Leadership is, and always has been, a vital aspect of social and economic constructs. It is essential to the survival of societies, industries, organizations, and virtually any group of individuals that come together for a common purpose. However, leadership is difficult to define in a single, definitive sense. As such, theories of leadership, what constitutes a great leader, and how leaders are made have evolved constantly throughout history, and still continue to change today in hopes of improving upon our understanding of leadership, its importance, and how it can be most effective in modern organizational cultures.
Before going through this journey of self-discovery, my view of leadership was accurately described by John C. Maxwell “ Leadership is influence.” (Maxwell, para. 25, 2012). I believed, before taking this class and Northouse’s (2013) assessments, leaders were defined by the extent to which they could influence others to achieve company goals. I thought that, when discussing leadership, the leader was the most important aspect of the leader-member dyad and that it was the leader who had the greatest influence over how successful the organization was. Leaders themselves, in my view, should have been the focus of leadership studies and it should have been up to the leader to develop his/her skills in
Abstract: There are numerous definitions of leadership, all of which contain elements related to people (the leader and the follower(s)), communicating in person or by the written word, actions (organizing, directing, coaching, and/or motivating), and for a purpose (meeting a goal(s) or accomplishing a task(s)) (ADP 6-22) (Fisher 2015) (Bolden 2013) (Hogan 2005). Additionally, everything done occurs within a given context. Effective leaders are poised, proficient, pertinent, and practical in the application of the art of leadership. This means leaders are ready to engage the group with effective methods and
Since the beginning of recorded history, leadership has been one of, if not the most important elements in the success or failure of an endeavor. This is whether it involved a prehistoric hunting party or ruling the Roman Empire. Today, leadership is recognized as a vital factor in an organization’s quest to be productive and profitable. For an organization to be competitive and achieve optimum success in the 21st century, it is vital that they employ effective leaders that will be able to communicate their vision and goals, motivate their employees and develop trusting and loyal relationships with its stakeholders. There is no one or best way to accomplish this mission. There have been numerous leadership theories and styles which have been developed over time which can enable leaders to choose which method would be most effective for them in establishing collaborative working relationships and a respectful team environment in a group setting (Landis, Eric A; Hill, Deborah; Harvey, Maurice R, 2014).
Leadership is something that comes natural for some and is a developed skill for others. If we take a look at the role of the leader, we look for certain traits in a person. For example, in grade school, there always seems to be clicks, large and small groups of people that cling together. When we examine these social sub-groups, we often find that there is always one person that leads the group. This person is usually the person that brings the group together. I remember being in social circles with people that I knew I would never be friends with. However, we may have one or two people in common, thus we remain friends. Overtime, we
Leadership is both an inherent value and is forged overtime. Inherently, some people are born good leaders and intrinsically have good values imbedded. Leadership traits can be honed and developed overtime; you never stop learning to be a good leader. Leadership is the cornerstone of all successfully run organizations and is what drives stewardship to successfully carry on the organizations mission statement. Throughout one’s life experiences, they come across some great leaders and some not-so great leaders. Those life experiences transcend one to become a better leader through experiential circumstances.
The role of the “Leader” I believe sometimes relates to the individual to delegate the set goals or mission to the followers and believe the “Followers” have the belief and confidence in the “Leader” in how he/she has decided to execute the set goals and missions. Therefore the leader has to demand structure and organise how the followers must or should complete the task laid out to attain the success or victory of the mission. From a scientific perspective the only measurement tool here is the success or victory of the mission, regardless of ethics or principles, step by step quantifiable measurement, morals and wider impacts. Also the question into, is the “Leader” acting in the best of everyone’s interest, is there compassion and total unbiased approach and is there room for the “Follower” to openly call into question the methods employed and approach; ultimately is the leader able to take on-board concerns and alternative views to change/alter the course /route in delivering the success needed. Some of the definitions of the “Leader” I have observed reads; A leader has a vision. Leaders see a problem that needs to be fixed or a goal that needs to be achieved. It may be something that no one else sees or simply something that no one else wants to tackle. Whatever it is, it is the focus of the leader's attention and they attack it with a single-minded determination. From a scientific background and
According to organisational behaviour by McShane, leadership is defined as influencing, motivating and enabling others to contribute towards the effectiveness and success of the organisation of which they are members (page 382, McShane).Becoming an effective leader depends on the leader’s leadership style. Successful leaders have vision and charisma, also the leader should have an ongoing personality, talkative, careful and self-disciplined. The leader must also have self-concept
Encourage the Heart is another Exemplary Leadership practice discussed by Kouzes and Posner. Encouraging the heart is close to caring. The genuine recognition of others and a celebration of the team's contributions will encourage others and is essential for leadership. The two commitments that fall under this practice are:
Employees will stay with the organization and do their job because they need a paycheck, but that’s all. If I set up myself as an example, and I am able to show confidence and control of my actions, I can set up trust. Kouzes & Posner (2002) states that self-disclosure is one way to go (p.2/5). Letting your team know what you stand for, what you value and what you want and hope will certainly help to win that trust back.
Authentic leaders create healthy enterprises for the long term and almost without exception, emerging leaders have solid values and a sense of purpose. We are looking to make a difference, to contribute to a worthwhile cause through our work and to find a reasonable balance between our work and home lives. In addition, to work where we trust the leaders and share a common set of values is essential to the chemistry involved in organizational leadership. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully” (Romans 12:6-8, 1984, NIV).
The Leadership Challenge, was introduced by James M. Kouzes and Berry Z. Posner. It is widely accepted, and evidence based supported leadership model that has developed over nearly two decades of research. While some seem to think that leadership only applies to those persons at the head of a company or organization, that is not the case. Leadership is everyone’s business and a process that people use daily to accomplish extraordinary things while putting forth their best effort and enabling others to do the same. People can achieve extraordinary things when everyone’s leadership capabilities are tapped into. In leadership, honesty is an important virtue, as in leaders serve as role models for their subordinates. Honesty goes along way and is synonymous with other moral characteristics for a leader to include: integrity, truthfulness, and straightforwardness. These characteristics create trust, which is critical for leaders in all positions.
For decade’s individuals, companies, and organizations have spent an unprecedented amount of money on researching, molding, modeling and working to define what a leader is and what characteristics make successful leaders. Despite all the research, there is not a quick answer or even full agreement as to what makes an individual an effective leader. The definition of a leader is “someone who can influence others and who has managerial authority.” (Robbins, Decenzo, Coulter, 2015. P.370)