What is leadership? Leadership is having the ability to give guidance to those that will follow. Those that follow will help to complete the mission. Leadership is an immature science and the body of knowledge in the field has developed through a series of fits and starts. Leadership is a soft science, just as anthropology, sociology and psychology. It can not be proven exactly what it is. Leadership is an art, the skillful application of leadership behaviors beyond techniques is much the same as the skillful application of brushstrokes by a master painter. Leadership is both rational and emotional. It involves both sides of human experience. It includes actions and influences based on reason and logic as well those based on inspiration and passion. Leadership is a social process shared among all members of a group. Leadership development comes through experience. We all learn from our different experiences. Whether positive or negative, they are our tools for growth and development. What is management? Management is a position of authority. Management says what need to get done and supplies the material to get it done. Management tends to be the more educated than the experienced. Managers can be trained to hold a position. Management is a position of leadership. Can leadership and management be the same? Leadership and management are not the same. Anyone can be a manager and not have any followers. Being able to manage is knowing the aspects of a mission. A leader knows the aspects, has the knowledge and the skills to accomplish the mission. But leadership and management work hand in hand with each other. The management sets the stage and the leadership makes it happen. Leadership is a human relationship process. No scientific method can be used for testing leadership. Leadership is based on human factors and no two humans are the same. Managers are not only interested in status quo, but also production, expansion and growth. Management was a system to control machines. Leadership can never be controlled. Where one sits in life determines what you see. To be a good manager one must look at views from different perspectives. As situations change, leadership relations change. Leadership cannot be transactional. It can only work if both parties keep their agreements. A class survey was held to compare leaders to managers. The overall opinion was that they are similar in many ways. A leader and a manager can be one in the same. The difference between a leader and a manager is that a manager directs and a leader motivates. Leaders make the rules. Managers enforce the rules. Leaders make the policies. Managers enforce the policies. When both are doing their jobs, they are performing their leadership roles. Leaders inspire and managers are effective. Leaders innovate. Managers administer. Leaders look at situations in a long-term view. Managers look at situations in a short-term view. Leaders ask what and why. Managers ask how and when. Managers accept the status quo. Leaders challenge the status quo. Managers do things right. Leaders do the right things. Leadership is a process that includes managers. If you look at leadership, you will see good management at work. Leadership and management work hand in hand with one another. They both need support from each process in order to achieve its goals. Leadership is not just based on the leader. In assessing leadership you must look at the leader the follower and the situation. One must do an assessment of the leader. Assess the reaction of what you expect from the follower. Look at the situation and environment that surrounds the whole concept. A leader is a servant to his followers. The followers must also serve the leader. Both must serve their common goal. Leaders have nothing to do with leadership. Leadership is 100% service and 100% partnership. To maintain good leadership, one must keep good relationship between leaders and followers. Leadership and follower-ship are both like a two way street. You must give respect both ways in order to have good relations. Followers will follow someone they respect, just as leaders like to lead someone who they respect.
There are different types of followers. They are alienated followers, conformist followers, pragmatist followers and exemplary followers. The alienated followers are the ones that are irritants, who like to always point out the negative aspect on everything. They always overlook the positive aspects. The conformist follower is the yes person of the organization. As long as things are in conformance with social and organizational standards it okay. The pragmatist are not committed to workgroup goals but have learned not to make waves. The exemplary follower is almost like a self-leader. They can adjust to any situation. They are independent, innovative, creative and willing to stand up to superiors. A strong follower like that would help a good leader to become a better leader. This could also bring on a well-bonded working relationship. In evaluating the leadership process, a lot of things come into play. Followers usually play a key role in organizational successes and failures, yet these outcomes are often attributed solely to leaders. Everyone has spent and will spend more time as a follower than as a leader. Spending time reflecting on follower experiences may be one important key to leadership success. Values play a central part of a leaders psychological makeup. Values are an important component of the moral reasoning process. Values also serve to organize attitudes, which are general and enduring positive or negative feelings about some person, object, or issue. There are two sets of attitudes that play a role in leadership. They are the attitudes leaders have about themselves and the attitudes leaders have about others. Managing stress is also an important skill for leaders and followers to have. They both must learn to monitor their own stress levels and each others. If symptoms of stress are detected, they must work together to pinpoint the cause. The study of leadership is open to many different opinions. Many studies have been done and know one still knows what makes a true leader. We are far from finding conclusive answers to them. Even those individuals with extensive knowledge of leadership research may be poor leaders. Leadership does not occur without followers, and followership is an easily neglected component of the leadership process. Leadership is everyone s business and everyone s responsibility. Thinking about leadership can help a person become a better leader than you are right now. In conclusion, my opinion is as follows. The leadership process is a total learning process. We all are leaders in our own way at different times in our lives. For example a father or mother with children, their children look to them for guidance. They also learn their values and about their culture through them. That is having leadership abilities. Friends look to each other for advice and different experiences that each of them have done. Some people perform leadership acts on the daily basis and don t even realize it until they think about it or until someone brings it to their attention. That s why it s said that a part of learning about leadership is to always think about it.