Due to the complexity of the leadership concept, there were many ways to identify it during the last century, but I totally agree that leadership is ‘process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal’ (Northouse 15), leadership is a soft skill were linked both leader and followers together to meet the needed goals, therefore the relation between both leaders and followers need to be understood.
I consider leadership as a positive terminology, which means that good leaders are those who make positive changes in the organizations in order to achieve the company objectives, also good leaders are those who have the vision, so the changes that they can make will allow the followers to achieve short and long term objectives, led by example concept is the way of effective leaders to influence their teams to make the needed changes instead of enforcing them.
In the past I believed on the “Born to be a leader” or “Leader by nature”, but now I believe more on “Process leadership”, however, the trait of some people help them to become leaders faster than others because they show:
1- Ability to take decisions.
2- Great communication skills, so they can quickly effect in people through speech.
3- Ability to deal and influence multinational culture without being partial to one side or other.
The above three skills can help people in their leadership role and without it, they will face big challenges to achieve the required objectives.
Though some people who assigned to a vacant leader position such as Manager, Director or head of department are not necessarily leaders, therefore they will be assigned, leaders, so if they don’t have all the needed skills to be good leaders they should know how to identify emergent leaders within their team and use them in an efficient way to make the needed changes.
As you can see the word leadership itself gives power for the business positions, but only the good leaders can use this power at the right time, and only efficient leaders are able to differentiate between both types of power groups, the one which given by the position such as (Legitimate, reward and Coercive), and the other one which came from the leader skills and knowledge (Referent, Expert), this kind of understanding for each type of power allow the leader to make the right balance in his/her communications and also for the decisions that they make.
Also I think that only weak leaders are those who use coercive power to influence others to meet their personal objectives, such as Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, and Stalin, I called those poor leaders because their impacts were limited and negative in all aspects, they damaged the picture of leadership by using suppression against anyone who not agree with them, they used the one-way communication instead of two ways, therefore they should not be considered as good leaders, they are a very bad example of leadership.
After all of the above-mentioned topics still there is a confusing in differentiating between management and leadership concepts, but for me it’s about a context of each concept, so the leadership context is already cover the management concept while management context is not necessarily cover the leadership context, in other words, good leaders are good managers as well, but good managers are not necessarily good leaders, however both concepts are needed to be available in the successful organization, but number of managers should be more than leaders because one good leader can act on behalf of more than one manager.
Finally, I strongly recommend learning from our leaders the soft skills that we don’t have and save our energy by following the real leaders who proved their ability to make positive changes.
What do you think?
- Northouse, Peter G. Leadership: Theory and Practice, 6th Edition. SAGE Publications, Inc, 02/2012.
Baha’a Al Mumalah