|Title of unit/s||Developing Leadership & Management Skills|
|1. Understand the distinction between leadership and management.||1.1 Describe a range of meanings attached to the concepts of leadership and management.|
1.2 Justify distinctions drawn between leadership and management.
|2. Be able to explain different approaches to developing leaders and managers and the role of the learning and development|
|2.1 Evaluate a range of approaches for developing leaders and managers.|
2.2 Discuss the role of the L&D function in providing leadership and management development.
|3. Understand how to ensure the ownership and success of leadership and management development programmes.||3.1 Identify indicators of success for leadership and management development programmes.|
3.2 Justify methods to ensure the success of leadership and management development programmes.
|Drawing on the literature and/or current organisational practice, write an essay where you should:|
Evidence to be produced/requiredA written essay of 3,000 words +/- 10%
All reference sources should be acknowledged correctly, and a bibliography provided
where appropriate (these should be excluded from the word count).
In contemporary businesses, leadership and management are concepts are crucial in Human Resource practice as they dictate how the organization operates towards the attainment of the goals and objectives. It is necessary to have a clear understanding and distinction between leadership and management and the underlying principles. Further, leadership and management development in an organization are necessary as they lead to improved performance and in business environment growth. Leadership and management have a direct implication on the organizational growth as it helps in unlocking the overall potential of the workforce and harness skills. To enhance leadership and management skills, development programs are necessary that are facilitated by the L &D team. However, to ensure success, the Leadership and management programs have to be implemented in the right strategies while also applying the necessary success indicators. This essay elucidates on the differences between leadership and management, while also delving on the success practices of the development programs.
Whilst management and leadership concepts have a common aspect like collaborative practice for the attainment of the organizational goals, there are significant differences in terms of the context and the primary focus. The differences between management and leadership is pointed out by many scholars such as who noted that management entails more of the maintenance of order and operations in activities such as staffing, budgeting, problem solving, and planning. This is in contrast to the primary role of leadership that encompasses production of movement and constructive adaptive to change, through inspiration and motivation. Leadership and management can be interpreted through three major concepts.
Leadership is a process as opposed to mere expression of traits, style, or knowledge by the leader. Oshagbemi (2017) notes that leadership is a process where all members of the group are actively involved in the entire process as opposed to a single person to act as a lead. In an organization where I was working, the organization leadership motivated their employees and provided inspiration as a way to encourage the people to attain their objectives and ultimately contribute to the attainment of organizational goals.
Leadership can be defined based on the traits of the leaders. This is a concept that has been widely used since 20th century that defines leadership as attributed to the individual person’s traits as opposed to the role one is assigned in the organization. Leaders are known by their decisions that they make and their inspiration, which is derived from their traits and charisma (Mládková, 2012). From the good leadership traits, leaders are able to expedite the specific organizational goals and objectives and become an inspiration to the followers. Most of the leaders that I have encountered in my career are full of charisma, a trait that is associated with good leaders.
The concept explained by Mládková (2012), delves on leadership as being more focused on followers as opposed to the leaders. The concept states that leaders are liable to the followers and therefore. This concept states that the focus should not be oriented on the leaders but rather on the role that they play in influencing the followers. The manner in which the leaders are able to have a psychological progressive process among the followers defines the leaders. According to this concept, leadership is best defined by the outcome that is evidenced from the followers. It is easy to determine the level of achievement on the followers’ outcome as opposed to leadership traits.
As opposed to leadership, management, the attainment of the organizational goals, values, and cultures are essential in decision making. The concept also delves more on the attainment of the organization goals through use of senior managers as examples (Birasnav, 2014). In addition, the performance of the entity is best evidenced by the efforts that are put by managers (Birasnav, 2014). As such, managers in an organization engage in generic functions that help in decision making for the firm, which are considered as basic.
From the three concepts, it is evident that there are distinctions between leadership and management. In line with the first concept that assert of the leadership as a process, key attribute of leadership that is exemplified is that the leaders apply motivation and inspiration to have the organizational objectives attained, which is not the case with managers who are commonly associated with the results as opposed to the process. This distinction is also proven from the literature by Birasnav (2014) who notes leaders are more concerned with the process and achievement of the followers while managers focus more on the results without minding of the route towards the success.
From the second concept, the aspect of traits becomes evident. The concept presents leaders as charismatic and having unique traits that help in the attainment of the organizational goals. Managers do not necessarily have this trait, a fact that is also justified by the scholarly positions by Edwards et al., (2015) and Bârgău (2015). According to literature by Edwards et al and Bargau, leaders exhibit more of motivation to their subjects in regard to decision making to enhance effectiveness. Further, there exist differences in personality between the managers and leaders as the latter shows more of charisma whiles managers are known to be more analytical in their decision making. Further, leaders exert power by applying the charismatic trait whiles managers influence their subjects through power and authority (Edwards et al., 2015). This scholarly assertion is in line with the concept on leadership and traits stating that the latter have inherent attributes that makes them to be more influential towards the attainment of the organizational goals.
From the third concept, the difference between managers and leaders is also evidenced by the delineation on the followers. According to the concept on leaders and followers, it is evidence that leaders are more concerned with their followers, while managers focus on the output. This assertion is also proven by exceptional Bârgău (2015), who notes that leaders use their followers to attain the organizational objectives. In this case, leaders empower their followers through motivation and inspiration for greater productivity while managers use their authority to exert power on their subjects (Edwards et al., 2015). Indeed managers consider their subjects as subordinates while leaders refer to them as followers. In regard to the concept on organizational culture and values, managers role is exemplified that of ensuring smooth operation functions in an organization as opposed to that of the leaders.
An organization that is committed to the goal of leadership development, numerous tools, and techniques may be applied depending on the size and the type of the entity. The need for development of leaders and managers may be necessitated by the growing use of self-managed and peer supported development that may require individuals of greater responsibilities to meet the stakeholders’ needs. Numerous techniques and approaches are used as documented by the different scholars. First, the use of 360 degree feedback is a common strategy that entails the measurement of one’s performance abilities from specific viewpoint (Horng & Lin, 2013). Some of the viewpoints include self-assessment, supervisors, subordinates, and external stakeholders. The feedback from the different aspects provides motivation for the organization to improve the leadership skills (Horng & Lin, 2013). Coaching is a common method of leadership and managers development. This strategy is applied in combination with assessment instruments because it helps in both assessing the individual needs and subsequently providing a remedy to the different shortcomings. An effective coaching model is one that has three parts: diagnosis, coaching, and review that helps in maintaining learning and modified behaviors.
Mentoring is another strategy of leadership and management development, which relates to coaching. This method of leadership and management development is commonly used by senior persons in the same or different organization to inculcate appropriate skills on junior persons in the organization. Mentoring can be done in a formal or informal method. According to Crow (2012) mentoring is a strategic tool that can help in retaining high potential talent and may accelerate development and readiness in undertaking organizational goals. It is also an effective tool in shaping leaders and managers in attaining organizational culture and closing the prevalent gaps in the workforce (Crow, 2012). Many organizations have increasingly recognized the benefits that are associated with mentoring leaders and managers.
Despite the fact that mentoring is effective, many organizations miss the mark due to the failure to align the process with the business goals and objectives. As such, the issues that are covered under the formal mentoring may not be aligned to the organizational needs leading to failure. In other occasions, some of mentoring programs fail due to the mismatch between the mentor and mentee leading to insufficient training in the program (Greif, 2013). In ideal situations, mentoring should start with laying the groundwork for the business case. The second step is to prepare the launch by using the tools and communication to make clear the focus. This step may also encompass the matching the mentoring and mentee needs.
The third step is to launch the program and train the mentors before allowing them to establish the relationship with the mentee. After the mentoring program, the organization should conduct the effectiveness of the program by pairing the regular intervals (Greif, 2013). The third strategy is the leader to leader development. This approach entails pairing of the senior executives with leaders who have just acquired their role in the organization. Through a leader to leader development strategy, it becomes possible to transfer knowledge, allow building of the confidence, and enhance collaboration (Greif, 2013). This strategy is merited as it allows having an inner understanding and exposure for the leaders to take on new roles and responsibilities.
The L&D is in charge of championing the development and support of leadership and management through different ways. For example, the L & D should champion development of leadership and management through provision of resources for the facilitation of the coaching and mentoring sessions (Meager & McLachlan, 2014). In the mentoring and coaching sessions, there are numerous resources that may be needed to facilitate this program. There is a need for the employee assessment data, which allows coaches and mentors to map the mentee needs and work towards meeting the prevailing gaps in skills and knowledge (Meager & McLachlan, 2014). The assessment also covers strengths and weaknesses of the mentee, which gives mentors valuable insights. L & D department has also to provide with the relevant coaches and mentors, which is based on a careful assessment of their abilities in skill matching exercise.
L & D also provides better tools that manager and leaders can effectively use to filter content and meet the specific needs. This is attained through the provision of appraisal reports and other tools such as Feedback 360 that are necessary in depicting the ability of the mentee and identify areas where improvements are needed. The provision of tools does not end with the assessment but rather, the L & D department is responsible for the provision of the different ways to support leadership and management in an organization (Armstrong, 2012). Some of the common tools that the L & D use to disseminate provision of leadership and management support are online training, core competency training, leader to leader training programs, coaching, and mentoring among others.
The choice of the support tool for the development of leadership and management is based on the organizational needs vis-à-vis the competency of the employees (Armstrong, 2012). The resource endowment of the firm also determines the choice of the tool to be used by the L & D department. Fourth, the L & D department may also create custom courses as well as refresher sources for the employee depending on the assessment (Armstrong, 2012). For an organization that seeks to groom managers and leaders to take on greater responsibilities, it is the role of the L &D department to ensure that such is attained by allowing refresher training as outlined in the development programs.
The training could be formal in form of seminars or workshops or informal, commonly through meeting briefs. In such meetings, there is a curated personalized content that specifically fits the managers and leaders based on the specific topics that are of interest to them. (Meager & McLachlan, 2014). Finally, the L&D department supports development of leaders and managers through the daily briefing and reviewing of the direct reports to establish the level of effectiveness (Meager & McLachlan, 2014). Through such briefing, the managers and supervisors are able to understand their inadequacies and learn their areas of weaknesses and strengths (Meager & McLachlan, 2014). The brief meetings allow the managers to digest the content and learn how to carry on. The daily briefs also form basis for the L & D department to resolve any conflicts that may be a hindrance to the trust among the leaders and enhance collaboration.
After the different leadership and management development programs that are facilitated by the L&D, it is necessary to measure the level of success. Different tools of indicators can be used to determine the level of success of the different L&D programs. First, the programs are commonly based on enhancing skills and competence (Gurdjian, Halbeisen & Lane, 2014). As such, it is essential to measure the growth level of skill and competence after the development programs. This could be implemented through the use of tests or quiz that helps to ascertain the level of competence attained after the program. An improvement in the test score would indicate success of the L & D program (Gurdjian, Halbeisen & Lane, 2014). A second indicator of success in Leadership and management development programs is the achievement of the goals (Mehrabani & Mohamad, 2015). Progress can be monitored on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis and hence it is easy to determine the level of achievement. Consequently, the level of attainment of the goals is an ideal metric of leadership and management development programs. This starts with the setting of goals and measuring if there is an improvement or level of success (Mehrabani & Mohamad, 2015). For instance, an increase in the sales volume could be an indicator of success.
Another indicator of program success is the behavior change. Leadership and management programs are intended at instilling new skills or even influence behavior change in line with the organizational goals. For instance, a program could be defined based on the need to have employees culture gets aligned to the organizational one (Gurdjian, Halbeisen & Lane, 2014). This could be based on the performance appraisals collected from the line managers and other senior managers. The level of productivity could be a good indicator of the level of the success by the leadership and management programs (Gurdjian, Halbeisen & Lane, 2014). The programs are intended to enhance competence and change behavior that should ultimately lead to improved performance. As such, the level of productivity by the trainees could give an indication of the success of the program. Productivity is considered as one of the most common and easiest metric to measure, which could form basis for performance appraisal of the specific employee (Mehrabani & Mohamad, 2015).
The practices by the leaders and managers should be directed towards ensuring that the leadership and management development programs. To ensure success of the programs, there are different methods that the team can apply. First, the programs should be started based on the business needs and then translated to the leadership roles (Gurdjian, Halbeisen & Lane, 2014). In doing this, the organizational goals and business functions dictate the dimensions that will be taken by the different leadership models that the firm takes. The model that is tailored towards the organizational needs lays the foundation, whether the needs require a focus on strategic thinking, operational excellence, or even personal effectiveness (Gurdjian, Halbeisen & Lane, 2014). Indeed, the leadership development shield only is necessitated by the organizational needs as opposed to generalities that come with vague developmental programs.
Secondly, the participants of the programs should have a clear understanding of what is expected before they embark on the program itself. The leadership and management development program should be undertaken by people who understand the organization well and understand the need for the improvement. Therefore, they should have a clear understanding of the goals, activities as well as the entire journey. More importantly, they should understand the activities, content, and the diagnostic method that should be used to facilitate the program. This requires regular meetings between the facilitators to ensure that they have a common agenda and alleviate ground for intrigues and manipulation during the program implementation. Indeed, it is advisable to have the major stakeholders in the programs as the experienced senior management to guide the whole process and ensure it is streamlined to the organizational needs.
Thirdly, it is imperative to focus on the skills and training while also laying adequate emphasis on behavior that would lead to personal effectiveness during the program. According to Mehrabani and Mohamad (2015) one critical challenge that participants in a program face is the aspect of behavior and attitude change. As such, as much as the leadership and management program may be tailored towards enhancing skills and competence, the aspect of behavior should be accorded the needed attention. According to Mehrabani and Mohamad (2015) skill and competency development is considered a normal endeavor but the self-awareness and evolving attribute are equally important in a leadership and management program. This is also justified by the fact that leadership and management programs require people with adequate courage and commitment to change the personal behavior. Therefore, a success leadership and management program should also be measured on the manner in which it leads to a behavioral change on the beneficiaries.
Leadership is distinct from management as described by many concepts. Three most common concepts that delineate on the difference entail leadership on traits, leadership based on followers, leadership as a process. As such, the attributes of a leader gets distinct from that of the manager, with charisma and motivation being the major difference. There are different methods of developing managers and leaders such as mentoring, coaching, training, and leader to leader training. In all these approaches, the intent is to influence competence through skills and behavior. It is essential to measure success of the leadership and management development programs. Some of the methods used include goal assessment, behavior change, tests, and productivity. Finally, it is vital to ensure that leadership and development programs succeed by aligning the programs to the organizational goals, using the right persons as program stakeholders, and focusing on behavior and attitude of the beneficiaries.
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