Thursday, January 31, 2008

Benefits of Leadership

The Benefits of Leadership

Many management theorists agree that certain U.S. companies have lost their competitive edge because they haven't recognized the need for leadership rather than managership. Managership is a concept in which all decisions are made at the top, and employees are expected to comply with the policies made by the top-level decision-makers. Alternatively, leadership as a management concept is based on the assumption that work should be a system of processes in which leadership occurs, or is encouraged to occur, at every level. By definition, leadership contradicts the concept of top-down authority and is supportive of diversity and inclusiveness.

Management experts suggest that if leadership is a desired trait of those individuals in top-level positions, wouldn't it then be a desirable trait throughout the organization? In fact, if today's companies expect to be product- and customer-focused, rather than focused on policies and decision-making, leadership at all levels of an organization is critical. Listed below are some of the benefits that can result from a leadership management style.

Leadership views the organization as a dynamic system, supporting its work force rather than "overseeing" employees. Change is easily dealt with because the system is flexible.

Leadership emphasizes systems and practices that are proactive. Companies become innovative within their industries rather than merely reactive to industry and market trends.

Leadership encourages leaders to think of ways to involve everyone. This characteristic is particularly supportive of inclusiveness.

Leadership thrives on competition and looks forward to using creativity to meet the challenges brought on by a competitive business climate.

Leadership focuses on the work group or the team and on the product of the group effort, not on individuals.

Leadership encourages new ideas brought about by different viewpoints and the creativity of a diverse work force.

Leadership emphasizes the right things that employees are doing.

Leadership empowers others to make decisions.

Most importantly, leadership brings with it underlying assumptions that will support diversity and the changes required for businesses to be successful in the 21st century. As a result, the leadership concept of managing is more conducive to the type of workplace that management experts foresee as the successful model for the future.

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