Leadership is a process and a function of getting people together to work for a certain goal. It is an essential attribute of all social groups, because there is a greater need to work with others to attain one's goals rather than work on them oneself. When groups form, organization is needed to keep the group together working to reach the goal, or objective.
As a process, leadership answers three basic questions : Where are we now? Where do we want to go? How do we get there? To answer these, leadership has four essential aspects :
It is a ROLE. Each person is unique. This uniqueness comes into play when a group is formed. Given a group need, leadership must meet the task with abilities and resources of the members. Specific qualities are needed to accomplish certain tasks.
It is a BEHAVIOR. How do people play out their roles? This shows in the relation of the real to the ideal, actions. Here we see how role performance meets role definition.
It is the ART and SCIENCE of INFLUENCE. Influence is the ability to affect the actions of persons towards a desired direction. In a sense, it is a form of power. Influence is the means by which a leader can keep the group working together for the goal. The uniqueness of each member is a major factor in determining how much influence/motivation a leader must exercise and of what kind.
It is a RELATIONSHIP. All aspects of interaction breed relationships. Otherwise, the social nature of humankind ceases to exist.
As a function, leadership is closely related to its processes, and is deeply rooted in the nature of man. While it is true that most men value their individuality and the freedom that goes with it, there is also the need for order and discipline when one interacts with others. Leadership is a function that arises when the individual members of each group settle among themselves which among them will...