Importance of Leadership Skills to Manage Strategic Change

Strategic Change

Change is inevitable for organizations to stay competitive and survive in the market. For its big importance, companies try to understand facts that can help them implement change the proper way and get the prospect benefits. And change can reach to different sides of the organization including structure, strategy, staff, culture, customer relationship…etc. But implementing change, especially on the strategic level, requires different talents including management and leadership skills.

To apply strategic change in the organization, there is a need to leaders that can guide this change. A new published study has stressed on the role and importance of leadership in the implementation and success of strategic change in any organization.

Change cannot succeed if not lead by members with leadership personality and kills. As the study stated “the concept of leadership remains important, because introducing significant changes in an organization ‘needs often a champion able to demonstrate an unusual commitment and exceptional enthusiasm to implement his vision’”.

To perform change effectively, the leader needs different skills. Researchers of the above mentioned study which is published in a Journal of Organizational Management Studies cited a list of these “necessary skills of the leader for a better management of this type of transformation.”

As discussed in the research, the leader of change needs to provide a strategic vision, identify the need for change and seek a new strategic response, communicate well the limits of the old strategy and the merits of the new one, overcome the resistance to change, use power and developing a political support, and motivate staff.

To lead transformation process the leader who is in charge need to have enough skills to develop a vision and build a good strategy.  “The strategy is a vision; it is entirely oriented to what an organization should be rather than how it will be” the study stated.

The elements required for a strategist as mentioned in the study is the ability “to anticipate the future, to create a line to follow, a vital direction for him, his team or the organization. To share his vision, he must understand and know others, their needs, aspirations and values and know how to talk to them.”

Moreover, researchers identified some elements that the strategist leader needs to succeed in his mission. They stated that the leader should “Be creative… creativity plays an important role in the quality of decisions: the ability to propose innovative solutions is essential to decision-making process such as the development of new opportunities and problems diagnosis.”

Also, he needs to “develop his skills in strategic leadership. Based on the fact that leadership is the key differentiating factor between sustainable success and mediocrity… (And) seek information on the environment in general and know immediately the whole context of problems and issues which arise, allowing the leader to develop ideas and holistic solutions”.

Besides, successful strategist needs “to have a strong conceptual ability enabling leaders to better understand the internal and external environments and to identify trends, stakes and opportunities… (And) have the ability to think in a flexible manner… Flexibility is essential in a professional environment in constant evolution.

The other important thing that the leader needs in his duty is to communicate the change he’s leading with the staff. “One of the most important functions of a clearly communicated strategy is to guide employees towards choices to be made. However, to realize such operation, the strategic change should be based on substantial efforts of dialogue and communication at every level of the organization and throughout the change process” as stated in the study.

Among the other key element of success for change leaders is to understand how to overcome resistance to change from the staff and convince them with the importance of that change. And above convincing the staff, there is also a need to motivate. As stated in the research “leaders must also generate enough confidence so that their teams accept, despite the uncertainty, the portrait of change which they deal with, and its potential impacts and conclude that exploration presents more benefits than risks.”

 

Study: Qualities of Entrepreneur to Succeed a Business

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Success of an organization highly depends on the entrepreneur’s qualities and traits. Some entrepreneurs own success items and they turn things into success while others could not meet such big success if not, in worst cases, fail. So, what makes such successful entrepreneurs different from those that still turn around in their vicious circles and couldn’t meet any success?

Starting a business requires a lot of hard and smart work, and this is not at the hands of everyone. Even with a lot of plans and firm strategies, things won’t always work as expected. Some things that were supposed to work will just turn to fail, and unexpected problems will occur. At that moment comes the role of the entrepreneur that has the qualities of leading the business with passion and patience to come over such obstacles and reach success.

Small businesses are vulnerable and the presence of a good entrepreneur is more crucial. Small businesses are the locomotives of any economy and they have a considerable impact on the market.

A new study published recently has investigated qualities of entrepreneurship and “the common reasons that motivate people to become and work as entrepreneurs along with the constraints they face when starting and developing their business activity.” For that purpose researchers asked 250 people “engaging in the manufacturing trading and services sectors in Small and Medium Industries”.

To succeed as a leader of an organization, the entrepreneur needs a number of traits. The mentioned study stated what researchers called the five leadership qualities. The leader is required to be “honest, forward looking, competent, inspiring and intelligent”.

Besides, innovation and creativity is another factor that needs to be considered. A lot of studies have stressed the importance of innovation in business success, but implementing innovation requires an entrepreneur that believes in it and ready to adopt it into business.

Among the other factors researchers said contribute to the entrepreneur success including risk taking, innovation, communication, and connect with others.

  • Taking risk in taking appropriate decisions for their business activities;
    •    Innovation and creativity are the perception to accept new ideas;
    •    Confidence to be independent in taking decision and conduction their own business;
    •    Relationship with other to establish and maintain good relationship with people involved in business.

Being a successful leader doesn’t mean to be the source of every ideas, but to be intelligent enough to interact with others and get what necessary to push the business forward. As stated in the study, as entrepreneur you could learn a lot from “people you lead by asking intelligent questions and opinions.” Thus, you “will capable to increase credibility.”

The entrepreneur must be very intelligent by gently leading people toward understanding even when he knows the answer

  • Display emotions exactly in line with feelings
  • Make decision based on my core values
  • Demonstrate beliefs that are consistent with actions.

Researchers mentioned other entrepreneurial qualities that considered the significant characteristics for entrepreneur including to “believe in actions 59 % from respondents, analyze before actions 63% and listening the others 52 %”.

According to the results researchers acquired by their survey “Quality attributes of entrepreneurs that make big contribution to the high of entrepreneurial quality of business people are:

innovation and creativity 58,8%,

self confidence 63,2% ,

connection with others 55,6 %

and communication  51,6%

Researchers have summed up some of the factors needed to lead an organization to success into 4 main elements:

•    Planning – making decisions with regards to the future and making those plans happen.
•    Do – utilizing the fullest potential of resources people, capital and assets to ensure the success of the plans.
•    Activity – inspiring others to do their part effectively in carrying out the organization’s plans.
•   Controlling – step by step monitoring of the implementation process to see if changes are necessary to be made on the plans.

Does Spiritual Intelligence Affect Leadership Learning?

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Leadership is having the ability and skills to lead a group of people or an organization in effective way to finally reach what’s intended-success. Every person has his own beliefs and ideas about leadership. Some considers it being a leader means being a guide for others to complete and achieve certain goals, and for others it means being a motivator for the team to reach the best of their selves and ultimately get success. But in general leaders are those that are able to inspire and set a vision for others to follow.

Becoming a leader requires certain skills and talents to define one’s leadership style. The student leaders get necessary elements in high institutions and learn how to lead. According to science, among some main elements that affect leadership learning is Spiritual Intelligence.

As defined in Wikpedia “Spiritual Intelligence is a term used by some philosophers, psychologists, and developmental theorists to indicate spiritual parallels with IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and EQ (Emotional Quotient). The term was first coined in 1997 by the speaker Danah Zohar and introduced it in her book “ReWiring the Corporate Brain.”

recently published study has gone through studying of spiritual intelligence and how it affects transformational leadership style displayed by student leaders. “Transformational leadership is a style of leadership where the leader is charged with identifying the needed change, creating a vision to guide the change through inspiration, and executing the change in tandem with committed members of the group” as defined in Wikipedia.

The mentioned study is conducted by a group of researchers from Malaysia and published in a Journal of Southeast Asian Research. Researchers used questionnaires answered by students from many parts of the world. The research stated that ‘Intelligence is a skill, an innate potential that can be developed through trainings. As old as it can be, it is a tool used to distinguish an individual from one another and also a predictor of where you stand in a society.”

Stating Zohar and Berman, the research shows that “Spiritual Intelligence is conceptualized as creativity, in-depth and transformative thinking… (It is) the development of desire and capacity for purpose, vision and values that juggles between reason and emotion, mind and body. It combines interpersonal communication skill and intrapersonal thoughts that surpasses the difference between self and others.”

Scientific studies have talked about a part in human brain that is responsible of spirituality, and some scientists call it “God Spot” which “is activated based on one’s emotional intensity and activity” as indicated in the study. “Spiritual Intelligence (is) a problem solving skill that incorporates one’s belief and value into one’s actions and decisions, which leads to a meaningful course of action” the study added.

The mission of the study was to investigate relation of transformational leadership with Spiritual Intelligence through its dimensions that include Consciousness, Grace, Meaning, Transcendence, and Truth. After analyzing the data collected, researchers confirmed that “dimensions of Spiritual Intelligence have a positive and significant correlation with Transformational Leadership. However based on the coefficient values, it showed that the student leaders are not fully transformed. They do not display the full characteristics of Spiritual Intelligence. It was found that among the dimensions, Grace has the highest correlation value.”