Leading change in the workplace begins with effective leadership. As strong leadership is a common topic in many of today’s organizations, it is important to understand the difference between the roles of a manager and a leader. Managers are appointed to supervise and direct tasks within a specific process and its desired results. Hence, managers are put into place to manage a system that is already in place. As changes come about in the workplace, organizations must recognize employees need for change along with their individual needs in the workplace.
What distinguishes a leader from a manager is their concern with the organization, the individuals within the processes of the organization, and the vision for the advancement of the organization (Okoro, 2012). Leaders have a vision that maximizes the potential for the organization while upholding the needs for the employees and individuals with interests within the operation and its output. Communicating this vision is the most important skill for a leader to be effective.
People in the workplace must feel inspired by the leader and their vision and they must also be motivated by them.
Leadership is essential to the workplace as it changes with new generations entering the workforce. Employees need to feel stimulated, important, and challenged by their work while having fun and enjoying their time in the workplace (Frost, 2001). Changes within an organization are important for the organization to keep its competitive edge and grow while meeting the needs of customers and attracting new customers. Technology, customer needs, economy can spark changes within an organization, and growth potential are a few reasons for changes within an organization.
Customers’ needs are constantly changing and there is always a demand for newer, innovative products and services. This can be provoked by a thriving economy that could force a company to expand its offerings, and possibly its operating facility (Smith, 2011). These uncontrollable combinations of demands provide growth opportunities for any organization. There are many benefits to implementing changes in the workplace. Although the changes do not always have to be implemented, any proposed suggestion to change can be used as insight to what might need to be changed or where a problem might arise.
A good leader will inspire others to achieve the vision of change, usually by providing examples of other opportunities that will benefit them and how they will be rewarded by the changes. Change allows a new platform for essential employees to shine. Change incorporates ideas from all employees and inspires them to be creative in coming up with solution to reach the vision of the leader. Some other benefits of change is to promote new ways of thinking and putting teams together to create processes that can be utilized in ways that are exciting and beneficial to the company and its employees.
Change breaks monotony and takes some to the boredom out the job by allowing employees to reenergize their focus and refocus their interest (Smith, 2011). Change also encourages skill growth by providing new duties. This makes employees seek out new training and methods for completing tasks which nourishes creativity. Leadership is sometimes difficult to articulate. It must first be defined and distinguished from managing. Organizations must have leaders to carry out their visions and managers to ensure that the vision is in process.
As stated in the article, leadership is getting more complicated with the integration of technology and globalization. The growth of technology extends the economy across the world and changes the way people do business. This creates opportunity for cross-cultural growth and presents to communication challenges for managers and leadership. Leaders need these skills because they are the key component of the success and growth of an organization when communicating business in a global capacity. Successful international leaders know what is expected across cultural background.
Global leaders must be competent in awareness and practice (Frost, 2007). The new look of leadership makes for a very diversified workplace. A leader that can lead a command a diverse following has a great advantage in the 21st Century. Organizational culture involves a great blend of lifestyles, age groups, cultures, and abilities. Each brings a different set of ideas and style to the workplace. Although this is great for creating innovations, it presents the possibility of violations of these groups based on culture, race, age, and sex. If these issues were to arise, it could lead to the demise of the organization.
IT is very important for the new and competent leader to be trained in ways to respect these differences and prevent these violations. The challenges for global leaders involve globalization, technologic innovation and demographic changes that blend human life and work. Leaders must have the trust of their followers for motivation and to respect the leader’s vision. Great things do not come from a follower who has reservations about their leader. There are essential interpersonal leadership skills that are needed for the success of a global leader in a rapidly changing world.
A leader must know their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your limitations can help put people in the right positions and create a better platform for success in a global setting (Kozlowski, 2006). This also helps show that you appreciate the individual differences in the team and can help close any cultural gaps to help communicate more effectively. Another must have skill is understanding cultural stereotypes so that you can avoid stereotypes and personal biases, especially those that stem from being unaware. Another skill for a leader it to be self-assuring without evoking cockiness.
This help build confidence and enthusiasm with team members. Leasers must be able to sell the vision and develop a global mindset while keeping everyone onboard. This involves a great deal of transparency. People want to know where they are going and the most important skill is the ability to communicate this. Communication can be verbal or nonverbal and they have different requirements. It is also essential for leaders to have multiple motivational techniques and accept social responsibility with respect to the communities, clients, and stakeholders that they serve.
Global leadership demands leaders to employ a special set of skills to uphold the respect of the diversity of a multifaceted workplace. It is crucial that leaders develop competencies within these skills to ensure the success of an organization’s mission and the teams that lead. Understanding leadership structures and processes is a major factor in team success. What the leader provides the team is the basis for the team’s satisfaction. If the team is not satisfied they will not be motivated and the team will struggle for success.
Leadership can come from many sources that can be internal or external. Internal leadership can be project managers and team leaders, and external can be sponsors and coaches. Leadership functions are the beginning of team success (Thorseen, 1974). This begins with composing a team in the transition phase. A team’s success could be founded in the composition of the team. The members of the team must be aligned with the tasks that needs to be accomplished. Next the mission must be defined and communicated exactly what needs to be accomplished.
The team must know their initial purpose. This is the beginning of team motivation. Next, goals and expectations should be established and roles should be delegated. This function allows team members to fall into roles where they might find comfort and begin a timeline for progression and the team can enter the next structure of planning and coordinating how the tasks will be carried out. The next phase is training and developing the team in areas that are needed to carry out the needs of the project and fulfil what is expected of the team.
The next process in the structure is sensemaking. This is identifying any factors or events that might be disruptive to the team and interpreting what is the cause and how it is affecting the team. This information will then be communicated to the team in efforts to lessen the impact of what is to be achieved. The next process is to provide feedback. This is important to keeping a project on track and motivating team members based on what they have produced based on the metrics, milestones, and expectations of the project or task (Johnson2008).
Once these processes have been accomplished, the leader must move the team into the Action Phase where teams are strictly focused on achieved goal directly related to what is to be accomplished. The leader now moves into the role of monitoring the team and managing the team’s boundaries. This entails keeping the team aligned with activities that correlate to what is expected of the team (Johnson, 2008). The leader then finds ways to challenge the team and motivate them to surpass what is expected. This then leads to performing task that will lead to problems that need to be solved.
The leader is expected to be able to offer resources to assist the team with information, tools, or personnel that is needed. When a leader reaches this milestone with a team, they can encourage self-management and support the social climate of the team. This is when the leader shows the team that their individual efforts are recognized and the continued motivation of the team to exceed the results of the given tasks. These functions of leadership have been assessed to structure what is needed to enhance the effectiveness of a team (Smith, 2011). A leader must be willing to employ these functions to be successful.
From composing the team to encouraging self-management or supporting the social climate of the team this is a great approach to understanding the structures and processes needed to be a successful leader. The most essential skill in leadership is communication. This skill allows for the rest of the puzzle pieces to connect and enable the most important aspect of leadership which is teamwork. Teamwork cannot exist without leadership and leadership cannot be successful without teamwork. The balance between teamwork and leadership must exist in a manner that they draw inspiration from each other.
Neither can thrive is the other is unmotivated. The leader has the vision of the organization that must be communicated to the team in efforts for the vision to be made into a reality. Leadership is not about power, authority, management, or supervision. Leadership is the action of influencing and empowering others to accomplish tasks and goals beyond the expectation. Leadership is a role and a mindset that people act on to build, maintain, and motivate relationships. A team is a group of people put together to accomplish a task.
Teams might be comprised of individuals of various backgrounds, abilities, cultures, and roles that need leaders to motivate them to achieve common goals that have been set before them(Holt, 2012). The leader’s role is to empower and delegate. The team’s role is to create creative solutions. The leader must take on the act of creating the team, communicating the goals of the team, motivating the team and managing conflict amongst the team. The team should be empowered to solve problems with the objective, make decisions, and communicate effectively with the leader(Holt, 2012).
The Five-Dimensional Leadership Competence Model describe the abilities that well-rounded leaders should possess. These are transformational, transactional, organic, contemporary, and ethical. Transformational leaders are charismatic and influential. They use this to motivate their teams to meet goals and accomplish more than what is expected of them while nurturing healthy relationships. Transactional leaders deal rewards for performance among team members. This helps with the motivation of the team. Organic leadership seeks to create an outpour of a team member’s own leadership skills.
This leadership style promotes interaction, respect, and strong working relationships amongst team members. Contemporary style leadership focuses on persuasion rather than fear. They communicated difficulties as opportunities for development. Ethical leaders have high integrity and lead based on their social power influences their decisions. They operate on strong integrity and influence. Successful teamwork demands functional relationships amongst the team and the leaders. It involves constant communication and feedback of what is expected and what is being done.
To balance leadership and teamwork there are 8 named tenets that must be put into place: vision, integrity, communication, collaboration, creativity, goal orientation, empowerment, and team building. At the minimum this relationship must have integrity to build the trust, respect, and credibility that is needed to manage the creativity and collaborations that enable a team to move progress toward the vision. Communication is, again, the most important in fostering this relationship through goal orientation, empowerment, and team building. Leading change in the workplace has many challenges.
One of the greatest challenges is aligning the adaptability of the people within the organization. It is very important to understand the idea of adaptability because one of the most common reasons for failure in leadership is the inability to adapt. Adaptability is being able to go with the flow of change. The ability to go with the flow of things is less stressful and reduces anxiety and frustration when faced with adversity if the workplace. In leadership, adaptability is conforming your leadership style to meet the needs of changing business demands.
Change happens very quickly and if forces great leaders to adapt to new circumstances. The business environment, needs of clients and employees, technology, and demand of the business constantly changes. A leader will also be faced with crisis situations, stress of employees and their issues, problem solving, new tasks and procedures, and things such as interpersonal differentiation. Being able to cope with these changes produces a much more successful leader than a singular, one-dimensional leader. One of the biggest challenges in leading people is getting them to follow and trust the leader.
From my experiences, the best leaders are the leaders that have the ability to adapt to different situations. It is the skill that gives a you a more competitive edge on operational business. First, leadership cannot be confused with management. Great leaders employ managers as these roles have different skill sets (Mohrman, 1997). Change creates an atmosphere of uncertainty and managers struggle with maintain processes as the changes occur. Great leaders can also emerge for changes is situations that are being managed.
Many challenges that managers face today are adaptive challenges that have no clear solution, but require the creativity of an adaptive leader (Throseen, 1974). Adaptable leaders accept change and find new ways to address complex challenges. Being an adaptable has great benefits. If you can adapt you are more valuable to your employer because you anticipate change and do not mind conforming to the changes and you can offer creative ways develop the new processes. It also makes you more inspiring and respected by your peers. This makes your employees more liable to trust you.
Another benefit to being adaptable is the satisfaction it adds to life by not feeling hopeless or hopeless when things get tough or do not go as planned. To become more adaptable, it is necessary to think outside the box. Procedures can become outdated and ineffective very quickly as the business environment changes. It is also important that an adaptable leader be one of the first people to adopt to prospective changes (Frost, 2007). This could mean learning new products, monitoring the competition, of making changes in the processes of members of a team.
It is also a good idea to be openminded through the process of adapting to new situations because more great changes could come from the changes in practice. Conclusion Leading an organization through change requires a specified set of skills. Everyday leadership is no always the same team as what is needed for change leadership. Change in the workplace can be scary and can cause changes in employees. The most important factor to monitor when implementing change is changes within your employees. More important than the changes are how the changes are sold to employees and implemented into the workplace.
John Kotter distinguishes change management versus change leadership a set of tools to keep change under control against the engine moving the whole change process to make it go faster, smarter and more efficiently. A change leadership team constructs the entire change process and considers the motions that are needed to introduce the change among employees and make the process flow into the large-scale transformation (Frost, 2007). Leading change in the workplace is about assessing the needs of those who will be affected by the changes and motivating them to work toward the vision.
Leadership is an action and leaders are to sell the vision. There will always be a need for change in the workplace. Therefore, it is important to understand the skills that are needed to carryout change. Communication is key to change, but leaders must also be transparent in the objectives and desired outcome. Leaders must be positive and motivating to help ease any uncertainties. Change is what makes organizations thrive and the most useful position in an organization is the Leader that creates change for the good.