The word “leadership’ has been used in at least three different ways. Occasionally it refers to a position within an organization, e.g., “We are inviting all of the leadership to attend the seminar. ‘Leadership” has also been used to describe a personality characteristic, e.g. ‘Our new supervisor doesn’t have as much leadership as our previous one.”
Neither of these definitions is very useful in studying organizational behaviÂor, and a better definition is needed to understand why some individuals are at he more effective leaders than others. The most useful definition of leadership, well, and the one we will use in this chapter, is a form of behavior by which one person influences others. ‘Our team won the championship because of the leadership of the quarterback.” In other words, leadership is the incremental influence one individual exerts over another, above and beyond mechanical compliance with routine directives. Leadership occurs when one individual MBO-influences others to do something voluntarily rather than because they were the required to do it or because they feared the consequences of noncompliance. It strong is this voluntary aspect of leadership that distinguishes it from other influence processes, such as power and authority.
Although leaders may use force or coercion to influence the behavior of followers, leaders by our definition use their ability to induce voluntary comÂmittee. By this definition, anyone in the organization can be a leader, whether or not that individual is formally identified as such. Indeed, informal leaders are extremely important to the effectiveness of most organizations.
An important distinction is made by some between leadership and manageÂment. To manage means to direct, to bring about to accomplish, and to have responsibility for. The functions of management, as described in chapter one, are planning, organizing, directing, and controlling. The successful manager is viewed as someone who achieves results by following the prescribed activities and by maintaining behaviors and products within prescribed limits. To lead, however, is to inspire, to influence, and to motivate. Effective leaders inspire others to pursue excellence, to extend themselves and to go beyond their perform job requirements by generating creative ideas. It has been said that managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing.” This distinction is somewhat overstated, since effective leaders do a lot of managing and effective managers need to lead. But it serves to emphasize an important organizational outcome: the creation of an energetic and highly committed work force that is successfully adapting to the demands of a changing environment and competently producing a viable product or service