Initiatives leaders can take to seize opportunities within organizations


#1

What initiative can leaders take to seize opportunities within organizations? Please explain.


#2

Leadership is more than just showing a way to others. A leader should be able to challenge the existing process and seize opportunities if deemed necessary. A leader is always ready for challenges and learns continuously from the processes.

Seize the opportunity

Manage Risk
Taking the challenge doesn’t mean blindly accepting the risks without any calculations. Leaders should be calculative and take risks measuring the effects cautiously. They weigh the pros and cons of taking a risk, determine if this is reasonable to take this experimentation and try to minimize the risk as much as possible.

In the world cup finale of 2011, Mahendra singh Dhoni, who usually bats down the order, promoted himself up to bat before Yuvraj Singh after analysing the pitch condition and observing the direction of the game. He scored an unbeaten 91 to lead his team to win the world cup.

Sharing Organizational Values

Leaders continuously engage with others. They observe their followers, try to identify their vision and align them with the organizational values and vision. When the goals are aligned, then productivity increases and the process and activities become more effective and efficient. Sharing the vision helps others to act independently without seeking for orders from the leader. This leads to the growth of employees as well as the organization.

When earthquake shook the nation back in 2015, fellows who were in different districts initiated the relief process before there was any official news from Teach for Nepal. The fellows are sent to the community as change makers/leaders who would work for the communal development. Sharing these values and empowering the fellows helped them initiate this action without waiting for any instructions from the organization.

Training and Development Activities

Developing skills of the employees is essential as they make the employees feel valued and gives an opportunity to the organization to grab any opportunities as a result of such developments. Besides, being more skilful also aids in making the process much easier for the organization. For instance, digitizing the existing manual process not only makes the storage part more efficient, it also helps the employee develop reports easily and in a short amount of time.

Lead Courageously

When the stakes are high, even if the process involves high risks, leaders lead with a lot of courage. They are proactive and lead from the front. They take this opportunity to show why they are the leaders. They do not shy away from taking the responsibility even if things do not go in a desired way.

In wars, the captains are the ones that lead from the front and in time of escaping, they are the last ones to leave.

Seek for Opportunity

Opportunities do not come knocking your doors. One should grab it as soon as they are identified. Leaders should be observant and mindful to notice any opportunities that come and be ready to take advantage of the opportunities. This is a world of collaboration. Leaders are constantly looking for ways to maximize value for their organization. They seek to collaborate with organizations which would help create value for them.


#3

Initiative means to takes actions to find and solve problems and meet challenges without being told to do so or being shown the way. While taking initiative a person takes decisions independently with the best of their knowledge and is prepared to make the most of any situation. Opportunities are seized by taking initiatives. A good leader understand the value of seizing opportunities by taking initiatives to challenge the process.

Kouzes and Posner (2003) explains that great leaders are able to see challenges as opportunities and by creating an environment for being innovative they create a vision of what can be and how things can be done better. They take initiatives by modelling the way to build stronger teams and enable them to contribute their ideas as well. These ideas form the basis of further initiatives and opportunities and accomplishment of such small ideas encourage the team members to build their confidence to accomplish even impossible tasks. (Kouzes & Posner, 2003)

The initiative does not have to big. Small initiatives, surrounding the five essential principles of a leader as pointed out by Kouzes and Posner, can be taken to seize opportunities. There are some initiative a leader can take which have been mentioned below.

  • Leaders should always strive to be a better version of himself. Doing something each day with consideration of ‘doing good better’ is an initiative a leader can take.
  • Leaders are accountable for both the success and failure. Taking accountability to both the success and failure is a good initiative that can model the way. For example a finance manager in my organization takes the credit to success of work even if he is not who did it and does not take initiation for the accepting the shortcomings.
  • Rules, guidelines are meant to increase work effectiveness and efficiencies and these should in no way be counterproductive so as to hinder the process of work and innovation. Leaders should take the initiative to always question if the things done in an organization makes sense and what can be done better.
  • Taking up new projects shows the readiness for innovation and change. This always challenges a leader and removes the possibility of stagnancy at work by succumbing to comfort zone.
  • Taking feedback is a great way to understand how their work is being perceived. Customers and employees give feedbacks but if the suggestions are not taken into consideration then they will no longer be interested in giving such comments. Taking feedback and implementing change accordingly can be a good initiative for a leader.
  • Staffs engaged in social media or leisure conversations (guffs) in an organization all the time. A leader can take the initiative to design work so that it is intrinsically interesting and so motivates the staff to work without wasting time.
  • Leaders lead by action. Thus a leader should be able to be comfortable with change as being adaptive to change will help in the survival of the organization.
  • Organization functions in a society and its success and failure is closely tied to the way society reacts to the organization culture. A leader must push boundaries by taking initiative to increase network with people outside the organization and encourage others to do the same. This initiative helps to understand the implications of the decision of the organization with regard to the society. This is also an opportunity to increase its network.

Baer and Frese (2003) explains, Frequently, however, initiative is negatively sanctioned by peers or managers because taking initiative ‘rocks the boat’ and is perceived as threatening by those directly affected. In the short run, initiative may not be welcome because it interrupts routines. In the long run, however, a high degree of personal initiative in the workforce leads to new ideas, smoother production and service processes, better implementation of innovations, and ultimately to better performance.

What happens if process innovations are implemented in a company with a low level of climate for initiative? In such a climate, people may feel helpless and victim to the innovation. They may not act when things go wrong. (Baer & Frese, 2003, p. 49)

We understand that innovation is core to the growth of any organization as it is the strategic edge against other competitors. But as pointed out by Baer and Frese innovation without initiation can be dangerous and may not succeed. Furthermore, initiation can be a hindrance in the short term but an asset in the long term management practices. Thus a planned initiation on the manager’s side is important for enabling others to be more initiative generating better out of the box innovation. These innovations are also opportunities that a leader can seize in an organization.

References

Baer, M., & Frese, M. (2003). Innovation is not enough: climates for initiative and psychological safety, process innovations, and firm performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior , 45-68.

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2003). The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership. In B. P. Jim Kouzes, Leadership Challenge Workbook (First Edition ed., p. 13). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint.


#4

Leadership is the study of people who triumph against odds, take initiatives, confront the established order and mobilize people amongst resistance. Leaders are people who seize the initiative with enthusiasm, determination and desire to make something happen. They are experimenters who take challenges and make extra-ordinary things happen by venturing outside the constraints of normal routine and experimenting with creative and risky solutions. As a leader, one should be able to find out the opportunities and present them as his newfound goals to make things better, to grow, innovate and improve (Kouzes & Posner, 2012). Leadership is connected with the process of innovation and bringing new ideas, methods and solutions into use. The question that leader should often ask to self is “Am I prepared to open the door when opportunity knocks?”

The leader should be curious, proactive and highly attentive to grab the opportunities. As per Shrestha, the initiatives the leader can take for seizing opportunities are:

  • Manage Risks: Leaders are innovators and every new initiation has certain amount of risk associated with it. The leaders should be prepared to face the consequences of the action and plan for the minimization of risks associated with the project. For example if a company wants to manufacture car keeping in mind the increasing demand of the product, it also needs to prepare about what to do if the demand decreases at the time of sale.
  • Seek Opportunities: Leaders need to plan proactively to take the benefits and advantages of the opportunities available. The ability to present distinctly and act rapidly than others is a plus point for seizing the opportunities. A passionate dancer running a dance academy in his locality after knowing that a lot of local people want to learn professional dance is an example of this.
  • Sharing Organizational Vision and Values: The transparency in the organizational vision and values can help the leaders seize the opportunities as everyone in the team is well aware about what they are expected to do when certain opportunities are available. If the vision of the company is related with helping the people in the society and everyone is well aware about it, in the time of crisis everyone will act without waiting for any orders.
  • Training and Development Activities: Training the employees and subordinates to develop the abilities, skills and knowledge required to grab the opportunities available in the market can help the leaders a lot in the process of initiation. For instance if a company knows that manual record keeping is going to be replaced by digitized system it will train its employees beforehand so that it can take the advantage out of the new system once it is put into practice.

References

Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2012). The Leadership Challenge. London: A Wiley Imprint.

Shrestha, Y. M. (2017, October 18). Initiatives that Leaders can Take to Seize Opportunities within an Organization . Retrieved from Medium: https://medium.com/@yujeshmalekushrestha/initiatives-that-a-leaders-can-take-to-seize-opportunities-within-an-organization-b1aaf5dade24


#5

Opportunities are essential for expansion and growth of an organization. Leaders not only treat every assignment as an adventure but also search for opportunities by seizing the initiative and looking outward for innovative ways to improve (Posner, 2012). Initiative leads innovation. W. Clement Stone, who rose from poverty to build an international insurance company worth hundreds of millions of dollars, asserted that to overcome procrastination, you need only say these three words to yourself, and then act on them: “Do it now!” (William A. Cohen, 2013).

Opportunities do not come by sitting idle and waiting for something to come at your doorstep. Leaders are thought pioneers who also encourage creative solutions from their team members (Oliphant, 2016) . Leaders while seeking opportunities outside the organization often neglect the activities, which can help to achieve their goal. The first thing the leader can do is not allowing ideas to be immediately discounted with little or no consideration. They should be open to ideas and inspirations that come from different sources. Leaders anticipate the threats and therefore, are never afraid to fail because that is where leaders learn and try something else. Employees are assets to an organization. Their belief, if something will work or not does matter to an organization. This will help them to motivate employees through their own passion and commitment to the expected possibilities. Leaders are known as risk takers because they are always prepared for facing the consequences. Opportunities can also be attained if the leader transparently shares the visions and values of the organization. Proper communication between the mentors and team members helps in skill development of an individual, foster large scale change and action learning initiatives (Shrestha, 2017).

For example: We could never board on a plane if Wright Brothers had never thought of breaking humans thought that only birds can fly in the sky. While in the business context, Microsoft, Toyota, Amazon, Google are famous for adopting and innovating new stuffs in the market and making the impossible, possible.

References

Oliphant, J. (2016). Applying Kouzes & Posner’s leadership Concepts to Poverty Alleviation Work in the Developing World. The Journal of Values-Based Leadership , 6.

Posner, K. a. (2012). The Leadership Challenge. In K. &. Posner, The Leadership Challenge (p. 167). Sanfrancisico, CA: A Wiley Brand.

Shrestha, Y. M. (2017, October 18). A Medium Corporation US . Retrieved from Medium: https://medium.com/@yujeshmalekushrestha

William A. Cohen, P. (2013). THE JOURNALS OF LEADERSHIP APPLICATIONS . The Institute of Leadership Arts , Vol. 10, No. 3.


#6

Leadership is more than just showing a way to others. A leader should be able to challenge the existing process and seize opportunities if deemed necessary. A leader is always ready for challenges and learns continuously from the processes (Bennis & Townsend, 1989).

Leaders can take following initiative to seize opportunities within organizations are

Manage Risk : Taking the challenge doesn’t mean blindly accepting the risks without any calculations. Leaders should be calculative and take risks measuring the effects cautiously. They weigh the pros and cons of taking a risk, determine if this is reasonable to take this experimentation and try to minimize the risk as much as possible. For instance, in the world cup finale of 2011, Mahendra singh Dhoni, who usually bats down the order, promoted himself up to bat before Yuvraj Singh after analyzing the pitch condition and observing the direction of the game. He scored an unbeaten 91 to lead his team to win the world cup (Guruprasad, 2011).

Sharing Organizational Values : Leaders continuously engage with others. They observe their followers, try to identify their vision and align them with the organizational values and vision. When the goals are aligned, then productivity increases and the process and activities become more effective and efficient. Sharing the vision helps others to act independently without seeking for orders from the leader. This leads to the growth of employees as well as the organization.

When earthquake shook the nation back in 2015, fellows who were in different districts initiated the relief process before there was any official news from Teach for Nepal. The fellows are sent to the community as change makers/leaders who would work for the communal development. Sharing these values and empowering the fellows helped them initiate this action without waiting for any instructions from the organization (Sharma, 2015).

Training and Development Activities : Developing skills of the employees is essential as they make the employees feel valued and gives an opportunity to the organization to grab any opportunities as a result of such developments. Besides, being more skilful also aids in making the process much easier for the organization. For instance, digitizing the existing manual process not only makes the storage part more efficient, it also helps the employee develop reports easily and in a short amount of time.

Lead Courageously : When the stakes are high, even if the process involves high risks, leaders lead with a lot of courage. They are proactive and lead from the front. They take this opportunity to show why they are the leaders. They do not shy away from taking the responsibility even if things do not go in a desired way.

In wars, the captains are the ones that lead from the front and in time of escaping, they are the last ones to leave.

Seek for Opportunity : Opportunities do not come knocking your doors. One should grab it as soon as they are identified. Leaders should be observant and mindful to notice any opportunities that come and be ready to take advantage of the opportunities. This is a world of collaboration. Leaders are constantly looking for ways to maximize value for their organization. They seek to collaborate with organizations which would help create value for them (Goleman, 2000).

References

Bennis, W. G., & Townsend, R. (1989). On becoming a leader (Vol. 36). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Goleman, D. (2000). Leadership that gets results. Harvard business review, 78 (2), 4-17.

Guruprasad, K. R. (2011). Going places: India’s small-town cricket heroes . Penguin Books India.

Sharma, D. C. (2015). Nepal earthquake exposes gaps in disaster preparedness. The Lancet, 385 (9980), 1819-1820.