In business or in politics almost everybody will claim to be a “leader”. But what is leadership and how can one be taught leadership skills? Leadership is not a term that is commonly used, since leaders do not like to be called leaders; therefore it is hardly ever heard or mentioned. Most people would think that leadership is about power, domination and control. This is far from the truth.
A good leader should be able to inspire loyalty, trust and respect in all those under him/her. Leadership is a skill, an abstract skill, encompassing an individual’s ability to lead, influence or guide others, teams or an organization. The concept of leadership has nothing to do with controlling others or imposing your will on them, nor does it imply that a leader must be an expert in social or personal relations. Rather, true leadership stems from the ability to lead by example, providing a clear and positive example of what it means to be a leader, while respecting others in order to encourage cooperation and common action.
Leadership is not a position, rather it’s a process, a method, and a goal. There is no leadership prize for the winners, instead there are honor, appreciation, recognition, and compensation for the losers, but all at the same time understanding that there are two sides to every story. When we speak of leadership we mean people in positions of leadership, usually in government at the local, county and national levels. Great leaders must deal with differing opinions, be compassionate and listen to the diverse views presented to them, have the strength to bring out the best in people and use their strengths and skills to solve problems.
The most important aspect of leadership is not so much what you do as what you don’t do. For a successful leader, delegating tasks is key, but being careful not to become too detached from the process makes it easier to do the right things and get the job done. Successful leaders allow their subordinates to contribute their part and recognize their efforts. They encourage subordinates to think and act independently, and they look to them for direction, guidance and support. They expect employees to meet their objectives, even when these objectives are difficult or outside the normal scope of the project. When employees meet specific goals and objectives, they are more satisfied and less likely to feel let down by the results.
Great leaders realize that their subordinates are people with needs and feelings just like everyone else, and without the constant reassurance and praise that comes with receiving a specific role they will lose motivation and often begin to look for some sort of revengeful victory which may never occur. Great leaders realize that the only way to make a subordinate work is to treat him or her with respect. Leaders may never have to try and motivate a subordinate through fear or intimidation, and they never have to attempt to force a subordinate into doing something that he or she may not believe in or agree with. They allow their subordinates to take the lead where decisions are concerned and foster strong relationships with all of their employees.
One of the greatest leadership skills of all is communication. Communication is crucial in every relationship. If a manager does not communicate well, the results can be disastrous. If a manager does communicate well but the employees are not benefiting from the relationship, the results can still be disastrous. In order to be a great leader, a manager must know how to communicate properly to his or her followers, and he or she must constantly be communicating with the employees in order to keep them motivated and inspired. If the leader does not communicate with his or her followers, they will begin to feel a lack of control and will wonder what is going on.
The best leadership theories encourage both leaders and followers to think as creatively as possible. This enables each person to use his or her individual creativity and intelligence in order to find creative solutions to problems and make contributions that will benefit everyone. Creativity does not come from being stuck in a certain mold, it comes from being free to think outside of the box and finding creative solutions to problems. A good leadership concept encourages leaders to use their imagination and intelligence to find creative answers to difficult leadership situations.
Effective leadership requires that leaders think and act in ways that benefit everyone around them. Leaders who adopt the right leadership concepts will be able to make positive changes in their work environments and teams. If you are looking for a great leader to help you grow as a techtarget contributor, make sure to check out the links below.