1) To me leadership stands to be the lead person in charge capable of positively influencing others, to give encouragement in accomplishing a common task. A leader not only influences their subordinates however, they are also willing to allow input from their followers for the greater good of attaining common goal. For example purposes I will be using one of my employers. My supervisor I would define as a leader, she listens to others in our group, she notes our concerns, she expresses that she understands and allow us to input our ideas to make our work duties/job load less stressful. Then you have my supervisor boss, who in my eyes only care about financial benefit (my opinion) than he does his employees and patients. He doesn’t show no emotional support for the work load on his employees. When my supervisor goes to him for approval on changes some processes that will allow for us to work ‘smart’ and not ‘hard’ he doesn’t approve. Being a leader you have to take into consider how the business operations affect those employees who have to suffer doing the work load and those customers who have to suffer doing the downfall of stressful workers. Being a leader you have to have character, intelligences, and personable skills. You have to care for what you do.
2) Leadership is a concept with many and few definitions. Since as early as the 6th century and possibly earlier leadership has been the subject of philosophers, scholars, and researchers. One definition of leadership is primarily the ability to of one person to make a subordinate act in a desired way. This definition is more in line of a manager or dictator as opposed to what I envision as a leader. Merely giving orders with the expectation that a subordinate will follow them does not constitute a leader because the worker’s motivation is also influenced by fear of reprimand. Vroom and Jago define leadership as the “influence of more than one follower” (Richardson, 2016, p.46). To elaborate on the Vroom and Jago definition, leadership is the ability, which includes both the ability as well as the potential, to influence others.
Similarly both definitions discussed involve the ability to influence people however, Vroom and Jago’s definition includes five fundamentals of leadership characteristics. These elements include: 1.) leadership is not a personal characteristic, it is a process; 2.) the process includes motivation, the ability to influence; 3.) incentives are not apart of leadership, including intrinsic and extrinsic; 4.) influence is established by collaboration with followers to achieve a shared goal; and 5.) understanding that a leaders idea no matter how excellent may not be accepted by followers. I subscribe to this definition with one pivot. I agree that extrinsic incentives may not be a defining characteristic of the leadership process, as mentioned previously regarding the fear of reprimand. However, I believe that intrinsic incentives are valid to motivate followers as well as leaders. Intrinsic incentives can influence the actions of leaders as well as followers through the attainment of personal rewards. (Guillen, Mayo, & Korotov, 2015)
Leadership Failure- Motivation to Lead at it’s worse In one of my clinical positions in the operating room the hospital organization had a high turnover for leadership positions. The absence of leaders provoked the executives to hire interim traveling leaders to fill positions like Operating room manager and Director of Perioperative services to name a few. One of those choices, I think I had seven direct supervisors during my 3 and a half year tenure, lacked motivation. This individual started out as enthusiastic as any traveling manager can be but towards the end of her assignment with our hospital she was no longer helpful. She would literally throw her hands up when the staff brought up their concerns. I acknowledge that I worked in an extremely difficult, busy, and occasionally hostile environment however, as an employee her lack of motivation and concern was abhorrent. Her Motivation to Lead had diminished and she became a mere position filler. In this moment as an operating team our morale was low and I noticed more staff leaving their positions.
3) Psychologist Abraham Maslow (1954) focused on motivating forces in individuals, and established a “hierarchy of needs.” According to Maslow, individuals would move to satisfy their needs in a hierarchical manner. Once a need was satisfied, it no longer would have the ability to motivate. At the bottom of the hierarchy, were physiological needs, such as food, shelter, and sexual gratification. These were followed by safety needs (protection from environmental dangers), social needs (love and belonging), and esteem (self-respect and the approval of others). The highest need was self-fulfillment, which involved deriving a sense of value and satisfaction from one’s work. While people generally filled these needs in order, Maslow recognized that the hierarchy was flexible within individuals, and that priorities could vary. Maslow did not include money in his schema because of the ambiguity in the meaning of money. For some people, money is a way to achieve the basic requirements of food and shelter. Others view money as a measure to satisfy their need for self-fulfillment.
Herzberg, Mausner, and Snyderman (1959) interviewed 200 engineers and accountants to explore what factors were motivating. They concluded that many factors that were thought to be motivating, such as pay and managerial style, were not motivating at all. Herzberg (1966) proposed that job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are not opposite ends of a continuum, but rather represent two distinct variables. Intrinsic motivational factors (called “satisfiers”) included achievement, recognition, and responsibility. Extrinsic factors (called “hygiene factors”) consisted of things like pay, status, job security, and management style. Herzberg theorized that a lack of satisfiers would not cause dissatisfaction. The presence of hygiene factors would not cause satisfaction, but their absence would cause dissatisfaction. While Hertzberg’s two-factor theory generated considerable research, “repeated factor analytic studies of job attitudes have failed to demonstrate the existence of two independent factors corresponding to motivators and hygienes” (Campbell, 1970, p. 381).
During the early 1960’s, managers began to recognize that money, working conditions, and punishment were not effective long-term motivators. Douglas McGregor (1960) theorized that the emotional climate of work was an important motivating factor. He postulated two opposing theories. Theory X views people as lazy and unmotivated. It argues that people naturally avoid responsibility, and therefore, need to be controlled and directed. Threats of punishment and deprivation are compelling motivators. Theory Y, on the other hand, states that work itself is a gratifying motivator. People will use self-control to achieve a goal, and they will accept (and even welcome) responsibility. Evidence exists to support both theories, although most modern managers favor theory Y (Drucker, 1974). McGregor was dissatisfied with the either/or interpretation of his theories, and in 1967 proposed Theory Z as a way for management to embrace the paradox by simultaneously accepting both points of view. McGregor’s Theory Z was never accepted or popularized. As Pascale (1990) points out, when Ouchi’s book Theory Z was published in 1981, very few people even remembered that McGregor had previously used the term.
Expectancy theory attempts to understand motivation as a process where workers rationally decide how much effort to devote to a job at any given time (Georgopolous, Mahoney, and Jones, 1957; Porter and Lawler, 1968; Vroom, 1964). According to the theory, workers weigh the desirable outcomes (e.g., higher pay, promotion, recognition, etc.) against the undesirable outcomes (e.g., reprimand, layoff, stress, etc.). The probability of a perceived outcome is referred to as an expectancy, and the desirability of the outcome is its valence. A workers motivation is affected by the combination of expectancies and valences for each of the outcomes. The reinforcement theory of motivation (also called contingency theory) is an outgrowth of the behaviorist school of psychology. Skinner is the most well-known proponent of the theory. The basic principles of the theory are: 1) reinforced behavior tends to be repeated, 2) reward is more effective than punishment, 3) feedback is necessary for improvement 4) rewards should be given without delay, and 5) rewards should be given for successive approximations of the desired behavior (Schneier, 1974).
Collins and Porras (1989) believe that motivation is the result of people doing a job that they think is worthwhile. They assert that motivation is not something that needs to be cultivated directly. Instead, it is a natural outcome of workers’ who believe in the mission, vision, and purpose of an organization. The “purpose” of an organization is a set of broad, enduring, inspirational, and fundamental reasons for the existence of the organization. The purpose provides a clear sense of direction by stating what members of the organization want to contribute to the world. The “mission” is a clearly defined and achievable goal. It provides a focal point of motivation. The “vision” is usually defined as being able to foresee the future, and developing a plan to meet the future needs. Collins and Porras (1989) define vision as “the ability to see the potential in or necessity of opportunities right in front of you. . . vision isn’t forecasting the future, it is creating the future by taking action in the present.” (p. 87)
4) Definition of leadership
The terms managers and leaders have been used interchangeably. However, these two concepts are very different. Anyone can become a manager but not everyone can become a leader. Managers need to plan, measure, monitor, coordinate, solve, hire, fire, and so many other things. Typically, managers manage things. Leaders lead people. In order for managers to be qualified as winning leaders in their organizational roles, managers need to possess certain traits or strategic leadership competencies because managing teams strategically in today’s business environment calls for competent and qualified managers who possess strategic knowledge of business and the ability to infuse passion and organize team operations strategically.
As cited in Benson (2016), Bass stated that transformational leadership refers to the leader moving the follower beyond the immediate self-interest through idealized influence (charisma), inspiration, intellectual stimulation, or individualized consideration. It elevates the follower’s level of maturity and ideals as well as concerns for achievement, self-actualization, and the well-being of others, the organization, and society (p.11).
Example of leadership
Leaders in today’s organizations have to think and act strategically. More specifically, leaders have to monitor external and internal markets, competitors, and opportunities (Boal, 2007). Thereafter, and based on the information leaders get from these monitoring activities, they have to formulate strategies for their respective work unit (Yukl, 2009), explicating, among others, resources, milestones and responsibilities. Also, leaders do not only set goals and communicate what can be expected if the goals are met, but they also check from time to time whether their followers achieve these goals and if they need help. Personally, I view leadership as a person who could inspire (transform) followers to achieve extraordinary outcomes. He/she pay attention to the concern and developmental needs of individual followers. Leaders change followers’ awareness of issues by helping them to look at old problems in a new way and they are able to inspire followers to put out extra effort to achieve common goals.