Leadership Development helps the individual to develop his or her capacity to perform leadership roles. In this Article, I have explained about leadership, leadership styles, powers of leaders, and the advice that can apply to any walk of life specially for leadership.
Leadership is mainly related to people. There is no specific definition of leadership. But if you understand the attributes of leader, you will understand the leadership. There are some nice quotes that in my opinion defines leadership nicely.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. “ John Quincy Adams
There is an old tradition “If more than two persons travel together, let them elect one of them as their leader.” This tradition shows the importance of leadership.”
When we lead for the first time, we might adopt a style of leadership that we’ve experienced from someone else, or that we’ve heard or read about. If it seems to work, we’ll likely stick with it – in effect, it becomes “our” style.
Some people say leaders are born not made. But I must say some are born and some are made. Even if you are not a leader you must develop your skills to become a leader. But I must say everyone is a leader.
My favorite Quote explains that : “Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.” Thomas J. Watson Sr. CEO of IBM
Powers as a Leader
You must have seen around you various titles of leaders given to them. A Prime Minister of a Country is also a Leader, and a Project Manager is also a leader, countless examples are there, but, mostly one becomes leader because of certain reasons or powers, I have listed few here.
- Position : When a person is given power to approve something, this is the power given to him by his position. And this leader is Leader by Position.
- Information : When you are a knowledgeable person, you have enough information to influence others, you have power of Information that makes you leader.
- Reference : A person becomes leader because he might be close to some powerful person, (this is not in a negative sense).
- Situational : This is not about Situational Leadership, this is about situational power, for a specific day a fireman becomes a leader and even he leaders many powerful leaders.
- Expert : Subject Matter experts are having their expertise power that make him leader and other follow them. For example, Doctors, Engineers, Pilots and so on.
- Reward : When one performs during a specific project/task he might be given the leadership role as a reward. This is power by Reward.
- Pressure : If one has quality to create pressure on someone even if his is not his team member. This is his power of Pressure that makes him leader.
- Guilt : If you are able to create guilt in others, and influence them. This is power of guilt.
- Charismatic : This is very common, interpersonal attraction that inspires others is also a power.
Though there are many approaches available to us, and a good leader can adapt his style according to the situation, environment and the people involved. And once you adapt appropriate sytle, many worst situations can be ameliorated.
You can apply the leadership style only if you know about it. Therefore, it is important for a leaders to understand the leadership styles in general.
Behavior and chosen leadership style impacts the team, so leader has to carefully chose his leadership style after careful analysis of the situation and relationship
Here are list of some of most popular leadership styles;
- Coaching : Preparing individuals to build skills for future goals, this improves leader to grow his team and ultimately helps him to grow.
- Authoritative : Using this style when the situation is to give directions and and to focus on end goals
- Affiliate: This style is important to bring unity among team, specially when the collaboration is required within the team to work on specific goals, specially Project Manager uses this style mostly.
- Bureaucratic : There are policies, procedures, guidelines to follow and sometimes it becomes important to follow the principals, therefore this style helps to enforcing rules.
- Altruistic: Leader shouldn’t be selfish, he /she shouldn’t think about himself/herself but about the welfare of his team. Leader needs to use Personalized approach to meet individual need.
- Democratic: When a situation comes that important decision can’t be made alone or by a team and there are different opinions and differences then this leadership style can be used to get Consensus on decision.
- Innovative: As a leader one must have Future vision. Must lead team for excellence and should welcome innovative ideas, this leadership style is applied by many successful companies today. Specially Alibaba’s Jack Ma.
- Pace setting: Using various skills or time management, task management and productivity. A Leader should focus on productivity and on completion of one project should move to another with speech and better pace.
A Good leader doesn’t have only one style, there are many styles and you will be called a great leader if you chose appropriate style during situation.
Effective leaders empower others to accomplish personal goals and contribute to the successful completion of group objectives. Leaders are in a position to model behaviors for others to emulate.
There are 14 golden advises give which is a master piece for leaders. Extracted from a letter written 1400 years ago and the beauty of this letter is in the fact that it is universal, timeless and can be applied in any walk of life, whether you are in a position of leadership or not.
Reference : Nahjul Balagha (Letter # 53) by Ali Ibn Abi Talib (as)
Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations at the time, referenced it in a statement on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights.
Here are 14 pieces of advice from the letter that we can all implement, especially if you are in a position of leadership.
- Even if you are a leader, you are just servant of God – If one is CEO of the company or Prime Minister of any country, he is still a servant of God.
- Know your Audience : People might have been following the previous leader, follow the greatness of previous leader.
- We are all humans that make mistakes; be forgiving : wilfully or by neglect, extend forgiveness to your team.
- Remove Negative people from your Circle : who is the most inquisitive of the shortcomings of the people.
- Remove the hatred : hatred exists due to several things; religion, race, culture, country etc.
- Equality and Justice are not the same things : Keep everyone in the position which is his.
- If it isn’t broke, don’t try to fix it: Don’t discontinue good practices of earlier people.
- Everyone is small cog i a Big machine : people of not independent of one another.
- Always give people the credit they deserve : Don’t give credit of someone’s work to someone else.
- Never treat people favorably due to relationship with you: Given them appointment after test.
- Listen to constructive Criticism : Give chance to your team to speak against you.
- Show your face : don’t keep yourself sealed, don’t be invisible.
- Communicate Clearly : Speak the way everyone understands, don’t use vague words.
- Be Organized : Assign matter to its proper place and do every job at appropriate time.
If you like this article please share with your friends and don’t forget to comment and give your suggestions. And remember “…if you do not choose to lead, you will forever be led by others. Find what scares you and do it. And you can make a difference, if you choose to do so.”