The afore-mentioned leadership qualities are the building blocks for an effective leader whose ultimate goal or vision must always be to contribute towards organisational success. Colin Powell, former American Chief of Staff, said ” The performance of the organization is the ultimate measure of a leader ” ( Industry Week, August 1996 ) Definitions of success and the associated qualities required vary across different organisations and depends greatly on what the organization deems to be their goal. Many are shared or common regardless of task or type of work . During his 1998 election campaign President Bush stated that he wanted his followers to ” trust in him …be inspired in him and do better by him ”
Surely these desires are not that much different from a typical McDonalds supervisor ? Therefore when discussing leadership, an examination of qualities must be a priority. Without the appropriate qualities or building blocks a leader may be incomplete and therefore not as effective as he / she should be. In order for a carpenter to fit a joint he must have the right tools. How successful is he going to be if he does not even know what tools he needs ?
Some companies such as advertising firms gauge success merely by how much revenue they can generate. Here communication will be required in relation to sales figures. Passion and use of control / reward mechanisms will help enhance chances of success. People are less important than the task. Other organisations such as a personnel dept will be more concerned with the individual or team and how they are doing. Communication will be very important here in order to listen, hear , understand and react to any personnel related issues. Honesty and trust are also crucial in order to build up an effective relationship.
Companies whose main objective is to provide a quality product or service will look for leaders who can communicate effectively the standards required and the implications if this is not achieved. Taking the example of food manufacturing empowerment is encouraged in order to create other leaders. and a culture of belonging and team working.. Great emphasis is placed on the process. Karl Weik argued that if we are made feel part of or create the environment how can we decry it ? (Margaret J. Wheatley,1994)
Good leadership can contribute in many other positive ways including. increased staff moral leading to increased productivity, lower staff turnover .e.t.c.. Also new products can be created out of sheer visionary application. . The Polaroid camera. and organisations are better equipped to deal with change. Effective leaders constantly challenge the status quo so that outdated or obsolete methods of working are replaced by better ones.
Company’s operated by effective leaders are more flexible at and during times of change. A large part of the reason for Marks ; Spencer’s demise over past four years was attributed to a stagnant hierarchy of management who were slow to change or communicate with its customer base. In the period 1991 to 1996 there were only two appointments at senior level which were filled using external candidates.
( Source Business Week, 15th March 1998 ) Also during the period 1990 to 1995 less than five percent of net profits were re-invested into the marketing department when the industry average for retail at that time was over ten per cent. ( Source, Logistica , 28th May 1999 ) In the future the area of leadership will continue to be researched, expanded upon, re-built and re-defined in greater detail. Advances in technology and further work related laws and practises will continue to have a bearing on what leaders can and cannot do.
In conclusion there are certain qualities and skills both personal and non-personal which leaders must possess in order to be a leader.. They are usually learned and along with the knowledge of knowing when and where to use them. Different leaders will have different styles depending on the organisation they operate in, the task or company objective and types of followers they enlist. History has shown us undeniable proof of what can result from good and bad leadership. Keith Grint sums up a leader as someone who ” causes others to act ” . With regards to the positive effects of good leadership this is encapsulated in a statement from Daniel Dafoe when he says that ” An army of lions led by a sheep is no match for an army of sheep led by a Lion ! ” ( Grint, 1995 )