What is Leadership : Leadership Nature and Meaning

Meaning & Definition of Leadership

The activity of leading a group of people in an organization or the ability to do this is called leadership. Leadership is essential for any group or organization.

Leadership style is the manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans and motivating people. Leadership deals with the process of influencing the behavior, actions, attitudes and motives of a group of people and satisfying their needs, aspirations and expectations in the process of achievement of institutional objectives.

Leadership can also be called the catalyst that transforms potential into reality. The concept of leadership in itself covers all interpersonal relationships that influence the working of the institution towards its goals. The term ‘leadership’ has been defined in the dictionary as ‘the act of directing the activities of those organized to achieve a given goal’.

Filley, Hose and Kerr (1977) while defining leadership, distinguished between power, authority and influence. These three concepts need to be clarified, to understand the concept of leadership.

Leadership is a set of processes that creates organizations in the first place or adapts them to significantly changing circumstances. Leadership defines what the future should look like, aligns people with that vision, and inspires them to make it happen despite the obstacles’.

Kotter, (1990)

defines leadership as ‘the observed effect of one individual’s ability to change other people’s behaviours by altering their motivations.’

Behavioural Scientist Bernard T. Bass (1985)

Nature of Leadership

  • Leadership is an important element of the directing function of management. 
  • Leadership is a responsibility one presumes. Anyone does not have to be selected and appointed as leader to be the motivating force in an organization. 
  • A group of followers is required for the act of leadership. 
  • Leadership is a result of interaction not a status or position. 
  • Leadership cannot be prearranged. 
  • Leadership depends upon the insight of the leader about his own role. • There can be more than one leader in a group. 
  • Leadership promotes optimistic attitude.
  • Leadership secures the critical group norms. 
  • Leaders do not do different things; they do the things in a different way.
  • By focusing attention on a vision, the leader functions on the emotional and spiritual resources of the organization, on its values, commitment, and aspirations. 

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