The 5 Leadership Myths. Essay

3312 words - 13 pages

2.1 Leadership is a rare skill.2.1.1 Analysis of the conceptA definition of what leadership is will help in analysing this concept, Daft (2002:5) states "Leadership is an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes and outcomes that reflect their shared purpose." Effective leadership is all about creating this shared purpose and vision. The shift from the old paradigm to the new paradigm (appendix 1) reflects the shift from rational management to the leadership approach.So the main question is, is leadership a rare skill? There are so many leaders and leadership roles in the today's society, so the fact leadership is a rare skill seems an odd concept, but are they leaders, or managers? The two are often confused.Management is the "attainment of organisational goals in an effective and efficient manner through planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling organisational resources." (Daft 2002:15) The problem is that there are too many people managing and too few leading, as shown by the Management-Leadership mix (Appendix 2) where there exist too many people with a combination of strong management skills and weak leadership skills. This ties in with the saying "over managed and under led." (Bennis and Nanus1986:21) The key challenge however is said to, obtain the correct combination of leadership and management, and use them both to balance each other. According to Daft (2002:15) managers already possess the abilities and qualities needed to be effective leaders, so if they can adapt their skills, then leaders would be plentiful. Many leaders are stuck in the practises of the old paradigm or industrial era that valued control and stability, and not moving into the new paradigm and reality of the 21st century which requires empowerment and the achievement of collaboration. Bennis and Nanus (1986: 12) sum this up when they state "Historically leaders have controlled rather than organised, administered repression rather than expression, and held their followers in arrestment rather than in evolution" Managers need to learn the skills and practises of leaders, which include creating a vision and a shared culture, focusing on the people, rather than objects and their planning, budgeting and organising, so that leadership isn't such a rare skill, and organisations aren't "under-led". However, this is achievable, everybody has leadership potential within them and opportunities exist everywhere. Some people possess skills which will make them better leaders and it is probably truer to say that "Great leadership is a rare skill." We can come across leaders in many situations, but to come across great leaders is a rare occurrence, great leaders in society include people such as Winston Churchill, who inspired and motivated people to go to war, and fight for England. He created a vision of victory and a "Greater" Britain.Leaders need to take into account the information-age of today, which involves the developing of...

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