When we are assigned leadership roles, most of us want to be accepted and liked. However, leaders that are concerned with just being accepted and liked, often find themselves going out of their way to achieve this goal, which can sometimes lead to creating bigger challenges. During my graduate research work at Ashford University, the professor in my Organizational Management Behavior course asked us to contemplate what style of leadership we believe is the most effective for managing an organization. The focus of our discussion was centered on whether it is important to be well-liked, or whether the final results and reaching organizational goals were all that really mattered.
For my eBook, Ethics in the Real World (2013), I began my research work on the topic of leadership ethics, by drawing from personal experiences working with managers whose strong leadership styles included good intentions and solid goals, but evolved into a style of leadership that produced ineffective results. This shift can occur because: (a) managers lose sight of the goal, or (b) the power they experience in this managerial role, supported by a strong ego, can distort a leader’s perceptions which in turn attributes to their losing sight of the original vision and goal. This can also happen to leaders in powerful positions that have no one to answer to. In extreme cases, these kinds of leaders may become dangerous individuals, because unlimited power, with unlimited compassion, tends to encourage unlimited corruption (Berry, 2013). This is the kind of arena that cultivates a fertile atmosphere for individuals with personality disorders to thrive; often unable to recognize inappropriate conduct or worse, unable to perceive that a problem even exists!
The reality is, the nature of today’s business world produces constant change. To develop an ethical organization, strong leadership expertise is required to handle potential problems with intelligence, diplomacy, and efficiency. In truth, every leader exhibits talent differently. There really is no one way of leading that is better than another. In his book, Finding Your Leadership Style, Jeffrey Glanz (2012) too asserts that anyone can lead to a certain degree, and agrees that not all leaders will yield the same results (Glanz, 2002). That is also due to the fact that each individual relies on their own unique experiences and influences in the decision making process.
Visionary leaders that demonstrate a charismatic style, for example, tend to achieve their goals more consistently and can experience higher levels of success. This class of leadership style tends to be effectively equipped at coping with change, delivering guidance, and instituting direction by communicating a vision that generates enthusiasm. These are transformational leaders that: (a) propagate trust, (b) encourage the development of leadership skills in others, (c) exhibit self-sacrifice, and (d) most significantly, serve as moral representatives. This style of leadership is focused on objectives which transcend the leader’s own immediate needs (Baack, 2012). In addition, this style of leadership increases levels of fulfillment and performance from organizational staff members because they are effective in formulating and communicating the firm’s vision while continuing to build professional bonds with employees. In other words, this style of leadership includes individuals that are able to combine personal capability, group skills, managerial aptitudes, and motivational proficiency, with individual humility and professional determination to achieve their goals.
That’s wraps up our discussion for today. On Wednesday we will continue our analysis on styles of leadership. Until then … stay organized!
“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” – Bertrand Russell
For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our Business Life audio book titles, please visit amazon.com’s new feature called “Author Central” to view:
Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.
Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.
Glanz, J. (2002). Finding your leadership style. Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision and Curriculam Development (ASCD).