"Developing Versatile Leadership" by Robert Kaplan and Robert Kaiser.

Essay by ladeeia November 2005

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In the article "Developing Versatile Leadership," by Robert Kaplan and Robert Kaiser view, that leadership versatility is the most important for success regardless of the leadership type or style. They state in the article that they have found a way to define leadership qualities and skills that make things that look opposite balance together. The idea that leadership styles needs to change in order to make two opposite sides come together as one making it versatile.

Two balances to make the leadership versatility come together are stated in the article. One is the balance between forceful leadership and enabling leadership. Forceful leadership is based on the leader's own intellect a person who takes charge, while enabling leadership creates conditions that force people to stand up for themselves, understand situations that could cause a person to not get their task done, and to respond to others. The second balance is between strategic and operational leadership.

Strategic leadership is a long-term direction of the company and defining the goal and steering employees towards the strategy and vision. Operational leadership focuses on short-term goals by getting involved in operational details, implementing strategies and keeping employees on track.

The need to understand difference leadership styles is important to the success of a company. Versatility is needed because leadership and management are constantly changing. The more flexible a leader is from the norm the more inflexible they become, so sharing the leadership makes them more effective in different situations. Teambuilding requires everyone to become involved, and true leaders encourage others for the success of their team, which helps each member contribute and lead as well as develops more of a commitment. The authors view versatility as the key to high performance levels. Versatile leaders can continually adjust their behavior and approaches for the circumstance and...