What are the most important traits of today's successful leaders?

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Mini-Literature Review
Managerial Research Methods & Design
Concordia University
Spring 2010

The rapid wealth of top money managers and financiers has spurred my curiosity to understand the world of investment. Especially the world of investment banking, which seems to be a different world of its own, has received not only sharp criticism lately,but applause as well. So, a keen inclination toward studying investment banking will all its beauties and ugliness took birth. Moreover the success and failure of leaders have sharpened our curiosity to mainly understand what characterizes a great leader. In a sense, the question that inspired this mini literature review is: What are the most important traits of today’s successful leaders?According to our research, two general themes among many others have been repeatedly identified and will be the main composite of this paper. In this instance the fist focus will be vision. This section will detail what vision encompassed and its significance for a leader. Secondly, the function of a leader will be expounded upon. This part embodied the different abilities and skills of a leader.Researchers have studied leadership from a variety of perspective. Finding this unique set of skills that scientifically can prove or disprove a person as a prospective leader is still difficult. Nonetheless a couple a determining factors have spurred during the years and compel researchers to precisely identify them as a necessity toward greatness.

Leaders are visionaries, there areconcerned about substance. Throughout a careful consideration of the overall picture of the organization, they maintain the organizational purpose and create hope for a better future. Visionary leaders are people creating new ideas, new policies, and new methodologies. They changed the core metabolism of the organization. They are seen as architect. They develop a good sense of calculativeimagination. All leaders have the capacity to create a compelling vision, one that takes people to a new place and the ability to translate that vision into reality. (Bennis, 1990, p. 46). Despite the leader being the keeper of the dream, he/she has to have the abilities to translate that vision into reality which means, clearly develop the necessary mechanism to put this vision into work. So the firstresponsibility of a leader is to define reality (Depree, 1989). Reality in the sense of the achievable and the motivation toward the unachievable.
Leaders who are able to master change do so because they can define a clear vision and, as important, they can show people how to achieve it. Anything less is wishful thinking. Robert Fritz defines this process as creative tension (Senge, 1990), andsays it comes from seeing clearly where one wants to be and then telling the truth about where one is at present. The difference between where one wants to be and current reality generates a natural tension. Such tension can be resolved by raising reality toward your vision or by lowering your vision toward reality. Even if people understand reality, even a reality of desperation, change might notoccur. To change the way we work, we must believe the change will bring something better. It is the leader's responsibility to create this picture of what can be and in the process to create tension. A good vision not only has worthy goals, but also challenges and stretches everyone in the organization. People are speaking the same language; they have the same kinds of informal expectations for oneanother, a more common ground

In addition, vision can be subdivided into four components: organization, future, personal, and strategic. Organizational vision requires a complete picture of a system's apparatus as well as a comprehension of their interrelationships. Future vision is a comprehensive picture of how an organization will look at some point in the future, including how it will be...
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