Defining Leadership

Leadership And Management

Benedict Smythe asked:

Some of the more traditional concepts of leadership and management have now evolved to encompass factors that years ago would have been unthinkable.

Executive management, in particular, involves good leadership style. Years ago, leadership might have been thought to involve nothing more than being the most visible and the most powerful. The traditional thinking is that this in itself is sufficient to warrant leadership – that is, the right visibility and power is a good reason for leading other people.

Nowadays, however, the concept of leadership has grown with the times. Being powerful and visible is simply not enough to ensure good leadership.

Effective leadership

Nowadays, people ask a lot of questions, as they rightly should. Hence, “Is this a good goal of the company?” “Are we sure that the policies implemented are appropriate and workable?” “Is this really a good strategy?” “Are the defined goals attainable?”

Being a good leader, you are not expected to say “We do this because I said so, and I’m the leader.” Nothing will work to lose you converts faster. People have different kinds of leadership styles, and while one style might work for some, it might not work for everyone.

The common thread in all of them, however, is the leader’s ability to address questions and criticisms. And the best way to do this is by having a solid rational footing to begin with. This means that the basic trait people appreciate in a good leader is the ability to make rational and intelligent decisions.

Good social skills

Because leadership mainly involves the “ability to lead or to direct people” towards a predetermined goal, much of the skills expected of a good leader or manager is their ability to navigate social relationships successfully.

This can involve a host of many different skill sets. For example, can you persuade people to your point of view without resorting to threatening or aggressive behaviour? Can you issue commands or instructions and reasonably expect them to be followed – without having to resort to making unhealthy demands? Are you sufficiently clear in your communication with people? You’d be surprised at how much potential conflict and disagreements are actually the result of poor communication and misunderstandings.

After all, the main focus of leadership and being a good leader is people. Hence, effective leadership involves effectively dealing with people.

Good management is effective leadership

The ability to properly manage a group or organization is equivalent to being an effective leader. Why? Because managing groups and organizations mainly involve being able to direct the efforts a particular group of individuals.

You might think that being a manager, your main concern is really the welfare of the company or the organization as a whole, and your sole purpose is achieving goals, without regard to the welfare of people. After all, you pay them sufficiently for the work they provide. Thus they have no sufficient cause for complaints otherwise.

There is no way of getting around the fact that good management and leadership involves dealing with people. And all of us being humans, unique personalities and sensibilities are involved. This means that you would have to deal with a host of variable factors that have to be balanced, managed and directed in order to ensure optimum performance.

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