We, in our day to day life, are hearing people talking about Leaders. Their discussion leads to multiple questions like who are these people, who are termed as leaders? Is everyone who is in a leading role, a leader? Is there any difference between a manager and a leader? In fact, these questions have multiple answers which lead to another question. What differentiates a Leader from other. There are various Leadership attributes that help in understanding the subject.
Leadership attributes – what makes a leader
Leadership is not seniority or position.
We need to understand that leadership has nothing to do with seniority or position in a hierarchy in any organization. You might have heard a lot about leadership in an organization that refers to senior-most executives. We need to understand that leadership doesn’t happen automatically at higher grades in any organization.
Leadership has nothing when it is related to personal attributes of an individual. When we hear the word “Leader”, we start thinking about people who have a charismatic personality, are extroverted etc. As an individual, people divert their thoughts and start thinking about great freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi & Bhagat Singh, great personalities like Indian Ex-President Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam & US Ex-President Late Abraham Lincoln etc. One need not practice being extrovert etc. while practicing leadership. We know the saying that “A good coach can’t be a good player” and it implies while practicing leadership.
Leadership and Designation
Leadership is not measured with the designation that one holds in an organization. A designation is just an organization hierarchy. An individual doesn’t need any designation to lead a group. Anyone can be a leader at his home, workplace, neighborhood etc without holding a designation.
Leadership and Management
Another fact is leadership is not about managing people. As there is a difference between manager and leader, same goes for leadership and management as well. Both are not synonyms to each other. While talking about management, it needs to plan, execute, monitor, measure and so many other things. Leadership has nothing to do other than leading people.
If we summarize the content, then leadership is the process to maximize the efforts of other people to achieve the goal through influence. We need to understand that it starts with influence and not with power or authority. Leadership is not related to any designation but it is a mindset. It is something individual needs to earn and claim for himself.
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