Introduction of Leader: Meaning, Essentials Skills, characteristics, and Types

  • Post last modified:30 April 2022
  • Reading time:22 mins read

What is Leader?

The word ‘leader- ship’ comes from the ancient term ‘Leith’, which means ‘to go forward and die’, as it normally happens in a battleground. A leader can be defined as someone who has the ability to perceive how things can be improved and who can influence people to move towards the attainment of goals.

To put it in simple terms A leader is a dynamic individual who focuses on teamwork along with leading the team to produce effective results.

A leader is considered more than a manager since he motivates and gives confidence to his team. A leader is a person who is capable and willing to take on the control of a system or manage people in an organisation along with an internal drive of doing the best for the organisation.

It is very important to have the right knowledge, attributes and skills for being a leader and the motivation and enthusiasm of leading people with an ethical attitude towards their objective and vision.

Apart from motivating and inspiring others to achieve organisational goals, leaders also keep on learning and improving their own skills.


Essentials Skills of an Effective Leader

The following are some essentials skills of an effective leader:

  1. Mission
  2. Vision
  3. Strategy and decisions
  4. Understand the Organisational culture
  5. Interpersonal skills

Mission

Without a mission, both organisation and leader would not exist. It is necessary for a leader to have a clear sense of mission, which is important for guiding people and making the right decisions.

Vision

Every leader should have a vision that should conceptualise the future progress of the organisation. Leaders share their vision and motivate employees to accomplish it. The vision for an organisation is formulated on various trends in the industry along with the different innovations of technology.

Strategy and decisions

Leaders help in taking important strategic decisions for an organisation. An effective strategy is required by an organisation for sustaining and succeeding in a competitive environment.

Understand the Organisational culture

It is important for leaders to understand the organisational culture for achieving total effectiveness. Efficient leaders bring a positive impact on the values and culture of an organisation through their actions and behaviour.

Interpersonal skills

Leaders should have excellent interpersonal skills that make them communicate with others without a problem. It helps them delegate work, resolve conflicts, be good listeners- ers and have an open and honest level of communication with others in their team.

These skills help them get work done and keep the movement going successfully for the organisation.


characteristics of a Leader

Leaders play an important role in the growth of any organisation. A good leader is able to influence the behaviour of people and guide them in a manner that they are willing as well as enthusiastic about achieving the objectives of the company. We will discuss these roles in detail.

Followings are the characteristics of a leader:

  1. Lead by Example
  2. Passionate about Work
  3. Having the Right Values
  4. Vision
  5. Motivate and Inspire
  6. Innovative
  7. Humble and Confident
  8. Effective Communication
  9. Positivity
  10. Effective Planner

Lead by Example

Leaders build their credibility by setting the right examples and gaining the trust and respect of others. They demonstrate the right behaviour and set high standards for themselves. They prefer to speak with their actions and build the trust of their team so that people should follow in their footsteps.

Passionate about Work

Effective leaders are passionate about their work. They work with a vision and their mission is to be successful. They work with courage and are able to take strategic and difficult decisions and turn them into actions.

Leaders should have the commitment and enthusiasm towards their work that will inspire others as they would see and acknowledge the lead- er’s dedication. It is the commitment that keeps them focussed on what they are doing and leads them to success.

Having the Right Values

A leader must have the right values necessary for guiding the people. Leaders should have the right morals of being ethical, genuine and principled with a clear conviction regarding what is right or wrong.

They are well respected since they keep their promises, are open in their communication with others, and have a strong sense of character.

Vision

It is important for a good leader to lead with a vision. Leaders should be clear as to what they want to do and how would they achieve their goals. They should have effective ideas regarding their work with a creative and intellectual drive.

They must be able to communicate their vision clearly to ensure that their team understands their individual efforts for achieving their objectives.

Motivate and Inspire

Leaders should be able to motivate their teams and guide them with passion, inspiration and sincerity. They invest their time with people and understand their needs, priorities and strengths, and make them feel worthy by motivating them in the right direction.

Innovative

Leaders need to be innovative with a vision to work on it. It is important for them to think out of the box and be open to changes. They have the ability to come up with strategic decisions to help them with their vision and creativity at work.

They should be practical and able to adapt to the business and environmental changes to have a competitive edge over others.

Humble and Confident

Leaders should be confident about the correctness of their vision as well as humble to listen to others’ opinions and take the most appropriate decision to everyone’s benefit. There is no point in having a vision with innovative ideas unless one does not have the confidence to achieve it.

They should also involve others from their team and accept their opinions and ideas while at work.

Effective Communication

It is necessary for good leaders to be able to communicate clearly and tactfully. They should be good listeners and should be clear about what they want from others. They should have the ability to ask intelligent questions, share valuable information and give the right input and ideas at work.

Their communication should inspire people to work with full zest and energy.

Positivity

Leaders need to lead with a positive attitude which will make the surroundings cheerful and will inspire people to work hard. They should be able to understand how to balance the time for productive work and time for fun activities with their team. They should celebrate success with their people when things go well for them.

Effective Planner

It is important for leaders to be good planners and have the ability to take strategic decisions. They must have the right intellect and knowledge to lead the team in the right direction. They should have the ability to get things done through others.


Types of Leaders

The industry has different types of leaders and each of them may have a different technique and approach to giving directions and implementing plans. The style of leadership is usually inherent in an individual and gets more refined with experience over a period of time.

Different types of leaders can be termed as follows:

  1. Autocratic Leader
  2. Democratic Leader
  3. The Laissez-faire Leader
  4. Bureaucratic Leader
  5. Charismatic Leader
  6. Directive Leader
  7. Supportive Leader
  8. Achievement-oriented Leader
  9. Situational Leader

Autocratic Leader

An autocratic leader likes to keep the power and decision making to himself. He believes in assigning work, giving orders, and delegating responsibilities without consulting others.

This leadership style is based on threats and punishments and does not care about the employees’ opinions. Here, leaders do not let others influence their decisions and want the total authority to decide what is best in a given situation.

Democratic Leader

Democratic leaders like to involve their team members in the decision making process and delegate authority. They like to consult others while making plans and policies. They lead through persuasion and encourage the participation of employees in the decision-making processes.

They do not believe in instilling fear, force and punishment on people for getting the work done.

The Laissez-faire Leader

In this style of leadership, leaders are non-interfering and try to stay away from power and responsibility. They prefer to take less initiative and pass on the responsibility for decision-making to their subordinates.

They do not believe in exercising control over people and often give them full authority to set their own goals and also take care of their own problems. They believe that if employees are left to themselves, they will put in their best efforts to achieve organisational goals.

This kind of leadership has a major disadvantage because since leaders have no control nor do they monitor their team members, therefore, they fail to provide continuous feedback which results in high costs, missed deadlines, lack of coordination and low productivity for the organisation.

Bureaucratic Leader

Bureaucratic leaders like to follow a structured way of working. They ensure that employees also follow certain protocols and procedures. This type of leadership leaves no space to explore new ways to solve issues as the work is always done as per a set standard.

This type of leadership is normally followed in hospitals, universities, banks and governmental organisations to bring down corruption and increase security. Self-mo-motivated individuals who possess a high energy level often feel agonised because of the organisation’s inhibition to align with the changing environment.

Charismatic Leader

Charismatic leaders work by infusing a lot of enthusiasm and boosting the energy levels of employees within the organisation. They work with a goal or a mission and are visionaries who drive their team to a high level of performance.

These types of leaders are dedicated to their organisations and are a boon to the enterprise in the long run.

Directive Leader

Directive leaders monitor and guide employees by delegating tasks, scheduling their work, and maintaining records and performance levels of the employees. This style is very useful when the employees have low levels of motivation and there is no structured task for them. This leadership is also helpful if there is a conflict situation within an organisation.

Supportive Leader

Supportive leaders are friendly and approachable towards employees and show concern regarding their needs. A leader’s concern towards his employees helps boost their morale and build trust. Employees also like to support their leader by following his instructions.

Achievement-oriented Leader

Achievement-oriented leaders prompt their employees to achieve their targets even in challenging environments. Employees are encouraged to perform to the best of their abilities and the leaders show a lot of confidence in the employee’s skills and capabilities in meeting the challenges.

This form of leadership works very well for unstructured jobs, which demand high levels of achievement.

Situational Leader

Situational leaders have the unique capability to change a situation along with the course of the company. This style gets evolved over a period of time and needs a lot of experience. They know when to behave autocratically and when to be friendly with their employees for getting their work done.

They can sense the situation and act accordingly to achieve the desired result. Their experience helps them work according to the situation, like when to involve employees to coordinate their work and take part in decision making and problem-solving situations.


FAQs

What is Leader?

A leader can be defined as someone who has the ability to perceive how things can be improved and who can influence people to move towards the attainment of goals.

What are the characteristics of a Leader?

Followings are the characteristics of a leader:
1. Leaders lead by example
2. Leaders are passionate about their Work
3. Leaders have the right values for guiding the people
4. It is important for a good leader to lead with a vision.
5. Leaders should be able to motivate their teams and guide them with passion
6. Leaders need to be innovative with a vision to work on it.
7. Leaders should be confident about the correctness of their vision as well as humble to listen to others’ opinions.
8. It is necessary for good leaders to be able to communicate clearly and tactfully.
9. It is important for leaders to be good planners and have the ability to take strategic decisions.

What are the Different Types of Leaders?

Different types of leaders can be termed as follows:
1. Autocratic Leader
2. Democratic Leader
3. The Laissez-faire Leader
4. Bureaucratic Leader
5. Charismatic Leader
6. Directive Leader
7. Supportive Leader
8. Achievement-oriented Leader
9. Situational Leader

What is an autocratic leader?

An autocratic leader likes to keep the power and decision making to himself. He believes in assigning work, giving orders, and delegating responsibilities without consulting others.
This leadership style is based on threats and punishments and does not care about the employees’ opinions.

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