Leadership Concept and Nature of Leadership

Leadership is the process of influencing other towards the accomplishment of goals. It is the ability of a manager to induce subordinates to work with confidence and zeal. A key to effective leadership is helping followers to achieve their respective essentials goals as well as their maximum potentialities. Dynamic leader, therefore, should have the ability to awaken in other the desire to follow a common objective in a given situation. Leadership thus, is a function of the leader, the followers and other situational variables.

L = F(I, F, S)

Leadership does not flourish in vacuum. It always envisages followers. Further leadership envisages the idea of interpersonal influence.

The term "leadership" has been derived from the word "to lead". The word "to lead" has two meanings as 'to excel or to be in advance' and 'to guide, govern and command others or to head an organization'. Therefore, leadership is the process of influencing others towards the accomplishment of goals. It is the ability of a manager to induce staffs to work with confidence. In other words, leadership is the special quality of a person who can influence the other people. In other words, it is the ability to influence the people for accomplishment of the goal of an organization. Leadership is the ability to build up confidence and zeal among the people and to create the urge in them to lead. To be a successful leader, a manager must possess qualities of foresight, initiative, drive, self confidence, positive attitude and personal integrity.

A key to effective leadership is helping followers to achieve their respective essential goals as well as their maximum potentialities. Dynamic leaders, therefore, should have the ability to awaken in others, the desire to follow a common objective in a given situation. Leadership, thus, is a function of the leader, the followers and other situational variables. Without leadership no organization can run smoothly. A leader may or may not be manager, but a successful manager must be a leader. It means, every manager is a leader but every leader is not a manager. A manager must build up confidence in the subordinates and he must have influencing behavior, controlling power, organizing and convincing ability, trust worthy and positive attitude. A manager having positive attitude and formal authority can direct and guide his subordinates and command them by virtue of his personal power. But, as a leader, the manager can influence the work behavior by means of his leadership ability to get the cooperation of all members of the group without use of the force.

The following are some of the important definitions given by different experts.

"Leadership refers to the quality of behavior of the individual whereby they guide people on their activities in organized effort." – Chester Barnard

"Leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is the human factor which binds a group together and motivates it towards goals." – Keith Davis

"Managerial leadership is the process of directing and influencing the task related activities of group members." - Stoner

"Leadership is the ability of influencing people to survive willingly for mutual objectives." – George R. Terry

"Leadership may be defined as the ability to exert interpersonal influence by means of communication towards the achievement of a goal." – Koontz and O'Donnel

From the above definitions, leadership may be defined as a process of influencing group activity towards the achievement of certain goals. Thus, a leader is a person on a group who is capable of influencing the group work willingly. He guides and directs other people and provides purpose and effect to their efforts. Leadership can be an important modifier of behavior of people working in the organization. Effective leadership is necessary for inspiring the people to work for the accomplishment of given objectives. It provides a cohesive force, withholds the group, intact and develops a spirit of co-operation. Effective leadership is also essential for efficient direction of human efforts towards the predetermined goals.

Nature / Characteristics of Leadership 

Leadership has following characteristics: 

  1. Leadership is the process of interpersonal influence by which leader influences the followers.
  2. Leadership is a personal quality. Leadership is the ability to form a group of followers voluntarily without the use of coercion.
  3. Leadership involves the sharing of interest between the leaders and has followers.
  4. Leadership pre-supposes the existence of a group of followers.
  5. Leadership is a continuous process of influencing behavior.
  6. Leadership is not only influences the group but group also influence the leader. In a way, it is a reciprocal relationship.

Effectiveness of Leadership in an Organization

An effective leader represents the organization, initiates the action necessary to keep the organization dynamic and progressive, administers the organization and arranges for planning, organizing, directing and coordinating and interprets the organizational philosophy to internal and external groups in a satisfying manner. Similarly, effective leadership is the process of influencing the behavior and activities of an individual or group for achieving common goals. Effective leadership has following characteristics.

1. Common Goals

Leadership is the ability of influencing behavior of people to work willingly to achieve some common goal. Terry and Franklin states "Leadership is the activity of influencing people to strive willingly mutual objectives". Thus, leadership involves of community of interests between the leader and his followers.

2. Continuous Process

Leadership is a continuous process. A leader continuously makes efforts to influence behavior of his group members. He carries on this process by maintaining free flow of two-way communication with the entire group of his followers.

3. Personal Quality

Leadership is a personal quality of a person. It is a behavioral quality and ability to influence others towards accomplishing a goal.

4. Interpersonal Relations

Leadership involves interpersonal relationship between the leader and his group members. A leader influences his group members and at the same time, group members also influence the leader. Thus, a leader does not dominate the will of others but tries to relate the wills of many people to get them work as a team.

5. Shared Function

Leadership is a shared function. A good leader shares everything with his followers. He shares ideas, opinions, experience, credits, blames and soon with his followers. 

6. Dynamic Art

Leadership is a dynamic art. No particular style of leadership is effective in all situations. The effectiveness of leadership depends heavily on the situational variables. Therefore, art of leadership is exercised applied in accordance with the demands of the situations.

7. Influencing and Inspiring Process

Leadership is a process of influencing and inspiring others to work towards objectives. Influencing means regulating and changing behavior, attitudes and feelings of others. The means of influencing others include reward, coercion, expertise, reference and tradition. Leaders can also influence with rational faith, participation and persuasion.

8. Power

Leadership is based on power. A person holding power over others is a leader. By virtue of power, a person is in a position to influence behavior of his group members. A leader may derive power from 
(i) superior knowledge, information experience, or performance, 
(ii) formal authority 
(iii) charisma, and 
(iv) distinct personality characteristics.

Difference between Leadership and Management
Leadership is the process and the art of influencing people to work willingly for achieving a goal.
Management is the process of setting things done through people.
Power and Authority
Leadership is based on power. The power may be derived from formal authority or from any other source.
Management is based on authority which is delegated to a managerial position by a person in superior position.
There need not be a formal relationship between the leader and his followers.
There is a formal relationship between a manager and his sub-ordinates.
Leadership structures are more flexible, open, informal and dynamic than management.
Management is bound by organized formal structure.
Achievement of Goal
Leaders achieve goals by influencing and inspiring others.
Management is bound by organized formal structure.
A leader guides his followers through a special kind of behavior.
Manager guides his subordinates through policies, plans, rules, procedures etc.
Education and Training
There is almost negligible arrangement for formal education and training for leadership.
There are many programs for formal education and training of management.
Leadership does not depend on manager-ship. Hence, all leaders need not be good managers.
Manager-ship includes leadership. Hence, all managers need to be good leaders.

Difference between managers and leaders
Managers Leaders
1. Who direct the work of employees and is responsible for results. 1. Who cope with changes.
2. A manager is appointed and after that get a position. 2. A leader emerges emergence depends a number of situational factors.
3. A manager seeks those objectives, which his subordinates do not regard as their own. Thus there is clash of objectives. 3. A leader generally seeks those objectives, which are the objectives of his subordinates. Thus, there is mutuality of objectives between leader and his followers.
4. Manage complexity through planning and budgeting i.e. setting goals, establishing steps to achieve them and then allocate resources to achieve them. 4. Sets a direction or vision of what the future might look like and then develop strategies to produce changes needed to achieve that vision or direction.
5. Ensure that employees reach their goal by controlling their behavior i.e. they monitor the result by means of reports and meetings and note derivations from the goals. 5. Requires 'motivating and inspiring teams of employees' taps their needs values and emotions.
6. Achieve their goals by 'organizing and staffing' creating an organizational structure and sets of jobs for accomplishing the plans requirements. Staffing the jobs with qualified employees communicating the goals and monitoring the progress. 6. Try to align employees who share their vision create teams who understand and share their vision.

You may also like this:

No comments:

Post a Comment