What is Leadership ?
It has been said that without leadership, all other business elements lie dormant. Strong leaders can help an organization to maximize productivity and achieve business goals, whereas weak leadership can hurt productivity and put the health of the business in jeopardy. Leadership is not one blanket characteristic that cures all ills, however, there are many different elements that must be present for an organization’s leadership to be considered adequate.
Leadership stems from the capacity of a person to have a social influence over people. It is different from having authority or power involving constraint and the use of social force. Then, leadership requires others through whom you can use this influence in order to act and reach a goal. Thus, leadership includes a goal to achieve, a direction to follow as a team. The first priority of leadership is to engage the right people, at the right times, to the right degree in creative work. That engagement starts when the leader recasts the role of employees. Rather than simply roll up their sleeves and execute top-down strategy, employees must contribute to imagination. Finally, leadership does not require innate specific personality traits or attributes. There are many paths you can follow to have an effective leadership.
For example, there is the use of feedback, which is constructive criticism that must lead to a global positive motivation to get better for the benefit of all and create a virtuous circle. Assuming leadership within a team requires to focus on the importance of communication among coworkers. The leader should have an emotional intelligence, which is the ability that makes leaders put themselves in the place of others, understand their concerns and solve problems. Leaders know the secrets of their businesses and therefore can empathize with customers and members of their teams: that empathy gets to inspire and establish links that will ultimately lead to success. The most important thing here is to listen in order to know the needs of the people, and then provide the necessary time and resources for them to do their job properly. A leader should encourage and enable collaboration and open the organization to diverse perspectives. Even within the mind of an individual, diversity enhances creativity and innovation, like with people of different disciplines, backgrounds, and areas of expertise sharing their ways of thinking. Sometimes the complexity of a problem demands diversity; for example, it may take a team of mathematicians, medical doctors, neuroscientists, and computer scientists.
Regarding myself, apart from my academic working life, I have never ceased to be attracted by both sports and arts. I have been practising a lot to reach my current level, especially in drawing (7 years of practise), boxing and swimming. This has made me a competitor, who loves stimulating challenges. Thanks to competition I took part in such as car races, or football championships, I have come to develop some leadership abilities. As a football team captain for example, I had to behave like a model with a sporty attitude on the football field, like someone constantly trying to give the best of myself. I had to follow the coach’s instructions, motivate my teammates in the hard times, promote a good understanding among team members and calm tensions and finally spread a good competitive spirit based on fair-play. This was difficult because nobody shared the same perspectives, mindsets and behaviors. A leader has to guide its team, ensure that everyone works in support of collective action and takes and assumes responsibilities by taking risks.
Thus, leadership requires traits that extend beyond management duties. To be effective, a leader certainly has to manage the resources at their disposal. But leadership also involves communicating, inspiring and supervising. Leadership and management are not synonymous. You have 15 people in your downline and P&L responsibility? Good for you, hopefully you are a good manager. Good management is needed. Managers need to plan, measure, monitor, coordinate, solve, hire, fire, and so many other things. Typically, managers manage things. Leaders lead people.
To sump up, a good leader :
No matter what type of leader they are, they need to be open and honest while communicating with a variety of people and groups.
Businesses should be ran by leaders who understand what it takes to inspire people to implement the strategy and plans. These leaders will help your company build and maintain success well into the future.
Autor : Nicolas Bachelet, Business Manager in Junior ESTACA Paris-Saclay