In the 21st century, there have been many problems that have occurred within organizations and among their leaders (Ciporen, 2010). Avolio (1999) indicates that an understanding of how others act is needed in order to be an effective leader. Gateway National Recreation Area should seek to strengthen and improve their leadership to lead all individuals through unexpected changes. Leadership is needed to be the driving force of Gateway National Recreation Area to influence park rangers toward the achievement of a vision that is trickled down to all levels in order to create a successful environment. Effective communication is also very significant to the work that park rangers perform (Conner & Stroebel, 2007). In addition, leadership influences the attitudes of park rangers, relationships, and behavior within Gateway National Recreation Area (Evans, 2012). The park leaders need to concentrate on improving their knowledge, skills, and abilities to develop relationships and increase performance among park rangers. In order to accomplish this task, they should seek to understand the impact, purpose, and influence of leadership. This case study will examine the statement of problem, significance of leadership, research questions, definitions, and methodology to successfully find ways to improve leadership and demonstrate why development is needed within Gateway National Recreation Area.
Statement of the Problem
Organizations that show little improvement in leadership have problems handling transformations in the environment and thus, react with frustration, which can prevent them from responding in a competitive manner (Glamuzina, 2015). Organizational leadership is an approach that inspires individuals to perform with the ability to lead. It involves being conscious of your own way of thinking as well as the perceptions of others which sometimes embraces the diverse and contradictory insights of individuals within an organization. Over the last four years, Gateway National Recreation Area has been experiencing problems among leadership and park rangers. The problem is that the organizational leaders are unable to understand its employees and organizational goals to bring everyone together. Organizational leadership should provide guidance and personnel management for Gateway National Recreation Area to reach its goals. Examining leaders, leadership, and leadership development will enable Gateway National Recreation Area to seek effective methods to improve understanding, relationships, and performance in the organization. Leaders are unaware of what it means (Barker, 1997) to be responsible and accountable for making profound decisions in order to strategically engage interaction and motivation within Gateway National Recreation Area (Westaby, Probst, & Lee, 2010). Defining the meaning and purpose of leadership will confidently enable Gateway National Recreation Area to identify behaviors, styles, characters, mindsets, and understanding in order to recognize that changes are needed to restore the effectiveness of the organization (Evans, 2012).
Since leadership shapes the atmosphere to influence the performance, productivity, and motivation of park rangers (Wallace, de Chernatony, & Buil, 2013), a leadership development plan needs to be implemented for Gateway National Recreation Area. This plan is vital to the organization to re-establish morale, relationships, and engage leadership with park rangers (Kark, 2011). The lack of leadership development impacts a park ranger’s productivity, motivation, and behavior, which have been conducted through leadership theory research (Nichols & Cottrell, 2014). In 2014, McCleskey suggested using effective methods to improve leadership by measuring growth through responsibilities and relationships. Leadership development should promote progress and facilitate ways to enhance knowledge, skills, and abilities (Allen, Miguel, & Martin, 2014). Leadership must learn to lead with purpose and inspire Gateway National Recreation Area to recognize the desired style of leadership aspired by the park rangers (Sato, Hyler, & Monte-Sano, 2014).
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