Table of Contents
Concept of Leadership:
Leadership is one of the most important concepts which has been the object of study and research for a long time. However, in contemporary times, the importance of its study has doubly increased due to several reasons. As Suckler Hudson observes, “The overwhelming significance of the problems of leadership has mounted with the revolutionary growth of the factors of size, complexity, specialization, organizational entities, technical developments, and social demands.” The multiplication of organizations, functions, departments, and subordinate geographic units has combined to make the role of leadership in administration more important than ever before. Leadership has assumed added importance due to the growing number and size of organizations and the complexities of the social environment.
Leadership has an important role to play in the efficient functioning of an organization. It, in fact, has become an important tool of management. The biggest task of management is to provide good leadership. Leadership is required for the implementation of policies and programmes and to guide, direct, control, and coordinate various activities of the organization. That is why Keith Davis in his book “Human Behaviour at Work” remarks, and rightly so: “Without leadership, an organization is but a muddle of men and machines. The importance of leadership also arises from the fact that it can prove to be an important modifier of the behavior of people working in the organization. Leadership transforms potential into reality.
Generally, in many government organizations, work is divided departmentally with each unit working independently. To provide a link among them, there is a need for a leader. Only the leader can keep the entire group committed to the goals, and get produced the best results. Leadership is an imperative necessity for motivating the members of an organization to work for the attainment of organizational goals. It also works as a cohesive force that binds the group together and develops a spirit of cooperation among the personnel.
Leadership Meaning and Definition:
Leadership has been defined differently by different scholars.
(1) According to M. E. Shaw, “A leader is a group member who exerts more positive influence over others than they exert over him.”
(2) In the words of Keith Davis, “Leadership is the ability to persuade others to seek defined objectives enthusiastically. It is the human factor that binds a group together and motivates it toward goals. The management activities like planning, organizing, and decision-making are useless or dormant cocoons until the leader triggers the power of motivation in the people and guides them towards goals.”
(3) Terry defines Leadership as “the activity of influencing people to strive willingly for mutual objectives.”
(4) According to Maclver and Page, “Leadership is the capacity to persuade people towards a common goal.”
(5) In the words of Barnard “Leadership refers to that quality of the behavior of individuals whereby they guide people or their activities in organized efforts.” In his opinion, leadership depends upon three things:
- The individual.
- The followers.
- The conditions.
(6) According to Millet, “Leadership is often thought of as being primarily personal in character, as being founded upon individual pre-eminence or accomplishment in a particular field of endeavor. Superior strength, superior training, superior intelligence, superior knowledge, superior determination, any or all of these may be meant to the attainment of leadership.”
On the basis of the above definitions, we can say that Leadership is the ability to influence people to cooperate toward some goals which they come to find desirable. There are four distinct factors of Leadership:
- The way by which the people rise to leadership.
- The process of influencing others.
- The nature of goals.
- The qualities exhibited by leaders in action.
Basis of Leadership:
The basis of administrative leadership can be studied in the following three parts:
- Personal Basis.
- Political Basis.
- Institutional Basis.
The personal basis of leadership includes:
- Good health.
- A sense of friendliness.
- A sense of mission.
- Keen intelligence.
- Integrity and sense of moral duty.
According to Prof. Appleby, the political basis of leadership includes the following three things:
- The officer should handle administrative problems in their larger and broader terms.
- He must have a governmental sense.
- He must have a political sense.
The administrative leader should fulfill the conditions necessary for the institutional well-being of his agency or organization. Leadership has to ensure that all the co-workers should develop a team, spirit and work as a united team under the leadership.