When we think of great leaders, we often picture people who are respected by others and who have made a positive difference in the world. In reality, becoming a great leader involves more than just being able to inspire people. It also requires understanding how to lead and motivate people within an organization effectively. To do this, someone must know how all aspects of an organization work together — from the processes involved to how culture affects performance.
The Fundamental Challenge of Leadership
Leadership is complex, dynamic, and uncertain. Leadership literature does not offer a complete prescription for effective leadership. In fact, some argue that there are no easy answers to the question of what makes a good leader.
Leadership is not a science; it involves knowledge and skills but also situational factors (for example, political and institutional climates) and personal qualities (for example, values). Leadership requires both formal roles (such as those held by executives) and informal roles (such as those held by team members).
An Organization’s Behavior and Processes
Behavior and processes are important to understand because they affect how people work together and make decisions. Behavior is the actions of individuals and groups, whereas processes include how people work together and how they interact with each other. Processes can be formal or informal, visible or invisible, explicit or implicit. Processes that have been documented are often called ‘the rules’ — the more formal ones may be written down, but others may simply be understood by everyone who works in an organization.
However, if you want to understand how something truly works, you must understand both types of processes. Those that are visible such as job descriptions and performance management systems (and all their associated rules), but also those processes which aren’t written down but still operate within an organization, such as ‘you’re only allowed one coffee per day.’
Why Understanding Organizational Behavior is Essential for Becoming a Great Leader
Organizational behavior is a field of study that focuses on why people behave the way they do in organizations and what factors influence their behavior. It’s commonly referred to as OB in academia, but it’s also known as industrial/organizational psychology or I/O psychology. OB deals with motivation, leadership, group dynamics, and conflict resolution issues. Understanding organizational behavior is essential for any leader who wants to lead effectively and efficiently — not only because it helps them understand their employees’ behaviors better but also because it allows them to predict how these behaviors will affect the organization’s success moving forward.
Why It Matters to Leaders
Organizational behavior is the study of how people interact with one another in organizations, which can be anything from a small business to a Fortune 500 company. It differs from other fields of psychology because it focuses on how people behave when working together instead of examining individual thought processes.
Organizational behavior is important for leaders because it gives them insight into what makes their employees tick — what motivates them to do their jobs well and stay with the organization? How can you, as a leader, make sure your employees are happy at work? What changes can you make to improve productivity or employee satisfaction?
Why Leaders Need To Be On Of Highest Organizational Behavior
You must understand organizational behavior when you’re a leader and want to lead well. Here is why:
Leaders Understand How Individual And Group Behaviors Affect Organizational Processes
Organizational behavior is important to leaders because it helps them understand how individual and group behaviors affect organizational processes. In addition, it gives them insight into why people behave the way they do in an organization. This knowledge can help leaders develop strategies for improving employee productivity, job satisfaction, and retention.
For example, suppose a leader knows that one of their employees has obsessive-compulsive tendencies. In that case, they will be better equipped to provide this person with clear instructions instead of allowing them to take on too many tasks and then become overwhelmed by them all. To address these issues, leaders can use organizational behavior skills such as:
● Understanding the relationship between individual and group goals
● Communicating effectively with people from diverse backgrounds
Understanding Organizational Behavior Helps Leaders to Motivate Team Members Effectively
Motivation is the key to unlocking a team’s potential. It is an important part of leadership and a leader who doesn’t understand how motivation works will be unable to lead their team effectively. Motivation can be broken down into two categories: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation refers to internal factors that inspire us to do something. We feel autonomous like we have control over our actions, and we are doing it because we want to do it rather than because someone else wants us to do it.
Extrinsic motivation refers instead to external factors that influence what you do. You might work hard at something because someone told you that if you don’t work hard enough, then they’ll get angry with you or fire you (or worse). Understanding organizational behavior helps leaders to motivate team members effectively. It allows them to see things from their perspective to be more effective leaders who can create the best working conditions for their employees by recognizing where each individual excels or struggles in the workplace.
Leaders With a Grasp of Organizational Behavior Have Better Relationships With Their Followers
Understanding organizational behavior is vital for leaders because it gives them a better understanding of the people they’re leading, which helps them develop more effective relationships with their followers. This means that leaders who understand organizational behavior can better predict how their employees will respond to certain situations or actions and anticipate potential problems before they arise. This is because they’ll be able to:
● Understand how people behave in a work environment, which allows them to connect more effectively with followers and understand the factors that influence their decision-making.
● Create a positive work environment by understanding how emotions influence performance, dealing with conflict in the workplace, managing change, and motivating employees.
Organizational Behavior Helps Leaders Predict and Control Employee Behavior
Understanding organizational behavior gives you insight into why people do what they do, allowing you to take steps toward predicting and controlling their actions. A leader with a good understanding of organizational behavior can read the environment in which they operate. This means being aware of cultural norms related to goal setting, praise, criticism, and so forth — all things that may affect an individual’s motivation level within their specific context (team) at any given time.
Organizational Behavior Helps Leaders Get Out of Their Followers
Organizational behavior looks at how people behave in different situations and the motivations behind their actions. This information can help leaders make better decisions about motivating employees to achieve company goals. For example, suppose a leader knows that employees tend to be more motivated when given autonomy over their work. In that case, they may decide that it would be beneficial for them to allow some employees more freedom when completing tasks rather than giving them specific instructions or guidelines on what needs to be done.
Leaders also need organizational behavior knowledge because it can help them understand why certain people may not perform up to expectations. If a leader understands that one of their employees has been feeling discouraged because they feel they have not been given enough recognition for their work. This information will help them know how best to motivate this employee to feel more satisfied at work.
Complexity and Dynamism of Culture Within An Organization
Organizational culture is the sum of the beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes that characterize a group of people. It’s a shared understanding of how things should be done and what’s important, and it influences how employees interact with one another and how they approach their work. Culture is a powerful force that determines how an organization will be run. It affects everything from its employee retention rate to its customer service quality. Leaders need to understand organizational culture because it has such a large impact on their day-to-day operations.
While it can be a good thing, culture can also be bad. For instance, if your company has had years of success and is known for having great customer service, you want to maintain the culture to keep attracting new customers while keeping existing ones happy. This means you don’t want to change too much. On the other hand, if your company has been doing poorly recently, then maybe changing things up might lead to better results. But at this point, it becomes harder because some people might not necessarily agree with changing things.
Organizational culture has four main attributes:
It is Shared
Everyone in an organization has a sense of what’s acceptable and how to behave. Often this includes unspoken rules that people follow without even thinking about them. For example, many companies frown upon employees having long lunches with colleagues of the opposite sex or engaging in office gossip (or at least prefer employees not to do so). These aren’t written rules — but everyone knows about them anyway.
It is Persistent
Organizational culture tends to be consistent over time; it changes slowly, if at all. Even if you hire new employees who don’t fit into your existing culture, those new hires won’t change your company’s overall culture by themselves. In fact, they may change themselves to fit into your organization better — which only reinforces your existing culture.
It is Pervasive
In this way, culture can be said to have a life of its own. Culture impacts what people do and how they feel about it. It can shape the behavior of individuals within the organization in subtle ways over time. Cultures are continually evolving as people interact with one another and their environment.
It is Implicit
Organizational culture is like a silent language that guides people’s behavior without formal communication. People learn about organizational culture by observing how others behave, inferring from what they observe what others think is appropriate behavior, and then adopting those behaviors themselves. In this way, organizational culture evolves through its members’ actions, words, and deeds in their day-to-day interactions.
The Complexity of Systems Within an Organization
You might have heard of the butterfly effect: a small change can cause a big impact. This concept is at the core of understanding complexity in organizations because systems are complex and dynamic.
The systems within an organization are interrelated, meaning that changes in one area can have consequences for other parts of an organization. For example, getting promoted to manager at work may mean that your current job becomes redundant and needs restructuring to accommodate your new role. When you consider these interrelationships between processes within organizations and recognize that they’re constantly changing — not only due to internal factors but also external ones such as competitors or new markets — it becomes evident how difficult it is for leaders to keep up.
An Advanced Business Degree Can Turn You Into a Great Leader
Leaders are often asked to make decisions and act on behalf of an organization. This requires that they understand the complexity of behavior, processes, systems, and culture within the organization. Leaders who understand the relationship between these elements are better positioned to make decisions that lead to organizational success.
The degree to which leaders understand these concepts will vary based on their educational background and previous experience in leadership roles. A Master of Business administration can help leaders understand this concept and how they apply it to their own experiences as well as those of others within their organizations.
The complexity of the world around us is increasing exponentially, and we can’t expect leaders to cope without being aware of it. Leadership requires knowledge-based decision-making combined with emotional intelligence and empathy. This means that leaders must be equipped with tools that help them deal with complexity to make better decisions for their organizations. By becoming aware of the complexity, chaos, and uncertainty around us, leaders can positively impact their organizations.