There are no simple answers to what it is that makes some leaders more effective than others, and I think there is no single best leadership style or approach. What matters is that the style adopted should fit with the expectations of those being led and be consistent with the task at hand (that is, it should not ignore the specific characteristics of the task itself). I realized that leadership has different roles to partake. They can be viewed scientifically like the central ‘controller’; which does the planning, monitoring and regulating. And the ‘democratic’ leader sees himself or herself as facilitator, or coordinator.
And the more ‘educational’ view sees it as that of adviser, teacher, coach, mentor, source of expertise, etc. But a leader can be a little bit of everything from these types of roles where they can lead to achieving the task, building and maintaining the team, and developing individuals. History proclaims that leaders become leaders because of expectations created in childhood (our ‘inner child of the past’), and many have unconscious expectations to be a leader, and may well harbour resentments, anxieties, suspicions, subservience, passive resistances and attitudes to leadership that have little relationship to current adult realities.
But I think a good leader needs to be able to manage these feelings, especially responses to them. I think that leaders should be able to know oneself and be able to do self-reflection. And when dealing with other people he should know to provide objective or constructive feedback. Because it is in how you tactfully provide evaluative feedback that is becomes a valuable experienced because it will be received positively and thus will become helpful rather than destructive. In addition, leaders should be able to take ownership of his actions.
The importance of accepting responsibility for our own problems, rather than blaming others is clear distinction of being a leader. Until the early 1990s, it was not uncommon for organizations to think and plan in terms of a five-, seven-, or even ten-year strategy. In some industries an even longer time horizon (measured in decades) was considered appropriate. During the 1990s, those same organizations started to reduce their time horizons for strategic planning activities.
With the advent of dot-com thinking, a strategy and plan that covered only one year might have been considered too long a time frame. So in the fast-paced business world of today, what use is strategy now? I think that strategy is not about how to define a single, unchanging vision for the future, but rather is a way of thinking about how to deal with the future-it is more about a process to guide decision-making than about a specific document to which people can (though they often don’t) refer. In “the good old days;” when business life proceeded at a much more sedate pace (or so it
seems that it did, when we look back on it), an organization defined its vision and strategy and created the corresponding plan to achieve that vision. Once these had been approved and funded, the organization proceeded down the implementation path to achieve the vision. Occasionally, something might have happened external to the organization or even inside the organization that would require a minor tweak to the plan or, less often, to the strategy. But there was always a reasonable amount of time in which to react to these occurrences, and certainly few enough of them that the management team had time to consider each.
Today, reacting to external events requires more and more attention from the management team. With more frequent disruptive changes in different industries (the Internet, widespread high-speed network access), the need to address a completely different set of unanticipated problems (the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the explosion of viruses and spam, and the recent growth in phishing attacks), and the ever-present changes in the competitive landscape, modifying the strategy and amending the plan becomes a primary focus of management.
There’s the “head in the sand” approach-in which the organization continues to work to the original plan, which usually produces an outcome that those inside the organization think is successful and those outside the organization think is completely. And there’s the “wait until it’s obvious and re-plan” reactive approach-in which the organization, finally noticing something that will impact their strategy, decides to stop all work, put every effort into re-planning, and then restart along the path to implement against the new plan.
Instead, I think that a management team should review their mission and vision. And check if their day-to-day operations driven by strategy is still aligned to the company’s mission and vision. And when we hone skills around the process of strategy, do we consider company’s culture and core values implementation. So by learning to recognize the “signs on the road” and learning “how to drive” to achieve a result that is a success for both the organization and its customers we recognize all details.
And we understand the signposts (which represent internal and external events) and their impact on the company. This responsibility cannot be implemented by management alone, it should be practiced across all exmployees. So by becoming more adept at applying these principles to the decisions that have a significant impact we take responsibility of our contribution to the company’s growth and profitability. Strategy is no longer about “the document” or “that vision thing”-it’s about how the organization approaches its decision-making day to day.
Organizations can do better-and with clear communication of company’s mission and vision, core values and strategy; from top to bottom, they can do much better. The management should start developing alternatives, because an organization that has already established a business model with technologies, and capitalize on emerging opportunities that others may not recognize as quickly – – is an advantage. And companies need to be updated and be aware of what has to happen for a business to succeed and what is happening around that will impact ability to succeed.
It is everyone’s responsibility to be familiar with the events that will have the most impact on current chosen direction-be ready to understand the consequences of disruptive changes, or events that are not turning out the way expected. And try to drive to decision or solution rather than engaging in endless dabate. Success in business today is much like running a whitewater river. New challenges come up quickly, and must be dealt with quickly. Failure to make a decision can lead to disaster-but so can making a wrong one.
Pre-thinking and rehearsing potential challenges (as well as opportunities) can ensure a more rapid, effective response when things begin to change suddenly. And most specially learn to contribute to the strategy regularly so that everyone in the company or team becomes more practiced at the process of strategy. Thus we lessen its impact on day-to-day operations. The company becomes better prepared to deal with any event that arises, whether the result of something outside your control or as you learn more about what you can influence to the company’s mission, vision and strategy.
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