Leadership involves having things done through other people. It can also be defined as a person’s ability to make others follow willingly. All organizations, where small or large, require smart leadership. A leader guides his people to accomplish something. Leadership involves having responsibilities. People look unto a leader for something to be done. Leadership is a skill because a leader must have skills to ensure that the group he leads sticks together. Leadership can be nurtured.
Leadership means being visionary. A leader is a visionary person who knows the right direction to follow. He knows the meaning of success and understands the path that should be followed, for success to be achieved. However, having a vision does not mean everything because the vision should be shared and acted upon. Leadership involves creating a vision, having it articulated, owning the vision and driving the vision to completion. It involves communicating the vision in such a way that the group follows the vision willingly. The vision should be communicated passionately and clearly. Passion can be contagious. Therefore, the group will like the vision and work towards achieving the vision.
Leadership involves discipline; hence working hard so as to achieve the vision. Discipline also helps a person to direct all the actions, both his and those of the group, towards a common goal. Leadership involves acting, but not getting paralyzed during analysis. Leadership also involves being a person of integrity. This involves integrating inner values and outward actions. Integrity means having consistency of actions, principles, outcomes, values, and expectations. A person of integrity is a trustworthy person because he relies on his inner values even if it means being expeditious. Therefore, leadership means having trust of the team members and this can only happen when the leader is a person of integrity. A person of integrity is not a hypocrite because he possesses inner virtues.
Leadership means dedication. A leader must be a dedicated person. This means that he spends his energy and time in accomplishing a targeted task. A leader must inspire dedication through setting an example. He does whatever must be done in order to complete a task that aims at achieving a goal, or the vision. When a leader sets an example, he makes the team believe that there are only opportunities and no threats in achieving something.
Leadership involves magnanimity, which means giving credit when it is necessary. A leader should be a generous person who rewards his follows when they achieve something. Magnanimity also means taking responsibility on personal failures. This makes the group members feel good, and it draws them close together. Taking blame and spreading fame symbolizes effective leadership. People feel good when they are praised, and, in fact, this motivates them to continue doing similar things. Taking responsibility, on the other hand, makes people respect the leader. They also feel that the leader is human, too, and can make mistakes.
A leader is a person of humility. He does not feel worse or better than the group members. Leadership means elevating everyone, but not elevating oneself. A humble leader respects his status and knows that the status does not make him a god. An example of a leader who showed humility was an Indian by the name Mahatma Gandhi. He respected everyone and was humble. He served as a role model in giving leadership that was ‘follower-centric’.
Leadership means being open and ready to listen to ideas from other people including the team members. A leader needs to listen to ideas even if they do not go in line with the leaders’ thinking. Smart leadership occurs when a leader does not give judgment immediately after listening to ideas from other people. Leadership also involves accepting new ideas where one gets new skills and leadership styles, which come from other people. Being open leads to mutual respect; hence trust among follows and leaders. Openness also means that the group members get updated with the developing ides that can lead to achievement of the organization’s vision. Team members will always be free with a leader who is open because they will also open up to him. Such a leader will, therefore, be able to understand his follows in that there will be no hypocrisy.
Leadership means being creative. This is the ability to think in a way that is different. A creative person thinks big. He comes up with solutions to problems because he thinks beyond a normal human being. A creative leader comes up with new ideas after asking himself questions such as ‘what if…?’. Such a question makes the leader explore; hence coming up with unique ideas and solutions. A smart leader develops or creates new things, of value to the organization. Therefore, leadership means creativity whereby the leader does not stick to what he has, but wants to be innovative.
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Leadership means fairness. This is where the leader deals with team members justly, and, at the same time, consistently. A smart leader listens carefully to the available facts before making a judgment. He also listens to both sides in case the issue involves two different parties. Leadership means not favoring one party over another. A leader should never jump into conclusions. He should wait until he gets enough evidence. His judgment should be based on facts and evidence. Treating team members fairly ensures that the employees remain dedicated and loyal to the leader. They respect him, and; therefore they work hard towards achieving the organization’s goals. An example of fairness in an organization is when a leader rewards employees on equal measures. Employees should also be remunerated equally, which also symbolizes fairness of a leader.
Leadership also means assertiveness. An assertive leader communicates, clearly his expectations to the team members. This ensures that there are no misunderstandings within an organization. Misunderstandings usually lead to conflicts between the leader and the team members. Proper and clear communication leads to achievement of the expected results. Assertiveness also means that the followers also get the chance to communicate their expectations to their leader. Leadership means ensuring complete communication process between the sender and the receiver. A leader makes sure that the message gets communicated and that the process ends with feedback. Many leaders lack this quality, and this leads to underperformance of organizations. This means that most leaders are either over assertive, or under assertive.
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Finally, leadership can be defined as having a sense of humor. This helps relieve, or reduce boredom, as well as tension. It also reduces hostility. Effective leadership means using a person’s sense of humor to add energy to the team members. A leader who is humorous makes the work place conducive for working. Camaraderie also gets fosters by humor. This further ensures that the organization’s goals get achieved.
In conclusion, leadership can have as many definitions as possible. The argument given to a definition is what gives weight to leadership definition. Many people develop different definitions of leadership. Leaders, however, should be conscious of the leadership they give because it reflects in the organization’s performance. Different people offer different leadership, and none of the leaders resembles the other. They all possess different tactics in leadership and one person’s tactics may not work when applied by another leader. However, all leaders need to understand what is expected of them when they take the role of a manager.