Leadership and Organizations

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            Leadership in an organization is influenced by many aspects related to organizational context including actors, culture, structure, and environment.  The actors in an organization are the individuals who authority to become leaders within the organization at any level.  Taking an athletic program for example, leadership can be shown from the athletic director, coaches, and captains of individual teams.  From some experiences I have had I noticed that the leadership style of a person higher up in the organization would often trickle down and show itself in lower positions as well.  The culture of an organization has an inverse relationship with leadership and may be one of the biggest influences on a sport organization in relation to leadership.  In a new organization the leadership style of the organization may affect the formation of the organizational culture.  While in an organization that has been around for a while and with a culture that is changing by bringing in new employees and taking a different approach to obtaining their goals the leadership style may change with the culture of the organization.  Another big factor in organizational leadership is the structure of an organization.  A small organization that has few employees and a flatter structure may not need strong leadership from a single person to be successful.  They may use shared leadership to get things accomplished within their small group of people.  In my experience working as a lifeguard at my high school this was the case.  We had a staff of maybe ten lifeguards and then our supervisor.  I would say my supervisor showed a very laissez-faire leadership style which allowed us to all work together as a group.  Leadership within the group changed people often.  However, when an organization grows and their structure becomes taller a natural leader will most likely appear and will most likely be in the higher levels of management.  The environment is another factor that goes into leadership.  Some external things to the organization could very well affect a leader and their leadership style to some extent.  The current state of the economy is one factor of environment that could play a role in leadership.  In a down economy the leader must demonstrate trust to his/her subordinates to make them feel like they will not lose their jobs in the coming days.  The leader may need to show a higher level of individual consideration in their leadership style to accomplish this.  Leadership in an organization can be influenced by many factors.  The most prominent factors include actors, culture, structure, and environment of the organization.  From my experiences I believe culture and structure to have the most influence on the leadership within a sport organization.