Features and Importance of Leadership
The process of influencing the behaviour of people towards achievement of organisational goals is known as Leadership. It indicates the ability of an individual to maintain good interpersonal relations with followers and motivate them to contribute to achieving organisational objectives. An individual who has the attributes of leadership is known as a leader.
“Leadership is the activity of influencing people to strive willingly for group objectives”. – George Terry
“Leadership is the art or process of influencing people so that they will strive willingly and enthusiastically towards achievement of group goals”. – Koontz and Weihrich
“Leadership is a set of interpersonal behaviour designed to influence employees to cooperate in the achievement of objectives”. – Glueck
Features of Leadership
The features of Leadership are as follows:
- It is the ability of an individual to influence others. It is an influence process, whereby a leader directs the behaviour of members towards the achievement of objectives.
- Leadership does not flourish in a vacuum. Leadership exists when there are two or more people. It is a relationship between two or more people.
- It aims to bring change in the behaviour of others, as it is a process of influence, which is exercised by the leaders.
- Interpersonal relations between leaders and followers are indicated because of leadership.
- It is exercised to achieve the common goals of the organisation.
- It is a continuous process.
- It is highly situational because leaders have to act according to the situation.
- It is an authority-based process, i.e., a leader needs adequate power in order to influence the behaviour of followers.
Importance of Leadership
The importance of leadership are as follows:
- Inspires Employees: The behaviour of individuals is influenced and a strong urge to improve their performance is created amongst the employees by effective leadership. Effective leadership inspires the employees to positively contribute their energies for the benefit of the organisation. Good leadership leads to the achievement of goals effectively and efficiently.
- Psychological Support: Psychological support is provided by a leader. He maintains personal relations with the followers and satisfies their aspirations and personal needs. He also acts as a friend and provides confidence, support and encouragement to employees.
- Helps in implementing Changes: Any change in the organisation is introduced by the leaders. As changes are resisted by the employees, he persuades, clarifies, and inspires them to accept the changes. He takes employees into confidence and cooperates with them to implement the changes smoothly.
- Handles Conflicts Effectively: Conflicts arising in an organisation are resolved by a leader. He explains the common goals of the members and integrates their efforts for the achievement of the organisational goals. Effective leadership plays a very important role in sharing the feelings of the employees and sorting out their disagreements by providing clarifications.
- Development of Individuals: Overall growth and development of employees is achieved because of effective leadership. Training is provided to employees by leaders and their knowledge and skills are enhanced and updated. A good leader also trains his followers for the smooth succession process.
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