BusinessDay

How effective is your leadership?

Effective leadership plays a role in whether an organisation succeeds or fails. This view fits in with Prabu’s assertion that organisation or business with effective leadership at all levels is more likely to survive when challenging times arise. Organisations with effective leadership are more likely to sustain growth momentum and attain greatness levels that weren’t considered achievable.

However, when it comes to assessing leadership, there is often a lot of ambiguity as there is no set standard available yet for accessing leadership qualities and behaviour. This school of thought is like what John Morford argues that after more than 80 years of research about finding that one key to effective leadership, researchers have concluded that it does not exist.

This lack of a standard set of assessment opens doors to a lot of confusion and doubt, because how then does an organisation measure the effectiveness of its leaders if there is no universally accepted standard.

In looking for solutions to this pertinent issue, some industries and fields have come up with a set of unique guidelines and tools to aid in this regard, which means that companies and organizations then must look at the different strategies out there and figure out the best approach for them when it comes to assessing their leaders.

For an organisation to truly excel and be the best at what it does, it needs leaders who are passionate and committed and competent in getting things done

There are several ways to explain Effective leadership. Cooper and Nirenberg (2012) see effective leadership as “the successful exercise of personal influence by one or more people that results in accomplishing shared objectives that are personally satisfying to those involved.”

For an organisation to truly excel and be the best at what it does, it needs leaders who are passionate and committed and competent in getting things done. These leaders also need to inspire confidence in both the employees and their customers. Thus, the first thing that is central to effective leadership is a commitment to the organisation’s core values. This informed Morford’s position that effective leadership is founded on a long-standing single-minded commitment to fundamental values.

The second thing that is key to effective leadership is leaders having the right behaviour and style that fits in with the culture and system. What makes effective leadership stand out amid mediocrity are the unique attributes manifested in their behaviour and leadership style. An effective leader creates a situation that works best for the people and organisation through the combination of both skills and processes.

The question then is, how important is effective leadership to an organisation?

Simple—it is imperative if an organisation wants to remain relevant for a long time, no matter what kind of organisation it is. We live in uncertain times, where things are always changing at the speed of light. Therefore, when managing change, it is essential to have effective leadership in place, as it is the only way to sustain an organisation in the ever-changing world that we live in.

Considering then how vital effective leadership is to an organisation, it is then very essential that organisations find a way to assess their leaders on how effective they are. Why is this assessment so critical? Without evaluation, how can organisations be sure that their leaders are useful in leading and delivering results? The review provides the much-needed data of the organisation’s current state when it comes to leadership from the perspective of both leadership and the followers. It shows both the positive and negative feedback, thus equipping leaders to know where they need to scale up fulfilling their responsibilities.

Read also: Why human resources development is vital for organizational leadership

Having the proper strategic method of assessment should, therefore, be a top priority for any organisation. Hence, organizations need to find a sustainable way of assessing their leaders to ensure they are effective in their roles. To this end, organisations need to be specific to the criteria for evaluating and assessing their leaders.

Before an organisation begins any assessment, they need to be very clear on what they are evaluating as far as their leaders’ effectiveness is concerned. Choosing what criteria to use depends on many variables, including the kind of organisation, its needs, the department, and the leader’s role.

Therefore, the criteria should cover different sections and areas of performance. So that as an organisation, you are assessing your leaders on more than one component, therefore getting a fuller picture of how effective they are.

How then do you decide what to use as criteria?

When it comes to measuring effective leadership, there are many schools of thought. John Campbell, a professor of psychology, has done much research on job performance. Over the years, John Campbell and his colleagues have come up with fourteen Factors that Measure leadership and management performance, six of which apply to leadership. These factors include how effective the leader guides and directs work methods and roles, trains, and coaches’ others, provides recognition and support, delegates authority and responsibility, serves as a role model, and encourages goal achievement.

These six factors are in line with nine skills that Blank (2001) advocated as skills of a natural-born leader. These skills are categorised differently. The foundational category includes self-awareness, the ability to build rapport, and the ability to clarify expectations.

Then there is the directional category that consists of the ability to map out territory to identify needs, chart out a course of leadership action, and develop others as leaders. Lastly, the influence category includes the ability to build the base to gain commitment, the ability to influence others to follow willingly, and finally, the ability to create a motivating environment. Do lookout for a continuation of this article next week.

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