The concept of organizational leadership is not completely novel to this era. For centuries, anthropologists have cued in to the self-organizing traits of groups, how leaders emerge and the characteristics that define them. What is organizational leadership? Author Jim Stroup says in his Managing Leadership that “Organizational leadership is inherent in the very nature of the organization. It arises from the peculiar relationships that form among people joined together in a collaborative effort.” In looking forward towards future trends for running a successful business, competent and flexible organizational leaders are imperative and will find themselves in high demand. One of the best methods for ensuring the availability of these leaders is to pursue higher education now to be best equipped for meeting the needs of the growing business sector.
The Demand for Organizational Leaders
In examining the demand for organizational leadership in today’s business world, it is essential to recognize that the workplace of the past has transformed. These days, business is conducted in a wide range of places and time frames, driven by the availability of enabling technologies and social collaboration tools, as well as a changing culture and desire for more flexibility in work styles and workplaces. As such, the demand is understandably high for individuals who can successfully navigate these potential challenges and lead a group of employees in providing successful output for their companies. With technology continually racing ahead, a demand also exists for those who can stay on top of the latest breakthroughs, while simultaneously managing colleagues who can access work materials and interact from any location, at any time of day, with the simple click of a mouse or tap on a smartphone. In addition, a forecast shortage of skilled workers as the Baby Boomer generation retires will likely increase the demand for individuals with the knowledge base necessary to lead and train the next generation.
In a world of rapidly-changing technology, the ability to do business on a 24/7 basis from virtually anywhere in the world has become commonplace. The challenge for companies in the wired (or wireless) era is in maintaining productivity while keeping workers engaged and connected. The solution lies in the hiring of competent managers with a background in organizational leadership, who can encourage collaboration and socialization, while concurrently keeping an eye on the bottom line.
Individuals with organizational leadership training thrive in management positions where they can utilize people skills and strategic thinking techniques as they work to achieve the following:
- Influence positive behaviors and a productive workplace
- Encourage collaboration among teams
- Resolve conflicts in the workplace
- Collaborate and effectively work together in diverse groups
As an organization leader who is also attempting to run an effective and profitable business, learning and utilizing these skills is essential to ensuring that staff members are managed, developed and empowered by the company and its leaders. Employees that feel empowered in the workplace are more inclined to perform at a higher level, therefore boosting overall business success.
An important factor in understanding the essentiality of organizational leadership in running a successful business is the coming dearth of highly qualified and knowledgeable workers. It is projected that there will be fewer newly-educated young people to replace the skilled Baby Boomers who are due to retire. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “professional and related occupations and service occupations are expected to create more new jobs than all other occupational groups from 2008 to 2018; in addition, growth will be faster among occupations for which postsecondary education is the most significant form of education or training, and, across all occupations, replacement needs will create many more job openings than will job growth.” What does this mean for future business owners? It means that a well-educated and skilled leader with a background in organizational leadership will be vital to leading their companies to success.
Where Demand for Organizational Leaders is Greatest
While the need for organizational leadership is present in virtually all types of organizations, some of the areas with the greatest demand include:
- General business– An executive level position is a typical spot for organizational leaders to land in most companies. These managers lead employees and collaborate with others to create effective programs that boost productivity.
- Non-profit sector–Not-for-profit organizations are in constant need of administrators, operations managers and directors to ensure they meet guidelines and run smoothly.
- Government agencies–As to be expected, most government agencies rely on a bureaucratic style of management, thereby creating a great need for organizational leaders. With a forward-thinking mind-set, government agencies require individuals with organizational leadership skills to compensate for the retirement of high-level officials. As these professionals leave, agencies strive for seamless transitions by hiring individuals that possess organizational leadership attributes.
- Human resources, labor management, training–These positions need to have the ability to apply psychological, communicative and managerial principles in solving personnel problems, boost employee morale, raise performance levels and train future employees.
Providing the Job Market with Qualified Leaders
In light of the demand for organizational leadership in today’s and the future’s business world, it is pertinent that current workers consider the call to become such a leader. One of the best ways to answer that call and fill that demand is with the pursuit of higher education. Since leaders are needed in every type of industry, many academic programs have created organizational leadership degrees to provide specific training that is still general enough to apply to multiple fields.
A Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership online degree is designed for those who are currently employed or interested in a career change, especially those seeking advanced degrees to expand their knowledge in a specific area of their field. Some of the unique benefits of this type of distance learning include the convenience and flexibility that go along with online learning, as well as a condensed timeline for completion, sometimes in as few as twenty months.