Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Leadership by a Leader ?

Leadership is defined as “the influence that particular individuals exert on the goal achievement of others in an organizational context” (Gary Johns et al. 2005, p. 274).  A leader is someone who can influence others and who has managerial authority.” (Robbins, S et al. 2006, p. 568). According to S.A Kirkpartrick and E.A Locke (1991), leaders are intelligent energetic positive thinking people who have alot of initiatives, ambitious and willing to take responsibility and answer for the consequences. A visionary leader is one with a far-sighted vision and has the knowledge and special experience to forsee or forecast what to expect.

Hence, a leader is an individual who leads people towards a certain goal; being a figurehead who rules, guides or inspires others. A leader is one who is in charge or in command of others.

• leader has to be trustworthy and must fulfil promises made. he must also take responsibility for his own actions.
• One who takes his work and role as a leader seriously. He motivates his followers towards a common objective.
• One who is confident and calm in a crisis, a leader must display self-confidence and exude a calm disposition so that people will believe in him. He is able to adapt to situational changes and adjust to his advantage.

To suggest that leaders do not enter the world with extraordinary endowment is to imply that people enter the world with equal abilities, with equal talents.” (Cawthon, D L 1996, p. 2)

By comparing a person who is musically inclined and one who is tone-deaf, the musically inclined individual will progress further than the one who is tone-deaf when they go through the same training. Although the tone-deaf individual may improve slightly, the progress of the talented individual will be much more evident. This is the same case with leadership.

It is true that people can be trained through leadership programs; however these trained personnel will often pale in comparison with those who have in-born characteristics that allow them to excel in leadership roles.

It is not just the amount of training an individual receives that creates a leader; rather it is the traits an individual possesses that play a crucial role. The training just accelerates the development of the in-born abilities.

Leaders rely on self-fulfilling prophecies in achieving some of his main objectives:

Helping people realize their true potential. Life revolves around a few chores, around a handful of activities. We work, we eat, we sleep. Events start defining our lives, instead of our lives defining events. This all too often leads us to lose our perspective, to stop seeing life in its totality. We start going around in circles. It frequently takes a leader to lift us out of this fog, to point us to a true purpose of our lives so that we stretch ourselves to achieve bigger goals in life.

Motivating people to higher levels of performance. Leaders understand that people don't perform at the highest level if they're not fully motivated. Leaders therefore unleash self-fulfilling high expectations for our talents and instill in us the confidence to do more with the tools at hand, or to stretch more to overcome a lack of tools. They inspire in us a desire to perform better in life, both day to day and longer term.

Aligning people with a broader vision. Leaders use self-fulfilling high expectations to rally people behind a higher vision. They convince those people that they're specially endowed with the talents and capabilities they need to surge toward that seemingly unattainable vision.

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