ENGLISH BLOG – UNDERSTANDING LEADERSHIP
ENGLISH BLOG-UNDERSTANDING LEADERSHIP
(WHAT IS LEADERSHIP) IBM was a renowned organization in the 1970s and 1980s. The name of IBMS was synonymous with excellence in technique and business. IBM was the first to dominate the computer industry. Till then no organization dominated the computer industry like IBM. But the company was stumbling by the year 1993. So in the year 1993, it reported a loss of 8.1 billion US$. And this loss was considered the biggest loss ever reported in business history. Even some critics immediately wrote off IBM as dead. (WHAT IS SELF LEADERSHIP)
However, eight years, in the long run, the company reported net earnings of 7.7 billion US$ in 2001. Not only this the share price of IBM had increased more or less by 800%. And this happened in the period from the year 1993-2001.
Obviously, all will be curious to know what the factors were behind this remarkable turnaround. According to many people, an important factor might have been the leadership provided by Louis V. Gerstner Jr. He was the then CEO of IBM.
Gerstner became the CEO of IBM on April 1, 1993. And was able to detect the recent developments in the IT industry. He fell in the group of a handful of people. The people who foresaw that networking could transform the way people worked. Under his leadership, IBM changed its focus from product-centric to customer-centric. IBM did so to enable it to provide complete solutions to its clients.
Under the leadership of Gerstner, IBM modified itself. From a company that basically manufactured frameworks, IBM became a company that offered total solutions. IBM offered solutions in hardware, software, and other technologies. During his time period of leadership as a CEO in IBM, he displayed an extraordinary ability. He visualized the future and got into areas of possible opportunity.
It is the quality of leadership that marked a major difference. And this was marked between the IBM of 1993 and IBM after 1993. Let us keep in mind this incident of successful leadership in IBM.
And now we shall move on in this article on the difference between a leader and a manager. I shall also discuss the attributes possessed by effective leaders. And then highlight what personality theories say about leadership.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT(WHAT IS LEADERSHIP)
There is a basic difference between a leader and a manager. A leader struggles to uplift change in an organization. On the other hand a manager toils to ensure stability. However, there is a constant change of this in a professional world. This is because one quality cannot have any effect without the other. Therefore to survive and grow in such an environment, an organization needs both leaders and managers.
PARAGRAPH 2 ( WHAT IS SELF LEADERSHIP)
What is the secret behind the development of many practices and course of actions in modern managership? It is the result of the arrival of large organizations in the early twentieth century. Without proper management, these large and multiplex organizations could never have survived. Hence we can say management brings order and stability. And this is brought into the activities performed by the people in an organization.
Again on the other hand to survive with alteration, leadership is needed. Leadership actually gained its importance in the late 20th century. During this time the business atmosphere became extremely competitive and tensed. Small improvements in productivity no longer guaranteed success. Organizations needed new schemes and original solutions. These schemes and solutions were needed for solving problems. Problems must be solved to prosper in this more competitive atmosphere. Hence they needed leaders to begin on new schemes.
Leadership Provides a Direction for Change, while Management Deals with Planning and Budgeting
PARAGRAPH 4 ( WHAT IS LEADERSHIP )
Leadership is worried with surviving with an alteration. And so its primary function is to bring in organizational alteration. This alteration, however, is firm with alteration in the environment. It is the job of the leader to set the direction for that alteration. The alteration, however, is different from both long-term and short-term planning. This we need to keep in mind. Now, what is planning? Planning is a management process. It is deductive in nature. And its aim is to produce orderly results. But again we need to remember that planning does not develop real alteration.
On the other hand, setting direction is a leader-driven process. This involves gathering a wide range of data. It even looks for patterns, linkages, and relationships. Setting direction explains the ever-changing environment. Another aspect of direction-setting is the creation of a vision and schemes. Schemes should be created in line with the vision. The vision and scheme give instruction to the business. And also to the technology and custom, it is going to adopt.
As used above, the term ‘vision’ does not refer to some peculiar understanding. Such an understanding rarely occurs to an ordinary individual. Rather vision is the product of a tough, tiring process. It is a process of collecting and examining information. Hence, people who reasoned visions are neither supernatural beings nor sorcerers. On the contrary, they are global masterminds who are ready to take risks.
It is not necessary that visions and schemes will always be brilliant. They should not be excessively original. On the contrary, the majority of effective business visions are dull in nature. And they depend on ideas that are quite common.
We can place forward an example of such a vision from the Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS). Jan Carizon, the then CEO of SAS set forth his vision. His vision was to make SAS the best airline in the world. And that too in the frequent ‘business traveler category’. But he did not say anything that was unknown to other competitors in the industry. However, nobody thought of putting these ideas to use. It was SAS who did and succeeded.
PARAGRAPH 9 ( WHAT IS LEADERSHIP)
Overmanaged and under-led companies often make a mistake. They consider long-term planning as the cure for their lack of direction and inability to adapt to active environments. This is because long-term planning is a time-consuming process. Hence, if unexpected events occur alterations need to be brought to the plan. For this reason, many successful organizations now limit the time frame of their plans.
Leadership Deals with Aligning People, while Management Deals with Organizing and Staffing
PARAGRAPH 10 ( WHAT IS LEADERSHIP)
Employees are independent in modern organizations. They are linked to one another by their work and technology. They are even linked by hierarchy, and management systems. These linkages sometimes work against the process of change in an organization. All the people involved need to move together in the same direction. Or else the desired changes will not take place. It is the responsibility of the leader to provide this sense of direction. He provides it to the people in his organization.
PARAGRAPH 11 ( WHAT IS SELF LEADERSHIP)
In order to carry out their plans, managers organize their subordinates into human systems. And this helps to bring order and exactness into the gaining process. This also involves several complex decisions. These are like choosing the structure of jobs and reporting relationships. These decisions also include staffing the unit with the right individuals and training them. These also include communicating the plans to the workforce. And then identifying people to whom authority can be passed on. And then creating systems that help monitor the execution. Thus the design is the prime consideration in organizing.
Aligning is different from organizing. In the case of aligning, communication matters more than design. In organizing, a manager communicates only to his subordinates. On the other hand aligning usually involves communicating to a larger number of people.
Aligning also leads to empowerment. But this is not always possible in organizing. Organizations often fail to adjust to change. This is because most people in the organization are not empowered.
Leadership Motivates People, while Management Controls and Solves Problems
Change is one of the functions of leadership. Hence, it is important for leaders to energize the participants in the change process. This is required to enable them to cope with the difficulties to change. Motivation provides people the energy required to overcome difficulties.
Managers use the control method to pile up real performance with the wanted performance. Then the managers take corrective action to address differences if any. While control is central to management, highly motivated behavior is not. On the other hand, leadership necessarily involves motivating people. This is because realizing a grand vision needs a high level of commitment and energy. A leader can motivate his people by satisfying their human needs. These are the need for achievement and a sense of belonging. These can also be recognition, self-esteem, a feeling of control over one’s life, and living up to one’s ideals.
ATTRIBUTES OF EFFECTIVE LEADERS
PARAGRAPH 1 ( WHAT IS LEADERSHIP)
Effective leaders engage different paths to manage a team, a division, or a company. Although some leaders maintain a low profile, they are systematic. Again some leaders are captivating and impulsive. We can never say about any specific leadership style that is effective in every situation. Hence the effectiveness of a leadership style is situation-specific.
PARAGRAPH 2 ( WHAT IS LEADERSHIP)
Leaders always need to possess self-awareness at certain times. Such times are when they require to understand deeply their emotions, strengths, weaknesses, needs, and drives. Leaders who possess strong self-awareness do not criticize their subordinates excessively. They are even not hopeful in their expectations unrealistically. Such leaders are honest with themselves as well as with others.
Self-regulation releases people from being prisoners of their own feelings. It helps them control emotional impulses and bad moods. Hence, self-regulation is an important trait in effective leaders. With self-regulation, an effective leader can control their emotions and impulses. They can even create an atmosphere of trust and fairness. Such an atmosphere smoothens concentrating all energies. The energies are concentrated on achieving the wanted targets rather than on politics and conflicts.
PARAGRAPH 4 ( WHAT IS LEADERSHIP)
Motivation is that quality that is shared by all successful leaders. Successful leaders are never motivated by external factors like fat salaries. They are motivated by a preacher-like enthusiasm to attain for the sake of attainment. The leaders follow original challenges, have a passion for knowledge, and take delight in a job well done. They even display remarkable patience in improving on past performance.
Empathy or togetherness is the most visible characteristic of a successful leader. It does not mean embracing others’ sentiments as one’s own. It is even not attempting to please everyone. Togetherness means reasonably considering employees’ feelings. Empathy along with other features in the procedure makes clever decisions.