Effective Leadership and Management: Rules and Responsilities of Leaders for Organizational Excellence.
Chairperson, Supreme Knight. Grand Lady, Rev. Fr Chaplain/s, Past Supreme Knights ,Past Grand Ladies, Officers of the Standing Committees of the Noble Order of the Knights and Ladies of Marshall.
We thank the good Lord for bringing us to the beginning of a new year and inviting us to come and sit at His feet. listen to Him and pray for His guidance and direction in working as His labourers in His vineyard.
To follow Jesus in a journey of discipleship, the Apostles’ major formation began with learning to pray. Jesus took them to quiet places where they could pray together. He taught them to pray by themselves or with others. As the followers of the Father, there is nothing we can do without Him. He promises “And know that I am with you always, yes, to the end of time”. With God at our side, we shall remain dedicated, brave, true knights,” ladies committed leaders who do not fear to sacrifice themselves for the welfare of the church, countries, families, brothers and sisters and who follow the one command: “Thou shall lot/e the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and whole soul, and thy whole strength, and with all thy mind and their neighbour as thyself” Luke 10: 27
Thus today, God has invited us to look into ourselves, hearts, and activities to see if we are really acting as devoted leaders He has chosen us to be.
My Brothers and Sisters ……..
Leadership is nothing but the office or position of a leader who displays certain qualities. There are several leadership styles as we may know. There is the autocratic leadership which results in high temporary productivity but very little commitment. There is Shared leadership style resulting in high morale and long — lasting productivity. There is of course, the Laissez — Faire leadership style which results in low morale and low productivity.
There is the Task – oriented leadership display by those leaders who are very much concerned with completing the task at hand. When given an assignment they immediately jump into it and hit the ground running. Task ~ oriented leaders believe that if you want something done right, they need to do it themselves; they like being in control of the entire process. As such. task ~ oriented leaders search out the best methods and resources to get the work done.
There IS also the People – oriented leaders who believe the best way to get a job done is through people. People -— oriented leaders take a very humanistic approach by recognizing and accommodating the needs of others as part of the work process. In fact, the very idea of having to develop a team building activity gets to the heart of people — oriented leadership whereby things such as teamwork, collaboration, group decision making, trust and cohesion are all characteristic of the people ~ oriented manager and leader.
These leadership styles mentioned above are not exhaustive but descriptive. I mention them to help us understand that the display of the leadership skill of any leader is very important. Cardinal George Basil Hume of Westminster, England once said, “Leaders, whether religious or secular must have a role in articulating a vision for the people they lead and influence”
Leadership is not something that comes automatically with an appointment or office. That is authority. Leadership has to be claimed, just as authority has to acquire its own credibility. So a leader must leam how to handle individuals and realize how difficult and arduous a task he/ she has undertaken in leading people and adapting him/ herself to many dispositions.
Is a good manager automatically a good leader? What is the difference between leadership and management?
The main difference between leaders and managers is that leaders have people follow them while managers have people who work for them.
A successful leader needs to be both a strong leader and manager to get his/ her team on board to follow him/ her towards his/ her vision of success. Leadership is about getting peeple to understand and believe in your vision and to work with you to achieve your goals while managing is more about administering and making sure the day — to — day things are happening as they should.
While there are many traits that make up an effective leader, some of the key characteristics are:
Honesty & Integrity: It is crucial to get your people to believe you and buy in to the journey you are taking them on.
Vision: The leader must know where he/‘she is, where he/ she wants to go and enroll the team in charting a path for the future. Articulating a vision for the future is difficult but all the more important. That vision cannot be just holding on to the past, as important as tradition may be. It must break forth in hope for the nature.
- Inspiration: The leader must inspire his/ her team to be all they can by making sure they understand their role in the bigger picture.
- Ability to Challenge: The leader must not be afraid to ask questions and even do things differently and have the courage to think outside the box.
- Communication Skills: The leader must keep his/ her team informed of the journey; where the group is, where he/ She is/ are heading and share any likely roadblocks that may be encountered along the way.
- Encouraging Collaborative Leadership: Collaborative Leadership has nothing to do with factionalism or ethnicity. Nor a collaborative leadership a way of setting up opposition between some leaders and the rest of the group.
The aim of collaborative leadership is always the same: to create an atmosphere where the gifts of all concerned are sought. and to create those means whereby all gifts can be recognized and can contribute to the life and well I» being of all. Mother Theresa had a great understanding of collaborative leadership when she said to her sisters in her community, “What 1 can ‘do, you cannot do. What you can do, An cannot do. but together we can do great things“ Some of the common traits shared by effective managers are:
- Being Able to Execute a Vision: take a strategic vrsron and break it down into a roadmap to be followed by the team.
- Ability to Direct: day — to — day work efforts, review resources needed and anticipate needs along the way.
- ‘Process Management: establish work rules, processes, standard and operating procedures
- People Focused: look after your people, their needs, listen to them and involve them.
In order to engage all who provide service to the Noble Order, the leader must bring everybody on board in his/ her vision and align their perceptions and behaviours. He/ she needs to get them excited about where he/ she is taking them while making sure they know what is in it for them. This is what makes the leader lead the team as well as manage the day — to — day operation. The good leader is the one who accepts that things will sometimes go wrong, because they do.
We should not accept inefficiency, failure and chaos, of course, but at least we should not pretend that everything will go like clockwork. Even clockwork at times stops functioning. We may come across challenges. We should rather understand that even the failures will be stepping stones for success because we can benefit from them and replan to reach higher levels.
Above all. Servant leadership is the key. It is best defined by the Lord Jesus, Himself, for a group like ours as: “Whoever want to become great among you must be your servant. and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve. and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20: 26 ~ 28). In the Christian realm all leadership. especially Mar-shallan leadership, should be servant leaders.
A common misconception among those who exercise leadership roles over others is that it comes with glory, power and positions of honour. “I hold the gavel, I hold this or that position at Supreme Council/ Grand Court level. I an a member of the Standing Committee so you must listen to me and do whatever I tell you”.
In fact. such a mistaken belief was the occasion for Jesus’ words in the above passage. A great deal of responsibility is thus laid on W our shoulders as leaders. If ever a leader were tempted to enjoy power or exercise it for any other purpose than the good of others, then he would be wise to reread the words of the Saviour, “The Son of man came to serve. not to be served and give his life-as ransom for many”
That reminder can be peculiarly discomforting. But power should only be entrusted into the hands of a person who will use it to serve others. Power can be a frightening danger when converted for its own sake. Therefore, we as leaders , and indeed all in authority should commit ourselves to the welfare of all members of our Noble Order, the Church and Society to glorify the name of Our Father who has given us special gifts to work in His vineyard.
May His name be praised.
PRESENTATION BY DAME MRL THERESA POBEE