Organizations play a very important role in societies. From birth to death we deal with organizations, small or large, public or private. Organizations formed by human beings sometimes even control us, dominate society, stifle development or progress, promote growth and change, alter our environmental conditions, and at the same time fulfill our human and societal needs. Their role is multidimensional and dual in nature: they can contribute to the progress and satisfying human needs, but at the same time they can be a major obstacle in fulfilling accomplishments. They are a powerful instrument in governance and the promotion of democratic values. Initially organizations were simple in structure and management, but as they grew larger they became sophisticated and complex in structure and function, requiring managerial skills and techniques beyond the comprehension of many people. Now here comes the role of the leader who could filter the negative traits and thus direct the organization towards optimism.
A leader is someone who understands and lives life in line some purpose. Someone who is authentic, has a clear sense of his/her own personal values and is seen by others to embody those values. Someone who inspires others to follow the examples, just by being themselves.
Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership attributes, such as beliefs, values, ethics, character, knowledge, and skills. Although your position as a manager, supervisor, etc. gives you the authority to accomplish certain tasks and objectives in the organization, this power does not make you a leader, it simply makes you the boss. Leadership differs in a way that it makes the followers thrive to achieve goals, rather than simply bossing people around.
“One of his motivating passions was to build a lasting company. At age twelve, when he got a summer job at Hewlett-Packard, he learned that a properly run company could spawn innovation far more than any single creative individual. ” I discovered that the best innovation is sometimes the company, the way you organize a company,” he recalled.” The whole notion of how you build a company is fascinating. When i got the chance to come back to Apple, I realized that I would be useless without the company, and that’s why I decided to stay and rebuild it.” €• Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs
Leadership is influencing people with Empathy and Social Skills, and not by force, coercion or authority. Leaders first bring that positive change into themselves, which they dream to bring in this world.
Organizational Leadership: Meaning and Definition
An organization is all about people and relationships. Organizational leadership is about inspiring its people to excel. It requires an ability to see potentials of the people. A leader has the inner eyes to recognize people’s capabilities and to facilitate the growth of people around him.
“Look at the people as they are, and they will remain what they are. Look at the people as they can be, and they would become what they are capable to be.”
In today’s age, particularly in India those companies that “INNOVATE” are likely to be more successful. For companies to become perpetually Innovative, a culture needs to be built up. The leadership has to bring about the culture of Innovation through directing the energies towards same.
It would involve:
- A culture that empowers people.
- Recognition of Innovative thinking.
- Prevalence of outstanding leadership.
- Leaders who encourage risks, look at problems as opportunities turned inside out. They are therefore willing to allow people to get involved, and share with them the enthusiasm that can lead to finding newer, innovative solutions to problems.
Recognition of Innovative thinking:
- The systematic encouragement of Innovative thinking and of innovative effort is important to nurture Innovative culture.
- Even in situations where the novel approaches may not have yielded benefits that may have been wishes for, it is essential to publically applaud such efforts.
- It is appreciation of those people who have consciously contributed to the creation of something that is better and more effective.
- Leaders can transform organizations. Leaders, who can inspire change, are those who have certain quality about them.
- Outstanding leaders cannot be satisfied with the status quo. Organizations that demonstrate high levels of innovation are those that share the beliefs that things can always be made better than they are today. It is good leaders who help carry people successfully over uncharted paths.
- This spirit triggers innovative thinking at all levels, and makes organization survive and grow even in difficult situations.
‘Business Today’ declared best managed companies in India recently. They are Tata Motors, ICICI Bank, Grasim Industries, Tata Steel, Great Eastern Shipping and Bharati Airtel. The companies have done well in good and bad times. Their leadership ensured following principles and success formula:
- Their vision was courageous.
- They focused on core competences and expanded geographically.
- Creation of operational excellence.
- Best governance. Not only law-abiding, but operations beyond that.
- Top managers have grown from inside ladders.
- Very close relationship of organization with suppliers. Sharing of Vision and Mission for working towards a common goal.
- No compromise in product Quality.
- Thrust on innovations — To provide value for money.
- Working for the betterment of humanity — Corporate Social Responsibility.
- Better relations with stake holders, namely customers, employees, business associates, suppliers, depositors and share holders.