Leadership

There are some concepts about leadership in the world, some people think leaders are born, and some people believe that leaders are made. If employees believe that leaders are born and not made, it may be demoralising. Some people may have the inherent qualities to become leaders, but they may not have developed their leadership because nobody else has ever noticed potential leadership qualities in them. Leaders move out of comfort zones. When one reflects on whether leaders are born or made, it is important to define what a leader is as well as to distinguish between a leader in management and a leader in another field of expertise. Leadership and management are two distinctive yet complementary systems of action. ”(Story Cover, 1993). Because “management power comes from organizational structure, it promotes stability, order and problem solving within the structure. Leadership power, on the other hand, comes form personal sources that are not as invested in the organization, such as personal interests, goals and values. Leadership power promotes vision, creativity and change in the organization” (Samson and Daft, 2005).

Management centres on handling complexity and Leadership are to face the new challenges (Story, 1993). For example, in peacetime, an army can train very well under good management, but there is no one who can manage people into battle, the soldiers of course will led by leaders (Story, 1993). “Management is a skill that can be learned, Leadership is a calling”(Shea, cited in Story, 1993, p. 34). Shea acknowledges, “Some leadership qualities can be learned, but only if the ‘raw material’ exists” (Shea, cited in Story, 1993, p. 34).

Therefore when good leaders are provided with ample management skills, then they can get their goals, good leaders will be able to communicate their goals to employees in such an effective way that the employees will be able to identify with the goals and will strive to achieve it. “According to Shea, a good manager may be able to keep even an inefficient organization running relatively smoothly. But a good leader can transform a demoralized organization”(Shea, cited in Story, 1993, p. 34). Consequently, good leadership ability will become an increasingly important quality in the future.

A good leader has an impact on the employees and the future of the company. And some times leaders have to face some tough situations. A new leader may for example have to dismantle bureaucratic old rules in a company that already existed for more “150 years” (Osborne, 2006, cited in Warwick, p. 15). Since such a leader is totally new in the company, people would not want to listen to him, even though he would have to implement more effective procedures for the company. They would feel that he lacks legitimacy, and they actually know the company better than him.

This is a common problem that a new leader may face, who still needs to prove his legitimacy. To overcome this obstacle, a leader needs “strong communication” (Warwick, 2006). Furthermore a leader may not be seen as legitimate because “employees know more about technical details” (Samson and Daft, 2005, p. 430). To overcome this problem an effective leader could empower employees (Osborne, 2006, cited in Warwick, 2006, p. 15; Samson and Daft, 2005). A good leader must be able to communicate his ideas, so that employees will respect his ideas.

If a leader succeeds in communicating responsibility, motivation, and vision to people under him, new leaders are born when they are empowered. Good leaders are not supervisors; instead they delegate responsibility to employees (Warwick, 2006). This is also called “legitimate power” which stems from a formal management position in an organization and the authority granted to it” (Samson and Daft, 2005). “Leadership is not rank or status. The military has rules and regulations, paper and procedures. The officers have rank, status and power. But does this necessarily make them leaders?

No! Leadership cannot be imposed”(Ron Eddy, 1998). For example, Thomas C. Graham, the chairman of AK Steel, used the military way to manage his staff; however he still failed to get promotion and make more contributions for the company (Samson and Daft, 2005, p. 430) Military style dictatorship is not good leadership. Leaders should give more space and more responsibilities to their staff so that they will know that they are responsible for the company, everyone is part of the company, so it will make them put more passion on their job and then they will push themselves very hard.

A good leader must be able to make tough decisions (Warwick, 2006). For example, he may have to retrench superfluous employees (Osborne, 2006, cited in Warwick, 2006). This is form of “coercive power” (Samson and Daft, 2005). But a leader should also empower employees. If a leader empowers people this will create responsibility in employees (Samson and Daft, 2005) and will also create a competitive environment where employees will feel valued, because expertise is valued. But they have the responsibility be cost effective.

They will be rewarded for they own initiative, this rewards could include “pay increases or promotions… praise, attention and recognition” (Samson and Daft, 2005, p. 429). When management empowers employees it will develop the self-confidence of employees, who will feel good about themselves, and will in turn respect the leader who has promoted their self-esteem. When employees show that they respect their leaders it will enhance their leader’s confidence. Self-confidence is a quality that must be distinguished from ego or bravado, which may be superficial or feigned.

True self-confidence is the deep conviction that ones’ strategies are the most appropriate for solving the problems at hand. It may be crucial to weather the stormy periods that will inevitably occur at many times during the voyage. A leader should give birth to leaders in a company, not to lead the company, but to be leaders in their field. If you never give a responsibility to staff, they will never create new things in their domain. And follow the old habits forever. Hence, a leader of an organization has to lead it to “constantly reinvent” itself (Warwick, 2006).

This is necessary in order to make things more efficient for the company, although the leader’s decisions may be unpopular, it will be effective if he can convince people why change is necessary. Leaders are made when management empowers employees. Leaders should encourage employees to search for new and innovative solutions. Leaders are lifelong learners. “The gifted leader never stops learning–she reads, she listens, she observes. It is important to note that formal education isn’t a necessary ingredient to become a gifted leader. Our three case studies received a traditional medical education that creates followers, rather than leaders.

None of them pursued another advanced degree, such as an MBA or MHA–they achieved their lofty status by other means” (William R Fifer, 1997). Creativity and initiative are stimulated when people are given more responsibilities. Leadership means, literally, to “go in advance” (William R, Fifer, 1997). A leader who gives more responsibility and confidence to employees makes them less dependent on supervision. “The gifted leader must be able to break away from dependence on the group and visualize new directions. Good leaders in management will lead employees to become leaders in their fields of xpertise that in turn will transform the company into a leading organisation. Thomas Frist, Jr. , MD, who built the giant empire Hospital Corporation of America, once described the solitary long walks he took in all kinds of weather. He said he always got at least one idea out of each walk” (William R Fifer, 1997). A good leader will have the ability to weather both difficult periods and good times. He/she will find ways to come up with new ideas whilst also constantly challenge and motivate employees to search for innovative ideas that can be implemented to ensure that the organization becomes a leader in its field.

Leaders who have the ability to empower employees have inborn qualities. Intelligence is a key ingredient, especially the kind associated with verbal facility (William R, 1997). Good judgment or simple common sense is another important trait. A colleague of mine fired a seemingly gifted employee after a brief stint on the job; when I asked what the problem was, my colleague replied, “He couldn’t anticipate! ” I knew exactly what he meant (William R, 1997). “Personality, which may be defined as whatever makes a person attractive to others”(William R, Fifer, 1997). They must have boundless energy, be assertive and aggressive.

Maybe that training can improve the ability to lead or manage, people need the right qualities to begin with. ( Vaughan, 2002). “…I’d place a greater interest on the qualities rather than training because some people, no matter how well trained, will never be leaders”(Vaughan Gareth, 2002). To be honest, leaders are not like other normal people, “Leaders do not have to be great men or women by being intellectual geniuses or omniscient prophets to succeed, but they do need to have the “right stuff” and this stuff is not equally present in all people” (David L, Cawthon, 1996). Successful leaders understand how people from different cultures view them and interpret their actions and adapt their behaviour accordingly”(Dale Pfeifer, 2006). Leadership is a very difficult, indomitable work with a great responsibility and pressure that they will have to suffer. Abraham Zaleznik (1992) contends that “the ability to lead is directly linked to one’s personality. Leaders and managers, he writes, are not the same. Whereas managers tend to favor maintenance of the status quo, leaders seek to transform what is into what should be.

As a result, leaders have more in common with artists than they do with managers” (Zaleznik, 1992, cited in David L, 1996) A good leader who has the ability that can always makes a good judgment in the tough situation and have the strong communication which he need to convince and inspire employees in the company in a fast changing world. Not many people have that inborn qualities, therefore how to use that power will be the most important thing that leaders have to consider about.

A good leader will help the company to solve the problems such as, global warming challenges and the shift in economic power form the USA to China and India and how employees will need leaders who can cope with change and who can plan for unforeseen challenges. Born leaders have the ability to give vision, responsibility, and legitimacy to employees and this empowerment makes leaders.

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