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Business Studies > Directing > Leadership
Directing

Leadership

Leaders and their leadership skills play an important role in the growth of any organization. Leadership refers to the process of influencing the behaviour of people in a manner that they strive willingly and enthusiastically towards the achievement of group objectives.

A leader should have the ability to maintain good interpersonal relations with the followers or subordinates and motivate them to help in achieving the organizational objectives.

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Features of Leadership

  • Influence the behaviour of others: Leadership is an ability of an individual to influence the behaviour of other employees in the organization to achieve a common purpose or goal so that they are willingly co-operating with each other for the fulfillment of the same.
  • Inter-personal process: It is an interpersonal process between the leader and the followers. The relationship between the leader and the followers decides how efficiently and effectively the targets of the organization would be met.
  • Attainment of common organizational goals: The purpose of leadership is to guide the people in an organization to work towards the attainment of common organizational goals. The leader brings the people and their efforts together to achieve common goals.
  • Continuous process: Leadership is a continuous process. A leader has to guide his employees every time and also monitor them in order to make sure that their efforts are going in the same direction and that they are not deviating from their goals.
  • Group process: It is a group process that involves two or more people together interacting with each other. A leader cannot lead without the followers.
  • Dependent on the situation: It is situation bound as it all depends upon tackling the situations present. Thus, there is no single best style of leadership.

Leadership

Importance of Leadership:

  • Initiating Action: Leadership starts from the very beginning, even before the work actually starts. A leader is a person who communicates the policies and plans to the subordinates to start the work.
  • Providing Motivation: A leader motivates the employees by giving them financial and non-financial incentives and gets the work done efficiently. Motivation is the driving force in an individual’s life.
  • Providing guidance: A leader not only supervises the employees but also guides them in their work. He instructs the subordinates on how to perform their work effectively so that their efforts don’t get wasted.
  • Creating confidence: A leader acknowledges the efforts of the employees, explains to them their role clearly and guides them to achieve their goals. He also resolves the complaints and problems of the employees, thereby building confidence in them regarding the organization.
  • Building work environment: A good leader should maintain personal contacts with the employees and should hear their problems and solve them. He always listens to the point of view of the employees and in case of disagreement persuades them to agree with him by giving suitable clarifications. In case of conflicts, he handles them carefully and does not allow it to adversely affect the entity. A positive and efficient work environment helps in stable growth of the organization.
  • Co-ordination: A leader reconciles the personal interests of the employees with the organizational goals and achieves co-ordination in the entity.
  • Creating Successors: A leader trains his subordinates in such a manner that they can succeed him in future easily in his absence. He creates more leaders.
  • Induces change: A leader persuades, clarifies and inspires employees to accept any change in the organization without much resistance and discontentment. He makes sure that employees don’t feel insecure about the changes.

Often, the success of an organization is attributed to its leaders. But, one must not forget that it’s the followers who make a leader successful by accepting his leadership. Thus, leaders and followers collectively play a key role to make leadership successful.

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Qualities of a Leader

  • Personality: A pleasing personality always attracts people. A leader should also friendly and yet authoritative so that he inspires people to work hard like him.
  • Knowledge: A subordinate looks up to his leader for any suggestion that he needs. A good leader should thus possess adequate knowledge and competence in order to influence the subordinates.
  • Integrity: A leader needs to possess a high level of integrity and honesty. He should have a fair outlook and should base his judgment on the facts and logic. He should be objective and not biased.
  • Initiative: A good leader takes initiative to grab the opportunities and not wait for them and use them to the advantage of the organization.
  • Communication skillsA leader needs to be a good communicator so that he can explain his ideas, policies, and procedures clearly to the people. He not only needs to be a good speaker but also a good listener, counsellor, and persuader.
  • Motivation skills: A leader needs to be an effective motivator who understands the needs of the people and motivates them by satisfying those needs.
  • Self-confidence and Will Power: A leader needs to have a high level of self-confidence and immense will-power and should not lose it even in the worst situations, else employees will not believe in him.
  • Intelligence: A leader needs to be intelligent enough to analyze the pros and cons of a situation and take a decision accordingly. He also needs to have a vision and fore-sightedness so that he can predict the future impact of the decisions taken by him.
  • Decisiveness: A leader has to be decisive in managing his work and should be firm on the decisions are taken by him.
  • Social skills: A leader should possess empathy towards others. He should also be a humanist who also helps the people with their personal problems. He also needs to possess a sense of responsibility and accountability because with great authority comes great responsibility.

Leadership Styles

  • Autocratic leadership style: It refers to a leadership style where the leader takes all the decisions by himself.
  • Democratic leadership style: It refers to a style where the leader consults its subordinates before taking the final decision.
  • Laissez-faire or Free-rein leadership style: It refers to a style where the leader gives his subordinates complete freedom to take the decisions.

Solved Question for You

Q: All decision power is centralized in a ________.

  1. Democratic Leadership
  2. Laissez Faire leadership
  3. Autocratic Leadership
  4. All of the above

Ans: The correct answer is C. An autocratic leader does not delegate any authority or responsibility to anyone. They just make decisions on their own and communicate them expecting implementation.

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