Share this

A great leader’s unique achievement is a human and social one which stems from his understanding of his fellow workers.

Attempts to analyze leadership tend to fail because the analyst would misconceive his task. He usually does not study leadership at all. Instead, he studies popularity, power, showmanship, or wisdom in long-range planning. Some leaders have these things, but they are not of the essence of leadership.

Leadership is the accomplishment of a goal through the direction of human assistants. The man who successfully marshals his human collaborators to achieve particular ends is a leader. A great leader can do so day after day, and year after year, in a wide variety of circumstances.

He may not possess or display power, force or the threat of harm may never enter into his dealings. He may not be popular; his followers may never do what he wishes out of love or admiration for him. He may not ever be a colourful person; he may never use memorable devices to dramatize the purposes of his group or to focus attention on his leadership. As for the important matter of setting goals, he may be a man of little influence, or even of little skill; as a leader, he may merely carry out the plans of others.

His unique achievement is a human and social one which stems from his understanding of his fellow workers and the relationship of their individual goals to the group goal that he must carry out.

Problems and Illusions

It is not hard to state in a few words what successful leaders do that makes them effective. But it is much harder to tease out the components that determine their success. The usual method is to provide adequate recognition of each worker’s function so that he can foresee the satisfaction of some major interest or motive of his in the carrying out of the group enterprise. Crude forms of leadership rely solely on single sources of satisfaction such as monetary rewards or the alleviation of fears about various kinds of insecurity. The task is adhered to because following orders will lead to a paycheck, and deviation will lead to unemployment.

No one can doubt that such forms of motivation are effective within limits. Mechanically, they do attach the worker’s self-interest to the interest of the employer or the group. But no one can doubt the weaknesses of such simple techniques. Human beings are not machines with a single set of pushbuttons. When their complex responses to love, prestige, independence, achievement, and group membership are unrecognized on the job, they perform at best as automata who bring far less than their maximum efficiency to the task, and at worst as rebellious slaves who consciously or unconsciously sabotage the activities they are supposed to be furthering.

We have all heard the cry, “somebody’s got to be the boss,” and I suppose no one would seriously disagree. But it is dangerous to confuse the chain of command or table of organization with a method of getting things done. It is instead comparable to the diagram of a football play which shows a general plan and how each individual contributes to it.

The diagram is not leadership. Byitself, it has no bearing one way or another on how well executed the play will be. Yet that very question of effective execution is the problem of leadership. Rewards and threats may help each player to carry out his assignment, but in the long run, if success is to be continuing and if morale is to survive, each player must not only fully understand his part and its relation to the group effort; he must also want to carry it out. The problem of every leader is to create these wants and find ways to channel existing wants into effective cooperation.

Relations With People:

When a leader succeeds, it will be because he has learned two basic lessons: Men are complex, and men are different. Human beings respond not only to the traditional carrot and stick used bythe driver of a donkey but also to ambition, patriotism, love of the good and the beautiful, boredom, self-doubt, and many more dimensions and patterns of thought and feeling that make them men. But the strength and importance of these interests are not the same for every worker, nor is the degree to which they can be satisfied in their job. For example:

One man may be characterized primarily bya deep religious need but find that fact quite irrelevant to his daily work.

Another may find his main satisfactions in solving intellectual problems and never be led to discover how his love for chess problems and mathematical puzzles can be applied to his business.

Or still, another may need a friendly, admiring relationship that he lacks at home and be constantly frustrated bythe failure of his superior to recognize and take advantage of that need.

Leadership does require more subtlety and perceptiveness than is implied in the saying, “Do as you would be done by.”

The one who leads us effectively must seem to understand our goals and purposes. He must seem to be in a position to satisfy them; he must seem to understand the implications of his actions; he must seem to be consistent and clear in his decisions. The word “seem” is important here. If we do not apprehend the would-be leader as one who has these traits, it will make no difference how able he may be. We will still not follow his lead. If, on the other hand, we have been fooled and he merely seems to have these qualities, we will still follow him until we discover our error. In other words, it is the impression he makes at any one time that will determine the influence he has on his followers. – Atiba Dorcas Anuoluwapo

This is a publication of Words in Pen, weekly publication(every Wednesday) of I am Best Magazine…Are you a writer and you wanna be a contributor to WORDS IN PEN, WhatsApp or call 08130286036 or email: [email protected]Courtesy of : IambestnetworksContact us:  Call or whatsapp: 08130286036; call:07057457203Email us: [email protected]: I Am Best TVInstagram: @iambestnetworksTwitter:@iambestnetworks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *