to increase the number of objectives to ensure that organizations potential is exploited to the maximum. In case the review process identifies that everything is going as planned and the original objectives match the achievement, then the review process must be continuous until the final results are achieved. In essence the importance of the review process is to identify competencies and areas that require improvement.
Evaluation of the developments made in improving leadership and management practices is very essential practice in any organization. This helps the organization to know its strategic position as far as its leadership and management is concerned. The modern dynamic economic environment makes it even more essential to carry out assessment and evaluation practices within the organization. The evaluation process helps the organization to periodically understand how far it has gone in terms of development. Continuous evaluation and reflection on organizational progress is very important since it enable the organization to make necessary changes to the plan.
The assessment process is very essential as it helps ascertain whether or not the programs initiated achieve the desired results and the intended goals. It is also essential in determining the strengths and weaknesses of leaders and managers in an organization. The organization will be able to make the necessary remedies as soon as such information is gathered. Just in case the evaluation process understands that the organization is in continuous failing trend, then adequate measures such as benchmarking to the successful organizations can be adopted.
3.3 Further development
It is important to understand that no single individual can claim to have all the necessary leadership and management skills. It is for this reason that these two processes are never ending processes and there is always a room for development. The leadership will always have leadership’s gaps which can always be filled through training, coaching, mentoring, practice and formal training. However, it is important for the organization to always offer the staff with an opportunity where they can grow and develop their careers to great heights. The leaders must always strive to build on their success to ensure that they exploit their potential to the maximum. Managers and leaders must also try to understand the latest development plans that will help leaders and mangers improve their skills substantially.
In conclusion, it is important to understand the distinction between leadership and management. Though these two concepts are inseparable, it is essential to understand their importance in the success of the organization. Leadership is more of an art while management is more of a science. The several theories explaining the two concepts have been very critical in understanding how effective the two concepts can be applied for the overall success of the organization.
Essential skills such as good communication, vision oriented, ability to inspire and motivate the subordinate remains vital in success of any organization. It is also important to understand that these skills are learnt through a continuous process and no one can claim to be perfect as far as leadership and management is concerned. It is for this reason that the need for development of such skills through coaching and mentorship among other modes should be encouraged in every organization.
Stacey, R., 2012. Tools and techniques of leadership and management: Meeting the challenge of complexity. London: Routledge
Ghuman, K., & Aswathappa, K., 2010. Management: Concept, practice and cases. New Delhi: Tata McGraw Hill.
Hitt, M., & Ireland, R., 2009. Strategic management: Competitiveness and globalization : Concepts (8th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Northouse, P., 2012. Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
Syer, J., & Connolly, C., 2006. How teamwork works: The dynamics of effective team development. London: McGraw-Hill.
Abeysinghe, S., 2009. PHP team development easy and effective team work using MVC, agile development, source control, testing, bug tracking, and more. Birmingham, UK: Packt Pub.
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