This hack discusses the importance of the selection process of a leader in any organisation, and suggests that the team mates should select their own leader; rather than letting others (i.e. HR Manager, CEO) to appoint their leader for them!
There are 221 definitions for leadership that essentially have the same meaning. “Leadership is about one person getting other people to do something” (Ciulla, 1999)
Leaders could be found in parliament houses, these leaders are elected by their citizens via an anonymous voting system which provides an indubitable benefit of permitting the voters to choose their leaders openly, and normally cause a distribution of power amongst number of parties; it is rare for democratic elections to consolidate the coalition power under a single party.
In every sports team there are leaders. The formal leaders would be the captains, co-captains and coaches. The team's captain would normally be the person that leads the team on the field and convey the coach’s orders. The captain would generally be trusted and accepted by the majority of the team mates; and is instrumental in the team building implementation programmes and achievements.
The president of University’s student association is elected by its fellow students. The general aim of the president of student association is to lead, voice and advocate the students needs. The elected student association representatives also fulfil their duties for a pre-determined term and may offer her/his candidacy again for the following elections.
As much as there is a need for effective leaders that are democratically elected in the political system, sports teams and student associations, the need for leaders in the labour market in any type of industry or company size is vital for the firm’s success.
The problem is that in a real world business scenario the leader is not always elected democratically and accepted by the majority of the team members; many firms and share holders of small and medium enterprises, to a multinational public listed companies, choose their business leaders or chief executives based on biased and prejudiced opinions and believes, gender, ethnicity, age, religion and even nepotism.
A very significant aspect of a leader's selection process, is the election methods implemented in choosing the leader. The selection methods of the leader ultimately impact the quality of the rapport between the leader and the team members, and enable a platform for permanence of leaderships. In addition, it forms different social environments, subsequently stressing the significance of dissimilar leadership behaviours and communications.
The solution is - LET YOUR EMLOYEES TO CHOOSE THEIR OWN LEADER!
There are some proven methods that organisations can apply to prevent the feeling of unfairness amongst team members, and subsequently help the leader and her/his staff to interact and work harmoniously and constructively. Selection interview panel is one of these methods that enables representatives from various departments to take an active part in the decision making process of choosing new staff.
Selection panel interview increases dependability, soundness and reduce favouritism of gender, race or ethnicity.
Another way of selecting a leader for a team, is allowing the team members to select an individual from their team whom they consider as their leader and are willing to follow and work with. Surely, this individual would have to be suitable for the job and have the set of skills, knowledge, attributes, experience and other requisites to be successful in her/his position.
One more method that could be effective in the selection process of a new team leader is to engage the team members and the prospective leader in team activities that will require the parties to work together towards a given and pre determined team goal. This will examine the communication between the team and the leader, reflect on the leadership skills, methods and attributes and asses it against the teams’ willingness to collaborate and accept the leadership methods applied. Ultimately, the desirable outcome would be the acceptance of the potential leader as an integral and eventually an instrumental leader.
A procedural justice has claimed to have an insightful effect on group relations. Team members will show interest, devotion and feel obliged only if they are loyal, committed and bonded with their leader.
In most scenarios, newly appointed team leaders, department managers and even chief executives do not have the opportunity to meet in person their subordinates before starting their new positions.
This could cause some undesirable effects; the newly appointed leader may not know which managerial style would be suitable for her/his new team, and as a result could make a negative first impression on her/his team members and may appear not suitable for his job. Moreover, it would be harder for the new leader to get accepted as a team member, as she/he has not had the chance to bond and interact with the team members nor been formally accepted by the team. Hence, the team members would naturally feel that the new leader was imposed on them without their consensus or approval.
Teams’ performance, co-operative efforts and the nature of interaction varies from teams whose leader was imposed upon, democratically elected and those who have been selected arbitrarily. Further, the teams’ usefulness and success is linked to the manner the leader was selected and whether she/he has been accepted by the members of her/his team; and therefore effects the leaders’ leadership tasks.
- Introduce a recruitment and selection policy that encourages fair, anti-prejudice and nepotism practices;
- Empowering the staff;
- Flat organization structure;
- Encourage a shared leadership philosophy;
- Utilising the wisdom of the crowd by creating committees (composed by representatives of each and every department) that influence the decision making in each and every department;
- Encourage and invest in team building activities and friendships amongst colleagues;
- Make your staff your business partners;
- Recruiting people that support and believe in the firm’s vision, culture and ethos.
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