Module 3 Discussion
If someone was to ask the business leaders of the world to describe business today, there is a high possibility the word on everyone’s lips would be “change.” How companies lead and management individuals, the organization, and how executives management themselves are different than they were ten or even five years ago (Latham, 2014, p. 12). Even now, how companies operate are in a state of constant change and flux. One concept, which is enticing leaders to embrace change and accept new ways of conducting business, is technology (Lewis, Boston, & Peterson, 2017, p. 5). Corporations and private citizens are using technology more than ever. Technology has advanced to the point where companies and individuals can use technology in ways that were unheard of a few years ago. These innovations in technology are making it a reality for companies to become more collaborative instead of a non-collaborative environment.
The swift rise of the Internet has affected how leaders manage their teams (Jun, Xu, Shiyan, & Xu, 2017, p. 54). In some organizations, employees have the option to work from home, which requires managers to be current with the latest technology to communicate effectively with staff. Technology can make leadership easier in some aspects. However, managers must take care when using technology otherwise leaders could be seen as ineffective. Some managers may wish to use technology as a way of not having direct contact with employees which is not considered to be a good leadership skill; avoiding employees.
Leaders of today are learning the importance of being transparent and open with employees about how the company is performing, and the team dynamic (Hechanova & Cementina-Olpoc, 2013, p. 15). Today’s leaders are more empowered to be transparent to inspire a productive and engaged workforce. Today’s leaders are shoulder to shoulder with their team and providing support and information as needed for the team to succeed. Every leader regardless of the industry needs to focus on technology and what it means to their organization. As a result of this newfound focus, many companies CEOs are finding themselves replaced with CIOs or Chief Information Officers (Benlian & Haffke, 2016, p. 117).
CIOs are entrusted with ensuring that the company is maximizing technological resources to increase new business and innovation while keeping operational costs to a minimum. What is interesting about the rise of the CIO, though, is that the source of a CIOs success is not attached to their authority, relationships, or even their knowledge (Benlian & Haffke, 2016, p. 110). The success of a CIO is connected to results. The more effectively a CIO can apply technology to their organization’s mission, the more successful he or she is (Whitler, Boyd, & Morgan, 2017, p. 322).
Adding to the concept that a successful CIO does not rely on authority alone, technology dictates that leadership has nothing to do with power, but influence (Hechanova & Cementina-Olpoc, 2013, p. 13). A leader in the 21st century is not someone “bossing” someone or telling someone to do something. Leadership today is about modeling to people what needs to be done and why something needs to be done a certain way. The generational differences can be used to explain why leadership works this way. Millennials in the workplace were raised on technology and understand how it functions and knows its capabilities and applications better than previous generations (Fromm, 2015). Millennials do not want to be told to do something; they also want to know why they are doing something and what is their role in the process. If a leader simply telling a Millennial to do something because, “that is how everyone here has done it for years,” will not produce the same results as modeling, influencing, and collaborating.
Certain leadership qualities never go out of style. The ability to connect with and inspire others makes for great leaders across generations (Tannenbaum & Schmidt, 1973, p. 163). People with exceptional emotional intelligence can thrive in this new world of adaptive leadership and aren’t restricted to just one type of leadership. Though the qualities of a good leader don’t change, the way we view leadership does. The best leadership style approach to affecting technological change in an organization would be to use a transformational approach.
Transformational leaders inspire people to achieve unexpected or remarkable results. Transformational leaders give workers autonomy over specific jobs, as well as the authority to make decisions once they have been trained. A transformational leader has the ability to inspire others (Northouse, 2013, p. 191). Leaders will and can find ways to inspire workers to find better ways of achieving a goal. Transformational leaders have the ability to mobilize individuals (Northouse, 2013, p. 197). Leaders should be able to mobilize people into groups that can get work done. Finally, a successful transformational leader is a morale builder. A transformational leader can raise the well-being and motivation level of a group through excellent rapport.
Transformational leaders are sometimes called quiet leaders, and they lead by example by building rapport, showing empathy and proving inspiration to engage followers (Northouse, 2013, p. 191). These types of leaders are known to possess courage, confidence, and the willingness to make sacrifices for the greater good (Bird & Wang, 2013, p. 16). Transformational leaders possess a single-minded need to streamline or change things that no longer work. The transformational leader motivates workers and understands how to form them into integral units that work well with others. This type of leader is especially useful for a small company with big dreams and wants to change and adapt to grow their business.
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