Leadership and Change

The element of change remains a factor in everyday life within the organization. How to handle change begins with a decision to embrace the implications into an organization’s vision. Incorporating change and a healthy attitude toward change as a core value begins with leadership. A good leader like John Welch provides vision and clarity for the employee. He even instills inspiration in the employee allowing them the freedom to explore and create out of their every day job tasks. Such a leader will be able to communicate issues of change and create a bond with their team.
This creates a comfort level that allows for creative thinking resulting in an environment that easily accepts change as a factor. This connection begins at a fundamental level of human sociology where the use of story is central. Howard Gardner reflects, “the ultimate impact of the leader depends most significantly on the particular story that he or she relates or embodies, and the receptions to that story on the part of the audiences” (14). By telling stories, allows for a certain level of openness or vulnerability on the part of the leader and makes them human.
By opening the line of communication, gives the employee knowledge of their environment and develops trust. The leader’s role is to sell the idea of commitment within a culture. Odiorne suggests, “if employees knows what is expected, and what help and resources are available, they can then be relied upon to govern their actions to achieve the commitments they have made” (138). This sets the stage for goals and achieving high performance. The culture in turn feeds off this energy and excitement. There are three reasons why leaders are important. First they are responsible for the effectiveness of organizations.

Second, the change and upheaval of past years has left us with no place to hide. We need anchors in our lives as a guiding purpose. Third, there is a national concern about integrity of our institutions. Being mindful of own context is difficult for us. (15-16) Managers with a keen understanding of leading represent these three key attributes and create a foundation from which to act. A leader must also display curiosity and have the guts to be daring. They must be a dominant force within the team. Bennis reflects, there are two kinds of people “those who are paralyzed by fear, and those who are afraid but go ahead away.
Life is not about limitation but options” (185). A healthy culture inspires options and the innovations that grow out of creativity. Still one cannot ignore times of fear. Management sometimes creates fear on purpose or misuse to work employees harder. From personal experience, fear can drive an employee to try harder at a better job or completely kill worker confidence. This does not create positive outcomes but promotes conflict and an unstable team. It is clear for management to be successful, it must communicate its vision but also create positive reinforcement.
Once key members understand people’s needs, then action can be taken to improve management’s role. Only then will a leader be taken seriously. Recognizing positive traits in a team member builds trust, integrity and also meets an important need. Finally, there are many things a leader can do to motivate their team members and inspire excellence. From personal experience there are many recommendations that come to mind. At a company wide level, a recognition or awards program is effective in maintaining culture by motivating employees. Being noticed for a job well done instills pride.

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