Leadership is a natural gift and cannot be developed
The phenomenon of leadership has been an object of scientific and practical interest for a long time. Sociologists, psychologists, and management specialists study it, but there is still no common understanding of the content of this phenomenon and the mechanisms of its formation. The main idea of the given case is that it is impossible to instill the qualities of a leader in a person. One cannot teach a child to paint if he or she does not see the world as an artist. It is only possible to slightly correct the picture, but not radically change the inner human essence, nature, human soul.
People are born with a certain set of qualities, and the question is whether they have them in a latent or explicit form. For example, every person has a voice and can potentially sing in opera. The question is how much time he or she needs to spend in order to develop musical ability and learn how to sing. However, there are people who start singing in early childhood without any preparation (le Gentil 56).
The team can reveal the leader but cannot form one; there may be many potential leaders in society, but not everyone becomes a leader (just as not everyone who is inclined towards acting becomes an actor, towards journalism – a journalist, etc.). Sometimes, a team manages to create an environment in which a leader will suddenly appear. But one can graduate from a number of leadership schools, take many leadership courses, and never become a leader.
If the goal of the team is to form a leader, it will be engaged in training him or her. Nevertheless, people with a common goal to achieve will choose the one in whom they feel the strength. When a specific result is required, it is ineffective to waste time forming a new leader.
Certain leadership qualities are inherent in every person, another point is that some show leadership qualities from birth, while others have them hidden. Leadership is a certain state; for one person, it is natural and dominant, while for another leadership is manifested in certain circumstances. It is important to distinguish between permanent and situational leadership. Situational leadership can be called a quality that every person needs to develop. There is a good expression: if you do not realize your goals, dreams, and desires, you will realize them for others. Therefore, the ability to take on a leadership function is useful from two sides – for the implementation of one’s tasks, and not for following the tasks of others, and also for acting decisively and strongly in non-standard and difficult situations. Most often, leadership qualities are manifested when one needs to take responsibility in a difficult situation that needs to be resolved, and there is no person with dominant leadership nearby. In such an environment, people who did not reveal their leadership capabilities, begin to develop them, because the team needs to come to a result.
The role of a leader in making more leaders follow professional management practices
From the point of view of the value-semantic guidelines for the existence of a team, the symbolic one is in the first place in the list of the main functions of leadership. It is easy to consider it using the example of a work team, where the most experienced and professional employee, who may not be a leader, will represent a personality they need to focus on (le Gentil 56). A leader helps the rest of the team determine the right direction for their development. This process can occur consciously or unconsciously, but it is the leader who sets the tone in the behavior of the team, its achievements, and its success.
An important function of a leader is to determine the direction of movement (development of an organization) and lead followers. A manager (supervisor) can effectively integrate into this process, and his or her main task is to realize the goal with the least loss.
A good leader should:
- treat each employee as a personality and care about his or her success;
- always be ready to devote time to employees if they need help, support, or even just a heart-to-heart talk;
- be interested in the opinion of each employee;
Professional management practices have a great effect: employees feel satisfied with their work, and leaders practically make sure that if the staff is happy and enthusiastic, the customers will also be satisfied with the level of service. At the same time, the attractiveness of goals for followers and their corresponding perception of the leader are of decisive importance in the process of forming leadership. The attractiveness of goals largely depends on the leading motives and needs of the followers (le Gentil 56). The perception of the leader and his or her actions by the followers is predetermined by their characteristics, as well as life experience and the images of the leader existing in their minds, which are actively constructed and rebuilt during life. Perhaps that is why people are often ready to follow a person who is less accessible to them since this provides more space for the followers’ imagination in constructing a leadership image.
Leadership is often seen as the opposite of coercion and is presented as the ability to induce, rather than coerce, certain actions. In this case, instead of force and coercion in the case of leadership, motivation and inspiration are often considered. However, this distinction makes sense only from the point of view of ideal leadership. It should be recognized that an authoritarian management style can also be effective, being implemented by a leader inappropriate situations.
Leadership includes a process of influence, however, complete identification of these two phenomena is not justified enough, since, in any organization, each of its members influences other employees. Leadership, as the ability to influence others, can be considered as a derivative of power. Of course, power as a special type of influence is at the heart of leadership, but the presence of power relations cannot serve as a basic constant for constructing the definition of leadership.
However, leadership is primarily the interaction; in most organizations, managers influence employees, but employees also influence executives. People involved in these kinds of relationships strive for constant change, and leadership should create the conditions for change, not maintain the status quo. In addition, the changes are not dictated by the leader but reflect common goals for the leader and group members. Moreover, the goal of change is seen as the result that both the leaders and the group want to achieve. An important aspect of leadership is influencing people to rally around a common vision. Thus, leadership involves influencing others, as a result of which people strive for changes aimed at achieving the desired results in the future.
le Gentil, Hortense. “How I Discovered the Leader I Am.” Leader to Leader, vol. 2018, no. 89, pp. 51-55.