Leadership

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Final course paper. Advanced leadership.
Timofey Shevtsov

Part 1.

From my point of view, it is hard to say explicitly what is leadership and who is leader. One may suggest, that leader is a person who is able to make people follow him. This assumption is not far from being truth, however it is the most widespread definition of leader. From Advanced Leadership course it became clear for me that leadership is far more complex issue and describing a leader demands in-depth understanding. Along with the set of capabilities and personal characteristics a potential leader should possess, he has to act in a certain way and follow different traits of behavior. Acknowledgement of leadership becomes even more important in case of organizations. The way the leaders behave within the organization and their impact on organizational performance is a crucial point. All of this became a great concern of plenty of scholars, who were trying to identify and understand the ways a person becomes a leader. Some of them (Chatman and Kennedy, 2010; Guillen, 2010) try to describe a leader from psychological perspective, another refer to sociology, or even economics and management. I suppose, in order to build a strong and deep understanding of leadership, it is vital to have a look through all these disciplines and perspectives. And of course, needless to say that in today’s global environment leaders have to possess specific capabilities to succeed in multinational context.

I would like to start with the model of effective leadership. This model consists of 3 levels. First level implies personal attributes and qualities of leader, his capabilities and specific mindset, which enable him to behave successfully in various situations, overcome difficulties. Second level contains set of actions and behaviors, which leader uses in order to achieve his goals and results. Third level represents leader’s global mindset due to which he is able to sustain effective in contemporary multinational business environment. This level spans two other levels implying interdependence of all levels in global world. The explanation of each trait of each level is provided below.

Model of effective leader:

Personal attributes

Diagnostic capabilities imply such necessities as accurate understanding of various situations and acting in a proper way. This approach results in situational leadership concept. “Assessing social and emotional cues in the situation” (Chatman and Kennedy 2010, p. 161) in important as well as it enable to construct a certain patterns of reaction on the particular problem. Leader at the same time should be emotionally intelligent, which means managing emotions and self-monitoring, which enables leader to understand needs of group and act accordingly.

According to Chatman and Kennedy (2010), leader has to decide which way to act, thus the flexibility of leader’s repertoire is required. Unlike most of people, leaders should have a set of behavioral patterns, in order to avoid the same reaction in various situations. The counterparts and followers perceive flexible persons as more effective. Authors also identify such qualities as integrative and behavioral flexibility. Integrative flexibility reflects in better understanding and cognitive reactions on different situations, while behavioral flexibility leads to transform thoughts into complex plan of actions. However, it is necessary to remind followers about common goals (for instance, organizational success) and to show a great commitment to both leader’s and follower’s success.

Authors also define such capability as understanding of leadership paradox that implies that one of the greatest challenge for leader is to be able to make followers do their work the best they can, as leader’s success depends on success of his followers.

Of course, leader can’t exist without followers. Thus the ability to communicate, motivate and persuade people is vital for...
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