Meaning of leadership; the characteristics and qualities of effective leaders
The success of any corporate body or organisation depends on its leader’s ability to coordinate and manage the utilisation of its resources, for achievement of common organisational goals. Therefore, an effective leader should be able to coordinate and manage all affairs of an organisation, through supplying and setting in an organisation achievable visions and coordinating all employees’ efforts, for purposes of achieving common organisational goals. In addition, an effective leader should ensure that, in the long run both an organisation and employees’ goals or needs are achieved.
On the other hand, an effective leader is a king leader who provides positive influences to a company. Considering this, effective leadership entails the practice of influencing or coordinating employee’s efforts, for purposes of achieving “extraordinary” organisational goals. To achieve success beyond the set standards a leader must hold high standards of integrity, be motivating, creative, influential, a good problem solver, and have ability to formulate achievable goals and appropriate communication channels within an organisation. Further, a good leader must be hardworking and have the ability to create a good working environment; environments that will encourage innovativeness and cooperation between all organs of an organisation.
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For me, the most valuable leadership practice was my initiative to organize and to improve a professional course for the analysts of HNA Group.
HNA Group is a large Chinese based company which has developed itself from a single purpose airline company to a diversified corporation across 8 different industries. In 2009, the company planned to expand its territory to the international Hospitality Industry, since the world had suffered a great economic recession, making the value of the entire industry generally low. At the time, I was an analyst and an assistant for the COO of the company and faced a lot of difficult in doing my job when the company started looking for target companies to acquire. Traditionally, a successful investment requires exhaustive financial analysis to understand the target industry and the performance of the target company. It also requires analysts who are suddenly thrust in the new position to evaluate businesses based upon unfamiliar technology and financial system. Throughout my research about the hospitality industry, I struggled to grasp the significance of core technologies but did not get the clue, a fact that I discovered was common among colleagues. The investment bankers offered us many valuable options but, without proper researches, the core intelligence team could not convincingly evaluate the options and define the ones that were bests for our company.
I thereby realized that the analysis team needs technical support to improve their knowledge. As an analyst, it was hard for me to get enough attention and support from the head of the management team, forcing me to get the information through collecting opinions from my colleagues. Through coordinating with my colleagues I was able to write a business proposal, which provided solutions to the problem to the management team. After analysing the proposal, the management supported the solution plan, because after that the management team arranged a series of seminars that were led by the industry experts of the company. At the beginning of the seminars, the internal experts enlightened us about the nature of the industry and the particular interests of the company; however, I soon realized that internal experts were not qualified to teach us about international finance and cross-board acquisition since of their experiences were primarily China-based. In response, my colleges and I started to communicate with other analysts to discover the alternatives. After collecting responses from the analysts, I realized that the most effective alternative for the company was to hire technology consultants from the outside sources, because in this way, the analysts could get more comprehensive and technical knowledge. Although the new solution was good, unlike the old one that was less costly, to implement the new one the company had to incur extra costs.
This made it very hard fro the managers to approve it, because it required wide consultation among all top management organs. Therefore, I decided to make a complete proposal to the managers to convince them that the company needed expensive alternative to help the analysts perform their duties effectively. To make sure that I had the necessary convincing power, I also consulted with my superiors who were very beneficial in helping me to improve my convincing power. Through persuasion, the management team approved my alternative plan, after reviewing the analysts’ responses about the seminars and my research on the alternatives. Using my colleague’s comments and the managers’ evaluation report, the external experts greatly improved the company’s ability to analyze target companies as well as advised the managers more intelligently on how to enhance their practise.
Areas I Plan to Develop
This experience made me to acknowledge that, communication is a very important component of any organisation; because it is through communication that one can pass any message they want to pass effectively, for purposes of winning the confidence of others. This is something I realised, because of the difficulties that I faced in selling my expensive alternative to the management.
In addition, to the significance of communication, I also learnt the significance of developing solid professional relationships with workmates. Therefore to enhance my communication and convincing skills, I intend to do more researches on how to become an effective business communicator and learn more about the art of writing and presenting convincing business proposals.