What is Organizational Leadership and Why Should One Aim for it

What is Organizational Leadership and Why Should One Aim for it | Leadership | Emeritus

American author and pioneer in leadership studies, Warren Bennis, perfectly defines what it means with this quote: ‘Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality’. A leader, then, has the ability to make their organization’s mission, vision, and goal a reality. But what is organizational leadership? We take a look at this question and more with this article. 

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What is Organizational Leadership?

This is a strategic approach that helps streamline the overall operational insight of a company to ensure that it aligns with the corporate vision. Organizational leaders are required to manage their teams and lead them in the direction of the company’s roadmap. The main goal is to identify how empowering and training staff members can increase motivation levels and bring employees closer to achieving the company’s objectives. The key here is to combine effective management practices with a good understanding of human psychology. 

What is the Importance of Organizational Leadership?

Organizational leaders provide employees with much-needed direction and general counsel to help them grow in their careers while also contributing to organizational success. Emphasis on organizational leadership is essential, especially if companies wish to continuously improve, innovate, and evolve.

Types of Organizational Leadership

cmo programEvery organizational leader has their own leadership style. However, these leadership styles can be broadly categorized as follows:  

  • Democratic leadership 
  • Autocratic leadership
  • Laissez-faire leadership 
  • Strategic leadership
  • Transformational leadership 

ALSO READ: Top Leadership Styles and Skills You Need to Become a Future-Proof Leader

What do Organizational Leaders do?

The responsibilities of an organizational leader may vary based on the type of company they head. A good organizational leader is typically responsible for important decisions that contribute to a company’s success. This includes business strategy, employee management, and resource allocation among other things. They ensure participation from their team, coordinate with human resource teams to develop effective employee training programs, evaluate business innovation to improve resource utilization, and guide employees to effectively deliver goal-oriented results. . 

What Qualities do Organizational Leaders Possess?

These skills are developed and honed over time with work experience and through exposure to different leadership and management roles. If you are looking to transition to an organizational leadership role, you need to have the right business management degree.

Organizational leaders need to possess the following skills and qualities: 

  • Strong leadership skills 
  • Effective communication 
  • Ideation capabilities
  • Business acumen
  • Emotional intelligence

What is the Difference Between Leadership and Organizational Leadership?

Good leaders lead their employees well while good organizational leaders steer their teams in the direction that the organization wishes to move in. A good leader will focus on their team members and help them grow and improve. An organizational leader also does the same; however, with the added nuance of growth that is in line with the company’s roadmap. Organizational leadership is focused heavily on the company’s vision and strategic plan.

The Best Way to Develop Organizational Leadership Skills

Now that the what is organizational leadership question has been answered, let’s look at three ways to develop skills in this role: 

  1. Volunteer for Projects
    Volunteering for different types of projects right from your entry-level position will help you learn from great leaders and pick up good leadership traits.
  2. Hone Key Skills
    Aspiring leaders can hone their skills through professional development and good education that leads to earning an organizational leadership degree.
  3. Pursue Training
    Enroll for a course, seminar, workshop, or formal degree to refine your leadership skills. 

The Career Outlook of Organizational Leadership

how-to-become-technical-project-managerA career in this field is not reserved only for top-tier management. In fact, irrespective of your job title, you can seek a leadership role once you have built the skills and aptitude for it. Depending on your experience, training, and qualifications, here are some job roles you can expect: 

  • Training and development manager
  • Human resource manager
  • Sales manager
  • Social and community service manager 

The good news is that positions in this field are growing. A report by the U.S. Labor Department states that overall employment for top executives is projected to grow by 6% from 2021 to 2031.

Examples of Organizational Leadership in the Real World

There are many examples of this kind of leadership across industries like education, healthcare, human resources, etc. Let’s take a look at some skills needed for this field with real-world examples.

  • Interpersonal skills: An organizational leader may use empathy to understand the needs of employees during a leadership meeting  
  • Strategic thinking: They may set targets or establish key performance indicators to monitor a company’s progress 
  • Problem-solving skills: An organizational leader in an oil company may conduct research on alternative supply chain processes or seek advice from industry experts in case of supply chain issues  

What is an Organizational Leadership Degree?

Appropriate degree programs will help you learn how an organization functions by emphasizing the human aspects of leadership. There are bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs that can help you learn how to engage and lead organizational systems.

Most modules focus on strategic leadership, organizational ethics, human resource management, project leadership, and research design. The course modules are likely to vary based on the institution and type of degree program you choose to enroll for. 

Earn Your Organizational Leadership Skills Through Emeritus

If delving into the ‘what is organizational leadership’ question has inspired you to learn more about it, 

If you are a manager who aspires to learn more about organizational leadership, consider upskilling with Emeritus! Choose from a range of online leadership courses that are offered in collaboration with leading universities from around the world. Get ready to take your career to the next level and become an effective organizational leader! 

By Priya Iyer Vyas

Write to us at content@emeritus.org 

About the Author

Managing Editor, Emeritus Blog
Anwesha is our in-house expert on careers, trends impacting the workforce, and what makes content tick. As a journalist and content creator for 10+ years, Anwesha leaves a bit of herself in every story. Her superpower is to take the bare bones and turn it into a winning narrative for brands. Her passion to tell stories of human triumph led her to Emeritus where she continues to weave engaging tales. Anwesha is also a doting dog mom and hopes to make her boisterous canine a pawfluencer.
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