Type: Management
Pages: 7 | Words: 1945
Reading Time: 9 Minutes

Leadership is the social influence process where one person enlists the support and aid of others so as to accomplish a common task. There has come up more definitions that comprise followers. Genentech’s Alan Keith described leadership “Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen.” Tom DeMarco argues that there is need to distinguish leadership from pretentiousness.

Leadership is one of the highest relevant characteristics in the context of an organization. However, definition of leadership has been quite a challenge and its definitions differ depending on the circumstances. Lincoln’s University assistant professor  Ann Marie E. McSwain, states, “leadership is about capacity: the capacity of leaders to listen and observe, to use their expertise as a starting point to encourage dialogue between all levels of decision-making, to establish processes and transparency in decision-making, to articulate their own value and visions clearly but not impose them. Leadership is about setting and not just reacting to agendas, identifying problems, and initiating change that makes for substantial improvement rather than managing change.” (Hersey, Blanchard, Ken, 2008).

An organization that is put up as a means of attaining certain objectives is referred to as a formal organization. The design of this organization has specified ways in which goals are subdivided and how they are reflected in the organizations subdivisions. This structure of work is made up of departments, divisions, positions, jobs, sections and various tasks. It is therefore important for an organization to act formally as far as relationship with its members or clients are concerned. Entry and consequent progression is by seniority or by merit According to a definition by Weber. Every employee gets a salary and each of them ha s degree of tenure that protects from the illogical pressure of powerful clients or superiors. The higher the position of an employee in the pecking order, the greater is his acknowledged proficiency in helping to solve problems that may come up in the course of work taking place at low levels in the organization. This bureaucratic structure of organizations is the one that forms a foundation for selection of leaders of administrative subdivisions of an organization and gives them authority due to their positions. In comparison to an appointed head of an administrative unit, a leader comes out in a context of informal organization that motivates the prescribed structure. An informal organization expresses individual goals and objectives of each and every member with their goals and objectives not coinciding with those of a formal organization (Hersey, Blanchard, Ken, 2008).

An informal organization stands for an annex of the common structures that characterize human life in general. In early times, humankind was thoughtful of personal security, protection, maintenance, and means of survival. In the contemporary times, humanity most of the hours they are awake working for organizations. The need of a human being to identify with the community that assures security, maintenance, protection and a sense of belonging remains the same as in prehistoric times. This need is therefore fulfilled by unofficial organization and it’s developing unofficial, leaders.

Leaders come out from inside the structures of the unofficial organizations. Their special qualities, the requirements of a situation, or a combination of many other factors draw followers who acknowledge their leadership in one or in many structures. An emergent leader exercises power instead of the position of a selected head. Influence, is the capacity of an individual to get co-operation from others by a way of persuasion or by a way of controlling rewards. Power is a very strong type of influence for the reason that it mirrors the ability of a person in enforcing actions in a way of controlling a means of punishment.

A leader is an individual who sways other people towards achieving a particular outcome. Leadership does not depend on formal authority or title. It is not dependent on title or formal authority.  Leaders stand out for their ability to care for others, their commitment in persistence and their clear communication skills. A person chosen to a management position has the authority to enforce and to command obedience by good worth of the power of his position. However, the leader must have sufficient personal qualities to go hand in hand with his authority, for the reason that authority is only obtainable to him potentially. If there is lack of adequate personal attributes, a manager might be dealt with by a developing leader who may confront his/her responsibility in the organization and lessen it to that of a figurehead. However, it is only the influence of position that has a formal sanctions backing. Therefore, whoever exercises personal authority and power can make it legitimate by getting into a formal position in the hierarchy, with proportionate power.  Leadership can be described as the ability of an individual to get others to follow willingly and leaders are needed at every level of an organization.

The terminologies of “leadership” and “management” have over the years been used in the organizational context as synonyms and with meanings that are clearly differentiated. Fairly common is a debate about whether use of these terms should be constrained. In general, there is reflection of awareness of the differences between “transactional” leadership (this is characterized by contingent reward, emphasis on procedures, and management by exclusion) and “transformational” leadership (this is characterized by charisma, creativity, personal relationships,) (Hersey, Blanchard, Ken, 2008).

Leadership by a group has been adopted by some organizations in comparison to leadership by individuals. In such a case directions to the whole group are provided by more than one individual. Most organizations have adopted this move with the hope that it will add to creativity, hence reducing costs. Other organizations consider the traditional leadership offered by a boss as too much costly in the performance of a team. In other situations, maintaining a boss is too expensive because it may exhaust the whole group’s resources or impend the team’s creativity, although it may be unintentional. A general example of a group leadership comprises of cross-functional teams. A group of people from various parts of an organization with various skills converges to lead a project (Hersey, Blanchard, Ken, 2008).

A group organization can engage distribution of power on all issues, but what is more commonly used is the rotational leadership. A team group member who is most capable of handling a given phase of any project is made a leader temporarily. And for the reason that every member of the group has a chance to experience the new level of empowerment, it motivates staff therefore creating avenues for success. Leaders who are persistent, determined, tenacious, and they have excellent communication skills, pass down those qualities to their groups. A good leader will use his/her inner mentors to motivate their organization and their group and lead it towards success.

Thinkers in Aristocratic have put forward that leadership is dependent on an individual’s genes or blue blood:  monarchy takes an excessive view of the same plan, and may support its statements against the claims of simple aristocrats by appealing to divine approval. On the contrary, more theorists who are democratically inclined have referred to meritocratic leader’s examples, such as the Napoleonic organizations getting profits from careers that are open to talent. In the paternalistic/autocratic tension of thinking, traditionalists remember the responsibility of leadership of the pater familias of Roman. On the other hand, feminist thinking may possibly object to models such as patriarchal and hypothesize not in favor of them emotionally-attuned, consensual sympathetic guidance, responsive. This could be associated with, matriarchies. As good as in the Roman tradition, the opinions of Confucianism regarding “right living” share a lot to the principle of the (male) scholar-leader and his kind rule, reinforced by a practice of filial goodness.

Leadership is all about trustworthiness, intelligence, humaneness, discipline and courage. Dependence on only intelligence will result to rebelliousness. Put into effect of only humaneness will result to weaknesses. Addiction on trust only will result in foolishness. Reliance on the courage strength alone will result in violence and too much sternness and discipline in authority outcome will be cruelty. One could be a leader if he/she has all the five virtues of leaders together with each of them suitable to its function (Fiedler, 1967). 

The embellishment of the thought of anarchist did put the whole idea of leadership to question in the 19th century, (Oxford English Dictionary added the word “leadership” in English in the 19th century.) One reaction to this refutation of élitism came with Leninism, which insisted for an élite team of regimented cadres to take action as the forerunners of a socialist revolution, and this brought dictatorship of the proletariat into existence. Many other historical opinions of leadership have dealt with the apparent differences between religious leadership and the secular leadership. The principles of Caesaro-papism have happened again and they have been having critics over quite a few centuries. The thinking of Christian on leadership often emphasizes on stewardship of resources provided by God and their exploitation in accordance with the plan of God. They include human resources and material resources.

Action oriented team leadership skills, is an exceptional way of approaching leadership that targets environments that are action oriented where efficient practical leadership is needed for achievement of reactive or critical tasks by undersized teams set up into the field. This is also to mean leadership of small teams most often created to create a response to a critical incidence or to a situation. In many circumstances these groups are given a responsibility to work in changeable and remote environments. In these environments a very different set of skills of leadership are necessary to that of front line management. Leaders in this case ought to effectively function tenuously and discuss both the individual needs and those of group and task inside a variable environment. This is referred to as Action Oriented Leadership. Some examples of this form of leadership are confirmed in ways such as: put out a rural fire, finding a missing person, leading a group to an expedition, or saving an individual from a potentially dangerous environment (Fiedler, 1967).

At some given development stages, social rank hierarchies, means dissimilar ranks or degrees of leadership in the society. Between 18th and 20th century many operators in the politics took on non-traditional ways so as to become leaders in their societies. Their systems frequently articulated a conviction in strong personality leadership, but the offered labels and titles (“King”, “Emperor”, “President” and many others) regularly appeared unsuitable, inadequate or absolute imprecise in various circumstances (Carlyle, 1841). The titles, whether informal or formal, or descriptions used by them or by their flunkies foster and express a common adoration for leadership of the enthused and high-handed variety. Critical thinking on the idea of leadership was brought by Noam Chomsky and others. They have offered various studies which explain that individuals abrogate their accountability to think and resolve measures for themselves. Even as the conservative analysis of leadership is somewhat fulfilling to individuals who “want to be told what to do”, the critics argue that one need to question why they are subjected  to intellect, will that is not theirs if the leader is not a Subject Matter Expert (SME) (Carlyle, 1841).

The basically anti-democratic natural history of the principle of leadership is faced up to by concepts that have been introduced such as autogestion, employeeship, ordinary civic virtue and many others which pressure on an individual task and/or team power elsewhere and in the work place by focusing on skills and on attitudes needed by a person generally instead of separating leadership as the foundation of a particular class of people. Correspondingly, many historical disasters are credited to a mislaid dependence on the principle of leadership.

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