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The Leader is interested in aligning the beliefs and values of people with the overall goals and vision of the organization. In the Leadership role one can bring about change by providing direction, by setting an example, by motivating through inspiration, and by building teams based on respect and trust. A leader is focused on results rather than methods, systems and procedures. Leaders ask themselves "For what purpose?" And "What are the consequences for the system as a whole?" (Chait, 1997)
Different organizations offer various training programs for developing leadership skills in relation to planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling. The following paper analyzes the subject matter of these leadership trainings from various training writings and programs, in the light of the aforementioned human resource and management functions within an organization.
Planning is concerned with the future impact of today's decisions. It is the fundamental function of leadership training for effective management from which the organizing, staffing, leading and controlling functions stem. The manager is ready to lead, organize and staff only after goals and plans to reach the goals are in place. Likewise, the leading function, influencing the behavior of people in the organization, depends on the goals to be achieved. Finally, in the controlling function, the determination of whether or not goals are being accomplished and standards met is based on the planning function. The planning function provides the goals and standards that drive the controlling function. (Gumport, 1998)
The basic planning terminology order that is followed in leadership training, from general to specific is: vision-mission-objectives-goals. Leadership training is provided therein in the following perspective:
It is the nonspecific, directional and motivational guidance for the entire organization. Top managers normally provide a vision for the business. It is the most emotional of the four levels in the hierarchy of purposes; hence requires excessive leadership capabilities and training to become the top manager who makes the decisions on organizational vision.
The mission contains an organization's reason for being. It is concerned with scope of the business and what distinguishes this business from similar businesses. Mission reflects the culture and values of top management. If leaders are trained to frame it with the task-oriented approach of a manager, it may prove negative towards the employees. For this, a leadership insight is necessary to adopt values and culture within the mission that are beneficial to the employees. This ability is developed within the attitudes of leaders under training through individual case analyses where they are made to frame, scrutinize and implement mission statements on different models.
Objectives refine the mission and address key issues within the organization such as market standing, innovation, productivity, physical and financial resources, profitability, and management. Leaders are trained to adopt general, observable, challenging, and un-timed objectives, as they should be. By its definition, it is evident that objectives would be unrealistic if not structured with respect to worker performance and efficiency, motivating factors and level, and company loyalty. Leaders are trained to structure them with regard to these factors that influence them.
Goals are specific statements of anticipated results that further define the organization's objectives. They are expected to be specific, measurable, attainable, rewarding, and timed. Ignoring the factor as to how workers would be led to accomplishment of these goals and just keeping focus on reaching them is impractical of an organization with a professional management. Leaders are trained that the achievement of company's goals without a motivating leadership that values what the workers value, is not possible.
Organizing is establishing the internal organizational structure of the business. The focus of leadership training in this subject is on division, coordination, and control of tasks and the flow of information within the organization. Leaders are trained to be managers that distribute responsibility and authority to jobholders in this function of management.
Leadership training makes it essential that the manager possess leadership attributes for organizing. From the task-oriented approach, a manager may organize a business structure, but cannot successfully maintain it without a leader's team-oriented approach.
Each organization has an organizational structure. By action and/or inaction, managers structure businesses. Trainees are lessoned how in developing an organizational structure and distributing authority, decision-making ideally requires the leadership ability to judge the potential of every team member. It is through effective leadership training that a manager can delegate the right task and authority among his team. The manager's decisions reflect the mission, objectives, goals and tactics that grew out of the planning function. Specifically, a manager decides the following issues using his leadership skills, each of which are individually covered in leadership training programs:
1. The division/specialization of labor
2. Relative authority
4. Span of control
5. The levels of management
6. Coordination centers
7. Formal communication channels
8. Decision responsibility (Ewell, 1997).
These decisions have to be taken by the management in any organization that has more than two people. Small may not be simple. A small business, for instance, with three employees and five family members involved can be more complex to structurally organize. Organizational structure is particularly important in family businesses where each family member has multiple roles: family, business and personal. Confusion among these roles complicates organizational structure decisions. Effective leadership training equips trainees with skills required to handle these scenarios (Peterson, 1997).
Under such situations, leadership skills required to organize are furthermore demanding. The managers are trained to observe the organizational hierarchy, personal specializations, tasks priorities, as well as the family relationships. A leader is trained to be at such a unanimous standpoint that he carries the agreement of all with him in every decision he takes for the organizational structure.
Leadership training pinpoints organization charts that have important weaknesses from the leadership viewpoint that should be of concern to managers developing and using them:
1. They may imply a formality that doesn't exist.
2. They may be inconsistent with reality.
3. Their usual top down perspective often minimizes the role of customers, front-line managers and employees without management responsibilities.
4. They fail to capture the informal structure and informal communication.
5. They often imply that a pyramidal structure is the best or only way to organize.
6. They fail to address the potential power and authority of staff positions compared with line positions.
As a manager, delegation of authority can be a simple technique to get the work done, but for a leader, delegation is an equal training for his team members to rise to leadership in their own sphere. Delegation demands the development of leadership talent to realize the coordination and communication abilities of a team member; not only with respect to the task but even on personal grounds (Julius, 1999). A leader is trained to best judge which people within the organization are fit for which task, department and manager.
The formal structure in each organization that has been put in place by management has an accompanying informal structure (Julius, 1999), uncontrollable for the management, be it positive or negative towards them.
Leadership plays a key role in determining the positive or negative qualities of the informal structure, and in giving the management an invisible control over such structures. An effective manager trained to use his leadership skills can place himself as an opinion leader of an informal structure, hence determine their approach towards any intra-or inter-organizational issue that may be informally communicated.
Staffing is filling and keeping filled with qualified people all positions in the business. Recruiting, hiring, training, evaluating and compensating are the specific activities included in the function. In the family business, staffing includes all paid and unpaid positions held by family members including the owner/operators.
With increasing size and improving performance comes people complexity: more things accomplished through employees, more delegation to key employees and more reliance on employees to maintain a routine that assures superiority. Any cynical attitudes managers have about employees need to be replaced with positive attitudes. (Cross, 1998)
But standing within the shoes of a manager, cynical attitudes cannot be resolved. Here, again leadership training plays its role. When such problems exist on personal grounds, they need to be approached from the same. Having approached through a relationship-oriented approach, one can resolve using leadership skills.
Staffing success is having the "right person" in a position, rather than simply filling a position. Even if at a certain instance, a hired person lags behind in the motivation level, sense of responsibility, work efficiency and enthusiasm that his post demands, the deficiency can be improved by a manager using leadership abilities.
Had leadership not been an indispensable part of Human Resource Management, staffing would be a straight process of hiring and firing. Leadership is of key importance in employees' retaining. From reclaiming the motivation, enthusiasm, responsibility and efficiency of employees who maybe considered useless by the management, to continually serving as a source of motivation and inspiration to all employees unanimously - effective leadership training skills a manager to vitalize and…[continue]
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