Leadership is the art of encouraging a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it (Dwight D. Eisenhower). Being a leader is an adventure because one can never be sure whether he will achieve the goal. Leadership is fun, excitement, adventure but more over it means responsibility. A good leader doesn’t do different things, but he does the same things differently.
The two important things that the leader should deal with are the job and the group. The job: what is to be done, it doesn’t mean work but it could be getting innovative ideas. Thus it’s the leader’s responsibility to get the work done at the right time.
The group: The people who do the job thus the effective leader should be able to manage the team and make everyone work together in peace.
In business, leadership is linked to performance. Active leaders are those who increase their company’s bottom lines.
Role of a Leader:
Leader is the guy who makes the team go. Leader should be self-motivated as they have to help others to do the right things. Once the task has been assigned the leader must set direction, built a simulating idea and produce something unique. Leadership is all about plotting where you need to go to “achieve victory” as a team or an organization. It is inspiring, dynamic and vibrant.
Leader should also use management skills to direct their team, to accomplish the target in a discipline and in an efficient way.
Leader vs. Manager:
“Leaders are people who do the right things, Managers are people who do things right”. (Professor Warren G. Bennis) If manager has got traits of leader in them then he can be a true manager. At every stage manager are expected to be the leader of the work group so that the team members willingly participate, accept guidance and carry instruction.
As stated by John Kotter “Leadership and management are two distinctive and complementary system of action. Both are necessary for success in an increasingly complex & volatile business environment”. The fact is that leadership and management are both important. They are two distinctive systems of action, both are necessary and each seeks to do different task.
Thus one needs to be good in leading and then managing.
Leadership is what I have been practicing since childhood. I was the captain of my school volley ball team. Effective communication with the team mates, inspiring them to achieve targets is what I was good at. Later in my higher secondary school I was elected the Students Secretary where I got to show more of my leadership skills. Organizing events, interacting with different people, getting things done in time were some of the skills which I was good at. Working in group helps you to be a good listener. I enjoyed working in team which helped me to become a good team member along with a good leader. Creativity was another quality which I learnt through various technical programmes which were organized, managed and hosted by me.
I always think of the broader perspective while performing any task. I see to it that while working in teams, all the team members are willing to work with enthusiasm.
Different leadership model:
Leadership models are structured approaches to providing actual guidance and decision making within an organization. Various types of leadership theory have developed programs aimed at classifying different models, sometimes explaining when and where certain models are likely to work best for a given situation.
Leadership Models: Functional, situational, transformational, inspirational, etc. based on Mullins (2010) Framework of Leadership.
Why Situational Leadership Model:
As a group we decided to select Situational Leadership model as it is easy to understand and use. Adaptability and versatility are two key requirements needed from a leader using the situational leadership method.
Leadership is a skill. The ideal scenario is for a leader to have vast flexibility. The requirement to change one’s leadership style according to the circumstances is one of the critical principles underlying standard models such as Situational Leadership (develop by Blanchard and Hersey in the late 1960s). The models examine the needs of the situation you’re in, and then use the most suitable leadership style. Based on employees’ capabilities in their task areas and promise to their tasks, leadership style differs.
Condition of situational leadership:
â€¢ Leaders should adjust their style to follower ‘maturity’, based on how willing and ready the follower is to perform required tasks (competence and motivation).
â€¢ There are 4 leadership styles that match the 4 combinations of high/low willingness and readiness.
â€¢ The 4 styles suggest that leaders should put more or less focus on the task in question and/or the relationship between the follower and the leader.
â€¢ Assumes that leadership based on how the boss makes judgments.
Application of situational leadership:
The Air Force professional military education (PME) schools rely completely on the Situational Leadership model to help teach military leadership and management.
For more than 40 years, the Center for Leadership Studies (CLS) has trained individual, corporate leaders and trainers on Situational Leadership, the approach that produces today’s most preferred, adaptable and strong leaders.
“After attending the Situational Leadership workshop, our managers are better equipped to lead their employees in taking on projects and/or responsibilities.” (Kris Sakowicz, Motorola)
A leadership style and quality Questionnaire will help to sort individual leadership style and map it against the leadership requirement of various sectors/ industries. In order to understand the leadership qualities well, we had a group discussion and came across with some good skills a good leader must hold.
â€¢ Communication skills: Interaction, presenting ideas clearly and effectively, listening and explanation skills are also important. It also includes proper eye contact and body language. Good communication can be through thorough listening and commenting. It helps the leader to get connected to his fellow members with trust while boosting the moral while performing a specific task.
â€¢ Empathy: To show empathy is to identify with another’s feelings. Leaders should have a perspective of the fellow team mates to take a wise decision. This is a quality which a leader should have to be able to judge his people for effective outputs.
â€¢ Inspiration: It’s about helping others to achieve their goal and boosting their confidence. Leaders should communicate this thorough action. An inspirational leader has many followers.
â€¢ Integrity: A person of integrity is the same on the inside and on the outside, such individual can be trusted, a leader must have the trust of followers. It can be gained by good behavior with the team members. Each team member should be treated with respect and the leader should be willing to listen to all the team members’ suggestions. This will eventually help to achieve the integrity of people and will help the leader to perform efficiently in the long run.
â€¢ Magnanimity: Giving credit where it is due, thus magnanimity helps team member feel good about them and bind the team close together. Rewards should be given by leaders for outstanding performances. These rewards inspire people to perform efficiently.
â€¢ Creativity: Ability to think differently, it’s the ability to see things that others have not imagine thus this is how lead supporter in new direction.
â€¢ Sense of Humor: To relieve tension and boredom in order to energize follower. To provide some control over the work environment humor is essential.
â€¢ Organizational awareness: Understand organizational culture and aims then apply different strategies to achieve the goal.
â€¢ Team work: Treat all members equally, should be fair to each and every team member. Interact with them in order to gain loyalty, trust and keep positive spirit in the team.
My group members rated me in different leadership qualities. According to them my communication skills are good as I clearly listen to what other person has got to say and then put my view forth but they failed to observe that I have little stage fear no matter how confident I am. I was also rated as a good motivator as I inspired my team members to participate with zeal throughout the group discussion sessions. Creativity was what they think I am good at. I was rated on an average scale in terms of my sense of humor, it is little difficult for me to work on it. They also rated me good at magnanimity, as I appreciated the views and points put forth my team members. I have always been a good team member since childhood and this was rated as my best quality by my team mates, however sometime due to lack of patience I miss out some important points which might affect my efficiency and I often get irritated when things do not work out well but my team mates believe that I can overcome my weaknesses.
Leadership is a quality by which you can drive people to achieve targets. It is a human science which helps you to communicate effectively, teaches you to be a good listener, be a good team player. Situational Leadership models to improve the decision making process. The feedback by my team members will help me to analyze my strengths and my weaknesses and finally will guide me how to work upon it. This Leadership capability was a truly learning session which helped me to improve my leadership skills.