What is a leader in essence? And why is there always confusion about the leaders role in an institution? What are they allowed to do without it seeming too authoritative to their subordinates?
It seems that there is always a confusion surrounding this topic of leadership. This is because if a leader in power is too assertive his/her subordinates will view it as being autocratic and tyrannical. Which obviously will lead to inefficiencies in the organization and overall decrease in moral.
Another question that arises from this discussion is whether leaders are born or created. This in turn leads to even further debate and confusion. The views on this topic are quite mixed. As we had discussions during the module, which discussed how some leaders, are molded in to the way they are today because they have been trained to lead their followers.
In a strategic direction journal I read an interesting article, which discussed the topic of whether leaders are truly born or made.
The article was quite insightful and helped further my understanding of this interesting topic. It discuses that there are many forms of leadership for example while some leaders might have to work hard to get to where they are today others bulldoze their way to the top and are merely “bullies with ambition”. That is the antithesis of being a good and effective leader.
It was identified by Jay Conger’s in his book “Learning to lead” that there are four approaches to leadership development”:
- Personal growth
- Conceptual understanding
- Skills building
It is necessary for leaders to try to develop themselves and in order to become effective leader they need to listen to their subordinates and not bully them in to submission.
So are leaders born? Well in my opinion. I think having confidence is a natural thing which people are born with or are not born with. It is what you do with your talent, which matters. Even a shy person could be able to become the most effective leader out there. What is important is that a person learns how to handle situations and people effectively though training and courses such as the one we are doing now in MBE.