Leadership is not all about a title, It’s about been able to make an impact, begin a good influence and be an inspiration to your team. By Impact I mean to be able to get results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work and this could be infectious to the people around as they will emulate what you do, and you have to inspire your team-mates to want to better themselves and their positions in life.
Leadership can therefore be termed as a process where an individual influences a group of people through social influence, which then maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achieving predetermined goals (Kruse, 2013). Leadership is not all about power but rather influence that you have on people. You could be a powerful person in the society but lack the necessary qualities of leadership, making you the most disliked person.
Some critics believe that leaders are born and not made and this is not necessary true.
Been a leader is all about having the will to step up to the plate and do what needs to be done in an ethical manner and this can be done by applying leadership knowledge and skills taught in schools from primary to the university level. This is called process leadership (Jago, 1982). leadership is learned, but a leader’s skills and knowledge are influenced by his or hers attributes, which includes beliefs, values, ethics, and character and also an individual background plays a role on whether he or she will be a good leader.
Knowledge and skills feed in directly to the process of leadership, while the other traits give the leader certain characteristics that make an indiviual unique.An example of this is, a leader might have acquired the skills in counseling others through persistent studies, but their traits will often play a great role in determining if they are a good counselor. An individual with empathy will make a better counselor than a person who thinks the employees are simply there to accomplish their bidding. Skills, knowledge, and attributes make the Leader, which is one of the Factors of Leadership. These qualities serve people in all areas of their lives, you don’t necessarily have to be a leader to have these skills.
Leadership can further be understood by four factors, which are:
Firstly, a leader should be one who is honest. One who can be trusted by his team. An individual whom can be trusted to deliver a message or perform a particular task on behalf of his team and do it effectively with all honesty. If a team does not trust their leader or lack confidence in his or her leadership they will be uninspired to do anything that he or she directs them to do. To sum it up, to be successful as a leader you have to convince your followers, that you are worth being followed, and this has nothing to do with a title that you may posses.
Begin a leader means realising that different people require different styles of leadership. For example, a new recruit in an organisation will require more supervision than experienced employees, a leader should know who to juggle amongst them. An individual with no motivation will not receive the same leaderhip assistant like the one who is extremely motivated. A leader should know his/her people, have a fundamental good understanding of human nature, their needs, emotions, and motivation.
A leader should understand that communication is a two-way street. And non verbal communication is also included.For instance, as a leader using either nonverbal or verbal communication, set the example that communicates, you’ll never make you team do something that you would do, that communicates you are not a hypocrite. A good leader should learn to listen to his team, watch their body language when they are asked to do something, after all actions speak louder than words. What and how you communicate either builds or harms the relationship between you and your team.
Since all situations are different. Some times to be a leader means identifying and understanding a situation is not how you are used to, and having the ability to coexist in that particular environment. A leader may need to use his or her judgment to determine the best course of action and what particular leadership style should be applied in that particular situation. For example, been transferred to a new department to lead it, you may need to confront an employee for continuous lateness, you’ve have to approach him or her carefully since you haven’t know how things are run in that particular department, and you may end up losing face before you have a chance to supervise them. There are various forces will affect these four factors. Examples of forces are your relationship with your seniors, the skills of your followers, the informal leaders within your organization, how your organization is organized.
The Bass theory of leadership explains that there are three basic ways to explain how people become leaders (Stogdill, 1989; Bass, 1990). The first theory, which is known as the Trait theory states that some people posses personality traits that make them leaders, in simple language, they are born leaders. The second theory, explains that certain situations or crisis forces out the extraordinary leadership qualities from an individual and pushes them the forefront, an example is being pushed to the forefront to lead an organisation, due to the death of the CEO, this is the theory of the great event. Last but not least, is the Process theory, this is when an individual chooses to be a leader, I personally relate to this theory, as I choose to take up leadership roles amongst my peers, this last theory is the most recognised around the world.
Management and leadership share a number of common characteristics, which includes working with people to achieve the goals of a particular organisation (Kotter, 1990). Managements main task is to maintain and produce order amongst it’s organisation through planning, directing, controling organizing and staffing whereas leadership’s purpose is more of producing, movement and change through begin visionary and setting up direction, been social and aligning with people, motivating your team or subordinate, and been inspiring through deeds. Having the power to manage and supervise gives one the authority to accomplish certain tasks and objectives in an organization, it does not necessarily make one a leader, this is often called assigned leadership, and it only makes you a boss not a leader.
Begin a leader has not always been something that I looked forward to, or volunteered to participate, but joining university has pushed my boundaries and helped me developed skills on leadership. I believe people would like a leader who is respectful and has a clear sense of direction. To gain respect as a leader I have to be ethical in everything I do. Participating in clubs at school, or just been a group class leader, has helped me understand that leadership has its ups and down, it has also helped to build my confidence. According to my personal experience, been a leader means been patient and understanding, and know-how to mediate when an issue arise around your team. Been a leader for me, means having more than just theoretical knowledge but also practical knowledge. Personally, begin a leader, can be challenging dealing with different personalities,and people who have no regard for group work or time, and it can be exhausting, running up and down trying to hold the group together and meet deadlines. For me good leadership is an honorable character and selfless service to your team. Begin a leader has taught me to be a good communicator, been able to communicate what I want to people around me and having the sense to listen to their grievances. This are skills that I’ll be able to take them to the world, and help me relate with my colleagues.
My expectation as a leader is been one who is future thinking, have the ability to identify opportunities and know how to manipulate them for my teams or organizations benefit. A Leader should be consistent in everything that they do, promote positivity and inspiration. This would help distort the notion that to be a leader you have to be crude and corruption. Leaders are responsible for the people they lead and they should facilitate the development of their people to improve their situations. Leaders are expected to concentrate on Be, Know, and Do. These include, who they are or will be, in terms of beliefs and character, and what they do, such as implementing, motivating, and providing direction. It requires a leader to be a professional. For example, to be loyal to the team, perform selfless service, take personal responsibility, have good character traits like honesty, competence, commitment, integrity, courage, and straightforwardness. A leader should be able to provide direction in terms of goal setting, problem-solving, decision making, and planning. He/she should be good in communicating, coordinating, supervising, and evaluating. Finally, a leader should be able to develop morale, train, coach, and counsel.
In conclusion, to be a leader has its benefits and its disadvantages. Taking up leadership roles opens up an individual to so many opportunities and chances in life. For me that out ways the disadvantages, I personally believe that everyone if presented with the opportunity should take up the chance to lead. Everything that I have explained in this paper has concluded that to be a leader is more than an office position or a title, as long as you posses the skills and traits, and have the goodwill, anyone can be a leader, it doesn’t matter their social class in the community. The journey to becoming a great leader is challenging. (Kouzes, Posner, 1987) you have to improve on your beliefs, find inspiration and having a vision. A leader should be one who is able to find the way when the process gets tough, have the will to get their hands dirty. It’s only a boss who tells others what to do, a leader shows followers that it can be do.
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