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The Type of Leader in Company

Essay by   •  February 28, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,431 Words (10 Pages)  •  1,449 Views

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Abstract

The type of leader a company has is vital to the efficiency and longevity of an organization. The success or failure of a company is normally attributed to the CEO and/or upper management, and today many companies that seemed like they might be around forever are near bankruptcy and some are even going out of business. This raises the need for some key questions about leadership skills, the type of leadership that leads to sustained success, and leadership development. What skills should be developed to produce the most effective leaders? In applying effective leadership, typically there are two types of leaders that emerge, transactional or transformational. A good leader practices transformational leadership first and uses transactional at certain times. Should the upper management come from within the company? If so, what type of pipeline should be used? There are six necessary steps a company will need to consider for a valuable pipeline.

An Integrative Literature Review of Leadership Development:

Developing Necessary Skills, Transformational Leadership, and a Strong Pipeline

There is no shortage of advice or books on how to become an effective leader. The vast market for books about leadership shows there is no shortage of demand for such advice, either. For those who aspire to be effective leaders, sorting through the sea of information can be challenging. A portion of this integrative review is to help show the commonality that can be found in many of the existing literature about effective leadership. There is no easy answer or quick fix to becoming an effective leader, but knowing the skills that are most critical can be a good place to start.

Many books on leadership claim a universal approach to developing the skills it takes to be a great leader. But no single model will suffice. How to lead effectively and the skills needed will depend on many factors related to the individual and the organization. The reality is our standards for identifying effective leaders change with time. Paradigms for leadership evolve as organizations rise and fall. Thus, in each era we exalt a particular class of individuals as the ideal leader (Allio, 2009).

The effectiveness of a leader relies not only on the skills he or she possesses, but also on how he or she expresses and asserts those skills on the job every day. Two areas that seem to be a reoccurring theme in the type of leaders present in companies are transactional and transformational leadership. The type of leadership used can have an impact on organizational culture, which impacts the efficiency of an organization. Fields of leadership and organizational culture find that the two areas have been independently linked to organizational performance. The literature points to numerous aspects of the leader's role in creating and maintaining particular types of culture. Also, the leader should have the ability to understand and work within a culture that is a prerequisite to leadership effectiveness.

Organizations are not formed accidentally or spontaneously; they are usually created due to someone taking a leadership role in seeing how the concerted action of a number of people could accomplish something that would be impossible through an individual action (Schein, 1995). During the process of organizational formation, the founder of a company creates an organization that reflects their values and beliefs. Knowing this, the founder in a sense creates and shapes the cultural traits of their respective organization. However, as the organization develops, the created culture of the organization exerts influence on the leader and shapes the actions and style of the leader (Ogbonna & Harris, 2000).

Maybe the interactions between leaders and followers influence the characteristics of the organizational culture. Perhaps the culture of the organization is determined by the quality of co-worker interactions in organizations that utilize transactional leadership but it may be influenced significantly by the values and standards of leaders when the dominant mode of leadership is transformational. Transformational leadership may build on the initial levels of trust by establishing a deeper sense of identification among the followers with respect to the organizations values, mission, and vision. Shamir et al (1993) argued that followers exhibit this when working with transformational leaders. It is most likely this level of trust that sustains the performance of organizations operating over a long period of time (Bass et al., 2003).

Another important aspect in leadership is development. How can companies provide a necessary leadership pipeline so that the next level leaders can help the company grow? This idea can be divided into three topics, including: what is leadership development, what causes the leadership pipeline to fail, and how can one fix the leadership pipeline. Before any company starts the development process, they need to spend time to understand what leadership is and how it matches its' company culture. Leadership development first starts with leading one's self by career development and personal development, followed by leading other individuals, groups and organizations. In the later stages, leadership development goes to advanced levels where you need strategic analysis, strategic direction and organizational thinking (McNamara, 2007). Another critical determinant of any company's future is the depth and quality of leadership. The questions every organization should ask are: is our organization producing the talent needed for long-term success, can we ensure talent retention and successful leadership transition, and how can we align our strategy with succession planning.

Research Method

The methods used for this article include the selection of literature, keywords used to search, databases used, criteria for retaining literature, how the literature was reviewed, and how the main ideas derived from the literature were organized.

Selection of Literature

The CCL Guide to Leadership in Action served as a starting point for focusing the selection of additional literature. NCSU library and its affiliated online databases were used to identify journals, books and articles about the three main themes of this integrative

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