Understanding Leader Roles
A leader refers to a person who can influence a group of people towards achieving a common goal. A great leader is a person who leads by example that motivates this group to follow their footsteps. Leading by example is a basic requirement for any leader, while great ones should lead as visionary leaders. Such leaders will create an energized and exciting work environment (Cutler, 2014). They lead with a shared vision, and they create transformational change in an organization. Notably, a visionary leader sees the future of the company. On the other hand, leaders also ought to play the role of problem-solvers as they should have the ability to reduce the occurrence of problems and prevent them from happening again. When one holds the position of a leader or a supervisory position, having problem-solving skills is an essential requirement. At the same time, being a team builder is another prerequisite of a good leader. Notably, such programs improve motivation and productivity and help a leader in identifying the weaknesses and strengths of a group. Thus, various roles, such as visionary, problem-solver, team-builder, and manager, should be discussed to understand the nature of leadership.
A Leader, Manager, and Work Environment
A leader is an individual with the ability or power to lead others (Cutler, 2014). In other words, a leader can be defined as a person who commands or leads an organization, a group, or a country. Such people help themselves and other individuals in doing the right thing. Evidently, they are responsible for setting directions, building an organization’s vision, and developing organizational goals. Some of the qualities of great leaders include focus, being goal-oriented, confidence, empowerment, and positivity.
A manager is a person who administers or controls an organization or some parts of it. Planning, the ability to solve problems, leadership, and communication are some of the qualities of a great manager. A manager ought to possess excellent management skills since they are significant to the success of big and small organizations. At the same time, poor management affects the service given to customers, products’ quality, and overall staffs’ morale (Wu, 2013). Thus, a bad manager can negatively impact the productivity of an organization.
Decision-making, effective communication, and teamwork are some of the parts I find interesting and, consequently, significant to apply in a work environment. First, employers find good decision-making skills quite appealing. Further, the ability to make efficient decisions is considered a good leadership skill and it can even make employers promote such an employee. Some careers paths, such as marketing and management alongside others, require practical decision-making skills (Wu, 2013). On the other hand, effective communication is crucial for an organization to run smoothly and achieve productivity. Notably, a good communication increases employees’ job satisfaction and productivity. Furthermore, teamwork plays a significant role in organizations since efficient teams quickly find solutions to problems when they arise. In fact, a team is more likely to produce or offer more accurate, practical, and innovative solution to problems. Additionally, teamwork brings a sense of ownership to employees and the organization at large.
Leader as a Visionary
When one talks of a leader as a visionary, it means that they lead with a common vision. Most visionary leaders use transformational leadership style for their success. In any form of business, such leaders work effectively towards achieving a common goal. Notably, this type of leadership works best for those organizations that focus more on the future and, at the same time, possess an entrepreneurial spirit. Even though visionary leaders have different ways of leading their organizations, they share similar characteristics (Wu, 2013). Just as the name suggests, visionary leaders create an inspiration. They also understand the needs of their employees, and thus, they use those needs in inspiring their followers to achieve more and build a better future for their company and themselves. The characteristics of a visionary leadership include the ability to create a good relationship among employees, to lead with a vision, to be innovative and pioneering as well as to organize learning.
There are numerous steps to becoming a good visionary leader. One is the ability to communicate organizational vision that involves sharing dreams and ideas with others. When a leader shares their ideas or vision, they give room for others to support that cause. Secondly, visionary leaders should be courageous, and most of them take intelligent risks. Notably, this type of a leader does not allow fear to stop them. For this reason, they always approach different problems with curiosity. In this case, by being courageous, they are willing to risk, especially in achieving some goals without the assurance of success. The other step is to listen to employees and to be curious. Thus, visionary leaders are good listeners. For this reason, they understand that whatever a client says is of great value. Some of the ways, in which such leaders can listen to customers, are market researches, surveys, and focus groups. Taking actions is significant for visionary leaders. Different people have different goals, ideas, and vision, which is the reason why some visions become a reality, while others do not.
Leader as a Problem-Solver
The road towards success is full of difficulties and obstacles. However, the majority prolific and great entrepreneurs have experienced successes and challenges (Cutler, 2014). Thus, a leader should have the ability to solve problems. Most great leaders can solve problems in excellent ways. A great leader looks at the failures and mistakes of the past and, as a result, makes a better decision for the future. For this reason, they are always careful not to make the same mistakes again. However, in the cases where the same problem occurs, they will be in a better position to solve in an excellent way. For leaders to address issues in an appropriate manner, they must communicate transparently. Moreover, solving problems requires transparency in communication where every individual’s points of view and concerns are freely expressed and listened to (Cutler, 2014). Through transparent communication, leaders will be in a position to make reasonable solutions.
In the process of problem-solving, various skills are needed. Among the skills that great problem-solvers possess are listening, evaluating, and communicating. When a leader listens to a problem, they gain a better understanding of the problem at hand and the ways, in which it could affect others. Employees approach leaders to let them know about any problem that must be solved. In the evaluation, the leader and manager gather information by listening and determining what could be the source of the problem (Cutler, 2014). Therefore, in the process of evaluating, leaders assess all available options. The last skill is communication that entails informing others on the decisions made. When giving the final decision, it is important to use the most appropriate method of communication that fits the message. For instance, in the case where the final decision is to fire someone, it would not be appropriate to channel such information through texts. Therefore, a good leader must be a problem-solver.
Leader as a Team Builder
Team building is significant in every organization. Great leaders have the capability of influencing others in teamwork. In team building, leaders use their qualities to inspire their team and entire workforce to achieving organizational goals (Storey, 2011). Effective leaders have the ability to manage relations with others, hence creating positive outcomes. At times, it is hard for someone to make a decision solely. Employees need guidance and assistance to accomplish the tasks, assigned to them, promptly. Notably, team members need to be compatible with one another to avoid unwanted misunderstanding and conflicts. For this reason, a team needs a team leader, whom the members can approach whenever they are faced with difficulties. Thus, a team leader plays a significant role in guiding all team members. Furthermore, this leader also motivates the members to stay focused. In team building, a team leader sets the objectives and goals. Thus, teams are formed with a particular purpose. However, the leader alone should not be responsible for setting goals. Suggestions from the other members are discussed openly.
A leader defines the roles and responsibilities of the team. Further, as a leader, one should understand their team members well, and they are not supposed to take sides. They should provide equal support to all members. Partiality or discrimination results to conflicts and negativity among team members (Storey, 2011). Motivating members makes them perform much better. At the same time, leaders should not criticize any of the team members. They are also not allowed to make fun of the team members’ mistakes as this kills their morale. Team members also need to create a positive ambiance, especially in the workplace. A leader should play the role of a mentor in a group. However, the ‘Hitler Approach’ hardly works in the current working environments. Team members ought to learn and gain from their leaders’ mentorship and talent. Thus, all credit goes to leaders when their team achieves an outstanding performance.
In conclusion, leaders and managers are the critical personnel in any organization. However, the roles of a leader differ from that of managers. In any organization, leaders act as visionaries, problem-solvers, and team builders. Leaders foresee the future of the organization they lead. On the other hand, they play the role of problem solvers. When a problem arises, the role of the leader is to provide solutions to such problems. Leaders also act as team builders. They influence teams to improve their work and achieve organizational goals. For a collaboration to be successful, they require guidance from their leader. Overall, the administration of an organizational mostly is dependent on its managers and leaders.
Cutler, A. (2014). Leadership psychology: How the best leaders inspire their people. London, UK: GBR Kogan Page Publishing
Storey, J. (2011). Leadership in organizations: Current issues and key trends (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Wu, B. (2013). New theory on leadership management science. Oxford, UK: Biohealthcare Publishing