IntroductionIt is obvious that the management task of leadership in organisations involves the leading or directing and guiding of employees and subordinates at achieving the organisational goals. This is done by the leader combining the roles of setting of strategies for the organisation, planning how these strategies can be put in place, communication the strategies to the subordinates in a way that will be clearly understood by all, etc. Peter Drucker (1955 pp26), states that even though leadership is of utmost importance to organisations, organisations should be less reliant upon leadership than on good management.
He continues that even though there is no substitute for leadership especially as it cannot be taught or learnt, good management practices can create leaders and conditions under which potential leadership qualities can become effective. This paper will look at what makes a good leader in today’s context by starting with the role that leaders are suppose to play in any organisation, then the various leadership theories, the different leadership styles used to govern, and end with a conclusion as to who is a good leader drawing from all what has been presented. Leadership rolesIn any organisation, leadership roles are; planning, decision making, organising, putting in place a good strategy, leading the personnel to achieve set objectives, motivating the personnel, good communication skills, manner of control, and being able to measure employee performance.
Planning: Planning is the core of any successful manager. Planning involves selecting strategies from different possible courses of action to follow. This requires defining set objectives for the whole enterprise and every department setting their own goals and targets in order to meet the organisation’s goals.
Through planning, that aspect of uncertainty within the organisation is offset. Through planning, the organisation focuses attention on the organisational objectives. Decision making as managers task: Managers have to choose from available information which course of action can be taken so as to achieve organisational goals and set targets. According to Ackoff (1970 pp 75), decision making involves some kind of planning and is made of three distinguished characteristics; anticipatory decision-making that involves deciding what to do and how to do it, interdependent decisions that involves handling the voluminous amount of work in several stages, and making those decisions that otherwise would not be made.
Organising is a process whereby managers use all available resources, people, time, money, materials, equipment, etc in such a way that the organisational objectives are met. Urwick (1958, pp 29) defined organising as “being able to secure separation and specialisation of tasks works smoothly, and that there is unity of effort or. ..co-ordination”. To effectively organise, a framework or structure of roles for the people working in the organisation to fill must be established.
This is done by assigning tasks to the people who are able to do them and made sure that the tasks are carried out effectively so as to help meet the organisation’s objectives. The manager has to put in place a viable company strategy that should involve process, content, and context. By process, the manager should be able to formulate a strategy that should look at the how feasible that strategy can be. By content, the manager should be able to come up with what course of action the strategy should be taken by the organisation.
By context, the manager should make sure that the strategy put in place should relate the organisation and the environment and community in which the organisation operates. Through leading, the manager is able to lead, direct, and guide employees/subordinates to attain the organisation’s goals. Through leadership, the manager is able to influence the attitudes and behaviours of employees. What makes a good leader will be further discussed in Section 3 under the theories of leadership. But Peter Drucker (1955) cautions that leadership is of utmost importance in any organisation for it has no substitute and cannot be taught or learned.
The managers daunting task is how the employees are motivated to work towards achieving organisational objectives.