A leader is a person who influences the attributes and behaviour of people. A person is said to have an influence over others when they are willing to carry out wishes and accept his guidance. A leader guides and directs the efforts of people towards certain objectives.
Leaders- Born or Made?
There is a controversy regarding how leaders emerge. Some people believe that leaders are born while others believe that leaders can be produced. Let us examine both the viewpoints. Leaders are born: According to this view, leaders in general and great leaders in particular are born, not made. Leaderships qualities are inborn and passed on from one generation to another. It is argued that leadership skills are God-gifted and inherited. It is true to some extent that a person inherits some qualities of his parents. So according to this, leaders are born. Leaders are made: According to this opinion, a person can acquire leadership qualities through formal education, training and experience. Situations and environments create leaders are created. Both the views are correct. To some extent leadership qualities are inborn but they can be created and sharpened through education, training and experience.
Qualities of a good leader:
A good leader must possess the following qualities. Let us read them.
1. Future vision and foresight: A leader should have the ability to visualise the future course of action. He needs sound judgement and the ability to take the right decisions at the right moment.
2. Analytical capacity: A successful leader must have analytical capacity. He should have the ability to work according to the needs of the circumstances and to accept the quality.
3. Human relation attitude: A leader should develop friendly relations with his subordinates. He should have the clear knowledge about the interests, desires, inclinations, aspirations and outlook.
4. Decision-making power: The leader must have the power to take decisions according to the needs of circumstances. The decisions must be taken at the right time after giving careful thought to the internal and external factors and their consequences.
5. Courage, tact and devotion: A leader must have courage, tact and devotion towards his work. He should be honest, sincere and fair in his dealings with his subordinates.
6. Technical competence: A leader should possess a thorough knowledge of the theory and practice of his job. Technical skills of leadership are essential to win the support of his subordinates.
7. Empathy: A leader should have the ability to look at things from the points of view of others. He should have the capacity to appreciate others.
8. Vitality and endurance: A good leader should work with courage and patience even in adverse situations. He must have the ability to forecast the situation and take necessary steps to solve the problems.
9. Mentally and emotionally strong: The leader should have a cool temperament and emotional and mental balance. He should be unduly moved by emotions and sentiments. He should not lose temper or show indecisiveness even in the face of heavy odds.
10. Integrity: A leader should be a role model to others in terms of ethics and values.
11. Communication skills: A good leader must have the ability to communicate clearly and precisely about the goals and procedures that is to followed.
12. Self-confidence and will power: A good leader should have confidence in his own ability to lead others. He requires the will power to meet the needs of every situation. He can inspire others and win their trust only when he has full confidence is himself and a strong will to win.
Relationship between planning and leadership
Planning is a mental exercise that requires imagination, foresight and sound judgement. It is thinking before doing. As the leaders can vision and foresight about the future, so before they go to sleep they create a planning of the rest work and how it is to be executed. This intellectual process goes inside the head of leaders. They follow the four steps. That is 'what is to be done,' 'how it is to be done,' 'where it is to be done' and 'when it is to be done.'
Relationship between leadership and directing
Directing is that part of management where a leader works efficiently and effectively for the attainment of desired objectives and goals. The relationship between leadership and directing is that the leaders follow this steps to attain a desired goals- they initiates actions, improves efficiency, ensures coordination, facilitates the changing of business environment, helps to keep a balance within the organization and helps in stability and growth of the organization.
Leaders create winning team and other leaders through morale and team work
Leaders create winning team and other leaders in the organization through morale and team work. A leader builds up dedication and loyalty among the group members and this motivates the subordinates to work under him. He serves a guide, friend and philosopher in the group. Thus a winning is created.
Other future leaders are created by the existing leader by team work and aid to authority. The leader ensures that there is team work in the organization. He observes the quality of other subordinates and resolves internal conflicts and serves a mediator and an arbitrator in the organization.
Leaders choose great people who can be great leaders in future
The leader chooses great people who can be the great leaders in future with qualities that he possesses. 'Can he be the representation of the organization in future?' 'Can he involves a community of interests among the followers?' 'Can he derive the authority from his appeal of followers?' The leader looks into these questions while choosing a great person to be the future leader.
A leader protects the interests of the subordinates and serves as their guardian. He acts as their spoke person and bargains with the outside forces for the welfare of the group.
A strong leader can be a weak manager just as a strong manager may be a weak leader. A leader need not to be a manager but a good manager must have the qualities of an effective leader.
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