What Is Leadership? Essay

3335 words - 13 pages

What is leadership? Over the past century scholars have agreed that they cannot come up with one common definition of leadership. Because leadership is such a complex concept, and constantly changing it has presented a major challenge to fully understand. While some scholars may argue that leadership and management are separate processes, others tend to emphasize the trait or skill aspect of leadership. Due to the many factors as growing global influences and generational differences, leadership will continue to have different meanings for different people. The book discusses different aspects and types of leadership, and concludes that leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.As demonstrated above by the definition, leadership can be broken down and identified through several components; leadership is a process that involves influence, leadership occurs in groups, and leadership results in the attainment of common goals.Leadership as a process means that a relationship exists between the leader and the followers. A leader affects and is affected by its followers. Leadership in this manner is unrestricted, and therefore available to everyone. Leadership as a process defines leadership as an interactive event, rather than a trait or characteristic residing in the leader itself.The effect that the leader has on its followers throughout the process involves influence. Without influence, leadership does not exist because a leader should have an affect on their followers. Leadership involves influencing a group of individuals who have a common purpose. Groups are the context in which leadership takes place. A group is required for leadership to occur.Leadership is about one individual influencing a group of others to accomplish a common goal. Beneficial leaders will direct their energy towards individuals who are trying to achieve something together. Therefore, the leaders and followers have a mutual purpose. They strive for the same outcome as their followers. By paying attention to common goals, leaders stress mutuality and act in an ethical connotation. Individuals who work in forced and unethical ways are often perceived as inadequate leaders. Leaders acting forcefully are known as coercive leaders, but we will discuss this in further detail later.A leader cannot be a leader without followers. Both leaders and followers are involved in the leadership process and have equally important roles; thus, a common goal and outcome. Leaders need followers and vice versa. A leader without followers is merely an individual with an idea. When followers come into the picture, ideas take off, movements come into being, and leadership occurs. Although followers are essential to the leadership process, it is typically the leader that will propose an idea, establish a relationship, and create a communication bond to maintain a relationship, therefore leading the group.Aside from the definition, there...

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