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153119338 Leadership Essay

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LEADERSHIP
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Introduction
Management and leadership are often thought as the something but this is not true, as we shall see in the following paragraph. Even some writers have the tendency to use leader and Manager as synonymous terms. But there are distinct differences between leaders and Manager.

A person becomes a manager through a formal appointment by some appropriate legal authority, like the General Manager of a Company is appointed by the Board of Directors of that particular company whereas leadership position sterns from social influence process i.e is conferred by the followers thus a person can be a manager, a leader or both. A leader can be formal if someone appointed to head a group or informal – if one who emerges from the ranks according to the consensus of members. The confusion arises because we would like the manager and the leader to be the same i.e for the power to be conferred from both above and below. We can also distinguish management and leadership as the difference of authority of position and the authority of influence

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Definition of Leadership
Leadership is one of the most difficult qualities to describe, and may be that is why there are very many difference definitions for leadership from different writers, but down are a few of these many definitions.

1) “It is perhaps the ability to get others to value your judgment sufficiently to enable them to decide to do as you ask” by Jane Allan.
2) “Leadership is the activity of influencing people to strive willingly for group objectives” by George R. Terry.
3) “Leadership is influencing people to follow in the achievement of a common goal” by Harold Koutz and Cyril O. Donnell.
4) “Leadership is defined as the process of directing and influencing the taskrelated activities of group members” by Stoner. 5) “Leadership has been described as influence, or the art, skill or process of influencing people to work towards the achievement of group, or larger organizational goals” “by David Evans.

From the above definitions of leadership of different writers, we can conclude that “Leadership is the process of influencing the activities of a group or individual in efforts towards a goal achievement in a given situation, by using non-coercive influence (means). Leadership involves neither force nor coercion. “From the definition of leadership it follows that the leadership process is a function of the leader, the follower and other situational variables. i.e L=Q(l,f,s)

Where L
F

=
=

Leadership
Followers

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L
S

=
=

Leader
Situational variables

It should be noted that when this definition mentions a leader and a follower, one should not assume that we are talking only about a hierarchical relationship such as suggested by superior boss/subordinate. Any time an individual is attempting to influence the behaviour of someone else, that individual is the potential leader, and the person he/she is attempting to influence is the potential follower, no matter whether the person is the boss, colleagues, a subordinate, a friend or a relative. It should also be noted that from this definition no mention of any particular type of organization is made, therefore this definition is valid for all organizations whether business, or non-business including organizations and families. Since the word influence is a catch word in the definition of Leadership, it is very important to know what it means. Influence is defined as “the ability of an individual to induce others to produce an intended result.” Influence in other words is an interpersonal concept. It refers to a relationship between or among people. There are many ways in which to make the person want to produce the intended results, but the two common used ones are: persuasion and power. Persuasion involves an effort to influence by argument, reasoning or presentation of ideas. Power on the other hand involves an effort to influence, either through coercion of the offering of something valued.

Influence through the use of power is affected by the application or threat of application of sanctions. These sanctions could take the following two forms namely withholding something of value or imposing conditions that are not desired. Examples of valued things are promotions, pay increase, praise, or friendship, on the other hand negative sanctions are things like demotion, lay offs, reprimand, expulsion from the group or physical harm.

Leadership therefore is exercised either through the use of persuasion or the threatened use of power. It is important to emphasize that an effective leader does not go around constantly threatening to use sanctions ( a case in point is the Idi Amini’s era). It has been observed that is much easier to be persuaded by a person with power than by a person without power. A living example in Uganda is when the MPs are invited by the President in closed sessions, with the president around they tend to be persuaded easily and immediately change their stand than when a minister or even Vice President tries to persuade them. (The Sell of UCB, “O” Level requirement for the LCs etc).

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Sources of Power (Influence)
A leader can exert influence on his subordinates by using one or more of the following types of power.
i)

Coercive power: This is based on fear. The fear can be physical or psychological. In business this is usually the fear of being fired or of

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receiving an undesirable work assignment. Coercive power should be used sparingly and only as a last resort.
ii)

Reward Power: This is opposite of coercive power. Co-operation with the leader means a positive reward, either monetary or psychological. Reward power is available to most managers. For it is to be effective, however, there must be a direct and observable relationship between accomplishing group objectives and receiving the reward power by punishing those workers who respond to it.

iii)

Legitimate Power: This is the type of power that emanates from superior status in the organizational framework; it closely resembles authority. Such power is effective if the group accepts the leader. If not reinforced by other sources of power, it is less influential.

iv)

Expert Power: This is the power residing in a person who has some special knowledge or expertise that had enabled him to gain the respect and cooperation of the group. Ideally a manager should have enough expertise to command this sort of power. If the manager has to turn to someone else for expertise, that other person will share some of the manager’s power or even take over completely from the manager.

v)

Referent Power:
This is the power based on the subordinate’s
identification with the leader. Followers may not like the individual, but they respect the leader, and as a result they respect the leader’s chosen one.

For Managers/Leaders the following implications apply:
i)
ii)
iii)

The more numerous the sources of influence available to a leader, the greater the effectiveness he can manifest.
Some sources of influence overlap. For example, reward and legitimate sources of influence often go hand in hand, whereas referent and expert sources are frequently related.
Without influence (power) the leader will be usurped

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Approaches of the Study of Leadership

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The natural Leader Approach (Traits approached)
The natural leader theory (traits) sates that leaders are born not made. This school of thought believes that there are certain critical personnel, inmate characteristics of leaders that make them different from non leaders (traits). These characteristics have been grouped under the following headings:(i)

(ii)
(iii)
(iv)

Physical qualities
personal qualities
Character attributes
Intellectual qualities

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Keywords

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