Essays on Importance of Goals in Motivation and Leadership Essay

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The paper 'Importance of Goals in Motivation and Leadership' is a great example of a Management Essay. According to Latham (2007, p 267-268), a goal is a control mechanism used for monitoring, evaluating, and realigning individual, group, or organizational behavior. A goal is an instrumental tool because it grants people a sense of accomplishment. Goal setting is an exceptional tool for aligning one’ s thoughts towards future expectations and motivation via converting a vision into reality. The process of goal setting greatly influences individual, group, and organizational behavior because it has a direct influence on actions.

Ideally, a goal-setting process involves establishing a vision and creating strategies that would be applied to bring the vision into reality. Without having pre-set goals, the concept of leadership will never be fruitful because goals add meaning to a leader’ s undertakings. Goals form the epicenter of motivation and leadership because of its association with the power of purpose. Few will contend the fact that having a clear set of goals, either at the personal, group or organizational levels, is a crucial foundation for success. Goals play a key role in enhancing both motivation and leadership via measuring progress, concentrating energies and actions in a desirable direction, and achieving purposeful results. Locke & Latham (2002, p 705), in their theory of goal setting, established a clear linkage between goal setting and motivation.

In Locke’ s pioneering work, he discovered that there was a close link between setting goals, using appropriate feedback, and achieving employee motivation. Latham cemented the theory by analyzing the influence of goal setting in the workplace. His study revealed that there was an unquestionable connection between goal setting and workplace performance.

Other studies conducted by Leithwood & Reihl (2003, p 45) proved that goal setting, that is, establishing a vision and setting direction, was a core practice for successful leadership. According to them, the two elements, which define goal setting lie at the heart of leadership. Main body Importance of goals in motivation and leadership from an individual perspective From an individual perspective, goals also play an instrumental role in motivation and leadership. Leadership at the individual level can be attested by the presence of proactive and self-driven tendencies aimed at achieving personal goals and aspirations.

Having personal goals pushes an individual to design strategic operations necessary for achieving personal satisfaction. Bandura (1997, p 236) suggested that goal-setting influences one’ s level of motivation, including beliefs concerning the capability of learning or degree at which one is able to perform and undertake self-evaluation. As noted by Robinson et al (2009, p 405), goal setting creates a certain form of discrepancy that is presented as constructive discontent. The form of constructive discontent will transform into motivation through persistent, goal-oriented behavior.

Individual goals focus one’ s attention towards areas of interest and ultimately result in more resolute and sustained effort necessary for achieving the best. Latham & Locke (2006, p. 526) coined the importance of differentiating between personal and assigned goals. According to them, personal goals are associated with an individual’ s sense of efficacy. It is the sense of self-efficacy that dictates the direction of personal action. People that have high levels of self-efficacy tend to assign themselves challenging goals. Having high levels of self-efficacy, together with the capacity to produce a salubrious result when handling challenging goals, indicates confidence in personal leadership qualities.

Tackling challenging goals on a regular basis plays a useful part in improving the level of personal efficacy. The concept of efficacy is useful in comprehending the connection existing between goals, motivation, and leadership at the individual level. Ideally, efficacy reflects the belief held by someone concerning his or her perceived ability. The belief attached to efficacy determines the choice of activities to engage in and coping abilities required during the implementation of personal strategies. Efficacy also measures how much an individual will be willing to exert the effort and duration of tenacity in the face of struggle or failure (Louis et al 2010, p.

156).

References

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Kark, R. (2007). Motivation To Lead, Motivation To Follow: The Role Of The Self-Regulatory Focus In Leadership Processes.. Academy of Management Review, 32(2), 500-528.

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Leithwood, K. & Reihl, C. (2003). What we know about successful school leadership. Philadelphia: Laboratory for student success, Temple University.

Locke, E. & Latham, G. (2002). Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation: A 35-year Odyssey. American Psychologist, 57(9), 705-717.

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