The essay aims to elucidate the leadership issues of modern organizations. More specifically, it's prime purpose is to discuss how the leaders confront difficulties in modern days. After discussing the major issues, the essay establishes a number of recommendations to overcome those leadership complexities. Apart from this, the study discusses the reason of gathering information in order to know about the people who are leading the information. This particular study creates a scope to acquire an in-depth knowledge about the recent problems of leadership along with the techniques to resolve them.
Leadership issues in modern workplace
In today's modern era, one common question is emerged that is 'why leadership becomes a major issue in modern workplaces?'. Rego et al. (2012) opined that that leaders are the key people who are needed to monitor the entire business, and motivate the teams. It is mentioned that at its core, the basic premise of business leadership will never change. The organizations will always have the need of the individuals who would encourage their stakeholders and inspire them to work together towards the common goal. However, Johnson (2013) specified that the environment of the workplaces has been transforming dramatically in the recent years. It has been found that the leaders are confronting a number of issues as well as challenges due to this rapid changes in business world. Thus, the senior management teams needs to figure out the effectives ways in order to navigate the modern business world.
The major leadership issues that the leaders are confronting in the modern days are manifested in the below section:
Rapid technological advancement: As per the discussion of Goleman et al. (2013), technological advancement has dramatically reshaped the organizing process and workplace environment over the past couple of decades. Rickards (2015) pointed out that the facility managers and the human resource leaders are facing comparatively more challenges because of this influx of new technology. In order to attain comparative advantages, they have to incorporate new technological tools and provide high office facilities. Besides, they need to keep the workplace updated all the times that helps them to make their business profitable. Western (2013) represented a different viewpoint that the technological improvement makes it quite easier for the managers to handle the operations. However, Rickards (2015) argued that it becomes quite difficult for the leaders to keep up the business at the highest level with the evolution of technology.
Globalization and changing demographics: As opined by Rego et al. (2012), technology has opened up the entrance for global business opportunities. It is quite obvious that the global environment is more complex than the domestic environment. here, the leaders have to be more aware of what happens in the market. As the competition is much higher, it is difficult to survive and attain sustainable competitive advantages over the strong competitors. Western (2013) argued in this context that globalization has been giving lots of chances to the businesses to enter previously untapped markets. The organizations get the chances to expand their businesses and increase productivity. Milner and Joyce (2012) shed light at the different angle and stated that today's business world has been experiencing a huge shift in demographics. Cultural diversity is one of the major challenges that the leaders are experiencing due to globalization (Milner and Joyce 2012).
Challenges in balancing productivity and cost: According to Holt and Marques (2012), the leaders' one of the prime responsibilities is to keep the financial condition of the business stable. In this modern century the businesses are experiencing increasing cost and thus find difficulties to maintain their budget. In supporting the discussion, Western (2013) stated that the effective leaders should minimize the cost and maximize the revenue simultaneously. This strategy helps them to increase their profit. However, it has also been discussed that the modern technology increases the cost so rapidly that most of the leaders fail to apply this strategy. In this context, Rickards (2015) argued that productivity has been improved due to globalization and modernization. The managers are now able to keep everyone connected on a constant basis. The level of communication has been improved and with this dramatic change in collaboration is heightening the communication flexibility (Rickards 2015).
Challenges heightening level of security: As per the viewpoint of Rego et al. (2012), the organizations need to heighten the level of security in this modern workplace. As the technology has the power to keep everything secure, it has the power to put everything in danger as well. For example, the savvy hackers try to get the sensitive information of the businesses through using technology. This means, in one way technology helps the organization to secure their information, and in the other it helps the hackers to put the business in danger. Milner and Joyce (2012) demonstrated that the entire responsibility relies on leaders' strategic policies and procedures. Sometimes, it becomes difficult for them to overlook all the processes at a time.
Identifying customer needs and expectations: Johnson (2013) stated that sometimes customers expect more than they need. In this modern era, the consumers receive so many products which stands beyond their expectations. Modern technology offers lots of option from which they can choose and get the best one easily. At the same time, this make them to expect more and more from the organizations. In supporting the discussion, Goleman et al. (2013) stated that it becomes quite difficult for the leaders to indentify the needs and expectations as well. The key to success lies under giving customers what they want rather than what they need. The challenge is to find out what they need.
Understanding employees' level of efficiency: As the working process has been changed due to the influx of new technologies, the employees find complexities in playing their roles effectively (Holt and Marques 2012). Holt and Marques (2012) stated more that the leaders face difficulties to decide how much they should change. Along with that, it is difficult to increase the level of efficiency of the employees in this changing work environment. Johnson (2013) added in this context that the employees need several training programs and motivation from their leaders. It is the leaders' responsibility to find out the ways through which they can motivate the employees to the highest possible extent. Motivation is the only way through which the employees can easily accept the changes and connect themselves with a common goal (Goleman et al. 2013).
Dealing with conflicts present in workplace: The changing work environment creates conflicts and increases the confusion level as well. The manager of an organization is the only person who can remove the conflicts in the workplace (Goleman et al. 2013). Johnson (2013) added that conflicts at workplace affect the work efficiency of the employees and their productivity as well. The leaders need to give time to their employees and make open communication to reduce the problems that the employees face. However, time management is one of the major issues that the leaders have been facing in the modern technological era (Holt and Marques 2012). The leaders find difficulties to manage the time for all the activities whereas their presence and interference is needed in all the business operations (Holt and Marques 2012).
Contributing factors to leadership challenges
As per the viewpoint of Day and Antonakis (2012), some factors are there that can be contribute to the challenges of leadership. Those factors are illustrated in the below section:
Goal setting and periodic reviews: Cameron et al. (2014) pointed out that the leaders' foremost responsibility is to set their goals; both short term and long term. Through setting goals, the leaders create the roadmap and direct the entire team. Tannenbaum et al.(2013) added that the leaders should identify their strengths and weaknesses before setting goals. Johnston and Marshall (2016) represented a different viewpoint that the leaders face more challenges as they fail to depict the goal and reason behind taking any specific decisions. As a result, the employees fail to understand why they are doing and what they are going to get.
Time management: Day and Antonakis (2012) defined time management as a process of managing energy and activity within specific time. Johnston and Marshall (2016) criticized that most of the leaders face issues as they allow time passing by during making strategies and fixing old issues. In order to deal with the challenges, the leaders should learn to utilize time in the most effective manner through activity and energy management.
Effective communication: According to Tannenbaum et al.(2013), in most of the cases, the leaders fails to manage all the activities due to giving less importance to make communication with their teams. Cameron et al. (2014) represented the positive side where it is discussed that the effective communication includes 80/20 rule. This specific rules defines that the effective leaders should listen 80% and talk 20% to its teams. This helps the leaders to understand the teams' perspectives and their viewpoints. On the other ways, the leaders should make sure that 20% will consists the main point so that they can be specific and save the time as well (Cameron et al. 2014).
Self-Confidence: As opined by Cameron et al. (2014), self-confidence is the prime factor of leadership. It is quite obvious that the leaders would face uncertainties and unexpected challenges. In most of the cases, the teams' confidence level decreases by seeing the decreasing confidence of their leaders. On contrast, the leaders can motivate their team by maintaining their self confidence. Tannenbaum et al.(2013) added in this context that the leaders also should work in improving personality development.
Delegation and Motivation: Johnston and Marshall (2016) stated that the base of delegation and motivation is open communication. The effective leaders gather all the stakeholders and explain the philosophy of work and answer their question as well. Tannenbaum et al.(2013) added that when the employees find themselves valued, they are motivated as well. This increases their willingness to work and improve their efficiency as well.
Use of leadership theories and models
Some leadership theories and models are there that helps the leaders to overcome the above mentioned challenges. Colbert et al. (2012) described about Trait Theory of Leadership where it is defined that the effective leaders share a number of common personality characteristics. The core traits and qualities in trait theory include integrity, assertiveness, empathy, likability, and good decision-making skills. On the other way, Gavetti (2012) stated that the Behavioral Theory of Leadership is the most influential theory that help them to deal with the challenges. It is discussed that the theory defines the behavior of the leaders to their stakeholders. The behavior of the leaders depends on their personality and the situations. However, Giltinane (2013) argued that there are three types of leaders in terms of behaviors that include Autocratic leaders, Democratic leaders, and Laissez-faire leaders. Giltinane (2013) further defined that the autocratic leaders are the ones who take their decision without consulting with their teams. Holt and Marques (2012) criticized that this behavior might create conflicts in the workplace. However, Goleman et al. (2013) argued that the leaders should understand where the autocratic leadership needs to applied. For example, in such a situation if team agreement is not required and the decisions need to be made quickly, the leaders should be autocratic there. Giltinane (2013) defined further that the democratic leaders are the ones that involve their team in the decision making process. This leadership style and theory is highly recommended in this study. Furtner et al. (2013) defined that the laissez-faire leaders are the ones who do not interfere always and allow their team to make decisions. Rickards (2015) argued that it is possible only when the team is highly capable.
Vroom et al. (2015) described about Situational leadership through Vroom and Yetton's Normative Model. It is mentioned that the leaders should involve their teams as participation increases decision acceptance. Afterward, the decision acceptance increases commitment along with effectiveness of the employees in playing their roles. Vroom et al. (2015) added further that the decision making process include five ways depending on the situation. The five ways include two autocratic, two consultative, and one group based. The two ways of autocratic defines that either the leaders gathers information and decide alone, or takes information from the teams and decide alone. The two ways of consultative defines that the leaders share problems with either the individuals or the groups. Lastly, the group based decision making defines the democratic style of leadership (Vroom et al. 2015).
Recommendations to resolve leadership challenges
The above section consists effective theories and models which would help the leaders to deal with the leadership challenges that they are confronting at present. The study highly recommends that the leaders should incorporate those challenges in their leadership strategies. Apart from this, the study brings out a number of recommendations that are demonstrated in the below section:
Specify work culture: As per the discussion of McCleskey (2014), the modernization and globalization is the prime reason of facing cultural diversity in workplaces. The leaders should create a work culture in which would be acceptable by all the stakeholders. Here, it is essential to mention that the leaders should keep in mind that they have to value all the cultures of their employees. In supporting the discussion, van Vugt and Ronay (2014) stated that through creating a specific work culture, the leaders would able to remove the conflicts which is created by cultural diversity. Besides, a common working culture would increase the level of collaboration between the employees and leaders.
Provide training programs: The changing working process might not be accepted by all the employees. They might find themselves inefficient in adopting the new business operations. In such cases, the leaders should provide them training programs so that the employees can increase their efficiency (Sperry 2013). This would help the leaders to establish a good employee relationship and increase the productivity as well (McCleskey 2014).
Make customer centric goals: McCleskey (2014) further suggested that the effective leaders should always make customer centric goals in order to attain competitive advantages. They should communicate with its customers and address their needs as well as expectations. This would help them to establish good customer relationship which is required for any successful business (Cameron 2012).
Strategies for balancing budget: It is mentioned before that the leaders fail to balance their budget because of the increasing cost in incorporating new technological tools. They should ensure that their short term expenditure would give them long term profitability (Cameron 2012). Besides, they should make strategies for maximizing revenues and minimizing cost at the same time. In order to get the best idea, they should engage their teams and pay heed on the viewpoints of the individuals (Sperry 2013).
Turn negative energy into positive solution: Friedman et al. (2016) stated that the leaders should utilize their current issues and challenges as a way to generate new ideas, innovation and path to success. They should identify their opportunities and utilize their strength points against the threats they receive from the competitors and the market.
Importance of information in workplace
As per the viewpoint of Farinha and Sousa (2015), the employees also have some responsibilities in their workplace. They are provided useful information which is important for them to know. Besides, they should pay heed how their leaders lead them and place their opinion in certain situations. Friedman et al. (2016) added that the leaders also need motivation and encourage from their teams. The employees should value the decisions and actions of the people who are leading the organization.
The study concludes that the leaders have been confronting several issues and challenges in leadership due to the influx of new technology. It has been found that modernization complicates the leadership process and this is the reason the leaders face a number of major problems. Here, the study brings out a number of recommendations which would help the leaders to overcome those challenges. Further, it helps the leaders to attain sustainable development and growth in their businesses.
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