Leadership is an individual’s skill, behavior, or attitude that allows them to direct or influence a group towards a shared goal effectively. In a business context, leaders advocate for positive change and motivate people towards achieving the desired organizational objectives. On the other hand, followership refers to one’s capacity or ability to be inspired by a leader or participate in group activities to attain a common purpose.
Measuring Leadership Performance & Effectiveness
My effectiveness as a leader will be based on tangible and measurable outcomes guided by my company’s objectives or vision. Achieving corporate goals reflects my ability to apply technical and behavioral competencies and knowledge to meet the organization’s needs. My stance that achieving the enterprise’s goals reflects my performance and efficacy as a leader is supported by empirical research. A study conducted by the Society of Human Resource Manager revealed that an individual’s knowledge and behavior could influence their performance (Society for Human Resource Management, 2018).
However, tangible organizational outcomes are insufficient in measuring leadership success in isolation. As Ng and Kee (2015) demonstrated, intangible success indicators such as satisfaction levels, communication, employee innovativeness, brand value, and employee retention are as important as tangible organizational outcomes.
These findings mean that my internal sense of satisfaction is actually as important as employees’, which has been proven to affect performance (Ng & Kee, 2015). Other intangible success indicators include employee’s attitudes towards change and how the changes I initiated affected the organization’s performance.
Level of Power
A central tenet in ethical leadership relates to how leaders exercise their power. According to McManus and Perruci (2010), there is an association between using too much power and abuse of authority, which neglects the importance of individual choice. An ethical leader understands and respects their follower’s autonomy and will.
According to Ciulla (2003), leadership is only ethical if followers freely agree that the initiated changes are fair and reflect their mutual goals. In this regard, the proper leadership power level is that which does not abuse, coerce, manipulate, or intimidate people. It should appreciate consensus and voluntary compliance of followers, while organizational changes should reflect mutual goals.
I will ensure that I do not abuse my power by applying the principles of organizational justice. According to Cropanzano et al. (2007), organizational justice improves job performance, enhances organizational trust and commitment, and reduces conflict. This conception is based on the social contract theory, which asserts that a leader obtains loyalty from their perceived legitimacy. Legitimacy is a source of leadership power derived from a leader’s social identity.
Therefore, when a leader violates a social contract, including norms and cultures, and his followers hold him responsible for the violation, he or she loses legitimacy (Victor & Turner, n.d.). Respecting my follower’s norms and culture will help me respect personal boundaries, thus preventing inappropriate disruptions.
Organizational justice can be attained through the fair allocation of resources (distributive justice), sound decision-making, especially when resolving conflicts (procedural justice), and by treating all people with respect and dignity regardless of their socioeconomic characteristics (interactional justice). At the micro-level, I will observe the justice norms by setting up rules and policies that outlaw power abuse at the company. At the macro-level, I will respect the communities’ cultural norms and values by engaging in corporate social responsibility.
The concept of shared governance is my guiding principle when ascertaining the need to involve others in the decision-making process. It is a management style that promotes employee involvement in all decisions that affect their practice. According to the shared governance model, leaders should allow employees to contribute and participate in matters affecting their work environment, including planning, staffing, policy development, and change initiatives. Collaborative management requires synergy, wherein multiple stakeholders work together to develop and implement effective processes and practices.
A leader’s primary role is to provide direction to the company; thus, this argument highlights my role as the key decision-maker. However, I believe that I should always adopt the consultative or consensus decision-making style. My job is to create a vision for the company and then consult with stakeholders, including employees. Through consultation, each member is given the opportunity to communicate their individual needs. I will then create strategies that try to accommodate all stakeholders’ needs and changing demands.
However, it would be impractical to keep all stakeholders’ needs fully accommodated in all decisions and initiatives. A directive approach may be taken when there is a conflict between stakeholders’ needs or interests and the company’s well-being. A directive approach is authoritative, wherein the leader makes decisions solely based on his knowledge and experience. Negotiation styles, including avoiding, compromising, collaborating, and accommodating, can be taken to minimize the conflict between stakeholder needs and interests.
The Moral Compass
My moral compass underscores the need to maintain integrity and authenticity. I believe that my decisions, goals, and actions should always reflect my true self or identity. My belief aligns with authentic leadership, in terms of which a leader’s legitimacy can be enhanced through honest relationships built on ethics. The principles comprising my moral compass include honesty, responsibility, fairness, and compassion. I can set moral standards for my employees by leading by example.
The referent power theory asserts that followers are likely to emulate a leader’s behavior due to their admiration and respect (Victor & Turner, n.d.). This stance is also supported by authentic leadership. According to Harvey et al. (2006), authentic behaviors can be promoted through authentic leadership. Authentic leadership promotes a positive ethical climate and psychological capacities. Therefore, by leading by example, I can influence my followers to emulate my behaviors.
I can raise the level of moral maturity for myself and my followers by creating a positive organizational culture. An ethical organizational culture refers to how an organization demonstrates its values through goals, policies, and practices. A study conducted by Olson (2013) showed that if workers believe that their organization and leader are fair, trustworthy, and respectful, they will meet or exceed the leader’s expectations. Workplace ethics set the stage for employees to meet the organization’s ethical goals (Olson, 2013). Therefore, creating an ethical organizational culture will raise the organization’s moral standards by setting an ethical direction.
Creating a Supportive Environment
The current economic climate makes it difficult for any business to survive without innovation and creativity. According to Sia and Appu (2015), an organization’s creative performance is a function of three dimensions: organizational, group, and individual characteristics. Appropriate investments need to be made in each dimension for positive organizational performance.
To create an environment that promotes and supports individual and team growth and learning, I will provide the necessary infrastructure to promote learning or knowledge development. The company’s organizational structure will also be designed in a manner that supports individual and team growth. For example, a horizontal reporting structure and decentralized units delegate the decision-making responsibilities to middle and lower-level employees. Sia and Appu (2015) assert decision-making abilities empower and motivate employees hence improving their performance.
In collaboration with employees, it would be possible to create task goals that will set the performance standards. However, the workers should be encouraged to question the status quo and initiate innovative approaches to improve organizational effectiveness, which will also facilitate knowledge sharing and collaborative development of ideas. According to Sia and Appu (2015), recognizing employees’ efforts can motivate and improve their job satisfaction. Therefore, different forms of incentives, including training, career advancement opportunities, and financial incentives, will be used to reward appropriate risk-taking.
My Personal Role as a Leader
My primary purpose as a leader is to serve others rather than being served. A report by PwC revealed that the insurance sector’s job market is characterized by high turnover rates and difficulties in employee retention (Andreena, 2020). Turnover rates frequently reflect job dissatisfaction or a negative work environment. I envision creating an empowering and supportive work environment that supports both workers’ and organizations’ needs at the micro-level.
At the global level, I will revolutionize the industry by reducing the politicization of the insurance sector. The above-mentioned field is currently characterized by excessive politicization that has created mistrust. People should follow me because I value the development of people and my community over my interests. As demonstrated by a past study, servant leaders help their followers “grow healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, and more likely themselves to become servants” (Boone & Makhani, 2012).
I can become the best world leader by applying the knowledge acquired from this course in my day-to-day practice. This course has taught me that leadership extends beyond self-interest, whether personal or organizational. It is not merely limited to achieving personal or organizational goals, but also entails meeting others’ needs and expectations.
True leadership is serving the needs of others with the interests of the organization in mind. I will always need to shift my leadership style to become effective because there is no single approach that could right for all situations. With this in mind, I can effectively lead and influence groups towards achieving common goals.
Andreena, L. (2020). HR Challenges in Insurance industry. Mercer. Web.
Ciulla, J. B. (2003). The Ethics of leadership. Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
Cropanzano, R., Bowen, D. E., & Gilliland, S. W. (2007). The management of organizational justice. Academy of Management Perspectives, 21(4), 34–48. Web.
Harvey, P., Martinko, M. J., and Gardner, W. (2006). Promoting authentic behavior in organizations: An attributional perspective. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 12(3), 1–11. Web.
McManus, R. M. & Perruci, G. (2010) Understanding leadership: An arts and humanities perspective (1st ed.). Routledge.
Ng, H. S., & Kee, D. M. H. (2015). Organisational success: Explaining the role of key intangible performance indicators (KIPs). In Ura, D. K., & Pablos P. O. (eds.), Asian Business and Management Practices: Trends and Global Considerations (pp. 120-137). IGI Global.
Olson, S. D. (2013). Shaping an ethical workplace culture. USA: SHRM Foundation. Web.
Sia, S. K., & Appu, A. V. (2015). Work autonomy and workplace creativity: Moderating role of task complexity. Global Business Review, 16(5), 772-784. Web.
Society for Human Resource Management (2018). The SHRM body and competency of knowledge. Web.
Victor, D. A., & Turner, M. C. (n.d.). Leadership styles and bases of power. Reference for Business. Web.