Leadership is about ascertaining a method for people to contribute so that it can result in a significant achievement. It is a process that enables a person to influence others to achieve a goal and directs an organization to become rational and consistent. Leaders carry out these processes by leveraging their leadership traits such as values, ethics and knowledge.
Good leaders are not born. They are made. If a person has the willpower and the ability to learn, he can become a successful leader. A good leader engages in a continuous process of education, experience and training. He studies to improve his leadership skills and does not rest on past glory. One’s position as a manager or supervisor gives one the authority to handle responsibilities and achieve the desired results making him the boss. Leadership is different. It inspires the followers, makes them raise the bar and set themselves higher goals.
There are various theories on leadership. According to the Trait Theory, certain personality traits may lead people spontaneously into leadership roles. A difficult situation or a crisis may bring out the latent leadership qualities in a person, which is referred to as the Great Events Theory. The most widely accepted theory today is the Transformational Leadership Theory, which states that leadership skills can be mastered by people who wish to become leaders. When a person respects an individual as leader, he does not take into account the leader’s attributes but rather valuates his actions and makes an assessment. This observation helps him learn if he is a trustworthy leader or a selfish individual.
Serving selflessly and taking everybody along in his stride in developing an organization makes a person an acceptable leader. In the opinion of the employees, leadership is that which advances the organizational goals, while taking care of employees’ well being. People like to be led by those whom they respect. To earn respect, leaders have to be moral and principled. They can provide a powerful vision of the future with the sense of proper direction to the followers.
According to experts, there are two very important components of effective leadership. One is belief and confidence in leadership, which is an indicator of employee satisfaction in the organization. The second is effective communication by the leadership in making the employees understand the business strategy, helping them understand and contribute to the achievement of the organization’s business objectives and sharing information about the organization with the employees for their benefit and guidance.
A leader should know what he is, what he knows and what he does. He should incessantly seek self-improvement. He should be familiar with the tasks and environment of employees. He should set an example to the rest of the employees. Inspiring, encouraging and enabling followers to share his vision and improve the organization’s performance are the tests of successful leadership.