What is Leadership?Characteristics and Importance

Leadership is the ability of an individual or a group of individuals to influence and guide followers or other members of an organization.

Leadership involves making sound (and sometimes difficult) decisions, creating and articulating a clear vision, establishing achievable goals and providing followers with the knowledge and tools necessary to achieve these goals. Good leaders often possess the following characteristics: self-confidence, strong communication and management skills, creative and innovative thinking, perseverance in the face of failure, willingness to take risks, openness to change and levelheadedness  in times of crisis.

According to Keith Davis__“Leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is the human factor which binds a group together and motivates it towards goals.”

Characteristics of Leadership

  1. It is a inter-personal process in which a manager is into influencing and guiding workers towards attainment of goals.
  2. It denotes a few qualities to be present in a person which includes intelligence, maturity and personality.
  3. It is a group process. It involves two or more people interacting with each other.
  4. A leader is involved in shaping and moulding the behaviour of the group towards accomplishment of organizational goals.
  5. Leadership is situation bound. There is no best style of leadership. It all depends upon tackling with the situations.

Importance of Leadership

  1. Motivation- A leader proves to be playing an incentive role in the concern’s working. He motivates the employees with economic and non-economic rewards and thereby gets the work from the subordinates.
  2. Providing guidance- A leader has to not only supervise but also play a guiding role for the subordinates. Guidance here means instructing the subordinates the way they have to perform their work effectively and efficiently.
  3. Creating confidence- Confidence is an important factor which can be achieved through expressing the work efforts to the subordinates, explaining them clearly their role and giving them guidelines to achieve the goals effectively. It is also important to hear the employees with regards to their complaints and problems.
  4. Building morale- Morale denotes willing co-operation of the employees towards their work and getting them into confidence and winning their trust. A leader can be a morale booster by achieving full co-operation so that they perform with best of their abilities as they work to achieve goals.
  5. Builds work environment- Management is getting things done from people. An efficient work environment helps in sound and stable growth. Therefore, human relations should be kept into mind by a leader. He should have personal contacts with employees and should listen to their problems and solve them. He should treat employees on humanitarian terms.
  6. Co-ordination- Co-ordination can be achieved through reconciling personal interests with organizational goals. This synchronization can be achieved through proper and effective co-ordination which should be primary motive of a leader.