Meaning and Definition of Leadership
Leadership is the ability of influencing the behaviour and activities of othera in accordance with requirement. A person is said to be a leader when his/her members are willing to accept his/her instruction, guidance, and suggestions. A successful manager must have leadership quality. S/he must have ability to stimulate and inspire his/her subordinates to do their works willingly accord his/her instruction.
Nature/Characteristics of Leadership
Leadership is the human factor that persuades others to attain planned goal. The common features of leadership are process of interpersonal influence, leader and followers, common goals, continuous exercise, leadership is situational, rest on power, blend of inspiration and motivation, and communication.
A leader must have both personal and managerial qualities to provide impact on followers
- The personal qualities involve
- physical fitness,
- vision and foresight,
- sense of responsibility,
- human character,
- optimistic outlook
- flexible attitude.
- The managerial qualities involve
- technical knowledge,
- a moderate state of mind,
- organizing ability,
- motivation and communication skill,
- human relation expert,
- wider perspective,
- ability of judgment
- knowledge of psychology
Concept: In autocratic leadership, a leader believes in sole power and expects all decisions from him/her without consultation with subordinates. S/he always expects subordinates to accept his/her decisions without any comment. As a leader, manager centralizes total power with him/her and enjoys full authority, and bears responsibility of the organization. There is the system of one-way communication. The autocratic leadership can also be sub-classified into two-strict autocracy and benevolent autocracy,
Features: The common features of autocratic leadership involve
- leader makes all decision and communicates to subordinates,
- one way communication system,
- provision of strict supervision and control,
- emphasizes on negative motivation
Advantages: Some points of advantages are
- provided strong motivation,
- quick decision,
- frequent implementation,
- and strict discipline.
Disadvantages: The major points of disadvantage of autocratic leadership are
- negative motivation style,
- decrease organizational efficiency,
- lack of creativity,
Concept: In democratic leadership, leader believes in decentralization of power and invites subordinates in decision making process. This leadership is suitable and practicable where subordinates are trained, experienced, and skilled. Top-level management takes suggestions, guidance, and information from subordinates for preparation of plans. It emphasizes participative management system. There is a two-way communication system. Leader always uses positive motivation and encourages subordinates by providing reliable facilities and incentives.
Features: The common features of democratic leadership involve
- emphasizes on participative decision,
- two way communication system,
- more scope for creativity,
- recognizes human value,
- importance for team spirit.
Advantages: The main advantages of democratic leadership are
- better decision
- better satisfaction of employees,
- increase productivity,
- promotion of mutual cooperation
Disadvantages: Some of the points of limitation of democratic leadership are
- delay in decision making,
- inefficient and competent employees,
- absence of discipline,
Laissez Faire or Free Rein Leadership:
Concept: Under this style, leaders avoid power and responsibility. They grant authority and responsibility to groups. The role of the leader is to provide advice and direction as requested by the subordinates. This style is suitable for highly trained and professional staff.
Features: The common features of laissez faire leadership are:
- leader does not hold power and responsibility,
- responsibility is given to team members,
- team members prepare plan and implement themselves,
- lead plays the role of coordinator and facilitator.