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Phenomenon of leadership - Essay Example

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Phenomenon of leadership

Followers respond in ways that benefit the leader. Current approach has a few dimensions that shape the concept of leader and leadership.
Leaders provide vision and direction to their followers. They provide answers to the questions, "Where are we going What are our objectives What are we trying to achieve" In some cases these objectives are modest and concrete, but in others the vision is quite grand. Some authors (Collins & Porras, 1994) have described the vision as a BHAG, a "big, hairy, audacious, goal. " It is a vision that says we are here to do more than meet our numbers or to pass the next inspection. We are here, in this group or organization, for a far grander purpose. So the vision not only provides a sense of direction, it can also provide "meaning, " or an answer to the question, "Why are we here"
A second benefit that a leader can provide is security and protection for followers. This is an important function in military contexts and also in corporate and political domains. In extreme cases leaders can place themselves in harm's way to protect followers. Less extreme versions of this type of behavior can be seen when executives put their own careers in jeopardy to argue against laying off subordinates, or when political leaders take risks to protect the interests of their constituencies. In hostile environments, be they military or economic, leaders place their personal wellbeing at risk to shield their followers.
Achievenemt and effectiveness
Through the completion of group or organizational tasks, leaders allow their followers to achieve goals that would be difficult or impossible to achieve by one person alone or by a group without the leader. The need to be effective is one of the frequently overlooked human motives. There are many goals that can only be attained through group or collective effort- economic prosperity by corporations, pleasant and livable neighborhoods by communities, or military victories by battalions, to name but a few. Leaders coordinate and orchestrate to make success real. Success leads to a sense of power and competence in followers, competence to achieve things that one alone could never accomplish. An important ingredient in instilling the will to achieve in followers is optimism. This is a feature that has been noted by many scholars who have written about leadership. Perkins (2000), for instance, in writing about Shackleton's adventure, notes how Shackleton not only instilled optimism in himself but also how he fostered a spirit of optimism in his men. The optimism not only maintained the belief that they could eventually survive and return home, but it also improved the mood of the men and made their lives more pleasant and bearable, thereby increasing the chances of success.
Inclusion and belongingness
Leaders include followers as valued members of groups and organizations, be they groups, families, nations, corporations, or universities. Our sociality is a fact that is often overlooked by leaders. I think it is important to recall that among the early settlers in North America, one of the most severe forms of punishment for people who violated the norms of the community was ostracism, the practice of treating people as if they did ...Show more


There are an almost infinite number of ways to study or think about the phenomenon of leadership. Some deal with the traits or personal qualities of leaders (in contrast to those of nonleaders), some deal with the skill sets of leaders, and other approaches examine the situations that elicit leadership…
Author : jaleelboehm
Phenomenon of leadership
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