Leadership Skills

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Leadership Assignment - 1,500 words

"Leadership is a skill that anyone can learn and successfully apply" Discuss.

Nothing happens without leadership. Nothing changes without leadership. Nothing develops without leadership. Nothing improves without leadership. Nothing is corrected without leadership. Everyone, everywhere, every time is always being led. Leadership is perpetually exercised daily whether by a politician, priest, parent, boss or teacher. Leaders are not born. They are made through a never ending process of self study, education, training and experience backed up with a strong desire and willpower. They grow out of opportunities and projects. What is leadership?

Leadership is therefore a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs a group in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Leadership is also the capacity to influence others through inspiration generated by a passion, motivated by a vision, birthed by conviction and produced by a purpose. Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership attributes such as beliefs, values, ethics, character, knowledge and skills. There are three basic ways to explain how people become leaders; they are: a)Some personality traits may lead people naturally into leadership roles. This is called trait theory b)A crisis or important event may cause a person to rise to the occasion, which brings out extraordinary leadership qualities in an ordinary person. This is the great events theory. c)People can choose to become leaders through the learning of leadership skills. This is the transformational leadership theory. In this theory, the leader his team to be effective and efficient. Usually, communication is the base for goal achievement focusing the group on the final desired outcome. The leader is highly visible and uses a chain of command to get things done. Transformational leaders focus on the big picture, needing to be surrounded by people who take care of details; the leader is always looking for ideas that move the group to reach their vision.

Factors of leadership:
There are four major factors in leadership, they are:
a)Follower: Without followership, there is no leadership. It is through the followers that the leader gets his vision/s accomplished. The leader must know his/her people. The fundamental starting point is having a good understanding of human nature, such as needs, emotions and motivation b)Leader: The leader must have an honest understanding of who he is, what he knows and what he can do. Since it is the followers, not the leader who determines if a leader is successful.; if they don't trust or lack confidence in their leader, then they will be uninspired. To be successful as a leader, you have to convince your followers, not yourself or superiors, that you are worthy of being followed. c)Communication: leadership is through a two way communication system, much of which is non verbal. For instance, when the leader "sets the example" that communicates to his team that he would not ask them to perform anything that he would not ask them to do. What and how he communicates either builds or harms the relationship between him and his team. d)Situation: All are different. What is done in one situation will not always work in another. The leader must use his judgement to decide the best course of action and the leadership style needed for each situation. For example, you may need to confront a team member for inappropriate behaviour, but if the confrontation is too late or too early, too harsh or too weak, then the results may prove ineffective. Various forces will affect these factors. Examples of forces are relationship with seniors, the skill of your team, the informal leaders within the team and how the team is organised. Skill is the ability coming from one's knowledge, practice or aptitude to do something well; since leadership is a skill, there is therefore the need to learn and grow...
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