Bases of leadership Power and Functions of leader

There are different aspects which help the leader to function and influence others. The ability to influence persuade and motivate followers is based largely upon the perceived power of the leader. The forms of power a leader may possess are as follows.

Coercive: Power based upon fear. A follower perceives that failing to comply with the request initiated by a leader could result in some form of punishment a reprimand and/or social ostracism from a group.

Reward: Power based upon the expectation of receiving praise, recognition, or income for compliance with a leader’s request.

Legitimate: Power derived from an individual’s position in the group or organizational hierarchy. In a formal organization, the first line supervisor is perceived to have more power than operating employees. In the formal group, the leader is recognized by the members as having legitimate power.

Expert: Power based upon a special skill, expertise or knowledge. The followers perceive the person as having relevant expertise and believe that it exceeds their own.

Referent: Power based on attractiveness and appeal. A leader who is admired because of certain traits possesses referent power. This form of power is popularly referred to as charisma. The person is said to have charisma to inspire and attract followers.

The functions or fundamentals of management are commonly referred to as:

1. Planning
2. Organizing
3. Directing
4. Controlling
5. Motivating
6. Communication

Leaders’ primary responsibility involves accomplishing the task for which the group or organization exists. Their main contributions towards achieving the required results lie in:

Determining the objectives: Leaders must define the important objective (or end result) they want and when they want it. They should state this accurately briefly and clearly in writing.

Planning necessary activities: They must decide what to do to achieve the end results. This means they need to state objectives in several ways: general, specific, long range, and immediate objectives. Good leaders question every proposed activity. They ask simple questions such as, “Is it important?” Is it necessary?” Is it useful? Why?

Organizing the program: They must make a checklist of all important things to do. Then arrange those tasks in order to priority. Good leaders break down each activity and identify the sequential steps.

Preparing a time table: Leaders need to prepare a work schedule in which they set a time for the completion of each step in the program. Once made, they stock to the schedule, or reset it. Effective leaders follow through.

Clarifying responsibilities and accountability: they must clearly define all delegated responsibility, authority, and relationships, and then coordinate them.

Maintaining channels of communication: Leaders must keep their associates and subordinates full informed. They must also make it convenient for those associates to keep them advised on all pertinent matters.

Developing cooperation: Successful achievement largely depends upon individuals and groups working together. Leaders should thoroughly explain the results they want and their expectations of every individual and group affected. Otherwise misunderstandings and friction’s can delay progress.

Establishing control points: Leader must determine where and when they will review progress made. They must resolve problems determine remedial action, and make necessary adjustments.

Last but not the least a Leader must assess his team members’ abilities individually and develop the areas where they need improvement by imparting suitable training. Delegation and allocation of work must be in line with the team members’ capabilities. Any weak member in the team must be given adequate support by the leader by ensuring that the member has understood the task clearly and will proceed in the right direction towards accomplishment of the task.

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