It can be easy for a manager or leader to lose sight of the importance of individual attitudes and behaviors in the success of any organization. A diligent manager is more apt to focus on the process versus the person, while a leader will see the benefits of paying attention to the quality of the work environment and its effect on the team members.
I have worked for a myriad of managers and leaders over the past 20 years, some good, some great, some bad, and most simply average. The common denominator for all has been their focus on making their organization better, whether for the betterment of the team, to surpass mission standards, or for just career enhancing reasons. As I’ve learned through this course, there’s a myriad of definitions, theories, and rationales for all of their collective behaviors. The true success of any organization is the ability to influence, motivate, and foster people to accomplish a task and the collective short and long term goals and objectives. A learned approach to creating, managing, and leading a team, coupled with sound decision making skills and a healthy respect for flexibility and creativity will yield all of the necessary victories for long term successes.
The study of organizational successes and failures is a great tool and means of learning what to do and not to do with your own management and leadership opportunities. While your individual situation may vary, from small business, big corporate, military, or non-profit, the ability to take even a single idea, tool, or observation away for your professional toolbox will make you a stronger manager and leader.
One of the great, ever expanding managerial challenges in modern America is coping and succeeding with organizational change. As the Baby Boomer generation leaves the workplace, and Generation’s X and Y assume a myriad of leadership roles, the influence and significance of motivators is evolving. A pension and gold watch for 30 years of service to company X are rare in these modern times. Individual motivators are as diverse as the available workforce and traditional norms and standards that have applied to team building for years are no longer steadfast and secure. Culture, creativity, and innovation have replaced black and white corporate standards and expectations.
The future and true definition of leadership may very well change over the next 20 years. The traditional definition of leadership, the ability to influence, will take on new parameters closely related to the process of motivating versus influencing. The values of a generation of workers and the prominence of technology will redefine the role the team within an organizational construct. A true understanding by future leaders of how to treat each employee, their needs, their motivations, and how technology aids managerial pursuits will contribute to this new definition and its application within organizations worldwide.
As a professional manager and leader, one must cultivate a new sense of awareness for civilian centric organizational terminology and its application. Regular self assessment of your managerial and leadership styles, successes, and failures, serves as a viable means of accountability and measurement. The best that any leader can hope for is to have made a difference in the lives of those who work for them. The greatest success for any leader is to have inspired one of their subordinates to become a better leader than them and continue the mentoring relationship. As with anything in life, leadership is a work in progress with many victories and many lessons-learned.