Leadership refers to the ability to influence, modify and exercise control over the behaviour of others in a group. It is the ability of an individual or a group of individuals to influence and guide members of an organization. Leadership involves establishing a clear vision, sharing the vision so others will follow willingly and providing the knowledge, information and methods to realize the vision. Simply, leadership is the ability of an individual or organization to lead or guide other individuals or organizations. Today, people are increasingly recognizing the importance of leadership in organizational development. Leadership is the willingness to take ownership of the organization combined with an intrinsic urge to do what is best for the organization.
Types of leadership
A leader plays an important role in any organization. Thus, the leadership style a leader adopts can significantly contribute to organizational development. The two main leadership styles are –
- Transformational leadership: Transformational leadership is a contemporary approach to leadership where a leader inspires followers to transcend their self interests for the good of the organization. This is a leadership style which in which leaders motivate and inspire employees to innovate and create change that will help grow and shape the future success of the company. This leadership style serves to enhance the motivation, morale and job performance of employees through a variety of mechanisms such as connecting employees’ sense of self and identity to a project and collective identify to the organization.
- Transactional leadership: Transactional leadership is a contemporary approach to leadership where a leader promotes compliance by employees’ through rewards and punishments. This is a leadership style that focuses on supervision, organization and performance. The rewards and incentives enhance motivation to perform effectively.
Importance of leadership
Leadership plays an important role in the development of any organization. No organization can work efficiently without effective leadership. Leadership is an important function of the management which helps to enhance productivity and to achieve organizational goals. In fact., leadership is an essential part and a crucial component of effective management which helps to maximize efficiency and achieve organizational goals.
The importance of leadership in organizational development cannot be denied
- Influencing the behaviour of people: A leader impresses his subordinates with his leadership ability. He brings them under his control in such a way that they put in their best efforts to achieve the goals of the organization. Good leaders usually get good results through their followers.
- Helps employees in fulfilling their needs: A leader establishes personal relationship with his subordinates and tries to meet their requirements. People follow a leader because he provides them security and the opportunities to earn wealth, gives them the right to work and tries to understand their feelings. Employees willingly accept him because he takes care of their needs. Consequently, they work with complete dedication and enthusiasm.
- Introducing required changes: The business environment is changing at a quick pace, so in order to face the changing environment, many alterations have to be introduced in the organization. Since the people already happen to be under the influence of the leader, he can easily makes them agree to implement these changes. In this way, the possible resistance to the change is eliminated with the strength of leadership ability.
- Solving conflicts effectively: A leader can effectively solve every type of conflict be it employee vs. employee or employees’ vs. employer, under the weight of his influence. A leader allows his followers the liberty to express their views. That is the reason that he easily understands the reality of the conflict, in this way, by understanding the nature of the conflict he tries to provide timely solution and minimizes the possibility of adverse results.
- Training and Development of Subordinates: A leader helps in the training and development of the employees. He makes them aware of the modern techniques of work. In addition, he makes it possible for them to be good leaders in future.
- Setting a clear vision: This means Influencing employees to understand and accept the future state of the organization. A good leader will influence his followers to perform their duties by explaining the vision and the importance of their role in the outcome.
- Motivating and guiding employees: This involves finding out the needs of the employees and fulfilling them. It is important to define the employees’ role in the work process and provide them with the tools needed. A good leader will explain the task and be available to assist them if they run into a problem.
- Building morale: This involves pulling everyone together towards a comment goal. A good leader will let the employees’ know how much their work is appreciated. A simple gesture like providing praise for a task well done, or throwing a party to recognize small achievements, will regenerate their spirits.
There is a great importance of leadership in organizational development. The role of leaders, throughout an organization, is critical to the success of organizational development interventions. Creating and maintaining worthwhile businesses require an understanding of the role of leadership in addressing personal development of employees. Happiness and contentment is a common goal of everyone and the rest of the things are possibly means to that goal.
Personal outcomes of employees like meaning in life and individual well-being have become an important concern for organizations in the extreme competition for attracting and retaining talent. Meaning in life makes one’s life purposeful and subjective well-being is about being happy; these are important dimensions of anyone’s life, and people expect work organizations to contribute to them. Focusing only on work-related outcomes may not be sufficient anymore.
There is a need to better understand the processes by which desirable personal outcomes of employees can be enhanced. Leadership motivates the people to a higher level of performance through their strong human relations. It is an important function of management which helps to maximize efficiency and to achieve organizational goals, so managers must have traits of a leader.