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Leaders are not important in change management, leadership is.

An Essay

Introduction:

Successful change management is highly dependent upon the effective leadership style. If the leadership is effective than only the change management could become result oriented. Here in this report the effectiveness of leadership with respect to change management has been examined. For the same purpose certain management theories and models has been applied so that the deep knowledge about the subject matter could be developed.

Leadership:

According to Wright (2010), lack of leadership in change management could lead to adverse outcomes such as resentment, rebellious attitudes, and could end up damaging the same people it intended to make better (p.20). Therefore, experts warned that it is very important to have competent leadership at the helm of change management (p.20).

Although many people have tried to define leadership there is no single definition that would capture the essence of leadership. Daft suggested that "Leadership is an influence relationship among leaders and followers, who intend real changes that reflect their shared purposes" (Daft 2008, p.4).

Yukl stated that "Leadership is the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how to do it, and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives" (Yukl 2006, p.26).Both Daft & Yukl gave similar view points and spoke about the ability of a leader to influence followers in order to achieve a shared objective.

For some people, leadership is a trait or ability, for others it is a skill or behavior whereas still for others leadership is a relationship. Therefore it is evident that people have a wide range of perspective on leadership (Northhouse, 2009).

Therefore it is taken into author's consideration that leadership is the ability to influence followers to improve performance in sequence to achieve a shared objective. For a leader to be able to achieve the objective he/she should possess the right attitude and right skills.

Leadership is "a sequence of multidirectional, reciprocal influence processes among many individuals at different levels, in different subunits and within executive teams" (Yukl 1994, p. 459). It is the way to acheive the gaol and motivate the people to do best. Leadership is the source of inspiration and it shows the action and way of acts to do. Leadership is considered as a product of complex social relationships (Dachler 1988). Current theoretical approaches on leadership research is concern about a greater extent role of leadership research which describe and give some understanding and recommends for effective leader behaviour and normative models. They focus more on explanations of leadership processes, describing leader behaviours, and present why behaviours occur in certain situations. If there are behavioural recommendations are available it means this is usually done more carefully and rarely without any philosophy that anything is possible. Current leadership theories are accepting the limits which have leader influence. "The best leaders are those most interested in surrounding themselves with assistants and associates smarter than they are. They are frank in admitting this and are willing to pay for such talents."(Amos Parrish).

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Leaders:

Leader is a "person who rules or guides or inspires others"(Andrew, 2007). A leader is a person having personality which others want to follow him. They may not always make right decisions but they are confident in hte decion making and they know when they should change their directions and why. Even after a few mistakes a leader will not lose his or her follower's confidence . Leaders are recognised, not chosen or selected. In short, leaders have something extraordinary in their personality to inspire their followers. They have the qualities that the others dont have. It is an intengible characteristic that cannot be explained. But hte truth is that when we see it, we will recognise it.

Communication is the very essential factor of leader because without good communication skill leader can’t convey his suggestions and decisions to the followers or he can’t lead them. Communication is of two types verbal and nonverbal. According to Mehrabian ‘’in face to face communication other people understands us only 7% by words we use, 38% from our voice and remaining 55% from body language and facial expressions.’’

(Mullins, L.J. 2010:230)

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Change:

Change is an integral part of any organization that needs to keep abreast of its competitors in the business. It is important since it is the process through which an organization embraces new ideas or technology for running a business and quits using old-fashioned ways that have proved not to be working. The process of change management is a very crucial one since it determines the success or failure of the change. People fear change, and it is very important that steps are taken towards making them embrace this change and be part and parcel of the change process.

Organizational change is usually triggered by relevant environment shift, either internal or external, that sensed by companies and leads to intentionally generated response (French, Bell & Zawacki, 2006).

In order to survive and prosper in a rapid changing environment of business world, organization is often required to generate fast response to changes (French, Bell & Zawacki, 2005). Change management means to plan, initiate, realize, control, and finally stabilize change processes on both, corporate and personal level.

Dawson (2003 , p.11) stated that "there can never be a universal theory for organizational change, as change involves a movement to some future state that comprises a context and time that remains unknown". Whereas Matcheva (2010) mentioned that "organizational change refers to the fundamental and thorough reorientation in the way the organization operates."

Organizational change may occur due to several internal and external environmental factors. The external factors will consist of political, economical, social and technological stimuli where as internal factors will be factors such as organization's management policies and styles, systems, procedures and employee attitudes. (Buono, 2009)

Perry (2006) argued that change is inevitable and therefore should be planned for and form part of the normal process of management. Burke (2011, p.1) gave a different view mentioning "Organizations change all the time each and every day. The change that occurs in organizations is for the most part unplanned and gradual."

Mergers represent sudden and major change, as well as, it engenders great deal of risks and uncertainties. How process of change takes place within company is primarily influenced by organizational values, beliefs and assumptions that are shared by every member of organization Folkman (2010) concludes that cultural change involves changing employees’ beliefs, views and their behaviour.

REF: Folkman, J. 2010. Top 9 leadership behaviour that drive employee commitment. [pdf]. Available through: < http://zengerfolkman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ZFA-9-Behaviors.pdf>. [Accessed on 31st March 2014].

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Conclusion:

Thus it becomes clear that diverse leadership qualities are effective into the different situation of change management. The leaders cannot focus on one leadership skill or quality if they are dedicated to yield positive result out of that change.

The global competitive business environment has changed dramatically over the past. As a result the need for competitive leadership to handle change is clear. One of the most difficult responsibilities of leadership is leading change. This study reveals certain leader skills and abilities necessary for successful organizational change.

Leaders who exercise attributes such as a vision, good interpersonal skills, communicational skills, motivational skills and supportive team skills are more effective in driving change because they are the key elements through which successful results can be achieved.

There are lots of arguments for and against each of the leadership styles and approaches. According to author's observation the lassiez-faire style, coercive style and pace setting style may considered least effective whereas affiliative, coaching, democratic style and transformational approach could be considered the most effective.

There is no exact model of leadership that could be used; rather there are multiple models all of which have their place depending on the demands of the organization. The leader should be capable of identifying the best method appropriate in a given situation taking into consideration the individual leader and organizational environment.

Different styles of leadership will suite different types of change. There is no hard and fast rule that a certain type of leadership is perfect for a given change situation. The leadership style will depend on the organization, individual skill levels and attitude of follower's. Therefore authoritative style and democratic style could be recommended in general as the author thinks it is the most appropriate because it powers commitment, communication as well as direction.

A leader is a person who influences other people to accomplish the desired goal, leader accept challenges takes risk to remove hurdles for his subordinates, he had a different styles for different situations. A leader is a role model for the organisation.

With the help of the feedback given by my group members I know what are my strengths and weaknesses, because of them I know what are the obstacles for me to be a good leader.

References

Folkman, J. 2010. Top 9 leadership behaviour that drive employee commitment. [pdf]. Available through: < http://zengerfolkman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ZFA-9-Behaviors.pdf>. [Accessed on 31st March 2014].

(Yukl, G. (2010:26), Leadership in Organizations: Global Edition, 7th Edition, Pearson Higher Education)

Mullins, L.J. (2010), Management and Organisational Behaviour, 9th Edition, Pearson Higher Education

Mullins, L.J. (2010), Management and Organisational Behaviour, 9th Edition, Pearson Higher Education

http://psychology.about.com/od/leadership/p/leadtheories.htm, (22 may 2011 )

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