The role of leadership is essential for the survival and performance of an organization. Leaders create goals for the community to achieve and guide laypeople to be successful. The efficiency and profitability of a company depend on the leadership skills of its managers. The very word organization is dependent on the presence of an influential leader. A corporation needs leaders to help people identify and understand their mutual objectives. But leadership skills are an asset that must be shared by every single member of the organization. Because every worker is a leader on some level and is guiding his/her subordinates, a leader must motivate, communicate, and delegate appropriately.
Types of leadership
Experts have divided leadership into seven primary styles. We’ll exclude the transactional and authoritative types and focus on the last five. Different sources have different names for these approaches to leadership. Let’s talk about them in a concise but comprehensive manner:
- Strategic: This leader convinces the employees to make profitable decisions for the organization. The leader uses motivational strategies to persuade the employees to enhance their performance. This style helps managers create more leaders out of their teams.
- Laissez-Faire: It’s French for ‘let it be’ or ‘let them do.’ This leader will delegate some responsibilities to the team. The team will perform on their own without any interference from the leader. This style makes employees confident, self-reliant, and self-dependant.
- Adaptive: This leader motivates the team to combat challenges for the organization. This style polishes the team’s critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Learning to be an adaptive leader needs emotional intelligence and organizational justice. This style demands massive risk-taking.
- Democratic: Democratic leaders will seek the opinions of the team before reaching a decision. He/she acts in contrast to the autocratic style, where the leader will enforce his/her will on the employees. If you involve everyone in the decision-making process, they’ll feel more valued.
- Coaching: This leader acts as a coach/teacher to indirectly influence his/her team. The leader will groom and inspire the employees and motivate them to be more productive. This modern style has found its place in many organizations. It helps the leader unlock people’s potential.
Why do we need leadership?
Organizational hierarchy puts managers on the top of the pyramid. Leadership is a preferred trait in a community as it engenders motivation and efficiency. Let’s discuss a few reasons why we need to create more leaders:
- A leader initiates action by taking the first step and planning future strategies.
- A leader influences others with management capabilities and impresses their behavior.
- A leader provides direction with a clear vision and helps the team achieve its mission
- A leader acts as a guiding angel to the employees and motivates them to perform.
- A leader wins subordinates’ trust by making them confident and self-sufficient.
- A leader trains employees to develop leadership abilities and be their guides.
- A leader coordinates with the team and creates a healthy, non-toxic work environment.
What qualities make a leader, and why do the organizations seek them?
A person who fulfills his/her leadership requirements is an effective leader. But there are certain qualities that every manager must possess to motivate people. A 2016 survey asked 450 HR professionals regarding capabilities that make one an effective leader. They believed that a leader needed to empower others, build trust, and be a strategic thinker. Other essential traits of leadership are:
- Honesty and integrity: An effective leader must display unquestionable integrity. Integrity makes you immune to fear or guilt; good leaders are honest and truthful. They are always frank about the organization’s goals and objectives. Hypocrisy brings a lack of trust in the team.
- Humility and gratitude: Humility isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of appreciation and selflessness. A good leader doesn’t focus on self-promotion but is always ready to say ‘thank you’ to the subordinates. They know that gratitude is a good incentive.
- Innovation and creativity: Innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower. A leader doesn’t follow a pre-determined passion but finds better solutions. Creative thinking forces people to imitate you; the ability to innovate is an essential trait of leadership.
- Self-awareness and transparency: A leader tends to have a holistic approach to his/her leadership skills. They understand their abilities and acknowledge their faults. A leader doesn’t hide crucial information from anyone and welcomes constructive criticism.
- Influence and inspiration: The power of conviction and inspiration differentiate between a leader and a follower. Influence isn’t manipulation; instead, a simple act of motivation. Your impact is why people will seek your guidance. Their reactions will depend on your example.
- Communication: Communication guarantees cooperation, so a leader must be an excellent communicator. Great leaders talk to their employees via multiple media. A leader is a coach/teacher who influences others by communicating. It makes you a practical guide.
- Analytical skills: Analytical skills mean decision-making and problem-solving capabilities. Leaders must solve organizational problems and find fresh marketable opportunities. They should be able to make the right decision at the right time. Risk-taking makes you a charismatic leader.
There’s a fairly-recent proverb by an anonymous philosopher regarding the job of a leader. Leadership isn’t a title/position; it’s to act and set an example. A 2017 CEC report sought to redefine the skills and principles of leadership for the future. It motivates leaders “to see connections and develop a level of personal influence that helps them serve as attractors.” People want their leaders to inspire them and provide them ideological incentives to be more productive. They need leaders such as Mandela and Gandhi, behind whom entire nations marched. Leaders must awaken the potential of leadership inside every employee. Leadership is an organization characteristic every member needs to possess.