Typified hierarchical organizational structures of the past, with strong control mechanisms, have slowly given way to modern, flat, loosely connected organizational structures with emphasis on core competencies, and outsourcing of non-core functions.
The basic definition of management as a process of planning, organizing, staffing, leading and control (Koontz & Weihrich, 1990) are still relevant and various approaches have been formulated and presented in management literature. In this paper the aspect of leading and its connection with planning and staffing would be explored.
Leading is the ability to positively influence people and systems to have a meaningful impact and achieve results. "Leaders venture out. Leaders are pioneers - people who are willing to step out in the unknown (Kouzes & Posner, 2006). Leading is about search for opportunities, to innovate, grow and improve.
Leading, perhaps is the most crucial aspect of management, and predominantly, deals with the interpersonal behavior and relationship management. In a globalized economy, the expanse leadership extends beyond an organization, encompassing cultural diversity across the borders. Unwittingly, the leadership attribute is also latently embedded with ethical considerations. So what does a leader do In effect a leader inspires, influences, persuades, encourages, motivates, attracts, and unifies team members to accomplish the organizational mission.
Leadership is innately linked with effectiveness. Leadership provides strategic direction to the enterprise to achieve its missions. Through the strategic directions emanate the function of planning. What to do in the long term, medium term, annual, and quarterly periods What skills should the team develop in course of the planned periods, and how are they to be realized Planning, and building core competencies, go together. Talent acquisition and nurturing is a critical staffing function, which in turn, is driven through right global leadership.
Leadership in Planning
Leadership drives strategic planning. Those in leadership must ensure buy-in from members of the team with regard to the organizational values, mission, and goals. The twin responsibility of leadership therefore, is to manage perceptions of the team members, and drive the planning process itself. Genuine communication and empathy are the key skills of leadership that enable achieving these objectives.
Strategic plans play the role of signposts that guide behavior and decision making in organizations. The plans translate into departmental and individual objectives. The role of leadership is to ensure continuous alignment of individual goals with organizational missions. The departmental and individual goals can further be amplified using acceptable performance measures, and monitor them periodically. So in a way, plans connect with the management functions of coordination and control.
Leadership in a sense provides the vital link between planning and doing. Effective leadership channelizes the organizational efforts towards meeting short and long term objectives of the enterprise.
Leadership in Staffing
Leadership in staffing is about creating a shared vision, involving the right people, for the right job, at the right time. Leadership can play a silent but effective role of changing the organizational culture through world class professionalism, and conducive