What is Leadership?

Leadership covers many skills including, the vision, influencing, change, confidence, motivation, strategy, integrity, personality indicators and more...


Many believe that 'leaders are born and not made'.

It may be useful to be born with certain qualities that give you a head start but many traits can be acquired.

The first step is to recognise the required traits.
The second step is to truly evaluate your own positives and negatives.
The final step is to modify your own behaviour and implement what you learn.

In this way you will be a better leader than when you started.

What are companies looking for?
What are you looking to achieve in your personal life as well?

Whether you are in an organisation or just considering daily life you will be trying to achieve something. You will usually be pursuing a list of tasks either on your own or with others to get to your goal.

Leadership is thinking about and establishing the goal or vision, whilst management is merely sorting out the steps to get there. Clever organisations will be looking for leaders, at all levels, to provide future visions of where you want to be and inspire people to get there.

These goals could be considered as 'hard' for areas of vision or strategy that usually encompass the work area. They are often tangible and easily measured so that you know when you have got there. For example, becoming first or second in the market place.

Others, usually on a more personal basis could be considered 'soft', for example, improvement in confidence, becoming calmer and less stressed.
These tend not to be so easy to measure.

A leader will be distinguished by their proactive nature.
Do you want to 'mark time', do you want to change?
Just what do you want out of life?

There is a saying that says, 'if a man thinks he is leading but has no followers then he is just taking a long walk'.

Generic approach

In general, the principals should apply whether you are:

Lower level supervisor.
New manager.
Senior experienced manager.

In real life the exact approach used will need to be tailored and modified based upon many issues.

Starts at the top

That is, it will start with you. You must be determined to invest time in yourself. Once you have done this and reached a suitably high level of leadership skill the ripples will then move outwards and you will influence others and in turn generate other leaders.

Whilst there are many aspects to consider when improving your leadership you should become aware of all of them to reach the top.

The perfect leader

The perfect leader does not exist. You will come across many traits that a good leader ought to possess. However, no one possesses them all. Everyone has their weaknesses but knowing what they are that is the secret.

All anyone can do is to try and recognise the key attributes to becoming an 'effective' leader as you will never be perfect. The lifespan of leaders at the top organisations is not huge. There is always considerable turnover.

Leaders are influenced by role models and it is hard to change once the mould has been set from an early age. As an individual you will need to recognise weaknesses and limitations and make a conscious decision to modify your leadership style.

What makes a leader?

Literally anyone can be a leader. Leaders are required and exist at all levels of an organisation. The requirement at one level will not be the same as the next level up the ladder. As you move up your chosen career path you will need to build on experiences and skills gained and adapt to the needs of your new position.

There are many different types of leader, all of whom may be effective in their own way. Each will have their own style. You may not be a perfect leader but you can learn and practice techniques that will give you an advantage when it comes to influencing others which is the essence of leadership.

The leader is not just the person at the top he exists at all levels. People follow them. They are either experienced leaders or emerging as leaders.

Leadership requires many things. While intelligence is very useful it is only one of many traits. Others might be.

· Motivation of others.

· Generation of vision.

· Develop trust, honesty and integrity.

· Cool in a crisis.

In general leadership will have influence in many areas but mainly:

From the top in terms of strategy and vision.
Getting things done in terms of operational activities.
Within the team that you directly control in maximising performance.

Hopefully, you will be able to tailor the principles that you learn to your own needs. Once you know the theory it is a different matter entirely trying to put into practice. It will be like anything in life, you will need to try it out in practice and if necessary modify your approach.

Although you may well be appointed to a leadership position you will not gain an automatic right to lead. You will need to earn the respect of your team by leading by example.

Before you can become a leader your team must accept you as such.
The phrase 'Come on' instead of 'Go on' sums up a good approach to leadership.
The price you will have to pay for this status as leader will be constant monitoring of the situation in order to maintain your standards and those of your team.

Leadership and authority are distinct in that any leader will have authority. Authority concerns the exercising of power. A person may have the authority of a position but lack leadership skills.

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Author's Bio: 

Deepak Lodhia- Executive Coach and expert on Emotional Intelligence