Running Head: Morgan – The Leader of the Future Becoming the Leader of the Future Andreica L. Morgan Post University Bus508. 91: The Future of Leadership and Management Carolyn Shiffman PhD Saturday, August 21, 2010 ABSTRACT3 Assignment Synopsis & Thesis Specification5 Discussion5 Lessons Learned from Past and Current Leadership5 The Essential Leadership Qualities Going Forward6 New and Distinctive Challenges for Leaders of the 21st Century and Beyond7 The Focus Will Be On Skills – Both Hard and Soft9 Hard knowledge will still be essential9
The increasing importance of soft skills10 Interaction and communication skills10 Coaching11 Giving and Receiving Feedback11 The Strategic Process for Obtaining These Skills12 Summary & thesis opinion12 References:13 ABSTRACT I will be defining leadership as it was in the past, creating a personal definition of leadership for the future, and forging a strategy for obtaining the skills and experiences that will improve my ability to reach that definition of leadership.
There are many different levels of leadership within a company, but I will use the term “SEE-Level leadership” as the level I will be focusing on based on this definition: “…SEE-Level leaders hold a variety of titles: supervisor, team leader, project manager, foreman, unit manager, and the like. Working daily on the front lines, these people see problems, opportunities, and challenges. ” (Wellins & Weaver, 2003, pg 60). Traditionally, these leaders dealt in a top-down management style, with leanings towards team building in order to complete a limited number of specific company objectives. Herman, 2000, pg 76). A frequent initial choice of SEE-Level leadership style will be participative leadership but a transition to facilitative leadership should be expected by any current leader as something they should learn. Their new roles will include assuring an understanding of objectives, providing resources, coaching, teaching, encouraging, measuring, and giving objective feedback. Independent telecommuters, 9-to-5’rs, and multinational teams working on solutions for global companies will have diverse leadership needs.
Leaders, therefore, have to expand their leadership styles, coaching methods, and types of interactions to accommodate those needs. Future SEE-Level leaders need proficiencies of which their predecessors had no knowledge. The leaders of the future are going to be a main resource for information, strategies, and support for their direct- and indirect-reports, coworkers, and leaders. Being a good leader means developing soft skills as well as business skills.
SEE-Level leaders must have extensive training in interpersonal as well as handling the managerial issues in order to succeed. “Like most things worth doing well, leadership isn’t born of knowledge alone. It takes practice, feedback, and careful application of the right skills over a period of years to develop into an exceptional leader. ” (Wellins & Weaver, 2003, pg 62). Following that note, involvement in an internship as well as soft skills classes will be essential to my success as a SEE-Level leader. Assignment Synopsis & Thesis Specification
This assignment is a summation of the history, the theories, and the potential applications of the leadership concepts I have learned in this class. I have to not only understand what has happened, but also how it happened so that I can be an effective leader in any company I may chose to work for, or when I get brave enough to go forging out on my own. This is important so that I can either tweak the successes to make them meaningful for myself, or learn from the mistakes that have been made so as not to repeat them.
Here, I will be defining leadership as it was in the past, creating a personal definition of leadership for the future, and forging a strategy for obtaining the skills and experiences that will improve my ability to reach that definition of leadership. Discussion Lessons Learned from Past and Current Leadership There are many different levels of leadership within a company, but those that …really make or break a company, and who offer the greatest return on a development investment, operate at what we call the SEE-level. SEE-level leaders hold a variety of titles: supervisor, team leader, project manager, foreman, unit manager, and the like. Working daily on the front lines, these people see problems, opportunities, and challenges. They are the most visible level of leadership to employees and customers. They bear the brunt of the responsibility for engaging workers, building morale, and retaining key players. (Wellins & Weaver, 2003, pg 60). These SEE-level employees are usually the connector between the policies created at the head office and the adherence to those policies in the field.
Traditionally, these leaders dealt in a top-down management style, with leanings towards team building in order to complete a limited number of specific company objectives. However, “By 2010 directive leadership will be practically obsolete”. (Herman, 2000, pg 76). While Herman is off his mark by a few years, his words are on the right track. With a transition from industrial jobs filled with those who needed direction to complete their life-threatening tasks, to a more independent and information driven world, the ability to give edicts with a “there is only one way to lead – my way” indset is going the way of the dinosaur. Being a paternalistic leader, giving directions and requiring frequent status checks is now considered micromanagement and employees soon leave companies that continue to use this style of leadership. I will continue using SEE-Level leadership, as this is the level of leadership to which I currently aim. The Essential Leadership Qualities Going Forward The labor force will be more self-directed than they were previously and many will desire leaders of different styles than present leaders are used to.
Employees of the future want leaders that will assist them with reaching their goals of self-fulfillment as well as providing a living. Based on that assumption, leaders will have to learn new styles of leading that focus on inspiring and coaching their followers to increase their productivity and expanding their familiarity with new technologies and advances to facilitate that increase. During this time, management will be redefined to nonhuman resources – such as product lines, procedures, equipment, etc.
Anything people-related would be called either “leadership, support, or facilitation, more accurately reflecting the actual work associated with the role”. (Herman, 2000, pg 76). A frequent initial choice of SEE-level leadership style will be participative leadership but a transition to facilitative leadership should be expected by any current leader as something they should learn. “Participative leadership, with leaders making decisions after increasingly strong involvement from workers, will continue until about 2020, responding to the needs of older workers who still want, and hence need, some direction.
Note that the design will be participative leadership, rather than the earlier style of participative management. ” (Herman, 2000, pg 74). Facilitative leaders will be those that clear obstacles then let the followers shine – Facilitative leaders will concentrate on making possible the high performance of each of their direct reports. Roles will include assuring an understanding of objectives, providing resources, coaching, teaching, encouraging, measuring, and giving objective feedback. … While receiving this coaching, the individuals will choose to form their own internally otivated teams to collaborate for results. The job of the leader will be to prepare people to perform independently, then help them to grow and achieve, capitalizing on their individual strengths. (Herman, 2000, p75-76). Because their roles will be changed to that of more of a support system than a management system, SEE-level leaders will have to view their upcoming challenges in a different light than their predecessors did. New and Distinctive Challenges for Leaders of the 21st Century and Beyond
Over the next few years, there will be several urgent challenges that SEE-level managers will have to face. The most pressing will be the impending retirement of a significant portion of the experienced work force which will affect not only productivity but stem the flow if experiential information as well as extensive knowledge to the next generation. With less than 10% of companies having a formal process to pass along information, “U. S. employers have only begun to take steps to ensure that their retiring employees are sharing their knowledge with the organization”. Wellins & Weaver, 2003, pg 61; Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009, pg 105). In an effort to prevent this dearth of knowledge, leaders will have to put into place mentorship programs that link experienced workers to younger, less experienced, or more technologically savvy workers to create a knowledge sharing base. This allows the older workers to share their experience, techniques, and insights with the younger workers, and the younger workers to educate the older workers in the new advances in technology and innovative procedures to expand their horizons as well.
Another challenge because of the decrease in number of mid-level managers is that each manager has increased responsibilities, many times pning many groups. Independent telecommuters, 9-to-5’rs, and multinational teams working on solutions for global companies will have diverse leadership needs. Leaders, therefore, have to expand their leadership styles, coaching methods, and types of interactions to accommodate those needs. This requires time for further training and development than normally available due to extended work responsibilities.
Managing a virtual workplace is going to be more common – potential for less face to face daily interaction with followers or coworkers so the shift in focus will be to results versus following a proscribed process. “By the year 2005, we expect at least 20 percent of the working population to be home-based… and perhaps even 40 percent by the year 2020. ” (Herman, 2000, pg 77). With changes in the way people interact to get work done, SEE-level leaders will have to find ways to build connections between the different stakeholders that they are responsible for in order to have a cohesive unit.
Finally, today’s organizations need committed workforces, yet not many have them. Fostering high personnel dedication has become a formidable task, so much that it will become the primary job of SEE-level leaders in their efforts to engage the hearts, minds, and loyalties of those that work for them. Pressure for performance — with fewer resources — has escalated. Values and attitudes about work have become shifted across generations. In addition, employees, seeing how little loyalty organizations have shown their people over the past few decades, have begun to return the favor. Herman, 2000, pg 75; Wellins & Weaver, 2003, pg 62) The Focus Will Be On Skills – Both Hard and Soft Future SEE-level leaders need proficiencies of which their predecessors had no knowledge. Besides being adept business people, the leaders also need to be able to deal with changing demographic issues, come up with or facilitate implementation of creative ideas, and have excellent people skills. To be able to meet all these new requirements, the new business leaders need continuous training and support. Hard knowledge will still be essential
The leaders of the future are going to be a main resource for information, strategies, and support for their direct- and indirect-reports, coworkers, and leaders. As such, expert power will be essential in substantiating their leadership status. According to Nahavandi (2009, pg 164), “people may influence others because of special expertise, knowledge, information, or skills that others need. People listen to the experts, follow their advice, and accept their recommendations. ” As a new SEE-level leader, having the formal training for a position is a good start, however actual experience makes for a better teacher. Like most things worth doing well, leadership isn’t born of knowledge alone. It takes practice, feedback, and careful application of the right skills over a period of years to develop into an exceptional leader. ” (Wellins & Weaver, 2003, pg 62). With this in mind, many companies need to either implement or strengthen mentoring, internship, and apprenticeship programs within their companies in order to foster an environment of inclusion versus exclusion as well as provide necessary job experience, which is key to attracting and retaining top talent, building employee commitment, and encouraging creativity and innovation.
Nahavandi indicates that the ability to either volunteer for or be assigned to “challenging and high-visibility projects” (2009, pg 165), as well as building a wide-ranging network of relationships and using information and building expertise will help build credibility during the early stages of a “young” leader’s career. However, knowing the business backwards and forwards will do no good if I am not able to translate that knowledge into useful communication to those following me in a way they can understand. Knowing soft-skills comes into play at this point.
The increasing importance of soft skills Being a good leader means developing soft skills as well as business skills. SEE-level leaders must have extensive training in interpersonal as well as handling the managerial issues in order to succeed. During the 2009 study “Leadership Developmental Needs–A System for Identifying Them”, Takala, Winegar, and Kuusela determined that developmental areas that current and future leaders needed to enhance and expand their proficiencies in were related to Interaction, Coaching, and Giving and Receiving Feedback
Interaction and communication skills When communicating w/your coworkers or subordinates, the ability to share information and interact are key factors in being successful. Learning to share information effectively is a two part mission, first to understand and then to be understood. The goal is to improve mutual understanding (Runion, 2009b), so a good communicator will become a reflective listener by listening for meaning and checking with the speaker to see that a statement has been correctly heard and understood before communicating further.
There are classes and books available that teach communication skills, but no matter how it is done, “communication skill training is never complete without analyzing communication styles and learning how to communicate effectively with different personality tendencies” (Runion, 2009a). Coaching The area of coaching involves enhancing skills that inspire, energize, and develop subordinates, coworkers, and the leader themselves. Callan (2007) suggests that two key traits are common in good coaches that can be learned and developed.
One element is the willingness to create an environment where staff feels inspired and empowered to try new things, even to the point of failure, and using these opportunities to give advice, coaching or mentoring to help expand expertise. The other is that good coaches actively seek out, encourage, reward, and develop talent by identifying and implementing programs and activities that either build on current skills or give development where skills are lacking.
Giving and Receiving Feedback The area of coaching leads to the area of giving feedback, either in regards to the coaching provided or in general, sometimes to non-performers or in response to conflict management. Per Callan (2007), one of the traits needed to provide good feed back is the ability to deal effectively with under performers by delivering appropriate forms of feedback based on the individual’s communication and learning styles and needs.
Providing numbers in regards to dollars lost by doing something incorrectly to a person who cares about the human factor would be inappropriate and ineffective, but providing information on how action or inaction will affect others in regards to frustration and time spent correcting the mistakes will usually spur the desired response. By doing this, it promotes a trusting relationship that makes staff feel valued and more receptive to coaching and feedback because their needs are taken into account.
In addition, when providing feedback, the ability to make a point of acknowledging good performance as well as pointing out poor performance promotes the understanding that management is not always looking for the problems, but the solutions and good things as well. With a trusting atmosphere, staff is encouraged to learn more or produce more innovative products, technologies, and systems. The Strategic Process for Obtaining These Skills By knowing the different areas that I must focus on, I can utilize all of the resources available to obtain the skills I see as being necessary to become a SEE-level leader.
My current company has several leadership training courses in order to do things “The APAC Way”, and they have created new positions called “Advisors” as a mentorship/job shadowing option in preparation for internal career advancement for many different positions. Outside of the those options sponsored by my company, I will have to continue seeking opportunities to read books, journals, and pamphlets as well as attend seminars and classes on communication skills, providing feedback, and other aspects of leadership in order to stay abreast of changing trends. Summary & thesis opinion
By giving a brief summation of the history, the theories, and the potential applications of the leadership concepts I have learned in this class, I have recognized and understand what changes have happened in leadership. I have also examined what competencies I have to achieve so that I can be an effective leader in any company I may chose to work for, or when I get brave enough to go forging out on my own. My definition of leadership has been one of facilitating the growth of followers versus one of patriarchal order giving has led me to determine what training I will need to provide that leadership to my followers.
Using this definition, I have forged a strategy for obtaining the skills and experiences that will improve my ability to reach that definition of leadership using resources available through my current company and sought out by my own initiative. I hope it all works. References: Callan, V; Mitchell, J; Clayton, B; Smith, L & National Centre for Vocational Education Research. (2007). A Set of Resources and Tools for Identifying, Building, and Sustaining the Learning and Development Needs of Managers and Leaders. Support Document. National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).
Retrieved from ERIC database. Herman, R. E. (2000). A leadership evolution. Employment Relations Today, 73-82. Retrieved August 15, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global. Nahavandi, A. (2009). The Art and Science of Leadership (Fifth Ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. Runion, M. (2009a). A Question of Communication Style: Seven Strategies to Bridge the Communication Style Gap. Speak Strong Inc. http://www. speakstrong. com/articles/communication-styles/stylebridge. html Runion, M. (2009b). How to Use Reflective Listening Scripts: The Top Ten Dos, Don’ts, and PowerPhrases to Promote Understanding.
Speak Strong Inc. http://www. speakstrong. com/inventory Takala, M; Winegar, D; Kuusela, J (2009). Leadership Developmental Needs–A System for Identifying Them. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 49(1), 126-147. Retrieved from ERIC database. Takeuchi Cullen, L. (2007, April 26). Employee Diversity Training Doesn’t Work. Time. Retrieved August 8, 2010, from http://www. time. com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1615183,00. html Wellins, R. S. , & Weaver, Jr. , P. S. (2003, September). From C-Level to See-Level Leadership. T+D, 57-65. Retrieved August 13, 2010, from Education Research Complete.
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