Leadership is the heart of the managerial process, because it is involve with initiating action. Other terms identifying the same idea are directing, executing, supervising, ordering and guiding. Whatever term is used the idea is to put into effect the decisions, plans and programs that has previously been worked out for achieving the goals of the group.
Elements of leadership:
Leadership concerns the total manner in which a manager influences actions of subordinates. First, it includes the issuing of orders that are clear, complete and within the capabilities of subordinates to accomplish. Second it implies a continual training activity in which subordinates are given instruction to enable them to carry out the particular assignment in the existing situation. Third, it necessarily involves the motivation of workers to try to meet the expectations of the manager. Fourth, it consists of maintaining discipline and rewarding those who perform properly. In short, leading is the final action of managers in getting others to act after all preparations have been completed.
The manner in which the activities are directed depends upon the managers own personal traits and situation involved. In leadership more then any other function, the manager must determine an approach alone, after surveying the possibilities that are open. Each manager will do well to act as an individual and not to try to act as others act or to proceed according to the textbook. Moreover a manager will be involved in various situations calling for different approaches. If subordinates are unskilled and need detailed instruction, the manager may find the direct, simple order advisable. If the subordinates are highly educated persons in research activity, a permissive and consultative approach is advisable. In cases of emergency, the manager may assume â€œtake chargeâ€ role and give short, clear authoritative commands, whereas if action is not pressing, a deliberate and analytical attitude may be appropriate.
Types of leadership:
A large amount of research has been directed towards finding the characteristics types of leaders that are most effective. Much of this research has been carried out in the behavioral sciences. Different leadership types have been identified and provide a framework for a manager in selecting an approach to directing. For some time the types of leadership are grouped under four headings: (1) the dictatorial leader (2) the benevolent-autocratic leader, (3) the democratic leader, (4) the lassiez- faire leader.
The dictatorial leader accomplishes tasks through the fear of penalties, and maintains a highly critical and negative attitude in relations with subordinates. As boss, such a person expects the subordinates to perform well or be subject to punishment or replacement. At times this approach apparently is effective in short run, but it does not provide a solid foundation for continued performance, because it does not provide a lasting satisfaction for those being led.
The benevolent-autocratic leader assumes a paternalistic role which forces subordinates to rely on the leaders for their satisfactions. If this type of leadership is to be successful, the leader must be an exceptionally strong and wise individual who, by force of personality, generates respect and allegiance. The satisfaction of the subordinates of this type of leader depends solely on the good will of their superior. Because this, leaders make decisions without the participation of others, subordinates have little chance to develop leadership qualities. This type results in dependency on the continued presence of the leader, and work deteriorates when that person is absent.
Democratic leaders depend not only on their own capabilities but encourage consultation with subordinates. The subordinates are invited to participate in planning, decision making, and organizing. They tend to venture on their own initiative and to communicate freely with their fellow subordinates. This type of leadership results in a cooperative spirit and the development of managerial abilities on the part of subordinates. Satisfaction is gained through a feeling of group accomplishment.
The last category of leader depends entirely on subordinates to make their own goals and to make their own decisions. This type of leadership is not desirable in a business or industry but acceptable in regions for political parties.