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LEADERSHIP IS A PROCESS OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE, WHICH MAXIMISES THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A SHARED GOAL.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Surveys suggest that worker satisfaction is more profoundly affected by perceptions of top management than by their immediate supervisor. What lessons can top leaders glean from this?
One of the key lessons is that the leader's character has a profound effect on the development and maintenance of an organisation's culture.
Those at the top are presumed to merit their positions because of competence, but their character also matters. What differentiates the most effective leaders, no matter where they reside in the hierarchy, is the combination of these two attributes. These are the leaders with integrity; they have a high degree of congruence between their values and their actions. They engender trust and commitment, evoke a comforting, non-stagnant predictability, and cultivate confidence in the long term viability of their organisations.
This combination of competence and character provides meaning and inspires hope to those whose dreams may be dimmed by middle management's tendency to divide the work force into leaders and losers. In top-down bureaucracies where status and title matter most, the individual at the top of the pyramid is always accorded formal authority and power. Whether they are authorised to lead or not is actually determined by who they are and what they do. The most effective leaders understand this; they know that leadership by title is insufficient and superficial without the legitimisation of those being led.