Discuss the required qualities of an effective business leader.
An effective leader is a leader that employees are willing to follow and respond positively to. Terry Leahy, who is the chief executive of Tesco, defined a good leader as someone who takes you further than you would go on your own. Also, a good and effective leader will often have a new vision if the situation needs to be changed and everyone will follow him. Surveys and studies have shown that effective leaders around the globe share the same few traits and same goes for the ineffective ones. So, what are the qualities required in order to become effective business leaders?
(Characteristics of an effective leader)
First of all, an effective leader will have undoubted self-confidence in himself. It is the fundamental basis from which leadership grows. A leader without self-confidence is just like a house without foundation of sand. An effective leader will not be afraid to make any decisions. If you, as a business leader, intend to build your self-confidence, you should learn to live with failures. When you have made a mistake, you should learn from it and move on, so that if comes a day when you are met with the similar obstacle, you can face it head-on because you already have experience on how to deal with it.
Furthermore, the ability to think outside the box and creativity is also required by an effective leader. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are good examples of the great leaders of our time. Both these men lead their group with extraordinary leadership qualities, plus out-of-the-box creative minds. Leaders should stimulate creativity for two very important reasons, to prevent obsolescence and increase productivity. An effective leader will always come up with new ideas so that the business won’t be obsolete and the changes may make the work of higher quality, lower cost and faster completion.
Truly effective leaders are also distinguished by a high degree of emotional intelligence, which includes self-awareness, self management, social awareness and social skills. It was Daniel Goleman who first applied the concept to business. These qualities may sound “soft” and unbusiness-like, but Goleman found direct ties between emotional intelligence and measurable business results. It is the ability of managers to understand their own emotions, and those of the people they work with, to achieve better business performance. Therefore, effective leaders should possess high emotional intelligence.
In addition, an effective leader must have a thorough knowledge of motivational factors for others. Being a role model is one of the key motivators that influence people in reaching their goals. A leader should set a good example to ensure his people to grow and achieve their goals effectively. He can also refer to Herzberg’s two-factor theory. Herzberg suggested emphasizing recognition, responsibility, growth and other motivators if leaders want to motivate people. However, to become an efficient leader, you must be self-motivated. You must know your identity, your needs and you must have a strong urge to do anything to achieve your goals. Once you are self-motivated, only then you can motivate others to achieve their goals and to harmonize their personal goals with the common goals of the organization.
On the other hand, a leader should know what leadership style is appropriate to be used. Different situations will need different leadership style. There are 4 distinct leadership styles, which are autocratic, democratic, paternalistic and laissez-faire.
Autocratic leaders like to make all the important decisions and closely supervise and control workers. Managers do not trust workers and simply give orders that they expect to be obeyed. This approach derives from the views of Taylor as to how to motivate workers and relates to McGregor’s theory X view of workers....
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