What Is Leadership? Essay

2256 words - 9 pages

What is leadership? When examining this question it is important to understand what it means to be a leader within an organization. “Leadership is the influencing process of leaders and followers to achieve organizational objectives through change (Achua, 2010, p. 6). Leaders serves people best when they help them develop their own initiative and good judgment, enable them to grow, and help them become better contributors (Thomas S Bateman, 2010, p. 66). Unlike management leadership flows from the core of a personality and cannot be taught; although leadership can be learned and may be enhanced through coaching and mentoring. Leadership involves unique processes that are distinguishable from basic management processes (Thomas S Bateman, 2010, p. 123). Leadership can be divided between supervisory leadership and strategic leadership in order to distinguish between the two. Supervisory leadership occurs when a leader possesses behavior that provides guidance, support, and corrective feedback for day to day activities. Strategic leadership occurs when a leader’s behavior gives purpose and meaning to an organization envisioning and creating a positive future (Thomas S Bateman, 2010, pp. 95-96). A leader “keeps people focused on moving the organization towards its ideal future, motivating them to overcome whatever obstacles lie in their way”. Leaders capture the hearts and minds of their employees and stir up a desire to be part of something big. They clearly see the future of the organization, the changes that need to occur to get there, and they sell the vision with such compelling belief that others begin to see and believe it as well (Thomas S Bateman, 2010, p. 156).
Are leaders born or created? This is the most frequently asked question about leadership.
Studies using identical twins estimate that leadership is about one-third born (due to genetic factors) and two-thirds made. Yet, many leaders say the exact opposite believing leaders are mostly born. Executives who believe that leaders are born, give less attention to leader development, both their personal development as well the development of those they lead. Instead they are focused on selecting leaders with the “right stuff”, and expecting that those leaders’ natural abilities will mean organizational success. Research has shown clearly that extroverts have greater leadership potential than introverts. Extroversion is only an-in born leadership advantage if one also learns and develops effective communication skills. (Shane, 2010, pp. 17-120).
Many believe that leadership –whatever form it takes-cannot be taught and that leaders are born not made. Elizabeth Winslow, director of the Cohen leadership development program at Tuck-trucking Company, has no trucks with the mentality of “Leadership can be taught,” she insists, and anyone is capable of showing leadership. It’s all about learning when the step up and when to let others step up.” However, business author Henry Mintzberg thinks...

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