Leadership is a complex composition composed of various elements. In real life, anyone could take the role of leader; therefore, it is significant to have a comprehensive understanding of what leadership is. Despite all the various definitions of leadership, there are some basic concepts regarded as accurately reflecting the essence of leadership. First, leadership is a trait because each individual has different qualities that may influence the way he or she leads. Second, leadership can be conceptualized as an ability that can either be naturally inherited or acquired. Third, leadership can also be regarded as a competency which can be developed to carry out tasks effectively. Forth, leadership can be deemed as a behavior because “what leaders do” is an integral part of a leadership role (Northouse, 2018, p. 37). Fifth, leadership can be conceptualized into a relationship if the communication between leaders and followers is highlighted. Finally, leadership is also thought by many as an influence process, during which leaders mold their followers’ behaviors.
Leadership also involves great responsibilities. Leaders may be confronted with various challenges, including the ability to identify and solve a problem, turn problems into opportunities, align the followers to fight for the unified vision, motivate people, and guarantee persistent collaboration on the team (Gamble & Gamble, 2013). Inner conviction is also a necessary quality for leaders.Reflection Paper
Indeed, it is never easy to become a good leader, and there are some attributes shared by successful leaders. The positive leader attributes include qualities such as trustworthiness, foresightedness, intelligence, and win-win problem-solving skills; whereas the negative leadership attributes include traits such as ruthlessness (Northouse, 2018). To increase the change of being a successful leader, people should understand themselves and others, develop communication intelligence, and enacting communication behaviors which are designed to get results by “getting people onboard” (Gamble & Gamble, 2013, p. 26). It is worth noting that leadership, if wrongly handled, may exert a destructive influence on people and society if the leader uses his or her influence or power for personal purposes (Northouse, 2018).
- Analysis and Reflection:
Reading the literature in the field of leadership has been a rewarding experience. Although I have read many materials about this topic, I have still acquired some new learnings from what I have read for this assignment. I found the differences between a leader and a manager very enlightening. I used to believe that all managers are leaders because their work includes influencing their subordinates. However, it is found that leaders’ work involves more formulating of visions, as well as motivating and inspiring others. Based on these differences, managers could pay more attention to the qualities they lack to become eligible leaders in the organization.
What I like most in the reading is the concept that “leadership is a skill” (Northouse, 2018, p. 36). According to this conception, leadership can be regarded as a competency that enables people to accomplish tasks effectively. In this sense, leadership is conceptualized as a series of skills that can be learned by any ordinary person. Indeed, many kinds of literature have presented that certain methods can be taken to facilitate effective leadership. After all, I believe that anyone has the potential to become a good leader as long as efforts are made in this respect.Reflection Paper
What I cannot agree in the reading is the notion that “leadership is a trait” (Northouse, 2018, p. 28). The argument used to support this concept is that “leaders are born, not made”, and “only a few people with special talents will lead” (Ibid.).
Ferguson, A.,& Moritz, M. (2015). Leading: Learning from Life and My Years at Manchester
United. New York: Hachette Books.
Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2013). Leading with Communication. A Practical Approach to
Leadership Communication. California: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Northouse, P. G. (2018). Introduction to Leadership Concepts and Practice. (4th Edition).
California: SAGE Publications, Inc.