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Published by Nicolas Marion

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Published by: Nicolas Marion on Nov 20, 2011
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leadership development methods and tips
Explaining and understanding the nature of good leadership isprobably easier than practising it.
Good leadership requires deep human qualities, beyondconventional notions of authority.
In the modern age good leaders are an
force, helpingpeople and organizations to perform and develop, which implies thata sophisticated alignment be achieved - of people's needs, and theaims of the organization. The traditional concept of a leader being the directing chief at the topof a hierachy is nowadays a very incomplete appreciation of whattrue leadership must be.Effective leadership does not necessarily require great technical orintellectual capacity. These attributes might help, but they are notpivotal.Good leadership in the modern age more importantlyrequires
which characterise and relateto
. The concept of 
is fundamental to the leadership role.Goodleadership involves
the organization or group and the peoplewithin it. 
Ineffective leaders
tend to invert this principle andconsider merely that the leader must be served by the people.
faulty idea
fosters the notion that leadership as an opportunity totake: to acquire personal status, advantage, gain, etc.,
at the
expense of others
which is grossly wrong.Leadership is instead an opportunity to give
; to serve theorganization, and crucially the people too. The modern notions of 'servant leader' and 'servant leadership' are attributed to Robert K Greenleaf (in his 1970 essay The Servant as Leader)however thephilosophy and concept of leadership being a serving function ratherthan one that is served, is very old indeed and found in ancientcivilisations and religious writings.
Leadership is centrally concerned with people. Of course leadershipinvolves decisions and actions relating to all sorts of other things,but
leadership is special compared to any other role becauseof its unique responsibilty for people
- i.e., the followers of theleader - in whatever context leadership is seen to operate.
Many capabilities in life are a matter of acquiring skills andknowledge and then applying them in a reliable way.
Leadership is quite different.
Good leadership demands emotionalstrengths and behavioural characteristics which can draw deeply on aleader's mental and spiritual reserves. The leadership role is an inevitable reflection of people's needs andchallenges in modern life. Leadership is therefore a profound concept,with increasingly complex implications, driven by an increasinglycomplex and fast-changing world.Leadership and management are commonly seen as the same thing,which they are not. Leadership is also misunderstood to meandirecting and instructing people and making important decisions onbehalf of an organization. Effective leadership is much more thanthese.
Good leaders are followed chiefly because people trust andrespect them, rather than the skills they possess. Leadershipis about behaviour first, skills second.
 This is a simple way to see how leadership is different tomanagement:
Management is mostly about processes.
Leadership is mostly about behaviour.We could extend this to say:
Management relies heavily on tangible measurable capabilitiessuch as effective planning; the use of organizational systems; andthe use of appropriate communications methods.
Leadership involves many management skills, but generally as asecondary or background function of true leadership. Leadershipinstead relies most strongly on less tangible and less measurablethings like trust, inspiration, attitude, decision-making, andpersonal character. These are not processes or skills or evennecessarily the result of experience. They are facets of humanity,
and are enabled mainly by the leader's character and especiallyhis/her emotional reserves.Another way to see leadership compared with management, is thatleadership does not crucially depend on
the type
of managementmethods and processes a leaders uses; leadership instead primarilydepends on
the ways
in which the leader uses managementmethods and processes.Good leadership depends on attitudinal qualities, not managementprocesses.Humanity is a way to describe these qualities, because this reflectsthe leader's vital relationship with people.Qualities critical for a leader's relationship with his/her people arequite different to conventional skills and processes:
examples of highly significant leadership qualities
sensitivityPeople with these sort of behaviours and attitudes tend to attractfollowers. Followers are naturally drawn to people who exhibitstrength and can inspire belief in others. These qualities tend toproduce a charismatic effect.

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