I have been working in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry for many years and I worked my way up to management with dedication and plenty of effort. When I started my studies, it was my ambition to discover ways to become not only a good manager but a great leader and how an excellent leadership and management impact on the success of an organization. It was during the first classes that I realized how the success of an organization is inseparable from effective leadership and management.
I discovered that management practice is complemented by leadership traits and the two are crucial if an organization is to be successful.
For many years, practical problems in management and leadership have been a problem that many organizations have tried to solve. While trying to solve these problems, people in management positions have developed tacit knowledge that has been transferred to employees. Many researchers suggest that positive outcomes result from leaders whose personality are similar or that closely relates to the personality desired by subordinates (Nichols and Cottrell, 2014).
Others explain that in management there is no evidence that there are any particular kinds of personality traits or makeup that are specific to leadership (Eliot Jaquesn, 1989). This has improved management strategies combined with advanced management and leadership studies. On the other hand, scholars and management researchers have explored the field of management, resulting in comprehensive information and theories on management and leadership traits.
During the lectures from this semester, research on management practices and leadership, I found issues facing contemporary organizational issues and leadership traits. What became clear in during the first days of my intense research and analysis was that modern managers are not only responsible for issues to do with employee management, stakeholder management, public relations, and innovations but also leadership roles and responsibilities. Without leadership traits, management may find it challenging to make those tough calls when an organization is facing problems (Spoelstra, 2018). For this reason, managers must act in a leadership and management capacity if they are to solve organizational issues.
I got the impression that management styles depend on personal skills and preferences. This is in light of the fact that what works for one manager may not work for another manager even if they were to work in the same organization. In that regard, it is upon a manager to discover what not only motivates him/her but also motivates employees and other stakeholders. This implies that flexibility is mandatory if one was to solve organizational issues. For example, the ever-changing nature of technology implies that organizations should adapt subtly to changes. This requires open-mindedness of the manager and leadership skills to implement changes (Kobayashi, 2018). Similarly, contemporary organizations face increased competitions and failure to monitor the operations of an organization’s competitors, which could threaten the organization’s business continuity.
In my studies, I recognized that problems faced by organizations in the twentieth century could not be compared to those being faced by organizations in the twenty-first century. This has resulted in a huge gap between organizations that discover and quickly adapt to these changes as compared to the conservative ones that have faded with time. Quick adaptations to these changes depend on hiring visionary managers who can explore the trends in the direction of an organization’s industry and come up with strategic plans and contingency measures. The attributes desired by the hiring visionary managers for the position that the company needs to fill plays an enormous role into the hiring decision. Typically, multiple rounds of interviews with different interviewers makes their final decision in order to protect this high management position of leadership against the hiring managers desires. Some other studies refers that the gender of the hiring managers could affect their opinion of the traits they desire. These sorts of managers have the leadership traits to market the course of the organization to stakeholders (Patel, 2018). This way, the managers can implement changes without facing resistance or entering into conflicts with stakeholders, higher management and especially employees.
Aspects of effective leadership and management were most exciting in the course of my studies. This is due to the fact that they are vital in solving contemporary organizational problems. Some of the aspects of modern organizational management include managing issues such as telecommuting, sustainability, outsourcing, and workforce motivation. Most of these aspects were not common in the twentieth century but have emerged or evolved with time. From this perspective, modern organizations must accept the existence of these aspects of organization management and adapt them to ensure prosperity.
Telecommuting is a new component of modern organizations that is slowly encroaching almost all organizations. With increased globalization and technological advancement, telecommuting is becoming increasingly important. Its importance lies in the prospects of conducting organizational responsibilities irrespective of an employee’s location. With advancing smartphones, computing devices, high-speed internet access, emails, and teleconferencing, telecommuting is becoming easier and more convenient not only to employees but also to the management (Writer, 2015). However, issues of leadership and management are becoming a vital necessity for organizations to manage telecommuting employees. This goes hand in hand with ethical issues that the management should deal with.
Sustainability is a major issue facing contemporary management and one that is expected to be challenging organizations for many years to come. For instance, an organization trying to conduct its operations while reducing paper usage may find it challenging, especially in the initial stages of the change. The organization’s target may be to go paperless after a specified time, but that time may elapse before this target is achieved. This raises the question: should the company abandon the strategy and go back to the old days? This is where effective leadership and management come in. Without a pragmatic leader, the organization may make wrong decisions that could cost the company a lot of money.
While continuing with my studies, I was captivated by the issue of outsourcing that is facing contemporary organizations. Outsourcing has become common in the past two decades especially when organizations want to be economical in their procurement and acquisition operations. Modern organizations outsource some of their operations or acquire services through outsourcing. For instance, an organization that does not have a competent IT department will outsource IT services, devices, and infrastructure from external organizations (Chouteau, Forest & Nguyen, 2018). This move could be profitable if the acquired services, devices, or infrastructure are effective and at realist costs. In that case, strategic planning and management of the organization will there play a crucial role in the outsourcing process. Then again, leadership traits of the management are needed when negotiating with external organizations.
Workforce motivation is an issue that has existed for centuries and still lingers on in the modern era. Failure to motivate employees will lead to poor job performance that will affect the productivity and profitability of organizations. It takes a charismatic manager to spur employees, and this is an essential leadership trait needed in the twenty-first century. While pursuing my studies, I understood the essence of learning and applying motivation theories to motivate employees. The three major theories that remain interesting to me include Maslow’s Theory of Hierarchy of Human Needs, McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y and Herzberg’s Two Factors Theory which is also referred to as Motivation-Hygiene Theory. Proper application of these theories in management and leadership can motivate employees (Kobayashi, 2018). Motivated employees will experience high levels of job satisfaction which will, in turn, reduce employee turnover.
I noticed that many organizations are striving to “go green” with increased concerns on environmental pollutions and the nagging issue of global warming. In the onset of the new millennium, many organizations were touting the need to go green. This is mostly because these organizations perceived that the idea of going green was not a necessity. According to Wheelen (2018), with increased concerns on the future of the planet, many companies are jumping into the bandwagon. This could be motivated by the fact that it could be the in thing or because of the responsibility of contemporary managers to depict their leadership skills not only in the organization but also on a global capacity. If these managers are motivated by the later, then they are true leaders in every capacity.
Going green has been embraced by larger organizations, and it is gradually extending even to smaller organizations. Realistically, going green saves money in the long term. For instance, embracing the use of renewable energy may be costly in the initial stages, but it becomes economical in the long run. What is more, it saves money since non-renewable forms of energy not only pollute the environment but are costly. Another reason to go green could be motivated by the ideation that modern consumers are attracted by organizations that are aware of the consequences of environmental pollution. It is also true to state that going green enhances innovations as we have seen with many organizations coming up with unique ideas of developing environmental-friendly products.
Another major observation from my studies was the rapidly advancing technological innovations that leave everyone imagining how life would be in the next ten, twenty, thirty, or fifty years. For instance, the increasing innovations in driverless vehicles caught my attention. It is projected that by 2035 almost everyone will be using a driverless car. This will make life interesting while at the same time, have implications on organizations and their management strategies. For example, imagine using your smartphone to request Uber taxi to pick you at home, go about your business then the taxi drops you home, and with your smartphone, you send it back to its parking without involving any human being. This will improve the efficiency of our daily operations and increase convenience (Chouteau, Forest & Nguyen, 2018). However, there are people in several organizations that are meant to ensure that these activities run without hitches. The same could be imagined of FeDex couriers dropping cargo at your home with drones unloading your package and leaving with the intervention of a human being.
Because of increased technological advancement, contemporary organizations are focusing more on bring the human being element back into business operations. With increased automation of supply chain operations, human beings are being detached from each other. This is unlike the old times when most work-related activities were conducted manually. For instance, you may find organizations where employees are working with machines and computing devices and their communication with other employees, is only through technological devices (Chouteau, Forest & Nguyen, 2018). Similarly, where telecommuting is involved, face-to-face communication becomes almost non-existent. Some people working remotely spend years without meeting their colleagues physically. This keeps on eroding the human element at workplaces since people feel as if they are only working with robots. For this reason, some managers try to bring employees together through informal gatherings such as annual parties.
With increased globalization, companies are recruiting people from all over the world where one may be forced to travel or telecommute. Wherever I work, I will fully apply the skills gained from my studies and showcase my prowess in leadership and management. I expect to use formal leadership skills together with my management skills to solve the issues facing contemporary organizations. I have also researched on the strategies used by successful managers, and I hope to put those strategies into practice.
To become a successful organizational manager, I must have the ability to communicate effectively. This is on the grounds that effective communication is a critical issue that defines a person’s leadership traits. Effective communication reduces conflicts and misunderstandings in an organization by ensuring the information passed to stakeholders is timely and relevant. Contemporary organizations have different methods of communicating among stakeholders (Certo & Certo, 2018). With advanced technology, new and efficient means of communication have emerged. For instant messaging systems have replaced email communication for less-formal communication. Emails remain an essential form of communication, and they can deliver messages instantly. Then again, modern organizations have adopted social media as a form of communicating information targeting a large pool of people. Depending on the nature of the organization, I will choose the best mode of communication when getting into management positions in the future.
One of the vital skills I have acquired along the way is team-building skills that I anticipate to apply in my career. Team building requires leadership skills that revolve around people skills. As a manager, one must be able to determine what works best for a particular team. This involves working with people from diverse grounds; hence, one must learn their personalities, their abilities, and their motivating factors. This way, a manager can build a performing team that completes projects without destructive conflicts. Most importantly, teams need the motivation to deliver quality project deliverables (Gillon, 2018). Since I have spent a lot of time exploring what spurs employees most, I believe I can get the best out of employees by improving their levels of job satisfaction.
I intend to solve contemporary organization management issues by observing how successful organizations go about these issues. For example, the issue of sustainability requires mission, vision, and strategic planning. Using innovative strategies can be important when solving some of these organizational issues. This goes hand in hand with the adaptation of technological innovations that enable an organization to compete with other organizations.
In conclusion, my leadership and management skills have improved as a result of gleaning many sources of information on issues facing contemporary organizations. I know very well that there is much to learn out there since the learning process does not end when one leaves learning institutions. Conversely, this is the beginning of further research on organizational issues with the motivation of becoming a successful manager in the future. I hope to learn from not only the work environment but also from other people in organizational management positions. I have discovered that learning a particular subject of interest is easier when wants to apply it in real-life situations. From that point of view, I believe I will be a quick learner in my career by using the same learning and research methodologies. However, I expect to face many challenges in the pursuit of my dream career, but I am confident that I will overcome any obstacles that shall come my way.