After reviewing Northouse (2016) concepts of leadership, examining and analyzing the profile of Bill Gates, an effective leader of a multibillion-dollar technological company, I have been able to acquire new ideas on the concept of leadership. Hence, the focus of this paper is to formulate and present my model and definition of leadership.
Leadership is a process of continuous engagement between followers and a leader, and it encompasses the use of influence by the leader to direct followers to follow a certain direction.
Leadership is a continuous process of engagement since it does not take place one. It encompasses constant interaction between an appointed or elected individual with followers who often look up to the leader for direction. Constant engagement may constitute issuing of directions and instructions, the provision of advice and recommendation, the provision of feedback to followers and accepting input from followers. The form of interaction often occurs in two directions where a leader and his followers exchange ideas such as recommendations, directives, and feedback. For instance, a political leader may direct his or her constituents to provide recommendations on the best possible ways for their health issues to be addressed. The followers may respond by recommending that dispensaries should be constructed.
Conventionally, leadership must encompass leader and followers. Typically the number of followers is always more than that of leaders. Leaders are elected by the followers or appointed by a leader in another superior occupational capacity. Leadership may occur in different contexts. For instance, the relationship between a leader and followers may exist in employment, the military, politics, religion and in the family setting. Usually, the leader often possesses more power and authority over followers in terms of delegation of responsibilities, resources, and decisions. Leaders often use followers as an implementation tool to the direction the set. However, in some cases, followers may also contribute to decision making.
Customarily, leaders must have influence over their followers. Influence is often a primary bargaining tool that leaders can use to motivate followers to do as instructed. Influence can be either attained in two ways, through coercion or willingly (Haslam, Reicher, & Platow, 2010). When leadership is attained through coercion, followers are obliged to abide by the direction issued by their leaders. This type of influence of commonly observed in the military context where followers cannot question their leader's decisions. On the other hand, when influence is obtained willingly, followers agree with the directions of their leaders voluntarily and can even choose to go against the wishes of their leaders. An example of the influence that is employed willingly by leaders is in the context of political activities. Followers of political outfits often have the choice of relinquishing or giving their support to leaders at free will.
Lastly, the certain direction referred to in the definition is a goal that the leader wants to see achieved. Northouse (2016) explains a pseudo-transformational leadership style is where a leader focuses on his interests rather than those of his followers. Hence in such a scenario, the certain direction suggested by a leader is often one that will benefit him or her. In contrast, in transformational leadership, the direction suggested by a leader has goals that benefit both the leader and the followers.
Model of Leadership
My model of leadership contrasts conventional approaches to leadership. My model incorporates learned concepts as well as attributes and competencies of Bill Gates. My model advocates for the simultaneous use of different leadership styles by a leader. The stance is motivated by the fact that leadership is a dynamic experience that requires flexibility and that leaders do experience different scenarios, which require different approaches. For instance, as a leader one may encounter the needs to employ laissez fair leadership since in one departmental unit, employees may be highly effective in innovation while working without leader direction but unproductive when being supervised. In another instance, employees may work best under supervision and become inefficient while working without supervision hence requiring authoritarian leadership. Such leadership scenarios in leadership preferences may exist among employees in one organization. It is therefore prudent that a leader employs different leadership styles as per the employee motivation requirements. It is for this reason that Bill Gates employed both laissez-faire and transformational leadership styles during his tenure at Microsoft.
Lastly, my model of leadership borrows some elements from the psychodynamic approach which considers forces that underlie human behavior, emotions, and feelings (Bonifacio, n2013). Using the approach, a leader can motivate followers by manipulating their fears and interests. For instance, if an employer wants an employee to improve his or her productivity, he may promise the individual that of his or her performance improves, there will be a reward in the form of a promotion.
In essence, leadership is a multifaceted aspect, which it relies on a number of aspects for its effectiveness. My model considers participants in the endeavor, interests and fears, goals and objectives influence and contexts.
Bonifacio, P. (2013). The psychological effects of police work: A psychodynamic approach. Springer Science & Business Media.Haslam, S. A., Reicher, S. D., & Platow, M. J. (2010). The new psychology of leadership: Identity, influence, and power. Psychology Press.Northouse, P. G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications.
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