1. High energy level and stress tolerance.
These traits help the leader to cope with the hectic pace, long hours and constant unrelenting demands of others. Effective problem solving requires the ability to be calm and focused rather than one of panicking, denial or fault-finding.
This is not vanity. It is simply the belief that you have the ability to do a task well. Leaders with self-confidence are more likely to attempt difficult tasks and set challenging expectations for themselves. They are more persistent to solve problems. Their optimism affects others and is likely to increase commitmentby others to the task.
3. Strong internal locus of control orientation
People with a strong internal locus of control believe their lives are more determined by their own actions. People with a strong external locus of control believe events are determined by chance or fate and they can do littleto change their lives.
Rotter Personality Scale
3. Strong internal locus of control orientation (continued)
Leaders with a strong internal locus of control are more future-oriented, plan proactively, are more flexible, adaptive, and innovative in response to problems than someone who dismisses them as bad luck or uncontrollable. When setbacks occur, they are morelikely to learn from them.
3. Strong internal locus of control orientation (continued)
locus of control scale developed by Julian Rotter
Example of testing. What is your answer?
a. Leaders are born, not made
b. Leaders are made, not born
4. Emotional maturity
Leaders with emotional maturity are less self-centered, and aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. They are oriented toward self-improvement rather than denial, blame or success fantasies. They have stable emotions, not mood swings and maintain more cooperativerelationships with others.
5. Personal integrity
A leaders behavior must be consistent with espoused values. It determines whether people will perceive him/her as trustworthy and credible. Without trust it is difficult to gain commitment and cooperation from others. Integrity includeshonesty, keeping a confidence and accepting responsibility.
6. Socialized Power Motivation
There are two types of power motivation.
Those with a personalized power orientation gain power to aggrandize themselves and satisfy their strong need for esteem and status. They tend to exercise power impulsively and have little inhibition and self-control. They seek to dominateothers by keeping them weak and dependent.
6. Socialized Power Motivation (Continued)
Leaders with a socialized power motivation desire power for the benefit of others. They are less egoistical and defensive. They are less materialistic. Their strong need for power is to build up the organization or others to be successful. They tend to use more of a participativecoaching style of behavior and take advice from others.
7. Moderately high achievement orientation.
These are leaders who have a need for achievement, desire to excel, drive to succeed and willingness to accept responsibility. They have a strong concern for completing objectives and act decisively to solve problems. These are the goal setters and organizers. They are more prone to deadlinesand action plans.
8. Balanced need for affiliation
This is the need to be liked and accepted by others. Either extremehas negatives.
Those with a high need for affiliation put friendships over tasks. They avoid conflicts rather than confront genuine differences. They show favoritism to friends and allow specialexceptions to rules. This often leaves other followers feeling weak, irresponsible and confused about what they should be doing.
8. Balanced need for affiliation (Continued)
Those with a low need for affiliation tend to be loners who doesnt socialize well. They are usually unwilling to work at developing close interpersonalrelationships with others. May be perceived as lacking confidence or warmth.
The key is a balanced need for affiliation!
The following guidelines are recommended for a leader to do an honest self-analysis and gain personal insight to monitor your own behavior. These guidelines are the result of trait behavior research.
Discover your strengths and weaknesses.
Be receptive to feedback from others about both your positive and negative behavior as they perceive it.
Dont fear assessment tests or evaluations. They are designed to help.
What key skills and traits do you have?
Develop relevant skills that you lack.
Effective leaders value continuous learning and self-development.
Make a real effort to develop needed skills.
Take classes or workshops to grow.
Seek challenging assignments to broaden your skills.
Remember that a strength can becomea weakness!
A strength in one situation can later become a weakness when the situation changes.
Example being autocratic in a crisis
People tend to emphasize a strength that brings early or repeatedsuccess.
Confidence can become arrogance, innovation can become recklessness, decisiveness can become rashness, global vision can become lackof focus.
Compensate for weaknesses
Look for associates who have the strengths you lack. Ask for help!
Delegate or establish a team to help you in areas of your weakness.
Dont give up on these areas develop them to your fullest extent.
Balance your extremes and excesses.
Learn to temper one trait against another
- self-confidence vs. timidly unresponsive to others
- high need for power vs. empowerment
- task oriented (head) vs. people (heart)
- risk taking vs. prudent caution
- efficiency vs. flexibility
1. High energy level and stress tolerance. These traits help the leader to cope with the hectic pace, long hours and constant unrelenting demands of others. Effective problem solving requires the ability to be calm and focused rather than one of panicking, denial or fault-finding. 2. Self-confidence This is not vanity. It isArticles Tips
In just about any book on management or leadership and you will eventually come across the term ecosystems. It may not sound very exciting but is essential in understanding the complexity of modern organizations! The concept of ecosystems in an organization stems from a biological model. In nature, an ecological community coexists together within its environment. Many things can affect the ecosystem. For example, conflicts between species can influence an ecosystem. The introduction of an outside species can alter or change an ecosystem. Moore uses this analogy to define a business ecosystem as "an economic community supported by a foundation of interacting organizations and individuals." This is in concert with an understanding of general systems theory. The bottom line is that otherorganizations and institutions within our society do influence today's businesses and their environment. Rapid changes in science, technology, knowledge and changing social norms compound these influences.
Galagan defines a business ecosystem as a "system in which companies work cooperatively or competitively to support new products, satisfy customers, and create the next round of innovation in key market segments." I believe the five competitive forces as presented by Michael Porter help to define at least part of an ecosystem we face in the business community. These forces shape and influence competition within most industries. They are:
1) The risk of new entry by potential competitors
2) The degree of rivalry among established companies
3) The bargaining power of the buyers
4) The bargaining power of the suppliers
5) The threat of substitute products
These many competitive influences make the role of leadership more complex and challenging. It is important to understand the linkage between an organization as an ecosystem and leadership strategy. I will discuss what I believe are major linkage qualities.
A leader attempts to motivate other workers into action toward a goal or various goals. Leaders can do this by providing vision, and explaining how the purpose of each activity is designed to dovetail into the larger picture of an overall strategy. In other words, their role in the organization is important and valued by the entire organization. Providing direction by conveying a clear vision of what is necessary to get a task completed and how to proceed in that direction is vital. Acquiring and using your analytical skills is essential since an ecosystem can change quickly. Culture also plays a major role in the linkage between ecosystems and leadership strategy. An organizations goals and values will be under constant attack both internally and externally. Its culture must be cohesive to withstand negative pressures and influences from many directions. Leadership strategy must include the objective of gaining and sustaining the active support of the organization's people and resources.
Complementing sound internal analysis is the creation of an effective feedback loop structure. You need to know how decisions and actions are affecting various parts of the organization. A superior feedback system is essential to success. In an open system, the external environment intermingles with the internal environment. Jennings and Zandbergen comment that a system functions properly "when a variety of negative and positive feedback loops are in place." However, they admit a problem exists for the leader. The problem is that these "effects through feedback may take a long time or be indirect." In other words, the effects may take place in only one area of the ecosystem before they are felt elsewhere. As Hill & Jones emphasize, the feedback loop should indicate to leaders that strategic planning is an ongoing process. The execution of a strategy must be monitored to effectively gauge if activities and objectives are being achieved. Furthermore, Hill & Jones add that as the feedback loop passes back to the corporate level it "should be fed into the next round of strategy formulation and implementation." Rummler contends that organizational outputsare produced through processes. Using the analogy of an "x-ray", he stresses that critical performance variables include "job responsibilities and standards, job design, feedback, rewards and training."
Good leaders must provide motivation by rallying the willingness of subordinates to work toward the corporate goals and objectives. Rewards rather than punishments should almost always be used to achieve this within the organization. Developing a mutual trust and respect for each other, including the organizations shared values, enhances this motivating principle. Another linkage is both honesty and openness in communication. Many leaders will find that sustaining continued effectiveness might be very difficult. Many subordinates may have been successful for many years, almost to the point of being taken for granted. A sudden change in the ecosystem may necessitate a change in strategy and this may cause confusion or discouragement among formerly contented workers. Understanding an ecosystem teaches us that we must continually grow, adapt, change, and become stronger to survive. Dealing with rapid change is difficult. Nevertheless, we must never be satisfied with our current level of achievement. Often a new leaders first job is to create an integratedattitude that fosters cooperation, harmony and effective results among the stakeholders.
I believe strategic planning is essential for success in any modern organization. Here are some of the reasons why. Strategic planning provides a vision of the organizations goals and mission. It analyzes the external environment to identify threats and opportunities for the organization. The strategic planning process helps the organization to select strategies to build on its own strengths, and correct or minimize its weaknesses. This allows the organization to take advantage of external opportunities and to counter external threats. This process can assist the organization in creating a strategy implementation process that designs appropriate structures and control systems to put its chosenstrategy into action. If we dont chose and implement our own strategy, we will become a victim of someone elses!
In contrast, the lack of strategic planning places the organization's future at risk for failure. It often times will lack a clear delineation of its goals and mission. It is not prepared for external threats to the organization and is not often prepared to take advantage of opportunities. It does not often recognize its own strengths and weaknesses and is not in a position to select strategies to deal with these important internal matters. The end result of no real organizational strategy or a misguided strategy will most likely lead to failure. In essence, the lack of a leadership strategy places the organization in the role of a victim in a changing ecosystem. Using an analogy from nature, who wins when a slow moving caterpillar walks into the path of a preying mantis?
Another important linkage is the example of ethics demonstrated by the leadership of an organization. Hill & Jones place the importance of values in a succinct manner. "The values of a company state how managers within the company intend to conduct themselves, how they intend to do business, and what kind of a business they want to build." This is true for both modern business and the military. Business decisions do have an ethical component that can effect strategy! Hill & Jones continue by stating that "the purpose of business ethics is not so much to teach the difference between right and wrong as it is to give people the tools for dealing with moral complexity, tools that they can use to identify and think through the moral implications of strategic decisions". More than ever, in a rapidly evolving ecosystem, leaders must deal with complex moral decisions that do have an impact on the organization's strategy.
Regarding ethics, a leadership strategy should attempt to establish a climate that emphasizes the importance of ethics. Creation of this climate should include three steps. First, top managers or officers must use their leadership role to incorporate an ethical dimension into the values they want to stress. Secondly, for a business, these ethical values should be incorporated in the company's mission statement. For the modern military, it is incorporated in a code of conduct. Third, these ethical values must be endorsed and respected. A sound leadership strategy should include incentivesystems that highlight the importance of respecting and acting upon ethical values in strategic decision-making.
The linkage between an organization as an ecosystem and an effective leadership strategy is a process. A leader can shape an organizations culture in many ways. The leaders personal influence can be demonstrated as part of a strategic leadership team and modeled individually. This influence can occur primarily through a combination of socialization tactics. These can include unique myths, stories, rites, ceremonies, and organizational rewards. Leadership strategy should encourage an adaptive culture that allows for innovation and rewards initiative for lower and middle-level managers. This can result in a greater ability to exploit new opportunities. A leader also understands that excellent organizations create an incentive system that motivates and reinforces desired behaviors. Rewards for individuals may include piecework plans, commission systems, bonus plans and promotion. Rewards for groupsmay include a group-based bonus system, profit sharing system, employee stock option plan and organizational bonus systems. By the way, dont forget the most basic need all of us need in the workplace. It is respect, dignity and appreciation for a job well done!
A good leadership strategy should make an investment in the business to become a learning organization. Learning organizations are those that are structured to learn rapidly and use additional knowledge to become even more effective. In this environment the desire to learn is encouraged and proper resources are allocated for training and education. The values of learning are embedded into the culture. A leader's strategy can encourage a culture that accepts reasonable risk taking by cultivating values that tell subordinates they should perform their jobs in creative and innovative ways. Leadership can have a powerful impact on an organizations culture. John Masters, the President of Canadian Hunter has stated, Leadership committed to excellence, the proposition of team work, team support by management and values are essential to team management.
In conclusion, the effective linkage of an ecosystem and leadership can be difficult. A leader must recognize there are numerous environmental influences and attempt to control them. The leader must gain an expansive knowledge of human psychological, social and physiological needs. The leader must understand the broad spectrum of organizational development. This is a lot to require from any one individual or small group of individuals! For this reason, I believe this linkage should be a sharedleadership approach tapping into the skills and talents of many.
About the Author:
Frederick Weiss has over 20 years of management experience including 14 years at an executive level. Mr. Weiss is the Vice President of Finance & Administration at Vita-Mix Corporation, a privately owned manufacturing company. He has been a driving force in changing the culture of Vita-Mix from a small-family-leadership style to a professionally managed company during its growth from $5 million to over $60 million.
Galagan, P. (1997) Strategic planning is back. Training and Development, Vol. 51, 04-01-1997
Hartwick Classic Leadership Cases (1993). Strange Days in the Oil Patch.
Hartwick Humanities in Management Institute, pp. 23-24
Hill, C. & Jones, G. (1998). Strategic Management. (4th Ed.) Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Jennings, P., & Zandbergen, P. (1995) Ecologically sustainable organizations: an institutional approach. Academy of Management Review, Vol. 20, 10-01-1995, pp. 1015.
Leadership In Organizations. (1988). Gordon City Park, NY: Avery Publishing Group, Inc.
Moore, J. (1996) The Death of Competition. (1st Ed.) NY: HarperCollins Publishers.
Porter, M. (1998) Competitive Strategy. NY: The Free Press
Rummler, G. (1996) Redesigning the organization and making it work. CMA Magazine, Vol. 70, 06-01-1996, pp. 29
Taylor, R. & Rosenbach, W. (1994). Military Leadership. (3rd Ed.) Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
In just about any book on management or leadership and you will eventually come across the term ecosystems. It may not sound very exciting but is essential in understanding the complexity of modern organizations! The concept of ecosystems in an organization stems from a biological model. In nature, an ecological community coexists together within its environment.Weiss, Fred Articles Tips
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