Concepts of Leadership
Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Program directors and managers can use this resource to inspire staff to higher levels of teamwork. This article defines concepts of leadership in terms of what a leader must be, know, and do. Reprinted with permission from Donald Clark.
| Good leaders are made not born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience. This guide will help you through that process.To inspire your workers into higher levels of teamwork, there are certain things you must be, know, and do. These do not come naturally, but are acquired through continual work and study. Good leaders are continually working and studying to improve their leadership skills; they are NOT resting on their laurels.Before we get started, let's define leadership. Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership attributes, such as beliefs, values, ethics, character, knowledge, and skills. Although your position as a manager, supervisor, lead, etc. gives you the authority to accomplish certain tasks and objectives in the organization, this power does not make you a leader...it simply makes you the boss. Leadership differs in that it makes the followers want to achieve high goals, rather than simply bossing people around.Bass' (1989 & 1990) theory of leadership states that there are three basic ways to explain how people become leaders. The first two explain the leadership development for a small number of people. These theories are: * Some personality traits may lead people naturally into leadership roles. This is the Trait Theory. * 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. * People can choose to become leaders. People can learn leadership skills. This is the Transformational Leadership Theory. It is the most widely accepted theory today and the premise on which this guide is based. When a person is deciding if she respects you as a leader, she does not think about your attributes, rather, she observes what you do so that she can know who you really are. She uses this observation to tell if you are an honorable and trusted leader or a self-serving person who misuses authority to look good and get promoted. Self-serving leaders are not as effective because their employees only obey them, not follow them. They succeed in many areas because they present a good image to their seniors at the expense of their workers.The basis of good leadership is honorable character and selfless service to your organization. In your employees' eyes, your leadership is everything you do that effects the organization's objectives and their well-being. Respected leaders concentrate on what they are [be] (such as beliefs and character), what they know (such as job, tasks, and human nature), and what they do (such as implementing, motivating, and providing direction).What makes a person want to follow a leader? People want to be guided by those they respect and who have a clear sense of direction. To gain respect, they must be ethical. A sense of direction is achieved by conveying a strong vision of the future.The Two Most Important Keys to Effective LeadershipA Hay's study examined over 75 key components of employee satisfaction. They found that: * Trust and confidence in top leadership was the single most reliable predictor of employee satisfaction in an organization. * Effective communication by leadership in three critical areas was the...
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