Leadership in Theory and Practice

Leadership is the ability to motivate and direct people toward a common goal. It is something that some people seem naturally endowed with more than others, but it can also be learned. Leadership is not limited to those in a position of authority; many leaders, even without formal power, still exercise leadership. Many theories of leadership exist, ranging from trait-based models to situational interaction and function. Some of these focus on the importance of specific personality traits, while others focus on cognitive abilities, motives, values, social skills, and expertise.

Leadership in theory is a means of channeling the energy and professional potential of a group of people into the achievement of a set of business objectives. This is accomplished through the leadership role’s recognition of the orderly arrangement of each worker’s functions and of his capacity to satisfy some major interest or motive in carrying out the whole enterprise of the group.

A great challenge is to achieve this recognition in a way that is both impersonal and at the same time effective. Crude forms of practical leadership arif bhalwani third eye capital rely primarily upon rewards and threats, in the form of monetary compensation and alleviation of fears about various kinds of insecurity. Such methods are not likely to work in the long run, and they do not tend to produce the kind of group loyalty and cohesion that will be necessary for continued success.

Another critical issue is the proper handling of criticism. It is easy for a leader to damage the morale of his workers if, in criticizing a decision or a method, he appears to have degraded it personally. This is particularly true if he does not make it clear that he is criticizing only the particular action being criticized and is not attacking the person who made it.

An important aspect of the leadership role is to keep the workers informed. One of the worst mistakes a superior can make is to neglect to communicate adequately, so that his workers are unable to judge for themselves how well their work is progressing.

A further essential aspect of the leadership role is the ability to encourage creativity. If an employee can see how his own ideas and methods might contribute to the attainment of business goals, he will be more willing to devote his full energies to the enterprise. A great many executives, even very successful ones, lack this skill because they are largely self-centered people with a desire to satisfy their own interests and needs at the expense of those of the group as a whole. The successful executive will recognize this basic fact and learn to encourage the creativity of his subordinates in a way that will prove most useful to the entire group enterprise. This he will do by communicating properly. He will not only make it clear how a given method or decision is being carried out, but he will also convey to the workers the sense that he considers them as individuals and respects their creative freedom.