Nature of Leadership

NATURE OF LEADERSHIP

Leadership may be viewed variously as (a) a status group (b) a focal person; (c) a functions; and (d) process.

Leadership as a Status Group

It refers to a situation where as person acquires leadership by reason of his heredity (as when he is a descendant of a royal family), or election, or appointment to a position. 

Leadership as a Focal Person

According to this view, leadership vests the in people who are traditionally regarded as leaders by virtue of managerial positions held by them, such as in the case of directors, executives, administrators, managers, chiefs, etc. 

Leadership as a Function

The leadership function consists in facilitating the achievement of group goals. The person who performs this function is regarded as the leader. As a result, while there are several people involved in working towards accomplishment of group goals and many complex factors, including a sheer luck, which may affect the outcome, the credit of discredit for success or failure of the collective endeavor is attributed to the leader of the group. 

Leadership as a Process

According to this view, leadership is an interactive process in which leadership and followers exchange influence, i.e. the leaders influence the followers by his ideas, direction and support, and the followers influence the leader by their contribution to the achievement of group goals. And because there is positive balance of influence in favor of the leader, the followers accept his power in the case of an informal group, and his authority in the case of a formal group. In this sense, a person can be an effective leader only so long as his followers accept his power of authority.