Leadership and Management for the 21st Century
I will contrast and compare two books about leadership, Leadership Skills for Managers and The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders, as they relate to leadership and management in the 21st century and the teachings of Hughes, Ginnett, and Curphy. I will evaluate how each source analyzes the leader, the manager, the follower, and the situation compared to Hughes et al. and then discuss how my personal experiences relate. Leadership Skills for Managers
The author, Marlene Caroselli, of Leadership Skills for Managers concentrates on the individual leader and the many roles she plays such as visionary, problem-solver, team builder, and communicator. I will discuss these roles in further detail later. Each role is explained using situational scenarios where actions are suggested to allow the leader to better navigate in each role. This book showcases one unique situation after another and gives the reader the tools to ameliorate in whatever role she is playing. Management is discussed from the perspective of coping with stress, emotions, energy, time, and people.
A manager directs work through others, is responsible for the quality of work from her subordinates, and acts as a liaison between subordinates and superiors. According to Caroselli (2000), a leader “creates something of value that did not exist before” (p. 3). A leader should have the following traits: courage, pride, sincerity, adaptability and influence. She should have the courage to think outside the box and to create change and prepare for opposition by anticipating objections, showing the benefits of change, accounting for all who will be impacted, and ultimately developing a strong plan for change. A leader should take pride in her accomplishments and be genuine in her interactions towards others. She should take dissidence in stride and be flexible to alter course as warranted to solve problems. A leader should be able to influence others to her point of view.
The visionary leader must be able to see the future of the company as it should be to operate at peak efficiency. One cannot become complacent as this is a visionary’s greatest enemy. In the process of positive remodeling, a leader should recruit others to brainstorm and contribute their perspective ideas. Benchmarking can be a great tool to examine what others have done in similar situations and help get the creative juices flowing or possibly create a starting point for the change initiative. As an idealist, be sure to set strong ethical standards for everyone to follow. Management innovation is defined as anything that substantially alters the way in which the work of management is carried out, or significantly modifies customary organizational forms, and, by so doing, advances organizational goals” (Hamel, 2007, p. 19). Leaders are encouraged to “escape the shackles” (Hamel, 2007, p. 125) of our current way of thinking and operating, which has been passed down over the generations and never truly challenged. Now is the time to question old archetypes and think ahead to create new paradigms. Think on the fringe by looking at processes from a different perspective as well as looking for truly unorthodox and atypical solutions. Searching for change must be an integral part of the work environment as there will always be a better way to do things; you just have to find it.
Solving problems requires both divergent and convergent skills. Converging skills will allow the leader to logically approach a problem, analyze gathered information, and make an informed technical decision as to the solution. Convergent thinking, as discussed by Hughes et al., means there is a distinct right answer. Divergent skills should be used to help a leader see things from a different viewpoint that will bring about atypical resolutions. Divergent thinking, as discussed by Hughes et al., means that there are...
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