There are at least two things you can say about leadership without sounding stupid or exaggerating, 1) Leaders are important, and secondly 2) There is always a leadership crisis of one kind or another, at any given time; e.g. shortage or incompetence, evil, crooked, inadequate, you name it. As simplistic as these statements may sound, they are paramount to any study or discussion of leadership and its effectiveness. In this paper, I would like to elaborate upon some qualities of a good leader, the relationship between leaders and the followers, the difference between a leader and a manager, between leadership and authority, and finally touch upon the possible evils and misuse of power and leadership positions.
We have all heard that leaders are born and not made. I do not agree with this statement in the least. While some leadership qualities are innate to all people, the most notable leaders are churned out after years of experience and practice of certain skill-sets. Effective leaders are rare. They are created through the trials and tribulations of managing or working with people in a variety of settings. Most good leaders have had their fair share of hard knocks that awakened them to the greater potential within their scope of influence. Effective leaders are excellent communicators, able to speak the many languages of the individuals within the groups they lead. A good leader pays attention to the facts and then makes decisions based on objective analysis of those facts.
Effective leaders naturally motive people from their actions, which include showing respect, listening, reflecting, and negotiating through conflict. Leaders encourage and empower people to achieve success rather than place blame. Leaders ...
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...isuse power because those with power feel morally superior. There is one school of thought that believes that power corrupts slowly and gradually, while some others believe that those who misuse their position, do so in bold strikes. Leaders inherently have power and influence over their followers. There have been instances in history where leaders are granted god-like status, with absolute right to making judgments. This is true even in some cases in today's world vis-à-vis national and religious leaders of major faiths. Leaders can also take advantage of the general reluctance to take on responsibility and accountability. By being willing to take on those burdens, a charismatic leader can amass a range of powers, including those that are in conflict, such as the power both to propose and approve acquisitions or to execute and account for securities transactions.
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