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Leadership is the potential to influence other’s behavior. According to Keith Davis, “Leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically”.
A leader is the one who takes care of discipline, delegation of work, coordination. He also looks after motivation and performance assessment towards organizational objective. A leader’s prime job is to define organizational vision and translate the same into reality.
Prominent leadership concepts under fundamentals of management are Qualities of a Leader, Leadership and Management, Leadership and Motivation, Emotional Intelligence for Leaders, Leadership Ethics, Strategy, Styles, Personal Leadership Brand, Situational Leadership and Motivation, Subordinate Development.
A few of the above leadership concepts have been discussed below in brief for clarity on the topic.
Qualities of a good leader: A great leader must have total control over his words, deeds and actions. A few of the great leadership qualities that leader must possess are dedication, sincerity, and being self motivated. They also must have empathy, ability to lead, teach and influence, being responsible etc. A successful leader can be meek and tough at the same time.
Leadership traits and skills: There are 6 core characteristics a leader must possess namely drive, motivation, honesty and integrity, self-confidence, cognitive ability and business knowledge. These traits can predict the effectiveness of the manager. Skills are the knowledge and abilities, or competencies, of leaders. Some of the skills to be possessed by a leader are communication, interpersonal, decision making, planning, motivational, team building skills etc. The competency a leader needs depends upon the situation and some factors. This includes the number of people following the leader, extent of the leader’s leadership skills, leader’s basic nature and values, organization’s background and particular culture.
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The organization’s have leadership-training programs to help managers refine their leadership skills. The modules also offer guidelines for making decisions, solve problems, implement power and influence, and build trust.
Leadership styles: Leaders carryout their roles in various styles namely autocratic, democratic, participatory, transactional and charismatic. Some other styles include bureaucratic, laissez-fire, task-oriented, people-oriented, transformational leadership etc. Manager’s style is dependent on the following elements like motivation, decision making, and task orientation. Managers develop and use legitimate, reward, expert, reverent or coercive powers to influence employee behavior.
Leadership theories: Here are names of a few leadership theories proposed.
- Great Man Theory
- Trait Theory
- Behavioral Theories- Role Theory and Managerial Grid
- Participative Leadership- Lewin’s leadership styles and Likert’s leadership styles
- Situational Leadership
- Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership
- Vroom and Yetton’s Normative Model
- House’s Path-Goal Theory of Leadership
- Fiedler’s Least Preferred Co-worker (LPC) Theory
- Cognitive Resource Theory
- Strategic Contingencies Theory
- Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) Theory
- Bass’ Transformational Leadership Theory
- Burns’ Transformational Leadership Theory
- Kouzes and Posner’s Leadership Participation Inventory
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