Some people say leaders are born while others argue that leaders are made. My opinion stands that leaders can be born and leaders can be made thus everybody is born with a chance of becoming a leader if the desired effort and the required support come into play.
As a manager if you were not born, there are many existing literature that can help you become the leader you want. The process often involves enacting a development framework that involves among others a culture that values learning and development. In the past, our managers have been accused of lacking leadership skills or even developing a leadership that can move a company or organization forward.
The process of developing leadership skills involves not teaching but being a mentor to others. Most often our managers do not set expectations or goals and when they do, they do not reinforce the goals and rewards and thus they do not instill them as priorities to their staff. Therefore, most of the times they tend to lead a clueless delegation which does not know what is expected of them. Managers who develop internal management strategies have higher chances of succeeding than their counterparts who hire trainees from outside.
When you give a chance to those who are below you to learn from you it gives them an inspiration to act as it is supposed and to them you become a mentor. Most of our managers do not give a performance management program that gives priority to succession as this would also lead towards managers passing their skills to those who are below them in the helm to ensure the organization always succeeds in its endeavors (Brown, 2010).
Some people view coaching as the basic skill to efficient management but giving feed backs is also a major step in ensuring there is leadership development. To understand the development process our managers should be aware of what is expected of them and how they can make others learn from the skills they posses. Most of the times promotion, decisions, and performance rewards are not aligned with the success of the business rather promotions are given according to technical ability but not because of proven leadership.
This reduces chances of major innovators within the organization developing leadership since chances of recognition are very minimal. Another way of improving leadership has been through professional certification meetings. Attending to these meetings enables managers stay current in the field of specialization. It also provides a good place for networking and may also help the manager in learning new things in the market (Brown, 2010).
A development process is necessary when one wants to make a development plan. The plan should have the comparison of competencies being developed and meet the business goals and objectives. The objectives should be measurable and actionable rather than being writings on the paper alone.
The problem with most of the development plans, though feasible, most managers assume they are not actionable and though they may promise to work on them they remains as a dream to many innovators who most of the times do not have influence over the company activities.
Another problem which our manager suffers from is lack of management skills. Instead of creating a comfortable and sound environment for one to air their views, some managers creates an environment full of tension between them and those who are learning and by creating the atmosphere that the manager is always at the top this does not auger well with any development plans.
When developing skills and leadership, management also lacks enough time and to ensure that an activity achieves the desired results, enough time should be given for the involved to learn and internalize the concepts.
Building learning into work is another good strategy since it creates an effective learning experience whereby one learns by doing the real work in this process through observation and practical work skills are passed from the management to the employees (Steeves and Frein, 2010).
Lack of feedback is another major hindrance to leadership development. For good results there should be repeated feedback until the desired level of proficiency is achieved. In ensuring the developed skill works, the manager should assign duties that ensure the learnt skills and knowledge is applied to work.
This involves deciding which projects offer the best opportunities for practice to the learning employee. A safer environment can also be created by which it is okay to make mistakes though not to repeat them as it is often said we learn best from our mistakes. When the risk involved is less there are usually high chances of learning and perfecting new skills. The new skills should be tied to the business needs and competencies related to the job.
Organizations should also change and develop projects that reward management for good leadership skills. As of true nature human beings are selfish and an idea of a reward or a promotion would lead to managers devoting more time and effort in leading and developing their junior employees.
This brings out to the challenge that although many organizations have invested in framework for employee development unless there is something the manager gains from the coaching or mentoring it will remain not being a priority to the managers to pass their skills down the line. For any successful development process, a management team that understands the required skills should be put into work so as to ensure the desired skills are transferred from the leadership to the workforce (Brown, 2010).
Another problem which faces many managers is that most of the times they focus on monitoring individual performance although monitoring tactics could be the most helpful in fighting any crisis in case the results are not as desired. For example, you cannot expect to have the same results between a messenger and a computer scientist. Their skills are different and so should be their performance. Most of the times our managers lack any inspirations when they fail to define the required expectations and what reward will follow the effort invested in the activity.
Risk taking and challenging assumptions helps reinforce innovation in the organization capability which is one of the most important managerial tools to survive a crisis but in most occasions the managers are too risk averse to try any risky or challenging propositions by those below him in management and this leads to less leadership developments in the organization as most people view that their points are not of any importance to the company.
Solution to the Challenges
The world seems to be too dominated by the males thus creation of female leaders to increase gender diversity would help very much in diversifying management strategies and line of thoughts. Many firms overlook the workers contribution and rewards are never offered. However, with occasions like economic crisis, most organizations engage the young crop of employees with tedious and unrewarding jobs. Instead they should give their employees the challenges they are seeking and cultivate more trust in them.
Another solution to the failing leadership and leadership development should be developing the do it yourself attitude. This results in accelerated learning and improved leadership and a changed nature of doing work. To achieve success there should also be a feedback process and a changed management process. Instead of creating programs that disengage employees from their actual work, we should help developing leaders do what they are supposed to do (Harris, 2010).
Knowledge sharing breeds leadership; when a trusting environment is created individuals freely collaborate in the process of creating and sharing new knowledge as long as there will be equitable allocations of the innovations many people share their innovative thoughts and this helps in creating a strong leadership.
Managers should know that knowledge is always widely distributed within and across organizational units. When trust and sensitivity are maintained most people benefit from the knowledge shared and are always satisfied as long as equitable distribution of rewards will be forth coming (Miles, 2007).
The main purpose of leadership development strategy is that it enables the efforts of all players in the industry feel appreciated. When the manager supports innovative ideas of their employees for example in exploring new market initiatives or launching of new products it increases the desire of new development of leadership skills within the employees.
Most often the managers do not get involved in any innovations in the company by not investing in it or even being accountable this leads to loss of motivation and it kills any possible leadership skill that may be with in the initiator and thus unless the management becomes responsive to the new innovations, quality leadership will never be felt to be at work.
This acknowledgement enables the initiative be seen as a tool for organizational change. By the manager paying close attention to the project meaning that it is an important initiative and gives the employee the feeling of having a responsibility in the organization’s transformation.
Lastly, another activity which can help in leadership development is through quality improvement in an organization. This gives employees developing skills which make it possible for them to take up positions of influence within the organization they are working in. This involves engaging all the key stakeholders, reaching to agreements on what needs to be changed and which initiatives can bring the desired changes. Those who will take responsibility for leading them and what will be needed from them.
The process of creating a development within a leadership involves having a clear and shared vision among the industry players assessment of local leadership and management capability.
Creation of new interpersonal relationships through which you can create allies to your project is also an important process and understanding the perceptions of trust and risk taking behavior, establishing communication system, and understanding and interacting with the influential parties enables the development process become a success ( Hockey, et al., 2009).
Brown, P. (2010). Having Their Backs: Improving Managers’ Skills in Developing Others
Harris, P. (2010). Leadership role models earn trust and profits
Hockey, P; Tobin, A; Stanwick, S; Lees, P; Seewell, A; Smith, C; Green, P; Kitsell, F; Kerrigan, J; Kemp, J. (2009). Global health partnerships: leadership development for a purpose. London: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Miles, R. (2007). Innovation and Leadership Values. California Management Review Vol. 50, No. 1 fall 2007.
Steeves, R; Frein, M. (2010). Determining what is necessary