Leadership is the ability to build up confidence and zeal among people and to create an urge in them to be led. To be a successful leader one must possess foresight, drive, initiative, self-confidence and personal integrity Different situations demand different types of leaderships.
In the words of the great English Soldier Field Marshal Montgomery "The capacity and will of an individual to rally men and women to a common purpose is leadership. In other words, leadership is the act of influencing other people to cooperate towards some common goals which they come to find desirable. This act is performed by a very few in a society.
Leadership is a dynamic process that caters to the needs of the members of the group. Further, it emerges in the interaction of individuals with one another.Without right leadership, no home, community organization, discipline institution,profession and finally nation can move on the path of progress. It means that the welfare as well as progress of society or a profession depends upon qualitative leadership. Therefore, the leader is said to "give the lead” if he makes acceptable suggestions, shows the right path, acts as a model for others, give commands, which are respected and carried out. In all the cases what a leader does affect more than himself or herself. Without the cooperation of his followers, no leader can retain the position and prestige for a long duration. He may rule as a dictator for some time but his future certainly will be in dark. Therefore, he should not adopt dictatorial attitude
An analysis of the definitions cited above explores the nature and characteristics of leadership stated below:
1. Leadership is a personal quality.
2. It exists only with followers. It is implied that if there are no followers there is no leadership.
3. It is the willingness of people to follow that makes a person a leader.
4. Leadership is a process of influence. It means that a good leader will always strive to influence. It means that a good leader will always strive to influence the behavior, attitude and beliefs of his subordinates.
5. It exists only for the realization of common goals.
6. It involves readiness to accept complete responsibility in all situations.
7. Leadership is the function of stimulating the followers to strive willingly attain objectives of the profession/group.
8. Leadership styles do change under different circumstances.
9. Leadership is neither bossism nor synonymous with management.
Progress in any field depends upon the quality of professional leadership available. When any leader is striving to promote his profession, he is promoting himself directly or indirectly. Directly he is gaining stature and social recognition, and indirectly he gets the gains of profession through work. Leadership is not a quality which can be bestowed upon any person. One does not become a leader by accident. The responsibility of leadership comes on the shoulders of one who has his background of experience and training coupled with vital personal qualities, because these all add to the professional competence of the leader. One thing is certain that there are certain qualities which distinguish a leader from other individuals around. In general, the qualities that make the individual a leader can be mentioned, such as confidence, diligence, courage, will power and determination, foresightedness, mental alertness, logical reasoning and decision making, sense of morality and a strict code of ethics, disciplinarianism and dynamism. Though the qualities of a leader are innumerable yet the word "LEADERSHIP" itself containsthe qualities of a great successful leader. Each letter of leadership can be abbreviated in the following manner.
E: Enthusiasm, Endurance, Engaging Personality
A: Alertness, Adjustment, Ability to Coordinate Activities
D: Discipline, Dutifulness, Dependability, Desire to Help others
E: Energetic, Earnestness
R: Reliability, Right-thinking and Right Judgement
S: Sincerity, Sympathy, Self-Control, Sacrifice, Super Motor Capacity
H: Health, Honey-tongue, Humour
I: Intelligent, Industriousness. Impartiality, Interest in Teaching
P: Patience, Perseverance, Personality, Physical Skill, Public Relations
In addition to the above stated qualities a few qualities such as knowledge of one's growth and development, moral character, competence in writing and oral language, tactfulness, friendliness, tolerance and good temperaments would add extra strength to the popularity of one's leadership.
In brief, leaders must be dynamic too. They should be able to theorize, analyze, organize, improvise, deputize, harmonize, supervise and if need to becompromise. Such qualities would enable them to handle human beings incompetitive situations, build up their esteem and prestige in the society and shapethe destiny of their followers.
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