Introduction In times where globalization and increase in business competition are constantly evolving, organizations scatter to look for the best outstanding effective leaders to represent their company. An effective leadership is the backbone of an organization. The success and failure of a company depends highly on the attributes effective leaders bring into the company. Effective leaders are not made celebrities overnight instead; they go through a series of transformation. Leaders go through years and years of training and experience to become effective leaders.
A leader who understands their organization and its members, a leader who tells the truth and a leader, who has a vision for its organization and its people, is definitely an effective leader. There is not one definition of effective leadership but many depending on whom you ask. In order for leaders to be effective they need to utilize their positive communication skills, they need use their emotional intelligence and they need to empower and influence their organizations. Only then can we see a role model in the making.
This research paper will hope to answer what the qualities of an effective leader are comprised of. Vision In The Art and Science of Leadership, Lisa Monroe states, “The job of a good leader is to articulate a vision that others are inspired to follow. ” Vision tells an organization where it is going, it motivates, it elucidates and it focuses on the work of an organization for period of time (Nahavandi, 2006). Effective leaders require inspiring vision, based on the vision they set, a leader can either have a positive or a negative impact on the organization.Effective leaders empower and influence their co-workers. A negative example of an effective leader’s vision can be seen in the case with Enron.
From the beginning Jeffery Skilling had a negative interest in the company by misleading his employees. One can say that the George Bush and Jeffery Skilling had a positive outlook for the company but both started to pursue their own self-interest of power and greed. Vision is set by an effective leader, a common ground where employees can rally and feel important.In an interview with Industry Week Magazine, General Colin Powell expressed his views on leadership stating “leadership in the 21st Century has not changed from the leadership displayed by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, however, leadership will have a vision of where they wish to take “the led”” (Colin Powell’s thoughts on Ledership: Personal qualities needed by leaders won’t change, but the leadership environemnt will. , 1996). A positive effective leadership starts with a vision such as the case with Henry Ford.Henry Ford dreamed of producing a car which families could afford. His dream came true when he introduced the Model T.
Ford could not have done it alone if he had not empowered his team. If he did not provide a clear vision which could be seen through the eyes of his team then there would be no Model T. Another effective leader is Steve Jobs his vision “to get a computer in the hands of everyday people” (Steve Jobs – The Comeback Kid, 2008). Job fulfilled his dream by becoming partners with his friend Steve Wozniak to work on the Apple computer.A negative impact on leadership can be seen in the case of Enron’s CEO Jeffery Skilling. In the 2005 Documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room Jeffery Skilling prior to being appointed as the CEO, had one condition the company will only use “Mark-to-Market Accounting” (McLean & Elkin, 2005).
Much can be said when a person initially sets his/her own conditions prior to entering a company. Skilling used the vision of Enron to mislead employees into striving for the best of his interest rather than for the company’s interest.Many effective leaders work for the interest of the company by putting in extra effort and to help strength employee skills flourish. When I was working as a sales assistant my district manager would talk about his vision to see the company’s sales grow every year by 25%. He would have our manager help coach and attend intensive training programs to become experts at knowing the products. He would guide employees and give positive reinforcements to make the employee feel confident. If it was not for my district manager then my interpersonal skills would not have flourished. CommunicationEven though, Vision is the top most important aspect to becoming an effective leader, Emotional Intelligence is as much important for fine tuning a leader’s qualities.
Nahavandi (2006) states five components of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, empathy for others and interpersonal and social skills. Communication is not just about talking to your subordinates its more than that as Lee Iacocca states communication is about “facing reality and telling truth” (Iacocca). Telling the truth about exactly where the company stands in terms of financially and competitively.
An effective leader truly cares for his employees by motivating them, delegating tasks accordingly, and providing space for resolving conflicts. “As a essential to emotional Intelligence social skills relate to leaders who have the ability to communicate (listen openly and send convincing messages)” (Samad, 2009). A study performed by Dr. Sarminah Samad on The Influence of Emotional Intelligence on the Effective leadership Among Managers in Malaysian Business Organizations, results indicate Emotional Intelligence is related significantly to effective leadership (Samad, 2009).The study reveals “effective managers build effective relationships by communicating with others” (Samad, 2009).
As a result emotional intelligence factors need to be familiarized as a probable cause for effective leadership among managerial staff in Malaysian telecommunication companies (Samad, 2009). John Ryan from the Center for Creative Leadership states leaders need to communicate effectively by being the company’s “chief listening officer” (Ryan, 2009).Effective leaders need to be active listeners by sitting down with their employees rather than sending out memos or giving a speech without leaving anytime for questions (Ryan, 2009). Empathy According to Yukl (2006) emotional intelligence is the degree to which a person is sympathetic to their own feelings and to the feelings of others (Yukl, p. 219, 2006). One quality of effective leadership is empathy. In today’s global economy leaders must develop empathy towards their subordinates in order to achieve yearning results for their organization.A leader is effective when he or she is able to “recognize mood or emotions in others” (Yukl, p.
219, 2006). This is a very important quality a leader must have. A leader who is empathetic shows the level of understanding he or she has with its subordinate. A leader’s main role is to read what’s in the mind of his employees.
During this difficult period of economic crisis, leaders need to be demonstrating more empathy towards their employees and the organization. An article written by Bruna Martinuzzi sates, “empathy is valued currency. In other words if a leader shows positive signs of empathy towards their subordinates then, as a result the employees build a relationship of trust (Martinuzzi, 2006). In another study by Greensboro, North Carolina based Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) states leaders need to demonstrate more “soft skills” when the organization is under stress. Kerry Bunker an expert at the CCL states leaders need to “reach out and let employees know they understand what they are going through” (Bates, 2002). By having this import quality intact leaders can become effective leaders in pursing their goals.After September 11, sales in retail had fell tremendously, at work my boss would always make time to ask if any employees were having problems.
Most employees decided to stay with the company during those harsh times only because our leader was caring and this is what inspired them to stay. Everyone at work is happy to see the boss around because we felt he really cared for his employees. Conclusion Akio Morita, chairman, of Sony Corporation puts its best “If you go through life convince that your way is best, all the new ideas in the world will pass you by. In conclusion, an effective leader is one who goes beyond the extra mile to make all puzzles fit into its right place.
Studies in this research paper suggest the qualities of an effective leadership comprise of having an inspiring vision and communication by being the “chief listening officer” (Ryan, 2009) Leaders also need to demonstrate their soft skills by making the rounds, knowing what is going on within the company, having meetings where the leader actively listen to his employees.At the same time leaders need to give feedback on what is going on outside of the company to their employees. The nature of how one does business is constantly changing and effective leaders need to demonstrate the vision of the company by communicating positively with the employees and being sympathetic to their needs as well. As a result many leaders start to look for other opportunities in the workforce. References Bates, S. (2002, March). Honesty, Empathy cited in Effective Leadership.
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