Defining Leadership

Ensuring Effective Leadership Choice in Organization

Verena Veneeva asked:

This article will provide brief overview about the concept and definition of leadership, set of competencies required and choices of power available for leaders through which they can work for organizational benefits.

There is no second thought about the fact that like in normal social life, organizations cannot deny existence and effectiveness of leadership for organizational objectives. In the simplest way, leadership can de defined as influencing other to act towards the attainment of a goal (Rehfeld, 1994, Greenwood, 1993) that in organizational sense mean business objectives. To attain such goals, leaders require a distinguished set of competencies, should enjoy some forms of power and can choose from various leadership styles with relevance to scenario requirements (, 2006).

It was argued that to secure effective leadership, organizations should examine five core competencies including empowerment, intuition, vision, value congruence and self-understanding (Slocum & Hellriegel, 1996). It was argued that through empowerment, leader influences and control followers while intuition-manifested ability of a leader to scan a situation, anticipate changed, and take risk as well build trust. Similarly a leader should have self-understanding of his opt her own strengths and weakness to make best use of his strengths and avoid strategies that can be adversely affected by weaknesses. Moreover the leader should have vision to imagine scenarios and future path and deciding ways to achieve best possible set of strategies related to his visionary future (, 2006). However one the most important required competency is value congruence that is leader should have ability to understand organizational goals as well as employees’ values and then reconcile both to optimal level.

Koontz & Weihrich (1990) asserts that for leadership choice organizations should identify the person with a particular set of effective leadership ingredients. That ingredients include ability for effective and responsible utilization of power, ability to realize that in different situations and times human beings get motivated differently, should have inspiration power and ability to ensure conducive motivating climate of his or her team.

Once a leader is chosen with best match of these competencies, leader should consider the best use of available powers he possesses. According to Slocum & Hellriegel (1995), five different powers are available to leaders. They can use legitimate power due to their formal position in organizational hierarchy as well as reward and coercive powers by facilitating ability to influence followers by either rewarding them or to obtain their compliance through punishments’ fear. As far as leader’s own personality charisma is concerned, leader should have ability to use referent power through which followers feel proud to get identification from association with leader. However leaders should have specialized knowledge of the tasks they are controlling so that followers can feel their expert power as well.

Hence the discussion implies that every member of organization can not become a leader so choice of leader should be made with relevance to the competencies and skilled required for effective leadership as well as ability to use power so that followers can get influenced


Greenwood, R,G, (1993), ‘Leadership Theory: A Historical Look at its Evolution’, Journal of Leadership Studies, Nov, 1993, 3-20

Koontz, H & Weihrich, H, (1990), ‘Essentials of Management’, New Delhi: Tata McGraw-hill

Papers For You (2006) “P/M/507. Review of theories on leadership: evolution, styles, keys to success”, Available from [22/06/2006]

Papers For You (2006) “E/M/29. Theory of leadership and methods of research”, Available from [21/06/2006]

Rehfield, J, E (1994), ‘Academy of a Leader’, New York: John Wiley & Sons

Slocum, h & Hellriegel, D (1996), ‘Management’, Seventh Edition, Ohio: South-Western College Publishing

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