Strategic Leadership

Literature review
May 13, 2014
Change Management
May 13, 2014

Strategic Leadership

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QUESTION 1

From your general knowledge and practice of Strategic Leadership discuss any 5 specific measures you would take in order to develop the leadership capacity of your team assuming you are the CEO of your organization.

Leadership capacity is not static. It is a dynamic concept that evolves over time and is shaped by those who are in leadership positions. Therefore, leadership capacity will change depending who holds a specific management position and who is on the board of directors in your company. Building leadership capacity in a business typically involves establishing a competency model to describe the skills and behaviors required by the company’s leaders (Day, Fleenor, Atwater, Sturm, & McKee, 2014). Using self-assessment tools, employees determine which skills they lack. As a CEO of my organization I would take the following measures in order to develop the leadership capacity of my team:

  1. Enable mastery of professional skills at all levels of the organization. I would provide training courses, a list references and encourage access to free Internet resources. These materials would enable participants to define the important qualities of a leader, assess their own capacity, examine current leaders and their actions and generate a personalized leadership development plan (Fullan, 2014). Additionally, I would offer seminars at lunch time to help employees develop leadership skills in areas such as project management, financial planning, team building and customer relationship management.
  2. Gather feedback about the current performance of potential leaders. Conducting evaluations is an important component of the leadership development process itselfwith three main benefits: extending the reflective dimension of the program by inviting participants to consider the value of the experience and how they apply it; gathering valuable suggestions for improvements to the program; and fostering employee engagement and loyalty (Day et al., 2014). Using a 360-degree review process, I would create a questionnaire to solicit input from an employee’s co-workers, superiors and customers. For example, these individuals answer questions about the employee’s job performance using a rating scale to indicate if leadership skills were observed “Never,” Sometimes” or “Always.” Using these ratings on leadership skills such as decision making, communication and delegation, will help to determine if the employee needs further training.
  3. Assess the capacity to lead and manage effectively. No leader has it all. Every leader has specific shortcomings that need to be addressed and accepted so they do not get in the way of their role as a decision maker, regardless of their title. Therefore, leaders need to be aware of both their strengths and weaknesses and how these impact their behaviour and the behaviour of other leaders in the company (Fullan, 2014).
  4. Create career development plans. I would mandate that each employee in the organization receives an annual performance review. After this review, I would encourage each employee to develop an action plan that lists specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals related to leadership development.
  5. Set up mentoring and coaching programs that enable less experienced employees to observe senior executives in meetings, presentations and other leadership capacities. When employees learn from more experienced personnel in their own companies, they develop the skills and knowledge to run the company effectively in the future (Fullan, 2014). I would set up job rotation programs that allow employees to learn how to function in different departments. Mentors provide insight about company functions and mentees respond by contributing the new techniques, technology and strategies.

QUESTION 2

Justify the need for Ethical Strategic Leadership in our Kenyan context today in both private and public sector.

The need for strategic leadership of ethical behavior in Kenya can no longer be ignored. Executives in both the public and private sector must accept the fact that the moral impact of their leadership presence and behaviors will rarely, if ever, be neutral. In the leadership capacity, executives have great power to shift the ethics mindfulness of organizational members in positive as well as negative directions. Rather than being left to chance, this power to serve as ethics leaders must be used to establish a social context within which positive self-regulation of ethical behavior becomes a clear and compelling organizational norm and in which people act ethically as a matter of routine. One of the roles of strategic leadership is to emphasize ethical practices, which serve as a moral filter through which potential courses of action are evaluated (Olaka, 2017)

According to Gichure (2015), a vast majority of businesses in Kenya lack commitment to high ethics standards and they show ignorance when it comes to creating a shared sense of values and a cohesive culture rooted in integrity, where organizational values and personal values align. Strong ethics cultures rely, in part, on a clear, shared understanding of “right” and “wrong,” so employees understand their responsibilities and clearly know what it means to “do the right thing.” The first attitude that the business managers in Kenya should have and the first behavior that they should demonstrate while making decision and determining strategy is to increase their own ethical capacity and then afterwards the ethical capacity of its business and all of its staff by acting within the scope of law and the code of ethics. This requirement depends on the assumption of that only a leader who has a high level of ethical capacity may establish business and operational ethics. This view emanates from the requirement that a manager who is dedicated to the codes of ethics and who has a high sense of responsibility should be different from the leadership conception, who acts only by sensing the responsibility of itself and the business that it is managed. Those differences demonstrate the necessity that the leaders in Kenya in all of their decisions as well as in their activities should act within the framework of the certain responsibility codes against the staff, its organizations, society and even its competitors (Wu, Kwan, Yim, Chiu, & He, 2015)

Decision-making that necessitates responsibility is considered as the requirement of both ethical leadership and efficient or strategic leadership. A leadership, which is far from being ethical will take decisions that are not ethical and those decisions will harm the organization, consumers, stakeholders, suppliers and the society in brief. An ethical leader, who bears responsibility and who will prevent to cause such damages, influence those who watch him with the behavior, indoctrination, mental support, individualistic esteem (Holden, 2017). The objective in such kind of a leadership is not only organizational advantage but also public interest.

Ethical leadership set up an ethical organization. It spreads ethical principles to all the activities of the organization. Ethical organization acts not only with profit impetus, but also a social sanction (Holden, 2017). Therefore, ethical leadership targets are also considered within the targets of the strategic leadership. Treating fairly to the society, all the stakeholders and even the competitors is the institutionalized behavior of the ethical organization. Freeing the strategic leaders thoroughly from the values in their managerial decisions is out of question. Business leaders in Kenya need to conceive that by ignoring the universal values like justice, equality, honesty, impartiality, responsibility, respect, love, democracy, tolerance in their activates they will not become successful.

Since employees are influenced by the characteristics of their own organization [18], implementation of ethics in organizational infrastructure and strategic management is crucial. Corporate ethical values are one of the dimensions of ethical behavior in business and they also lead to ethical behavior in an organization. Other factors which increase ethical behavior are the code of ethics, ethical leadership and support of whistle blowing. Code of ethics whether being principle or policy based statements influences the corporate culture and determines the procedures and guidelines for ethical behavior. There are various positions or departments such as ethics committees or chief ethics officers in organizations to provide ethical behavior and to prevent unethical acts. Also ethics trainings programs are included in most of the organization to enhance ethical behavior.

Some managers consider ethics as a business issue such as costs, profits and growth. In the planning stage, they should consider all stakeholders of the organization and ethics. Ethics should be incorporated in their corporate strategy. Ethics in planning process would enhance the trust of stakeholders which would result with commitment and higher performance. This would even help the organization to gain competitive advantage. According to Gichure (2015), ethics should be implemented overall management of the firm.

Incorporating ethics and social responsibility in corporate strategies and strategic management would enable the organizations in Kenya to be good citizens. Even though being a good citizen may increase the costs of the organization, it may increase its performance as well. It may increase the costs since implementing ethics training programs or recruiting experts such as ethics chief officer will be recorded as expenses for the organization. However, all these steps regarding to incorporating ethics in the organization would bring a good reputation for the company. A good reputation increases the motivation and strengthens trust of employees which would lead to higher job satisfaction and performance. It would also attract high quality of employees. Scholars found out that people have higher tendency to work in ethical organizations. At the same time, it will take attention of the customers and society which will enable the promotion of the organization. Studies indicated that most Kenyan firms which has superior reputation based on their ethical acts, have the superior financial performance (Gichure, 2015).

 

References

Day, D. V., Fleenor, J. W., Atwater, L. E., Sturm, R. E., & McKee, R. A. (2014). Advances in leader and leadership development: A review of 25 years of research and theory. The Leadership Quarterly25(1), 63-82.

Fullan, M. (2014). Leading in a culture of change personal action guide and workbook. John Wiley & Sons.

Gichure, C. P. (2015). Towards instilling ethics in African business and public service: the case of Kenya.

Holden, P. (2017). Ethics for Managers. Routledge.

Olaka, H. O. (2017). Strategic Leadership and Implementation of Strategy in Commercial Banks in Kenya (Doctoral dissertation, United States International University-Africa).

Wu, L. Z., Kwan, H. K., Yim, F. H. K., Chiu, R. K., & He, X. (2015). CEO ethical leadership and corporate social responsibility: A moderated mediation model. Journal of Business Ethics130(4), 819-831.


 
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