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Internal and external customers are both considered important and their needs must be anticipated and satisfied in the most suitable manner. The decisions that the executive leader makes must be based on solid information. He must be aware of the consequences of his decisions. At the same time, he must have a long-term perspective and make the best choice even if at the beginning its consequences might seem negative.
A further competency that must be taken into consideration refers to the ability to efficaciously manage strategic resources including the human ones, the financial ones and the information ones. From this point-of-view, one needs to be updated with the technological development which are relevant for his work area. In addition, he must make sure that everything from the recruitment process to the selection and rewarding of the staff members is done in the manner which best serves the organization.
A leadership network is highly important for a company or organization which wants to achieve success. Senior leaders are brought together in order to create a top class team which bases its efficaciousness on experience and know-how. The best way to create such a network is by bringing together top qualified people who have a common purpose. The most difficult task under these circumstances is to provide them with this common goal. This goal could be represented by the mutual advantages that they and their organizations would have from this cooperation.
Once the network is created, it must be managed just like one would manage any other team. Training is welcome in order to allow the members of the network clearly understand what their purpose is and what is their role in the process of achieving it. Furthermore, the relationship at the bases of the network must be based on trust. The most obvious advantage that the network presents is the problem-solving capacities of its members, a capacity which can help each of the involved organizations achieve fast results. Another advantage is represented by the cumulating of resources. Communication is a fundamental factor for the efficient creation and use of leadership networks.
Any organization depends on its members for its functioning. People however need to be motivated in order to perform their tasks. It is not an easy task to increase the motivation of the employees. The differences between people, their interests and desires, as well as the characteristics of their jobs, together with their abilities make it difficult to come up with an unique motivation scheme for the entire group of people part of an organization. There are various theories regarding motivation. One of the most famous ones is represented by the hierarchy of needs, a theory conceived by Maslow. An organization can motivate its employees through the satisfaction of the five types of needs that Maslow has individuated. The physiological needs for example can be satisfied by the wages. The financial motivation is extremely strong since the amount of money that people gain influences their status and thus their opinion regarding themselves.
Another basic need that people have refers to safety. An organization satisfies this need through the benefits that it offers. The need for affiliation is satisfied by creating a feeling of belonging to a group or even a family, which is represented by the organization itself. The esteem needs can be satisfied through the recognition of the merits. In addition, people must be given tasks which are at their level. Giving them tasks under their level is a sure way to diminish their motivation. Tasks which are challenging not only motivate people, but they also give them the chance to fulfil their potential and even develop themselves.
There are other ways to motivate people, regardless of the cultural environment where they live. People have a constant need to develop themselves, to grow at professional and personal level. From this point-of-view, it is wise to allow them and to stimulate them to be creative. Giving people opportunities for self development is a highly important motivation technique. It must be nevertheless adapted to the cultural background of the individuals.
In addition to being motivated, people can also be influenced. It might be said that it is more politically correct to motivate people into doing the things which are good for both them and the organization that they are part of. However, one does not always have the strategic resources needed in order to efficiently motivate large groups of people within which a large array of diversities can be met. Furthermore, due to cultural differences, it is often the case when people are influenced by things others would not expect. It is important from this point-of-view to understand what is it that can influence people.
From this point-of-view, we can speak about several influence strategies. One of them refers to higher authority. Authority and power are closely connected. One in a position of authority can influence others through his status alone. Another influence strategy refers to sanctions. People might choose to do something in order to avoid various types of sanctions, starting from the financial one to the more important psychological ones. Assertiveness is another influence strategy that has been proved to be efficient in various cultural contexts.
Power and leadership are concepts which are closely connected. The bases of power however are not always the same. It depends on the context and on the cultural environment where power needs to be exercised. One who has power in a certain cultural background might have himself lacking any form of authority once in a different cultural environment.
Reward is one of the bases of power. It has nothing to do with authority, especially when it is to be considered from a psychological point-of-view. Rewards can be financial, but also emotional, in the form of appreciation and respect from the part of a person one might consider important. Expertise is another source of power. It is enough for one to be the best in particular field in order for him to be in a position of power. Authority however is delegated, and one might be powerful through knowledge and experience and at the same time not have the authority to command others or impose his point-of-view (legal matters might come in at this point).
There are cases when power is based on authority. Once one is in apposition of authority, this means that he or she has access to coercive actions. These automatically put the person in a position of power. and, just like in a vicious circle, this will provide the person with even more power.
When taking charge of an organization, there are several roles which have been proved to be essential for the successful functioning of that organization. One must keep in mind that the organization must manage two environments, the internal and the external ones. From this point-of-view one can also defines the roles that people need to fulfil.
The first role that comes to mind is that of the human resources manager. Under the circumstances in which the access to technology is no longer powerful enough to highly differentiate competitors at a world wide scale, it is important to underline the fact that people have become a strategic resource. Consequently, the person who will manage this resource is also of great importance.
Another role should belong to the person in charge with the communication process. This process is directed both towards the external business environment, as well as towards the internal environment. Communication must have a clearly stated purpose and it must take place at all levels and in all directions. It is important to have and record feedback on all the key issues.
A further role that is important when taking charge of an organization is represented by the management of the technological aspects. Technology is fundamental fir the successful functioning of any organization. He access the latest technology is not enough in itself. One must know which is the best way to use it and to implement it within the organization as well. Since updates take place on a regular bases and at fast speed, it is important to have someone fulfil the role of technology guru, a person who is passionate by the filed and who has a visionary perspective upon the potential use of technology.
Last but not least one may speak about the role of building coalitions outside the organization. This part is extremely important, especially under the circumstances when one finds himself in a different cultural environment. Strategic alliances need to be build in order for an organization to function efficiently. In addition, one should be able to understand the external policies and changes which might have an impact upon the organization and know which the best way to handle them.
Executive Competencies, Retrieved November 26, 2007 from web site: https://www.opm.gov/ses/ecq.asp
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