April 22, 2009

What is Leadership about?? Part 2

Writing about web page http://excellenceone.efqm.org/Default.aspx?tabid=345

Today it was I really interesting day. We had to work as a team and create our own definition of leadership. We tried to analyze the literature and figure out what is leadership about. Personally I found the some of the definitions a little bit “narrow” and maybe not so “modern”…… It is really difficult to capture in two lines the essence of leadership. I preferred the definition given in module notes “Excellent leaders develop and facilitate the achievement of the mission and vision. They develop organizational values and systems required for sustainable success and implement these via their actions and behaviours. During periods of change they retain a constancy of purpose. Where required, such leaders are able to change the direction of the organization and inspire others to follow." (EFQM, 2003)

During the discussion we had in our team we came out to the conclusion that you cannot define that characteristics that a perfect leader should have because it depends on the situation, the team’s maturity, team’s needs for motivation, task’s requirements etc. So the outcome was that a good leader should have the ability to identify each time what leadership characteristics he needs to show in order to take out the best from the team. We also thought what type of behaviour we would expect from our leader and with what behaviour we would be most motivated and effective.

And we come out with the conclusion that it is really hard to be a good leader. It is difficult for people to change their behaviour and adopt each time different leadership style in order to fit to the changing environment. Leaders need to inspire people, have a vision and communicate it to the team, identify what they want and motivate them, be good team players, be good listeners and also be able to give solutions to dead end situations, suggests alternatives, be innovative but most important of all is to be reliable and engage people to accomplish team’s common goals.

Leaders must have the ability to change their selves and influence and inspire others to follow them.....


- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. It might be hard to change styles, but an effective leader is the one who knows how to speak with each follower in his/her (the person) own menatlity. And that what you can see sometimes in effective speeches by public leaders, in which they mix different styles to reach the hearts of different people.

    I have experienced different style of leadership during the years I was in boyscouts. In Jordan we have four different levels according to age ranges, and leadership style was always different depending on each level, the rules were that for these levels they needed a leader that is:
    Cub scouts (10-12) – Father
    Scouts (13-15) – Leader (authorotative)
    Senior Scouts (16-18) – A big brother
    Rangers (above 18) – A partner and friend

    So leaders should work on the “flexibility” skill and try to adapt different styles of leadership in different positions…
    And as we say,
    It depends….

    23 Apr 2009, 00:12

  2. The aspect of being reliable is a very important aspect, I agree. I think a leader has to be reliable in order for people to trust him. Maybe this reliablity will also lead to the fact that his actions might be predictable. If people can predict how their leader will react this might have both, positive as well as negative consequences (e.g. witholding information in order to avoid conflict)...

    23 Apr 2009, 02:38

  3. It is interesting that you think that a leader must be a chameleon of sorts. I think it is possible to be reliable and change, as long as you behave in a consistent manner to the same individuals. If you change your leadership style to the same person, then that individual does not know where they stand, they cannot be motivated, as they do not know how to behave or act in order to comply with the rest of the group. To that extent a leader must be consistent. But this doesn’t prevent them from changing their style when speakig to different individuals, who may be motivated in different ways.

    The interesting part is when you are dealing with a group. Individually they may prefer contrasting styles of leadership, I believe it is possible to perform these styles when you interact with each individual. When interacting with the group as a whole, I think the group will have a certain characteristic and one leadership style will suit them too.

    24 Apr 2009, 12:43


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