All about leadership
Leadership is the process of influencing employees to reach common goals. It also involves motivating them to achieve these goals. Plainly said, an excellent leader works with and through employees and is essential for any team to be successful.
Did you know there is a difference between being a “manager” and being a “leader”? Take for example a common business occurrence. An individual is responsible for implementing a new plan or process. Generally, a:
- Manager would focus on monitoring results and comparing them to goals, in addition to correcting any deviation from the plan/goal.
- Leader would focus on energizing and influencing employees to reach the goal, helping them overcome any hurdles that may arise.
Given the same project or plan, the:
- Manager’s outcomes would be very predictable, and the expected results would be delivered consistently.
- Leader’s outcomes could likely generate change in the processes, which may result in greater efficiency in the future.
Managers are necessary to conduct business in an orderly manner; however, leaders are necessary to create valuable and necessary change.
In order to thoroughly understand leadership, it is necessary to understand the relationship between power and leadership.
Power is defined as the ability to influence the behavior of others. In most businesses today, five types of power actually exist.
- Legitimate power – bestowed upon individuals who hold a particular position within a company’s management structure.
- Coercive power – suggests employee compliance by psychological or emotional threats, existing today only in the form of discipline.
- Reward power – gives or withholds salary, promotional, or recognition awards.
- Expert power – bestowed on an individual based on their expertise in a given area.
- Referent power – bestowed on an individual based on traits such as loyalty or charisma.
Even though a manager or leader possesses one or more of the five powers, it may not be necessary to routinely use them. Power should be used as a means to achieve desired team goals, not disguise personal shortcomings or achieve personal agendas.