MGT321: Assessing Leadership Skills – Final Paper Instructions
The final paper is designed to demonstrate your understanding of the course. Using a minimum of five scholarly sources, write a six- to eight- page, APA formatted paper. Formulate a personal program of managerial leadership development that is based on the information presented in the course text. In a narrative format, the paper must cover the following topics:
- Leadership styles are designated into general categories or groups of leadership theories. For example, these include Traits Theories, Contingency Theories, Relational Theories, and others listed in the course text. Please select one specific category of theories from the course text and defend why the selected category of leadership theories is most relevant to organizational leadership.
- Discuss the leadership style you will adhere to and the specific reasons for selecting this style.
- Examine how your leadership skills will influence your ability to motivate followers in an organization.
- Identify an area of weakness in your personal leadership. Explain how you will develop this leadership skill into a strength.
- The organizational culture is influenced by factors such as organizational structure, size, policies and procedures, the staff, and office politics. With these factors in mind, evaluate how your leadership style will allow you to effectively lead within the organizational culture.
Personal Program of Managerial Leadership Development
Leadership is a very important aspect for the success of every organization today. A good leader must be able to move a team from an ordinary level to an extraordinary level by doing the right things. Effective leadership requires critical thinking, ability to implement changes properly, and ability to overcome ongoing challenges. According to Zeithaml, Varadarajan and Zeithaml, 1986), leadership needs to be conceived as a process that involves influence, occurs in a group context and involves attainment of goals. In an organization, there are corporate, personal, and social processes and people must be inspired through leadership to work towards group goals (Zeithaml, Varadarajan and Zeithaml, 1986). This explains why contingency theories are the most relevant for organizational leadership today.
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Contingency theories are based on the idea that each and every organization is unique in its own sense every situation that is encountered in an organization must be handled separately. This category of leadership theories incorporates issues that occur in different organizational structures, characteristics, and environments. As far as contingency theories are concerned, an organization can be made to survive and adapt in several ways. For example, leadership theorists have identified more than one strategy that can help an organization to maximize profitability and several techniques that can be applied to achieve organizational goals. These strategies do not have equal levels of appropriateness as their levels of effectiveness depend on the exiting situation (Zeithaml, Varadarajan and Zeithaml, 1986).
Contingency theories are highly relevant for organizational leadership because they enable modern leaders to observe formulate different methods though which they can achieve effectiveness (Zeithaml, Varadarajan and Zeithaml, 1986). Basically, this category of leadership theories allows organizational leaders to match internal situation in an organization to various contingency factors as this is a very important step towards identification of the most appropriate responses. Through identification of the most appropriate responses, the leader will be able to influence various groups in an organization to achieve common goals. Modern leaders are encouraged to understand and apply concepts of contingency theories as a way of achieving common goals and ensuring organizational effectiveness (Zeithaml, Varadarajan and Zeithaml, 1986).
Personally, I would adhere to democratic leadership style that emphasizes on maximum participation of followers. According to Ray and Ray (2012), the concept of leadership is derived from the belief that people must be given an opportunity to set goals, come up with individual decisions, solve problems, and to be involved in change processes that occur within an organization. A leader must therefore be able to influence his or her followers to make them define if a change is necessary and when the change should take place. I have chosen democratic leadership style because it embraces equal participation, self-determination, and inclusiveness (Ray and Ray, 2012).
A democratic leader must fulfill three different types of responsibilities: assigning roles, empowering others, and assisting followers to achieve goals (Ray and Ray, 2012). I will adhere to democratic leadership style because it is suitable for both large and small groups that I mostly handle. This leadership style will enable me to understand the different needs, time, skills, and availability of followers. This way, I will be able to build a variety of involvement opportunities into the organizational structure. When applying democratic leadership theory, I will recognize the importance of tolerating rejection from other members in order to perform my responsibilities effectively (Ray and Ray, 2012).
I will use my leadership skills to motivate following when acting as a leader in an organization. With the help of my leadership skills, I will assist my followers to develop emotional and technical maturity to ensure group cohesiveness (Gastill, 1994). In addition, I will use my leadership skills to analyze the needs of every member of a group and identity the most appropriate solution for each. I will also deal with disagreements in a constructive and open way. When the needs of every member of a group is analyzed and solved, followers will feel motivated to continue performing their roles accordingly (Ray and Ray, 2012).
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With the influence of my leadership skills, I will be assist my followers to embrace diversity by enabling them learn existing differences on the basis of race, gender, sex, and education. I will consider that any problems related to diversity issues are effectively addressed. In an organization, every individual member needs to reveal the collective interest of a group (Gastill, 1994). I will use my leadership skills to develop a spirit of geniality where every person understands and accepts the laid down norms. Consequently, I will be able to create a motivated team of followers through development of transparent and accountable structures, effective communication techniques, and democratized knowledge.
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An area of weakness in my personal leadership is over-optimism about strategies and people. I expect to achieve positive results from all my followers irrespective of their capabilities. I also feel that every strategy that I employ to solve a problem or to achieve an objective must always result into maximum success. This weakness makes me hang on lower-performing people and unsuccessful strategies for a long time as I try to realize effectiveness from all of them. I have however realized that I can develop this area of weakness into a strength in a number of ways (Ray and Ray, 2012).
First, I need to recognize the importance of realism in leadership as this will enable me to see things accurately as they are while making a comparison to how they should be. Second, I should understand the role of loyalty in leadership and how it can be used to build strong teams (Ray and Ray, 2012). By recognizing the importance of realism and loyalty in leadership, I will be able to understand that there are slow learners and quick learners in a group, and that it is important to act in the interest of both of them. In addition, I will be able to learn that not all strategies can produce the desired results, and that strategies can be replaced depending on the current organizational context and need (Gastill, 1994).
Organizational culture is influenced by several factors including the size of an organization, organizational structure, procedures and policies, politics, and the staff. My democratic leadership style will allow me to effectively lead within the organizational culture (Ray and Ray, 2012). One of the ways through which this will be achieved is by ensuring that every member of staff performs his or her roles as per the organizational policies. In addition, I will ensure that the set procedures allow all members of staff to achieve the set goals. This will be done bearing in mind that one of the responsibilities of a democratic leader is to assist followers to meet goals. I will also apply democratic leadership style in embracing organizational culture by assigning roles based on the size of the organization and availability of members of staff (Gastill, 1994).
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