Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Want to be successful
in the business world? You’ll need to plan, organize, staff, lead and control
your team to get across the finish line.
That means being both and effective
manager – executing the day-to-day work of business – and a transformative
leader – developing a vision for success and inspiring others to work together
to achieve it. Great leaders are
quick on their feet and adaptive because they know there is no one-size-fits-all
management style when you’re leading a team with a diverse set of skills,
backgrounds and talents and opinions.
We spoke with Sameer
Vaidya, professor of business, about why leadership matters, what adaptive leadership
is, and how he’s preparing a new generation of leaders at Texas Wesleyan.
Q: Why does good
leadership matter in business?
A: “Despite all the
technological advancements, running a business is still all about
people. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your people and
galvanizing them to achieve a common goal is the difference between a great
business and a mediocre one. Effective leaders are able to motivate and
challenge their employees to stretch their limits.”
Q: What is adaptive
A: “To me, adaptive leadership
is the ability to lead diverse groups of people through dynamic, turbulent, and
fluid situations. Adaptive leaders are just as effective in leading a group
of experienced workers through a business reorganization as they are leading a
group of freshly-minted college degree holders through a brand-new project.”
Q: How do you teach
student to become better leaders?
A: “I teach my students to be
honest with themselves as it relates to their own strengths and weaknesses when
dealing with co-workers, subordinates, and supervisors. I emphasize the
importance of possessing and, when necessary, honing their emotional
intelligence skills. We discuss relevant theories and cases regarding
current leaders we analyze traits, characteristics, and behaviors associated
with effective leading. It’s fascinating to see students begin to grasp