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LEADERSHIP



I have heard from time to time talk about the need for leadership. I don't suppose anyone would deny the importance of leadership. Yet it means different things to different people. Leadership may be epitomised in the commander, the one who leads by command. On the other hand, others think of leadership as setting the example.



Dictionaries define leadership as a guiding or directing head; the principal player in an organization or performance. Personally, I think of a leader as someone who can get others to work together for a cause or purpose which is agreeable to all and in a way that neither enslaves nor exploits anyone.



Take the definition of "to lead". It may mean to force someone to follow; or to conduct or guide, especially by going in front of them; to conduct by the hand (as a little child or an animal on a "lead"); or to induce to do unconsciously all one wishes someone to do; or to direct by example; or take the first step so as to elicit a response; to induce to follow unthinkingly; to entice into going further than was intended; to direct conversation toward, etc.



The idea of leader may be stated differently. Who's running the show. You or Spirit. Always Spirit, of course, but through which Self? The Lower Self or the Higher Self. Best to lead by suggestion, and best of all by agreement rather than force of personality or power of position. Th cardinal principal here, if one would advance in consciousness, is to enslave no one. You might say to someone, "if you would be so inclined, would you please do....... Be a leader yourself, though you only lead yourself, for every leader starts by first leading himself. So said Norman Bethune. Again, heed what someone else has noticed: If the leader strides forward too fast, he may be hidden from his followers by the curvature of the earth (George Iles).



By "leadership" we mean the direction, supervision, or management of a group or an organization. Leaders are everywhere. They may be informally acknowledge; elected by the group; or appointed by the organization of which the group is a part. A leader may thus be a gas station manager, the chief executive officer of a multinational company, or the person who happens to be most influential in a group. Those tend to follow us, of course by the law of attraction, who re like us, the leader may just be more so than the others. Most are both leader and follower, a leader in one group while being a follower in another group.



What makes a good leader? One theory suggests that intellectual ability, technical competence and leadership experience tend to go into making a good leader. Another theory suggests that more important than brains and knowledge are one's managerial attitudes or philosophy and leadership style, preferable participative management conduces to good leadership.



Advocates of the second approach are McGregor with his Theory X and Theory Y of Management (1960); Likert's System 1-4 (1967); House's Path Goal Theory (1971); Fiedler's Contingency Model (1967); and Vroom and Yetton's NOrmative Decision Model (1974).



Leadership styles may be democratic, laissez faire or autocratic. Humanistic leadership styles place importance on personal growth, individual self-actualization; participative management practices. Important features of leadership behaviour according to some studies are Consideration (of others opinions, feelings and well-being), structuring (assigning roles and tasks to individuals, setting standards; and reviewing results).



The Contingency Model considers whether one is using high, moderate or low degree of control, power, influence. Task-motivated leaders perform best in high or low control situations. Relationship-motivated leaders perform best in moderate control situations. For better results, change the personality of the leader or change the situation.



Path-Goal Theory motivates by emphasizing th individual's needs; the goal fo the organization; clarifying and facilitation the path that will realize both.



The Normative Decisions Model suggests the best way to make decisions: autocratically, in consultation, with full participation of the staff. The Model notes that individual decisions take less time to make than group decisions. People will be more committed to a decision if they participate in reaching a decision. Complex and ambiguous tasks require more information and consultation for reaching high quality decisions.



The approach of Transactional Analysis suggests that the leader's status increases as he or she contributes to the group goal. Leaders prove their worth by competence and committment to the group's values.



Using the cognitive approach can lend itself to overly intellectualize when under stress instead of trusting one's experience. Bureaucracy may substitute for leadership. The patter is to use rewards and punishment to motivate.



Consider the idea of inclination (Phase 3); the idea of the composite personality (CT); the idea of urges (Phase 2) in terms of leadership.



A powerful source of leadership is a great idea whose time has come.



Consider also the concept of the magnetic personality in connection with leadership; also the principle of attraction.