Reflective Leadership

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The Reflective Leadership Paper
Mark West
Leadership for Organizations: MGT 380
Instructor: Stacey Taylor
January 27, 2011

The Reflective Leadership Paper
Leadership, Wow, I can’t say that I have ever studied about a word with so much meaning and diversity. Considering that there are many definitions of leadership and no one in particular is right or wrong. I want to explain what I believe is the key theories of leadership success within profit and non-profit organizations, which are the contingency theories of Situational Leadership and Transformational Leadership. As with all leadership theories, the behaviors and attributes of the leader will directly influence the satisfaction and performance of subordinates, therefore it is essential that we discuss what makes these two theories most effective in terms of leadership success. The way I came to this realization about these two theories is really quite simple, they both relate to the needs of the subordinate in reference to their ability to effectively carry out task. I have seen first-hand how each theory is used to influence team members and in an attempt to reflect back on what I think effective leadership is, I want to start with the situational leadership theory and how it relates to the situational variables of everyday life. “Basically not everyone shares the same heredity in terms of natural traits and tendencies, nor the same upbringing, community, or life experiences. Heritable tendencies, including different learning styles, mixed with life experiences, form an inner core on which all future experiences are built layer by layer (Belasen & Frank, 2008)”. For instance, with situational leadership, comes the need for appropriate types of leadership behaviors required for different levels of subordinate “maturity” in relation to the work being performed. For example as stated in our text, “a high-maturity subordinate has both the ability and confidence to do a task, whereas a low-maturity subordinate lacks ability and self-confidence ( Yukl, Dec 31, 2008, p. 235)”. Whether at home, at church or just about anywhere you go, you will notice different levels of maturity, while some levels of maturity are high and some low, if a leader knows what to look for in a subordinate it can prove to be most effective in terms of leadership success. For example, consider an individual with a low level of maturity, the leader should “use substantial task-oriented behavior and directive defining roles, clarifying standards and procedures, and monitoring progress on attainment of objectives ( Yukl, Dec 31, 2008)”. However, quite the opposite is true for a subordinate with high-maturity level. “In this case the leader should use a low level of task-oriented and relations-oriented behaviors because of the subordinate’s ability to do the work without much direction or monitoring by the leader, and the confidence to work without much supportive behavior by the leader ( Yukl, Dec 31, 2008)”. I might add that when dealing with the different levels of maturity, it is important to remember that as maturity levels increase and decrease, so does the need for an increase or decrease in the amount of task-oriented behaviors. Therefore, requiring the leader to provide more relations-oriented behaviors based on the different levels of subordinate maturity. Either way, when dealing with the maturity levels of subordinates, the leader should build a relationship based on understanding and trust by being supportive and consulting with peers on their concerns, while providing praise and attention. “Furthermore, the most important aspect to remember that the key to successful managerial leadership is not just to recognize the opposing pressures placed on the managerial job, but knowing how to navigate across the roles to balance contradictory demands from diverse constituencies (Belasen & Frank, 2008)”. Therefore, if a relations-oriented behavior involves building...
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