What is leadership
Leadership is the process of influencing and supporting others to work enthusiastically toward achieving objectives. It is the critical factor that helps an individual or a group identify their goals and then motivates and assists in achieving the stated goals. The three important elements
in the definition leadership, an organization would be only a confusion of people and machines, just as an orchestra without a conductor would be only musicians and instruments. The orchestra and all other organizations require leadership to develop their precious assets to the fullest.
Leadership indicates those qualities of a person by virtue of which he is in a position to direct people for attainment organisational objectives. It is because of his ability that a person guides ethers. Following are some of the important definitions of leadership.
According to Koontz and O’Donnel, “Leadership is generally defined simply as influence, the art or process of influencing people so that they will strive willingly towards the achievement of group goals”.
In the words of Chester I. Barnard, “Leadership refers to the quality of the behaviour of individuals whereby
they guide people on their activities in organised efforts.
To quote Alford and Beatty, “Leadership is the ability to secure desirable actions from a group of followersvoluntarily withoul the use of coercion.
In this way, leadership is a quality by which a person organises, directs and controls an individual or a group of persons for attainment of organisational objective.
Nature of Leadership
Following is the Nature of leadership:
(1) Leadership is a personal Relationship Between the Leader and his Followers-
For leadership, there should be a group of persons who are willing to act at the instructions or directions of the leader. In fact, there can be no leadership without followership. In this way, there is a personal relationship between the leader and his followers.
(2) Common Objectives- The objective of the leader and the followers is same. If objective of both, the leader and his followers, is different there is no significance of leadership
(3) The Leadership Should Rest with a Person who is Competent and Maintains a Moral-The leader should be a man of competence and character so that people may have confidence in him and be inspired by him. In this way, a competent person atone should have leadership:
(4) Success of Leadership Depends on the Followers and Organisational Climate-Success of a leader depends
on his followers and the organisational climate. A leader can be effective only when the environment in the organisation.
(5) Organisation of Group. A leader organises a group and motivates them to move according to the given plan.
(6) Continuous and Dynamic Process Leadership is a continuous and dynamic process.
Importance and Functions of
Leadership Leadership is the basis of managerial success. Following are the important functions of leadership:
(1) Inspiration-Management is an art of getting the things done, but without leadership it is difficult to get the
(2) Co-operation-It is through leadership that mutual distrust and misunderstanding among persons of a group can be removed. A leader can persuade people to co-operate with each other. In this way, leadership provides a basis of co-operation.
(3) Maintaining Discipline- No organisation can function effectively inspite of a qualified and competent work-force, if there is indiscipline among them. A leader can
create discipline in the group on the basis of his personal influence.
(4) Sailing Through Difficult Times- A real test of leadership is during the difficult times. In fact, leadership is.tested in a period of crisis and challenge. An effective leader.saves the organisation during the period of crisis.
(5) Conduct of Collective Work-Pre-determined objectives can be attained when there is unity and co-ordination in the organisation. In fact, leadership is needed for the conduct of collective efforts.
(6) Boosting Morale of the Subordinates- A leader creates a feeling of co-operation to his subordinates. He inspires them for good work. A leader appreciates a worker if he does something good. This goes to boost the morale of the workers.
The role of leadership
Various types of roles are played by managers. By virtue of the formal position, the manager has a figurehead role as a symbol of the organisation. Most of the time is spent greeting a touring class of students or taking an important customer to lunch. The second role is called the leader role. In this role the manager uses his or her influence to motivate and encourage subordinates to accomplish or-
ganizational objectives. In the third type of interpersonal role the manager undertakes a liaison role. This role recognizes that managers often spend more time interacting with others outside their unit (with peers in other units or those completely outside the organization) than they do working
with their own superiors and subordinates.
Characteristics of Leadership
An analysis of the definitions cited above reveals.the following important.characteristics of leadership:
1.Leadership is a personal quality.
2.It exists only with followers. If there are no followers there is no leadership.
3.It is the willingness of people to follow that makes person a leader.
4.Leadership is a process of influence. A leader must be able to influence the behaviour, attitude and beliefs of his subordinates.
5.”It exists only for the realisation of common goals.
6.It involves readiness to accept complete responsibility in all situations.
7.Leadership is the function of stimulating the followers to strive willingly to attain organizational objectives.
8.Leadership styles do change under different circumstances.
9.Leadership is neither bossism nor synonymous with management.