Custom «Journal Critique: Four-Factor Model for Effective Project Leadership Competency» Essay Paper Sample

Journal Critique: Four-Factor Model for Effective Project Leadership Competency

Four-Factor Model for Effective Project Leadership Competency

Leadership in a company is an important aspect because it guides employees towards achieving organizational goals. The concept of project management is vital, as enterprises in the society today continue to perform projects on a regular basis. Initially, project managers were outsourced from external enterprises, but companies have realized the importance of having trained project leaders who work specifically for the firm. According to Redick, Reyna, Schaffer, and Toomey (2014), the leaders should apply the four-factor approach for leadership aptitude to ensure that they demonstrate their best in their projects. These four aspects that include self-leadership, managing others, environmental and psychological factors encourage the successful leadership of a project. The authors elaborate on how crucial it is for a project to be headed by leaders who incorporate the four factors in leadership, which provides a firm with a competitive advantage. Leaders who understand their position in a company and can incorporate the four-factor model of leadership provide the effective leadership of projects and lead a firm to great success.

Purpose Statement

This journal critique aims to enhance the understanding of the article by analyzing the four-factor model as the central theme of the article and by highlighting the application of this model as the key point. Moreover, this journal critique aims to elaborate on how the four-factor model can be applied to project management development and risk management. Such approach can guarantee effective leadership which in turn leads to the achievement of the project and organizational objectives. The journal critique explains the concepts such as anticipatory stressors and personal leadership accountability presented as new terms. Finally, the paper explores questions such as the effectiveness of the four-factor model and the application of the approach by managers.

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Article Themes and Central Points

The Four-Factor Approach to Leadership. The four-factor model of leadership is the central theme discussed in the journal, and the authors seek to elaborate on how these aspects can be articulated into the leadership styles of a leader. Redick et al. (2014) discuss how these factors allow the personal growth of a leader and how it becomes easy for the leader to apply this growth in their project.

Self-Leadership. As discussed in the journal, self-leadership entails understanding oneself. This factor involves the leader knowing their strengths and weaknesses and learning how to control their emotions. Empowerment, positivity, and communication are the key ideas discussed in the self-leadership approach. Empowerment requires a leader to convey their faith and trust to the team members (Redick et al., 2014). Moreover, understanding that the team members honor the leader should motivate the leader to be humble and inspiring. For example, a leader should not brag about their achievements or humiliate employees. On the contrary, the chief should be confident, listen to, direct, and empower employees. Communication is discussed as another aspect of self-leadership. The authors stress the importance of having a two-way communication in which the leader can converse with the employees and the team can respond. Importantly, a leader should learn and accept self-criticism through balancing their emotions (Nixon, Harrington, & Parker, 2012). Proper communication is important as it encourages the leader to successfully explain to the team the goals and expectations that the firm anticipates. Finally, self-leadership inspires positivity. A leader should be aware of the challenges that they will face in the project and remain positive as the team members extol their leader. Negativity and emotional intensity about a challenge discourage employees, and they culminate in losing their respect and confidence in the leader.

 
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Leading Others. Effective leadership as discussed in the article entails understanding the team and successful leading towards the achievement of organizational and the project goal. The key points elaborated in this article include conflict resolution, cohesive teams, and motivation. An occurrence of conflict is unescapable. A leader should, therefore, be open-minded to listen to the conflict presented by the conflicting parties. This ability will encourage conflict resolution and the smooth operations of a project (Redick et al., 2014). Furthermore, cohesive teams are necessary for a project as they are not planned and built overnight. A leader must understand the four processes of group formation and be aware of the challenges in each stage. Through this approach, the leader nurtures and cultivates the team and encourages cohesion (Zhang & Bartol, 2010). When thinking of leadership, one also refers to motivation. A leader should be motivated to increase the contribution and productivity of employees and team members in the project.

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Environmental Approach. The article discusses environmental factors enforced by the organization and surrounding. Strategic thinking encompasses logical and strategical reasoning towards the accomplishment of the project aims. The leader understands the importance of managing the resources provided by the firm and using these assets towards achieving organizational goals. The vision of a leader should be in alignment with strategic thinking (Yukl, 2012). A leader should be aware of the organizational vision and the expected challenges when trying to achieve this idea. The vision shapes the mind of the leader and helps to think carefully about decisions and moves taken in a project. A leader holds substantial power and influence in both the organization and the project. The leader should, therefore, use this power and influence for the benefit of the team and not for the selfish gains.

Psychological Factors. Psychological factors are essential towards the achievement of the three above-mentioned aspects of leadership. One key idea discussed in this issue is stress. Stress is caused psychologically and can damage a project severely. Constant tension is inevitable in a project, and a leader should have the skills to recognize stress in the employees and team members in order to mitigate the pressure before it causes the project to fail (Redick et al., 2014). For instance, if work overload causes stress, the leader should reduce the work amount of the employees by expanding the staff to ensure that each person excels in a company.

Application to Project Management

Project Team Development. The development of a team is crucial in terms of the leadership skills of a leader. There are five critical stages of team development, such as forming, which is the beginning of the team formation. Another type is storming, in which conflicts arise as the group continues to form. The third stage occurs when the team members resolve their conflicts and begin to work as a team. The performing stage involves building of trust and reliability among team members, and each is working towards the achievement of the goal (Wheelan, 2014). Finally, adjourning is when the team has accomplished its mission and objectives and is dismantled. Each of these stages requires a leader who has successfully integrated the four-factor model of leadership in their work. In particular, self-leadership and managing others are vital during the forming and storming stages (Burke & Barron, 2014). The leader should be patient with the team as well as communicate and empower the members to achieve the goals. By motivating the team members, the leader can ensure that the group does not collapse during the difficult stage of storming. The psychological and environmental factors can be best applied during the norming and the performing stage. For example, the leader has encouraged and cultivated the team to remain cohesive. Therefore, strategic thinking and vision for the team should be enforced at this stage. Moreover, the team members will enhance their performance if they are not stressed. This four-factor model is positively integrated into the team development, and a positive leader will motivate the team to demonstrate good performance results.

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Risk management. A risk can deprive the team of balance and hinder the achievement of organizational and project goals. In a team, a good leader can efficiently handle risk management. Instead of being emotional and panicking when a risk occurs, a leader should be confident and encourage the team to face the challenge and to find solutions to it. In fact, risk management entails understanding that a project will face challenges and difficulties and include planning for strategies that the team will employ to mitigate these risks (Hass, 2009). Furthermore, environmental factors are important during risk management. A leader who thinks strategically can provide solutions that will guarantee the achievement of organizational and project goal if a risk occurs. A leader who is vision oriented can see the challenges that the team will face in the project and devise measures that will be implemented to guarantee that the team will overcome the risk. In some projects, a risk manager is employed to work hand in hand with the project manager. In other situations, a project manager is obliged to perform the duties of a risk manager. The project manager can be successful in performing these roles if they integrate the four-factor leadership approach.

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Understanding Concepts and Ideas

Personal Leadership Accountability. Leadership involves heading a group or a team towards the achievement of the goals or objectives stipulated by a company. Thus, leadership starts with an individual being accountable for their actions without letting emotions crowd their judgment. According to the article, the leader must employ the personal leadership accountability to lead the team successfully. This recommendation involves being empowered which suggests that a leader is confident with their actions and is humble towards others. Moreover, empowerment means that the leader is self-aware of the skills and the input they bring to the team (Gill, 2011). Personal leadership accountability also involves positivity, where a leader is not discouraged by challenges and understands the need to keep their emotions controlled. Leaders guided by their emotions do not have leadership accountability skills, and in most cases, they cause a team to be discouraged and cynical about their actions. A leader who can direct and control themselves motivates and inspires team members to attain the goals and vision of a project and an organization.

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Anticipatory Stressors. The authors discuss anticipatory stressors among the four types of stressors that team members face in a project. Anticipatory stressors are caused by certain factors such as fear of the unexpected. In a project, each member is tasked with certain roles and duties. Each responsibility must be accomplished towards the attainment of the overall goal of the firm. There are members who are afraid and experience anxiety and panic attacks when thinking of their failure before accomplishing their responsibilities (Redick et al., 2014). Moreover, unpleasant expectations such as the encounter of a risk in a project may cause anticipatory stressors. The four-factor model prepares leaders for this stress and equips them with the strategy to solve such issues. For instance, anticipatory stressors can be resolved by asking employees to set personal goals. Through this, they can moderate their tasks and efficiently prepare themselves towards the attainment of their personal targets, which in turn motivates them to achieve the objectives of the project.

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Questions Generated by the Article

The article thoroughly explains the four-factor model in encouraging effective leadership qualities in leaders. Some questions, however, arise from the concept presented. For instance, what is the implementation process for this model and its significance for a leader? This question of the effectiveness of the model is thought-provoking. In the society today, leaders are motivated to excel themselves in what they do. Furthermore, it is vital to achieve organizational goals in the most effective and quickest way possible (Wheelan, 2014). Trueleaders do not care for personal leadership accountability, and they focus on leading others without inspiring themselves. For those who apply the four-factor model, they are considered weak and slow.

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There is the dissimilarity between leadership and management. This information probes one to ask the question whether a manager can apply the four-factor approach in their roles. Leadership and management do not illustrate the same meaning, as the function of a leader is to guide and lead, while that of a manager is to manage effectively. Therefore, one can be confused whether the four-factor model is applicable to managers.

This article also provokes the question of the ability of the leader to bring the team together to achieve the intended goals. Are these factors sufficient to transform a poor leader into a better leader? (Zhang & Bartol, 2010). This question is significant as it allows a reader to research more on the four-factor model and decide on what can be added to the approach. Moreover, it allows one to solve a case study involving a poor leader who might require the skills discussed in the four-factor model to guide successfully and lead the team.

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Conclusion

The four-factor model as discussed in the journal allows leaders to think about not only themselves but also their team members and employees. The implementation of the self-leadership skills, managing ideas, and psychological and environmental aspects of the approach allow the personal growth as well as the growth of the team. Leaders who are inspiring and motivating towards their team can bring a team together and enforce organizational visions in the employees through strategic thinking. The application of the four-factor model in project management guarantees the development of teams and the successful risk management.

 

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