Becoming a successful leader requires a comprehensive understanding of the roles and responsibilities associated with leadership, along with a diverse skillset which promotes flexibility and strength in this capacity. Leaders must be innovative, creative, and work well with a variety of people from different backgrounds and cultures. Furthermore, they must demonstrate an effective understanding of the different issues which impact the practice setting and have the knowledge in place to overcome adversity and unite teams effectively. Leaders must also demonstrate strength, courage, and an unwavering commitment to excellence within these roles which will have a continuous impact on their employees and inspire them to perform to their maximum potential. The development of new ideas and concepts to improve the organization and the assigned team is critical to the success of the leader and requires a level of dedication that is unwavering and highly impactful. The following discussion will address some of the key aspects of leadership in greater detail, emphasizing the qualities that are necessary for leaders to be effective and successful in these roles and to develop strong and productive relationships with their employees in different ways.
Leaders are responsible for overseeing a variety of roles and responsibilities across different teams and must have the capacity to communicate with employees on a variety of levels. However, leaders must be inspirational in different ways, and this is only accomplished when they are inspired by others to be leaders and to set an example for others to follow (Frank, 2008). Leaders must be inspired to perform at a higher level and to make changes that will impact employees and teams by supporting their actions and serving as a uniting force to bring teams together to accomplish the desired goals and objectives (Frank, 2008). Some leaders demonstrate a natural ability to bring people together in a variety of ways, while others must work at this task and master it through practice and inspiration to perform at a higher level (Frank, 2008). In either case, understanding the gravity of this responsibility is critical and requires new leaders to identify areas of strength and weakness that will drive results and engage them in activities with team members (Frank, 2008).
Training for new leaders requires a strategy that is based on establishing a positive “tone at the top” which will trickle down to other employees and provide them with the resources and confidence necessary to improve their performance (Livingston, 2009). Leaders must inspire confidence in others recognize that employees play a significant role in any progress that is made within an organization (Livingston, 2009). This reflects the importance of training for new leaders which focuses on their roles as unifiers and support systems for other employees, and this is accomplished through a climate of trust and confidence that leaders must exhibit at all times (Livingston, 2009). Leaders must have the tools in place to encourage employees and provide them with a framework and direction of where the organization and the team is headed to improve results and overall performance (Livingston, 2009). New leaders must understand how their roles align with the larger picture within their organization, but they should exhibit their own vision of how the team should be led by demonstrating confidence and strength in this new role (Livingston, 2009).
One example of an exercise which could strengthen new leaders’ capacity to understand their employees is to allow them to be put into their shoes and to identify possible solutions to a problem that they might experience. This is a role-play exercise which will enable the leader to recognize the importance of effective decision-making by employees and the need for empowerment from the top down because employees require continuous motivation and inspiration to make effective decisions and to feel as if they are active contributors to the team. This role-playing exercise is traditional and allows leaders to identify some of the challenges that employees might experience on the job which require their support and guidance and will enable them to learn how employees think and why they act in specific ways.
An organization must embrace its new leaders and recognize their potential for greatness by supporting their skillsets and promoting effective leadership as a viable competitive advantage (White, 2014). This reflects the importance of understanding how to engage leaders in their roles and provide them with the resources that are necessary to achieve success, while also advancing their training to support improved skillsets and outcomes (White, 2014). There must be a greater emphasis on understanding how leadership requires a dynamic individual with the capacity to expand his or her skillset to the next level, to communicate effectively with individuals at all levels, and to improve the organization through the delivery of leadership acumen and focus within this role (White, 2014).
Eggers & Geaither (2012) indicate that new leaders must demonstrate credibility early on in their training and support dialogue among leaders and employees that is continuous and which sheds light on personalities and approaches to different roles. Most importantly, employees must have the drive and commitment that is required to ensure that dialogue is timely, appropriate, and effective in addressing concerns and solving problems as necessary (Eggers & Geaither, 2012). A successful approach to leadership requires dialogue to be a “shared inquiry” to obtain information regarding a situation or individual and to learn how to communicate more effectively with individuals within a given setting to address problems and aim to provide solutions (Eggers & Geaither, 2012).
Another example of an exercise is a computer-based personality inventory which is focused on leadership styles to identify the likely leadership style that a leader will convey to his or her employees. This is an important step for leaders to identify where their skills lie and if their views of leadership are fully aligned with those of the approach which their skills support. This exercise is important because it provides additional insight regarding the importance of a leadership style which aligns with the priorities and strengths of the leader and his or her skillset, such as the transactional or situational leadership approaches (McCleskey, 2014). The leadership style which a leader employs will set the tone for the team and will provide a basis for examining the different issues that the team will encounter and how these issues will be addressed at the leadership level. This is important because the leader must be transparent with his or her leadership style and employ specific techniques which support this style on a continuous basis.
New leaders in an organization are held to high standards and must prove their value to the organization in the early stages of this role. Training for new leaders is of critical importance in providing them with a framework to distinguish leadership from management and to acknowledge that they must set an example for employees to follow which will impact their performance. Leaders must understand the importance of this role and that they are required to perform at a high level to promote continuous improvement among employees and provide opportunities for growth that will encourage effective performance outcomes. Leaders should make it a priority to bring out the best in their employees and work tirelessly to empower employees to perform at a maximum level so that the organization and the team will benefit from these actions over the long term.
- Eggers, J., & Geaither, R. (2012). Cornerstones of Leadership. Corrections Today, 84-85.
Frank, L. (2008). Khin-SandiI Lwin: passionate about women’s leaderships. Sister Namibia, retrieved from https://sisternamibiatest2014.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/khin-sandi-lwin-passionate-about-womens-leadership.pdf
- Livingston, B. (2009). Building a bridge to the future with leadership training. Corrections Today, 46-48.
- McCleskey, J. A. (2014). Situational, transformational, and transactional leadership and
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- White, L.R. (2014). Military leadership lessons for management accountants. Strategic Finance, 21-22.