The fourteen leadership functions that Yukl describes are planning and organizing, problem solving, clarifying, informing, monitoring, motivating, consulting, recognizing, supporting, managing conflict and team building, networking, delegating, developing and mentoring, and rewarding (Hall & Tolbert, 2009). Planning and organizing consists of determining goals and defining how those goals will be achieved. Problem solving involves identifying the problem, listing possible solutions, choosing the best solution, implementing the solution and finally monitoring the results.
Planning is proactive while problem solving tends to be more reactive (Wart, 2005). Clarifying consists of ensuring our followers know what they need to do and what the expected results the work is. Informing provides information to subordinates and peers to begin the coordination of work efforts. Monitoring within the leadership role is an important function. Leaders must monitor their environments to ensure the effectivness of their processes, the status of their projects, their subordinate’s competancies, and the quality of products and services they produce or deliver (Wart, 2005).
Motivating refers to enhancing the inner drives and positive intentions of subordinates or peers to perform well through incentives and inspiration. Consulting involves feedback via question and answering, and the collection of data. Recognizing employees whenever possible, where appropriate, enforces good performance and motivates employees to continually strive to reach the goals of the organization. Recognition costs nothing and the payback is tremendous (Wart, 2005).
Supportive leadership consists of consideration and acceptance of one’s needs and feelings. This type of function within the leadership role increases employee’s satisfaction with their jobs (Wart, 2005). Managing conflict and team building go hand in hand. When conflict is managed within a team cooperation is established. Conflict generally arises when individuals are unclear about what their roles and responsibilities are. Networking is crutial for leaders to gather information, gain support and resources within and outside of their groups.
Networking helps leaders advance more quickly and futher within the organization (Wart, 2005). Delegating allows leaders to share their power with their subordinates and peers. It involves two components, assigning the responsibility and then allowing the individual the authority to follow through with the completion of those responsibilities. Developing and mentoring refers to what leaders do to develop the careers of their subordinates and peers by counseling them and identifying both efficiencies and deficiencies in their performance.
Rewarding subordinates via praise or monetary boosts employee satifaction and performance (Druckman, 1997). The three most important functions in terms of producing leadership success from a career perspective are developing and mentoring, delegating and recognition. Within the organization that I work, leaders identify individuals they wish to invest their time and energies in developing careers through a process called talent planning.
These individuals are recognized for their exceptional contributions to the organization and subsequently delegated more responsibility and authority working at a higher level than than current position and outside of their comfort zone. Developing and mentoring play a key role in the ensuring the future success of the individual in their new role. Leaders often provide feedback, coaching and training while developing those talented individuals for which they have chosen to advance.
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