Leadership is the ability of an organization’s leader to influence others into achieving certain set goals. In most cases, leadership centres on giving directions and guidance to subordinates who are expected to act in accordance with the directions given. Leadership varies from one organization to another depending on the style adopted by the leader. Leaders are deemed to possess certain traits that give them the ability to organise a group and formulate strategies and policies directed at achieving a certain objective. Most scholars have argued that leadership traits are inborn while others have argued that the skills are acquired either through education or exposure. This essay will analyse the key components of leadership by shedding light to the traits that make leadership effective.
Honesty and Integrity
Leaders are charged with the responsibility of devising and implementing a desirable organizational culture that best suits the organization’s goals. The culture must be based on integrity and honesty if the organization is to achieve its goals and objectives. Leaders are viewed as the role models for their subordinates, and if they embrace honesty and integrity at the top, employees will automatically follow suit making implementation of this key component of leadership quite possible.
Leaders, therefore, ought to exercise honesty and integrity in the course of dispensing their mandate and act as good role models. Leaders must learn to accept their mistakes and encourage their subordinates to equally admit their faults and learn from them. This will create a culture of honesty in the organization and boost the leaders’ integrity. Leaders must always be transparent and ready to share the organization’s positive and negative news. They should declare conflicts of interest arising in the course of dispensing their mandate and also encourage other employees to do the same to protect the organization’s integrity.
Leaders are deemed to be the role models for their subordinates; hence, an exceptional leader will automatically influence his/her followers to act ethically and in accordance with the organization’s established culture. To be successful in influencing others, a leader needs to be aware of his/her strengths and weaknesses. Recognizing one’s strengths and weaknesses helps leaders determine when to seek inputs from other stakeholders in the firm for better decision making.
Understanding the weaknesses requires a healthy communication framework with subordinates, allowing feedback from them, and working to improve on the weaknesses observed. Delegation of duties is a common phenomenon in most organizations and leaders ought to cultivate a culture of trustworthiness and to practice a servant style of leadership. Each employee should be entrusted to do the duties allocated to them devoid of unreasonable interruptions.
Leaders should only act as facilitators through the provision of the necessary support and resources to enable employees execute their duties effectively. Leaders should, however, employ different styles of leadership in different situations. In some cases, authoritative style of leadership is essential especially where directions have to be issued from the top or during a crisis. A good leader should always express compassion, demonstrate modesty and truly care about the subordinates. Leaders should always make time to listen to employees and at times seek to involve themselves in the personal lives of their employees. Creating a personal relationship with subordinates creates trust and motivates employees.
Every good leader has a vision for the organization he/she heads. The vision is communicated to every employee and strategies devised for effective implementation. Their ability to assess market networks and identify opportunities for the business is exceptional. Outstanding bosses have a clear understanding of their consumers; they have a high understanding of the organization’s goals and have great knowledge of their competitors. This knowledge guides leaders during formulation and implementation of strategies aimed at improving the company’s competitive advantage. They establish clear goals and communicate them in advance to every stakeholder involved in the operations of the firm. They have a clear rationale that substantiates their policies and strategies hence they are convincing to their subordinates.
Great leaders are courageous and are always ready to take risks. Regardless of the leadership style adopted by leaders, they have to be confident and courageous enough to successfully implement their policies. However, this does not provide an incentive for leaders to be arrogant and intimidating to employees. Leaders are decisive, and they know when to outsource knowledge and expertise from other staff within the organization. The leader must be confident in the course of accomplishing his/her mandate so that the followers can confidently follow suit.
Effective Communication Skills
Effective leaders need to communicate regularly with all the stakeholders in the organization to make informed decisions. Regular roundtable meetings with stakeholders are essential since it affords an opportunity for employees to air their grievances and take part in the decision making.
Employees will feel motivated working on goals they have set for themselves as opposed to working on mere directions from their leaders. Leaders, therefore, ought to honestly and skilfully communicate both bad and god news to the subordinates and seek their views regarding different issues. Additionally, leaders must have the ability to progress their thoughts in a rational and explicable manner to all stages in the firm.
Team building involves encouraging all the employees in an organization to work in teams with the sole purpose of achieving the organization’s set goals. Therefore, leaders ought to be in possession of team building skills and should cultivate a culture that favours teamwork and diversity in the workplace. A leader should work hard to retain the best talents by providing incentives to successful employees to remain in the company. Diversity in the workforce also needs to be embraced since it brings together individuals with different skills and cultural exposure thus availing knowledge of the nature of the market to the organization.
Effective leaders should, therefore, possess exceptional team building dexterities. This entails the ability to recruit and retain best performing workers through the provision of incentives aimed at deterring staff turnover. High staff turnover is overtly costly in terms of recruitment of new staff and deprives the company of skilled employees. Recruitment and retention of the best skills coupled with teamwork ensure that the company remains competitive and flexible to changes. Finally, successful leaders often and openly reckon the achievements of others and recognise their failures. In doing this, they motivate employees since their inputs are not underestimated.
Leadership denotes the ability of a leader to structure an organization’s culture that best suits the objectives of the firm. A leader ought to have outstanding leadership skills to successfully influence his/her team members into achieving the company’s goals. Honesty, integrity, teamwork and good communication skills are among the major components of leadership. Leaders need to commit themselves to improving their weaknesses and at no one time shift blame in case of failures.
They need to concede failures and mistakes and encourage their subordinates to do the same. In conclusion, relating well with subordinates and maintaining a sound communication channel within the organization are helpful to a leader since they present an opportunity for the leader to acquire more helpful leadership skills.