Leadership Quality: A Major Factor of Improving Apparel Productivity

Impact of Leadership On Apparel Productivity:
It is generally said that one of the major differences that sets successful organizations apart from unsuccessful ones is the presence of effective leadership. A successful organization with ordinary and poor quality managers is unthinkable. Actually a situation like that does not exist. Leadership is defined as some traits or qualities that can influence and inspire people to strive willingly to achieve organizational goals. Thus managers or business leaders under congenial environment can have his people motivated. 

Leadership qualities in apparel industry
Fig: Leadership qualities in apparel industry
Essential Characteristics of a Good Leader:
Managers & supervisory personnel should have the below qualities:
  1. Drive: Achievement, ambition, energy, tenacity, initiative.
  2. Honesty & integrity,
  3. Self-confidence (Including emotional stability),
  4. Cognitive ability,
  5. Knowledge of the business,
  6. Other traits like charisma, creativity, originally, flexibility etc. 
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Gary A. Yukl found the below traits to be features of a successful managers or leaders.
SL No.
Trait
Skill
01
Adaptable to situations
Clever (Intelligent)
02
Alert to social environment
Conceptually skilled
03
Ambitious & achievement
Creative
04
Assertive
Diplomatic & tactful
05
Cooperative
Fluent in speaking
06
Decisive
Knowledgeable about group task
07
Dependable
Organized
08
Dominant
Persuasive
09
Energetic (High activity level)
Socially skilled
10
Persistent

11
Self-confident

12
Tolerant of stress

13
Willing to assume responsibility

Warren Bennis after four years of research identified four major areas of competence shared by some of the most competent leaders: 

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1. Management of Attention:
This is a capability of leaders to infuse a sense of outcome, goal, direction that influence followers.

2. Management of Meaning:
This is an ability to communicate meaning with clarity & understanding to the followers and subordinates.

3. Management of Trust:
The ability to be trustworthy & reliable.

4. Management of Self:
The ability to know one’s strength & weakness & to use one’s skill within that limit. 


What are the Qualities of a Bad Leader?

There are some traits which can erode leadership qualities such as the following:
  1. Insensitive to others: Abrasive, intimidating, bullying style etc.
  2. Cold, aloof, arrogant.
  3. Unreliable, untrustworthy.
  4. Overly ambitious: Always thinking of self-advancement, playing policies.
  5. Having specific performance problems with the business.
  6. Unable to deligate power to others or build a team overmanning.
  7. Unable to staff effectively.
  8. Unable to think strategically.
  9. Unable to adapt to boss with different style.
  10. Over dependent on advocate or mentor etc. 
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Leadership Styles and Their Impact on Employee Productivity:
How effective leadership leads to better performance & higher organizational effectiveness is well illustrated by the so called Path-Goal Theory which is related to Expectancy Model of Motivation Theories. Expectancy Theory maintains that employees are motivated to do that job against which there is reward and if that reward is expected to satisfy them. 

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The following diagram shows how this leads to better organizational performance:
  1. Leader defines what followers must do to attain organizational goals →→ Leader clarifies followers work role →→ Follower gains increased knowledge & confidence to accomplish the outcomes →→ Follower increases efforts & motivation→→ Organizational goal is attained.
  2. Leader learns follower’s needs →→ Leader matches the needs to rewards if goal is attained →→ leader increases value of work outcomes →→ Follower increases efforts & motivation→→ Organizational goal is attained. 
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Researchers of Ohio & Michigan Universities grouped leadership behavior into task-oriented & employee oriented. Task oriented behavior emphasizes activities towards achievement of organizational goals while employee oriented behavior highlights better relationship with the subordinates, respecting their ideas & feelings and establishing mutual trust. The first group represents authoritarian styles while the latter represents democratic style of leadership.

A right leadership quality is to strike a balance so that employee relationship becomes a helping hand in achieving organizational goals.