The success of any manager depends on his ability to lead. Management and leadership are different concepts, leadership is one of the management functions that every manager must exercise in order to succeed.
There are many definitions of leadership. In general, it can be defined as the manager’s ability to influence the conduct of his subordinates and convince them of the need to cooperate and implement his orders and instructions.
The manager must be a leader. Leadership is a set of personal qualities, mental abilities, experiences and scientific qualifications that enable the manager to influence the conduct of his subordinates, make them love him and contentedly implement his orders and instructions.
Key leadership roles
The leader must perform the following tasks:
– He should act like a teacher and explain the objectives required of his team and determine the role of each one to achieve goals.
– Explain how to achieve the objectives required, and help his subordinates overcome the problems and obstacles that may encounter them at work.
– He must impose, as a judge, clear objective performance standards that serve as a basis for measuring the efficiency of the performance of his subordinates and reward the hardworking employees.
– Motivate the subordinates by using different incentives.
– Speak on behalf of the team, express their feelings and help them to solve problems.
The leader’s sources of influence
The manager get his ability to lead from a variety of sources, the most important are:
It is an important source that a leader can use to influence the conduct of his subordinates, through his good qualities that create admiration and conviction for others. These qualities are (tact, balance, self-confidence, justice, objectivity and dedication to work).
To have the experience and knowledge of the components and characteristics of the work and the ability to solve problems efficiently help the leader creates confidence among his subordinates, and easily influence them. The subordinate pays great attention to the knowledge and expertise of his leader, because they make him feel safe, and is led by someone with high competence and practice.
The four types of leadership
1- Guiding Leadership:
This type of tends to guide subordinates to do what is required and gives them the methods and means that should be followed to achieve goals, but without any participation of them.
2- Supportive leadership (humanitarian):
In this type, the leader supports the conduct of his subordinates trying to be friendly, solving their problems. He builds strong relationships and raises their morale.
3- Participating leadership:
The leader engages subordinates and consults with them before making a specific decision. He asks them to give their suggestions and opinions about possible problems and solutions, because they are the closest to the workplace, and most familiar with its problems, before making a decision.
4- Leadership by warning:
This type of sets ambitious goals for the subordinates, expects excellent performance of them. So, the leader seeks constantly to improve and develop their performance and believe in their ability to achieve great results.
Constrains that weaken the effectiveness of leadership
1- Using a method that does not cope with employees.
2- Ignore the views, opinions and proposals of subordinates.
3- Focus more on regulations and procedures more than on the skills of subordinates.
4- The level of leader control on the reward system.
5- Not giving the subordinates real information which leads to spread rumors.
6- Not developing the sense of responsibility among subordinates.
7- Pay attention to the completion of work and objectives and totally ignore the human element.
Is every manager necessarily a leader?
Not every manager actually is a leader. Leadership comes from the human ability to influence the behavior of the team he leads. The leader derives his control from the group, and from the position he holds.
Therefore, a manager may become a leader if he has leadership qualities and may not be a leader. In this case, he will cause many problems, because the employees will need a leader who meets their requirements, able to achieve their goals and satisfy their needs, and to eliminate the conflict that may occur between the objectives of the organization where they work.
The effectiveness of the leadership process
It is the concern of many researchers and scholars. Many centres provide effective leadership training courses which focus on many types of leadership theories such as the ones related to the personal characteristics that help to be a leader, or those about behavior that the leader shows to his subordinates.
The leadership element is the ambition of organizations and institutions, and a leader can achieve by his ability to affect what large groups of people are not able to do in return.