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What is Leadership in Management

Updated on March 22, 2016

What is Leadership

Leadership equips a manager to successfully express, steer, motivate and mould his employees work and performance to achieve required targets in a work environment. Leadership also helps managers in infusing confidence and passion in their co-workers.

Leadership has the power to motivate others attitudes. It is the ability to motivate a team towards successfully achieving their targets. Leaders are important in the development of ideas and motivation of their organization’s staff for future growth.

Definition of Leadership

"Leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is the human factor which binds a group together and motivates it towards goals". - Keith Davis

Characteristics of Leadership

  • It is an interactive means adopted by managers to motivate and lead subordinates to achieve targets.
  • It states the requirements needed for the role, such as intellect, wisdom and persona.
  • It is a team effort and requires at least two people to interact with each other.
  • Leaders play an important role in creating and fine tuning the attitudes of the team to achieve the required targets set out by the organization.
  • Leadership is bordered by circumstances. There is no perfect type of leadership. It depends mainly on handling the current situations.

Importance of Leadership

Leadership is of prime significance in managing roles that help to achieve maximum competence and targets set by the organization. The following points clearly show the need for leadership in a company.

Initiates action: A leader’s task begins by explaining the proposals and strategies set by the organization to the subordinates.

Motivation: A Leader plays an important part in the functioning of an organization. He inspires employees with monetary and non-monetary rewards to achieve the required tasks.

Providing guidance: A leader must monitor and be an inspiration himself to his subordinates. Inspiration meaning giving information to the co-workers about how they can effectively and efficiently achieve their targets set out for them.

Creating confidence: Confidence building is a prime quality that can be achieved by expressing the work laid out to the subordinates, explaining their roles and giving them guidance to achieve targets successfully. It is also necessary to listen to employees concerns with respect to the issues faced by them.

Building morale: Morale implies passion of employees to work in co-operation with each other and taking them into confidence and winning their faith. A leader can pep morale by receiving complete co-operation to get the best possible performance out of his employees to achieve targets.

Builds work environment: The term management means getting people to perform their tasks. A successful work environment helps in stable and sound growth. Hence, human relations should also be considered by a leader. He should have face to face meetings with employees and should listen to their issues and help solve them. He must treat employees as humanely as possible.

Co-ordination: Co-ordination is attained by balancing personal interests with the organization’s targets. This balance can be achieved through effective and correct co-ordination which must be the prime aim of a leader.

Traits of a Good Leader

Dignity and respectfulness: He must respect everyone else. An ethical leader should not misuse his subordinates to achieve personal goals. He should have concern and respect for their emotions, choices and values. Respecting subordinates means having effective listening skills, showing compassion, as well as being fair in hearing opposing views. In brief, it indicates treating the subordinates by showing genuine concern for their values and beliefs.

Serving others: A leader must always serve others. An ethical leader should place others interests before his own. He should be kind and must behave in an approachable manner that is useful to his subordinates.

Justice: He must be fair and impartial. An ethical leader has to treat everyone equally. There should be no personal grudges. If someone is treated unequally, it must be based on clarity, fairness and built on morals.

Community building: A leader helps in developing a community. An ethical leader must consider his subordinates as well as his own aims in trying to achieve the targets suitable to both of them. He must be thoughtful to the community’s interests. He must not overlook his subordinates’ intentions. He must work hard to achieve the community goals.

Honesty: He is required to be truthful and loyal. Honesty is the main quality to achieve an effective and ethical leader. Truthful leaders can always be depended and relied upon. They continually earn the respect of their subordinates. An honest leader showcases facts and situations correctly and fully, no matter how critical and harmful it may be. He does not misinterpret any fact.

Leadership Styles

Leadership styles vary with the type of people the leader interacts and mingles with. An ideal or standard leadership style is one which helps leaders in achieving the best results from the subordinates.

Autocratic leadership style: This leadership style provides a leader with complete command and hold over his employees or team. The team cannot state their views even if they are in the best interests of the team or the organization. They cannot criticize or evaluate their leader’s way of functioning. The leader is in charge of getting things done. The advantage of this style is faster decision-making and higher productivity rates. The disadvantages of this leadership style are that it leads to higher employee absenteeism and turnover. This leadership style is successful only in cases where the leader is the best man available for the job or when the job is dull, unskillful and routine or for short term projects that are high risk.

The Laissez Faire Leadership Style: In this mode, the leader totally trusts his employees or team members to perform the job themselves. He focuses more on the intellectual or practical aspects of his work and does not concentrate on the management side to his work. The team members or employees are welcome to share their opinions and suggestions which are in the best interests of the organization. This leadership style works well when the employees are dedicated, skilled, experienced and intelligent.

Democrative / Participative leadership style: The leaders encourage and call team members to involve themselves in the decision-making process, though the ultimate decision lies with the leader. The leader directs employees on the tasks to be performed and how to perform them, while the employees relay back their suggestions and knowledge. The advantage of this leadership style is it creates more skilled, motivated and happier employees. A positive work environment is created and creativity is encouraged. The disadvantage is it is time-consuming.

Bureaucratic leadership: In this mode, the leaders strictly follow the organization’s procedures and policies. They also ensure that the employees or team members also strictly follow the rules and guidelines. Appraisals are based on the employee’s abilities to perform in accordance with the organization’s rules. This leadership style develops slowly over time and is suitable when safe work environment and quality are needed. The disadvantages are it does not encourage creativity and does not make employees feel self-satisfied.


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    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 5 years ago from India

      Hello travel_man1971, thanks for reading and commenting.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      This is not only an academic info but I can apply it in real life. Thanks for sharing, Dilip. :)


    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 5 years ago from India

      Thanks sid for reading and commenting :)