Leadership Isn’t Simply Taught, It’s Instilled
Leaders constantly have to be prepared to apply different styles to varying situations. A leader has to fully understand the environment and constantly adapt leadership styles to the environment. It is a continuous process. As technology and the economy force organizations to change how they do business, major concern also lies in how the organization looks from the inside.
The world sees organizations from the outside—the commercial/marketing side. Yet, a key component to successful organizations happens inside. Internal communications, professional development and building a culture for individual growth drive the overall success of an organization. Experience suggests today’s leaders must focus on a fair process and transparency that leads to trust and commitment. Leaders build trust and commitment by telling it like it is while communicating positive feelings, setting realistic expectations and engaging the internal client. Organizations then grow and prosper from the inside out. A goal might be to hire people whose values are in sync with the organization, thus providing the best situation for growing and retaining leaders.
Organizations continually analyze how to promote and develop leadership growth. Organizations need to invest resources in leadership development by constantly searching the landscape for future leaders. All around, it has to be a consciously evaluated and reward-based matrix for finding leadership within an organization. Leadership development is an ongoing, continuous process. Individuals must never stop learning, assimilating, or understanding who it is they lead or may lead. Creating a corporate climate that builds those values into its resources promotes an image employees desire.
As the next generation enters the workforce, leadership development opportunities compiled with a total employment package drive the younger workforce to say yes to a job offer. A suggestion for leaders may be to utilize the technology of today to communicate; however, leaders still need to adapt to the individuals and need to communicate and link with a person face-to-face. Leaders must provide hard feedback yet remain excellent listeners. Watch for unintentional communication of low expectations that communicates indifferent behavior. The more engaged the workforce feels, the more adaptive they will be to improve the organization and lead themselves.
As an instructor at the graduate level, helping individuals realize their leadership potential is a goal. Through the student-driven learning environment students take concepts and theories and apply it to themselves and their workplace. This also serves to contribute to students transforming themselves to be better leaders and performers. There is a continually changing face of leadership in the business world and personal research and experience suggest change is continuous. It really is a great time to teach and help students help themselves.
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Dr. Agustin V. Arbulu is a professor at Northwood University’s DeVos Graduate School of Management. Dr. Arbulu teaches and consults in the areas of organizational performance and change, leadership and team effectiveness, international business and corporate strategy to executives earning their MBA.