Effective Leadership Practices Can Lead To High Performance Management Essay

Richard et al (2009) posits that organisational performance consists of three main areas of firms outcomes which includes; financial performance involving (profit, return on assets, and return on investment etc.), product market performance (sales, market share etc.), and shareholder return (total shareholder return, economic value added etc.). Richard went further to explain that many organisation have tried to manage performance using the balance scorecard method in which performance is tracked and measured in multiple ways such as; financial performance, customer service, social responsibility (community outreach and corporate citizenship) and employee stewardship. In other to achieve a sustainable organisational performance employees need to be engaged and motivated (CIPD, Nov., 2010). However, when we talk about high performance it is not enough to say that an organisation is performing high during the short-term or during economic progression periods, organisation that can be recorded as a high performing organisation is the one that can face both of the internal and external challenges (CIPD, JULY, 2010). Darwin E. Smith who was appointed the CEO of Kimberly Clark a paper company whose stock had fallen from 36% is a typical example of a leader who can thrive in economic challenges and progression. Smith created a transformation at Kimberly Clark turning it into the leading consumer paper products company in the world and beating its rivals Scott paper and Procter & Gamble. In so doing he generated a cumulative stock return of 4.1 times greater than those of the general market outpouring companies such as Hewlett-Packard, 3m, Coca-cola and General electric (Collins, 2001).

From the above explanation of high performance and approaches to leadership, one can see that there is no one best way to leadership practices. This indicates that different organisational situation can lead to different styles of leadership practice Blenchard.

Sometimes autocratic style of leadership can be effective when the leader-member relation is favourable or very hostile, a task oriented style of leadership becomes effective. This is because there are some subordinates that desire directive, task oriented advance and respond better in autocratic style of leadership. Leadership has been seen to be central to individual, team and organisational performance. Many factors both internal and external have a posture on sustainable performance and employee engagement lies at the heart of organisational performance, leadership can be said to be inexplicably influential in terms of its impact on employee engagement and performance. Therefore Leaders and leadership are crucial to the building of organisational cultures where employees can thrive and business can flourish (CIPD, 2010). In other to achieve organizational success, reward and punishment system need to be introduced. The management or transactional theory which centres on supervision, organization and group performance proposes that employees who perform successfully should be rewarded and those who fail should be punished ref.

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To lead effectively, leaders ought to know that it takes the inspiration, commitment and engagement of their employees and they should know how to influence them towards achieving organizational objectives. Engaging employees is quite very vital as leadership is very much about it (CIPD, 2008). Engagement could be said to be the sum of effort an employee is willing to apply in their work. This can be manipulated if the engaging leadership scheme is adopted and this is best described using its model:

Engaging Individuals

Showing genuine concern

Enabling

Being Accessible

Encouraging questioning

Figure 1: The Structure of the Engaging Transformational Leadership Questionnaire

Personal qualities and core values

Acting with integrity

Being honest and consistent

Engaging the organization

Inspiring others

Focusing team effort

Being decisive

Supporting a developmental culture

Moving forward together

Networking

Building shared vision

Resolving complex issues

Facilitating change sensitivity

Adapted from www.cipd.co.uk/shapingthefuture

This form lays emphasis on the fact that engaging leadership has a key role on employee motivation, job satisfaction and commitment and can reduced work-related stress.

Therefore, in other for organisation to compete effectively and achieve competitive edge that will ensure long-term success and survival of business, there is a need to foster a leadership that takes into consideration human relations, and it’s responsive to the dynamics of the business environment McGunagle (2010). Various authors have proposed several forms of leadership that will enhance performance in organisation. These forms of leadership range from Transformational, charismatic and participative leadership styles. Most organisations that adopted transformational cum participative leadership style have been seen to attain a high level of performance and organisational success. In recent times transformational leadership have been said to be the style of leadership that influences employees in the organisations in the task performance (Dumdum, Lowe, and Avolio, 2002; Judge & Piccolo, 2004). Wang & Chen (2005) advocates that transformational leadership helps in promoting adaptive performance which is a very distinctive aspect of job performance, that is overwhelmingly overlooked by employers at some point. Transformational could be said to be linked with adaptive behaviours which has to do with getting the employees to think creatively and learn new skills, it also takes into consideration the need and ability to manage and control challenging situations while accommodating different social factors (Han & Williams, 2008; Pulakos et al, 2000; Rosen et al, IN PRESS), (Moss, Dowling & Callanan , 2009). Transformational leadership is seen to be effective because it presents a leader who focuses on challenging visions as such input commitment into the employees, this kind of leadership favours and empowers teams in achieving organisational goals (Shin & Zhoug, 2003). Several authors have identified transformational leadership to function at both team and individual level (Kirkman, Chen, Farh, Chen, & Lowe, 2009; Liao & Chuang, Zohar & Tenne-gezit, 2008). Very importantly at the individual level transformational leadership assumes the position of discretionary stimuli that arises as a result of different relationship between the leader and the lead ( Wang et al ,2005). While at the team level transformational leadership creates an atmosphere where team members are creative and they willingly share ideas capable of transforming the organisation (Chen & Bliese, 2002). Also it ensures social interaction among team members as the leaders influence the team in achieving meaningful assignment (Schulte, Ostroff, Shmulyian & Kinicki, 2009). Bass & Avolio (1994) posit that transformational leaders engage more with their colleagues unlike the transactional leaders that involves exchange process. They behave in different ways to attain superior result using the Four I’s which is idealised influence, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation & individualised consideration (Avolio, Waldman & Yammarino, 1991). This is to say that a set of practices displayed by transformational leaders will set vision, support followers to the vision through effective communication and motivates the followers to achieve the vision. Transformational leaders also motivates followers to be enhanced than their earlier expected through empowerment, role model, creating a vision, being a change agent and social architects (Northouse, 1997).

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However in achieving effective organizational success, leaders who adopts bottom-up strategy rather than top-down system seems to be more effective. The top-down system is rule from above, with little or no involvement of those at the bottom, who are highly needed for the execution of tasks. It blocks flow of information in an organisation which will lead to misinformation to the employees. Bottom-up strategy promotes employee involvement, help free flow of information and feedback, ideas and suggestions from the employees (Wright & Taylor, 1994). All of these enhances employee commitment and dedication, hence the effective achievement of organizational success. This can be made evidence in the transformational or charismatic approach. Good to great leaders do not start from vision and strategy rather they start from people first and then strategy second. They get the right people on the bus and move the wrong people off the bus, then ushers the right people on the seats and then figure out where to drive it (Collins, 2001).

Collins, (2001) also identified some factors of moving from a good to a great leader. The prime is the level 5 leadership which emphasises that leaders should be an epitome of humility to be able to do what’s best for their organizations by accomplishing advantageous outcomes. Examples of leaders in this class are Yun Jong-Yong of Samsung Electronics, Japan, Makesh Ambani of reliance Industries in India, Juan Villalonga Navarro of Telefonica, Spain. His seven characteristic of leadership also buttress the ability of leaders to match the right people to the right jobs, and ability to be able to face difficult situations. Leaders who implements transformational leadership style in planning and managing jobs will robustly enhance positive attitudinal and behavioural outcomes such as commitment, satisfaction, performance and good work ethics. Hence this positive result will lead to sustained and enhanced organisational competitiveness in a global economy (Greenberg, 1996).

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However, most organisations have succeeded through good leadership in that organisational performance cannot be separated from good leadership. Leaders derive performance by investing in their people. An example of this can be seen from Vineet Nayar, CEO of Indian IT service giant HCL Company who likes to rock the boat. When Vineet was asked his greatest legacy, he responded without missing word “That I have destroyed the office of the CEO”. He also led the charge that gave rise to the company’s motto,”Employee first, customer second” an idea that gave many managers hives. Transparency and empowerment was what Vineet wanted. In an interview with the senior executive of the Indian company’s like the Tata, Mahindra & Mahindra, Infosys etc. on how they derive their organisation to high performance none of this leaders said that they succeeded because their own cleverness at strategy or top team effort. These leaders said that their source of competitive advantage lies deeply in their companies, in their people (Harvard business review, 2010). This entails that when employees are made the epitome of performance in an organisation they will be willing to contribute effectively to the organisational success that is to say good leadership cannot be separated from organisational high performance.

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