Manager's Likeability on Leadership Success dissertation

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The most successful training programs are concentrating on the cognitive side of emotions, specifically evaluating how leaders can provide individualized attention and support to help subordinates prioritize tasks, focus their efforts, organize their time and resources and attain a higher level of performance. The transition of managers into leaders is also determined by the level of trust the latter is able to create and sustain through greater authenticity and genuineness of interaction with subordinates. No longer directing activities in the short-term, a leader with a sufficiently high level of EI interprets acts on and promotes the vision the organization is attempting to accomplish by taking a much focused path to their fulfillment. This can only happen when a leader has a strong focus on the needs of the team while also underscoring the urgency to focus on and achieve goals. Transactionally-oriented leaders struggle with this trade-off of task orientation to emotional intelligence, while transformational leaders clearly understand the need for balance. Figure 2 illustrates the balance required to ensure likeability and goal attainment stay balanced on a foundation of trust.

Figure 2: Balancing Emotional Intelligence and Trust

Based on analysis of the following sources: (Boyatzis, 1982; George, 2000; Gabriel & Griffiths, 2002)

Theorists and researchers have since determined that the holistic nature of EI is more of a foundation for motivation than any transactionally-based management technique. Long-term belief in and clear identity with a given vision and goal is far more powerful fo a motivator than a small cash payment at the end of a task, or a short-term reward. Long-term aspirations and the potential to fulfill them are significantly more powerful, and rewarding, for employees to participate in and sacrifice to achieve than any small, temporary reward. This is precisely why EI is such a critical component to the foundation of transformational leadership (Saarni, 1990). Without it, long-term goals and a vision of any business that takes years to accomplish, requiring the full commitment of a team, would not be possible. Yet with transformational leadership, even the most remotely possible objectives become attainable. The often-cited statement of President Kennedy in the early 1960s of America winning the Space Race is a case in point. He galvanized a nation to that goal and America did succeed. Yet imagine if President Kennedy had been transactional, offering short-term rewards for incremental gains in space flight and innovation. The moon landing in 1968 and other remarkable achievements all built on those advances a generation ago wouldn't have happened, including the landing of Curiosity on Mars, an SUV-size robot capable of sending digital photos from beyond the sun to earth. Remarkable achievements are possible for succeeding generations of an enterprise when a transformational leader sets a firm foundation through the use of EI.

Likeability is also foundational to the development of an effective transformational leadership skill set, yet must be kept in context. It should not be a goal in and of itself, but a part of any leader's progression into being a transformational leader. As Izard (1991) states, leaders are specifically given the responsibility of creating a culture of achievement and innovation, while also developing a level of trust and transparency to ensure team members have the stability and resilience to deal with uncertainty and rapid change (Yukl, 1989). The best leaders are able to balance the emotional and the logical, underscoring the need for continual improvement and innovation to ensure challenging objectives are accomplished (Boyatzis, 1982). Theorists and researchers alike show that just creating a culture of trust and transparency is not enough, team members want someone to hold them to a standard of what they can achieve, and help them get to that level of attainment when adn if they need help (Goleman, 1998; Boyatzis, 1982). The leader emerges as coach and mentor, a person capable of creating the combination of transformational factors that gain subordinates' commitment to a challenging goal or vision, while being transparent and trustworthy enough to gain cooperation, all underscored by a high level of situational and emotional intelligence (Goleman, 1995; Salovey & Mayer, 1990). Likeability in this context is the glue that unifies the Venn diagram of items in Figure 1 together; it is the catalyst that keeps an organization moving forward and morale at a level that is resilient enough to setbacks, negativity and the inevitable challenges that occur when teams and entire organizations are challenged with a difficult goal.

The concept of likeability also does not exist in a vacuum. The larger and more diverse a team, department or organization, the greater the complexity of likeability and its effectiveness as part of a transformational leadership approach. Likeability is defined by different companies in different ways, with the norms, values and vision of the company defining the most critical aspect of this dimension (Gabriel & Griffiths, 2002). Theorists have argued that likeability is directly related to competence and the peer reviews of a leader by their own peers in addition to subordinates from other departments (Gabriel & Griffiths, 2002). Far from a popularity context, likeability is actually deeply rooted in hwo competent and kind a leader is, two potentially conflicting directions yet a leader with strong EI skills can balance these two areas. Competence and kindness emerge as two critical success factors for a transformational leader to be respected, effective and liked, all of which leads to their ability to motivate employees to attain the highest levels of performance possible (Rafaeli & Worline, 2001).

How EI Theories Support Likeability

With the point established that likeability is not in and of itself the goal but a by-product of the three core aspects of leadership shown in Figure 1 and the ability to manage competency and kindness as a leader, the role of EI needs to be included as foundational to this leadership attribute. The four core components of EI as defined by Ciarrochi, Chan & Caputi (2000) include the perceptual acuity to recognize other's emotion, ability to manage one's own emotions and responses, intuitive insight into how best to manage situations so others' emotional needs are met, and an insightful approach of how to apply these insights into specific situations rapidly to ensure cohesion and consistency of focus for an organization. All of these factors are also combined as a core part of the emotional and interpersonal competencies that govern behavior, coaching sessions with subordinates, thinking, and management of others (Macaleer & Shannon, 2002)

When likeability is included as part of the EI framework of transformational leadership, the potential also exists for its measurable and validation. While many aspects of transformational leadership defy measurement and are evident from a team's continual progress, Salovey and Mayer (1990) defined the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) which they used to validate their hypothesis regarding EI. They collaborated with researchers Goleman and Boyatzis to create the Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI). The ECI takes into account the cognitive, motivational and experiential aspects of leadership in a group or team context. The ECI research instrument led to the researchers defining emotional intelligence as a subset of social intelligence that enables the monitoring of both one's own and others' feelings, emotions and social context from a share set of common expectations and perceptions of reality. EI emerges from this analysis as a series of psychological factors that enable the interpretation and contextual referencing of verbal and nonverbal a Appraisals of individuals and teams while also creating a foundation of trust and transparency (Gabriel & Griffiths, 2002).

The continual research into the dynamics of EI underscore how critical the needs is for linking transformational leadership and transparency together to create a foundation of trust (House, Shamir, 1993). As Figure 1 shows, these three factors must be continually kept in close coordination to each other for a leader to be effective. The likeability of a leader is in direction proportion to how well these three factors can be kept in close integration, despite disruptions and increasing levels of uncertainty and the quickening pace of change in many industries. The core components of likeability often become a stabilizing force in organizations that are going through rapid and severe change. The many studies of leadership, which is a core element of likeability, bear this out. A great leader who innately practices authenticity, transparency and earns trust can keep an organization together and stronger in the face of formidable challenge and problems; they are the catalysts that keep organizations unified in the face of daunting and often uncertain, disruptive change (Watkin, 2000). As has been said earlier in this analysis, likeability is the glue that keeps the model in Figure 1 unified. The model in figure 1 is useful for determining the components of likeability and why it is so mercurial in some organizations and industries while stable in others.…[continue]

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