Leadership


By

Niraj Chaturvedi
Academic Associate
IIM Ahmedabad
E-mail: nirajniruchaturvedi@rediffmail.com
 


"A man is known by his potentials;
                                                not by his possessions".

The above phrase depicts the picture of a winner and who is ultimately known to the world as "chief of operations", i.e., a leader.

Leadership, in general, is a phenomenon of evolving energy and inciting group behaviour towards a specific target achievement. The term has been defined by various thinkers over time-

Peter F. Drucker has stated-
"Leadership is a human characteristic which lifts man's vision to higher sights; raises man's performance to higher standards and builds mans personality beyond its normal limits".

Also, "leadership is the process of influencing the activities of an individual in efforts towards goal achievement in a given situation. This process as Hershey and Blanchard has explained in the form of following equation –

                                                      L = f (l, f, s)

That is, leadership is a function of the leader (l), the followers (f) and other situational variables(s) and who exercises this influence is a leader, whether he is a manager in a formal organization or an informal leader in an informal group or head of the family".

If one wants to have the concrete idea of what actually the leadership is; one has to go beyond the statements and will have to try to build up new concepts. Druker talks about the lifting of performances of an individual i.e. he is of the opinion that mere performing beyond the normal standard of performances is the phenomena of leadership. Then one can easily say that-

"I lived in Sahara more than 60 days without food and water and this is one of the toughest jobs, henceforth I am a leader."

Whereas, Hershey and Blanchard's leader is always dependent upon various things and he seems to be a mere spectators than a real performer.

The above things have more doubts than conclusions and we are in search of facts, henceforth we have to be more practical in our aspect-
Let us do some operations—

Leadership = Lead + Worship

The above formulae look a bit misguiding in the first instance but the story would have good results. The first word in leadership is "Lead". This calls for coming in front, i.e. one who wants to be a leader will have to operate from the driving seat and the second word i.e. worship calls for putting efforts selflessly. It is only the worship where one denies his / her own existence and prays for the results.

Ultimately, leadership as taken by the new thinkers is the "Phenomena of getting results by co-ordinated efforts."

This exercise demands solve qualities present within a person to execute the true work of guidance. There are different opinions relating to the traits of a leader and they have been stated by different thinkers as below:

Authority                   Qualities

F.M. Viscount Shin     1.)  Courage
                                2) Will power
                                3) Judgement
                                4) Flexibility
                                5) Knowledge
                                6) Integrity.

Ordway Tead             1) Physical and nervous system
                                2) Enthusiasm
                                3) Sense of purpose and direction
                                4) Technical mastery
                                5) Integrity
                                6)Technical skill
                                7) Friendliness and affection
                                8) Decisiveness
                                9) Intelligence, and
                                10) Faith.

Henry Fayol               1) Health and physical fitness
                                2) Intelligence and mutual vigour
                                3) Moral qualities
                                4) Knowledge and
                                5) Managerial ability.

Chester I. Barnard     1) Vitality and education
                                2) Decisiveness
                                3) Pervasiveness
                                4) Stability
                                5) Intellectual capacity
                                6) Knowledge.

These traits inter-twined with each other have produced different supervision techniques over the time –

a) Autocratic technique
b) Authoritarian technique
c) Democratic technique

And the most recent one-
d) Free-reign technique- success of which depends upon-

- unrestricted supervision
- free delegation of authority
- efficient and effective communication.

Nowadays, with the synchronisation of the area of daily personal contacts and expansion of e-contacts; the need of era has given birth to "e-leadership".

In his book- "e-leadership", Mr. D. Quinn Mills has written-

"the e-leader recognizes that leadership is outdated today unless it helps people deal with the great challenges offered by technological innovations and the emergence of the new economy. His or her mission is to develop new approaches by which people are better able to recognize, understand, and master the world."
 


Niraj Chaturvedi
Academic Associate
IIM Ahmedabad
E-mail: nirajniruchaturvedi@rediffmail.com
 

Source: E-mail February 21, 2006

   

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