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As a brief background about the role that the author of this paper is going to play in this paper, he would be a project manager for one of the Department of Defense’s projects. This means that I am to focus not on the Department of Defense but on the third party organization that only happens to be affiliated with the country’s Department of Defense.
During the brainstorming part of the global leadership and public agenda, some leadership theories were studied so that the resulting global leadership plan and agenda can at least be based on established principles and ideas. Some of the theories that have been considered during the brainstorming process were the contingency theory, the path to goal theory and the relational theory, among others.
The Contingency Theory
The contingency theory was originally developed not as a leadership theory but rather as an organizational theory. The basic premise behind the contingency theory is that there is no single best way to lead or organize a corporation because leading a corporation, and thus a group of people involves making decisions. Now, those decisions do not really have to be consistently good because even the best leaders make mistakes, some of which may be fatal and some may be the casual mistakes caused by omission rather than commission. This leads the proponents of the contingency theory to think that the best course of action is not to spend a lot of time in selecting the best decisions to manage or run an organization or a corporation because they know that that is such an unrealistic goal for everyone is bound to make mistakes (i.e. even the best leaders) at some point; and so because the first goal choice is almost impossible to attain, the only option left would be to select the second best one and the second best goal choice is to set contingencies. Contingencies are set so that the damages that could have been caused by the otherwise perfect decisions can be mitigated. To have a contingency plan also sets the leaders to become dependent on the internal and external situations in the organization or in some cases, the outcomes of the previously made decisions. In that case, a contingent leader is one who has a dynamic mind setting, and one that knows what decision to apply at the right time, at the right place .
The path to goal theory of leadership was another one of the leadership and management theories considered in making the leadership agenda described in this paper. The path-goal theory basically implies that an organizational leader’s ability to make decisions and therefore to lead an entire organization should be dependent or contingent on the motivation, performance, and satisfaction of all the other members (be it an entry level or a managerial level) in an organization. between the contingency theory and the path-goal theory, the latter is the one that has a higher volume of considerations because the leader is expected to consider not only the factors that he considers whenever he makes any significant decision that can make significant changes within the processes and the type of work that people do in the organization, but also that of his subordinates. This theory has, in fact, been several times already, and in the latest revision, the basic premise of the theory remains the same: that the leader should always thrive to engage in activities that complement the abilities, motivations, and performance of his or her subordinates. One dilemma in becoming a full advocate of this leadership and or management theory is that it places the leader in a very confusing and perhaps a compromising behavior.
He, as the leader, surely has his own set of considerations, visions, and goals when it comes to the future of the organization. That specific set of goals, visions, and considerations can be easily tainted when the leader realizes that he is expected to make his future decisions dependent on the motivation, considerations, and performance of the other members of the organization. This can have significant negative effects on the way the organization is being run. For one, the organization can lose its direction . With a lot of things to consider, a mediocre leader can easily lose his focus, which is one of the last things that a leader would want to happen. It is highly important for organizations to have a direction; anything that can prevent the organization from going into the right direction can be considered as a hindrance. Because the opinions of the organizational leader is not the only thing that matters, then in relation to the different types of governance, the path-goal theory can be easily identified as a government based on democracy.
Relational Theory of Leadership
The relational theory of leadership was the last one that we considered. Basically, the relational theory of leadership suggests that leadership is a highly relational task. There is this notion among organizational leaders that if one wants to know the real effectiveness of a leader, people who want to know the answer to that question should ask not the leader but those who are being led by that leader—because leadership is a highly relational task.
There is no other more perfect assessment than by asking those who are being led by the leader. Based on this theory, leaders are organizational entities that exist not just to point the organization towards the right direction (i.e. towards achieving its goals and milestones) but also one that expresses genuine care and concern towards his or her subordinates; one who establishes the necessary standards for the organization to reach its goals; share relevant information; bring in the perspective of other people; and one that serves as a role model for other people in the organization to see; and one that has a high level of understanding and communication .
Global Leadership Agenda
The leadership agenda that I want to advocate is the one that says “leadership is king”. It has to be pointed out, however, that this does not mean that the leader is not to be considered as the king because that is an entirely different line to consider. Instead, what this leadership advocacy suggests is that an individual’s leadership skills are what would make him an asset or a significant entity within the organization.
There are other organizational agendas that this new leadership advocacy can be compared to. For example, there is a leadership agenda that suggests that the “customer is king” or the “customer is always right”. Now, while both of these leadership agendas can prove to be beneficial especially when seriously followed—as evidenced by the number of organizations who have had significantly positive outcomes after implementing such advocacies within their respective organizations, it would be safe to say that the outcomes would almost always be relative.
For example, these conventional leadership agendas or advocacies may be best used in customer-oriented organizations. Their effects on non-customer-oriented organizations may, however, be limited to none at all. At some point, their effects may even be negative.
However, the advocacy statement that says “leadership is king” is highly versatile because it can be applied to almost any organization be it customer-oriented, consumer-driven, or whatnot. This is because organizations, regardless of the type or industry it is operating in, require a great leader with a specific set of leadership skills and abilities that he can use to lead the organization to the right path. Of course, the term “leadership” should be solidly defined and this is where the study regarding the leadership theories of path-goal, relational, and contingency theories would enter.
A real leader with the right set of leadership skills would then be one that has the ability to consider not just his opinion but also that of others whenever he is about to make an important decision; one who knows how to make decisions dynamically regardless of the external and internal outcome of a situation (pertains to the contingency theory of leadership), and one that knows how to be a real leader as specified in the relational theory of leadership. Of course, there are other leadership theories that can be considered as part of the leadership-defining process but in the case of the leadership agenda that we are trying to advocate, the three theories that we have discussed should be placed at the core.
Edinger, S. (2013). Leadership is a Relational Skill. Forbes.
House, R. (323-352). Path-goal theory of leadership: lessons, legacy, and a reformulated theory Summary. Leadership Quarterly, 277-298.
Kim, H., & Yuki, G. (1995). Relationships of managerial effectivness and advancement ot self-reported subordinate-reported leadership behaviors from the multiple-linkage model Abstract. Leadership Quarterly, 361-377.
Yuki, G. (1999). An Evaluation of Conceptual Weaknesses in Transformational and Charismatic Leadership Theories Abstract. The Leadership Quarterly.
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