Running head: The Environment and Context of Leadership
The Environment and Context of Leadership
University of Phoenix Online
When consideration is given to the overall success of today’s organizations, there are few things more important than leadership. The effectiveness of how today’s leadership lead through change has become a decisive factor for organizational sustainability in our current, tumultuous and transforming organizational environment (Bersin et al, 2011). According to Birchfield, (2011) the need to operate effectively and efficiently is vital to any organization, and is increasing exponentially as organizations evolve to meet the changing demands of the future. Over the past decade, increased recognition, acknowledgement and research has focused on the context of which leadership is developed for the 21st century, as it involves more than just developing individual leaders . This research paper will identify four major trends in the context of leadership. There will be a discussion of why these trends are significant as they pertain to the current business environment. There will also be a review of how these trends affect leadership, in addition to recommendations to approaches for leadership strategy. Globalization
Significance and Leadership Influences
A study conducted by Bernstein, (2009) concluded one of the most significant leadership trends is globalization, as companies everywhere are modifying business plans to expand internationally. In today’s environment, globalization is an ongoing process of interdependence and integration of economies, societies and culture. Terrell (2013) describes globalization as a multicultural, burgeoning hybrid of cultures in a borderless world – one of high chaos and continuous change as if it (the world) were a single entity. As a result of such, companies have to transition from hierarchical, top down leadership models - to inclusive, participatory leadership styles. Current business trends have the requirement for 21st century leadership to have a global perspective; one that embraces cultural differences and diversity, one that looks beyond immediate geography in an effort to resolve issues. When consideration is given to this concept, the reality of globalization may be characterized as a world that has become so interconnected, that the only way to succeed is through competition with everyone, everywhere for everything. According to Mendenhall et al (2008), global organizations face complexity with respect to the dynamics of interdependence, ambiguity, flux and multiplicity. These forces drive an increased need for global leadership competencies that enable them to respond and lead effectively. Strategies for Global Leadership
The demonstration of a unique set of leadership competencies is significant in fulfilling the role of a global leader. The potential competencies suggested by Terrell (2013) are duly noted but not inclusive: cultural awareness and sensitivity is reflected in the awareness of, sensitivity, understanding, adaptation, and the desire to learn of different cultures. Providing the tools and knowledge to enhance global leadership ability is a strategy that should also be noted. The utilization of various approaches to determine what works best is an approach practitioners may use to encourage global leadership competency. Global leaders that take ownership and responsibility for learning and development are more likely to learn more than those who rely solely on organizational training and development (Terrell, (2013). This responsibility is typically represented through the identification of learning needs, goal setting and the adjustments to maximize learning potential. The final recommended global leadership strategy is a personal favorite: to integrate intuitive, ad hoc learning approaches and structured global leadership development...
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