According to Van Fleet, leadership is the ability to shape the behavior of other people through influence. The process mainly depends on the leaders and their followers. The leader is able to influence his or her followers through the decision, which aim is to enable people to achieve specific organizational goals. To do this, the leader inspires his followers to perform their duties willingly and enthusiastically. The leader shapes the human behavior through example and talent. He usually does not depend on the legitimate formal authority. The powers of a leader depend on his acceptability by his leaders (Gosling, 2003).
David Schwartz describes the managerial process as the art of inspiring the subordinates to perform their duties well. The leader should influence the behavior of the subordinates and make them follow the organizational goals (Hooper, 1997). This process should however be organized in a way to ensure that the team follows its leader without forcing them to do so. The leader’s behavior is important at ensuring that the subordinate staff strictly follows any developed instructions.
Strategic leadership provides the vision and the direction for the desired growth and success of the organization. The process of proper dealing with any changes means that the executive requires the skills and the tools for both strategy and tactics formulation. Managing organizational changes require strategic leaders able provide a main development direction of the organization and structuring of the workgroups (Gosling, 2003). The aim of a strategic leadership is to enable the organization to realize its goals based on the different strategies set by these leaders.
Leadership is very important in every organization. The success of a business is dependent on the process of leadership. The leadership process plays different but vital roles while achieving organizational goals, i.e.:
- Leadership process acts as a guideline to the employees’ efforts in achieving the organizational goals that vary from one organizational to another.
- Leadership facilitates proper coordination of resources. An organization without leadership is really a muddle of men and resources such as machines and cash. The leader organizes all this.
- Leadership helps in persuading others people to seek the defined goals of an organization enthusiastically. It is possible since the leader triggers motivation among the staff and thus guides it towards achieving the organizational goals.
- Leadership helps in transforming the potential into reality through the personal role of the leaders in an organization.
- Leadership is important for an organization to be successful. The leaders are able to coordinate resources, thus the organization becomes competitive. It brings success to the company as the sales and profits increase (Hooper, 1997).
- The leader creates morale among the employees. The leader should be a part of the morale booster and ensure that there is full cooperation within the organization. This helps the workers to perform their best as they strain to achieve the goals.
- Leadership creates confidence, which is relevant factor that required among the subordinates. The leaders explain the workers their role in order to achieve personal goals as well as organizational goals.
- Leadership initiates organizational activity. The leader starts the work by communicating the organizational policies and the plans to the subordinate. This, in turn, initiates actions, which are necessary to achieve all goals in the organization (Gosling, 2003).
Leadership causes many changes in an organization. The leaders are in a position to influence the subordinates to work in a certain direction to achieve certain goals of the organization. The workers get training from their leaders. This helps them to work in accordance with the mission of the organization (Hooper, 1997). The impact of the leaders will ensure that the goals are achieved. This will improve the organizational image to the public and thus realize its goals. The sales are increased which leads to profit growth. The organization becomes more competitive and asserts itself in the capital markets. The leadership process also motivates the employees once they realize the organizational goals, since these two processes are inseparable (Grint, K. 2000).
There are different types of changes in an organization. They differ from one organization to another. The first one is the planned change. It occurs when the leaders develop and implement a program that will alter the activities of an organization in an orderly manner. The managers and leaders initiate this change since they anticipate the practical results of such a change (Grint, K. 2000). Thus, they prepare the organization for these changes. The other change is reactive one. It is a change that usually occurs when the managers and leaders respond to the need for change only when that necessity comes to their attention. This is not a full change in the organization. It is a partial approach to the changes in the organization when the managers and leaders just alter the activities in a given direction to solve the problems facing the organization. This change is faster and less expensive compared to the planned change. It is however effective as it solves the small everyday problems that arise within the organization. Strategic leadership has much to do with the changes. It highlights the possible areas requiring immediate changes in order to realize the strategic development plans (Grint, K. 2000).
Various factors cause people to resist the changes or to support them. The main reasons to support the changes include new technologies, desire for growth; need to improve organizational processes, government rules, regulations, and the current level of competition in the industry. The reasons for resistance include misunderstanding between leaders and staff, when the interests of the leaders prevent them from considering the staff in implementing the changes. Second, the resistance could be explained by the low tolerance to changes when people want to be conservative to the old ways of carrying on business. Lastly, it could be the different assessment of the situation when the employees disagree with the reasons for changes in an organization (Mullen 1991).
Sometime the incentive for changes is a crisis, which motivates the transformations, the clear vision of an organizational strategy, the need to communicate to the employees, customers, stakeholders and the government on the organization future prospects. The clear explanation of the needs for change motivates the employees to work towards the organizational goals and understand why they ought to adapt the new implemented changes.