Attributes of Emerging Leaders
This paper will present an investigation about the attributes of emerging leaders. Included in this topic are the theories that would identify informal leaders. This would also highlight the manner in which the company would determine these leaders. The theories of competency and emotional intelligence are the two theories used in analyzing the given scenario below. The said theories would shed light on how to view and find good leaders in the company.
Introduction (approximately 250 - 350 words)
Leaders emerge because of circumstances and innate personality attributes. In looking for a leader, one has to consider various aspects of the person and prevailing situations. For one thing, there are certain personality traits that are indispensable in a leader. These qualities are usually psychological in nature and emanate in persons who have the enormous potential to become leaders. Though that is the case, great leaders emerge because they already possess the internal qualities from the time they were born. However, their potential as a leader would come out because of challenging circumstances. So, it is also true that,” Leaders are not born, they are grown.” Good leaders emerge through training; nonetheless, certain individuals possess the distinct characteristics to become excellent leaders. Leadership is a skill acquired through learning or in-born from motivation, character, and discipline.
In an organization, finding leaders may be a daunting task, though at times easy. Corporations employ leadership workshops, seminars, and programs in training and instilling skills among their subordinates and those in top-management positions. Additionally, firms may give psychological to study emotional EQ, which is the recent development in the field of management. Research shows that such programs are necessary are prove resourceful in identifying potential leaders. Well-established companies often hold board meeting to discuss on the motivation methods that would instill and encourage leadership, especially among their juniors. Such companies realize that according to Maslow’s Law of human needs, motivation is necessary to encourage loyalty and bring-out the best qualities among people. Indeed, using the right motivation mechanisms such as promotions, gifts, bonuses, and recognition may help realize leadership potential even among those who do not display it initially.
Context/Scenario (approx. 250 - 350 words)
The research of emerging leaders would be applied in a context where a company is already requiring some significant changes. Apparently, change is inevitable in a company since it has to adjust to the external environment and conditions. A common predicament faced by many companies is the need for expansion, as it would entail getting people to work harder and perform better. In such manner, the climate of the organization would become very competitive. This would become problematic in the end if not managed effectively by the top management since the competitive corporate culture may result to individual pursuit of interest (Neubert and Taggar, 2004). In other words, the stiff competition would encourage everyone to work for themselves instead of the group. Consequently, the top management should transform such climate into a collaborative one in order to sustain the expansion strategy.
Another area of concern for such a scenario is the communication system and the goal to form a cooperative team would present difficulties for the top management. As the company would become bigger, employees would not be able to communicate well with one another and the interpersonal relationships would suffer in the end. The top management would have to ensure that everybody would go along well if it wants to achieve the expansion strategy. In order to achieve such goal, the top management has to look for informal leaders in the existing pool of employees in order to create effective teams. These informal leaders would be able to manage their respective teams to help in the expansion strategy.
Theoretical Framework (approximately 800 - 1100 words)
According to Shriberg and Shriberg (2011) certain vital skills are necessary to enable one manage a groups. Such skills include one’s capability to be of sound mind to lead teams. The need for having clear vision is to enable team leaders’ direct members while delegating duties and instructions. Additionally, these skills help in work organization, planning, scheduling, and duty delegation. In case the team faces any challenges, the leaders are also in a position to bring members for collective thinking and solution drafting (Ruderman et al., 2001).
Second, good leaders are capable of formulating decisive plans. Contingency plans are necessary to enhance a team’s success rates and competitiveness. The plans created should be in the scope of the challenge at hand, and should be meaningful to allow for implementation. After doing so, the leader then explains his or her plan to the group members for consideration. Additionally, the leader should be able to synthesize resourceful plans from his peers without bias. Teams that lack such leaders, however, fail or struggle to come up with meaningful solutions (Shriberg & Shriberg, 2011).
Shriberg and Shriberg argue further that good leaders are capable of handling conflicts among members. Even though disagreements may erupt among colleagues, the duty of the team leader is hence to delegate and solve such confrontations before they escalate. The authors claim that one effective measure of handling disagreements is mediation. The team leader may therefore ask to listen to both parties’ views, opinions, and reasons for quarrel without bias, and then offer necessary solutions. More so, it is crucial for teams to solve their problems internally and not to allow any of the disruptions to affect their work quality.
According to the Taleo Research Company (2010), the core competencies of a leader such as the ability to conceptualize, adapt, analyze, interpreting, cooperate, and others would be examined through a performance review and consecutive career counseling sessions. Consequently, the HR supervisor and members of the top management would conduct the performance review in order to identify the leadership traits of the employees. These sessions are conducted through interviews with the mentioned officials. Along with it, the consecutive career counseling by the HR officials would also be done to attain the same purpose.
The theory of emotional intelligence is also an effective way of searching for the good leaders. According to the said theory, emotional intelligence is a concrete basis in determining a person is equipped to lead or not. It has all the necessary features that would ascertain the potentials of the person to become a leader. In other words, there is a clear connection between emotional intelligence and leadership skills.
As stated by Center for Creative Leadership (2003), certain behaviors directly connect with a person’s emotional intelligence. These behaviors are fundamental in realizing and individual’s worth and effectiveness as a leader. Research indicates that effective leaders are capable of creating a balanced emotional link with their behaviors and thus their leadership success skills. Furthermore, successful leaders are able to ease people’s moods, participate in managerial decisions, are able to balance their time and life (separating work from personal life), are self-aware, and work towards building and mending relationships. Additionally, they are capable of making decisive decisions, are composed and straight forward, and have within them the capacity to accept any new change that may face them (Shriberg, Shriberg, & Lloyd, 2002).
Evidence suggests that persons who excel in emotional intelligence also possess a strong likelihood to become successful leaders. The Emotional Intelligence Theory suggests that “leadership skills are founded on the fundamental areas of the capacity of the person to manage one’s emotion and comprehend the feelings of others” (Chan and Drasgow, 2001). Notably, a good leader is not only able to comprehend their own emotional intelligence, but also has the skill of understanding that of his peers. This entails him or her assisting team members handle emotional stresses without allowing these stresses affect their own thinking and work quality.
Consequently, emotional intelligence would be determined through psychological exams. It is why company should invest on such tests or exams in order to ascertain the EQ and other personality traits of their employees. In addition, the top management would know the uniqueness of every employee as a leader by such technique. The unique qualities would help in learning the kind of leadership style that a person is capable of. Apparently, people are uniquely created with their own distinct characteristics ad behaviors. However, incorporating the right methods and measures can help handle individuals’ idiosyncratic tendencies (Neubert & Taggar, 2004).
Research indicates that autocratic leaders least motivate persons with assertive personality. Authoritarian leadership can better handle contrary, submissive staffs or managers. Chan and Drasgow’s study reveals that participation among team members can best be encouraged through democratic leadership. Such leadership, however, may prove challenging and unsuccessful in the hands of managers with an aggressive personality. Such persons tend to abuse this kind of authority.
The best way of realizing if an individual possess the right qualities to become a leader is through psychological examinations. The examinations are essential in evaluating various personality types among workers. Furthermore, the company may administer these exams in different stress situations to examine how each potential candidate handle themselves in such situations (Chan & Drasgow, 2001).
Application and Analysis (900 - 1200 words)
To introduce the necessary changes in the expansion strategy in the scenario presented above, the theories about emotional intelligence and competency theory would be useful. Certainly, emerging leaders, especially informal ones have the potential to manage effectively the existing small groups in the company. The only thing that the company should perform is to search systematically these informal leaders in order to tap them for the expansion strategy. The potentials for future leadership can be measured through an effective and systematic recruitment process. The whole procedures of hiring new employees can provide clear insights about the innate abilities of the applicants to become future leaders of the company. This can be achieved through psychological testing, aptitude test, interviews with the HR officials, and others (Taleo Research Company, 2010).
The above-mentioned measurement instruments offer insight and proof that not all leaders are trained; some leaders have inborn leadership qualities. The person then natures these qualities with time and situations, depending on the challenges and tasks at hand. As the person progresses in life and faces even more challenging situations, the manner in which they choose to handle these predicaments slowly shapes the type of leader they will become. The competency theory tough and well-respected leaders have a history of properly managing tasks and challenges they have faced in life. This would imply that everybody has the competencies on certain areas. The instruments would only be used to determine the people who are capable of leading a team, not making them a leader. It is why the human resource department has to ensure that it has the mechanisms or procedures in effectively examining every employee for leadership potentials (Riggio & Reichard, 2008).
Additionally, the top management has to maintain the highest ethical standards while the company is expanding. This is usually a problem especially when corruption and other malpractices tend to prevail within some of the employees. The temptation is quite high in a large company where monitoring of activities is difficult to maintain. The main task of the top management in this context is to provide good role models for the employees that can be exhibited by good leaders (Luria & Berson, 2013).
Research suggests that the emotional intelligence would determine whether the person would be prone to certain malpractices or not. Leaders who are high in emotional intelligence are observed to be better performers in specific areas of leadership. Leaders with stronger and higher emotional intelligences have better success rates in areas of participative management. This kind of a leader tends to be good in managing people in a participative manner implying that they are exceptional in consultative management. Such leaders are also attentive listeners and allow them to gather information necessary for participative management (Robbins & Judge, 2014).
Second, evident suggest that persons with higher emotional intelligence excel well in calming others. Such individuals are able to face challenging situations or pressure-filled scenarios and calmly sympathize with other to the point where they calm them. Emotional intelligence is thus a prerequisite for handling stressful situations. They ensure that employees and shareholders remain calm even during troubling times, assuring them that a solution was in progress (Center for Creative Leadership, 2003).
Successful leaders are also capable of evaluating and understanding their areas of strength and weakness. They do so by accepting that they are humans with flaws, however, do not allows such flaws to hinder them from performing. Such leaders are often enthusiastic and optimistic about themselves and others, perhaps this being one of their greatest strengths. In their life trials, tribulations, and hard times, these leaders are able to learn from areas that posed challenges to them. They then analyze this information to realize their strengths and weaknesses, and who assisted them and in what manner. Notably, successful leaders often have a go-go person or team to assist them during troubling times (Dries & Pepermans, 2012).
Consequently, leaders with high emotional intelligence are often composed, straightforward, and approach situations and people with confidence. Composure allows them to engage others in meaningful conversation without any dilly-dally. Additionally, it helps them save time and make decisions from the responses they receive. Confident leaders are also able to approach and handle situations with composure, allowing them to boost the morale of their team members. Straight forwardness further allows such individuals to be frank, a virtue well recommended among leaders.
Evidently, research point out that leaders having emotional intelligence tend to be good in building and mending relationships. Managers, supervisors, or top officials should exhibit the ability to establish rapport with different kinds of people especially those who are at the lower rank of the organization. This would mean dealing the employees with humility and respect so that the organization would operate efficiently with people working harmoniously with one another because of good leadership (Intagliata, Ulrich & Smallwood, 2000).
The leadership abilities would depend on many factors particularly rater perspective and level of emotional intelligence. However, the level of emotional intelligence of the leaders is highly important in managing people. Specifically, workers tend to like leaders who can control their impulses and anger. The workers also rate leaders who can withstand adverse events and stressful situations as high in leadership skills. In addition, leaders who are high in emotional intelligence tend to be happy with life, which help them in managing people effectively.
Given the mentioned qualities that relate to emotional intelligence, the company may be able to sustain or even exceed the plan for expansion. It has to identify workers with high in the said areas of personality in order to manage small groups or teams. Apparently, informal leaders are usually high in EQ. Even if they do not possess any formal position in the company, they tend to lead and are able to motivate other people toward specific goals (Contino, 2004).
Conclusions and Reflections (approximately 300 - 500 words).
In conclusion emerging informal leaders are determined by certain psychological tests and exams. This is in accordance with the theories of competency and emotional intelligence. Leadership qualities are acquired through training and can be evaluated by systematic procedures. The scenario presented above would prove that informal leaders could emerge given the proper situations. The company through seminars and trainings can provide these situations. These seminars should be coupled with psychological assessment in order to accurately identify the informal leaders that would help the company in its quest for expansion.
Of course, the top management has to recognize that there are hindrances and opportunities in identifying leaders. Notably, EQ levels should not be used as basis of measuring and classifying a good leader. Different people prioritize materialistic awards. They fail to realize that materialistic aspects that do not make a good leader. A good leader understands, is observant, self-aware, is composed, and handles internal conflicts in a timely and non-biased manner. Positive EQ display from a leader also positively reflects on the company’s reputation. Firms demand best practices from their leaders including following ethical codes of conduct, good behavior, and abiding to rules and regulations.
Subsequently, moral standards are embedded in the principles of EQ. People with high EQ tend to be morally upright, which should be the basis of leadership as well. Good leaders are able to handle stressful situations without doing focus, or being afraid to ask for assistance. They believe in the spirit of team-work, tolerance, and mutual understanding especially when tackling challenges.