A general definition would be that "a leader is someone who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal". There are 3Ps that are related with the term "leader" and these are: People, Purpose and Person. A leader is a person that is deeply committed to the goal and s/he will try to achieve it even if nobody follows him/her.
A leader is someone who has a personal vision and in order to achieve it s/he needs the help of others. The leader should communicate his/her vision in such a way that the followers will share it and the goal will become a common goal.
The leader needs the trust of the followers. Some people are more effective than others at influencing people. This effectiveness has been attributed to leadership styles, persuasion skills and the personal attributes of the leader. A leader is someone that brings big changes and innovations, someone who has handled effectively big crises whereas a manager is someone who improves the effectiveness of an organization at a given place and at a controlled course.
According to a research done by Kouzes & Posner (2002) for effective leaders the conclusion that emerged is that effective leadership has more to do with the abilities of the leader rather than his personality.
The same authors stress the issue of credibility in the workplace. ...
They concluded therefore that the ability of the leader are the following:
- To give staff a vision
- To give direction
- To challenge the existing processes and create new
- To enable staff to take initiatives
- To encourage staff
These five capabilities have established the basis for what constitutes effective governance for the health and social care sector.
The same researchers examined the characteristics that people are looking for their leaders and they are the following:
To be able to look forward
To inspire others
The same authors stress the issue of credibility in the workplace. This observation is related to an earlier work of Argyris & Schon (1976) as referred to Large et al (2005) indicating that the behavior of leaders reflects their beliefs.
Davidson et al (2006), Jasper (2002) & Siriwardena (2006) indicate the differences between leadership and management. As Siriwardena (2006) states the difference of the private sector leader and the leader in healthcare is the vision and the behavior of the leader. More specifically, Siriwardena says that leaders in the health care sector must have the following characteristics:
Have technical skills
To educate staff and to motivate (Siriwardena 2006)
Pintar et al (2007: 16) indicate the following characteristics of the leader in the field of health:
Openness to new ideas
Able to prioritize priorities
Ability to focus
Willing to learn continuously
Leader and Bureaucrat - differences
S/he is always available
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