Leadership is one of the essential components of organizational effectiveness. Two goals have been identified, and these include a vision for the future and learning agility. Leaders need to develop a vision for the future which will help establish the organization’s focus and self-actualization. Through self-control and developing social interaction a leader can better manage to reach the leading goal of a vision for the future. Learning agility is the second leadership goal. Through it, leaders are expected to be able to learn from past experiences and research. Experience and achievements all sums up to nothing if a leader cannot learn and adapt. Feedback is one of the ways through which a leader can be able to tell whether the organization is moving towards leadership goals.
Leading your Workforce in a Global Context
Leadership is the act of being in charge of others when executing a particular task. Effective leadership is required to make sure that operations in various industries are done in the best way possible to achieve the desired goals. A good leader should have the appropriate action plans to lead the workforce in a global context (Collins, 2006, p.234). The leaders should at all times demonstrate their understanding of primary leadership attributes and behaviors. The leaders should also always think and reflect on the practical applicability of leadership concepts, best practices, and models. Leading a workforce in a global context is based on two leadership goals which include; having a vision for the future and learning agility.
A vision is a picture that one has in their mind of the business he/she is undertaking and what needs to be done. A good leader is expected to have a clear vision to help the company achieve its goals. A good view of the future will open endless possibilities for business. A vision for the future is essential for leadership because it draws a roadmap to where the company is headed. Knowing where the business is headed allows a leader to help the business avoid any catastrophes that may lead to significant loses (Senge, Hamilton, & Kania, 2015, p.33). Processing this knowledge allows leaders to plan the workforce and organize it to realize the desired outcomes. Knowing where the business is headed enable the leader to remain focused during violent situations, as well as, motivates the workforce to also stay vigilant during the hard times. The critical function of leadership is to direct attention. To be able to do this will leaders must learn to focus their awareness and that of the workforce in tough situations (Goleman, 2013, p.52). The visions for the future allow leaders to focus by thinking only about one thing while blocking out distractions.
Visions for the future provide a leader with motivation and focus which is right in leading the workforce in a global context. The idea should aim at the results and be strong enough to motivate the leader and the manpower to keep working and not fall short of the established goals. Contemporary life has many distractions; however, a good vision will provide the leader and the workforce the focus needed to achieve the goals. There might be different visions within the same organization. This phenomenon should be analyzed from a negative perspective. Competing visions reflect conflict within the organization which can be highly constructive and essential for organizational effectiveness and teamwork (Fekula, 2008, p.20). The concepts for the future should compete so that the best can be adopted.
Visions for the future give purpose to what people do; thus, with it, a leader will be able to lead the workforce in a global context easily. Seeing the results of the efforts put is not only satisfying to the leader and workforce but also the other stakeholders. The visions help the leader, and the workforce realizes that dreams can be achieved by investing in energy, time, and power. These visions give purpose to what people do by eliciting emotions. Goleman in his book titled ‘Landmark book for Emotional Intelligence’ notes that emotions created by the views for the future play a significant role in leadership (Fekula, 2008, p.20). By adopting visions, leaders get the ability to hone their emotional strengths and avoid psychological weaknesses, and this makes them better lead the workforce in a global context.
Organizations across the globe are doing their level best to adapt in the fast-changing and unpredictable business environment of today. The more a business grows, the more the need for comfort with uncertainty and sudden change develops in all its stakeholders. Leaders need to have an integrative capacity that will allow them to weave unrelated ideas to craft an innovative solution for unforeseen problems. Leaders can only achieve this by cultivating a culture of learning agility which is essential for unlocking the proficiency of adaptation. Learning agility is not only a leadership goal but is also a primary indicator of the potential to become a leader. Learning agile leaders and workforce can adapt to situations because they can analyze information from their experiences and use it to come up with strategies to use when navigating through unfamiliar situations (Harraf, Wanasika, Tate, & Talbott, 2015, p.675). Learning agility is a combination of skills that give an individual the ability to learn something from one situation and apply that which has been discovered in a different position. As a leadership goal, it allows organizational leaders to collect patterns from one context and use those patterns to solve the complexity in the next. In general terms, learning agility can be described as the ability to learn and adapt to continually changing conditions.
The action plan for achieving this goal will incorporate many aspects that aim at the development of leadership. The first step of this action plan is the development of focus. Studies in neuroscience indicate that people focus in many different ways and for different purposes some of which work together while others stand in opposition. Developing is a product of a vision for the future; however, the focus needs to be divided into three main categories for more natural development, and they include focusing on you, others, and the fuller world. This action step works towards making sure that a leader masters the three types mentioned earlier of focus because they are essential to leadership skills (Goleman, 2013, p.53). Learning the three helps leaders cultivate the critical elements of emotional intelligence. This step allows leaders to get a fuller understanding of how the world works; thus, improve their ability to innovate, devise a strategy, and effectively manage the workforce.
The emotional intelligence required for effective leadership begins with self-awareness. This action step encourages leaders to get in touch with their inner voice. This will allow them to draw on more resources to connect with their authentic selves, as well as, make better decisions (Ibarra, 2015, p.58). Developing self-awareness is encouraged in this action step because the better the ability a leader has in reading their inner feelings, the better they use their intuition. The development of self-control is also encouraged in this action step. Also referred to as cognitive control, if developed by leaders it will allow them to keep their attention where they want it despite there being temptations to stray. This cognitive control will enable the leaders to remain focused on the vision despite setbacks and distractions. Leaders should also be able to focus on others. Focusing on others is based on the foundations of social relationships and empathy which are crucial pillars of emotional intelligence. Leaders that can focus on others are better organized. They always manage to create common ground by accepting other people’s points of view. Focusing on others is the foundation of building good relationships within an organization which help the entire workforce focus on realizing the vision for the future (Goleman, 2013, p.54). Focusing on the broader world gives leaders the ability to become excellent questioners and listeners. This outward focus makes these leaders capable of sensing the negative consequences of heavily relying on political leadership decisions. Outward focus makes the leaders focus on the established strategy, which aims at realizing the vision for the future.
Reducing workforce disengagement is another step in the action plan aimed is realizing the vision for the future. A report published by Gallup in the year 2013 indicates that only thirty percent of employees in the U.S are actively committed to their jobs. This can be attributed to the fact that a majority of the leaders for this workforce rarely put their time in effectively managing the workforce. Many leaders work with discontent and in counterproductive manners and these experiences negatively affect the workforce. It can, therefore, be concluded that employee disengagement is entirely based on poor leadership skills. The development of primary leadership skills will help reduce this disengagement; thus, improve the leader and the workforce work towards realizing the vision for the future (Goleman, 2013, p.56). Those who manage organizational operations never intend to become weak leaders; however, it happens because of their lack of ability to realize how much change it would make if they recognized the potential every member of their workforce has. This action plan encourages leaders to adopt the blue ocean leadership strategy because it will help them gain these leadership skills. This leadership strategy puts it out that leadership is a service within an organization that can or cannot be bought. The implication of this is that every leader has customers and these include the owners that the leader must deliver to and the workforce who need the leader’s guidance (Kim & Mauborgne, 2017, p.4). Adopting the blue ocean leadership strategy will make the workforce value the leadership practices; thus, be inspired to act in commitment and excel in realizing the vision for the future.
Action Steps for Achieving the Goals
The action step for realizing this leadership goal is also based on several aspects. The first aspect is learning from conflict. Two main types of conflict affect an organizations performance, and these include internal and external conflicts. Conflicts; however, if appropriately learned from can be highly constructive and contribute effectively to organizational effectiveness (Eisenhardt, Kahwajy, 1997, p.77). Having a team that is made up of individuals who have similar opinions, come from the same place, and have similar points of view is impossible. The rationale of every organization is to combine different energies, knowledge, and ideas of different people. Harmonizing all these diversity cannot be done without conflict, and it requires a leader to have productive conflict management skills (Tjosvold, 2008, p.19). Management cannot make different approaches and ideas exist in harmony; however, it is the people themselves that can hammer in the differences through discussion and learning. This aspect of the action steps requires leaders to adopt practical conflict resolution skills not only to settle disputes but to make sure that they and the workforce learn and develop strategies to solve unforeseen conflicts.
Learning agility goes beyond learning from past experiences and extends to learning from literature published by others. The aspect of authenticity can be determined for research works published by others and is considered to be a gold standard for leadership. Information from a journal titled ‘The Authenticity Paradox’ indicates that as individuals transition into administration, a lot of changes in their careers and even though they try to remain who they are, their jobs do not allow them to. Research in the journal indicates that advancing into leadership positions forces people to go beyond their comfort zones. Going beyond the comfort zones may make people want to defend their true identities creating a feeling of being unsure that one can perform and measure up to the requirements of the new setting (Boyatzis, 2011, p.97). This aspect encourages leaders not to dwell much in this self-conflict but to look for appropriate ways through which old-self can be combined with the demands of the leadership position. No matter how successful or experienced an individual is, mistakes will always happen. The world changes every single day and behaviors that were effective will now be rendered ineffective (Kaplan, 2007, p.86). It does no matter if a leader has more than 15 proprieties because they are similar to having nothing at all if the leader cannot learn and adapt with the time.
Three Steps to Achieve the Goals
The three steps needed to achieve the goal of a vision for the future include self-refection, accepting other people’s points of view and encouraging others contributions. Self-reflection will allow the leader to understand him/her better; thus identify their strengths and weaknesses. Allowing other people’s points of view will add to the diversity of leadership ideas. Encouraging the workforce to contribute in leadership will help make the leadership decisions made be fair to all. The three steps needed to develop the goal of learning agility include conflict resolution, learning from experiences, and learning from research conducted. Through conflict resolution, the leader will learn from the negative effects of the conflict. Learning from experiences and research conducted will also provide the leader with valuable information.
Description of Evidence
Evidence that indicates progress towards the two leadership goals will be research from various people and these include from the leader, the workforce, owners, and the end consumers of what the organization produces. Maslow believed that realizing one’s potential which can be described as self-realization or actualization is an ultimate goal to all humankind. Self-actualization by the leader is one of the indications that there is a movement towards the two leadership goals (Dhiman, 2017, p.178). The owners of the organization, as well as, the workforce under the leader accepting the leadership is another indication of a move towards the two leadership goals.
Feedback is necessary because it indicates progress and helps the leader understand the capacity at which the strategies applied are impacting the operations and final product of the organization. There are three sources of this feedback, and they include the workforce, consumers, and owners of the organization. Positive feedback indicates a move towards the two leadership goals; whereas, negative feedback means that more needs to be done.
Leadership is one of the essential components of organizational efficiency. This leadership can only be achieved by putting the focus on leadership goals. The two leadership goals selected in this paper include a vision for the future and learning agility. A vision for the future gives the leader and workforce focus and self-actualization. Learning agility, on the other hand, is the ability of a leader in learning from past experiences and research and applying what has been determined to solve unforeseen challenges. Feedback is essential because it will help the leader assess progress towards the two leadership goals.
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