Leadership Skills and Career Progression
Historically the significance of leadership and goal setting have been substantiated through the work of management scholars and industrial and organizational psychologists. Not only do leadership skills and your career progression relate, they impact employees and organizations.
The association of leadership and effective goal setting and realization offers insight for organizations that seek to strengthen their financial position through improved morale and productivity. Of the numerous leadership theories available Peter G. Northouse attests to the effectiveness of the situational approach to leadership originally defined by Hershey and Blanchard (1969) derived from Reddin’s (1967) 3-D management style theory. The situational approach style of leadership is widely used for leadership training and is based upon the premise that leaders must adapt their style to the situation and to their followers’ competence and commitment levels (Northouse, 2004). Using this approach the leader can determine whether a directive or supportive behavior is most appropriate for the situation. Directive behaviors relate to providing structure, goal-setting, schedules, etc., while supportive behaviors focus on the employee and their comfort level with the situation, task and environment.
Leadership authority Warren Bennis also substantiates the significance of a leaders’ ability to adapt to changing situations, he provides, “the one competence that I now realize is absolutely essential for leaders—the key competence—is adaptive capacity. Adaptive capacity is what allows leaders to respond quickly and intelligently to relentless change” (Bennis, 2003). It is this capacity that results in the leader effectively navigating through a variety of situations while maintaining employee confidence in the organization’s vision and leadership.
While leaders establish the vision for the organization and it is typically the responsibility of the front-line manager to establish the goals and objectives necessary to support realization of the vision. Herein resides the importance of the ability to adapt for the manager. The manager is responsible for the establishment goals and must take into consideration numerous factors, including the employees themselves, the culture, market and other demands and must be able to adapt to changes and realign goals as necessary to ensure their realization.
As a leader your leadership skills, style, and abilities impact employees and organizations as well as your career.