A man’s life can be summarized in three words: Relationship, Stewardship and leadership (Edwin Cole)
Let us look at the three components one after the other.
This is the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected. Man as a gregarious animal lives in a society and associates with other members of the society. We have vertical relationship (Man and his Maker) and horizontal relationship (Man versus Man).
Stewardship is act of managing another person’s property. A steward is a person who is the manager, or in charge of someone else’s property.
- The action of leading a group of people or an organization.
- The state or position of being a leader.
- The process by which a person exerts influence over others and inspires, motivates and directs their activities to achieve group or organizational goals.
Who is a Leader?
- Are leaders born? (OR)
- Are leaders made? Either way, a leader is:
- A person who directs or commands a group, organization, or country.
- A person followed by others
- A person who knows the way, shows the way, and goes the way.
- A leader is one that inspires, motivates and influences others to do more and be more, and also achieve group or organizational goals.
- “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.”
― Dolly Parton
- “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”
― Ronald Reagan
- “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.”
― John C. Maxwell
- “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower
Types of leadership
1. Laissez-Faire Leadership
This French phrase means “let them do” and is used to describe a leader who leaves his or her colleagues to get on with their work. It can be effective if the leader monitors what is being achieved and communicates this back to his or her team regularly. Most often, laissez-faire leadership works for teams in which the individuals are very experienced and skilled self-starters. Unfortunately, it can also refer to situations where managers are not exerting sufficient control.
2. Autocratic Leadership
The autocratic leadership style allows leaders to make decisions alone without the input of others. Leaders possess total authority and impose their will on their followers. No one challenges the decisions of autocratic leaders. Countries such as Cuba and North Korea operate under the autocratic leadership style. This leadership style benefits followers who require close supervision. Creative followers who thrive in group functions detest this leadership style.
3. Task-Oriented Leadership
A highly task-oriented leader focuses only on getting the job done, and can be quite autocratic. He or she will actively define the work and the roles required, put structures in place, plan, organize and monitor. However, as task-oriented leaders spare little thought for the well-being of their teams, this approach can suffer many of the flaws of autocratic leadership, with difficulties in motivating and retaining staff.
4. People-Oriented Leadership or Relations-Oriented Leadership
This style of leadership is the opposite of task-oriented leadership: the leader is totally focused on organizing, supporting and developing the people in the leader’s team. A participative style, it tends to lead to good teamwork and creative collaboration. However, taken to extremes, it can lead to failure to achieve the team’s goals. In practice, most leaders use both task-oriented and people-oriented styles of leadership.
5. Bureaucratic Leadership
Bureaucratic leaders “work by the book”, ensuring that their staff follow procedures exactly. This is a very appropriate style for work involving serious safety risks (such as working with machinery, with toxic substances or at heights) or where large sums of money are involved (such as cash-handling).
In other situations, the inflexibility and high levels of control exerted can demoralize staff, and can diminish the organizations ability to react to changing external circumstances.
6. Charismatic Leadership
A charismatic leadership style can appear similar to a transformational leadership style, in that the leader injects huge doses of enthusiasm into his or her team, and is very energetic in driving others forward. He is an enthusiastic, self-confident transformational leader that is able to clearly communicate his vision of how good things could be.
However, a charismatic leader can tend to believe more in him or herself than in their team. This can create a risk that a project, or even an entire organization, might collapse if the leader were to leave. In the eyes of their followers, success is tied up with the presence of the charismatic leader. As such, charismatic leadership carries great responsibility, and needs long-term commitment from the leader.
7. Participative Leadership
Often called the democratic leadership style, participative leadership values the input of team members and peers, but the responsibility of making the final decision rests with the participative leader. Participative leadership boosts followers’ morale because they make contributions to the decision-making process. It causes them to feel as if their opinions matter. When an organization needs to make changes within the organization, the participative leadership style helps employees accept changes easily because they play a role in the process. This style meets challenges when an organization needs to make a decision in a short period. As participation takes time, this style can lead to things happening more slowly than an autocratic approach, but often the end result is better. It can be most suitable where team working is essential, and quality is more important than speed to market or productivity.
8. Transactional Leadership
Leaders using the transactional leadership style receive certain tasks to perform and provide rewards or punishments to team members based on performance results. Leaders and team members set predetermined goals together, and agree to follow the direction and leadership of the leader to accomplish those goals. The manager possesses power to review results and train or correct followers when team members fail to meet goals. Followers receive rewards, such as bonuses, when they accomplish goals.
9. Transformational Leadership
A person with this leadership style is a true leader who inspires his or her team with a shared vision of the future. Transformational leaders are highly visible, and spend a lot of time communicating. They make subordinates aware of how important their jobs are for the organization and how necessary it is for them to perform those jobs as best they can so that the organization can attain its goals. They make subordinates aware of their own needs for personal growth, development, and accomplishment. They motivate workers to work for the good of the organization, not just for their own personal gain or benefit
In many organizations, both transactional and transformational leadership are needed. The transactional leaders (or managers) ensure that routine work is done reliably, while the transformational leaders look after initiatives that add value.
The transformational leadership style depends on high levels of communication from management/leaders to meet goals. Leaders motivate followers and enhance productivity and efficiency through communication and high visibility. This style of leadership requires the involvement of management/leaders to meet goals. Leaders focus on the big picture within an organization and delegate smaller tasks to the team to accomplish goals.
10. Servant Leadership
This term, coined by Robert Greenleaf in the 1970s, describes a leader who is often not formally recognized as such. When someone, at any level within an organization, leads simply by virtue of meeting the needs of his or her team, he or she is described as a “servant leader”. In many ways, servant leadership is a form of democratic leadership, as the whole team tends to be involved in decision-making.
Supporters of the servant leadership model suggest it is an important way ahead in a world where values are increasingly important, in which servant leaders achieve power on the basis of their values and ideals. Others believe that in competitive leadership situations, people practicing servant leadership will often find themselves left behind by leaders using other leadership styles.
- Situational Leadership — Using the Right Style:
While the Transformation Leadership approach is often highly effective, there is no one right way to lead or manage that suits all situations. To choose the most effective approach for you, you must consider:
– The skill levels and experience of the members of your team.
– The work involved (routine or new and creative).
– The organizational environment (stable or radically changing, conservative or adventurous).
– You own preferred or natural style.
A good leader will find him or herself switching instinctively between styles according to the people and work they are dealing with. This is often referred to as “situational leadership”
Qualities of a Good Leader
A leader has got multidimensional traits in him which makes him appealing and effective in behavior. The following are the requisites to be present in a good leader.
A leader see the way, knows the way, shows the way and goes the way.
“Apart from being born blind the worst thing that can happen to a man (or leader) is to have eyes without vision” Helen Keller
- Intelligence and competence
A Leader should have a high level of intelligence with sound educational and/or technical background. He must be competent in all ramifications. Leadership is a combination of character and competence; of who you are and what you can do.
- Emotional Stability
A leader should be emotionally stable. He should not lose temper at any stage.
- Understand Human Behavior
A leader should possess a deep understanding about human behavior, emotions, needs etc. and he should be able to deal with people.
- A Good Motivator
It is not enough if the leader is self-motivated. He should also know how to motivate his followers. “A good leader inspires people to have confidence in their leader.
A great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves”.
- Initiative and Creative Ability
The leader should take initiative because he has to take the lead to do a work and then only others will follow. The leader should also have creative ability.
- Responsibility & Decision Making
- A leader should lead from the front by taking the responsibilities and must be a decision maker.
A Leader should be a good guide to his subordinates. He should tell and demonstrate the ways of doing work.
8. Honesty and Integrity
Leader should be honest, sincere, fair and reasonable in his dealings with his subordinates.
“Self-knowledge is the basis for character… Character is the root of integrity… Integrity provides the foundation for leadership”. (Lombardi, 2001)
9. Gentleness, Frugality and Humility
- “I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.” Lao Tzu
- 10. A leader must be friendly, firm and impactful
“Jesus said several times, “Come, follow me.” His was a program of “do what I do,” rather than “do what I say.” His innate brilliance would have permitted him to put on a dazzling display, but that would have left his followers far behind. He walked and worked with those he was to serve. His was not a long-distance leadership. He was not afraid of close friendships; he was not afraid that proximity to him would disappoint his followers. The leaven of true leadership cannot lift others unless we are with and serve those to be led.”
― Spencer W. Kimball
11. A leader must have multidimensional qualities
Leaders are not, as we are often led to think, people who go along with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see, whether anyone is following them. “Leadership qualities” are not the qualities that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do without them. They include, at the very least, courage, endurance, patience, humor, flexibility, resourcefulness, stubbornness, a keen sense of reality, and the ability to keep a cool and clear head, even when things are going badly. True leaders, in short, do not make people into followers, but into other leaders.”
― John Holt
Leadership and Empowerment
Empowerment is the process of giving followers or surbodinates at all levels in the organization the authority to make decisions, be responsible for their outcomes, improve quality, and cut costs. What are the benefits of empowerment?
- Empowerment increases a leader’s ability to get things done
- Empowerment increases followers’ involvement, motivation, and commitment
- Empowerment gives managers and leaders more time to concentrate on their pressing concerns
- Avoid competition for power, status, recognition
- Create and communicate a vision
- Insist that others diligently work to achieve meaningful goals
- Help others believe in their own worth and potential
- Create a culture in which fear and intimidation are replaced by trust
- Demonstrate a willingness to be supportive of others
Seven Secrets to Building Loyalty in Leadership
- Set high standards and live up to expectations. Live by example always
- Communicate constantly
- Empower, Empower, Empower
- Invest in people (spiritually, academically, financially, etc)
- Recognize people as often as possible
- Counsel people on their needs and be interested in sharing their burden. Love your people
- Be knowledgeable and show intellectual leadership. Educate them always with knowledge and experience.
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Dr. Tony Orji