Saturday, 15 December 2012 08:56


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Leader and Leadership:

A leader is the one who leads others. Thus a person can be called a leader if he leads some people. The level of leadership varies from a leader of some people to that of group or a business enterprise. The type and nomenclature of leadership vary as per the organization a leader heads, e.g., political leadership, military leadership, business leadership, social leadership, national leadership, global leadership and so on. However, the characteristics and implications of leadership remain, generally, similar in all cases.

Leadership, Competitors, Competence and Performance:

Leadership is full of power, glamour and elan. Its charm attracts many. The post of leadership, thus, becomes highly contentious and competitive. Consequently, a person who desires to be a leader has to compete in the race for leadership, and prove himself better than his competitors.

The controlling authority supports, and the people accepts a person as a leader, if they feel that he is the best choice to pursue their cause. Therefore, a person who desires to be a leader needs to so display his competence and play his roles that he stands out better than his competitors in the eyes of his controlling authority and people. To do that, he needs to have requisite competence and prove his worth by actions on ground.

The qualifications of a person do reflect on his potential for leadership. However, they cannot be taken as a guarantee for good performance on ground. Thus, a leader has no choice, but to prove his real worth by his performance. In case he fails to do so, he is bound to be outmatched and replaced by his competitors. The leadership competence and performance, thus, play critical role in enabling a person to be a leader.

Leadership Mission, Goal and Approach:

Mission is the purpose for which a leader works. Goals are the objectives to be accomplished to fulfill mission of leadership. Goals are derived from the mission. Mission and goals of a leader affects his approach to leadership.

Approach of leadership implies the modus operandi used for obtaining goals of leadership. It consists of a set of actions taken by the leader to obtain requisite goals. The quality of leadership approach is revealed by the means and methods employed and efforts made by a leader to attain his goals.

A leader has to take care of the purpose, output and wellbeing of his organization, people and self. Therefore, goals of leadership need to encompass purpose, interests and aspirations of the leader, his organization and his people.

Leadership Responsibilities:

A Leader has numerous responsibilities. He has to plan and carryout development of his organization and people. He has to provide an environment wherein everyone feels happy to live and work. He has to make his organization and people to perform their roles optimally.

His inability to discharge his responsibilities satisfactorily on any account gets questioned; and affects his reputation, credibility and right to continue as a leader. Legally a leader is responsible for what he does himself. However, morally he is responsible for everything that happens in his organization. He has to perform his roles successfully, but within social, economic, moral and legal constraints. He is answerable for anything wrong done by him, his organization and his people.

Leadership Values and Ethics:

A leader requires support of his controlling authority, organization, people, society and state to perform his roles successfully. All these concerns extend their support to the leader if he displays and takes care of the values and ethics cherished by them. The values and ethics, thus, play a very important role in enabling a leader to gain requisite support of all concerns and perform his responsibilities effectively.

A leader can overcome his problems with respect to the choice of values and ethics by understanding their concepts, nature, manifestations, implications and principles of application. A Leader should exercise his leadership based on the values and ethics that can help him to perform his roles effectively by remaining within socially, legally and morally acceptable norms of the people, society and state, he forms part of.

Leader, Organization and People:

A leader is the head of his organization and people. He has to perform his roles through them. The contribution of an organization and people in the performance of their leader depends upon how he manages and makes them carry out their roles.

An organization has to function within the rules, regulations and norms of the society and state in which it exists. Its roles and goals are open to social, economic, legal and moral scrutiny. A leader is responsible to ensure proprietary in the roles, goals and functioning of the organization that he heads.

The people in an organization play critical role in its performance. Their effectiveness depends upon the quality of their training and level of motivation. Level of motivation of the people to work for the organization depends upon the level of satisfaction that they draw from their work. The level of satisfaction drawn by the people depends upon the level of fulfillment of their goals and aspirations. To ensure that people in his organization perform their roles well, a leader is required to motivate them by taking care of their needs, aspirations, training and goals.

Leadership Dilemma and Priorities:

A Leader is responsible for output and wellbeing of his organization, people and self. Output of all these concerns depends upon the availability of resources and quality of their application. Quality of application of resources depends upon the ability, motivation and efforts of the leader and his people who work for the organization.

Generally, resources at the disposal of a leader are less than the total requirement of the organization and people. Lack of allocation of resources to the organization affects its wellbeing and efficiency adversely. Neglect in allocation of resources to fulfill needs and aspirations of the people demotivate them to work for the organization. Thus, gap in availability of resources, vis-a-vis, needs of the organization and people creates a dilemma for the leader. The dilemma gets further compounded when a leader starts weighting personal interests, vis-à-vis, interests of the organization and people.

A leader needs to resolve his aforesaid dilemma by allocation of priorities based on logic. The organization and people tend to cease their support to the leader, if they feel that he is unable to discharge his obligations towards them or uses them for undue personal gains. No leader can afford to lose support of his organization and people. He has, therefore, no choice but to allocate higher priority to the interests of the organization and people, vis-à-vis, own interest.

Effectiveness of Leadership:

Effectiveness is the ability of a leader to discharge his roles successfully. A leader discharge his roles, partly himself and partly through his people and organization. Effectiveness of a leader is, therefore, judged based on what is done by the leader himself as well as by his people and organization.

The effectiveness of leadership is influenced by a number of factors, like: qualities, skills and values of the leader, availability of the resources, prevalent situation, motivation of the people to work, and ability of the leader to optimize output of his organization, people and self. A leader needs to take care of all those factors that influence his effectiveness. The best way to do that is to so orchestrate application of the influence factors that they help the leader to discharge his roles optimally.

Leadership and Success:

Success means completion of requisite work or accomplishment of a desired goal. A leader has a mission to pursue, goals to accomplish and roles to play. Success in leadership, thus, implies fulfillment of leadership mission, accomplishment of leadership goals and perfection in discharge of leadership roles by a leader.

Success is hard to measure. Its assessment tends to vary when viewed subjectively. Success in leadership therefore needs to be assessed objectively. Objective assessment of success in leadership implies identification of the degree of extent to which a leader has been able to discharge leadership roles, attain leadership goals and accomplish leadership mission.

A leader has no choice but to exercise his leadership successfully or disappear from the scene. Thus, success in leadership ought to be one of the most cherished aims of a leader. However, success in leadership does not come on its own. A leader has to work hard for that.

Leadership and Quality:

Quality means level of excellence. It is revealed by the traits, values, ethics, mission, goals, conduct and performance of a person. The quality of leadership implies the level of excellence with which a leader conducts himself and performs his roles. A leader’s ability to ensure propriety and excellence in every aspect of his responsibilities is called Total Quality Leadership. (Reference: Total Quality Leadership, authored by Dr. J.R. Bhatti)

Read 9159 times Last modified on Monday, 17 December 2012 14:54

Certified Project Manager (PMP, ITILv3, and MCTS) with 14 years of sound experience.
Led multiple projects in GNE / PLM / KBE / ETO / MRO / Application Development / Embodiment of Avionic Systems


1. Managing IT Projects, PMO, Project consulting
2. ERP (Whizible / BaaN / SAP PS), MSProject
3. IT Infrastructure Management and PMBOK 3rd & 4th Edition
4. Coaching & Mentoring of Project Management (PMP&MSP)

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