need introduction one paragraph and rest would be literature review please refer to the attached example
MAN6304: Project Leadership Assignment 1: Self-Audit
A good manager can help an organisation achieve its goals, but a good leader can help an organisation achieve excellence and competitive advantage. This essay explores what leadership means, using references to support my view. A summary of my life history helps to explain my values and motivations as a person and experiences as a manager and leader, which is then supported by the results of a number of personality tests that provide a more objective assessment of my skills and traits. Finally, 360-degree feedback from peers and colleagues is used to provide essential feedback on my strengths and weaknesses as a leader. The conclusion shows how the findings of this assignment will help me develop as a leader in the future.
What is Leadership?
In order for organisations to survive and prosper in today’s marketplace, good management is imperative. The contemporary definition of management is based on early theories such as Fayol’s (1947) and suggests the involvement of four functions: planning, organising, leading and controlling, to achieve goals. In particular, managing human resources to achieve those organisational goals is considered key.
The role of leadership is central to managing when we consider that achieving organisational goals relies on people and how we can influence them to do something for us. Leadership is “the ability to influence a group towards the achievement of goals” (Robbins, Millett & Waters-Marsh, 2004, p. 338) and implies a people orientation rather than task orientation (a management focus), suggesting that goals can be achieved more effectively this way. Management also requires influence over people but it tends to use extrinsic motivation whereas leadership uses intrinsic motivation (Pullan, 2011).
I can draw parallels to my early experience as project manager in a scientific research organisation. My role included scheduling meetings, setting goals, defining responsibilities, controlling the budget and reporting processes, but there was also a leadership requirement. I was managing a team of middle-aged men, many of whom were unmotivated and undervalued, and perhaps dubious of a young person acting in the project management role. Achieving the team’s goals required motivation, recognition of their talents, encouraging creativity and excitement and collaboratively creating a vision.
There have also been many theories of leadership over the years, from the ‘traits theory’ to ‘behaviour theory’ such as the managerial grid based on the two dimensions: concerns for people and production (Blake & Mouton, 1964).
The more recent theories of leadership take into account situational influences on leadership type, also known as situational and contingency theories. Hersey and Blanchard’s (1982) approach proposed a different style of leadership based on more or less relationship-oriented and more or less task-oriented behaviour depending on the attitude and ability of the follower. In my experience, university work practicum students require a high level of task-oriented and relationship-oriented leadership,
however with my experienced staff, I adapt my leadership to a delegating style. Thus my optimal leadership style depends on the nature of the task and the personality and competence of the staff member (Jost, 2011).
A further field of research focused on transactional and transformational leadership. Bass (1985) argues that transformational leaders can excite and inspire followers to go the extra mile to achieve organisational goals. This style requires an acute awareness of individuals’ motivation and a high level of emotional intelligence. Armandi, Oppedisano, and Sherman (2003) question whether transactional leadership and the situational and contingency theories – is mostly concerned about management, where staff are motivated and guided towards goals in a task-oriented fashion. Charismatic, visionary and transformational leaders go one step further by empowering employees to take on organisational goals as their own, essentially elevating a follower through Maslow’s hierarchy of needs beyond self-interest towards the good of the company (Bass, 1995). Certainly research shows that compared to transactional leadership, transformational leadership reports greater productivity and employee satisfaction which is crucial for any organisation in a highly competitive and ever-changing marketplace (Hater & Bass, 1988).
So which is better, to be a good manager who is task-focused, or be a people-focused leader? It is possible to be a good leader but a bad manager – there is little point motivating a team to do a great job on a project when it is not delivered on-time, on budget or in scope. Likewise, a good manager can be timely, organised and clearly communicate tasks to staff, but if staff morale is low, or staff don’t share a common vision, there may be little effort or productivity to achieve goals. This is why both leadership and management attributes working together are crucial, and having transformational or visionary qualities as a leader alongside excellent managerial skills is the ultimate combination.