Leadership, according to La Monica (1938), is when a person has authority that is recognized by others, and the person has followers/subordinates under them, who believe that the person will assist them in attaining certain goals (carrying out specific objectives for the followers). Furthermore, anyone that is willing to assist and help others could be referred to as a leader (p.8)
Leaders see what others do not Most leaders have acuity, where they are able to observe things that others cannot see, hence setting them out from the rest. Leaders see things with greater scrutiny and clarity, and they analyze both possibilities and also the expected outcomes, including problems and risks involved in taking a certain path of work. In simpler terms, leaders are able to tell what the current situation is and future expectations. Leaders also define reality and only work under realistic circumstances. Some theorists such as Max DePree have been of the idea that leadership is an art and that the first responsibility of any prosperous leader is that they just have to be realistic in their endeavors. To some leaders, defining the reality is a skill they inquired. Others, however, have leadership gifts, and they see reality as involuntary. When compared to leadership theories such as the situational theory, where leaders need to embrace change, and treat issues as per the current positions, reality seeking is inevitably important for leaders (Browning, 2009).
Leaders seize opportunities surrounding them
In many instances, leaders will be interested with what is happening in the world. This is because leaders have the ability to seize chances that could assist them attaining certain goals for the firm/organization or any other followers. Leaders, therefore, listen and are eager to learn in order for them to link and lead at the same time. When they read, leaders passionately learn how to deal with emergent situations giving those unique ways to react to thoughts. Leaders get to know what is going on not just in a shadowy way, but in acute and grander sense of things. As a leader, one is expected to look beyond the circumstances that are obvious, and concentrate on the causes, effects and resolution possibilities of the different circumstances (Browning, 2009).
Effective and good leaders have certain attributes that are necessary in gauging their influence and success. These factors include; a strong-self-esteem, sincerity, trust, willingness to share responsibility, service mentality where leaders are able to act as servants and not bosses, creativity, visionary tendencies, great listening and communication skills and many others. The more the attributes individual possesses, the better the chances that the person could make a good leader (Ricketts, 2009). The mentioned attributes, according to my opinion, will apply in different circumstances. Essentially, when leaders are faced with barriers and hindrances, then they use their strongholds to tackle the issues at hand. It is about obvious that none of the leaders can have all the attributes mentioned, but the more they are, the better the leader.
Leaders have the power to discover what is universal, and then capitalize it to bear fruit. Leaders rally other people known to be their followers towards a future that is beneficial and fruitful. To manage the task of leadership, differences such as race, gender, color difference, nationality and diversity in personalities have to be set aside, in order to exploit potentiality. Alike managers, leaders also need to access their followers and understand them well. Leaders, therefore, are tasked with the obligation of knowing the strengths and weaknesses of their followers, what triggers the strengths and their learning styles too (Ricketts, 2009).
Leaders tend to fit into leadership at the right time if they willingly accept responsibility. When and where a group needs to be directed, or a situation needs analyzing, or even catalyzing, then the group/team needs a sober and effective leader. Leaders also tackle dynamic situations that need motivating and inspiring traits to convince followers to adapt to changes and new integrations to the organization. The greater the challenges the leader faces, the more the risks involved, and the pressure exerted, hence calling for leaders that are result-oriented and diverse in problem solving. Leaders also have a calling of influencing others in reaching task targets and achieving them, and influencing towards a direction of a project or organization. Leaders take responsibility and bestow it on themselves (Browning, 2009).
Personal statements/concluding the chapter
Personally, I think that leadership is all about individuals' attempts to impact on another's behavior through motivation and inspiration. Leadership could either be successful or unsuccessful, depending on the reactions of followers. Leadership is about earning trust from the people to enhance the relationship between them. Good relationships between leaders and their followers usually bears great fruits at the end, in terms of reaching organization objectives and attaining other specified tasks within the leadership scope.
Despite the diverse definitions and concepts of leadership, it is important to note that leadership involves the influence of a certain group of persons so that they can easily attain certain organizational goals. In many instances, the goals set are usually common, between the leaders and followers. Since leaders and followers all conjoin to make leadership possible, it is mandatory that issues are confronted through both angles. They all need to be understood differently for their relationship to be stronger and more persistent (Northouse, 2009). There also has to be recognition of the two forms of leadership, which include emergent and assigned leadership. In assigned leadership, it is all about the organization, which involves formal titles and positions in the firm. Emergent leadership, in contrary, involves acquiring support and trust from believers, who could either be followers or any group of persons. All the aspects discussed in this chapter will be expounded and interrelated in the proceeding chapters.
The difference between leaders that prosper and those that do not is related to the combination of characteristics the leader possesses. However, it is also necessary to consider that leaders cannot have all the combination that makes them good, but effective leaders use different characteristics they have to deal with the many circumstances they encounter. Leaders are in most cases asked to use the most appropriate approaches in dealing with situations so as to maximize on their abilities to foster change. The core leadership theories are discussed below, and leadership styles will be discussed later in the paper.
The trait theory -- what people have chances to be good leaders?
In this theory, theorists argue that for a leader to be effective there has to be characteristics and traits that they possess. These common personality characteristics are usually unique to a certain extent, and they are referred to as traits. The very early theorists assisted us in understanding that leadership is innate, meaning it has to be inborn. They went ahead to consider leadership to be instinctive which one is either born with or not. However, the current situation is different, because of the emerging changes in organizational setups. Currently, scientists believe that the leadership traits can be developed and learnt hence enhancing certain qualities within ourselves that will make us leaders. This theory is specifically assisting us to realize and understand the qualities leaders possess that distinguish themselves from the other ordinary persons.
In simpler terms, traits are just but behaviors that are externally observable but come from peoples' minds. Those with the cognitive abilities end up having internal beliefs and processes which need to be available if anyone is going to lead followers and subordinates effectively. These traits include; adaptability to situations, embracing social environment, being assertive and cooperative, making the right decisions and have prosperous results, being persistent and self-confident, having the tolerance to cope with stressful moments and environments and the willingness to undertake responsibilities bestowed on a person (Gill, 2012).
Apart from the traits, there are also skills which an individual has to possess, together with the traits, lead to a strong leadership position. These skills include intelligence, conceptual skills, being creative, solving issues diplomatically and in a tactful manner, fluency in communication especially English, being organized and having the power to persist in order to attain desired goals, and many other skills. The trait theory has faced oppositions and criticisms from today's theories, arguing that the theory is an atomistic approach, where every personality variable is viewed independently in the determination of leadership (Gill, 2012).
In summary, the leadership theory is of the idea that people are either born, or not born leaders. Leaders are, therefore, deemed to posses certain qualities that lead to their success. These qualities are inborn and could be inherited, such as sociability, determination and intelligence. However, because of the skills acquired, an individual with certain skills will work efficiently. Therefore, one can be effective in leadership is training is done, skills are acquired and styles developed. These skills are what organization's sort after, when…