Leadership is about being an influencer. It is the action of a leading group of people or an organisation towards success and excellence. It is an art of motivating people and getting best out of them. And to do that, one needs to be able to inspire them by arousing their emotions.
What is leadership?
Leadership is the process of influencing the behaviour of people by making them walk on the path towards the achievement of organisational goals, indicating the ability of an individual to maintain good interpersonal relations with followers.
“Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished.”-Lisa Cash Hanson
Why is Leadership Important?
It is a key factor in making any organisation successful. It is an important function of management which helps an organisation to maximize its efficiency.
Effective leadership brings many benefits to the organisation:
a) Produces good results for an organisation
It influences the behaviour of people and motivates them to contribute their mind for the benefit of the organisation. Good leaders always produce good results through their followers.
b) Resolving conflicts
Effective leadership involves handling conflicts effectively and in a way that the organisation and its people does not get affected. A good leader always listens to his follower’s feelings and tries to solve their disagreement by providing them with needed clarifications.
c) Training of subordinates
One of the most important tasks of a leader is to provide proper training and development to his followers. He must guide his followers to use their strength and mind towards the achievement of organisational goals. In addition, he must guide them to be good leaders in future.
d) Provides a good working environment
Leadership involves maintaining relations and good working environment. Leaders must initiate necessary changes in the organisation and must unify the efforts of employees so that an individual can work towards the organisational objectives happily.
Tips for Effective Leadership
Possess good communication skills
A good leader must try to maintain good communication with the people around them. He must have the ability and patience to listen to his subordinates at all levels, this helps leaders to get more connected with their people and will also lead to transparency in the organisation.
A leader is the one who guides a whole group of people. In order to do so, a good leader must have self-confidence. He must be confident to lead an entire organisation, must not be afraid to take challenges and must be ready to grab every opportunity he gets.
Good leadership starts with encouragement. Effective leaders should offer new challenges to their subordinates and must encourage them with ample support to express their creativity and to achieve their goals.
Be open to ideas
A good leader should always accept changes and innovation. He must motivate his team members to provide their insights and bring new ideas to the table, to try an alternative way of thinking. When employees feel like they can openly speak out their thoughts, success can prevail.
There are several bases for classifying leadership style. Depending on the use of authority, there are three basic styles of leadership:
1. Autocratic leadership
In this style, the leader is authoritarian. The leader gives order and expects his subordinates to follow those orders. There is only one-way communication. People in the group often dislike that they are unable to contribute ideas and feel dissatisfied.
However, when a leader is the most knowledgeable person in the group, this style can lead to fast and effective decisions.
2. Democratic leadership
This is also known as participative leadership wherein the leader believes to make the decisions in consultation with team members. Members of the group take a more participative role in the decision-making process. Ideas are exchanged freely and creativity is encouraged.
This leads to better contribution from group members and increased group morale which results in higher productivity.
3. Delegative leadership
As the name suggests, the leaders under this category do not exercise much power and often delegate their work to the subordinates. The leader tends to create an environment that facilitates the growth and development of his team members.
The leader gives all the needed information to complete the task, leaving the subordinates to assume their responsibility for the work to be performed.
Impact of poor leadership in an organisation
In an organisation, leadership is being recognised when a person, leading the team, have the capacity to motivate the members to deliver their tasks promptly with a set objective of achieving the goals of the company.
Poor leadership is the situation where managers lack the ability to provide proper direction, training and motivation to the staff. It can have several negative effects on the company and the staff:
It is one of the consequences of poor leadership, resulted from poor communication among managers and subordinates. Employees start feeling misdirected or uncertain about their job and work, which eventually lead to poor performance.
Sometimes good and efficient employees who are not getting motivation or proper training, begin looking for other jobs. This resulted in high employee turnover which is not good for an organisation.
Lack of coordination
Poor leadership often leads to distrust amongst the leader and his subordinates. This serves as a barrier to communication about work and responsibility. Hence, leads to lack of coordination.
Leadership involves a great responsibility wherein an individual has to guide the efforts of the whole organisation towards the achievement of a common goal. Where good leadership is said to be a reason behind the success of an organisation, bad leadership can lead to its failure. Hence, an organisation must adopt good leadership practices and always try to maintain good coordination among its employees.
These are the other soft skills one should work on: