Choose one (1) of the following six major leadership theories that are covered in this unit:(### I PREFFER "AUTHETIC LEADERSHIP"###)
1. The Great Man
2. Situational Leadership
3. Servant Leadership
4. Authentic Leadership
5. Charismatic Leadership
6. Transformational Leadership
1. Leadership Theory (½ of the marks)
Identify and explain the main aspects of your chosen leadership theory, then discuss how this leadership theory helps us to overcome the challenges faced by contemporary project leaders.
LEADERSHIP IN BUSINESS
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Part 1: About Authentic leadership theory
As stated by Avolio & Gardner (2005, p.315), authentic leadership is known to be an important leadership theory that is based on the construction of the legitimacy of a leader who belongs to a particular team. In the case, the leader of a team has the honest relationship with the team members who are his or her subordinates. This leads to the strong foundation of a relationship with proper and ethical values. The theory of authentic leadership states that true leaders are persons who are positive minded and open to discussions and suggestions. The overall concept of this leadership theory is based on the concept related to authenticity. This type of leadership style involves self-awareness, transparency balanced mind of a leader in order to make his team work. In other words, this type of leadership theory emphasizes the genuineness of the leaders.
The main aspect of the authentic leadership theory
The authentic leadership theory has certain characteristics and goals. Different theorists have explained their concept of this theory. The important aspect of the leadership theory is characterized by features and the definitions of a leader related to the theory. The main idea carried on by this leadership theory is:
Authenticity- The theorists believe that the authentic leadership theory is based on the idea of authenticity in which the leaders of the group are concerned about their own strengths, limitations (Luthans, Norman & Hughes, 2006, p.84). Authentic leadership does not make leaders to hide their weakness or the errors that leaders do while working in a team. It is based on the idea that leaders must be self-actualized.
Initiative- This theory states that a leader should have the courage to move first in the team or the group. Just sitting back does not convey the idea of authentic leadership (Northouse, 2018). The idea of authentic leadership tells that leaders should have the courage to move forward.
Influential- The theory of authentic leadership states that the leader has the capability to influence the group or his or her team (Ilies, Morgeson & Nahrgang, 2005, p.373). Such influence arises not only because the leader is loud and overpowering but the leader is coordinating.
Integrity- Integrity is another aspect of authentic leadership. Authentic leadership carries on the idea that leaders must have the capability of integrating the efforts of the team members.
Proper leading with vision- The theory of authentic leadership has a specific purpose and a vision. This theory has a capability to create value for the people who are interacted and it helps the leaders to set long-term professional goals (Hassan & Ahmed, 2011, p.164). Overall with the help of this theory leaders are able to move forward for excellence.
Focussed on Long-term goals- This leadership theory states that leaders should set long-term goals for the team.
Promise- Authentic leadership states that leaders should not break a promise which may lead to distrust within his or her team members. The theory states that leaders must act as they have promised.
Listening skills- Listening skills is another aspect of the theory. The theory states that a leader should have the ability to listen to the problems and the suggestions that are given by his or her team members (Read & Laschinger, 2015, p.1611). The leader should not overpower his subordinates and suppresses them.
Consistency- Authentic leadership involves consistency which is another aspect of the theory. The theory states that leaders should not be fickle minded and should not be whimsical. True and authentic leaders should behave in a consistent way and should be firm in their decision.
Sharing of success- This is another aspect of the authentic leadership theory which states that leaders are not only good team builders. They have the ability to give credit and share achievements with all the subordinates of the team.
Draw an experience- The authentic leadership theory states that life is the best teacher and an authentic leader should always learn lessons from the life.
Ways in which authentic leadership theory helps to get rid of challenges faced by the project leaders
Very often contemporary project leaders face challenges that are related to undefined goals, changes the scope of working of the team, lack of coordination and balance, dishonesty of the members and poor planning and communication. Authentic leadership plays a vital role which helps to get rid of these challenges that are faced by the contemporary project leaders. Such is possible in a particular way.
The ways are:
Giving scope to give true personal detail of the leader- Very often a team is not able to function because of dishonest members or team members do not have proper knowledge about their leader. The authentic leadership theory states that an authentic team leader should not hide anything about them. This helps the leaders to make his group members work honestly and have a close relationship with them. As they do not hide themselves to their team members, team members of a project can get a full personal detail of the project manager or leader (Mumford et al. 2000, p.11). As team members have full knowledge of their leader they can help the leader to come out of difficult situations where the project leader is not able to find a solution in order to lead the entire team.
Creating a scope of feedback and communication- As authentic leaders have listening skills they have the capability to appreciate good or bad feedback from the team members. A proper feedback can help a team leader to promote further development with better and innovative ideas (Stanley, 2006, p.20). This can also help to find a solution to challenges like poor communication. For instance, if a member of the team is not working properly, the team leader may ask the members to give feedback about everyone work (Mumford et al. 2000, p.11). This would help the leader to know that a member is not working properly and in this way the project leader can find out ways to make the particular team member work properly.
Maintaining Balance within the team- As authentic leadership involves consistency and integrity project leaders are able to balance the working of all the team members. Often due to lack of coordination balance is lost (Mumford et al. 2000, p.11). Under such circumstances, if a team is not functioning properly because of lack of balance the leaders can imbibe balance and integrate all the efforts the members of the team so that they may reach a particular goal.
Appreciation and sharing of success through motivation- Often a group is not able to function properly or in other words the leaders of a project face challenges in achievements because team members are not motivated (Kolditz, 2010). Authentic leadership involves the sharing of success and become friendly with the team members. By sharing information and appreciating the team members for any of their past performance the team members get motivated. In this way, the authentic leadership helps to overcome the challenge of lack of motivation.
Giving scope for Clear and defined goals- Contemporary project leaders sometimes face the challenges of undefined goals. Authentic leadership involves leadership with a proper focus on the goals. As goals are properly communicated to the team members, the project leader can get rid of the challenge of undefined goals (Nichols, 2008).
Application through experience- At times team leaders are not able to work properly because of lack of experience. This leads to poor performance of the team. Such challenge can be removed by following authentic leadership that states that team leaders should act on situations based on past experiences of life (Ciulla, 2014). As actions of project leaders based on life experiences, they can get rid of the challenge like errors in planning.
Part 2: Personal reflection
a. Personal leadership Experience in the past
In the past, I had person leadership experience. In my college days, a project was assigned by our professor. The project topic was to analyze the condition and the scope of functioning of the large and the small-scale industry. The project was done in a group of five members in which I was given the role of project leader. I had the responsibility to allocate work to each member related to the topic. The project was extremely meaningful to me as I had the responsibility to coordinate the activities of my team members.
Ways in which the experience have shaped how to think about project leadership
The project that I have experienced was an interesting one. As I was the leader of the team I had gained the experience of being a project team leader. The project had helped me to get an idea of how leadership is done. The ways in which the experienced have shaped my thinking about project leadership are:
By motivating my mind- The project that I have handled as a project leader have motivated my mind and help me to get rid of the phobia of being boos or a leader. After doing the project and handling the responsibilities of a leader, I was able to change my thinking on leadership project. This experience has motivated me to undertake further projects in future in which I would act as a leader.
Giving Real Life experiences- The project that I have handled in the past has shaped my thinking about the project leadership by laying down certain real-life experience. The project has laid down the real-life problems that are faced by a project leader when handling different persons with different traits.
Instilling leadership qualities- The project that I have handled in the past has instilled leadership qualities like planning, communication, integration and appreciation of efforts within me. As a project leader, I was able to get an idea of the qualities that a leader should have in order to guide his or her team. By instilling such leadership qualities in me the experience have helped me how I think about project leadership.
Actions or behaviours that were adopted
As a leader of the team, I had to adopt certain behaviours and have acted in a specific way so that I can guide my team properly in order to make a research on the topic. The actions and behaviour of mine were very much relevant to the aspect of authentic leadership theory. I behaved and acted as an authentic leader in which I had:
Behaved honestly- As I was a leader I have honestly discharged May duties as a project leader. Besides, I have given true and fair information about me to my teammates so that that can know me. In this way, I behaved honestly and authentically which is one aspect of authentic leadership.
Proper planning of goals- As a leader of the group I have made all the plans before actions are executed. Plans were made regarding allocation and the execution of work and goals were properly defined which is relevant to the theory of authentic leadership.
Integrate, coordinate and influence the decisions- The decisions that were taken by me and the other members of the group was properly coordinated. The efforts of my team members were integrated into me so that we could reach the goal.
Behaving practically- The college project in which I have acted as a leader had certain situations where I have taken decisions based on practical life experiences. Such behaviour of taking decisions from practical life experience is relevant to the aspect of the authentic theory.
Appreciating the achievements- The achievements of the team members of my group were appreciated by me and I have motivated them to work better in future. Such actions of mine were relevant to the authentic leadership theory.
Preparation and focus on long-term goals- As a leader of my college team project I have focussed on the long-term goals and acted in a way that would help the group in long-term achievements. Such actions were relevant to the aspect of the authentic leadership theory.
Consistency in actions- As a leader of my group project I have acted consistency and I was firm in my decision without changing my mind. Such behaviour of mine as a project leader was relevant to the authentic leadership theory.
b. Past incident in which you have personally demonstrated leadership
When I had applied for a job position after resigning from a consultancy firm, I had appeared an interview for getting my next job. The interviewer has asked me about my role in the previous consultancy firm. That was the particular situation in which I have demonstrated leadership personally. I told the interviewer that I acted as a leader within a team of business consultants. I have demonstrated leadership to the interviewer by giving a detail of the roles and the responsibilities that I have carried on as a leader of the group. In that interview, I have also demonstrated the leadership role describing the ways in which I have directed my team keeping in mind the principle of leadership theories especially the authentic leadership theory. This was the incident where I have demonstrated leadership personally.
Attributes and behaviour that was displayed
When I have personally demonstrated leadership I have shown different attributes which are the necessary traits of a good leader. The attributes that I have displayed are:
Integrity- During my personal demonstration of leadership I have displayed the attribute of integrity that states that leaders must sum up all the efforts of the team members. In order to show integrity, I have displayed approached in which collective efforts of the group is integrated.
Humility- Along with integrity I have displayed humility which states that not only need to be strong in their decision but also they should act humbly and show love and affection to their team members. I displayed that I have given love and affection to my teammates.
Focus- another attribute that I have displayed was the focus. This attribute made it clear that the leader should have concentration and he or she should focus on the goals.
Planning- The most important attribute that I have displayed to demonstrate personal leadership is planning. I showed that I have planned the strategies with which I would move forward with my group of business consultants.
Moreover, while I personally demonstrated leadership I have displayed behaviour showing the following qualities:
Courage- When demonstrating leadership it was clear that I was to show a courageous behaviour that should be within a leader.
Honest and authentic- Honesty and authenticity were the next behaviours that I have displayed demonstrating myself as a leader of a group.
Possessiveness- The last behaviour that I have displayed is possessiveness or positive motive as a leader of a team of business consultants.
Leanings from the experience
From this experience, I have been able to learn about the ways and the necessary characteristics that a true and efficient leader should have in order to guide his or her team members. In addition to this, I have learned the way to overcome the challenges of working in teams as a leader. Finally, I could get an overall knowledge of the concepts of the leadership theories especially the authentic leadership theory which is related to the characteristics and behaviour of a good leader.
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