G. Balasubramanian | Chairperson, Board of Advisors, ICSL | Editor-in-Chief, The Progressive School
One wonders often – what leadership really means? The root of the word ‘leader’ is from the Anglo-Saxon noun “lead” meaning –a path, road, way or the course of a ship at sea. It is a word that relates to a journey.
A leader therefore is pathfinder. He designs the course of a journey or blazes the trail for his followers. Therefore, anyone who heads a team of people is not necessarily a leader.
A leader is characterized by certain basic characteristics such as:
Decision making skills
Ability to guide others
High ethical standards
A leader is expected to add value to the work he does. In most cases, we do not distinguish between -Leaders and Managers.
John Adair, Professor on Leadership, observes:
Leaders differ from managers. One can be a leader without managing and one can be a manager without leading
Leadership and management are qualitatively different and mutually exclusive
Bennis and Nanus in their book on Management and Leadership (1995) observe:
“Managers are people who get things right and leaders are people who do the right thing.”
The leader has both a role and an attribute. Let us examine and find out which of the above attributes of leadership we possess with us. What are the strong attributes of our leadership profile? What steps we can take to strengthen that profile?