What Is Organizational Leadership and Why Does It Matter?

Successful business operations requires compromise between the needs of the individuals who are employed by the company and the company as a whole. The job of organizational leaders is to facilitate this compromise, using their business leadership expertise to create mutually beneficial circumstances for both the employees and organization. As they work to earn their bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership, aspiring business professionals should not ask themselves “what is organizational leadership?” Instead, they should ask “what is effective organizational leadership?” Knowing the difference between the two will help them apply the following advanced concepts to excel in management roles that require hands-on leadership.

Male organizational leader in suit

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Motivating Team Members

Without motivation, employee efforts may lack the passion necessary to optimize the organization’s output. Organizational leadership coursework teaches aspiring leaders exactly how to motivate their employees, improving their ability to keep them working productively. One way leaders can motivate their employees is through positive communication. Communication works because when people feel like their voices are being ignored, they are far less motivated to contribute. Reaching out to them on a personal level ensures that employees feel connected to their firm, motivating them to hold themselves accountable for the business’s outcomes.

Other ways leaders can motivate their employees is by using their own work ethic as an example to inspire others to work harder. For instance, if an organizational leader consistently puts in extra time to ensure the success of an important project, his or her sacrifice may motivate other employees to do the same. When the previously mentioned options aren’t effective, leaders can also depend on a well-structured incentive program to motivate staff. An incentive program offers employees perks, such as bonus pay or time off, or other benefits in exchange for optimal performance. Upon completing an organizational leadership program, leaders will better understand how to combine these tactics to keep their employees motivated and productive.

Empathizing with Colleagues

When performing any task as a group, people need to feel that their efforts are appreciated by those who will benefit. By employing empathy — the ability to understand the feelings of others — business leaders can learn how to recognize when their employees do not feel valued and take action to change that. Empathetic leaders make it clear that their personal success is not their primary objective. Instead they ensure that the success of each team member takes priority by taking the time to help guide each individual toward success.

By employing empathetic leadership, business leaders can create harmonious working relationships with their employees. That is, when leaders make a request of their subordinates, the employees recognize that their wellbeing will be put first. Ideally, this relationship ensures that, even in hard times, employees will be willing to trust their employer’s decisions. These bonds are critical to the advancement of an organization, because they keep employees satisfied with their careers.

Cultivating New Leaders

It is the duty of acting organizational leaders to pass on their knowledge and cultivate the next generation of leaders within their respective firms. Companies that put some focus on developing internal employees into effective leaders often gain a competitive advantage in their respective industries. When employees grow their expertise beyond the basic functions of their role and begin displaying leadership traits, they keep their colleagues on task by taking charge. In this sense, leaders can encourage their subordinates to overperform in the pursuit of career advancement.

By cultivating leadership at every level of their organization, leaders also keep their employees engaged in their work. When organizations aren’t just driven from the top level, lower ranking employees can still feel important in the grand scheme, inspiring them to innovate as agents of change. Good ideas can come from anywhere and anyone, so having leaders dispersed throughout an organization is an effective way to bring great ideas bubbling up to the top levels of management. Productive managers also encourage new leaders to examine the question of “what is effective organizational leadership?” Top organizational leaders look to up-and-coming leaders to seek out new and more effective leadership methods, continually re-examining the idea of organizational leadership to increase overall productivity.

Remaining Goal-Oriented

For individuals and organizations, a structured set of specific goals can provide much needed direction for productive activities. An educated organizational leader understands how to create goals that will facilitate the attainment of overarching objectives. This requires focusing on these goals and instructing other employees on how to stay focused on their goals. In doing so, they can establish a company culture that rewards individuals for centering their efforts on long-term achievements, rather than immediate gratification.

When employees can rely on the goals set by their leader, it is easier for them to take action without continually consulting their supervisor for guidance. Therefore, by improving their ability to set, implement, and manage actionable goals, goal-oriented organizational leaders become more capable of fostering autonomy in their organizations. If the productive members of an organization are capable of working autonomously without sacrificing output, the organization has the opportunity to spend less resources on management/supervision and still accelerate its rate of growth.

Applying Expert Communication

Relationship management is at the core of organizational leadership. Being proficient at the use of communication to build positive relationships is essential to success. Whether they are interacting with their superiors or subordinates, organizational leaders need to articulate their thoughts and observations in a comprehensible way. If they are unable to do so, important information may be conveyed inaccurately, compromising operations that rely on that information.

Through their studies, educated organizational leaders are taught how to effectively communicate based on their audience and the complexity of the information being delivered. This may be represented by using written reports to inform stakeholders about important plans, goals, or events. The ability to speak publicly is also important, as organizational leaders must talk to employees to learn the status of projects and resolve inter-employee disputes. In some occupations, they must also perform live presentations for senior leaders. Using a combination of these forms of communication, an effective organizational leader facilitates valuable conversations that can be used to produce solutions to pressing organizational issues.

The decisions that leaders make can either make or break success within any organization. This means that qualifying for leadership roles in distinguished firms requires a comprehensive understanding of managing a labor force. Therefore, prospective organizational leaders should complete a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership. This degree program teaches students how to apply the most prominent leadership techniques on a macro scale to keep employees informed, motivated, and productive. Learn more about Maryville University’s online bachelor degree in organizational leadership here.

Now that you better understand the intricacies of effective organizational leadership, discover the potential careers with an organizational leadership degree.

Sources:

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm

https://hbr.org/2014/02/develop-strategic-thinkers-throughout-your-organization

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-09-20/stronger-global-relations-require-business-leadership