Leadership can be stated as the ability to influence others. We may also define leadership as the process of directing and influencing people so that they will strive willingly and enthusiastically towards the achievement of group objectives.
Ideally, people should be encouraged to develop not only willingness to work but also willingness to work with confidence and zeal. A leader acts to help a group achieve objectives through the exploitation of its maximum capabilities.
In the course of his survey of leadership theories and research, Management theorist, Ralph Stogdill, came across innumerable definitions of leadership.
Qualities/Ingredients of Leadership
Every group of people that perform satisfactorily has somebody among them who is more skilled than any of them in the art of leadership. Skill is a compound of at least four major ingredients:
The ability to use power effectively and in a responsible manner.
The ability to comprehend that human beings have different motivation forces at different times and in different situations.
The ability to inspire.
The ability to act in a manner that will develop a climate conducive to responding and arousing motivation.
Leadership styles/types can be classified under the following categories:
Leadership Style Based on the Use of Authority
The traditional way of classifying leadership is based on the use of authority by the leader. These are classified as:
|Autocratic leadership||Democratic leadership||Free-rein leadership|
|Use of coercive power to give order and expect compliance. Dogmatic and leads by the ability to withhold or give punishment or rewards, commands and expects compliance.||Participative leader who usually consults with subordinates on proposed actions and decisions, and encourages participation from them.||As opposed to autocratic leadership, this leadership style provides maximum freedom to subordinates.|
|Some autocratic leadershappen to be “benevolent autocrats”, willing to hear and consider subordinates’ ideas and suggestions but when a decision is to be made, they turn to be more autocratic than benevolent.||Ranges from the person who does not take action without subordinates’ concurrence to the one who makes decisions butconsults with sub-ordinates before doing so.||Favors autonomy and exercises minimal control. Gives workers a high degree of independence in their operations.|