ASSIGNMENT 1 (a)“Although leadership is situational, some traits, skills and characteristics contribute to leadership effectiveness in many situations,” (Dubrin, 1992). Analyse this statement giving examples of an organisation you are familiar with. (30) INTRODUCTION Leadership can be termed effective, whenever group or activities are required; the emergence of a leader becomes imminent. A group always works effectively when there is a leader to guide the members and keep them motivated on their way to success.
A leader should possess leadership skills, traits and qualities that will be encompassed in the various types of leadership styles namely Democratic, Autocratic, Laissez-Faire and Participative. DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS Leadership Cole. G. A (1995:51) states that as a working definition leadership can be described as a dynamic process in a group whereby one individual influences the others to contribute voluntarily to the achievement of group tasks given a situation. Stoner and Freeman (1998:470) define leadership as the process of directing and influencing the task related activities of group members.
Situational leadership Hersey and Blanchard (1988) suggest that leadership style should vary according to the readiness and skills of followers to direct their own actions. (Derek Rollin son 2002: 387) Trait Theory Refers to the assumption that certain people have inherent characteristics which enable them to be leaders. (Derek Rollin son 2002:365). Traits Traits are distinguishing qualities or characteristics of a person, while character is the sum total of these traits. There are hundreds of personality traits, far too many to be discussed.
The more of these you display as a leader, the more followers will believe and trust in you. Skills These are the knowledge and abilities that a person gains throughout life. The ability to learn new skills varies with each individual. Some skills come almost naturally, while others come only by complete devotion to study and practise. Qualities and Skills of an effective leader Leaders do not command excellence, they build excellence. Excellence is being all you can be. Without a good leader, a group will not be able to perform to the best of its abilities.
However it is also essential that a leader has the right qualities and skills. For one to be an effective leader you need to cultivate certain skills and qualities vested in you. The writer will list a few qualities and skills of an effective leader: •In order to become a good leader, a person should be aware of the nitty-gritty of the work that his team has to handle . Unless and until he knows about the work, he will not be able to lead in the right direction. •An effective leader needs to be exemplary for his team members and become a role model for them.
If he is lazy, dishonest and shrinks from responsibilities, how can he expect others to be meticulous and sincere? •A leader should be totally unbiased. He should not have personal favourites in his team, to whom he gives more authority or less work. All members should be treated equally. • Patience is one of the most essential qualities needed in a leader. Since he has got to guide his team, he must have patience to make them learn what they need to and get the work done for them. • Constructive feedback is one of the skills that should be possessed by a leader.
He should always praise his team if they perform very well, at the same time he should be able to tell them where they went wrong and how they can rectify the problem. • A leader needs to motivate his team so that they happily contribute towards the team work. •A leader should always be receptive to new ideas. Because he is the leader doesn’t mean that suggestions made by others will be useless. Traits of a good leader •Honest – Display sincerity, integrity and candor in your actions. Deceptive behaviour will not inspire trust. •Competent – Base your actions on reasons and moral principles.
Do not make decisions based on child like emotional desires or feelings. •Forward looking – Set goals and have a vision of the future. The vision must be owned throughout the organisation. Effective leaders envision what they want and how to get it. They habitually pick priorities stemming from their basic values. •Inspiring – Display confidence in all that you do by showing endurance in mental, physical and spiritual stamina, you will inspire others to reach new heights. Take charge when necessary. •Intelligent – Read, study and seek challenging assignments. Broad –minded – seek out diversity Organizations consist of three components i. e. •The structure gives the organization its form and dictates the way it will interact. •The followers respond to the structure and the leaders. •The leaders determine the ultimate effectiveness of the organization as the character and skills that they bring determine the way problems are solved and tasks are accomplished. In analysis to the statement of (Dubrin 1992) the writer will use an organization called NSSA (National Social Security Authority) to analyse leadership effectiveness.
NSSA is a parastatal involved in the administration of National Pension Scheme and Workers Compensation Insurance Fund. It is classified in the insurance sector which caters for pension, health and safety of workers. The organizational structure of NSSA is a functional where we have the CEO, Directors, Managers and subordinates. The functional departments involve Pension and Benefits, Compliance and Debt Management, Finance and Accounting, Human Resources and Information Technology. The Benefits and Pension department is where the processing and payment is done. The democratic leadership style is used in this section.
Democratic style of leadership Democratic leader involves followers in decisions and delegated much more responsibility to the group. This was said to lead to higher quality decisions, a much stronger team spirit, commitment to implementing decision and satisfaction among followers. The Pension and Benefits department caters for different types of people i. e. the injured at work, retired workers, widow/widower and the employees and employers. This department is headed by a Director who reports to the General Manager followed by managers and their subordinates that is Benefits officers.
The leader in this section practises democratic type of leadership where he involves his subordinates in decision making depending on the situation e. g. when dealing with a widow/widower or injured worker patience is extremely required. The leader must be able to listen and understand what the client needs and wants are. Also he must be participative in executing his duties in that if someone comes who can’t write, he must be in a position to assist the client on how to complete the necessary forms so that they get their benefits payments easily and walk away smiling.
The Director Benefits as the leader should be able to accommodate all types of clients who come for assistance i. e. you can meet the disabled, widow/widower and the employees who sometimes are very harsh because they do not understand how NSSA functions so you should be competent, intelligent, fair- minded and courageous to these situations so that at the end of the day the goals of the organization are achieved. Participative and Delegation style Since NSSA operates a functional type of organizational structure, the Finance and Accounting department Director or leader exercises participative and delegative type of leadership.
This department deals with the finance requirements of the organization as per set goal i. e. budgets, cost controls and investments. The leader applies participative and delegative styles in the preparation of budgets and financial statements e. g. a subordinate is not familiar with the new accounting standards to be applied when presenting accounts and since the Finance Director is quite familiar with area, he can assist the subordinates to understand the new amendments of the appreciation of the standards.
He can show by doing it with them so that they really know and this will assist the leader in achieving his set targets like the budget must be out on such a date. “Lets work together to solve this problem. ” This style involves the leader including one or more employees in decision making process i. e. determining what to do and how to do it e. g. the Director Finance can authorise the Accountant or Finance Manager to be signatory for the release of funds to procure capital expenditure. However the leader, Director Finance maintains the final decision making authority.
Using this style is not a weakness, rather it is sign of strength that your subordinates will respect. Delegation allows the Director Finance to set priorities and delegate certain tasks. This style is used when you fully trust and have confidence in the people below you. Authoritarian or Autocratic style ‘I want both of you to…. ”This style is used when leaders tell their employees what they want done and how they want it accomplished without getting the advice of their followers. Some of the appropriate conditions to use it is when you have all the information to solve a problem, you are short on time and your employees are motivated.
Some people tend to think of this style as a vehicle for yelling, using demeaning language and leading by threats and abusing their power. In NSSA, the Compliance and Debt Management department administers the compliance of NSSA ACT (17:04) gazetted by the government of Zimbabwe. In this section the compliance officers make follow ups of outstanding debts, non- compliance to the statutory instruments enshrined in the NSSA ACT. The leadership style because of the nature of the duties in this department requires an autocratic style e. g. hen a compliance officer deals with a client who is not complying to the NSSA statutes , he does not negotiate but simply to enforce the law as stipulated by the NSSA ACT(17:04) which gives powers to persecute. These officers from this section work with instructions and orders from their superiors as stated by the legislature. b) Describe the steps managers can take to increase their power and ability to be effective leaders (10) Power is a measure of an entity’s ability to control the environment around itself including the behaviour of other entities.
The term authority is often used for power, perceived as legitimate by the social structure. Power can be seen as evil or unjust but the exercise of power is accepted as endemic to humans as a social being. Stoner et al (2000:344) refers power as the ability to exert influence that is the ability to change the attitudes or behaviours of individuals or groups. There are various sources of power namely reward power, coercive power, legitimate power, expert power and referent power which a manager can exercise while executing his duties to achieve the desired organizational goals.
These aspects of power may be present in variety of human relationships. Reward Power It is power derived from the fact that one person , known as an influencer has the ability to reward another person known as an influencee for carrying out orders which may be expressed or implied e. g. In NSSA the power of an Accounts Supervisor to assign work tasks to subordinates – Accounts Clerk. Rewards offered should add value to personnel and they should be acceptable by the subordinates so as to increase the effectiveness of a leader. Legitimate power
It is power that exists when a subordinate or influencee acknowledges that the influencer has a right or is lawfully entitled to exert influence within certain bounds also called formal authority. It is an obligation of the subordinate to accept this power. The right of a manager to articulate the policies and legal instruments to the subordinates and establish reasonable work schedules is an example of downward legitimate power. For example, an organization security guard may have the upward authority to require even the company CEO to produce an identification card before being allowed onto the premises.
The manager should acquire more education and skills that are regarded or recognised by subordinates for him to maintain the legitimate power. Coercive Power It is power based on the manager’s ability to punish the subordinates for not meeting requirement. Punishment in an organization may range from a reprimand to loss of a job. For a manager’s coercive power to be felt he must recruit physical able staff but without expertise skills e. g. in the army they recruit soldiers based on fitness, the reason being that qualified will resist coercive power. Expert Power
Power based on the belief or understanding that the influencer has specific knowledge or relevant expertise that the influencee does not have e. g. when a patient does what the Doctor has instructed, he is acknowledging the Doctor’s expert power. Referent Power Power based on the desire of the influencee to be like or identify or imitate the influencer. It is a straight forward character which subordinates emulate e. g. because of Mr Philip Chiyangwa’s popularity and status in the society one can emulate the way he dresses and even the way he answers his mobile phone. )How might your current programme of study contribute to your development as a manager and effective leader. (10) I am a first year first semester student studying a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with the Midlands State University through distance learning offered by CACC. The subject or modules involved in the first semester are Principles of Management, Organizational Behaviour, Small Business Management, Advanced Management Accounting Techniques and Computers in Management.
This programme has equipped and enhanced me in knowing what is management? Which are the planning, organising, controlling and directing (POLC). It has developed me to know what management styles to apply at a given situation within the organization’s departments as well aw the powers invested in me. Management of resources and knowing the effects of delegating as a manager you will be accountable for all tasks which make the organization achieve its goals. Organizational behaviour has enhanced me in ways of handling conflicts and problems.
The importance of workforce diversity as a tool for improved productivity and effective leadership through the mixing up different cultures and skills. The appreciation of the accounting system has developed me in the management of finance through cost control measures and how to cut costs. Because of this l am now able to analyse financial statement and understanding of the cash flows of my organization if ever I am tasked to take a challenge in the finance department. REFERENCES 1. Griffin. W.
R (2007), Fundamentals of Management 5th Edition, Cengage Learning. 2. Cole. A. G (1996), Management Theory and Practice 5th Edition, Ashford Colour Press, Gosport, London. 3. Griffins. W. R and Moorhead (2009) Organizational Behaviour: Managing People and Organizations, Cengage Learning. 4. Stoner. A. F. J, Freeman. E. R and Gilbert, Jr R. D (2000), Management 6th Edition, Prentice-Hall of India Products. 5. CACC Learning Zimbabwe Module. Principles of Management 30211/BUSN 416, Cacc, Harare