LEADERSHIP —MEANING, FEATURES AND MOTIVES

J.O. EMMANUEL
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Leadership is the process of influencing a group of people toward the attainment of organizational goals.

It is the process of guiding and influencing followers to accomplish the goals and objectives of the organization.

Leadership refers to the ability to guide people toward a particular goal or objective.

A person who performs leadership functions is called a leader. A leader's job is to motivate and encourage others to work toward the organization's objective.

Leadership involves setting directions, and inspiring and motivating others to achieve the desired outcome.

Characteristics of leadership

1. Influencing process: Leadership is an influencing function of management concerned with providing guidance and leading people to the attainment of organizational goals.

It requires having the capacity to inspire and motivate others to work toward the accomplishment of organizational objectives.

2. Interpersonal process: Leadership is an interpersonal process because it involves interaction and relationships between leaders and followers.

It involves the use of social influence to inspire and motivate others to achieve a common goal.

3. Purpose of leadership: The purpose of leadership is to guide and motivate individuals or groups toward the achievement of organizational goals, and to foster an environment that allows each person to reach their greatest potential.

4. Continuous process: Leadership is a continuous process because it involves the continuous effort to guide and motivate individuals and groups toward the attainment of a common goal.

Effective leadership requires the ability to continuously adapt to changing circumstances and to continually assess and adjust one's leadership style in response to the needs of the team and organization.

Hence, leadership must be done continuously.

5. Existence of followers: Leadership implies the existence of followers.

Followers are people who look up to the leader for direction, support, and guidance, and who are willing to be influenced by the leader in order to achieve the shared objective.

Followers are essential for leadership because they are the ones who are responsible for implementing the leader's vision and strategy.

Without followers, there will not be leadership. Leadership, therefore, entails the presence of followers.

Motives for Leadership

There are, at least, three motives for leadership, namely; economic rewards, power and control, and status.

1. Economic rewards: One common motive for leadership is the potential for financial gain.

This can include higher salaries, bonuses, opportunities for a luxurious lifestyle, and other financial incentives.

People may be motivated to become leaders due to the desire to accumulate personal wealth and achieve stability.

2. Power and control: The power and control that come with holding leadership positions is another factor that influences people's decisions to take on leadership responsibilities.

Leaders usually have the ability to make decisions that affect the success of an organization or group. So, people can choose to be leaders in order to get power and control.

3. Status: This can be a significant motive for leadership, as leaders often have a high level of visibility and influence within an organization or community.

A person may be motivated to become a leader in order to increase their status and recognition and to gain respect and admiration from others.

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