Effective leaders are born as well as made. A leader may possess natural traits of leadership. Nevertheless, he has to go through the grind to master the skills of leadership. In this process, he is being made a leader (Effective Leadership Skills, 1996-2009). This process may consist of training that includes educational qualifications and on-the-field training. Intrinsically, everyone is a leader in his own right because people depend on him in certain respects (What is Effective Leadership 2010). But there are certain people who are spotted as first among equals and they make their grade over a period of time experiencing highs and lows on the way. And they continue to be recognized as leaders all their lives!
I engaged Thomas Varghese on an interview. Thomas is the plant manager in a large electrical corporation employing over 5000 people. The interview lasted about an hour when I questioned him on the principles that made effective leaders. Mr. Varghese does not waste time and answered off the cuff. His mannerisms made it clear that leaders are self-conscious of what they do and say. Leaders are human beings, but they are cast in a different mold. There are traces of super human in them (Killian, Shaun; 2005-2007). They appear to be infallible and it takes an effort, sometimes minimum and some times maximum, to keep them aware that they are simple human beings (Rose, Ed; 1998).
The reason that leaders appear super human is that they represent strong and noble traits. Without these traits, they may not be able to survive as leaders. But they have these qualities in some measure or more measure. But they need these qualities without which their days as leaders could be numbered. Abraham Lincoln had these qualities, Mahatma Gandhi had these qualities, and in the eyes of the Germans, even Adolf Hitler had these qualities. But the qualities that Hitler displayed were misrepresentative of the truth and they stood exposed.
In the interview with Mr. Varghese, three basic principles emerged that a leader required so that he could be effective. One, the leader had to be alert. The leader was a man with a mission. He had to be above situations and circumstances. Two, the leader had to be goal-oriented. And finally, the leader had to have strong personal traits and an eye for failure.
Two solid theories of leadership
The leadership provided by Mr. Thomas Varghese is described as trait theory because it draws upon good traits especially those that are relevant to the progress of the department. The staff members at the plant are desirable of using their creativity and are resourceful to pool in their talents to achieve excellence. The culture of progress in the plant is such that the outcome of any work can be only excellent or very excellent (Bolden, R et al, 2003, p6).
Leadership in the plant is so nurtured and encouraged that one can feel the aura of excellence. The