Leadership is defined as the ability to control human behavior in a manner which allows a specific goal to be completed, one which has been established by the leader. Leadership is a very important factor in being successful in today’s world. There are a number of principles which are related to effective leadership, few of them are outlined in this articles.
What makes a leader? What is it that separates leaders from followers, and how can you incorporate leadership principles into your own life? First, leaders are individuals who follow their own convictions and beliefs. Leaders tend to have a very strong vision when it comes to how things should be done, and they aren’t afraid of the unknown.
Most people feel comfortable with simply following others. For example, most people would rather work at a nine to five job instead of the "risk" of becoming self employed, or starting their own business. Someone with leadership qualities, on the other hand, would scoff at the idea of working for others, and would be excited by the idea of going out on their own.
A leader is also someone who is responsible. They are skilled at managing themselves, and they know how to follow schedules. Leaders "don’t need someone to tell them what to do." They automatically know to just do it.
Most leaders also have the ability to influence others. They are highly persuasive, and they find it very easy to generate their visions within the minds of those who listen to them. Think about it. How else could Hannibal have convinced thousands of soldiers, many of which who were from different tribes, to join him in his attempt to conquer Rome? The answer is that Hannibal was able to generate his vision within the minds of his men, and he was able to show them the danger that Rome posed to their freedom and prosperity. This is one of the factors that caused his men to follow him across the hazardous Alps.
Styles of Leadership
If you want to incorporate effective leadership principles into your own life, one thing that you must realize is that there is more than one style of leadership. There are three styles of leadership that I would like to go over here, and these are Bureaucratic Leadership, Autocratic Leadership, and Charismatic Leadership.
As the name suggests, Bureaucratic Leadership involves following a set structure in the manner that it has been established. The goal of the leader with this form of leadership is to make sure every step has been followed to make sure quality is maintained. This style of leadership is typically practiced by hospitals and governments, but has disadvantages due to the fact that new ways aren’t readily explored for problem solving.
The second style of leadership, known as Autocratic leadership, occurs when there is one person who has sole authority over everyone who is beneath them. Examples of organizations which use this type of leadership are organized crime enterprises, as well as legitimate businesses.
The person who is in charge basically makes all the rules, and everyone beneath them must follow them, no matter what. A failure to follow these rules are usually met with severe consequences. While this form of leadership can be effective, it is largely dependent on the leader, and will fail should the followers not respect or fear the leader.
The third type of leadership, called the Charismatic Leadership, involves a leader who is charismatic, and who uses charisma to control those in the organization. The charismatic leader will create energy within those who follow him, and they tend to be highly committed to both the organization and its cause.
It is important for leaders who use this style to be in it for the long haul, since their stepping down could cause the organization to crumble, since its success was attributed to the leader. One thing that I should note is that there are more leadership styles than this, and any one leader may have a combination of all these leadership qualities.
Choosing Leadership Style
Because of the large number of leadership styles which are available, it is important for you to choose the right style. As should be expected, a leadership style which works for one organization may be ineffective for another organization.
For example, if you want to form an organization where the people at the lower levels have a say in how the organization works, you would probably not want to use either the Bureaucratic or Autocratic Style, since these styles of leadership would be incompatible with the goals you want for the organization.
Another important factor in leadership is being able to "lead by example." If a leader expects his followers to follow certain procedures, or to maintain a specific belief, it is crucial for the leader to follow the same functions. If he/she does not, they will eventually lose credibility.