Running a successful business is not easy. Even the best business ideas fail if not well directed to achieve the desired results. Failure could be due to many, but one of the significant factors is the lack of Organizational Leadership development.
Mentoring a group of people and assembling them in a room to believe and work towards a common goal is tougher than it sounds. That's why organizational leadership degree programs are so valuable. Organizational leadership degrees can help shape ambitious people into the leaders they wish to be.
Good leadership skills and leadership qualities are in high demand in today's business world. However, according to a 2016 poll published by leadership development platform Elucidat, 77% of companies are experiencing a leadership gap.
Deloitte's 2016 Human Capital Trends report found that 56% of the companies surveyed were not ready to meet their leadership needs. Also, a 2017 report from The Brandon Hall Group revealed that 83% of organizations say it's essential to develop leadership roles at all levels.
What is Organizational Leadership?
Organizational leadership is a management approach in which leaders help set strategic objectives for the organization. It also inspires people in the community to execute tasks to achieve those objectives effectively.
However, is there a difference between leadership and organizational leadership?
Times have changed, and so has the definition of leadership. The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) defines leadership as:
The process by which an individual determines direction influences a group and directs the group toward a specific goal or mission.
Organizational leaders, on the other hand, focus on both the company and its individuals. They are business savvy, innovative, and strong communicators.
The real world is continuously shifting. Today the shifting workplace culture demands a lot from the organizational leaders to thrive in the long term. Technological advancements have brought many social collaboration tools, but the changing work environment makes it challenging.
For example, let's take the case of the covid-19 crisis. We all are aware of the situation and how it doomed the economy. Business went remote; employees suffered from stress and anxiety. Many sectors were completely lost, and the rest are dealing with various consequences.
All of these factors cost business leaders a lot. It has been challenging to keep employees engaged while they work from home. Also, to provide them mental support and motivate them in this difficult time.
But this unprecedented event gave leaders perspectives or at least showed them that to run a successful business; one must adapt with time and continuously learn new skills.
Learn More: 8 Leadership Styles With Their Pros and Cons
So, let's discuss a few crucial organizational leadership learnings that businesses need today.
Steps to Improve Organizational Leadership in 2021
Be Proactive in Managing Crisis Situations
The covid-19 crisis is not the only event that has hit the market; many will follow. And the only way to overcome such uncertain events is to be prepared for them.
The immediate response that organizational leaders have shown in the covid-19 crisis is commendable. But there is more to it. Many organizations have collapsed due to a lack of strategic planning. But it has taught the leaders and entrepreneurs to be proactive and implement immediate action to overcome the obstacles.
It is important to note that people follow leaders because they trust them; they believe their persona of calm and focus. And when that is compromised, it becomes difficult to keep things rolling.
Keeping the Community Together
Managing a group of people and making them believe in your vision is a task few can handle. And among everything, keeping them together on the same page and boosting employee engagement is equally tricky.
Organizations thrive when team members come together and function as a family, believing in the organization's objectives and vision. It is the leader who is the advocate here and also the glue that sticks the organizational community. For that to happen, one must have empathy, listening skills along with strong people management skills.
Even though technological advancements have created many streams for us to stay connected, if the community does not work together and does not have a sense of togetherness, everything will fall apart in the long run.
Be Flexible and Adaptable
Darwin would have rephrased 'survival of the fittest' to 'survival of the adaptable' if he was born in our times. Covid has taught everyone how important it is to adapt quickly and be flexible.
The leader's immediate response to the crisis was to work from home and leverage the telecommuting tools available in the market. By far, this is the best they could do.
Adaptability means understanding the current working scenario and trends and doing immediate strategic planning to keep the ball rolling. Today's reality is different from that of last week. Therefore keeping tabs on business trends and changes and being adaptable and flexible could give you the edge over others and help you make the right decisions.
Communicate, Communicate and Communicate
Developing excellent communication skills is essential for effective leaders. The leader must share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others.
If a leader can't get a message across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then having a message doesn't even matter. - Gilbert Amelio
Communication should never be compromised. No one has ever suffered due to over-communication. The more you communicate, the more you get your message straight to the people. Effective communication can solve many problems that seem impossible to deal with.
Look for new ways to communicate. Communicate as much as you can, especially informally, and make sure people capture you: nothing is worse than a leader who goes away when the chips go down.
Be ready and relaxed to discuss personal problems and business.
Learn to listen. Organizational leaders who listen and communicate deliberately build trust and goodwill in the organization.
Some people are indeed born leaders, but SHRM stresses that "people can learn leadership behaviors." According to SHRM, the ideal leader is:
- Culturally competent, and
- Adopt a competitive positioning.
Most leadership traits are personal and can come naturally to people. Other aspects, such as analytics, research, and cultural competency, can be learned or improved through a leadership degree program.
Great Leaders must consider higher education on organizational leadership to improve their skills to thrive long-term.