A leader is a person who influences the attitudes, opinions, or actions of others. If they intend to influence others, the influence is deliberate or planned. If they influence others just because of who they are or what they are, the influence is unintentional or unplanned. Everyone influences others; therefore, every person is a leader at various times.
Leadership is not an end result, it is a process. It is a relationship between a group leader and his/her group.
Leadership is the ability to achieve collaboration on vision, values and action.
a two way influence relationship that is not the job of the leader but
also requires the cooperative efforts of all others.
Set an Example
Each group has its own values, beliefs and customs. The leader upholds these customs by setting an example. The leaders own actions should reflect the beliefs and values of the group.
Effective leaders do not attempt to do everything themselves. They recognize qualities of leadership in others and are willing to give them opportunities to exercise their leadership abilities.
A leader is someone who originates. They do not wait for others to suggest ideas and things to do, but they let others express their ideas and opinions.
Attends to Group Satisfaction
Effective leaders know people will not take part in the group if they receive no satisfaction from participation. Leaders try to help the group plan programs and projects that will be satisfying experiences to everyone.
Leaders do not assume that they know everything there is to know. They are aware of the complexities of working with people and they spend some time learning about people.
Leaders recognize the value of giving credit where credit is due and are careful to give a personal "thank you" to all who deserve it.
Leaders make decisions on the basis of knowledge and understanding of the needs and wants of the group. They listen to the group to gauge their feelings and moods.
Leaders know that a good way to destroy their followers' confidence is to try to put on an act. The effective leader has to learn to be themselves, to act natural.
A leader should do only what they know how to do.
A leader fosters mutual respect so that members have self-esteem.
A leader provides organization for problem solving by managing an agenda.
A leader promotes development with the group itself.
A leader supervises members to be sure that assigned tasks are done.
A leader encourages participation and analyzes the group and individuals.
A leader acts as a liaison between the group and other individuals.
A leader acts as a role model.
Take extra precautions not to dominate proceedings during team meetings.
Leave your rank at the door. In the team there are different responsibilities, but everyone is equal.
Establish meeting agendas and set the time and place for the meetings.
Participate as a full fledged member of the team. Attend meetings, carry out assignments and share in the team's work.
Be prepared to take a leadership role in presenting the team's findings to management.
There are many
different ways to view a leader. A leader could be a person who personifies
many different qualities and has different experiences. A leader can lead
from the front or they could lead from within. What and who would be a
good leader is a question many people can argue about. This is why in studying
leadership, one must take into account the perspectives on a leader.
One person might feel that a coach or the captain of a team represent good leaders. People may feel that leaders may just emerge from within a given situation. Whatever the case may be the leader is a person who needs to be studied and defined. There are many perspectives on leadership that can give us a clearer understanding of it.
* The trait perspective of leadership is one of great importance when looking at the whole scheme of things. The trait perspective attempts to distinguish leaders from non leaders and identify those persons who rise to leadership status. The way that is done is by looking at the key traits that a leader possesses.
* The first key attribute that leaders possess is bravery. A leader should be brave and be willing to fight for his/her group. This is important because if a leader is weak then his/her group would in turn follow the lead. The leader has to personify the group and some role for the group to follow.
* Physical ability is the next quality a leader must possess. This physical ability is needed to get the group going and to lead them in a positive direction.
* A leader has to be good at making decisions. This encompasses two distinct things. The speed at which the decisions are made and the ability to stand behind the decisions made. To begin with, the speed is so important because leaders are often put under time constraints and need to make good decisions in a short time period. If a leader can make quality decisions in minimal time then he/she would be a good leader. The next aspect is his/her ability to stick behind the decision made. If the leader can be second guessed then they are not effectively leading the group.
* The leader has to be an extrovert. They have to be very free and willing to express their opinions to the group. This is very important because they are always the person who is under fire and needs to be open and free with their opinions. Sense of humor is also important because a leader must take the good with the bad in order to be a strong, positive leader.
* The final attribute is the ability to dominate. The leader has to be able to dominate the group to effectively lead. According to the trait approach, the ability to dominate is the key ingredient to good leadership. This give the leader total control and a real ability to lead the group in the proper direction.
* PROBLEM WITH TRAIT PERSPECTIVE
Personality plays a major role in this perspective. What is good to one person may be bad to another. There is no clear definition of a good personality. The traits approach can not account for the differences between achieving and maintaining leadership. The traits needed to gain leadership are different from those used to maintain leadership.
* The style perspective seeks to determine which style of leadership is the best or most effective in a group by comparing one predetermined style with another.
* The style perspective examines leadership as a social force rather than a simple set of traits. This in turn damages the credibility of the style perspective. It also takes different types of leadership and tells how each would have specific effects on group productivity and climate.
* There are many different styles when it comes to leadership: the democratic, the authoritarian, and the laissez-faire. The democratic style has always proved to be the most effective.
* PROBLEMS WITH STYLE PERSPECTIVE
The comparison between democratic and autocratic styles of leadership are not always realistic. The styles approach assumes in a small decision making group that one style is most advantageous. The problem with this is that there is not only one style that is most desirable for any given situation. This style approach limits the way that the styles are set up. The final problem is that as a democratic society we always assume that the democratic approach would be the correct one. This is coupled with the fact that we see the autocratic way as being an evil one.
* This is the most popular and most common perspective of group leadership. It's emphasis is to discover the appropriate person for the appropriate situation. The is influenced by many different factors of the group.
* The first factor that influences is the personality of the group members. This greatly affects the situation because depending on the different personalities, the group will be run in many different ways. There are dramatic differences between a group of go getters and a lazy group.
* The next factor has to do with the level of interest. If the group has a fond interest in the subject then they are going to be more willing to go out and get tasks done.
* The level of motivation is another factor. The level of group motivation to do a project is going to effect how the project is done. The method of leadership will be determined by the amount of motivation shown.
* One of the most important aspects in the situational perspective is the physical setting of the project and group. Depending on where you are greatly influences how you lead and will vary the way in which you go about leading the group. The group could be in the military or in the office. The leader in these two situations would use different leadership skills in order to successfully accomplish any deed.
* PROBLEMS WITH SITUATIONAL PERSPECTIVE
It does not provide much information on group leadership in the future. This is a problem when people are trying to examine the different types of leadership so they can have a better understanding for the future leaders of the world.
* The functions perspective shifts the point of emphasis from the person to the communicative behaviors that are being performed. This is due to the belief that leadership was not done by a specific person, but that leadership is a group function that is performed by all members.
* The functions perspective is set in two main categories. First, function perspective has to do with the groups task. This is asking for or giving information, providing evidence on the subject at hand and maintaining procedures and recording ideas of the group. This would include such subjects as balancing the participation within the group. It could also be useful in relieving the tension within the group by jokes and/or compromises.
* The functions perspective is most commonly used for the following: advancing the purpose of the group, making sure that the group has a specific purpose and tackles other issues relating to the purpose.
* Inspiring greater activity among the members of the group is extremely important because a team is only as strong as it's weakest link. If there is a weak link then the team is not going to function properly. That is why there should always be an intensive effort to advance the team in whatever they do.
* Administering procedural matters is another aspect of the function perspective. In order for everything to be done, all people in the group should have a specific purpose and goal. It is the leaders role to administer the orders.
* The functional leadership is a building of group cohesiveness. This is a matter of functioning a team like a well oiled machine. If the group can work together and function like a team then nothing should stop them.
* PROBLEMS WITH FUNCTION STYLE
It's preoccupation with developing general rules for effective group work is inconsistent with the requirements and constraints that characterize different groups and a problem lies in the fundamental assumption that leadership can be distributed throughout the group.
* This approach has leadership involving a match between a persons given style and the requirement of a situation.
* This approach is just a combination between the stylistic approach and the situational approach.
* Leaders who have a relationship oriented style are most effective in situations where they have moderate amounts of power.
* Leaders who are task oriented are most effective in situations that accord either very little or very much power to the leader.
Effective communication is dialogue rather than just a one way conversation. In order to communicate effectively with your group you need to follow the following guidelines:
* Listen actively and ask open ended questions. When asking use a tone that makes the group feel that you are interested in what they have to say.
* Thank members for their openness and stress how much you value it.
* Point to areas of agreement before jumping to areas of disagreement.
* Set aside your authority to create an atmosphere of partnership, to reduce the fear in the subordinates.
* Promote development of the group itself, encourage balance in participation, demonstrate rhetorical sensitivity, and promote group pride and member development.
You do not have to be born a leader, chances are most people are not. If you can learn to swim or do simple math problems then you can learn how to become an effective leader. In order to build a cohesive and committed group, you must exhibit strong leadership skills. The following are a few suggestions:
* Know how to manage your group.
* Be able to motivate and inspire them.
* Must be able to show by example a highly specific road to take.
* Promote group pride and member development.
* Build your group into a team with a shared vision and goal in mind.
* Base your leadership on values, ethics and morals. Try to instill these into each member. Articulate new values and recommend them to others.
* Empower others to participate by fostering collaboration. Indicate broad, strategic collaboration.
* Make consistent decisions and commend them to others.
* Organize an agenda and promote organization in your members.
* Be willing to take risks, not only in reaching towards opportunities, but in reaching out to people.
* Be alert at all times to the reactions of the members of your group.
* Understand that leadership changes depending upon the leader, the group and the situation.
* Be able to get the job done and still keep the members of the group together.
* Must demonstrate loyalty to a groups norms, values and goals in order to demonstrate strong membership character.
* Must display motivation to lead.
* A leader needs to organize the agenda, analyze the group and individual members, control the physical situation and plan personal style.
Leadership means creating enabling mechanisms to get the job done. Most of the time this requires finding the right people who know how to get the task completed. After the job is finished it is necessary to reward those who helped in the completion. Here are some suggestions on delegating in your group:
* Delegation is not just telling someone what to do.
* Your delegates must be able to act fully in your absence.
* Let your delegates think and decide for themselves.
* Fully empower them to think for themselves.
* Let someone else make a decision that you would normally make.
* Ask open ended questions to verify understanding.
* Be clear on the authority and the limits you are delegating.
A group will not run effectively and efficiently if the leader is unable to resolve conflicts in an appropriate manner. When a conflict arises within your group, here's how you handle it:
* Aim to help both parties win.
* Accept that conflict is inevitable.
* Understand that conflict can yield better ideas in the long run.
* Start out by trying to get to the bottom of the conflict.
* Help the parties in conflict maintain self esteem.
* Groups with single leaders work more efficiently and have fewer interpersonal problems, and therefore produce better results.
When leaders go into action, what is it that makes one leader more effective than another? How do you get a group of people to work together without conflict, and with every member contributing? Below are some tips to help you become the dynamic leader you've always wanted to be!
The best way to improve leaderships skills is to practice them. Join a club, run for a local office, or just become generally involved in activities. For someone with a self esteem or shyness problem this will be difficult at first, but it does get easier the more you practice it, because you will realize that you can do it.
Regard Leadership As A Mindset
Do not regard it as a position. Anybody can appoint themselves a leader, but conduct is what makes a true leader. If your mindset is one of insecurity, no one will want to follow you. Be confident in your decisions and stick to them.
Be Group Oriented And Self Reliant
A good leader must be open to the suggestions of the group and aware of what he/she can do to contribute to the success of the group. At the same time, it is necessary to be independent enough to take the suggestions and make decisions regarding them. You must be prepared to explain your reasoning behind those decisions as well.
Manage Your Time
Make a schedule and then stick to it. It is very important that you honor your commitments in order to remain trustworthy.
Listen to your group, take notes, repeat what they said to make sure you understand. Then make sure they understand you. Speak clearly, have them take notes and be sure everyone is listening before you start to talk.
Set A Good Example
This is the best way to show others how you would like them to conduct themselves. If you present yourself well, are organized and efficient and communicate well with the group, your group will respond in the same manner.
When in a leadership position, it is as important to know what to do as well as what not to do. Here are some pointers to keep you on the right track.
DON'T: Waiver. A leader must be firm in his/her decisions. In order to do so, keep yourself up to date so you can make educated decisions as well as firm ones.
DON'T: Order. A pushy leader usually won't get anywhere. Encourage, make suggestions, guide, teach, but don't order.
DON'T: Steal the limelight. Let the people you are working with take their share of the credit. After all, without them you would not be where you are.
DON'T: Be inflexible. If an unscheduled task or unplanned interruption occurs, view it as as opportunity to put your problem solving skills to work.
DON'T: Be irresponsible. If you are not responsible for your group, who will be? Take note on exactly what is going on within your group. Be prepared to take the blame if something goes wrong.
DON'T: Give advice. Give counsel instead. If a problem arises list the advantages and disadvantages of the options available. Then let your group members decide the best solution.
DON'T: Let certain individuals dominate. If a group member is shy or unsure, encourage their input and let them know it is valuable.
DON'T: Hesitate to speak your mind. But at the same time, realize that while you are the leader, you do not have all the answers.
Great was the ruler of Russia from 1762-1796. She is known
in the history books mostly for her originality as a ruler, and was considered
to be the most creative of Russian rulers up to her reign, and was certainly
one of the most creative in the world at the time.
Catherine was also known for her style of leadership, that of keeping a cheerful temper and good disposition while dealing with those under her. As a result, she won many devotees throughout her reign. Her servants were very faithful to her, and remained in her service for many years. In her travels around the country, she was very well received by the peasants and commoners.
Her ability to get along with people in all walks of life, as well as her dedication and hard work on behalf of Russia (she took over 700 pages of notes on "Commentaries on the Laws of England", her model for her reforms) helped her create the reforms she saw necessary. She was the first ruler in Russia to draw up and put into effect legislation concerning the corporate rights of the nobility, peasants, and townspeople, as well as set up special courts to which everyone had access. In other words, the peasants could and did sue the nobility.
While her reign was certainly not perfect, and she was often criticized for her lack of morality, most leaders will make mistakes and unpopular decisions in their time. The leadership qualities she embodied, including the desire to protect the less fortunate, creativity, and a strong work ethic, made her very popular with the Russian people, and an overall great leader.
In spite of his
close relationship with his father, Rockefeller decided that he would take
a different path in his life. He strongly believed that wealth should be
"and instrumentality of constructive social living", and as a result, became
a great philanthropist, using his money to make a difference, and for the
good of society.
Rockefeller's efforts on behalf of humanity include The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, the Bureau of Social Hygiene, the International Education Board, and the Davidson fund. All told, he gave over $537 million towards the good of mankind, and as a result, can be considered a great leader as well as philanthropist.
The leadership displayed by Rockefeller can be best described in his own words:
Jesse Jackson was born on October 8 in South Carolina, and attended the University of Illinois on a football scholarship. He began his civil rights activism full time in 1965, and at one point was an assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Throughout his career, Jackson has been committed to the youth of America. He has brought the anti-drug message to thousands of elementary, high school and college students throughout the country. He has also visited prisons in order to inspire inmates to change their lives. His work in human rights and social justice has earned him many awards, including the NAACP Springarn Award, over 40 honorary degrees, and for ten years has been on Gallup's list of most respected men in America.
Jackson was instrumental in the release of many Cuban and Cuban-American prisoners, made a strong stand against apartheid in South Africa, and promoted discussions with the then Soviet Union. What he is best known for the formation of the Rainbow Coalition, which promotes empowerment, education, and mobilization. His form of leadership, that of standing up for what he believes in and sticking with his choices and decisions, has made his success possible.
From the very beginning , he was not happy unless he was the very best at what he was doing. This translated into a compelling personality that made it easy for people to follow his lead. One of his first endeavors, called "Operation Breadbasket", caused one of his friends, Richard Hatcher, to call him "just mesmerizing" when he spoke. Jackson was always focused on business and the issues at hand, and didn't indulge in "chit chat" that wasn't pertinent to what he was doing.
Dr. Calvin Morris, another of Jackson's friends from his college years said " He was handsome. He was verbose. He was very personable. Just the nicest person to meet. He had a sense of humor. Was very much a leader, and an engaging person." Jackson is also known for his ability to make people feel as if they are the most important person in the world, an ability that could make even the strongest skeptic follow willingly in his footsteps.
Bill Gates' early family life had a large part to do with his interest and involvement in business. His father was a lawyer and his mother was involved in the boards of several non profit organizations, such as the United Way. As a result, he was exposed to very powerful and influential people at an early age and on a regular basis. This lead him to take his cues in business matters later in life based on what he observed as a child.
From an early age, Gates read business magazines, and while in private school, began his interest in computer companies and how they operated. He very often took the initiative in his classes, so much so that he was excused from several of them because he was so far ahead. He used the resulting free time to learn about computers, and eventually formed a programming club with several of his classmates. Throughout his life, Bill Gates has exhibited strong leadership skills, including his desire to learn, drive to be involved, and excellent use of his time. His style of leadership is an unusual one. He is very passionate about his work, and as Steve Ballmer, one of his close friends says, "Bill knows it's important to avoid that gentle civility that keeps you from getting to the heart of an issue quickly. He likes it when anyone, even a junior employee, challenges him, and you know he respects you when he starts shouting back." He is also known for his sense of humor, and unpretentious attitude towards everyone, a skill that can make those working for him more comfortable.
In spite of all of his success, Gates tries to keep it from taking over his life. In his new book, The Road Ahead, Bill says, "Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose. And it's an unreliable guide to the future. What seems the perfect business plan or latest technology today may soon be as out-of-date as the eight-track tape player, the vacuum-tube television, or the mainframe computer."
Some of his greatest accomplishments during his presidency included the ending of American fighting in Vietnam and improving relations with the USSR and China. His summit meetings with Brezhnev resulted in a treaty to limit nuclear weapons. While the Watergate scandal seems to overshadow his presidency, he should be considered a man who wasn't afraid to take action when it was needed, but also knew when to back down.
Nixon also knew how to evaluate the pro's and con's of a situation, and without any bias, make a decision based on them. He was not a natural politician, being somewhat shy, but he forced himself to excel at the public aspects of his job, uncomfortable it was for him. Nixon once said that "...what starts the process really are laughs and slights and snubs when you are a kid...But if you are reasonably intelligent and if your anger is deep enough and strong enough, you learn that you can change those attitudes by excellence, personal gut performance, while those who have everything are sitting on their fat butts..." This is most likely the driving force behind his need to be a leader.
Tom Wicker, a journalist sums up his career by saying, "...looking back at Watergate, many Americans can't see beyond it the achievements of a president who often responded to the pressures of his time with knowledge and skill and sometimes even with courage-qualities the American people apparently don't find in most of their leaders today."