Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How To Ensure Good Leadership Output?

How To Ensure Good Leadership Output?
Finding what would make a difference
is crucial consideration of leadership
in an organization.
As stated in the previous article, which you can find it here, in leadership, a leader or a manager with leadership skills needs to cope with complexities, which involves setting a direction, aligning people and motivating and inspiring the human resource (Kotter, 1998).

Now, let us discuss in detail what makes a good leader.

We know planning as a fundamental management function involves important components such as vision, mission, strategy, and goals and objectives. A plan however usually starts with a vision and mission that can be realized through a strategy development. This strategy on the other hand should only be understood how well it is going through goals and objectives. The entire planning process therefore depicts the idea that vision has a fundamental role to play in the entire planning process.

On the other hand, vision has also important role to play in direction-setting.

According to Kotter, “setting a direction is about developing a vision of the future along with strategies for producing the changes needed to achieve that vision.” At a first look at it, there might be no substantial difference with planning process. However, planning is about obtaining orderly results or detailed steps to achieve targets. In direction-setting, it is all about influencing the entire organization with a vision so that everybody will move to produce changes that are required to obtain that vision. The key in understanding these concepts includes influence, change and complexity.

According to Kotter, planning is not direction-setting. Direction setting is inductive in nature in order to produce change. On the other hand, planning aims to produce orderly results, but not change, so it is deductive in nature (Kotter, 1998).

In an organization, planning and direction setting have to make complement with each other in order to come up with orderly results and at the same time manage with change especially in today’s tough competition.

A good manager therefore needs to achieve orderly results, while a good leader implements change through setting a direction, aligning, and motivating and inspiring people. Today, any organization needs combined effort of a good manager and a leader.

If an organization is faced with coping complexities, what it needs is to ensure planning process is well-executed in order to obtain orderly results, a detailed step is necessary. In this case, it is not usually a guarantee everyone would embrace and walk with the vision. That is why managers usually produce subordinates rather than followers (Carpenter, Bauer & Erdogan, 2009).

However, if it is all about dynamic change that the organization would require, it is important to produce followers rather than subordinates. So in this case, a leader should influence the entire organization to embrace the vision and walk on it.

Steve Jobs is a good example of a modern business icon combining the effective role of both leader and manager. His vision about innovative ideas was put into action as he was successful in imparting the direction he wanted the entire organization to be heading. Along the way, he was also able to address complexities by employing horizontal hierarchy within the organization that is appropriate for its organizational culture.


Carpenter, M., Bauer, T., & Erdogan, B. (2009). Principles of Management. IrvingtonNY: Flat World Knowledge.

Kotter, J. P. (1998). Harvard Business Review on Leadership: What Leaders Really Do. BostonMAHarvard Business School Press.

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