WEBSTER UNIVERSITY MNGT 5670 RESEARCH PAPER Leadership and the Challenges of Leadership Leadership can be defined in many ways. Two popular definitions that come to mind are: the process in which an individual influences others to accomplish a common goal; the act or ability of a person to deliberately influence others toward a particular vision. Both definitions have two points in common, and that is an individual leading or influencing others to an accomplishment. The problem with leadership is it’s often presented with challenges that come about because of changes.
There is no way around the challenges, and it does not matter who the leader is, challenges in leadership cannot be prevented. The actual challenge itself does not define a leader, but how the leader handles the challenge determines the individual’s leadership ability. One of the most common leadership challenges for a leader is leaders often use the words management and leadership interchangeably to define leadership. There is a distinguishable difference between the two words and they have different functions.
This challenge causes problems because the individual is operating as a manager instead of a leader. Management is a process used to help an organization forecast its’ performance such as budgeting, staffing, and planning. Management role is focused on producing and providing services. Leadership on the other hand is about moving into the future toward a particular goal. Leadership can best be described as a vision and the leader is trying to get everyone to accomplish the defined vision.
Other challenges of leadership are: Poor Fit- if a leader is not the proper fit for the organization it can cause a disaster (nothing can fix this) Maturity- Oudgement, temper)- if lacking maturity, organization ay not give time for the individual to grow/learn Poor Communication Skills- if unable to communicate, goals may not be clear, could seem too aggressive, can appear to be unfocused Competency- must be able to deal with people, must have technical skills, must be business minded, must have know how Lack of Executive Support- must have support and trust of supervisors Failure to make the transition into the leadership role- must be able to set the pace as the leader and clearly state your role as the leader These challenges are often identified and difficult to nderstand terms that lack specificity but more often than not the above mentioned problems causes major challenges in leadership. (http://www. odysseyhps. com/high- performance-executives/what-are-some-challenges-of-leadership) This paper covers two types of Leadership Theories that would solve or help alleviate the challenges mentioned above. They are the Trait Leadership Theory and the Process Theory of Leadership. The Trait Theory originates from the “Great Man Theory. According to Cowley and Galfon, leadership was a unique feature of extradinary individuals, and the traits leaders possessed immutable and could not be eveloped. (Cowley 1931) The Trait Theory simply states an individual is born with leadership traits. The Process Theory of Leadership states that this type of leadership is accomplished by the leader using his/her knowledge and interaction, communication, and teamwork. learn skills such as The diagram above demonstrates that both the Trait Theory and the Process Theories can both argue that each of the theories contributes to the attributes of a good leader. Overcoming challenges of leadership is a challenge in itself.
An organization can implement a good Human Resource Department to overcome leadership challenges. It begins in the recruitment phase. Before an individual is chosen to be a leader, HR could help the individual with providing resources to complete Leadership Developmental Training. The training would include the leadership process (challenges, inspire, enabler, setting examples, encouragement). Leadership is more often than not about “soft skills” rather than hard skills. A leader who understands what drives the bottom line is valuable. It’s the leader who can get others to perform at their best who ultimately creates a winning organization. (http://www. siyli. g/what-is-leadership-what-makes-good-leader/) Leadership research shifted from the trait theory to the behavioral theory paradigm, which focuses on what a person says and does. Today, research continues to seek a better understanding of behavior. (Lussier & Achua, p. 74) Traits and behavior go hand-in-hand, or trait leadership theory influences behavioral leadership theory. Behavior is easier to learn and change than traits. (Lussier & Achua, p. 75) Leadership style is the combination of traits, skills, and behaviors leaders use as they interact with followers. An individual’s leadership style is based on traits (Trait Theory) and skills (Process Theory); the important component is behavior because it’s a pattern of behavior that characterizes a leader. (Lussier & Achua, p. 5) Simply put, it takes a combination of the Trait Leadership Theory and the Process Theory of Leadership to have a good leader. A good leader uses traits, knowledge, and skills to be an effective leader. A good leader establishes an attainable goal, presents the goal in such a way that individuals would want to follow, provide a strong foundation for others to reach the goal, and an ffective leader is able to resolve conflicts that may come about while making a change to reach the goal. A good leader would also develop a personal leadership model to be more effective in his/her role. For example, the author of this paper has a personal leadership model (Be, Know, Do).
Be professional at all times (good character, trustworthy, ethical, set examples) Know what it takes to be a leader in the organization, know the organization, know the employees, know and love the career Do motivate, inspire, provide guidance, set the pace, listen, supervise, coordinate, do verything that’s expected of employees, interact with team This paper has defined leadership, discussed challenges, and explained the difference between management and leadership. It’s been determined that there is a difference between the two terms. Two leadership theories have been discussed along with steps to overcome the many challenges in leadership. All of this was necessary to conclude the following: leadership is never an easy task, and good leaders are made not born.
If a person has the desire and will, he/she can be an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never-ending process of self-study, education, and raining (Trait & Process Theories of Leadership). (http://www. nwlink. com/??”donclark/ leader/leadcon. html) Reference Achua, Lussier, Robert N. Leadership Application & Skill Development. Ohio: South- Western Cenage Learning, 2007 Cowley (1931) The Traits of Face-to-Face Leaders. The Journal of Abnormal and Social psychology, 26(3), 304-313 http://www. siyli. org/what-is-leadership-what-makes-good-leader/ http:// www. nwlink. com/??”donclark/leader/leadcon. html http://www. odysseyhps. com/high-performance-executives/what-are-some- challenges-of-leadership