Every leader in society or organization has their personal approach and perception towards doing things. Leadership must be guided by specific philosophies that provide direction on how to achieve the desired results and performance. A leadership philosophy is quite different from leadership styles or models. A leadership philosophy focuses on how a leader behaves and his characteristics. It is the detailed kind of leadership a certain leader offers to his subjects. The philosophy I hold towards leadership is a combination of two philosophies. My leadership philosophy is to offer leadership that is based on ethics, servants and values.
Leadership should be centred on the people you serve, ethical requirements and organizational values. Concentrating leadership on servants is a very good way of bringing the best out of employees and other subjects in an organization. Servant based leadership involves participation by every member of the team. This implies that every member is given a responsibility to fulfil and there must be listening and respect for all members.
Servants feel appreciated and their contribution recognized if they are trusted with various responsibilities. Servant based leadership also enhances confidence in the team because members are given the chance to contribute to decision making and learn from each other. This philosophy promotes confidence, unity, responsibility, hard work and positivity. Based on this philosophy, the leader is gives equal opportunity to members to make contributions towards the success of the organization. Servant based leadership also promotes the achievement of organizational targets. Therefore, this philosophy is an inclusive an approach where the leader recognizes everyone’s potential and contributions.
The philosophy also focuses on the values of the organization. The organization or any other work place has rules and regulations, which form the basis of the values expected in the institution. This philosophy can be explained as a belief or expectation where a leader wants to achieve total observation of organizational values. The values in the organization are represented in the objectives, the rules and regulations. The leader can also outline the specific values that he or she expects the organizational members to observe. The leader may also focus on the value produced by members as a way of achieving a value based system of leadership. The leader must concentrate on increasing the value of the output by ensuring that quality products are produced.
The final aspect of my philosophy of leadership is the ethical aspect. This is where the leader believes that every member in the organization must observe ethical values. The leader believes that ethics is the basis of success of the organization. The leader then focuses on ensuring that ethical values are followed and that ethics is the basis of measuring organizational success. Ethics can be monitored in productivity, organizational behaviour and integrity of employees, the organization’s participation in corporate social responsibility and other aspects of ethics. Therefore, my leadership philosophy revolves around three main aspects of leadership. The philosophy is about providing leadership that is centred on ethics, organizational value and the employees.
The group presentation focused mainly on an individual’s ability to seek solutions to various problems that face an organization. People should have the autonomous ability and understanding of their ability to internalize various scenarios and providing appropriate solutions through a reflective practice. In the group presentation, seven questions that an individual can pause to themselves when assessing their ability are outlines. The questions focus on the individual, the work place and ways through which one can improve their ability and productivity. The presentation further explains the need to practise self-evaluation in order to improve.
A leader is defined as a person who is responsible for leading others. A leader must have a set of unique qualities that make them viable to lead. A good leader must possess a vision, a commitment and drive to succeed or achieve the vision and the necessary skills to achieve the vision. A leader must also provide direction on what his or her followers should be doing. The leader determines the success or failure in an organization. The leader has the role of identifying a leadership style that will favour unity, development and hard work within the organization.
The vision of a leader entails identifying an objective than needs to be achieved in an organization. It could be a problem that needs a solution or an objective that other people are not willing to tackle. The leader must possess the determination to provide the solution or desirable results to the scenario. For example, a leader can have the vision of doubling the productivity of a company or to turn a loss making company into a profitable one. The leader’s vision must be seconded by the will or drive to realize the desired results. The difference between a real leader and an ordinary person is that both know what should be done to improve an organization but only the leader has the will to work to achieve it. Therefore, the leader must be passionate about their responsibility and commitment to work through tough conditions to get good results.
The leader must possess a set of unique traits and skills that will help them develop a vision and then have the will to achieve them. Some leaders possess inborn leadership qualities while others acquire these qualities through apprenticeship or through education systems. A leader must demonstrate some or all of the following qualities.
The leader must be visionary and have foresight on how organizational affairs should be conducted at any point in the organization. This helps the leader to influence his subjects positively to achieve these goals. The leader must also be intelligent so as to analyse any problems or difficult scenarios and come up with practical solutions. An intelligent leader can tell the cons and pros of a scenario. The leader must have good communication skills in order to communicate with his subjects and pass on instructions (Greenstein, 2009, p. 37). The communication skills must be effective, precise and clear.
Other characteristics of a leader include being objective and having sufficient knowledge of their work. An objective leader has a fair outlook with no traces of bias against some people in the organization. The leader must also know his responsibilities in order to give proper guidance to his subordinates. Good leaders also demonstrate a sense of responsibility, integrity, empathy, self-confidence and the passion to lead other people to achieve the goals set by the organization. Therefore, a leader is someone who stands out in an organization because of their vision to achieve specific objectives and find solutions in an organization setting. The leader must have the will to work to achieve organizational goals and to motivate other employees and lead them towards the desired results. The leader must demonstrate important qualities and skills that will be instrumental in guiding his subordinates.
Theories of leadership are theories that focus on the different characteristics of a leader and the manner in which a leader discharges his authority to his subordinates. There are two kinds of leadership theories; the early leadership theories and the modern leadership theories. Early theories of leadership concentrated on the qualities displayed by leaders and their followers. On the other hand, modern leadership theories focus on other variables such as skills and situational factors. There are several leadership theories such as the following.
The great man leadership theories
These theories focus on the assumption that ability of an individual to be a leader is inborn. They assume that these qualities cannot be instilled in an individual. Leaders are portrayed as heroes, who rose to the occasion to save their people when they were in need. Their leadership qualities were displayed during tough times. However, this theory has since been challenged due to the many flaws. There are many female leaders while this theory only assumes that men are the best leaders. The theory is wrong because leaders can be groomed from childhood to become able people and not necessarily having the inborn qualities.
The trait theory
It also assumes that leaders are born with certain qualities, which are demonstrated later in their lives. This theories also cite several personalities who are perceived to have inherited leadership qualities. Mostly, this theory assumes that leadership is inherited hence; they cite dynasties as examples.
This theory of leadership suggests that leaders should adopt a participatory style. The leader’s input is to give the other team members an opportunity to make contributions in how the run an organization. These leaders help members to feel appreciated and give them a chance to make important decisions for the organization hence; they nurture the decision making of members. Such leaders are more successful because they allow freedom of expression and participation. However, the leader has the right to disregard or accept the contribution of his subordinates.
These theories are based on the notion that leaders are groomed and not born as suggested by other theories. It focuses on the deeds of the leader. The theory argues that people can be taught on how to lead others and then exercise it to become great leaders. This is why the theory emphasizes on the actions of the leader according to how he was trained to behave and conduct themselves at work. Leaders learn through observation and teaching.
Gender and leadership
Leadership has been subject to debate as to which gender provides the best leaders. The issue of gender in leadership has gained momentum even as the fight for gender equality has taken centre stage in modern society. In the early stages of management, leadership was perceived to be reserved for the male members of society. It is for this specific reason that all leaders were perceived to be men. Even leadership theories alluded to this fact. For example, the great man theory of leadership openly focuses on leaders as male. Therefore, women did not have chances to exercise their leadership qualities. They remained subjects to male dominance.
One of the issues affecting leadership in many organizations is the issue of male chauvinism. Many people believe that they cannot be led by a woman because they perceive them to be weak. Any efforts to have a woman at the helm of some organizations results I resistance and internal squabbles that lead to organizational instability. However, it is important to note that leadership entails unique qualities that anyone can possess regardless of gender. Gender should not be regarded as an influencing factor when it comes to deciding who is a good leader or not. Good leaders are determined by their ability to lead their subordinates using the appropriate leadership styles, philosophies and models.
Gender balance must be entrenched into leadership so that people of any gender can hold leadership positions as long as they are capable and qualified. Most organizations are transforming into gender balanced organizations where women are given the same opportunity as men to work in the organization. The gender balance level has increased significantly since the turn of the century. The number of women rising to take up leadership position is increasing constantly. However, there is still dominance in the leadership position by men. It is estimated that 70 percent of the leadership positions in the management of most organizations are occupied by men while women occupy only 30 percent. There is a need to work extra hard to achieve a balance in leadership positions in most organizations.
Therefore, gender in leadership only gained significance when the fight for gender balance began. Initially, leadership positions were reserved for men only. However, with the changes that have taken place over time, women have gotten their chances to demonstrate their leadership qualities. It is evident that women are capable leaders as long as they are trained and have the ability to fulfil their roles as leaders. It is for this reason that most organizations have started granting leadership roles and other responsibilities to women in an effort to attain gender balance. Leadership ability is not influenced by gender. Therefore, there should be no segregation based on gender on who should be a leader instead of another person of another gender.
Reflection on the diaries
Leaders are guided by a philosophy that helps them identify the manner in which they should behave and lead their subjects in order to achieve the desired results. Ma leader must be someone who has a vision and the will to achieve this objective. This can be demonstrated through the leader’s ability to motivate his or her subordinates and lead them to do what id desirable. The leader’s philosophy play a major role in ensuring that they assert their authority over their subordinate and also motivate them. The leader must recognize the contribution of his subordinates and act as the symbol of success by leading by example. The leader’s philosophy is more efficient if he or she concentrates on servant base leadership as part of their leadership philosophy. Servant based leadership gives employees the opportunity to make important contributions to the organization’s success.
A good leader focuses his philosophy on bringing out the best out of his subordinates. Their contribution should be appreciated. However, the leader must be ready to make the final decision concerning employee contribution. Only positive ideas should be accepted by the leader.
The leader must also focus his leadership philosophy on value. The leaders should seek to ensure that the organization is guided by the value of products produced. Subordinates can only have a positive impact if they are guided to produce high quality products. The leader must seek to identify quality employees to hire, who will in turn contribute to the production of high quality products and services. The final aspect of the leader’s philosophy is the ethics based leadership. The leader must try to ensure that his subordinates operate under ethical guidelines. The products or services must also be produced in an ethical manner. Finally, the organization they lead should respect human ethics by preserving the environment and taking part corporate social responsibility. Therefore, leaders should be guided by specific philosophies, which are a basis of determining the kind of leadership one has to offer. The philosophy must cover various aspects of an organization in order to ensure that the leadership offered will focus on not only one aspect of the organization. In my opinion, the best leadership philosophy is one that entails the ethics, value and is also servant based leadership.
The set of leadership qualities that make someone a leader must be demonstrated through his leadership philosophies. For instance the leader must demonstrate that they have the ability to analyse and identify the pros and cons of various scenarios by being on the front line is problem solving. They should also demonstrate other qualities such as intelligence, humility, empathy, good communication skills, responsibility, and prowess in their responsibilities, foresight, self-confidence and good motivational skills.
Leadership is also based on important theories. These theories are responsible for the formulation of leadership models and philosophies. Various leadership theories have different views on leadership. Therefore, leader can analyse these theories to identify the approach that best suits him in order to formulate their leadership philosophy. A combination of various leadership theories can be used to formulate a leadership philosophy. For instance, a leader can use the relationship and participative theories of leadership to develop servant based leadership. Behavioural theories of leadership can be used to develop ethics based leadership and management based leadership to develop values based leadership. Therefore, a manager must have sufficient knowledge on various leadership theories in order to enable them to develop quality leadership philosophies that will lead to a successful leadership style.
Leadership is dependent on various factors such as the level of education, experience and leadership style and qualities of an individual. However, gender does not feature as a determinant in the success of an individual as a leader. However, many people remain of the opinion that one gender, men, are superior to women in terms of leadership capabilities. This notion is based on the old theories of leadership where it was assumed that leaders are all men. Women were regarded as subjects. However, this trend has changed over the years.
The fight for gender equality has been influential in helping people realize that leadership is based on the qualifications and not gender. Many organizations are now giving men and women an equal chance to occupy leadership positions. The percentage of women occupying leadership positions has risen from below 10 percent to over 30 percent. It is evident that people are realizing that leadership is based on the philosophies, styles and models an individual has and not their gender. Managers who employ wrong approaches and philosophies are bound to fail regardless of their gender while those that employ effective approaches and philosophies succeed.
Therefore, leadership is an important aspect in leading and changing organizations for the better. Organizational change can only be successful if organizations identify effective and practical minded leaders. These leaders must possess the necessary leadership qualities that make them stand out from other employees. These qualities help these leaders to identify organizational problems and objectives then give them the will to work towards achieving them. Furthermore, organizational change is influenced by leaders with practical ideas and philosophies. Leadership philosophies ensure that a leader knows how to lead his people and how to achieve the desired results. Organizational theories are instrumental in the formulation of effective leadership philosophies. Finally, gender was initially thought to be a factor influencing the level of efficiency in leadership. However, this notion has been dismissed with the recent inclusion of women in leadership. People of both genders have the same capability and chances of success in leadership as long as they utilize the appropriate leadership styles and philosophies. In conclusion, it is evident that the best leadership philosophies are based on the basic factors that I had initially indicated. A leader should formulate their leadership philosophy based on servants, ethics and value in the organization. This will encourage an all-round performance and raise the chances of success.
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