Meaning:

Leadership is the process of influencing the behaviour of people by making them strive voluntarily towards achievement of organisational goals.

It is the ability of an individual to maintain good interpersonal relations with followers and motivate them to contribute towards achievement of organisational objectives.

 

Features of leadership:

Following are the important features of leadership:

  1. Leadership indicates ability of an individual to influence others .
  2. Leadership tries to bring behavioural change in others.
  3. Leadership indicates interpersonal relations between leaders and followers.
  4. Leadership is exercised to achieve common goals of the
  5. Leadership is a continuous process.

An individual possessing attributes of leadership is known as leader.

Good leadership requires good leader–follower relationship.

The success of an organisation is attributed to the leader, but many followers related factors like – their skills, knowledge, commitment, willingness to cooperate, team spirit etc., are equally important to make a person an effective leader. Therefore, both leader and follower play key role in leadership process.

 

Importance of Leadership:

Leadership is a key factor in making any organisation successful. As mentioned by Stephen Covey, a famous management consultant, “Managers are important but leaders are vital for lasting organizational success”. The importance of leadership can be understood from the following benefits to the organisation:

  1. Brings behavioral change in people:
    Leadership brings positive behavioural change in people and makes them positively contribute their best efforts to the organisation. Good leaders always produce good results through their followers.
  1. Creates congenial work environment:

A leader maintains personal relations and helps followers in fulfilling their needs. He provides them confidence, support and encouragement, thus creates congenial work environment.

  1. Helps in making desired changes:

Leader plays an important role in bringing desirable changes in the organisation. He persuades, clarifies and inspires people to accept changes. Thus, he helps to bring changes without much problem.

  1. Conflict resolution:

A good leader is in a very good position to settle conflicts effectively as he not only  allows his followers to speak their feelings and disagreement but also persuades them by giving suitable clarifications.

  1. Training to subordinates:

Leader provides training to his subordinates. A good leader always builds up his successor and helps in smooth succession process.

 

Qualities of Good Leader:

Some of the leadership qualities are:

  1. Physical features:

Physical features like height, weight, health, appearance determine the physical personality of an individual. Good physical personality attracts people and his health and endurance help a leader to work hard that inspires others to work more.

  1. Knowledge:

A good leader should have required knowledge and competence, in his relevant field. Only then he can instruct subordinates correctly and influence them.

  1. Integrity:

A leader should posses high level of integrity and honesty. Only by being honest and firm believer of ethics and values , he can inspire to do so.

  1. Initiative:

A leader should have courage and initiative. He should not wait for opportunities come to his way, rather he should grab the opportunity and use it to the advantage of organisation.

  1. Communication skills:

A leader should be a good communicator as well as a good communicatee. He should be able to clearly explain his ideas and make others understand his ideas. He should be not only good speaker but a good listener, teacher, counsellor and persuader.

  1. Motivation skills:

A leader should be an effective motivator. He should understand the needs of people and motivate them through satisfying their needs.

  1. Self Confidence:

A leader should have high level of self confidence. He should not lose his confidence even in most difficult times. In fact, if the leader lacks self confidence, he cannot create  confidence in his followers.

  1. Decisiveness:

Leader should be capable of taking timely and correct decisions. Once he is convinced about a fact, he should be firm and should not change opinions frequently.

  1. Social skills:

To be of strong effective personality, a leader should be sociable and friendly with his colleagues and followers. He should understand people and maintain good human relations with them.

However, all good leaders may not necessarily posses all the qualities of a good leader. It is not possible for any individual to have all the qualities. But a person possessing such qualities definitely helps a person in becoming a good leader.

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