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Leadership October 24, 2008

Posted by lpriya in Management.
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Good leaders are made not born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience. This guide will help you through that process. To inspire your workers into higher levels of teamwork, there are certain things you must be, know, and, do. These do not come naturally, but are acquired through continual work and study. Good leaders are continually working and studying to improve their leadership skills; they are NOT resting on their laurels. . The basis of good leadership is honorable character and selfless service to your organization. In your employees’ eyes, your leadership is everything you do that effects the organization’s objectives and their well-being.

Scope of Leadership:

One can govern oneself, or one can govern the whole earth. In between, we may find leaders who operate primarily within:

Intertwined with such categories, and overlapping them, we find for example religious leaders potentially with their own internal hierarchies,work-place leaders=corporate officer|executives,senior management-senior/upper managers; middle management|middle managers, staff-managers, line-managers,team leader, supervisors and leaders of voluntary associations.

Some anthropological ideas envisage a widespread but by no means universal pattern of progression in the organization of society in ever-larger groups,with the needs and practices of leadership changing accordingly. Thus simple dispute resolution may become legalistic dispensation of justice before developing into proactive legislature/legislative activity. Some leadership careers parallel this sort of progression: today’s school-board chairperson may become tomorrow’s city councilor, then take in say a mayor dom before graduating to nation-wide politics. Compare the “cursus honorum” in ancient Rome.

Definition of Leadership:

The word leadership can refer to:

  1. Those entities that perform one or more acts of leading.

  2. The ability to affect human behavior so as to accomplish a mission.

  3. Influencing a group of people to move towards its goal setting or goal achievement.

Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership attributes, such as beliefs, values, ethics, character, knowledge, and skills.

The Two Most Important Keys to Effective Leadership:

  • Trust and confidence in top leadership was the single most reliable predictor of employee satisfaction in an organization.

  • Effective communication by leadership in three critical areas was the key to winning organizational trust and confidence:

Principles of Leadership:

Know yourself and seek self-improvement – In order to know yourself, you have to understand your be, know, and do, attributes. Seeking self-improvement means continually strengthening your attributes.

Be technically proficient – As a leader, you must know your job and have a solid familiarity with your employees’ tasks.

Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions – Search for ways to guide your organization to new heights. And when things go wrong, they always do sooner or later — do not blame others. Analyze the situation, take corrective action, and move on to the next challenge.

Make sound and timely decisions – Use good problem solving, decision making, and planning tools.

Know your people and look out for their well-being – Know human nature and the importance of sincerely caring for your workers.

Develop a sense of responsibility in your workers – Help to develop good character traits that will help them carry out their professional responsibilities.

Use the full capabilities of your organization – By developing a team spirit, you will be able to employ your organization, department, section, etc. to its fullest capabilities.

Factors of leadership:

There are four major factors in leadership:

Different people require different styles of leadership. For example, a new hire requires more supervision than an experienced employee. A person who lacks motivation requires a different approach than one with a high degree of motivation. You must know your people! The fundamental starting point is having a good understanding of human nature, such as needs, emotions, and motivation. You must come to know your employees’ be, know, and do attributes.

You must have an honest understanding of who you are, what you know, and what you can do. Also, note that it is the followers, not the leader who determines if a leader is successful. If they do not trust or lack confidence in their leader, then they will be uninspired. To be successful you have to convince your followers, not yourself or your superiors, that you are worthy of being followed.

You lead through two-way communication. Much of it is nonverbal. For instance, when you “set the example,” that communicates to your people that you would not ask them to perform anything that you would not be willing to do. What and how you communicate either builds or harms the relationship between you and your employees.

All are different. What you do in one situation will not always work in another. You must use your judgment to decide the best course of action and the leadership style needed for each situation. For example, you may need to confront an employee for inappropriate behavior, but if the confrontation is too late or too early, too harsh or too weak, then the results may prove ineffective.

Various forces will affect these factors. Examples of forces are your relationship with your seniors, the skill of your people, the informal leaders within your organization, and how your company is organized.

Goals, Values, and Concepts:

Leaders exert influence on the environment via three types of actions:

  1. The goals and performance standards they establish.

  2. The values they establish for the organization.

  3. The business and people concepts they establish.

Successful organizations have leaders who set high standards and goals across the entire spectrum, such as strategies, market leadership, plans, meetings and presentations, productivity, quality, and reliability.

Values reflect the concern the organization has for its employees, customers, investors, vendors, and surrounding community. These values define the manner in how business will be conducted.

Concepts define what products or services the organization will offer and the methods and processes for conducting business.

These goals, values, and concepts make up the organization’s “personality” or how the organization is observed by both outsiders and insiders. This personality defines the roles, relationships, rewards, and rites that take place.

Role, Task, Responsibility, and Source of Power of a Leader:

  • The role of a leader is to create followers who are also self-leaders.

  • The task of a leader is to bring about constructive and necessary change.

  • The responsibility of a leader is to bring about the change in a way that is responsive to the true and long-term needs of all stakeholders.

  • The greatest source of power available to a leader is the trust that derives from faithfully serving followers.