Leadership is an important part of every human endeavor- personal, community-based or even in a big or small organization. There has been a volume of research and studies regarding leadership its theory, style and how can we be an effective leader using power and influence.
First, let us try to define what leadership is. Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Leaders should have very good influencing powers .To carry out the goal of the group or the organisation. Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership attributes, such as belief, values, ethics, character, knowledge, and skills.
There are many reasons why society and organizations need effective leaders. First, leaders are held responsible for the growth and development of the organization. The success and failure of any organizations lies mainly in the hands of a leader. Second, leaders provide a guiding purpose for the group or organization. Third, today’s concern about the integrity of our institutions emphasizes the need for better relationship in government, school business or an organization.
Are leaders born or made? Good leaders are made not born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never-ending process of self-study, education, training, seminar and experience. This guide will help you through the process.
Effective leadership can happen on the dance floor of conversation. Leadership is an interactive conversation that pulls people toward becoming comfortable with the language of personal responsibility and commitment.
Leadership is not just for people at the top. Everyone can learn to lead by discovering the power that lies within each one of us to make a difference and practicing the law of reciprocity.
In this essay, it would include the presentation of the critical analysis of one effective and ineffective leader, what contributes to their effectiveness and ineffectiveness, what power and influence did the leaders use and what their particular organization could do to augment the effectiveness of their leaders and to develop other effective leader.
II. BODY OF THE ESSAY:
According to Ralph Lauren “ an effective leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. This is true in a sense that as leaders, we should be visionary and believe that our hopes and goals will be achieved.
Good leaders are not born but they are made. If we have the desire and will power, we can become an effective leader. Good leaders are developing through time and training. Everybody has the capacity to develop and acquire leadership skills.
Developing such skills will help us to understand how people feel, what motivates them, and the best way to influence them.
Being a leader is not an easy task. There are many things to do and to develop for a leader to become an effective leader? The question is, what are the characteristics of an effective leader? For one to be considered as an effective leader, first, a leader should have the passion those leaders who love what they do and love what they are doing, give hope and inspiration to his followers. Second, an effective leader makes tough decisions. As a leader, we should be comfortable making sound decisions. We should gather facts, organize information, and apply good judgement in their choice of action.
A good leader can accept and take risks for his decisions. Risk takers tend to be achievement-oriented, goal directed, and self-confident. The willingness to try new ideas often reaps reward for the individual and the company. According to studies, risk-takers are tantamount to successful leadership. Next, an effective leader is a good communicator wherein they can express their thoughts and ideas in a very good manner. It includes good oral and written communication skills. They set goals and achieve those goals by communicating to others what they want to gain support and cooperation.
An effective leader also knows how to motivate others to influence other people to produce good results. Motivation of employees will lean away from the autocratic methods of the past toward the new style of inspiring and empowering employees. According to Kotter, author of the Leadership Factor that tells that leadership is the process of moving people in some direction mostly through non coercive means. An effective leader recognizes that people are a key resource to the success of the organization, project or vision. Also, to be an effective leader, he should be a visionary. Leaders should have a clear idea of what they want to do and the strength to persist. An effective leader is a person of integrity, gives trust and is trustworthy.
The following traits and characteristics stand out as an important for success an ineffective leader is totally the opposite. First, they create a climate of fear wherein the subordinate follow simply because they are afraid of the leader not because they really give support to the mission and vision of the company. An ineffective leader avoid changes, they don’t want to try new ideas. Also in the list of an ineffective leader is that they avoid making tough decisions. Their unwillingness to take risk is simply because they are afraid to commit mistakes. An ineffective leader exhibits character of being anti-social and does not want to accept responsibility.
According to Mcshane (2007) one effective leader is CEO of Procter & Gamble (P& G) named Alan George Lafley. As an effective leader, he has knowledge of the business environment in which they operate. For example, he has a thorough knowledge of Procter & Gamble products and market. In this way, he recognizes opportunities and understands the organization’s capacity to capture those opportunities. He also possesses self-confidence, he believes in his leadership skills and ability to achieve objectives.
Effective leaders are usually extrovert outgoing, sociable, and assertive. Importantly, Lafley also walks the talk; his behaviour is aligned with the message he conveys. He restructured the company, pruned costs and rekindled a spirit of innovation through special creativity teams. As a leader, Alley has a high level of emotional intelligence. He has the ability to perceive and express emotion, assimilate emotion in thought, understand and reason, and regulate emotion in themselves and others.
Last, but not the least, he has the drive for achievement. It represents the inner motivation that leaders possess to pursue their goals and encourage others to move forward. Drive inspires an inquisitiveness and need to learn. An ineffective leader is Niccolo Machiavelli. He was one of the history’s most enduring characters. He was a bureaucrat and a diplomat for the city –states of Florence. He was known for his clever frauds, boldness and expert use of cruelty. He advocates the use of machination, ruthlessness and treachery. He also believes that leaders need to be half-beasts, possessing the fox’s guile and the lion’s brutality. As of present, there are leaders who admire Machiavelli. From him, the world produces leaders like Hitler, Mussolini and Lenin. They are ineffective in a sense that they don’t care for other people and create an atmosphere of fear.
In leadership, the word influence is a key word. Influence is our ability to change the behaviour attitude of the person. This ability is the result of our power. Leaders vary in their use of their powers. There are many sources of power: reward, coercive, legitimate expert, and referent. Reward power is the ability to give something of material or personal value to others. The rewards maybe in the form of promotions, bonuses, highly desirable job assignments, praise for a job well done or a desired position title.
Coercive power is based on fear and punishment. Demotions, dismissals, reprimand, assignment of unpleasant tasks, and public embarrassment is some of the examples of coercive power. This form can direct toward superiors, co-workers or subordinates. Unfortunately, excessive use of coercive power is considered to be unacceptable in the work environment especially for the professionals. It may take sabotage or malicious obedience.
Because of its potential for harm, coercive power should be used with great care. With the case of Niccolo Machiavelli, he used the coercive power . Because he advocated that leaders should be ruthless to his subordinates and he practice treachery among his members. In this kind of power, leaders are power-grabber and power-hungry. They will try to succeed at any cost. Legitimate power is derived from a formal rank or position within an organizational hierarchy. This power is dependent on the formal, established chain of command within the organization and the perceived authority of the individual in that position of power.
The fourth power is the expert power, it develops when an individual possesses specialized skills, knowledge, or expertise. It can be held by individuals ranging from the chief executive officer to the computer technician. Last but not he least is the charisma power. It is a combination of charm and personal magnetism that contributes to a remarkable ability to get other people to endorse your vision. Referent power is based on respect or admiration for the individual that results to personal charisma. Charismatic leaders develop vision, shows conviction and develop self-confidence. In the case of CEO of Procter & Gamble Alan George Lafley, he used the combinations of power like referent power , because he earned the respect and admiration of people in their organization. Expert power because he has the full knowledge regarding the business of P& G. Legitimate power in a sense that he was duly chosen to be the Chief Executive Officer of P& G.
Leadership is not totally for executives alone. Anyone in the organization may be a leader in various ways and times. This view is known as shared leadership or the leaderful organization. Successful organizations empower their employees to take leadership role. They will realize later on that the real essence of leadership is influence, they realize that everybody has leadership qualities and responsibilities.
Truly, we say that leadership is influencing, motivating, and enabling others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which we are members.
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McShane, S. L. & Glinow, M. V. Organizational behavior. (2007) New York:
Mc Graw Hill International Edition