You are on page 1of 10

Leadership is a process of getting things done through people. The quarterback moves the team toward a touchdown.

The senior patrol leader guides the troop to a high rating at the camporee. The mayor gets the people to support new policies to make the city better. Leadership means responsibility. It's adventure and often fun, but it always means responsibility. The leader is the guy the others look to to get the job done. So don't think your job as a troop leader or a staff member will be just an honor. It's more than that. It means that the other Scouts expect you to take the responsibility of getting the job done. If you lead, they will do the job. If you don't, they may expect you to do the job all by yourself.
Every leader deals with just two things. Here they are: the job and the group. The job is what's to be done. The "job" doesn't necessarily mean work. It could be playing a game. It could be building a skyscraper. It could be getting across an idea. A leader is needed to get the job done. If there were no job, there would be no need for a leader. The group, such as a patrol, is the people who do the job. And in many cases, the group continues after the job is done. This is where leading gets tough, as you'll see later. Think about this situation. Mark has a lot of firewood to split. There he is, all alone with his ax. He's got a job to do. Is he a leader? We have to say in this situation that Mark won't be leading. Why? No group. There's nobody on the job but Mark. Here's another example. Danny and three of his friends are on their bikes. They have no place to go. They're just riding slowly, seeing how close they can get to each other. Is Danny -- or any one of the others -- a leader? From what we know, we have to say no. Why? No job. There's a group of friends, but nothing special to be done. You don't need a leader for that. (You don't need a group, either.)

Before we start with understanding how closely leadership and development are inter-related, it is imperative that we understand the former properly. It is easy to look up the web or a dictionary for the definition but understanding and truly grasping the leadership traits is something that is a slow but rewarding process. In layman's terms, a leader is someone who has the courage to lead and the humility to help others lead. Leadership Styles There is a vast difference in the various leadership styles. There is one style which is complete dictatorship, and the other is just the opposite and a lot less intimidating. These are some basic yet effective styles which help you understand the concept effectively. Autocratic Leadership: The autocratic style is old school. This is the military type of style with a touch of dictatorship that was mentioned earlier. In this style, the word of the leader is the rule and has to be followed to a 'T'. This method is effective in certain situations that need a stern hand but the disadvantages are far too many like low morale of the workers, rebellion of followers etc. Hitler followed this style of leadership. Democratic Leadership: This style encourages team work where coming to a decision is a collective task .In this type, everyone's opinions are taken into consideration. The disadvantages caused by the above method are ruled out in this style. This style is also known as participative leadership style. John F Kennedy is an example of a democratic kind of leader. Laissez-Faire Leadership: This French term means to "let it be". Under this style, the leader leaves the individuals to complete the tasks. The leader leaves goal setting and target setting in the hands of the individuals itself. This style involves minimum interference from the leader and much freedom to the followers. On the downside, many tend to take advantage of such form of leadership. Some believe that Ronald Reagan practiced this type of leadership skills. Leadership Theories Leadership theories and principles have progressed and evolved with time. Let's take a look at some of the well-known theories which have greatly changed the way people define a leader. Transactional Theory: This theory is characterized by a military like style of leadership. It is result oriented, highlighted by reward and punishment for failing to achieve the result. In this theory, there is a direct chain of command. Functional Theory: According to this theory, the leader is responsible for the motivation and the functioning of the team. If the team as a group has achieved its target, the leader is said to lead the team well. This theory works through these three aspects: team as a whole, individual and task to do completed. Situational Theory: According to this school of thought, there is no set leadership technique which is effective in all situations. It advocates that every situation is different and thus, the leadership tactic too needs to change accordingly. Leadership Characteristics If we look at the various skills, we will realize how leadership and management are interrelated. An organization and a team is as good as its leaders. Eventually, the qualities of a good leader shape the performance of the team. A leader needs to be honest and hardworking. He needs to set an example for his team, therefore it is important that he displays integrity and fairness in his actions. He must delegate judiciously and not burden his subordinate with his work. A leader must be skilled enough to make sound decisions. One of the main qualities that a leader must possess is, the ability to motivate this team and keep the morale of his team at a peak. Read more

Raise your hand if you have ever worked for a leader whose lack of

knowledge about the business created great pains for your organization. Quite a few I see (or at least imagine since I can not see you). You can put your hands down. Raise your hand if you have ever worked for a leader whose abundance of knowledge about the business created great pains for your organization. Again, I imagine quite a few. You can put your hands down. Leaders clearly must understand a great deal about the company and industry as a whole. It is this knowledge that enables them to understand the business landscape and communicate a clear vision, mission, and objectives. Business processes and technologies are another story. I trust we all agree a certain level of knowledge about the down-and-dirty details of how the organization works is necessary, but what level of detail? What is the optimal base of knowledge for effective leadership? To answer this question I have categorized knowledge into two buckets - strategic and technical. Strategic knowledge is that of the industry, the company, and business units. It is understanding evolving trends, emerging technologies, business principles, organizational roles and responsibilities, organizational culture, corporate and business unit visions, missions, and objectives, and how to lead, manage, and motivate people among other things. Technical knowledge is that of particular business processes and technologies. It is understanding each step of the process, how that step is executed, what systems and screens are used, what details are included on those screens, and what logic the system uses in support of that step among other things. Leaders exist throughout an organization and how much and what type of knowledge you need to be an effective leader depends on your role. Senior leaders must have an abundance of strategic knowledge. It is this knowledge that enables them to lead. Senior leaders with little strategic knowledge often find their organization wandering aimlessly looking for direction. On the other hand, senior leaders only need a low level of technical knowledge. They need to understand enough to provide direction and set reasonable expectations. But beware, senior leaders with too little technical knowledge often lack the confidence and respect of their employees. They make their organization's life

complicated by over committing what can be done and by when. They misrepresent or undersell (or worse oversell) their organization. Employees spend most of their time doing unnecessary work trying to meet unreasonable demands. The other end of the continuum can be just as dangerous. Senior leaders with too much technical knowledge can get in the way. They degrade the value of their experts by interjecting their opinion too much. They micromanage to the point employees become robots and do not feel empowered to manage their part of the business. Mid-level leaders need a moderate level of both strategic and technical knowledge. They must be strategic enough to provide direction at lower levels of the organization and technical enough to manage production, manage employee performance, and determine training needs. Low-level leaders (or technicians) do the real work. They must have an abundance of technical knowledge. They are whom everyone will rely on to keep the engine running. They need just enough strategic knowledge to keep focused and to create and implement new ideas that drive the business processes and technologies in the right direction.
Senior Leader Mid-Level Leader Technicians Strategic Knowledge High Moderate Low Technical Knowledge Low Moderate High

So what do you do if you are a senior leader with too little or too much technical knowledge? If you know too little, learn from those that really know. Start with your managers and have them walk you through the business processes and technologies. Once you understand the basics, sit with employees who actually do the work. Watch for awhile and then work for a while. Get hands on experience. Yes you are exposing yourself to the details, but you will not remember what the screen names and fields were down the road. What you will understand is the basic functionality, enough to enable effective leadership. If you already know the details, do not try to unlearn. Just be aware and make sure that you are not getting in the way. Let your managers and technicians do their job. You set the direction, let them develop and administer the details. Make sure they know you need and trust their experience.

Knowledge of the details for a leader is a wonderful thing so long as it is knowledge of the right stuff and at the right level and used in the right way. Leroy McCarty is a student, teacher, and freelance writer on the topic of leadership living in Overland Park, Kansas.
This page contains example leadership skills, a sample list of leadership skills that good leaders possess. You can use this example of leadership skills to your advantage for the purposes of: 1. guiding your own leadership behavior and learning; 2. aligning team members around organizational strategy and values; 3. training others; 4. building unity in a time of change. If you use this information for training or in a group meeting, the following are suggested for how to do so effectively for your group: Take one quality listed below and have a 15-30 minute discussion on it in each of your next 10 staff meetings Assign one quality to each leader or pair in your group and ask them to make a short presentation on their item to the whole group; encourage group comments and discussion from everyone Have a general discussion on how each of these qualities is (or is not) demonstrated in your organization Each definition in the list below contains discussion questions to start your group's discussion about that leadership quality. The more you make such discussions and "mini-training" part of your routine, the more your leaders will focus on and develop these skills.

Ten Basic Skills of Outstanding Leadership


Integrity Vision/strategy Communication Relationships Persuasion

Adaptability Teamwork Coaching and Development Decision-making Planning

Definition and Explanation of the Example Leadership Skills List


Integrity How deep are your convictions on the things you believe in? What do you believe in SO MUCH about your work that you will stand up to anyone about it? How much are you willing to compromise your important beliefs? To what extent do your behavior and tne choices you make align with your guiding values and principles? Integrity means honesty and more. It refers to having strong internal guiding principles that one does not compromise. It means treating others as you would wish to be treated. Many experts believe that a solid sense of right and wrong and strong guiding principles are the most essential and basic of all leadership skills or characteristics. Integrity promotes trust, and not much is accomplished without trust. Integrity is a skill to the extent that we see it in action. But it goes much deeper than surface actions. It is based on ones guiding beliefs and values, and is an important example of an essential leadership quality. Integrity (or lack thereof) is reflected in thinking, attitudes, and actions. People cant directly see your level of integrity, but they judge it pretty accurately on a gut level based on your actions and your words. Vision/strategy Can you see, do you see where your department, team, and organization are going? How often do you talk about the ways in which what you are doing in your area are related to the overall mission? Do you think and speak inspiringly about what the organization is doing and about the future of the organization? A leader must have a clear idea where his or her organization and unit are going beyond this months results or this years budget. Where is it going in the long term? Even tactical leaders must be clear about this and need to refer frequently to the vision, mission, and

values of the organization in their communications with others. Vision is another example of an essential leadership quality. Communication How much and how willingly do you speak out and keep information flowing? Conversely, can you keep confidential information private? How often can and do you listen more than you speak in conversations with your employees? How would you assess your communication skills with each of your employees? How do you handle bad news when you receive it? The chief complaint of employees in nearly every organization of all types, whether large or small from any industry segment, is lack of communication. Communication in the context of leadership refers to both interpersonal communications between the leader and followers and the overall flow of needed information throughout the organization. Leaders need to learn to be proficient in both the communication that informs and seeks out information (gives them a voice) and the communication that connects interpersonally with others. Communication is another example leadership skill that must be cultivated by all leaders. Relationships What is the level of trust and respectful feelings you have with each of your employees? With each of your peers? How easy or difficult is it for you to initiate new relationships? Deepen existing relationships? Networking (the art of social schmoozing) is also a relationship skill. Relationships develop from good interpersonal and group communication skills but relationship skills also go deeper. A leader who likes dealing with people issues, who can initiate and deepen relationships with others, has a great leadership advantage. This is a leader who can build a team and achieve impressive results. This kind of leadership is based on personal power (the right kind of power), not position power. Relationship-building is an example of an essential leadership quality. Persuasion How persuasive and influential are you? Under what circumstances can you persuade others to your point of view? To what extent do people value your opinion and follow your lead? The ability to influence others and cause them to move in a particular direction is a highly important skill in leadership. In fact, leadership is often defined as the ability to persuade or influence others to do something they might not have done without the leaders persuasion. Your ability to be persuasive is directly related to how much people trust you and how good your communication and relationships are. Persuasion (also called influence) is a good example of an essential leadership skill.

Adaptability To what degree can you relinquish rigidity? Control? When is it easy and when difficult for you to embrace change? How do you react when things dont go as planned? Adaptability and flexibility in not being bound by a plan are important success factors in leadership today. The leader must move easily from one set of circumstances (the plan) to the next (the plan is not going as expected) and take them all in stride, even when the circumstances are unexpected. The good leader has to embrace change and see it as opportunity. The leadership skill of adaptability is another example of a critical skill. Teamwork To what extent do you value working cooperatively as part of a group? How do you promote teamwork among those you lead? In what ways do you work collaboratively with your peers? How do you handle team conflict? No one person can do it all. Thats why a team, comprised of others with different skill sets, is essential. A leader must know how to build and nurture such a team. A good leader knows when to be a leader and when to be a follower. The best leaders are good followers when that's what is needed. Building teamwork is another essential leadership skill example. Coaching and Development How do you feel about developing others around you? How do you encourage, nurture, and build the capacity of those you lead? How easy or hard is it for you to set your needs aside and share control with others? Can/do you delegate well? Developing others is an important role for a leader. Encouraging others to expand their capabilities and take on additional assignments is part of the leaders responsibility. Leaders who feel threatened by the capabilities of others are challenged in this area. Coaching and development are essential skills all leaders must cultivate. Decision-making How comfortable are you with having to make the final decision on things? Do you have any tendency to decide too quickly without due consideration or, conversely, to gather data, analyze and ponder endlessly and be unable to decide? In what areas do you struggle with making firm decisions and standing up for what you believe? A leader must be able to wade through information, comprehend whats relevant, make a well-considered decision, and take action based on that decision. Making decisions too quickly or too slowly will impede your leadership effectiveness. Decisiveness is another example of an essential leadership quality.

Planning How easy is it for you to put together plans for activities and projects, including contingency plans (what will happen IF)? How easily are you able to focus your attention and stick to your plan, yet without being rigid about it? How do you decide when to push ahead or, instead, to modify your plan?

Five Examples of Leadership Expectations


by Kara Page, Demand Media

Establishing leadership positions and a firm set of expectations for those who hold those positions is essential in running a successful small business, be it a brand new start-up or a seasoned company. Leaders are charged with the task of not only holding everyone in their charge accountable for their work and actions, but holding themselves accountable as well, thereby setting an example of what they expect from the team.
Sponsored Link

Find The Job For You


Hundreds of Classifieds On The Best Free Marketplace in Bangladesh! bikroy.com/Jobs-Services

Integrity
Maintaining an ethical business is impossible without ethical leaders. By exhibiting a high level of integrity, employees in leadership positions will demonstrate to other workers their expectations. The manner in which a leader handles challenging situations or conflicts is one example of an opportunity for modeling strong integrity. By dealing with a conflict directly and in a transparent manner, leaders prove themselves to be honest, forthright managers.

Goals
Any business that claims to be goal-driven must have leaders who not only set, but achieve their goals. In doing so, leaders make their priorities for both themselves and their workers clear. When a team fails to meet its goals, leaders are expected to provide constructional feedback and suggestions for improvement. If goals are achieved, leaders should acknowledge this while simultaneously raising standards for the next project.

Motivational
Leaders must inspire a high level of commitment and performance, Yale University advises. Motivation should not be entirely negative or positive, but a mixture of both. For example, a leader might introduce initiatives that either reward employees based on outstanding performance or punish them for poor performance. Which he chooses, and the combination of negative and positive reinforcement he uses, will outline his expectations and ideally serve to motivate his team.

Innovative
Outstanding businesses are such thanks to workers who constantly strive to improve. These organizations must have innovative leaders who can see past immediate projects, objectives and successes and develop new, original ideas to stay ahead of their competitors. Leaders can inspire and draw out innovation in their employees by constantly asking questions and paying attention to any worker with valid concerns or solutions.

Collaborative
Employees are often expected to collaborate with one another, others in their industry and with clients. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the Department of Labor defines a team leader as an employee who

facilitates his/her team's processes by working collaboratively with the team to ensure that they complete their tasks effectively and efficiently, by maintaining good working relationships, and by coordinating with the manager and others on goals, priorities, team needs, and achievements. Leaders can encourage a collaborative spirit by demonstrating strong communications skills, not only with the employees they oversee but with their own employers, clients and customers