Nobody could deny that leadership is nearly as old as humanity. We noticed some members of the society came up to leaders positions while others did not. Leadership is the heartbeat of any organization and the key to success. Leadership has been defined as an effective influence in the activity of a group and directing them toward the target seeking to achieve a particular goal. Leadership is to correct mistakes, support the team spirit and balance between personal goals and team goals. I believe that leadership is the behavior of the leader that helps his group to achieve specific goals while guiding them towards achieving these goals.
Simply, it is the ability of the leader to influence the group in various levels. Big difference between the management and leadership; management means the conduct of the organization in accordance with instructions and regulations issued by the director. Mostly, its predefined business system fits the workers. But, leadership is different. Leadership is the integrated structure of the organization management and the interaction between its divisions. Members are spiritually, emotionally and intellectually able to achieve the set of goals. In my opinion, leadership can vary from case to case.
That is why it is impossible to generalize because of wide leadership aspects and traits. Leadership is not simply adopting few principles. Leadership is complex, which need to make difficult decisions through follow-up to the common goal. The leadership philosophy that i believe is most effective and successful is leading by example, in which leader urges his group to strive for the goals adopted by him and shared by his followers. Leader words and actions should match because everything leaders say and everything they do sends a message to the followers.
This message builds the trust, faith, and the ability to follow in congruity. To lead by example you are responsible of teaching followers how to achieve their goals. Indeed, leaders’ job mainly is to build up their people and successfully transform them from a group of people to a cohesive team. Moreover, leaders should trust and show a high degree of confidence on their followers and their abilities to overcome the obstacles might face during the mission. General George Patton once said about the importance of correctly using people capabilities “Never tell people how to do things.
Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. ” In the military environment during combat mission it is very likely to face unexpected and complicated situations. Those situations will never been tolerated unless there is a strong team trusted their example leader. The unlimited liability of military service in addition to the chance of persons lose their lives in the performance of assigned missions did not give any space of less collaboration between leader and his group of people. Leaders who did not invest on their people will never survive any critical situation.
The great leader Gandhi said to leaders “you must be the change you wish to see in the world” so, it is fact that leading by example can create the congruity and the cohesion of the group, team, and organization. The title of an effective leader attributes that there is no specific qualities for a desired leader, but there are some essential traits that help in the formation of the effective leader. A leader must be able to envision. Envision is defined as a clear view of what a group or organization could be tomorrow.
The bigger picture and a long term mindset, that envision a different reality in the future than that experienced today. Envision is not a single action and then move on in the process, leaders should continue to set down and envision where we are now and where we can be going in the future. As leaders developing the vision, it is necessary to be the whole team vision and not only the leader vision. Followers should be highly involved to share their perspectives, ideas, brain storming, and where we can be going. I think the most important leadership lesson is that people support the leader while create the vision.
An effective leader also should have a strategy based on his/her vision. Strategy is important because it sets directions and establishes priorities. Leader strategy defines group/organization ways to success and outlines the priority activities you must complete. Good strategy help people know what they have to do first. Many organizations have hard working people putting best effort to areas that have little or no impact to the strategic success. Because their efforts are not aligned with the organization priorities yet, good strategy is to drives those efforts to be aligned into the strategic success.
Richard Rumelt in his book “Good Strategy, Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why it Matters” takes a unique path that leaders need to adopt a scientific inductive approach towards their strategy. A successful strategy development is a hypothesis process based on preparatory knowledge within the organization. Strategy making is based on three aspects: diagnoses the problem that has primary impact on the strategic success. The second aspect is to identify coherent policies in order to attack the problem.
The third is taking proper actions in order to go along with policies for eliminate the problem. Strategy is not about setting a goal and follow on to achieve it. Rumelt insists on leaders must think through a hypothetical process about a strategy that able to achieve organizational success. In addition leaders have to assess the strengths and the weakness of the organization. Leaders have to understand themselves to avoid distraction and bias in order to make difficult decision in order to achieve mission success. Leader should be the decision-maker, responsible of taking wise decisions.
Decision-making is the key success to leadership, leaders should practice to take decisions in order to learn from past experiences so they can develop this skill. Another trait is inspiration. Simon Sinek in his book “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” explores the biological process of the human behavior and relationships the affect the fundamentals of building the organizations. All the great and inspiring leaders and organizations all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way but completely different than others uninspired.
Sinek offers a world simplest idea as he call it “the Golden Circle” which includes three circles why, how, and what. This little idea explains why some leaders and organization are able to inspire while others are not. Simply every single leader and organization know what is the mission they are doing and few of them know how they do their mission, however very few know why they are doing this mission and he simply claimed that is a game changer. “Why” represent the purpose, the result, the cause, and the belief. As the result every leader/organization think is what, how, and then why.
It is going from the clearest think to the fuzziest think. But the inspired leader/organization think acting in opposite way as why, how, and then what. Sinek explains why this way of thinking can make inspired team or organization by grounded it to biological tenet. The human brain consists of three major components that perfectly fit to his golden circle. The outer section of the brain is responsible of all our rational, analytical thoughts and language which corresponding to the “what” process. While the two middle section is responsible of all our feelings, behavior, and decision making.
When leader communicate with his people starting with what is the mission, they will understand vast amount of information includes features, facts, and benefits but never drive emotion or behavior. But when the communication starts in a term of “why”, it hits directly the part of the brain that control behavior and implement emotions and feelings. That does allow the people to be inspired, to believe in what they are doing, and rationalize and justify the mission. Another challenge that leaders have to sustain innovation within their organization is essential to success.
The relationship between innovation and leadership is complex since leader ship has a big impact on creativity. Efficient leader can stimulus for great creativity and can give a group of people a good opportunity to innovate. So, the real challenge for innovation is to take that individual ideas and move them to a real implementation. As a leader your responsibility is to coach, listen, facilitate, and develop the environment of creativity. Now, the new innovated ideas need a smart enough leader able to take a difficult decision to make a change to mobilize the organization ahead.
Another challenge is to manage this change. Leader has to keep the team together, know how to give useful feedback, and to make continues adjustment that can take that innovated change all the way to completion. I believe the big challenge to lead innovation is to find a leadership encourage creativity, know how to get support for the new ideas, and has the managing ability to go all the distance for completion of the change. The modern leaders of the 21st century confront more complex, unpredictable, and uncertain world.
I believe Leaders have to be more flexible, able to assess and estimate to be more certain, and most important to be strategic thinkers. On a top of envision, good communicator, difficult decision maker leaders, effective leaders should be exceptional strategic thinker in order to be able to read the highly uncertain universe around them. Everyone in a position of leadership holds a power and authority, but those who can really lead able to inspire their people. Leaders start with “why” has the ability to inspire people around them.
Weather an individual or organization people follow them not because they have to, but because they want to. They work for their selves not for leaders. And that the significance proof of an effective leader. Mission accomplishment or goals achievement is highly depends on capabilities. However, leaders should build up those capabilities and direct them toward the most effective direction. Build up a strong cohesive team is the only way to survive mission hard times. Effective leadership inspires people and transforms human potential into effective performance and prepares capable leaders within the group/organization for the future.