Updated: May 24
Are you already a leader or do you want to become a leader?
Either way, you have to focus on your organizational leadership skills. That's all? No, but if you're able to build an extensive leadership skillset, it will help you a lot on your future career path.
Why is it not enough to be a manager?
The answer isn't easy, because in a modern organization, both jobs are needed. And it also depends on what you want to develop in your future career path.
Organizational Leadership vs. Traditional Management
Organizational leadership focuses on the mission and vision. Organizational leadership encourages employees to put forth their talents. It helps to fulfill the strategic plan of a company and different companies have different plans.
Individuals should be inspired to use their talents and to achieve the vision. Organizational leadership takes in aspects of transformational leadership and the “4 I’s”.
What are the "4 I's"?
Idealized Influence (II) - the leader serves as a role model for his team and is admired for his way of communicating. He embodies the skills and attitudes he would like to have in his team. His authenticity makes it easy for his team to believe and trust him. The leader uses his charisma to influence his team so that they become more like him.
Inspirational Motivation (IM) – Transformational leaders inspire and motivate their team by living their vision. The team is inspired by clear and understandable statements. Transformative leaders use simple and easy-to-understand words and have a clear self-image.
Individualized Consideration (IC) – Transformational leaders show genuine interest in the needs and feelings of their employees and help them to realize themselves. In this way, they build trust between the different hierarchical levels. If they see problems in their team or another team, they address those problems to develop the company further. They use training and coaching measures to support the team and look at each team member as an individual. When working together, teams can always rely on these leaders and are therefore able to make decisions faster.
Intellectual Stimulation (IS) - the leader challenges and encourages his team to be innovative, and creative, and to challenge the status quo. Transformational leaders sometimes appear as “soft” but continually challenge their teams to make them perform better.
Traditional management means acting as a manager and taking care of the communication of the leadership direction, setting the needed expectations, assigning the necessary tasks, solving problems, and completing the goals assigned to the teams.
In a Nutshell
Innovation and disruption need a specific
kind of management - organizational leadership.
Traditional management is not able to fulfill the needs as it concentrates on the managerial part of the business.
From this point, organizational leadership is necessary as it can meet future needs and change current practices.
What's Different in Organizational Leadership Development?
Organizational leadership motivates team members by supporting them in getting a growth mindset and how they can personally contribute to the forward momentum of the organization.
Organizational leadership builds out a problem-solving and decision-making mindset. Employees are allowed to speak up and therefore, great ideas can emerge. Leaders must build a community of trust so that people can develop solutions and make decisions.
Organizational leadership promotes communication, inclusion, ethics, and respect. Leaders have to share the organization’s values and ethics and communicate in a respectful and trustworthy style.
Organizational leadership helps to keep the goal of the company on track. Individuals are empowered in their roles and the innovative solution process. Organizational leaders focus on the big picture and on managing the company’s mission and all upcoming challenges.
Organizational Leadership Skills
Becoming an organizational leader means having a lot of different skills in day-to-day business. It is important to be aware of your skills and how you can effectively use them as many professionals want to get an organizational leadership job.
If you are not in that position you dreamt about at the moment, then you need to have a plan, strategies, and abilities to reach your goal.
The future leadership roles focus on being agile. Agile means to have an agile mindset and not just use scrum or other agile methods.
What Do Organizational Leaders Need?
As mentioned above, organizational leaders need an extensive skillset to be successful.
Success isn't only based on the theoretical background, but it is helpful if you understand how management, leadership, and business work as you will spend a lot of time of your life in being a leader.
So, if you can obtain a degree like a bachelor's or master's degree, it will always be helpful. You can also improve your skills through an online course for example. A course is not the same as a master's title, but it will help you to achieve your goals.
From my point of view, organizational leadership skills contain the following aspects:
You always have to deal with different organizational leadership roles in business, because being a leader confronts you with many different day-to-day tasks.
One of those tasks is to be responsible for the management of all things in your department. You need to have the overview, you also need to be a good controller as you must be able to have an opinion of the results produced by your team or department. So, ask yourself how great your knowledge in management and controlling is!
You need to be a problem solver. Problems will always arise in business. Just
imagine you must finish a project in two days and one of your team members who also is the project manager of that project got ill. You can't ignore that, and you have to find a good solution so that the project can be finished on time.
As a leader, you need to know your environment as it will influence your business. That also means that you need to have an outstanding awareness.
Problem-solving and finding solutions also force you into making decisions. Without making decisions, you will not be able to find a solution. But some so many excellent leaders are not able to make decisions.
So: What's so hard about making decisions?
If you google on "Making decisions" you'll find millions and millions of articles. It is just unbelievable.
To say it short and direct: Just do it!
Yes, I like Nike, but I also like different Greek gods. You weren't aware that Nike was the name of the Greek goddess of victory? Now you know it! 😉 So let's get to the point.
Knowledge is important.
Making decisions need knowledge, critical thinking, strategy, and trust in your abilities. If you don't have that pack, then it will be hard for you to make the right decision.
To be a good organizational leader also means to be a good communicator. You must understand the topics of your team members, you have to understand how your business works, you have to understand your managers or your boss, and you have to understand your customers. And yes, you must also communicate with all of them.
So, you need a proper education in communication and not only in a traditional way. Our time isn't working like the '70s. Today, it is necessary to communicate and to collaborate. You have to support your team members so that they can do an awesome job. Support means seeing which problems can arise and which issues have already happened and taking care of those issues and future problems. If you act like that, your team will be able to do an awesome job.
As a communicator, you have to focus on human resources and develop your team.
Organizational leadership also focuses on strategic thinking, vision, and mission. It is very important to keep the development of your company, your department, and your team in mind.
But not only the development of your company; furthermore, the development of yourself and your position.
The vision helps you to work in the right direction and to set the right goals. Leadership therefore involves the vision with the day-to-day business which makes it even more complex.
The development of organizational leadership, the development of your skills, and the development of the abilities of your employees are crucial when developing your company.
If the rest of the company is developing and changing and you are not able to stay on an appropriate level, then you'll have a serious problem.
Traditional ways won't help you and your employees. A group of people needs to act as a team to be successful and your mission is the development of your team and to support it effectively.
Ethics are important as they influence the morale of your team. The motivation of the team can be developed through ethics as it will help you to build a trustful and honest team relationship.
Trust is always hard to build up as it always means you must trust your team members first before they will trust you. Is it easy for you to trust your team members and to delegate work?
In today’s highly accelerated leadership culture, it is very important to have a growth mindset. Agile working aspects won't work with a fixed mindset as you need to adapt to your team every day.
A growth mindset helps you to be flexible, adaptive, open-minded, and efficient. From a growth perspective, you see the world a little bit differently:
Learning and improving are always possible.
You will become smarter by challenging yourself.
You only fail when you stop trying.
You can apply for every job that looks challenging for you.
You can change yourself when you want.
If you are not able to take the next steps on the path of a growing mind, then coaching might be a way that can help you to reach your goals.
If you want to become an organizational leader, you need the motivation to manage upcoming challenges and reach your goals. But reaching your goals just means reaching the next step. A growth mindset will always help you to get from one step to another.
So, focus on your qualities and develop your growth mindset.
Let's get in touch!