Jeffrey Smith asked:
Definition of leadership has many aspects, yet it agrees that a leader is one whose magnetic personality galvanizes people for some cause. Not by words, but by their actions is the way great leaders influence their followers. They do what they preach. Their presence is enough to motivate people, as they act as a catalyst.
It is often argued that leaders are born they are not made. Sufficient examples can be cited for both the arguments. However, history has been a testimony to the fact that several leaders have shown extraordinary leadership capability in later parts of their life. No one can become a leader unless and until he is able to influence others. A leader is one who is able to create a lasting influence in the minds of the people, making them believe that whatever the leader is doing, it is for their benefit.
One definition of leadership categorizes a leader as ‘X’ leader if he has extraordinary personal leadership capabilities. The ‘X’ leaders have inner instinct to lead. They demonstrate their leadership ability by developing requisite skills and knowledge. They lead from the front and show utmost care for their followers. These leaders also do not hesitate in admitting mistakes and learning from it. They constantly keep on innovating themselves. They are open to new challenges and are ready to adopt unconventional approach to achieve their objectives. These leaders also have the ability to take big risks.
While defining leadership it is imperative to understand that a leader is one who is effectively able to communicate with his followers. One definition of leadership defines leaders as natural leaders. These natural leaders are called charismatic leaders. The charismatic leaders have the potential to bring radical changes in the society.
Leaders need to monitor the environment continuously. They cannot just act locally but instead they need to have a broader outlook. They should be very flexible and adaptable. A better leader is one who is able to foresee the future and take steps to deal with it. Leaders can be nurtured also. It is for the leader to groom the future leaders for their organization. Proper training, guidance and responsibility help an individual to emerge as a leader.
It is often argued that there is not any single definition of leadership. Every leader in the past exhibited some unique trait, which made them the hero of their followers. Consistency of purpose is necessary. A fickle minded leader confuses his followers and takes them nowhere. A leader should lead a life of discipline. He should act as a catalyst and should not jump to take credit for any success. Once it becomes evident that the leader is behind name, fame and money, he loses the credibility and trust of his followers. A leader should show utmost restraint and patience. During adversity, he should create a positive environment around himself, which will motivate his followers. A leader should not only be visionary but he should be practical also. He should be able to establish a chord with his followers.