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Leadership Defined - Articles Surfing
Leadership and motivational abilities are very closely related, as strong leadership will motivate and strong motivation shows good leadership.
Your ability as a potential leader will vary, but if we can pinpoint just what leadership is and define some of the attributes of good leadership, we can all benefit.
Leadership has been defined as 'the ability to inspire willing action'. Emphasis is placed on the willing. But to understand leadership, we need to delve a little deeper than that.
One thing which experience has proven over and over again down through the ages is that when any group of people are thrown together for any length of time or for any project, a leader will emerge from the group - one to whom they will listen and give their confidence and support.
Their position on the organisation chart or their title alone cannot make a person a genuine leader. They must have certain traits and skills, or they will surely fail. In business, it has been shown again and again that these skills can be learned and the traits can be developed in any individual who is willing to exert an effort based on strong desire and a true hunger for success.
Generally, a leader or teacher does not actually 'develop' another person. They encourage and inspire that person to develop themselves from within. Thus, leadership is, in a large sense, self-initiated.
Once we understand and identify the methods and characteristics of admired leaders, we can take steps to develop these skills and traits ourselves. We can analyse ourselves -- honestly, ruthlessly, objectively ' and identify which skills we need to acquire or improve (and those which we need to play down).
No One Is Perfect!
Qualities of Leadership
Unless a person feels right down in their bones that the work they are doing is worthwhile, they can never consistently (day in and day out) act as though they do. So, if they have any feelings or doubt about the importance of their work and cannot get enthusiastic about it, the trouble is in the person himself or herself. Whether they realise it or not, those around them sense their feelings, their attitude is showing!
Courage in leadership sometimes takes unexpected forms; it may mean standing up to a principle. (Has anyone ever known a real leader who was a 'yes person'?) It means having the character to stand up for what you believe in without comprising or cutting corners.
It may mean taking a bold approach to a new idea - sticking your neck out in support of something, which you think is worth trying. It means loyalty to your conviction.
However, a leader can be self-confident. A great help is to know and work within their personal assets and limitations. They know what they can personally do and what they are unable to do. They are willing to listen to other opinions, assess them and be big enough to adopt the meritorious ones even if they do not square with their original thinking. They can take small reverses in stride.
A self-confident leader is never satisfied with their present accomplishments, does not spend their time in useless longing for things they cannot have. Rather, they set about realising their immediate and realistic goals.
A leader has a genuine and sympathetic interest in and a respect for, people as individuals. A very high percentage of any leader's day is spent working directly with individuals.
Be careful - do not go overboard. Here there could be a danger signal. Friendliness can, of course, be overdone. Although interested and sympathetic, the true leader stays firm - never getting so involved in the personal lives of people that he forgets the implications of their role as a leader. They never play favourites - and should never play one personality against another. They know where to draw the line.
These then are the six basic characteristics, which help a person to be a successful leader. Think of others. Upon reflection, you will probably agree that your ideas are closely allied to or even a part of the six detailed here. They are not by any means a guaranteed panacea that will assure success as a leader. Though all leaders possess them to a varying degree, all of us have known people who have had them all, but were still unsuccessful as leaders. Characteristics or traits by themselves do not make leaders. Certain SKILLS are equally necessary.
The moral right of the author, Jonathan Farrington, has been asserted.All rights reserved.This publication or any part thereof may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, storage in an information retrieval system or otherwise, unless this notification of copyright is retained.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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