A LEADER should enjoy the ride as a leader, but he must not forget that there are issues that have to be dealt with decisively.
As an author, I’m confronted with issues that need attention not only that, but a specific skill. For instance, one reader (I would not name here) called me to know how he could deal with a conflict issue he was facing against the leader.
The leader was resorting to force and authoritarian stance to the demise of the morale at the work place.
The environment for leaders is volatile, but vicious and at times violent to the person who does not take risks, is ill prepared and not pliable.
It’s a mélange of situations. At times a one-time stroke cannot be enough, but those that are lucky made that one-time stroke and broke through into a windfall of benefits and unparalleled opportunities.
As a leader you ask yourself: What do I do in such an era? We blame our problems on the economy.
Leaders need to be more than what we used to see in the past. We need social transformers and pathfinders.
It’s an open secret we are being confronted by new realities, technological alterations, economical upheavals, climatic uncertainties and new social setups! We shouldn’t be caught on the wrong side of things.
The most dangerous and unfortunate aspect that some companies should confront head-on are so called “bosses” or “managers” towering above like dinosaurs, but unequipped to survive and salvage this kind of atmosphere we now live in.
All these need a skill and today I will employ the Henry Mintzberg (1973) top leadership skills that a leaders needs to deal with issues:
- Conflict resolution
Conflicts are inevitable and they are the ones that bring psychological stress. The leader should be on a stand to mediate and calm down disturbances. This could happen at a worker-to-worker level, worker-to-leader level or at worker-to-company level.
Conflicts if improperly handled could spill into law suits.
A leader’s major role is to make quality and beneficial decisions. Problems come up and leaders at times have to make risky decisions. The leader has to find solutions to problems that have emanated.
- Resource allocation
Every organisation has resources. These could be human resources, material recourses or monetary resources. The leader has to decide among the alternatives, what to use and where to use it.
- Peer relations
The leader has to have the ability to start and retain networks with peers. With peers, the leader gets a chance to share aspirations and even problems with people of like mind. For sure, at the top it’s at times lonely because there are few people, but the leader has to have other leaders to liaise with.
- Information processing
Information is the backbone of a company.
The leader has to have appropriate information, interpret the information and disseminate it timely to all relevant recipients.
The leader needs the skill to assess and understand the impact of workers and leaders to the organisation. That will determine the effectiveness in execution of duties.
- Entrepreneurial mindset
Today’s leader needs to be creative and inventive. An entrepreneurial mindset helps to be ready for change and take sensible risks.
This is the heartbeat to the whole maze of leadership. It takes a skill to deal with subordinates. Power and authority comes not only with money, but the responsibility to handle it appropriately.
Parting Point: Jeffrey Pfeffer in the book Leader to Leader (1999) says: “In today’s world, knowledge and capability have become keys to success because everything else — product offerings, marketing, strategy, sourcing schemes — is easily acquired or imitated.
Putting people first, or at least taking people issues seriously, is more important than ever. But implementing high-commitment practices requires a different view of management and competitive advantage.
From this perspective, leaders build systems that build distinctive competence and capability and that, because of their internal coherence, are robust even as the competitive landscape and the macroeconomic environment change.
Jonah Nyoni is an author, success coach and motivational speaker.
Tel: 0772 581 918. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org