Bolman and Deal (2008) suggest there is a profound difference between leaders and managers. For example, they state that leaders are the ones who write the books and managers just follow what is written, implying a hierarchal structure (Bolman & Deal, 2008). On the other hand, Bligh (Laureate Education, Inc., n.d.) suggests successful organizations have leaders at all levels of the organization and leadership is no longer inclusive to the top officers of the organization. One point I will take with me is the fact change is a constant, evolutionary aspect of all organizations. Without the knowledge and capability to act on internal or external pressures, and organization may well get left behind the competition.
As a leader it is important to understand the fundamental structures and culture of the organization prior to facilitating change, no matter the size and scope of change. Change also needs visionary leadership that inspire vision others. Lewis suggests change begins with one person, grows to several people, then to larger and larger groups comprised of stakeholders who support the same ideals (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). The course also strengthened the fact that successful change agents never forget the importance of primary stakeholder involvement. The primary stakeholders are those who have a direct, identifiable stake and vested interest in the results of the change process (Patton, 2008).
As we have learned, change agents often find an atmosphere of uninspired and frustrated employees. Stakeholder resistance is due, in part, to embedded culture and negative climate created by communication barriers of tenured and new teachers (Ford, Ford & D’Amelio, 2008). I would address this by creating an environment of ongoing learning and innovation as recommended by Harper and Glew (2008). Changing cultures is no easy task; it is an inherent human trait to resist change. Schein (as cited in Rogers & Meehan, 2007) suggests unfreezing old behaviors and creating the motivation to change “so that employees can learn new behaviors, and then “re-freeze” those behaviors over time” (p. 2). In addition, it will be important to vet the organization’s cultural background, the politics, structural rules and procedures (Laureate Education, Inc., n.d.a).
According to Nahavandi, “A leader is defined as any person who influences individuals and groups within an organization, helps them in the establishment of goals and guides them towards the achievement of these goals” (as cited in Shriberg, Shriberg, & Kumari, 2005, p. 3). An efficient leader is able to adapt his or her behavior as the organization transitions from one stage to another. To be successful, I believe a person needs to take the risk of losing ‘power’ by adapting different behavior to instill equality among interpersonal communication throughout the organization. Collaboration can best create a balance of power that transcends through all levels in the change process (Torbert, 1991). Finally, I agree with Kouzes and Posner (as cited in Bolman & Deal, 2008), who suggest honesty is a trait highly regarded by subordinates when discussing great leadership.
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Harper, S. C., & Glew, D. J. (2008). Is your organization learning-impaired? Industrial Management, 50(2), 26-30,5. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/211603639?accountid=14872
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.). Leadership in Organization. [Video webcast].
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Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Social Change, Leadership, and Advocacy for Counseling Professionals [Video webcast].
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Shriberg, A., Shriberg, D. L., & Kumari, R. (2005). Practicing leadership: Principles and applications (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Torbert, W. (1991). The power of balance: Transforming self, society, and scientific inquiry. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.