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Leadership: What is it?

Leadership is the set of skills that a person must possess to influence the way of thinking or acting of other individuals, motivating them to achieve their goals efficiently. Helping in this way to the achievement of certain goals, using different tools such as charisma and confidence when speaking, in addition to the ability to socialize with others. A person shows leadership by taking initiative, offering innovative ideas, setting goals, discovering new ways to achieve certain goals, etc.

What is Leadership?

Leadership is critical to meeting business goals. It not only influences efficiency and productivity but also permeates organizational culture and job satisfaction. All leaders, however, do not assume their functions in the same way.

The concept of leadership is known as a group of directive or managerial skills that a person possesses to influence the way of acting of an individual or group of individuals in a given job, motivating his team to work in an enthusiastic way to obtain the achievement of all the goals, activities and objectives.

Moreover, the definition of leadership is the ability to commission, manage, assemble, promote, motivate, incentivize, and evaluate a project, efficiently and effectively, institutional or managerial within the administrative system of a company.

Definition of Leadership in Psychology and Sociology:

In psychology and sociology, leadership is a kind of social influence in a group with the expectation of achieving common goals. Accordingly, a leader is a person who has this power.

In the simplest format, leadership is represented in the animal kingdom: in each flock, there is a leader who ensures its safety and leads. In the human world, things are a little more complicated.

What leadership expands is the distribution of power, since the members of the group do not lack power, but they enhance the capabilities and achievements of the activities of the group in different ways.

What is Leadership
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The job of a leader is to try to set a goal and get the majority of people to work to achieve the proposed goal within a specified amount of time. It is an essential element in the managers of the organizational world, to be able to move forward with the organization, but also, it is in different contexts, such as in education where a teacher who makes their students understand their way of thinking, in the sports a captain where having knowledge of how to lead the team to victory and even in the family environment where parents are always taken as a practical example by their children.

Let’s highlight the basic features of leadership:

  • The ability to make responsible and difficult decisions, and the willingness to bear due responsibility for them.
  • Concern for the common good and interests of people, and not for personal gain.
  • The ability to lead people on a completely voluntary basis.
  • Possession of charisma and natural power of influence.
  • The presence of trust in the leader on the part of the group and strong authority.
  • The ability to admit mistakes and the desire to take responsibility for defeats on oneself, to look for personal mistakes in this.

Types of Leadership:

The leadership style of managing an organization is a topic that has been heard by many leaders over the past decade.

A quite reasonable question arises: why is leadership important when you can just be a good leader?

According to the criteria of experts in organizational development, there are different types and styles of leadership. Honestly, it is not that there are numerous types since leadership is only one and, like leaders, the cataloging corresponds to the way in which they practice or have taken the ability to lead. Following are the types of Leadership that are commonly discussed:

Business Leadership:

Business leadership is a type of leadership that is exercised by the person in charge within the business environment and which has the quality of successfully communicating with employees when making recommendations or suggestions, forming a bond with workers and the aim and objective to be achieved by the company, for which it is recognized by those who work there as a leader within the company.

The main function of business leadership is to take care of the perfect functioning in all areas of the company and organization to make progress and in order to achieve success. For example, a business leader is responsible for assigning an activity to a team and ensuring that goals are met and achieved, as well as making important decisions to maintain the balance of the organization. The progress and growth in production are strongly reliant on the leading characteristics of the leader.

Transformational Leadership:

The transformational leadership concept was introduced by James MacGregor Burns (1978), but this term is now used in organizational psychology. Transformational leadership is the type of leadership implemented by people with great personalities and vision. These types of leaders are capable of changing the insights, expectations, and motivation levels of their team members, as well as leading the renovations within the company.

Years later, Bernard M Bass drew up the original and perfect definition, called Bass’s transformational leadership theory. The leader transforms and motivates followers through charisma, intellectual excitement, and individual consideration. The transformational leader succeeds in changing the motivational base of the individual from regular motivation to commitment. For example, companies that kept innovating the development of computers are transforming the course of business history.

Democratic Leadership:

Democratic leadership is a type of leadership in which a person takes into account the participation of the other members that make up a certain organization. He accepts the ideas and criticisms that other members of the team may give in order to improve the performance of a company. He is also responsible for answering any concerns that the people under command have. This can generate trust among their subordinates. Which encourages teamwork and at the same time meets the requirements of the proposed goals.

A fairly strong example of what democratic leadership is; is some of the political leaders who work hand in hand with the people and who despite their rank take into account the opinions of their juniors, when making decisions or taking actions.

Situational Leadership:

Situational Leadership is totally dependent on the situation, the boss’s decision, and the acceptance of the team members. It is a set of tactical methods of subordinate management in which the manager selects a leadership style depending on the situation. In this case, “situation” means that the task must be solved at an optimal labor cost.

Situation management allows you to answer the main questions facing each leader. How do we manage staff? How do you motivate employees?

The main goal of situation management is to choose the optimal leadership style for employees. Anyone has a character, a certain mindset, experience, and skills. In order to solve problems quickly, it is necessary not only to attract the necessary employees to the solution but also to lead them professionally.

The importance of situational leadership focuses on the power it can have over the subordinates. In addition to the fact that it allows knowing what subordinates want and trying to solve their needs and problems, making the team comfortable and protected, which will generate extra motivation when efficiently achieving the objectives.

To better understand how situational leadership is applied, we will give the following example: In a scenario of a company where its sales have been decreasing and it has caused damage to its financial condition. If the leader uses what is situational leadership, he estimates the damages and optimizes production even though you has to reduce production and budget, as long as you can attract your customers.

Paternalistic Leadership:

This is characterized because the leader acquires all the responsibility of guiding and ensuring the welfare of his subordinates, in order to generate better results in terms of work, for this to happen, the leader must use incentives with the workers. A Paternalistic leader offers their team members rewards when the specified goal is achieved successfully, that is why it is called paternalistic leadership, since like a father at home, a leader assumes this role in the company.

Paternalistic leadership is shown when the employer provides well-being by way of incentives to his subordinates through bonuses, medical care, lodging, educational development, etc., this is a clear example of what Paternalistic leadership is.

Pedagogical Leadership:

It is a smart balance between short-term management (managerial leadership) of administrative functions and a long-term view (visionary leadership) of teaching functions. In the pedagogical type of leadership, leaders cannot neglect certain managerial functions. In addition to this, teaching and learning are the areas of academic leadership where effective educational leaders must consistently allocate the majority of their time. As a pedagogical leader, teaching and learning are at the top of the priority list.

Learning is the main focus of this type of leadership. It does not have a concern, but a passion for learning that makes this concept vital for people in the education sector. If we talk about pedagogical leadership, we think of, coordination, support, motivation and help that it offers to the people of the organization.

Autocratic Leadership:

Autocratic leadership is the one in which a person takes over the duties and responsibilities and makes different decisions in a certain place. Furthermore, he is also in charge of giving orders to the other people who are under his command. In Autocratic leadership, the power is centralized in one person, and where under command are not considered proficient when making decisions. In the autocratic type of leadership, the one who exercises the role of a leader believes that he is the only one capable of doing it correctly.

A transcendental example of autocratic leadership is governments in which there is no democracy but the leader (president) does what they see fit, without taking into account any opinion or any law.

Lateral Leadership:

Lateral Leadership is based on the belief that anyone has the ability to lead without needing to be the boss. In general, this is carried out by people who have the same level within the company, but who have the ability to lead a certain group.

Like any other type of leadership, the person who exercises it must have the ability to influence and get people to do what they are ordered to do. Thus increasing the production of the company and the performance of workers without the interference of senior positions is Lateral leadership.

The leader, without being of higher rank than the others, must have what it takes to take the initiative in case it is required. In addition, he must do everything in his power so that the group in which he is connected functions in the right way. In general, this type of leadership is typical of people who have years of experience in a certain company.

Laissez-faire Leadership:

Laissez-faire leadership is a leadership style that provides a high level of autonomy for followers. The term is derived from the French term “laissez-faire,” which means “let go” or “leave”. In practice, laissez-faire leadership is a loose, obvious approach to leadership that promotes independent problem-solving among team members. The primary tenet of the laissez-faire leadership philosophy is that with minimal guidance, team members can more effectively formulate their own goals, strategies, and solutions.

This leadership style is of a more liberal type, whose main objective is to create a team that can work independently without the leader having to constantly intervene. The leader assumes a more passive role because, although he determines the objectives and facilitates the resources, the workers have great freedom and decision-making power.

The leader will influence very little in the achievement of the objectives of the company. They prefer to make the rules very clear and to interfere as little as possible in the activities. The opinions that they contribute are neutral, so their participation is almost nil, they only participate if it is necessary to do so. Since the power to make decisions has been delegated to their colleagues, they do not evaluate any type of activity.

Charismatic Leadership:

The charismatic type of leadership is characterized by captivating and generating enthusiasm in subordinates, using communication with the subordinates, inspiring them to give their maximum effort and if necessary. It is capable of changing aspirations and vision under command in order to achieve the specified goals.

The benefit of having a Charismatic type of leadership is that the employees of the company will always feel motivated by what they are doing, which helps in making the work environment more pleasant. This will be reflected in the performance of each worker. Another advantage is that at the time of making decisions, it will not generate so much conflict since charismatic leaders have the ability to dialogue with people. Also, reaching an agreement is much easier through effective dialogue. Teamwork is one of the most powerful tools of a charismatic leader.

Qualities or Characteristics of a Leader:

The most outstanding leadership characteristics are described below:

Communication skill: Effective communication skill is one of the most expensive tools in every type of leadership. It refers to two-way communication. Orders and instructions must be expressed clearly so that the instructions and ideas are understood. It must also be heard by its people. A leader must also know how to listen to their team’s suggestions and expressions.

Charisma: It is considered the gift of being liked and attracting people, it must be pleasant in the eyes of others. To obtain this quality, you can start by showing interest in other people, taking a real interest, since excellence is found in charisma. It can be said that this quality is the opposite of selfishness. When the leader focuses on practicing excellence, charisma emanates on its own.

Emotional Intelligence: According to Salovey and Mayer, emotional intelligence is the ability with which feelings and emotions are managed, both one’s own and those of others, in order to be able to use said information and guide thought and, in turn, action. Without this quality, it is very difficult to be a leader.

Establish goals: In order to be a leader, it is necessary to be clear about what the objective is, since, without a clear goal, efforts will be insufficient. In the same way, the goals that are established must be proportional to the capacities of the group, since it is useless to establish objectives that are difficult to fulfill.

Planning capacity: After setting objectives, a plan must be developed to comply with the same. Said plan must establish the steps to follow, as well as the moment of its execution, the people who must execute it, and the resources that are needed. Taking full advantage of the strengths, but at the same time knowing what the limitations and weaknesses are and then trying to improve them.

The leader allows his followers to grow, so he should not cling to his position and activity, he must always have his eyes up. A leader teaches his followers, create opportunities, and delegate.

Innovative: it is characterized by looking for better and new ways of doing things, which is really important today since the world is in constant technological evolution.

Always be informed: the leader must know how to channel the information that is given to him, in order to interpret it intelligently and then use it moderately and creatively at the same time.

To be an excellent leader, you must take into account these ten characteristics of leadership that are essential to fulfill this role successfully.

Leadership quotes and phrases:

There are a number of historical quotes and phrases written and stamped in leadership books, among which the following leaders stand out:

People should not feel obligated. They must be able to choose their own leader (Albert Einstein).

A leader is a negotiator of the hopes, of the French leader (Napoleon Bonaparte).

A good leader knows what is true; a bad leader knows what sells best (Confucius).

Stay with a leader when he’s right, stay with him when he’s still right, but leave him when he’s gone (Abraham Lincoln).

A good leader doesn’t get stuck behind his desk (Richard Branson).

Suggested Books:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey)

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take … (Simon Sinek)

How to win friends and influence people. How to stop worrying and start living (Dale Carnegie)

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and … (Jim Collins)

Leaders Eat Last (Simon Sinek)

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Elon Musk’s Life, Vision, and Leadership Lessons for Success

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Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

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