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A simple definition of leadership is that leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal.
Put even more simply, the leader is the inspiration and director of the action. He or she is the person in the group that possesses the combination of personality and skills that makes others want to follow his or her direction.
leadership in an organizational role involves (1) establishing a clear vision, (2) sharing (communicating) that vision with others so that they will follow willingly, (3) providing the information, knowledge, and methods to realize that vision, and (4) coordinating and balancing the conflicting interests of all members or stakeholders
Important keys to effective leadership
According to a study by the Hay Group, a global management consultancy, there are 75 key components of employee satisfaction (Lamb, McKee, 2004). They found that:
Trust and confidence in top leadership was the single most reliable predictor of employee satisfaction in an organization.
Effective communication by leadership in three critical areas was the key to winning organizational trust and confidence:
Helping employees understand the company's overall business strategy.
Helping employees understand how they contribute to achieving key business objectives.
Sharing information with employees on both how the company is doing and how an employee's own division is doing - relative to strategic business objectives.
Principles of Leadership
Know yourself and seek self-improvement - In order to know yourself, you have to understand your attributes. Seeking self-improvement means continually strengthening your attributes. This can be accomplished through self-study, formal classes, reflection, and interacting with others.
Be technically proficient - As a leader, you must know your job and have a solid familiarity with your employees' tasks.
Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions - Search for ways to guide your organization to new heights. And when things go wrong, they always do sooner or later - do not blame others. Analyze the situation, take corrective action, and move on to the next challenge.
Make sound and timely decisions - Use good problem solving, decision making, and planning tools.
Set the example - Be a good role model for your employees. They must not only hear what they are expected to do, but also see. We must become the change we want to see - Mahatma Gandhi
Know your people and look out for their well-being - Know human nature and the importance of sincerely caring for your workers.
Keep your workers informed - Know how to communicate with not only them, but also seniors and other key people.
Develop a sense of responsibility in your workers - Help to develop good character traits that will help them carry out their professional responsibilities.
Ensure that tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished - Communication is the key to this responsibility.
Train as a team - Although many so called leaders call their organization, department, section, etc. a team; they are not really teams...they are just a group of people doing their jobs.
Use the full capabilities of your organization - By developing a team spirit, you will be able to employ your organization, department, section, etc. to its fullest capabilities.
Characteristics of Leadership
1.Interpersonal skills=Leaders that have earned the trust and respect of their followers can use this trust to move the organization towards the achievements of its goal. These leaders are able to use their interpersonal skills to work through difficult relationships, and keep the peace in their departments. These individuals are good at listening as well as providing constructive feedback.
2.Communtional skills=Leaders demonstrating communication skills are both good speakers and listeners. Through their words they can help keep the workforce motivated and committed. They also listen to their followers, and ask questions when they want to make sure they have a good understanding of what is being expressed.
3.Values=Leaders must also value the diversity of a workforce, and understand that a diverse group of employees will bring a broader perspective to the organization. They will treat followers with the respect they deserve, and do not display favoritism. They operate
with a high level of ethics, which becomes an example for others to follow.
4.Organisational Conciousness=Leadership characteristics sometimes go beyond personal traits, and touch on areas such as organizational consciousness or knowledge. These are leaders that understand what the organization wants to achieve, and know how it can be accomplished. They create networks within the organization to help their groups get work done, and are just as adept at breaking down organizational barriers to progress.
5.Confidence=Leaders need to carry themselves with confidence, and are not afraid to take ownership for both popular and unpopular decisions. They must be able to learn from criticisms, and are often acutely aware of their own shortcomings. Confident leaders are able to maintain a calm demeanor even during emergencies, and this can be contagious when it needs to be.
6.Flexibility=Another important characteristic of leaders are their ability to remain flexible, and adapt their leadership style to meet the demands of the current work environment. They must be able to work with others to meet organizational goals, and shift focus as necessary.
7.Creativity Skills=Leaders demonstrating creativity skills are able to develop innovative solutions to old problems. The diversity they build in their organizations helps them to develop more comprehensive answers to routine questions. Creative leaders are able to translate technical information into solutions that are understood by everyone.
8.Achieving Results=The last leadership characteristic we're going to discuss is achieving results. Leaders just don't set the example for others to follow; they also play a big role in achieving the goals of the organization. Through their leadership skills, they maintain a high level of performance in their organizations, and they are able to help keep their workforce motivated even when faced with a seemingly impossible situation.
Achievement: Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited, India's largest private sector company; Chosen as ET Business Leader of the Year 2006; Ranked 42nd among the World's Most Respected Business Leaders and second among the four Indian CEOs featured in a survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and published in Financial Times,London,November2004.
Mukesh Ambani is the face of new emerging India. He is the Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited, India's largest private sector company.
Mukesh Ambani was born on April 19, 1957 in Mumbai. His father Dhirubhai Ambani was then a small businessman who later on rose to become one of the legends of Indian industry. Mukesh Ambani did his Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from University of Bombay and Masters in Business Administration from Stanford University, USA.
Mukesh Ambani joined Reliance in 1981 and was the brain behind Reliance's backward integration from textiles into polyester fibres and further into petrochemicals. During the process of backward integration, Mukesh Ambani led the creation of 51 new, world-class manufacturing facilities involving diverse technologies that raised Reliance's manufacturing capacities manifold.
World's largest grassroots petroleum refinery at Jamnagar is the brainchild of Mukesh Ambani. He was also the incharge of Dhirubhai's dream project Reliance Infocomm. But after the split in the Reliance Empire, Reliance Infocomm went to his brother Anil Ambani. Mukesh Ambani is now planning to enter retail sector in a big way. He has plans to establish big retail stores all over the country. Recently, he also entered into an agreement with Haryana Government to establish a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with an investment running into thousands of crores.
Mukesh Ambani has many achievements and honours to his name. Mukesh Ambani was chosen as the ET Business leader of the Year 2006. He was ranked 42nd among the World's Most Respected Business Leaders and second among the four Indian CEOs featured in a survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and published in Financial Times, London, November 2004. He was conferred the World Communication Award for the Most Influential Person in Telecommunications in 2004 by Total Telecom, October, 2004. Mukesh Ambani was also conferred the Asia Society Leadership Award by the Asia Society, Washington D.C., USA,
Lakshmi Niwas Mittal
Lakshmi Narayan Mittal also known as Lakshmi Niwas Mittal is a billionaire industrialist, born in Sadulpur, Churu district of Rajasthan, India in 1950 , in a poor family. The extended family of 20 lived on bare concrete floors, slept on rope beds and cooked on an open fire in the brickyard in a house built by his grandfather. Laxmi Mittal belongs to Marwari Aggarwal caste and his grandfather worked for the Tarachand Ghanshyam Das firm, one of the leading Marwari industrial firms of pre-independence India.
The London-based, Rajasthan born steel baron is the Chairman and CEO of Mittal Steel Company and the world's 3rd richest man.
Lakshmi graduated from St. Xavier's College in Calcutta where he received a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He later married Usha Mittal, and had a son and daughter.
Mittal began his career working in the family's steelmaking business in India, and has over 30 years of experience working in steel and related industries. Mittal founded the company Mittal Steel (formerly the LNM Group) in 1976 and has been responsible for the development of its businesses ever since. Today, Mittal Steel is the only truly global steel producer in the world with operations on 14 countries, spanning 4 continents.
Mittal pioneered the development of integrated mini-mills and the use of Direct Reduced Iron or ââ‚¬Å“DRIââ‚¬ as a scrap substitute for steelmaking and led the consolidation process of the global steel industry. Mittal Steel is the largest steelmaker in the world, with shipments of 42.1 million tons of steel and profits of over $22 billion in 2004.
Mittal was awarded Fortune magazines ââ‚¬Å“European Businessman of the Year 2004ââ‚¬ and also ââ‚¬Å“Steelmaker of the Yearââ‚¬ in 1996 by New Steel, and the ââ‚¬Å“Willy Korf Steel Vision Awardââ‚¬ in 1998, for outstanding vision, entrepreneurship, leadership and success in global steel development from American Metal Market and PaineWeber's World Steel Dynamics. In 2002 he was involved in a political scandal with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, when a donation he made to the Labour party led to Blair's intervention in a business deal flavoring Mittal, it was announced later he donated Â£2 million to the Labour Party.
Mittal is an active philanthropist and a member of a few trusts. Mittal is a member of the Foreign Investment Council in Kazakhstan, the International Investment Council in South Africa, the World Economic Forum's International Business Council and the International Iron and Steel Institute's Executive Committee. He is a Director of ICICI Bank Limited and is on the Advisory Board of the Kellogg School of Management in the U.S. In March 2005, Forbes Magazine named him the 3rd richest man in the world and the richest non-American, with an estimated wealth of US$25 billion.
Poor communication by senior management
As in any relationship, communication is key to a strong business relationship. This can be the relationship between business and customer, or, equally as important, the internal relationships among different employees within the company. Communication can be improved in virtually every workplace, no matter the industry or size. After all, it is the only way for information to effectively spread throughout the business so that everybody can be informed to the degree that they required to properly achieve their goals.
Among the most trying elements of poor communication in today's workplace is a lack of information for the proper accomplishment of the tasks necessary within the business. Even in today's information overload society, employees often lack the information they need to do their jobs. They may have the data that they require from external supplies; however, it is the information that their supervisors and co-workers have, but have not properly shared, that remains unsaid. Frequently, this poor communication is a result of the fact that the people with the information are still processing it themselves, and haven't distanced themselves enough from the problem to discover that there are other people around them who will also be requiring that information.
There are many opportunities for poor communication in a workplace, and awareness of these hindrances is the first step toward discovering and solving them within your own business.
Ideally, people should communicate clearly, at a comfortable rate, with a practical vocabulary, and in an engaging tone. They need to get to the point before the listener can lose interest or miss the point altogether. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. Often, people speak too quickly or slowly for us to properly absorb what is being said. They may be too loud or too quiet, use words that we don't understand, or use words that are so juvenile that they don't express the proper degrees and details required for the statement. They may speak in a shrill or sing-song tone that is distracting, causing us to lose the information before it enters our minds.
Poor communication is an important issue to overcome in the workplace, though it may not always be easy. When resolving the situation in your workplace, remember to give it time, and motivate the employees properly.
Office politics "is the use of one's individual or assigned power within an employing organization for the purpose of obtaining advantages beyond one's legitimate authority. Those advantages may include access to tangible assets, or intangible benefits such as status or pseudo-authority that influences the behavior of others. Both individuals and groups may engage in Office Politics."  Office politics has also been described as "simply how power gets worked out on a practical, day-to-day basis.
Office politics differs from office gossip in that people participating in office politics do so with the objective of gaining advantage, whereas gossip can be a purely social activity. However, both activities are highly related to each other. Office gossip is often used by an individual to place themselves at a point where they can control the flow of information and therefore gain maximum advantage.
Office politics also refers to the way co-workers act among each other. It can be either positive or negative.
At the root of office politics is the issue of manipulation which can happen in any relationship where one or more of the parties involved use indirect means to achieve their goals. In the workplace, individuals have an incentive to achieve their goals at the expense of their colleagues, where resources are limited. For example, if six people apply for one promotion, they might expect the selection to be made purely on merit. Where one of the people believes that this would put them at a disadvantage, they may use other means of coercion or influence to put themselves into an advantageous position. When the people being manipulated begin to talk to each other directly, or when other evidence comes to light such as financial results, the manipulator will have an explanation ready but will already be planning their exit, because they would rather stay in control than face a revelation which exposes their behavior.
The aim of office politics or manipulation in the workplace is not always increased pay or a promotion. Often, the goal may simply be greater power or control for its own end; or to disrepudiate a competitor. The manipulator will often achieve career or personal goals by co-opting as many colleagues as possible into their plans, strengthening their own position by ensuring that they will be the last person to be accused of any wrongdoing, because they ally themselves with everyone, changing sides to suit their own personal, hidden agenda.
Office politics is a major issue in business because the individuals who manipulate their working relationships consume time and resources for their own gain at the expense of the team or company.
In addition to this problem, the practice of office politics can have an even more serious effect on major business processes such as strategy formation, budget setting, performance management, and leadership. This occurs because when individuals are playing office politics, it interferes with the information flow of a company. Information can be distorted, misdirected, or suppressed, in order to manipulate a situation for short term personal gain.
Lack of team work
In many situations it's taken for granted that work and fun cannot coexist. Most executives have never existed in a workplace where teamwork was the rule rather than the exception.
People are scared of moving out of their comfort zone into a cooperative workplace; building teamwork is hard.
There seems to be two major reasons for peoples' fear:
People often value security over happiness in their workplace: They're willing to sacrifice happiness and mental health for the knowledge that they'll have a job tomorrow. Security seems to be the enemy of joy and teamwork.
People dislike change, and teamwork is big change: This is the logical result of the fact that security is represented by a stable, non-changing workplace.
Teamwork in the workplace brings joy to the organization or team that can accept it, and develop a system that infuses the organization with it.
Teamwork is fundamental to human nature.
It is lectured about in business courses, preached about at church, we expect it in our sports teams. . . so why does it happen so rarely in our working life? The life we spend most of our waking hours pursuing?
Why is there such a fundamental chasm between our work and our home - between our career and our happiness?
Most business organizations operate in a manner that fundamentally conflicts with human nature. Sure we are all individuals, but we all shared certain important characteristics.
In business however, the conflict almost always comes when our core values conflict with our organizations bottom line.
In an organization designed like this, it's nearly always the individual who gets thrown under the bus to protect the bottom line.
How to Protect the Bottom Line and the Individual?
By designing a team that works well together and operates upon proven principles that protect both the endeavor and the people working toward it. A team that performs their tasks with creativity, purpose and meaning.
The use of politically correct language
No one invented language -- it simply spontaneously evolved as a system that enables us to communicate with one another. Language is never static because, in the process of progress, new words emerge for new tools and concepts. Some of today's new language, like cosmetics, conceals and confuses. Since I've been on earth a sufficient interval of time to see some of this, let's look at it.
Back in the 1940s, there were flophouses where bums and hoboes hung out. Urban renewal (removal) accounts for the disappearance of flophouses, but what happened to America's bums and hoboes?
You might think they've also disappeared, because we never hear of them. They're still with us. We call them homeless people. Linguistically, that puts bums in the same category as people who are homeless because of fires, floods, tornadoes and earthquakes. That means there's moral equivalency between flood victims and bums. After all, who can be morally judgmental about someone who's lost his home?
The new millennium finds other missing persons. What happened to insane people, stutterers, crippled people, deaf-and-dumb people and slow learners? Today we refer to them as being challenged or disabled one way or another, and sometimes even exceptional.
Privacy can be difficult to maintain in the workplace. Nosy co-workers love to get in your business, and then spread their information through gossip and innuendos. Avoiding a nosy colleague may be difficult, if not impossible. Sometimes the more you avoid a gossiping employee, the more he believes you have something to hide. Try a few of the following tips to nip that big nose in the bud.