The Zen Leader
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According to DuBrin (2012), leadership involves the capacity to stimulate and inspire others in order to attain worthwhile groups. An effective leader inspires support and confidence amongst people with the intent of achieving organizational goals. Leadership entails influence, motivation, inspiration, and change. It also involves creating a sound relationship between the people and the leader, which is a major success factor. He looks at leadership as a kind of partnership where responsibility is shared between groups and leaders to a point where power is more or less balanced. Additionally, DuBrin differentiates between management and leadership. Management functions include controlling, organizing, planning and, most importantly, leading or directing. Therefore, leadership involves the interpersonal aspect in a management role while controlling, planning and organizing deals with the administrative aspect. The author perceives power as exceptional human power and qualities in relationship with other people and the inner capacity to transform a team’s beliefs as being important to a good leadership. Situational leadership means that a leader can hatch a good solution for a particular challenge in any environment.
Whitelaw (2012) argues that a Zen leader should be a manager and a fearless leader. He looks at leadership from a philosophical point of view. The author delves into ten major principles of successful leadership with emphasis on professional and personal development. The capacity to project some expectations is the evidence that such a person can achieve them. Therefore, the author contends that the development of personal power is an integral part of leadership It is vital for leaders to succeed. Every individual possesses certain strong qualities that require development. Such development is instrumental to successful leadership. Dubrin also emphasizes on the need for self-development in projecting personal leadership. True leadership seeks to find a balance between qualities and skills as well as their implementation. In other words, a successful leader develops newfangled skills constantly, craves for new experience, and attains new knowledge regularly.
Ginny Whitelaw provides ten ways through which a leader should move to leading fearlessly from barely managing. First, it is important to cope in order to transform. Most leaders apply coping skills in managing unreasonable schedules and unrealistic demands. Therefore, it becomes imperative to identify opportunities that a problem presents. Surprisingly, individuals and organizations gain power by capitalizing on the problems and transforming them into opportunities. Secondly, relieving tension can enable a leader to manage and lead fearlessly. This involves institutionalizing rhythm daily as well as redirecting energy flow. Most leaders manage their normal routines during workdays. A break enables a leader to have his/her mind recharged. Such breaks accord a leader the opportunity to breathe and exercise. After the break, successful leaders can direct energy flow outwards. This is achievable by first refocusing on the clear goals and visions created by a leader. Thirdly, the ‘or to and’ flip involves daily details, which present leaders with learning opportunities. This includes maintaining, employing, and developing openness to every possibility and its short-term and long-term impacts. TThis enables a leader to overcome any traditional thinking pattern and think creatively. Fourth, ‘Out-there to in-here’ flip entails discovering the advantage of reframing any relationship or circumstance with the intent of driving out fear. This is possible through understanding, overpowering, and identifying root cause of an issue or problem and acting on it decisively. At this point, it is important to focus on strategy and vision.
Fifth, it is important to play to your strength in order to improve your position as a leader. This involves the utilization of one’s awareness of personal weaknesses and strengths to create strong organizations. Such awareness allows leaders to build their bench and form their best team in addressing arising opportunities. To become a successful leader, it is important to understand that the strengths of an organization drive success through self-awareness. Sixth, a leader should move from controlling towards connecting. This involves empathy where a leader loosens control and then collaborates with the intent of owning less eventually. Empathy is vital in loosening control and improving collaboration. Seventh, driving results in order to attract the future customers is important too. It involves awareness and transformation, which is achieved through identification and overpowering fear. This requires a leader to slow down and listen more in order to transform the future and change the current situation. Eighth, its-all-about-me to I’m-all-about-it requires a leader to manage energy. This enables a leader to get the entire picture and make the best possible contribution. A leader can comprehend the long-term implications of policies and actions. Ninth, local-self to whole-self encompasses leading.
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