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MSL 40 STUDY Guide
This unit’s lesson covers three important aspects of leadership: vision, culture, and change. Each has pertinent information and a valuable lesson,
One of a leader’s jobs is creating a vision: a vivid picture of the future that people can see, follow, and attain. A leader’s vision is a picture that links the present to the future, and strategic leaders realistically provide a map of how an organization will get there. The vision is imperative to an organization’s standard. Making the work meaningful and challenging pushes each individual to perform. “To cocreate a vision, leaders share their personal visions with others and encourage others to express their dreams for the future” (Daft, 2015, p. 405). Many view a vision as a dream that is shared among all that links a commonality of value, ideas, and power. This common ground binds a shared vision throughout the organization.
The steps leaders use to cocreate a vision are:
- Target a vision for a desired future (vision begins with the leader).
- Cocreate the vision (leaders will research and implore others creating the vision).
- Identify strengths (rely on current internal strengths).
- Write a first draft (write from the heart, be meaningful!).
- Solicit feedback and create a final vision statement (allow each person the opportunity to share their thoughts and feedback).
- Share the vision widely (use every communication channel to share the vision) (Daft, 2015).
A vision is a futuristic dream, and a vision statement, simply explained, is where and how you are going to get there: the dream! Once the vision statement is set, an organization will then set forth goals that define the business—often referred to as a mission (statement). Interestingly, vision and the mission are separate entities within the organization, yet they are both compatible. Remember that the vision is foreseeing where an organization is going, and the mission defines the purpose of the organization and why the organization exists.
A mission statement should be simple and “capture the very essence of what your business or organization will achieve and how you will achieve it” (Hofstrand, 2009, para. 14). Vision and mission is a collaboration translating the vision and mission into a strategy that adheres to the organizational goals. Most mission statements “proclaim a noble purpose of some type” (Daft, 2015, p. 408). A noble purpose sets the stage and inspires the organizational purpose to include discovery (synergy), excellence (being the best), altruism(servant leadership), and heroism (strong, aggressive, and effective). Each purpose aims to tap into an employee’s desire to contribute and feel appreciated by the organization.
A core element in attaining the goals set forth is creating the right culture. Daft (2015) defines culture as “the set of key values, assumptions, understandings, and norms that is shared by members of an organization and taught to new members as correct” (p. 429). The stronger the organization’s culture, the higher the probability of cohesiveness and commitment amongst employees.
Research indicates that outstanding organizational performance compliments the leader’s emphasis on cultural value. However, if an organization’s values are not aligned with the needs and strategy, a cultural gap will occur due to the desired values and behaviors not aligning with the actual values and behaviors. Cultural leaders may use ceremonies (planned activity), stories (narrative), symbols (object or act), specialized language (slogans), and selection and socialization (process) to strengthen the needed cultural values.
There are four types of cultures as they relate to the values of an organization:
- adaptability culture,
- achievement culture,
- involvement culture, and
- consistency culture (Daft, 2015).
Note: each type of culture emphasizes different values, but organizations may have values that fall into more than one category.
With businesses and people forever changing, a key trait of successful leaders is being the role model of change—otherwise known as a change leader. These courageous leaders are more than capable of managing the unknown and complex problems, have a strong purpose and vision for individuals, and learn from each mistake to continuously improve. A change leader understands that due process is inevitable. John Kotter developed an eight-step navigational model to assist in the change process:
- “Light a fire for change. Leaders communicate the urgency for change in a way that touches people’s emotions—in other words, they help people feel the need for change rather than just giving them facts and figures” (Daft, 2015, p. 465).
- “Get the right people on board. For successful change, leaders build a strong coalition of people with a shared commitment to the need for and possibility of change” (Daft, 2015, p. 465).
- “Paint a compelling picture. People need a clear vision and strategy to inspire them to believe that a better future is possible and they can achieve it through their actions” (Daft, 2015, p. 465).
- “Communicate, communicate, and communicate. Change leaders model the new behaviors needed from employees” (Daft, 2015, p. 466).
- “Get rid of obstacles and empower people to act. Leaders give people the time, knowledge, resources, and discretion to take steps and make the change happen. This might mean revising structures, systems, or procedures that hinder or undermine the change effort” (Daft, 2015, p. 466).
- “Achieve and celebrate quick wins. To keep the momentum going, leaders identify some short-term accomplishments that people can recognize and celebrate” (Daft, 2015, p. 467).
- “Keep it moving. At this stage, leaders confront and change any remaining issues, structures, or systems that are getting in the way of achieving the vision” (Daft, 2015, p. 467).
- “Find ways to make the changes stick. At this stage, leaders look for ways to institutionalize the new approach, striving to integrate the new values and patterns into everyone’s work habits” (Daft, 2015
MSL 40 QUESTIONS
- Identify the qualities of a change leader. Also, explain how leaders can serve as role models for change
- Of the five elements that help people change (positive emotional attractor, supportive relationships, repetition of new behaviors, participation and involvement and after-action reviews), which do you think leaders are most likely to overlook and why? Get research paper writing help today.