Psychological Foundation of Leadership
Psychological Foundation of Leadership
Identify ways that a leader could use symbolic acts to strengthen a cultural value of teamwork and collaboration.
Identify the qualities of a change leader. Also, explain how leaders can serve as role models for change. Question 1 –
Symbolic acts to strengthen a cultural value of teamwork and collaboration.
Teamwork and collaboration are vital components of successful businesses and alternative ventures. Insightful leaders understand the need for developing a culture and strengthening the value of teamwork in their followers. The use of symbolism is instrumental to the strengthening of the cultural value of teamwork and collaboration. Symbolism involves the use of actions, objects, and events to convey a targeted meaning or impart a given sense or emotion in an individual or group of people (Hambrick & Lovelace, 2017; Sergiovanni & Corbally, 1986, pp. 112 – 113; Winkler, 2009). This section identifies and expounds on several acts by leaders that serve to strengthen a cultural value of teamwork and collaboration.
Many employees consider the leadership in a corporate environment as being unreachable. Such a notion may serve to erode a sense of teamwork in the employees since they may not feel like part of a team. To address such concerns, the leadership in an office and corporate setting should find ways to foster a sense of openness in the work environment. This could include the use of open floor plans of office space, and the abolition of the bureaucratic chain of communication between employees and management (Ford & Sturman, 2011). Such actions represent an example of a symbolic act by the organization’s leadership to show an effort toward the improvement of communication as a tool to create a culture of teamwork and collaboration.
A critical factor in the creation of a culture that fosters teamwork and collaboration in a harmonious environment is the ability to unify different people. However, the leadership in any organization can achieve this through the creation of tasks within the workplace that create a need to collaborate with other members of the team. A case example is a development of unifying tasks that require input from various members with different skills. In such a scenario, the leaders would not create a team but instead allow the individuals assigned to the task to seek for and collaborate with other people to complete the task. In this way, therefore, the use of unifying tasks is a symbolic gesture by leaders to strengthen the cultural value of teamwork and collaboration.
Appraising the role of each
The importance and success of any leader lie with the achievement of goals by the individual followers. In this light, therefore, it is essential that the leader provide sufficient motivation for the employees. Ford and Sturman (2011) maintain that instilling beliefs, values, and norms through laws, stories, and legends are imperative to teaching culture within an organizational setting. Besides, the creation of various rituals at the workplace ensures that the followers are informed on the culture and expect the leaders to operate in a given manner (pp. 115 – 119, 123 – 124). Such rituals may include the appraising of the best performing individuals and groups. This creates a recurring act that fosters better work morale to ensure the followers, especially when operating in a group setting strive to outperform each other. Such appraisals, therefore, not only serve to create an ongoing culture in the organization, but also help to strengthen teamwork and collaboration.
Question 2 – Qualities of a change leader
To spearhead change, a leader needs to have a high level of emotional intelligence. This involves the ability to judge and control their emotions as well as discern and use the emotions of other people. In this case, active change leaders can determine the emotion and moods of their followers and act suitably. Besides, a high emotional quotient can direct the moods of their followers to allow for the right attitudes and mood for the completion of a given task. A key factor is the ability to motivate people that they can succeed at the tasks assigned to them as well as their personal lives.
Active listening, communication, and persuasion
An effective change leader is one who understands the importance of efficiency in communication. A fundamental principle of communication in such a scenario is the ability to listen to the front line people. While most leaders shut out the opinions of frontline staff, change leaders use them as critical assets to learn about the various business metrics (Dallas, 2015). Change leaders should also be able to communicate their ideas effectively to other personnel, which is vital to the implementation of the needed change. The ability to persuade people and bring them on board to accomplish the laid out ideas is essential to change leaders since not every individual is convinced of the need to change (Gleeson, 2016).
Fostering change requires adequate knowledge in the current situation, as well as the intended outcomes from the change process. Therefore, it is crucial that a change leader is knowledgeable in addition to being a seeker of information. This level of knowledgeability should not be limited to the areas of concern or operation but should be as diverse as possible. The diversity of knowledge for a change leader allows for the adoption of new skills and strategies that are applicable in their areas, which leads to growth and the achievement of the required changes.
Change agents are responsible for not only the achievement of the required change but also for the various personnel and resources tasked under their administration. As such, a change leader requires a high level of accountability. They should be accountable for the timelines to achieve the set goals, maintaining communications and partnerships, and motivation levels among the followers among other such factors. In the same way, the change leaders demand a high level of accountability from their peers and subordinates (Rylatt, 2013)
How leaders can serve as role models for change
An effective change leader can serve as an example to their team as well as to other leaders. Among the ways one can serve as a role model for change is to align their words with their actions. Another is practicing self-reflection to exercise similar standards for themselves, as they demand of other people in their teams. Establishing clear communication of requirements and goals is essential to a successful leader and is an admirable trait. Finally, the leader should show a sense of selfless empathy by being considerate of the needs and well-being of others beyond the task. With such approaches, the leader should have a presentable image that others can emulate.
Dallas, H. J. (2015, October 22). 4 must-have skills for leaders to manage change. Retrieved from Fortune Magazine: http://fortune.com/2015/10/22/change-leaders-managers/
Ford, R., & Sturman, M. C. (2011). Harnessing the Power of Your Culture for Outstanding Service. In J. B. M. C. Sturman (Ed.), The Cornell School of Hotel (pp. 111 – 126 ). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing.
Gleeson, B. (2016, August 16). 3 Leadership Skills Critical For Driving Change. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brentgleeson/2016/08/16/3-leadership-skills-critical-for-driving-change/#675f5cc34fde
Hambrick, D., & Lovelace, J. (2017). The Role of Executive Symbolism In Advancing New Strategic Themes in Organizations: A Social Influence Perspective. Academy of Management ReviewAcademy of Management Review, 1 – 53. Retrieved January 10, 2018, from http://amr.aom.org/content/early/2017/02/09/amr.2015.0190.full.pdf
Rylatt, A. (2013, July). Three Qualities of Highly Successful Change Agents. Retrieved from Association for Talent Development: https://www.td.org/magazines/td-magazine/three-qualities-of-highly-successful-change-agents
Sergiovanni, T. J., & Corbally, J. E. (1986). Leadership and Organizational Culture: New Perspectives on Administrative Theory and Practice. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
Winkler, I. (2009). Symbolic Leadership. Contemporary Leadership Theories, 59 – 63.