According to Nathan F. Iannone, leadership can be defined as the art of influencing, directing, guiding, and controlling others in such a way as to obtain their willing obedience, confidence, respect and loyal cooperation in accomplishment of an objective.Leaders are not born…sure there are some gifts-traits-attributes, natural endowments that affect relative abilities…but they are not born, they are made.
Any reasonably intelligent person with enough forcefulness to develop his/her ability to inspire others to follow him can earn leadership status. Remember that we have both formal and informal leaders…. Being a Captain /Sergeant doesn’t make you a leader.
Booher and Watson refer to classic leadership theory because it describes an approach to understanding leadership that by and large is out of style. Nonetheless it is clear that one can learn a great deal by studying the important personal ingredients in the leadership equation.Studying the traits of great leaders became unpopular because it was and is associated with the “great man” theory of leadership.
Possessing these core traits simply makes it more likely that a person will take the appropriate action leading to leadership success.
What is the nature of leadership, leadership is an art! As with any form of artistic expression, painting, music, leadership is an art form in that it:
Is an expression of the individual within the social and environmental context.
Reflects the individual’s personality.
Can be easier to demonstrate and develop when one has a talent for it.
Can be learned-you may have a talent for it, you may not, either way, anyone can still become an effective leader.
Is greatly enhanced through a disciplined regimen of learning and feedback.
The four general styles of leadership are:
Autocratic also known as authoritarian leadership is rule by authority. As a manager or supervisor, a person is endowed with a level of authority, which is expected to be obeyed. An autocratic leader rests on this fact, expecting his subordinates to comply.
Participative leadership is often referred to as democratic although democratic processes (voting etc.) need not be present to constitute participative leadership.
Laissez-faire leadership (really non-leadership) is a hands off approach. If the group’s goals are being accomplished under the management of a LF leader, it is because the group members are self-motivated, demonstrate effective teamwork, and exhibit expertise in their field.
Variable leadership, a precursor to “situational leadership” draws from a combination of the above styles. Whether this form of leadership is effective depends on how each style is applied at what time
For you as a leader, remember that leadership is an art; your leadership is always a work in progress…