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What Qualities Make A Good Leader
What fields would you find leaders in?
Leaders can be found across many different fields. It is not what field you are in that makes you a leader, but your characteristics. Here are some of the areas we can find leaders in.
Types of Leadership
There are many different styles of leadership. Here is a summary of the most popular styles.
BBC News - UK politics
Definition of Leadership
Some people believe leaders are people who have followers, some people believe leadership is influence and some believe it is the ability to translate vision into reality.
There are many definitions of leadership and many leaders have different views on what exactly leadership is.
So what are other people's views on leadership?
"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality."
"As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others."
"Leadership is influence - nothing more, nothing less."
John Quincy Adams
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."
There are many qualities associated with being a good leader. These are just some of the main qualities a leader should have.
This definition misses out the whole concept of working with people, which is a key feature of leadership.
Gates suggests leaders have an endless amount of power, but this is not the case as you need your group on side. Also, a successful leader needs a vision to strive towards.
This definition is too simplistic as many people have influence but this does not make them a leader.
This quote is one of the best at describing leadership as it highlights the inspirational side of being a leader. A good leader will have people who want to be led by them.
It is important that a leader makes honesty a key value so that their team follows suit.
Ability To Delegate
A good leader trusts their team with their idea. They know their team's strengths and who is best to do each task. Delegating tasks means taskd can be completed quicker and shares the workload.
A leader has to communicate their vision with their team.
Sense of Humour
A leader needs to create a good team morale and to instill a positive energy.
Ability To Inspire
A leader has to inspire their team to see their successes. They should make them feel part of their team's success.
As a leader you have to learn to think outside of the box and be creative in order to stand out.
A leader has to prove that they are commited in order to earn the respect of their team and instill a hardworking and commited energy among their team.
A leader has to maintain team morale and confidence in their team and their vision, even when things are going wrong.
Collective Definition: Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.
Also known as autocratic leaders, they provide clear expectations for what needs to be done, when it should be done and how it should be done. There is a clear division between the leader and the followers. They make decisions independently with little or no input from the rest of the group. This style of leadership is best applied to situations where there is little time for group decision-making or where the leader is the most knowledgable member of the group.
A study led by Kurt Lewin found this style of leadership is generally the most effective. These leaders offer guidance to group members but they participate in the group and allow the input of other group members. These leaders encourage group members to participate but have the final say over decision-making processes. As a result of this group members feel more involved and motivated.
This leadership style offers little or no guidance to group members and leave decision-making up to group members. Whilst it can be effective when group members are highly qualified in an area of expertise, it often leads to poorly defined roles and a lack of motivation.
These leaders work "by the book." They follow rules rigorously and make sure their people follow procedures precisely.
These leaders inspire enthusiasm in their team and are energetic in motivating others to move forward. Their ability to create commitment and excitement brings huge benefits to the team. However, a disadvatntage of charismatic leaders are that they can believe more in themselves than their team. This can lead to them feeling invincible and that they can do no wrong. Often teams led by charismatic leaders rely on them and if they leave their team collapses.
These leaders are totally focused on organizing, supporting and developing the people on their team. This style encourages good teamwork and creative collaboration. They treat everyone equally, are friendly and approachable. This style creates teams that everyone wants to be a part of, meaning members are productive and willing tot take risks beacsues they know their leader will suport them.
When someone at any level within an organization leads simply by meeting the needs of the team they can be described as a "servant leader." They often lead by example, have high integrity and lead with generosity. Under servant leadership the whole team tends to be involved in decision making. Servant leaders often "lead from behind" preferring to stay out of the limelight and letting their team accept recognition for their hard work.
Task - Oriented Leadership
These leaders focus only on getting the job done. They define the work and roles required, put structures in place, plan, organize and monitor work. The benefit of this style is that it ensures deadlines are met and is good for members who don't manage their time well. However, they don't really think about their team's well-being resulting in motivation problems.
This style starts with the idea that team members agree to obey their leader when they accept a job. The transaction involves the organization paying team members in return for their work. Benefits of this style are that everyone's roles and responsibilities are clarified and because it judges team members on performance, people who are motivated often thrive.
These leaders are inspiring because they expect the best from everyone on their team as well as themselves. This results in high productivity and engagement from everyone in their team.
Examples of Leaders
Richard Reed is a commercial leader. He set up Innocent drinks company. Richard is from a non-corporate background and his business is based on a good product and creativity. He has a very unique leadership style. Richard is very focused on the people side of business and likes to think he is an enlightened employer. All members of his team receive equity in the company, get free breakfasts, scholarships and a share in the profits. Their company building is not like any other normal office and their staff are allowed to dress casual, encouraging a casual environment.
It was when she married the military leader Juan Peron that she herself became a leader. She became the first political wife in Argentina to accompany her husband on his election campaign and tirelessly campaigned for him. Eva traveled Europe leading inspirational speeches in which she spread her message "we are fighting to have less rich people and less poor people. You should do the same." Eva was also viewed as a leader for women as well as the poor. Women in Argentina thank her for their right to vote as she fought for it after her husband was elected President. She also founded the Female Peronist Party which helped her husband to be re-elected, this time in a landslide victory.
This is the communal area in Innocents Drinks office building. The floor is made of fake grass and there are games for staff to have time to relax. All of this is made to boost staff morale and make the working environment relaxed as Richard believes this is when staff are at their best.
Tony Blair was leader of the Labour party for 13 years and was Prime Minister for 10 years. He enjoyed success winning 3 General elections in a row, including a landslide victory, winning the most seats Labour has ever won. He is an example of an autocratic leader. He was criticised for his leadership skills as he often left his cabinet and the government out of the big decisions. His style of leadership has been described as a Presidential style and it was often said he ran a "sofa government", choosing to make the key decisions outside cabinet meetings with his Special advisors.
The Eva Peron Foundation
Eva also set up her own charity, the Eva Peron Foundation. It provided so much help for the poor, giving away hundreds of thousand of shoes, cooking pots and machines. It provided pensions for the elderly, homes for the poor, schools, libraries and even an entire neighborhood in Buenos Aires. The foundation became huge, employing thousands of workers. Eva worked tirelessly raising money for the foundation and meeting with the poor who begged for help. Having once been poor herself she understood what people were experiencing. Even as she suffered cancer and her doctors urged her to rest, Eva continued to work 20 hour days at the foundation. She was dedicated to leading the poor people of Argentina to a better life.
Eva Peron was the wife of Argentine President Juan Peron in the 1940s and 50s. She was a vital part of her husband's power as she was loved by the poor and working class. She dedicated her life to making Argentina a better place for the poor. Eva herself was from a poor background, leaving home at 15 to find her dreams. She became an actress appearing in low budget films before becoming popular on radio.
After researching what skills it takes to be an effective leader and looking at good examples of leaders, I am going to evaluate my skills to be a potential leader.
Potential threats to my leadership skills
My main leadership skills
I believe my main leadership skills are that I am able to turn ideas into actions and able to get my team to complete tasks. I am confident at delegating tasks and believe I am a dependable leader for my team.
My main characteristics in working with people
I believe when working with people I am good at co-rordinating with others and pushing myself and others to get things done. I believe through my role as prefect I have shown I am reliable as I have took part and helped out at various house events. After completing the Johari's Window exercise I learned the characteristics that my peer-workers associate with me. From this I learned my main skills for working with other people. These are:
These are the ways that I could avoid these potential threats:
My Potential as a Leader
Source of Information:
BBC - Be your own Boss
After completing the Belbin Report I learned that my strongest team role is as an implementer. I am able to generate ideas and apply them in a practical and efficient manner. I am good at facing up to things that need to be done.
My Johari's Window
After researching the various styles of leadership and analysing my skills as a leader, I think the type of leader that I would be most like is a task-oriented leader.
One of the potential threats to my skills as a leader is that I could be tempted to pursue another idea having already proceeded with one plan. Another potential problem is that I could do most of the work myself and not consider my team's working goals.
I will try to avoid being pursued by another idea by thoroughly planning my project and setting clear goals.
I will avoid doing most of the work myself by getting people who are interested in the project involved and giving them roles and responsibilities in the project.
My Leadership Project
After carrying out research on what leadership is and analysing my potential as a leader, I am going to apply my results towards my own leadership project. I have decided to organise a Scottish Independence Referendum Debate in my school so that people can share their views on the upcoming election. My aim is for people to become more aware of the arguments that lie on either side of the Independence Referendum so that they can make a more informed decision come the election, and to help people who are undecided on how to vote.