Leadership Path-Goal Theory

Leadership is a serious task that has to betaken by those who are able to understand the society in an objective way. Certainly, the idea of becoming a leader requires serious thinking.  Becoming a leader requires efforts that start with personal development and adjustments. There are numerous theories and practices that help the hopeful leaders in becoming the person that they want to be. In the paper to follow, a reflection on one’s ability and self-improving processes would be discussed in the view of the author of this paper.
Being a leader is a serious task that requires serious effort and determination to adjust on the part of the person who wants to pursue on being a leader in his or her own field of interest. As Peter Northouse refer to leadership as a “change that would affect the whole personality of an individual”(2006, 16). It is not true that leaders are born, they are made. Through self-restructuring of themselves, the leaders of today have sprung out from actually being nothing to becoming influential personalities in the human society.

How? Because of their determination to make a change to the society that rooted out from the changes that they had to make on themselves in the first place. This is the reason why in this paper, a self-examination process shall be utilized to learn the importance of self-adjustment in becoming a leader. Leadership is one of the most common practices that is found and applied on the different organizations around the world. The need for governance has mainly increased the pressure on institutions specializing in educating aspiring leaders with the needed skills that they are expected to have when they are already working on their own fields of interest.
Leadership for many is a virtue learned through the experience of becoming great followers. It requires effort and ample time before it could be said to be the perfect way of showing leadership.  It could be obviously seen how much the people who are considered leaders in the world are viewed as exemplary people and not as people who knows only to command and drives other to work. When it comes to the business industry, the character involving refined leadership is a must to be possessed by everyone. Yes, as leadership itself has strongly affected the lives of many people in the business industry, it indeed is an important character. The idea of being a leader itself is never that easy. Though, through careful and patient learning in adjusting one’s self to be able to adapt to the necessary needed characters of a leader, a refined leadership is never that impossible to acquire.
When it comes to the definition of leadership, many groups or organizations have their own view of the characters and responsibilities involved in being a leader. As for example,  House defines “leadership” organizationally and narrowly as “the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members” (House, R. J. 2004: page 15). Indeed, the success of the leader would naturally determine the success of the organization he or she is acquainted with. This is the main reason why many people tend to really deeply learn the art of leadership. Mainly aiming to alleviate the effectiveness of one’s leadership skills, leadership schools and courses were opened especially regarding the business industries. This is the reason why the need for path-goal theory application is an insisted demand upon those individuals who are longing to become effective leaders of the organizations that they are aiming to serve.
How the Path-Goal Theory is Effectively Utilized
The path goal theory is more of a directive motivation on the part of the individuals who are aiming to become leaders of their own groups. The idea is to motivate themselves to motivate others. It is undeniable that people get personal motivation from different areas of life. They naturally get influenced by the different systems of understanding that they particularly grow fond of as they deal with the different challenges that they need to face as individuals everyday. These growth sources could be both derived from theoretical assessments of the situation along with the experiential measure of the situation. It is undeniably true that experience itself makes the theoretical background of each individual grow to a more applicable aspect of learning on the part of each person’s growth.
Theoretical learning aspects could be sourced out from institutional instructions while that of the actual learning aspect could be sourced out from on the job trainings or from actual based experiences. Self-learned theories could be observed to have the personal impact of insisting administrative practice of leadership upon a person’s life. How could self-assessment be performed by an individual wanting to be an effective leader?
Applying Personal Growth in Leading the Group
Being a leader requires many humane aspects in different personality region. Mainly, it requires psychological stability for holding together the team which is to be lead or the subordinates, mental capacity for making critical reasoning and proper judgment, and sociological for relating with the people within the team. Certain traits aside from these are also much required such as interpersonal charisma and pleasing personality.
All of these are vital in leadership because of the main fact that the people within the team will look up to him or her for the decisions, actions and guidance thus his or her responsibility is quite complex and morally challenging (Lashway, 1996). Since being a leader is an important task and it deals with people, performing it involves many moral and ethical aspects and if these issues are in contrast with the leader’s personal values then severe contradictions can occur. Thus, the personal ethics is important in playing the role of a leader because whatever the leader’s moral values are will reflect to his team thus influencing their performance and relationship
Before making a decision, critically analyzing the consequences and the action itself will provide some ethical enlightenment to the problem that is being faced. Though taking the job, which is considered unethical, would not compromise the moral values of the person, it will surely affect the conscience and the performance of the person and being a leader, this scenario would not post pleasant environment. Considering the impact of the unethical nature of the company would give the applicant a broader contextual perception of the dilemma. (Center for Ethics and Business, 2006).
Thus, by looking at the problem completely then other perspective can be considered such as the consequences that the person can do to influence the ethical position of the company. As a leader in the company, the person can establish certain ethical policies that can promote positive outcomes instead of solely focusing on the negative aspect of the company. As an example, making policies and regulation that strongly prohibits smoking among the minors or launching campaigns educating the public regarding ideas of moderate smoking which would increase the pleasant appeal of the company to the society.
It may sound very idealistic but it will surely affect the ethical and moral perception of the people with the company thus reflecting positive economic asset to the enterprise itself. A leader has the responsibility to promote the moral values and ethics in his or her work place and this also includes the company’s image itself. By being a leader, a person powers can extend to aspect such as creating an ethical environment regarding the employment he or she pursue with moral adhesion. Instead of seeing a certain job as something unethical, consider a perspective of how a person can make a certain job ethical for himself or herself and the social community they belong lived in.
Dealing with such issues of organizational assistance of truthfully realizing their organization’s worth to the society should be faced with the leader with integrity and power over what is wrong. How does he know what is wrong? The theoretical background that he may have learned from school or other instructional institutions that he has attended may as well serve well in these particular situations. Whereas on the other hand, his personal experiences on the matter could profoundly assist him in making considerable decisions that are bound to do something that is progressive for the entire business.
The present world is beset with problems that defy solution. So as to be able to meet the challenges of becoming a fine leader for the majority, this paper then requires personal adjustments on a hopeful leader. As it is believed by Northouse, a leader is someone who has competencies in changing the society by starting within himself. (2006, 25) Yes, changing the society is a large responsibility. Providing the people of what they need is a vital part of the responsibilities of being a leader.
A hopeful leader could not attain the said goals and complete the said responsibilities without working on his personality first. Not unless he is able to reach his best potential as a person would he be able to bring out the best potential on others that could help them attain their dreams as well. Yes, personal development is essential for creating a leader within one’s self. Realizing one’s personal capabilities and limitations would help one recognize that others too have their own limitations and capabilities. People who have the capability of seeing people as persons who are capable of improving and developing are the ones who become successful leaders of the society.
Applying the Leadership Concepts as Learned from Theory and Experience
There are different issues of leadership that each person faces in terms of organizational administration. It is indeed helpful that one knows how to deal with each situation as one actually differs from the other. There are at least five major ways of leadership that could be applied in this particular situation of personal growth.
Model the Way
This particularly refers to the ability of the appointed leaders to become role models for other members of the group. The fact that they are placed in position, means that they have a certain characteristic that is  particularly inspiring. The utilization of the said character shall help the leader set a pattern for others to follow. Once the road has been set, the reality of success is not that hard to foresee.
Inspire a Shred Vision
Unity is one of the primary reasons behind the success of different organizations. Once each member is able to envision the real goal of the organization as to where they are actually headed to, the inspiration begins. Indeed, everyone has the right to get involved in what is happening and thus be able to understand where the direction of the group is taking them.
Challenge the Process
Challenging the process does not mean changing the procedures of the organization abruptly. With ample time of adjustment and informing the members of the changes that are to be made, the procedural changes could occur. From this particular way, the organization is beginning to open its doors to other alternatives of meeting the goals of the group. However, to do so, careful planning and examination of the possibilities should be done.
Enable Others to Act
Including other members of the group within the system of procedural arrangements is one type of motivation that makes everyone in the organization feel that they are of great use for the achievement of the group’s goal. Hence, achieving the goals with them leaves them with the satisfaction of work that they primarily expect from the group upon joining.
Encourage the Heart
Simply involving the members within the job are not enough. Leaders ought to encourage their members through making them realize of their worth to the group. To do so, the leaders are expected to be able to figuratively touch the hearts of the members of the group so as to empower them to perform better not only for the organization’s sake but for their own benefit as well.
Through the consideration given to the five steps of leadership as enlisted above, it could be expected that the appointed authorities would be equipped with the necessary skills that they need to set a straight path for success for the entire organization. However, to do so, it should be remembered that the effective utilization of empowering communication should be applied as well. Without the existence of the said connection between the leaders, the victory that is being achieved may not become reality at all.
Setting path-goal theory as a major source of improvement upon organizations is a primary effective process of strengthening the capability of the leaders and of the other members as well to face the different issues that the entire groups need to face with everyday.  This particularly means that the changes that organizations are required to meet every now and then require an ample amount of patience and courage from the leaders. Aside from that, it also requires sturdiness when it comes to decision making on the part of the leaders.
The policy of “what must be implemented must be implemented” should always be carried on through by the leaders with an ample scaling of the ethical values that are involved within the situation. Yes, the fact that leadership is not an easy challenge that needs to be conscientiously met identifies the qualities and the attitudes that leaders or aspiring organizational head personnel should posses. Hence, a leader is then supposed to face the said challenges in full courage and knowledge of the strategies that need to be applied in particular situations that they are to meet.
Changes need to happen individually. However, making a leader out of one’s self is not an easy task. As they say, the worst enemy one could ever have is one’s own self. This is why learning the art of leadership requires the determination to do well on the said matter. If one is determined to become the best leader he could be, he should be able to accept self-changes and adjustments to be able to attain the goals of becoming and efficient leader. Hence by becoming individually effective as a leader, the learning of theoretical leadership along with the implication of the learning that one gains from experience could be established well as part of the major aspects of application that could be utilized for establishing a fine practice of leadership as per noted by an individual upon himself and his colleagues as well. Through personal assessment of the matter, motivating people would become an easier task on the part of the leader himself.
Bolman, L.G. & Deal, T.E. (2003) Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Howard Garland. Relation of Effort-Performance Expectancy to Performance in Goal-Setting Experiments. Departments of Management and Psychology, The University of Texas at Arlington. Journal of Applied Psychology. 1984, Vol 69, No 1, 79-84.
Thomas W. Lee. Explaining the Assigned Goal-Incentive Interaction: The Role of Se/f-Efficacy
and Personal Goals. Journal of Management 1997, Vol. 23, No. 4, 541-559.

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