Learning the Importance of Leadership
Leadership is an integral part of being in an organization and in life. In this article, I want to highlight the importance of leadership. I will explain various types of leadership styles and key leadership qualities, as well as discuss how to become a better leader.
Importance of Leadership
Leadership allows others to be guided in the right direction based on duty and/or purpose. Inspiration can come from leadership in a team environment where leaders push others to achieve their goals. According to Indeed, “leadership is a vital management function that helps to direct an organization's resources for improved efficiency and the achievement of goals. Effective leaders provide clarity of purpose, motivate and guide the organization to realize its mission.” Effective leaders foster an environment that sparks creativity and motivation in order to chase the goals they want to achieve. By setting a clear vision and boosting morale, effective leadership creates a better work environment.
Various types of Leadership
There is no right or wrong way to be a leader, but there are various types of leadership styles that are commonly used:
Transformational leadership motivates and inspires employees to spark change and foster creativity in order to help the progression and success of the organization.
Transactional leadership centers on encouraging compliance of employees with rewards or punishments. As a result, the incentives enhance the overall motivation to perform correctly and efficiently.
Collaborative leadership focuses on having strong team dynamics and strong communication and collaboration as a team. Sharing knowledge from members of various backgrounds and expertise can help accomplish a goal or task.
Servant leadership means believing in people and allowing employees to feel fulfilled professionally and personally. This type of leadership comes from the leader putting their faith and energy into their employees in order to get the most positive results.
Charismatic leadership uses strong social skills and high enthusiasm to build a sense of purpose for the company and its employees. These leaders try to bring all levels of the organization together through positivity.
Democratic leadership considers all opinions before making the final decision for the company. This style, based on the name, emulates the most common approaches in politics to make large decisions.
Situational leadership is typically the most adaptable style of leadership. This style allows the leader to have various strengths and approaches from different styles in order to assess each situation head-on.
Key Leadership Qualities
The most important leadership qualities vary depending on the type of organization and structure. However, there are a few key important qualities that will help foster a stronger and more united company. Integrity is necessary to build morale and keep ethical practices in check. Having integrity will help you consistently demonstrate how to perform tasks ethically and correctly. Another important quality is being people focused. This allows you to hone in on their employees specific strengths and weaknesses. Communication is also key. Having strong communication skills helps to properly delegate tasks and express your vision to others. In addition, having strong decision-making skills will allow the organization to flow smoothly and will create a clear mission for the employees to follow. These are a few qualities that distinguish what a great leader may look like; however, every leader and organization can vary.
How to Become a Better Leader
When I was growing up, the concept of leadership was always brought up in school, even as early as elementary school. For example, a ‘line leader’ was deemed an esteemed title when walking the school hallways. As time passed, I realized there is no perfect recipe for leadership. Being a leader is up for interpretation and may take people different amounts of time to feel comfortable with what type of leader they are or want to be. For example, my style was always leading by example. I was never the loudest person in the room, but wanted to accomplish the task at hand and motivate my team to do so. To discover your leadership style; look at yourself as a person. Your personal strengths and weaknesses will allow you to evaluate what style of leadership and qualities you have and what qualities you want to inspire in others. Becoming a leader can take time, but learning as you go is a great approach. College is the perfect opportunity to learn who you are and to become more mentally and physically prepared for the working world.
In sum, leadership is a great opportunity to be a key part of a group or organization. Learning your leadership style and your strengths and weaknesses will allow yourself to continue to grow as a leader. Don’t be afraid to fail and take your time to grow into who you want to become.
By Sarah Viebrock