Definition of Leadership and Its Importance for Organisations

Topics: Leadership, Management, Charismatic authority Pages: 8 (2072 words) Published: May 14, 2013
What is leadership and why is it important for organisations?

When it comes to define the term leadership we all refer to the term management. Sure, these positions within an organisation go hand in hand. Moreover, they practically signify the same which means there are kind of synonyms. However, they can be different, so it is essential to be aware of those differences. In other word, it is necessary to distinguish between management and leadership.

Let’s state those distinctions through their definitions and roles.

Management is concerned with achieving outcomes or results by obtaining, deploying, using and controlling all the resources required such as namely people, money, facilities, plant and equipment, information and knowledge.

While leadership focuses on the most important resource within an organisation, people. It is the action of leading a group of people or an organisation. Leadership may relate to the state or position of being a leader. Moreover, leadership is the process of developing and communicating a vision for the future, inspiring, motivating people and gaining their commitments or engagements.

The following list show more their differences regarding their qualities:

Leadership qualities Management qualities
Soul Mind
Visionary Rational
Passionate Consulting
Creative Persistent
Flexible Problem solving
Inspiring Tough-minded
Innovative Analytical
Courageous Structured
Imaginative Deliberate
Experimental Authoritative
Initiates changes Stabilising
Personal power Positional power

The major differences between leader and manager qualities relate to the source of power and the level of conformity it generates within followers.
Definition of Power:
Power is the ability or capacity to make things happen in the way an individual wants, either by self or by the subordinates. The essence of power is control over the behaviour of other (French and Raven, 1962). Leaders or managers obtain power from both organisational and individual sources. These sources are called personal power and position power.

Personal power
Three bases of personal power are:
1. Expertise
2. Reference
3. Authenticity

Expert power – resides in a person who has expertise in a specific area of knowledge that is highly valued, usually acquired through experience.

Referential power – is visible in a person who influences others through the individual personality, behaviour, and charisma (physical traits, speech, mannerisms, and self-confidence), among other essential personal trait, including empathy, persuasiveness, patience and the capacity to listen.

Authentic power – derives from a strong sense of self rather than from the position on holds, that occurs only when our power over ourselves or over others, comes from within and is experienced as an integral part of ourselves. How successful we affirm power depends on what sources of power we command.

Position power
In term of position or positional power, it consists of three bases as well, and these are:

Legitimate power – comes from the ability to influence others because of position, and those with higher positions have power over employees at each...
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