Leadership is a quality developed by a person where he or she influences others to accomplish a certain objective or direct a particular organization in a definite way to make it more articulate and organized. In other words, leadership is a process by which an individual influences a particular group of people to achieve a common goal that is for their interest and benefit. Learning the lessons of leadership is processed by developing required knowledge and skills. And after that comes the execution part of that knowledge and skill. A leader can influence others by his or her traits like values, character, beliefs and ethics. Skills and knowledge provide a direct contribution to the process, whereas other traits give him unique characteristics that can set him apart from other leaders.
Factors Affecting Leadership
- Leader. An individual must have an honest understanding about himself, what he is capable of and what he knows. He should not overestimate himself and neither should he underestimate himself. A leader is successful when he has a group of people following him. That is, his success is determined by his followers. If a leader lacks the trust and confidence of his followers, none shall be inspired. To be a leader a person must convince or influence people around him and make sure that he is worthy of being a leader.
- Follower. As earlier said, the success of a leader is in the hands of his or her followers. It is the followers who make their leader. And not every individual is influenced by the same style of leadership. Like for example, a newly hired employee requires more attention than an experienced employee. For someone who inherits a lack of motivation, he would definitely look upon someone with a higher degree of motivation. A leader must know all people around him or her and should have the ability to communicate effectively with each one of them. A good understanding of human emotions, needs and motivation could be a fairly nice start. But together with an understanding of these fundamentals of human behavior, a true leader must also know how to deal with them.
- Communication. A leader can lead only through a two way communication. This does not necessarily have to be verbal. Many non verbal instances such as “setting an example for others” communicates with people around you. What a leader communicates is very important because it can build or destroy his relationship with his group. Moreover, communication is the most important thing that makes you display your leadership qualities to your follower and this is what can make your followers think whether they should follow you or not. So, a true leader must think before communicating anything as his every act is watched by his followers and a wrong action can result in loss of faith from his followers.
- Situation. A leader must change his style of work under different situations. What you propose in one situation may not be effective in other as well. For example, if one needs to confront his employee for improper behavior and he is too early or too late into it then the result may not be same. Likewise if you are too weak or too harsh on your employee, again this may not result what is desired. How a leader works under a given situation is a more important factor than what qualities he possesses. This is because an individual traits which have been stable over a good amount of time, may alter when different situations come up. Apart from this, various other forces may affect these factors like your relationship with seniors, the qualities of your follower and the structure of your organization.
Being a leader and displaying the qualities of leadership is certainly not an easy thing to do. Apart from the basic requirement of correct judgement from your inner consciousness, it also requires sheer determination so that you don’t fall down when the going gets tough. For one thing that is definite for a leader is that his path is never going to be easy and there are going to be a lot of ups and downs. At times, there can be voices raised against you; but you need to make your way out through those and emerge as a successful leader who can lead a group of people towards a better world.