18 Ağustos 2014 Pazartesi

Leadership and the term "lead"

Many people believe that leadership is simply being the first, biggest or most powerful. Leadership in organizations has a different and more meaningful definition. Very simply, a leader is interpreted as someone who sets direction in an effort and influences people to follow that direction. How they set that direction and influence people depends on a variety of factors.
Leadership is an emerging concept that we use in contemporary business life. Every company and every group need a leader in order to achieve goals. These goals may be producing values for the environment or producing profit for the stake holders. Under the leader, the subordinates are finding beneficiary environments for themselves. The level of self-confidence of the workers and the level of empowerment is very high in the leadership process.
As explained before, leadership is an emerging concept. There are many theories explaining leadership. Nevertheless, in the last fifty years the leadership concept has been analyzed in a different way. As we know from childhood; especially in developing or undeveloped countries, there is a myth that, there is a strong correlation between males and the effective leadership. Leadership has been tailored to males by the traditional countries. Females weren’t supposed to have leadership characteristics.
Leadership concept has been emerged for hundreds of years to grow up to the contemporary definition. This concept can be seen in two different ways. One of them is “the consequence of a set of traits or characteristics possessed by leaders” and the other one is “the social process that emerges from group relationships”.[1]
Before going into the detailed definitions of leadership we must define the root of the term; “lead” first. “To lead” means “to go with or in front of a person / people or animal(s) to show the way or to make them go in the right direction.”[2] Therefore we understand that the person who is leading the group for same purpose is called leader. Leaders are the people who are “leading people, walking besides them and the people may not know their existence.”[3]
Leadership is a very wide concept that we cannot make only one definition of it. The selected definitions are stated below:
·          Leadership is a set of qualities or characteristics attributed to those who are perceived to successfully employ such characteristics.[4]
·          Leadership is the art of influencing human behavior through an ability to directly influence people and direct them to a specific goal.[5]
·          Leadership is the process by which an agent induces a subordinate to behave in a desired way.[6]
·           Leadership is the process of influencing the activities of group toward goal setting and goal achievement.[7]
As mentioned above leadership has many definitions. Nevertheless, these definitions are mainly pointing some specific terms. These can be classified as “influence”, “group”, “activities”, “goal achievement” etc. To sum up, leaders are the people who have unique attributes. These unique attributes leads them to right decisions. They influence their subordinates in order to achieve their targets. 

[1] Richard Bolden, Leadership South West Research Report 1: What is Leadership, First Ed., United Kingdom: University of Exeter, 2004, p. 4. 
[2] Sally Wehmeier, Oxford Wordpower Dictionary, Second Ed., Great Britain: Oxford, 1994, p. 359.
[3] Lao Tsu, Chinese Wiseman, 600 BC.
[4] Missipi State University, Leadership, http://www.ais.msstate.edu/AEE/3803/Fall03pdfs/10-leadershipintro.pdf, 25 April 2006. 
[5] BCS Group, Leaders, Leadership, http://www.ftpi.or.th/added/dwnld/What_is_Leadership-set_Version_1.pdf, 25 April 2006.
[6] BCS Group.
[7] BCS Group.

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