Leadership in Modern Organizations
In order for any organized system to work, individuals with the ability to lead must step in to ensure viability of the structure. These individuals are ever ready to contain policies to realities and are prepared to oppose policies made by their seniors if they view them oppressive or of no benefit. They possess qualities of leadership. Leadership is a rare ability found in an individual’s personality that allows them to rule, think, imagine, innovate, and influence others to do so. Leadership depends on the organic composition of the personality involving skills, intelligence, experience, social characteristics, responsibility and ability to organize (Dackert and Martensson, 2004:311). It is a process of directing, guiding, and influencing other people in achievement of targets while maintaining a balance between the people and the institution so that both are satisfied. Leadership is among the most important institutions in life. Efficient leadership propels a nation through tough times, disaster or danger (Zaccaro, 2002:31). Without effective leadership, business institutions and non-profit organizations would fail and never meet their set vision and mission. Even in a simple family setup, good leadership from parents yields productive children with good morals and an attitude to prosper. Therefore, if leadership was to be removed from all environments, business would slowly die down, organizations would stagnate, children would lose their way and order would be a thing of the past (Barrick et al, 1991: 17).
In the current age, modern organizations include industry and commerce, academic institutions and hospitals among others. Nowadays, companies and institutions face a major challenge in flexible and timely delivery of quality products and services so as to respond quickly to the ever increasing demand from different consumers globally (Zaccaro, 2002:31). Traditional organization of work is characterized by specialization and standardization policies employed by most companies. In this system, work is split into several segments, from the preparation work to supporting roles where workers specialize in one task in order to maximize productivity. Controlling, specific routine and specialization are quite appropriate when constant demand for products that are standardized applies. However, demand is changing fast and this method is not working so well which is leading to problems of coordination and rigidities. Therefore, institutions are adapting new modern form of work organization (Delarue and De Prins, 2004:108). These new work structures include flat hierarchical structures, rotation of jobs, multi-tasking, self-responsibility and a high involvement of low ranking employees in decision making. Leaders in the corporate world and other modern organizations are investing in the available human resource supporting the technical and innovation abilities and their social expertise (Barrick et al, 1991: 17). This gesture promotes amicable relationships between individuals in the workplace where the company stands to benefit since the workers are motivated. The new modern work formula in the modern organizations is different from the traditional one which was characterized by duty specialization, responsibility centralization and a pyramid hierarchical management structure (Hogan and Hogan, 1994:496). The vast disparity between the old-style of administrating and leadership and the new order of guidance and inspiration distinguishes a good leader from a poor one. The current workplace is faced by newer expectations particularly to the leaders and managers who act as pacesetters and shepherds. Employees do not need to be managed but to be led. They demand participation in all aspects and decisions of the workplace creating a critical two way channel (Dackert and Martensson, 2004:311).
There is a very thin connection between managers and leaders in any given modern organization. Corporate circles more often than not make mistakes relating to the difference between leaders and managers. The natural characteristics of leadership time and again begin with purely intrinsic talent and a particular state of mind. Leaders are rare but managers are in plenty. The natural characteristic of leadership time and again begins with purely raw talent and a particular state of mind. Possession of these natural characteristics of a leader is nevertheless not similar to being a leader. Efficient leadership skills are overtime refined and nurtured by an exceptional interest to succeed and also based on experience. Generally, a leader is an innovative, energetic, sociable, dynamic, and a composed individual. These individuals (leaders) have a tendency to think large scale focusing on the mission and policy while aiming to achieve a long-term contribution. In contrast, managers are generally more analytical and concentrate on procedures and processes aiming to attain short-term impacts. Leadership and managers can be compared: a leader becomes one as a result of his personality, contrary to a manger that acquires this position as a result of his position. Managers have formal rights as a result of their status in the organization as opposed to leaders than lack this status. Subordinates are the manager’s followers while the leader leads his group of employees .influence is the key responsibility of any leader while but the manager should strictly stick to the five tenets of management particular concern in person. Management has elements of stability and permanency, leadership can be said to be temporally. All managers are leaders all leaders are not necessarily managers. Managers are vicariously liable for their subordinates while leaders have no set accountability. A managers goal is one of the organizations while that of a leader is more towards the group goal and satisfaction of it members. Managers get his followers as a result of job description contrary to leaders that get their followers on voluntary basis. A leader’s tenure is limited to the allegiance of his followers while that of a manager is determinant by the organizations will. Managers have influence and command over distribution of sanctions while a leaders command is more informal in nature.
Effective managers add to the success and well being of the company by utilizing the positional power in directing, supervising and managing all the resources of a modern organization (Barrick et al, 1991: 17). A leader bears a more complex responsibility of inspiring and influencing individuals so that an organization’s vision and mission can be attained. Leaders use the same procedures that good managers utilize but the difference is their caring attitude in all aspects. In addition to giving feedback, they have a role of listening to what their juniors say and they investigate and discover the underlying factors behind grievances. Leaders assist employees in solving problems by providing a surrounding where individuals feel they are accepted.
Today’s business conditions of competitiveness and global demand pushes companies and organizations to make use of all the resources and assets they have at their disposal so as to maintain a competitive advantage over rivals in all fields. A manager is an individual whose functions include managing other people in an organization, company or business entities (Dackert and Martensson, 2004:311). They are individuals who control all company’s resources and expenditures. On the other hand, a leader is an individual who makes all the decisions and other individuals working under him/her choose to obey. He has a role of guiding and inspiring other people.
The main difference between these two positions is the fact that a manager is an individual who attains an organization’s objectives and vision through acts and efforts of their support staff. This implies that the managers are in a formal organization formation and their control is founded on their position. This means that the organizational position dictates the manager's authority and the control they have over their junior staff is founded on their position. Successful managers of a modern organization contribute to the bottom line of a company by making sure that their assigned subordinates meet the section’s overall objectives.
To attain good results in an organization, managers serve as a crucial link between company objectives and the efforts of the employees. An effective way of being a link is through communication of the organization’s mission to all the staff members. Communication allows all the employees to see how the organization and individual objectives sustain and add to the overall goals. Effective managers are also required to assess their subordinates’ abilities, information and skills. This ability gives them the capacity to allocate functions and responsibilities to the suitable team members such that the overall organizational objectives are achieved successfully and in the shortest time possible. Apart from the above responsibilities, managers have other roles for instance assigning of resources, airing employee grievances, handling problems and writing reports.
It is incorrect to actually state that leadership and management are synonyms. Leadership as a position is very independent; one does not need be a manager so as to exhibit characters or act as a leader (Barrick et al, 1991: 17). However on the other hand managers can only satisfy the complete set of requirements of being managers if they have in them leadership capabilities. Leadership in a manager is prerequisite simply because of their position. Being manager comes with the necessity of providing leadership to the group of people one is managing. The five pillars of, management engulf in them the requirements of leadership this being; organizing, staffing, planning, directing and controlling. Therefore as a manager, one needs in him to be a good leader. Thus leadership and management are not synonymous however one to substantial extent engulfs the other as aforesaid (Zaccaro, 2002:31). Thus it would be true to say managers contain in them leadership qualities but leaders might not be necessarily managers.
Managers lead groups of workers and the workers must willingly do it; this willingness can only be achieved if the managers are good leaders so as to appeal to the voluntary subordination of their workers (Hogan and Hogan, 1994:496). Thus any one Manager can only deliver if they are good leaders, as leaders actually influence people and ensure that a certain goal is achieved. Leaders actually direct efforts to the completion of a certain aim. Thus leadership is actually an important requirement in management. Managers serve to describe policies and procedures, Orient new workers, give job descriptions, assign work to junior workers, give organizational expectations, examine personal performance, provide feedback and identify training requirements (Dackert and Martensson, 2004:311). To achieve these roles and attain maximum results, managers must be leaders.
In conclusion management and leadership as traits are closely intertwined and are to some extent inseparable. This supports the point that, if a company is over managed in the absence of leadership (Barrick et al, 1991: 17), overall growth slows, morale goes down, creativity reduces and the competitive advantage is weakened. True leadership can be explained through an example of the athletic playing field where a coach serves as both a manager and a leader or the military battleground where the commander leads and manages troops. Drastic changes in sectors like the economy, technology, changes in the way things are changing and even in the organization or corporate world, suggest that managers who are in charge of modern organizations need to be involved in a continuous learning process. In spite of the fact that most executive education concentrates on technical and financial concerns, huge mistakes in institutions and organizations are as a result of lack of knowledge from disparities in self awareness. It appears that the statement “all managers are leaders and all leaders are not necessarily managers” is quite true. In modern day studies of management, leadership studies of how to manage human resource has been emphasized, this is actually on the realization that management cannot work independently without the tenets of leadership. This is to say leadership can be acquired by qualified training and must not necessarily be inborn as most laymen would say. However, only proper balance between the five aspects of management and leadership will deliver the best outcome in management. A good leader can manage all aspects of the workplace within the modern organization well to the extent that even the environment is well taken care of. Such a leader maintains harmony of the environment (Dackert and Martensson, 2004:311), employees and the management of any organization.