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What is Organizational Leadership?

Posted by Early Growth

September 17, 2021    |     6-minute read (1050 words)

Leadership techniques are crucial to the success of an organization yet continues to present a constant headache for businesses the world over. In 2016, a Deloitte survey revealed that 56% of companies are not ready to meet their leadership needs. Organizational leadership has the power to make or break a company. Without appropriate leadership in organizations, companies cannot meet their potential and employees are less motivated. Fostering candidates with leadership potential should be a major priority for any forward-looking business.

Organizational Management vs. Organizational Leadership

Organizational management and leadership are terms often used interchangeably. To define organizational leadership involves management qualities, but not every manager is equipped to be a leader. Rather than a defined role, an organizational leader is marked by their behavior — not their job description.

What is Organizational Management?

Managers may seem to be at the top of the food chain, but their duties focus on people and processes. They are the figures who hold the reins and ensure that different teams and departments meet the standards set by the organization. It’s management 101 that managers have clear goals that must be met. Yet everyone knows what it’s like to work for a bad manager. These managers may get the job done, but they are not necessarily leaders.

What is Organizational Leadership?

Organizational leadership, on the other hand, does not fall onto a strict level of the corporate hierarchy. Leaders may be found in any area of an organization. Organization leadership is a distinct type of behavior. These are the people who coach and inspire others, whether they work directly with them or are in a further afield role. The organizational leadership definition is difficult to define for this reason. It is also tough for companies to nurture these talented individuals.

Why is Organizational Leadership Important?

As you can see, organizational leadership is crucial to motivating employees for success and inspiring those within a company. While this is a huge reason why leadership is so important, it also factors into many other aspects of an organization. Here are some reasons why companies must prioritize the leaders of tomorrow:

  • Embrace Change

    – The business world constantly evolves and changes. Leaders who embrace this change are better placed to position the organization to overcome its competitors.
  • Effective Resource Management

    – Unlike organizational management, leaders are ready to encourage people in the direction they are best suited for. This helps companies to get the most out of each individual.
  • Improve Morale

    – Great leaders are memorable. Not only can they train and inspire, but they also make it more likely that an organization will retain its top talent.
Leaders define businesses. They can extract every last ounce of potential and attract greater talents. It is fair to say that finding the right people for your organization’s leadership can take your business to the next level.

Traits of an Organizational Leader

It’s been established that these high-quality leaders are defined by their behaviors. But what is organizational leadership in terms of the traits these figures bring to the table? The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) defines strong leaders as people who are proactive, flexible, analytical, strategic, well-positioned, and culturally competent.

Leaders typically possess both charisma and technical expertise. They are open-minded, forward-thinking, and determined never to stand still. At the same time, they are highly personable, willing to build relationships, and always searching for new ways to inspire. These are the people employees naturally gravitate towards.

What is an Organizational Leadership Degree Program?

Natural leaders are rare. Instead, companies must look toward pinpointing potential leaders and nurturing their talents. Leadership degree programs focus on business and management principles, adapting leadership, conflict resolution, ethics, decision making, and leading diverse groups.

Every degree program differs in the way they teach vital skills. All of them involve putting theoretical knowledge into practice through formally assessed group projects. Graduates of leadership degree programs will already have the theory and practical prowess to begin implementing their new skills in the workplace.

What is Your Organizational Leadership Style?

Not every leader is the same. There are countless individual and hybrid leadership styles. In most cases, it takes time for leaders to fall into one specific style. Understanding leadership styles enable high-level decision-makers to employ their leaders in the best possible way. Some of the different leadership styles include:
  • Transactional

    – Uses a reward and punishment system for completing a task. Commission-based roles are examples of this style.
  • Transformative

    – These leaders inspire and innovate within teams. Workers receive a high level of autonomy as part of a flexible system.
  • Servant

    – These leaders always put others first. The number one priority of these leaders is to help their charges develop. Servant leadership leads to environments with high morale.
  • Democratic/Participative

    – Ideas are discussed, and decisions are made based on team consensus.
  • Autocratic

    – Opposite of democratic, leaders rule as authoritarians with a clear chain of command.
  • Bureaucratic

    – Otherwise known as by the book leadership, this style is defined by clear management processes with little flexibility.
  • Charismatic

    – These leaders are visionaries and come with big personalities. Figures like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs are examples of charismatic leaders.
  • Laissez-Faire

    – Hands-off leadership. Employees are trusted to get the job done without having someone looking over their shoulders.
Some leaders may display multiple leadership styles. You should weigh the pros and cons of each leadership style to determine which one works best for your organization.

Find Your Career in Organizational Leadership

Becoming an organizational leader is highly gratifying because you get to inspire others, take control, and elevate both company and employee. So, what careers are possible for those who have shown their talent as organizational leaders?
  • Sales manager
  • Marketing manager
  • Human resources manager
  • Employee trainers
  • Project managers
  • Military recruiters
  • Management consultants
Proven leaders are in high demand and therefore, qualified candidates can command high salaries and rich job prospects.


Great leaders are hard to find. Degree programs help to nurture talent, but organizations must have the setup designed to help leaders emerge in the first place. If you believe your business can benefit from outstanding leadership, it’s time to consult Early Growth. We can help you get the people you need to elevate your business and get your operations done. Contact Early Growth to start inspiring your people today.

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