Leadership is a process of influencing the behaviour of other people to work willingly towards the achievement of organisational goals. It involves existence of a leader and followers. So leadership is an exercise to influence the behaviour of the followers towards attainment/achievement of specified goals. Here the person who guides or directs his followers is known as leader.
- Leadership is a process of influence: leadership is a process whose important ingredient is the influence exercised by the leader on goup members. A person is said to have an influence over others when they are willing to carry out his wishes and accept his advice, guidance and direction. Successful leaders are able to influence the behaviour, attitudes and beliefs of their followers.
- Leadership is the function of stimulation: leadership is the function of motivating people to strive willingly to attain organisational objectives. Leaders are considered successful when they are able to subordinate the individual interests of the employees to the general interests of the organisation. A successful leader guides his subordinates to have their individual goals set by themselves in such a way that they do not conflict with the organisational objectives. When this congruency is achieved, workers act enthusiastically to achieve these goals.
- Leadership gives an experience of helping attain the common objectives: under successful leadership, every person in the organisation feels that his operation, however minor it may be, is vital to the attainment of organisational objectives. It happens when the manager feels the importance of individuals, gives them recognition and tells them about the importance of activities performed by them.
- Employees must be satisfied with the type of leadership provided: only short-term productivity of employees can be increased by pressure and punishment. This approach is not in the long-term interests of the organisation. Force generates counter force, which results in a decreased long-term productivity. Long-term interests of the organisation are best served when managers allow subordinates to influence their behaviour, particularly when subordinates are knowledgeable and competent. A good manager recognizes the fact that leadership is a shared function. A good leader shares everything with his followers; he shares credit, he shares blame, he shares ideas, opinion and experience.
- Leadership is related to a situation: when we talk of leadership, it is always related to a particular situation, at a given point of time and under a specific set of circumstances. That means leadership styles should be different under different circumstances. At one point of time, the subordinates may accept the autocratic behaviour of the leader while at a different point of time and under a different set of circumstance, only participative leadership style may be successful. That is why, it is said that leadership is always particular and not general.
Relationship between leadership and managership
Leadership and managership are not same thing a manager is a leader as well as manager as he influence the behaviour of his subordinates to work willingly towards achievement of organisational goals in the interest of subordinates as well as organisation. A manager can be more effective if he is a good leader. Manager is more than a leader because he performs all the five functions of management (planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling) where as a leader performs only leadership functions which is just a part of directing.
A leader need not necessarily be a manager. Leader acquires powers due to acceptance of his role by his followers. Where as a manager acquires powers due to delegation by his superiors.