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Authored by DavidJons

Effective Leadership

In today’s world, constant change is pervasive in almost all aspects of the public sector service delivery and that is why I decided to wrote about this more with boston university writing supplement help. As responsibilities increase, expectations also rise. To survive these trends, the public sector managers have to increase their flexibility, close gaps and expand their leadership and management skills. Skill sets are critical for envisioning and instigating the compelling business transformations. Some of the fundamental skill sets needed include leadership and management skills, communications skills, critical thinking skills, finance skills, collaboration skills, and project management skills. This paper outlines the need for public sector to consist of people who are effective leaders as well as managers. It also highlights the meaning of system thinking and its application in the Public Water Agency, which supplies portable water to a community of over 80,000 people. According to Peter Northouse, leadership is a process in which an individual influences others to work towards a common course. Leadership and management are vital aspects for the delivery of public services. As much as the two are similar in some respects, they usually involve different skills, outlook and behaviors. The main difference is that leadership is about creating a vision whereas management is getting things done by involving people. For managers to be effective leaders, they must influence their associates in a reasonable way to achieve the organizational goals. Normally, leaders have a vision of a feasible idea and then communicate to team members and mold strategies for realizing the vision. Leaders motivate their team members and negotiate for the primary resources and support to achieve their goals. On the other hand, managers ensure that the availed resources are well organized and allocated effectively to produce the best results. In the environments where resources are constrained, such as middle-income communities, managers must also be good leaders to achieve optimum goals without compromising profit margins. Some of the attributes of good leaders include: have a sense of mission, decisive, charismatic, influential in unifying people for a common cause, use critical and creative problem solving approaches to promote better service delivery and warm working environment. Managers who can cultivate these leadership skills eventually become effective in the services they manage and the change they drive. In addition, managers must also ensure that daily operations are run efficiently to achieve the desired goals. This calls for an understanding of the fundamental operations of the system. Some of the attributes required for managers to be effective include: good organizational skills, clarity of tasks and purpose, good delegation skills, and ability to negotiate various regulatory and administrative processes. Managers should also be able to communicate the expected tasks results effectively. According to Ackoff, Addison & Carey, work environments are similar to physical systems. They are made of departments or distributed units that may work independently to achieve a common goal. For example, the finance, human resource, procurement and logistics departments of the Public Water Supply Agency must synchronize their operations to ensure that their goals are achieved. This calls for leaders to understand the operations in their systems so as to ensure that all the stakeholders are included in evolving strategies meant to achieve the desired goals. Therefore, managers should strive to be effective leaders, and leaders need good management skills to be effective in the public sector service delivery. System Thinking and Leadership Models in reference to Public Water Supply Agency Ackoff, Addison & Carey define system thinking as an approach for testing new ideas by allowing people to understand social systems and improve them in the same fashion engineering principles can make clear in understanding the mechanical systems. In contrast, system thinking focuses on how the subject being studied interacts with other constituents of the system. In this respect, a system refers to a set of departments or working units that interact to produce the desired goal. Other organizational system components include processes, structures, and people. This implies that instead of isolating the units of the Public Water Supply Agency, system thinking works by expanding its approach to take into account the larger perspective of the larger interactions in the agency’s components. System thinking gives extensive results, especially in a dynamically complex environment. It also gives incredible feedback from other sources as compared to the traditional analysis approach. It is different from the traditional analysis approach, which separates the individual units of what is being studied. System thinking would be highly effective in the provision of public water services given that the environment involves complex issues which depend on the past or actions of the others. The provision of water services is also characterized by ineffective coordination among the involved parties. The agency is mostly likely to face some recurring problems that might have been made worse by the past measures and efforts to fix them. For example, efficient and equitable distribution of water to an ever increasing demand might be challenging given that there might be constraints in the resources. System thinking also applies in the Public Water Supply agency in the sense that the agency faces issues where operations are affected by the environment surrounding the water supply. Water is a natural resource, and its supply may be affected by natural calamities or the competitive environment. In case private companies operate in the same environment, the agency faces a threat of substitutes, new entrants, and a higher customer bargaining power. The agency operations are also complex since it involves multiple actors. One of the main advantages of systems thinking is its ability to deal effectively with complex problems and alleviate the perspectives to a level in which the desired results can be achieved. By considering the whole scenario, entities are able to come up with various possibilities that had not been applied in the past. Systems have boundaries, and they are bounded in time, in which the processes designed to transform inputs into products must be in accordance with the mission. The mission can only be achieved through the choice of a proper leadership style. The leadership style chosen has a direct impact on the results achieved. According to Northouse, entities that invest in leadership training are much ahead in competition. Peter Northouse defines transformational leadership style as an approach or a process that changes an individual. That is, a process that makes people embrace change, improve, and want to be led. The process involves analyzing and assessing the associates’ motives, valuing them, and satisfying their needs. This approach is characterized by four factors namely: intellectual simulation, idealized influence, inspirational motivation, and individual consideration. By cultivating transformational leadership and teamwork, managers can become very efficient leaders in their organizations. The style can be used in one-to-one or team scenarios. Implementing this approach, the leader (manager) and the followers (associates) are transformed to enhance both individual and organizational performance. Transformational leaders create a vision by involving all the components of a system. They incorporate all the viewpoints and empower followers to engage in what is best for the subject organization. Furthermore, transformational leaders act as change agents in their organizations based on their strong model with high values. Given that both the internal and external organizational environments keep on evolving, it is recommended that a hybrid or flexible leadership style be implemented to cater for change and work diversification. Leadership and management should be taught as integrated subjects to close the gap in management education. Management educators and business schools should also encourage students to take responsibility and be prepared for the diversified tasks of leadership. By integrating leadership and management, people would become more responsible managers and more effective leaders. To summarize, effective public sector managers must do more than administration of their agencies. This implies that they must have both leadership and management skills. Good management would result in the provision of water services to the community in an equitable, efficient, appropriate, and sustainable manner. This can be achieved if the critical resources for water service provision, including finances, human resource, process aspects of service delivery, and hardware are consolidated at the point of service delivery and synchronized carefully.

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