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Posted on September 28th, 2012, by

The role of leaders can hardly be underestimated in the contemporary business environment. In fact, leaders traditionally played an important role in the performance of organizations and many historical leaders, to a significant extent, defined the development of many countries. However, today, the role of leaders in business and organizational performance has started to changes because leaders should possess not only leadership qualities but they should have also a strong managerial background and be able to be effective managers. The ability of a leader to be a successful manager can determine the successful performance of the organization he leads. This is particularly important to organizations operating on international markets, such as World.com.

First of all, it is necessary to distinguish management and leadership. Management is a set of skills and abilities an individual needs to organize the work of subordinates and reach a positive organizational performance due to the proper fulfillment of main managerial functions, including planning, organizing, leading and control. As for leadership, it mainly deals with the ability of an individual to lead his subordinates, encourage them and follow his lead to achieve desirable results, while subordinates can be motivated by the personal power of leader and his charisma.

Modern leaders often have to perform managerial functions, but, being deprived of the formal authority leaders do not give up being leaders. Instead, they are likely to unite people working within the organization and conduct their own policy, stand for their position in the organization even if it contradicts to the official position of managers of the organization who have failed to develop leadership qualities.

However, such a situation is undesirable in the contemporary business environment (Benfari, 1999). In contrast, many organizations attempt to put leaders into the key positions, but to succeed leaders need to develop their managerial skills because their leader’s legacy cannot be based on such leadership as charisma, the ability to untie and convince people in the righteousness of a leader, etc. In addition, leaders should be able to motivate and control the performance of employees. Otherwise, their legacy as a leader would be doubtful, while ineffective management can lead to the loss of the formal leadership.

At the same time, the formal leadership is one of the main legacies of contemporary leaders since they need the formal recognition of their leading position in the organization. This means that leaders prefer to take the official leading position and have the formal authority to exercise their power. However, such a legal authority is not always essential and leaders can enjoy other legacies, such as the admiration of other people working within the organization or the respect of people in relation to the leader (Brown, 2003).  Also, leaders need to feel the recognition of his or her superiority which nourishes his or her self-esteem and makes him or her feel as a true leader even if he or she does not have any formal authority. In such a context, it is important for a leader to be supported by who are working within the organization.

On the other hand, it is obvious that leader’s legacies do not always involve positive characteristics of leaders. Moreover, often leaders put their personal interests over interests of other people that absolutely unacceptable (Brown, 2003). In fact, leaders should have moral responsibility of their actions since they head a group of people or even a nation. Consequently, they are responsible for people whom they lead. In such a situation, it is important to take into consideration basic ethical principles. For instance, the leader should put interests of people whom he leads at least as equal to his own interests because people rely on him and his failure will lead to the failure of his people.

This is why a leader should not take risky and unjustified decisions and the moral leader should be an example for his people.

In addition, modern leaders face a serious problem caused by the process of globalization. For instance, such a company as World.com operates in different parts of the world. Therefore, the company needs to adapt to the cultural environment of a specific country where it operates in order to maximize the effectiveness of the performance of employees. Obviously, the company needs to implement the management style which meets cultural traditions and norms of local employees, while the ignorance of cultural peculiarities of employees is likely to lead to communication gaps and poor organizational performance.

In such a situation, managers need to implement effective strategies which can develop and maintain a positive organizational culture. In this respect, it is possible to recommend several strategies. First of all, it is possible to recommend using the transformational leadership style. This approach can help the leader to improve the organizational performance and maintain a positive organizational culture because it implies that the leader makes the organizational culture better through valuing his associates. In such a way, the leader develops positive interpersonal relationships with employees and gains their support and approval. Secondly, it is possible to use the Path-Goal model. In terms of this approach, the leader serves as a guide to his subordinates. To put it more precisely, the leader defines the goal and shows to subordinates the way in which the ultimate organizational goal can be achieved. In the process of interaction the leader and subordinates develop positive relationships since they work as a team that contributes to the formation of a positive organizational culture.

Thus, in conclusion it is important to lay emphasis on the combination of leadership and managerial qualities of modern leaders because, in order to perform successfully, modern leaders should know how to manage people efficiently. At the same time, it should be said that the leadership is not only power but it is also responsibility and the leader’s legacy should include basic ethical norms and principles. In such a way, the leader will be able to shape positive interpersonal relationships with subordinates, maintain positive organizational culture and set basic moral norms and principles which should be accepted by all people working within the organization. As a result, the organization can evolve into a strong and united team headed by the leader which can perform efficiently basic managerial functions and, at the same time, remain the leader and preserve his authority and ability to lead people. The latter is particularly important when an organization faces a risk of crisis.

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