Leaders Who Make a Difference,” Darden Publishing, University of Virginia
Article: “Leaders Who Make a Difference,” Darden Publishing, University of Virginia”
The article ‘Leaders who make a difference’ discusses the skills that leaders require to manage diversity. According to the article, the basic competencies of leaders are motivating and inspiring subordinates, articulating vision, and maintenance of integrity in relations. However, to leverage the benefits that come with diversity, the article discusses various characteristics and skills that current leaders require. The characteristics include being able to articulate the business case for diversity, being committed to fairness, and be ready to learn about certain difference dimensions. The critical skills include shifting reference frame, effective listening skills, sharing personal stories, capacity to separate intent from impact, feedback acceptance, and having courage. Organizations continue to experience diversity. Managing the diversity effectively plays an essential role in enhancing operations of an organization.
Prior to reading the article I knew that leadership plays a key role towards the success of any organizations. Leaders should possess certain characteristics and skills to lead effectively. This is why I agree with the article that articulating a vision, motivating and inspiring subordinates, and maintaining integrity on the working environment are key competencies for successful leaders. From readings about leadership and observing leaders, I have learnt that leadership requires certain skills to help an organization prosper. However, I realised that leaders are having challenges in managing a diverse group. I thought that it is possible to manage the diversity through the traditional competencies of leadership. However, my assumption have been challenged considering that many organizations are performing poorly when it comes to managing the diversity.
After reading the article, I have realized that traditional leadership competencies are not effective in managing a diverse group. Current leaders require new skills to effectively manage diversity. I remember a case where my brother’s colleague was denied a senior position simply because he came from a different race. Even though the employee was skilful to enhance the operations of the company he was denied the chance and ended up working with rivals. The company lost the talent for poor leadership skills in managing diversity. I thought that traditional leadership skills are also effective in managing diversity in organizations. However, the article has challenged my assumption and I agree with it that leaders require other skills to manage diversity effectively. I therefore agree with the article that skills such as shifting frame references that is putting oneself in a position of another person, having effective listening skills, sharing personal stories, embracing feedback, and demonstrating courage especially on promoting diversity in an organization are essential for effective leaders managing diversity in organizations.
In conclusion, it is clear that organizations continue to experience diversity. Leaders should therefore focus on managing the differences effectively to enhance the operations of their organizations. Prior to reading the article, I assumed that traditional leadership competencies are effective in managing diversity in organizations. However, the article has challenged my assumption, and I agree that better skills are required for effective management of diversity. It is necessary that leaders including team leaders continue learning about diversity and its management. This will equip them with effective competencies and skills in managing diversity in their organization associated with improved performance. This article has enhanced my understanding on leadership and diversity management. However, a detailed article that with the focus on leadership and diversity management would be more helpful for readers and leaders in learning about diversity management.
University of Virginia (n.d). Leaders Who Make a Difference: Critical Skills for Leading a Diverse Workforce. Darden Business Publishing. University of Virginia, pp. 1-8.