What is leadership? There is indefinitely a chain of command within businesses and most of us instantly link leadership with the senior or executive positions at the top of that chain. However, leadership is actually a process that involves skills and abilities whether one is an executive or simply an associate. Leadership is all about influencing others, whether it is to go somewhere or do something. It is about making people want to follow you, and that kind of influence can be found at every level of an organization.
There are several characteristics that an effective leader should possess, like:
• The ability to inspire others, rather than commanding
• Be willing to admit to his/her mistakes
• Delegate responsibilities appropriately
• Will not only teach others, but learn from them as well
• Be willing to put the needs of the followers before his/her own
• Will emphasize the good qualities in others, not always the negative
A good leader will also be prepared to follow. If a leader can listen to others, people will respond in a similar way and be more willing to follow their lead.
By studying history, one can learn to recognize the triumphs and failures of previous leaders. For example, when the fascist forces led by Adolf Hitler threatened to overrun all of Europe in the early days of World War II, it was Britain led by Winston Churchill who formed a last outpost. Soviet resistance in the east and Allied offensives in the west eventually defeated the fascists, but the outcome could have been appallingly different if Churchill and Britain had not grasped for their finest hour during the closing months of 1940. If not for Churchill, we could have all ended up living in a far less tolerant and far more terrifying world.
Leadership is both an art and a science – it is an art because it constantly evolves, changes form, and requires creativity. It is a science because there are certain necessary values and methods required. A...