The Concept And Characteristics Of Leadership Business Essay

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A leader is interpreted as someone who sets direction in an effort and influences people to follow that direction. How they set that direction and influence people depends on a variety of factors that we'll consider later on below. To really comprehend the "territory" of leadership, you should briefly scan some of the major theories, notice various styles of leadership and review some of the suggested traits and characteristics that leaders should have. The rest of this library should help you in this regard.

Concept of Leadership

It's the process where a person influence is over other persons in order to acknowledge a set of objectives; the leader leads an organization in a proper way, also leaders take responsibility of this task using its leader skills. In other words, a person can be in charge of an enterprise but that does not make it a leader.

Larson and LaFasto (1989) looked in the opposite direction by interviewing excellent teams to gain insights as to what enabled them to function to such a high degree. They came away with the following conclusions:

A clear elevating goal - they have a vision

Results driven structure - visions have a business goal

Competent team members with right number and mix

Unified commitment - they are a team, not a group

A collaborative climate - aligned towards a common purpose

High standards of excellence - they have group norms

Principled leadership - the central driver of excellence

External support - they have adequate resources


1-Articulate Your Personal Values as a Leader - One of the first things a leader should do, is to somehow articulate your personal values as a leader. This might seem trivial, or even irrelevant to some. However, this is important for a very simple, basic reason - we work with people. Human beings are not cold, rational automatons. We are people with emotions, likes and dislikes, prejudices, and lots of other stuff.

Clarify your personal values. This can be done as simply as calling everyone together, give a short, speech. Its enough to show that you are human enough to communicate with them. It is not an opportunity to regal them with your resume. It is a time to say "Thank you, team. Hope we can work together well."

2-Putting Action Into Words - when you Act, your values shine through. So, be careful what you say. Your words are a testimony more powerful than you know. Your actions then become the final straw that will either seal that truth or break the illusion you try to create. If you are building up new habits, if you are trying a new tact, fine. But never mis-represent that these are your already your values; your words, if not seen in action, mean nothing.

3-Have A Vision - This vision should not be confused with your personal values. It should be congruent with those values, but your vision should have a direct impact on either your business,your staff.

A vision is clear. Leaders who claim to have a vague, somewhat surreal "vision" and encourages everyone to go with the flow, is likely making things up as they go. If you are not able to be precise and clear, that is not a vision; it's a dream. Some leaders never live to see their vision fulfilled. But great leaders have always articulated clear visions and they all seem to know exactly how to reach it.

4-Leadership skill - A real leader needs to be sharp. Leader should have toned all his senses to perfection that he should be able to sense even the slightest of changes in situation. One who is naturally sensitive to issues will definitely be a good listener and observer. Only if the leader listens to the needs of the followers and observes and understands them, he can make wise decisions on whom to trust and whom not to trust. Delegation is a another very important aspect of a successful leader. One cannot take up all things on his shoulder and be successful. If only a leader is sharp enough to delicate efficiently, he will have any chance to succeed.


1. Autocratic leadership

Autocratic leadership is an extreme form of transactional leadership, where leaders have absolute power over their workers or team. Staff and team members have little opportunity to make suggestions, even if these would be in the team's or the organization's best interest.

Most people tend to resent being treated like this. Therefore, autocratic leadership usually leads to high levels of absenteeism and staff turnover. For some routine and unskilled jobs, the style can remain effective because the advantages of control may outweigh the disadvantages.

2. Charismatic leadership

A charismatic leadership style can seem similar to transformational leadership, because these leaders inspire lots of enthusiasm in their teams and are very energetic in driving others forward. However, charismatic leaders can tend to believe more in themselves than in their teams, and this creates a risk that a project, or even an entire organization, might collapse if the leader leaves. In the eyes of the followers, success is directly connected to the presence of the charismatic leader. As such, charismatic leadership carries great responsibility, and it needs a long-term commitment from the leader.

3. Democratic leadership or participative leadership

Although democratic leaders make the final decisions, they invite other members of the team to contribute to the decision-making process. This not only increases job satisfaction by involving team members, but it also helps to develop people's skills. Team members feel in control of their own destiny, so they're motivated to work hard by more than just a financial reward.The approach can be most suitable when working as a team is essential, and when quality is more important than speed to market or productivity.

4. Task-Oriented leadership

Highly task-oriented leaders focus only on getting the job done, and they can be quite autocratic. They actively define the work and the roles required, put structures in place, plan, organize, and monitor. However, because task-oriented leaders don't tend to think much about the well-being of their teams, this approach can suffer many of the flaws of autocratic leadership, with difficulties in motivating and retaining staff.

Two most Influential Business leader

Warren Buffet

Superior business leader and American investor Warren Buffett is often called "Oracle of Omaha" or the "Sage of Omaha" and philanthropist. (Wikipedia, 2007) Buffett is the CEO, and the biggest shareholder of the Berkshire Hathaway Company. Buffet's has an estimated current net worth of approximately $52 billion in US funds. Forbes Magazine ranks Buffett the third richest person in the world in September 2007 behind Carlos Slim and Bill Gates. Warren Buffett is known for his economical and plain lifestyle. Buffett still lives in the same Omaha.

Warren buffet is a true leader where his leadership makes a difference in the world. Leadership is very much related to change and Warren Buffett has the capabilities of leadership change to fit the changing world. Warren Buffett has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to map read in the irregular waters of change. The authors of this paper believe not. Experience and research has shown little evidence that an individual who comes to power is a "born leader." Warren Buffett took the falls that any other leader has to take. Warren Buffett learned from his mistakes and turned his mistakes into a positive thing. Warren Buffett shares his leadership at all organizational levels and Buffett is empowered to share leadership responsibilities. In the world of business, many titles related to leadership roles are actively used in business and Warren Buffett wears those titles to make him effective in multiple leadership positions in business. Distinction between good leadership and good management is made often. Managers are made to be organizational, controllers and budgeters. Warren Buffett has leadership in all three departments and one must have these traits to be a good business leader.

When Warren Buffett talks, people listen. Warren Buffett can send a message through an open door and does not have to push the message through a wall. Warren Buffet's is a self empowered leader, because he is loyal, sets goals, plans a strategy for achievement, and stays committed until he accomplishes his purpose. Up to date, he is the greatest stockbroker of all-time. He is a very conservative investor that prefers to invest in companies that sell name brand products that he uses. For example, Coca-Cola, Gillette Razors, See's Candy, Gulfstream Jet, and GEICO are the major companies he invested in.

The personality of Warren Buffett ties to the Social Cognitive Level, because he tries to understand and make sense of other people. He observes the differences in social knowledge when dealing with people. Social cognition refers to making sense of ourselves, others, and how the information is used. Warren investment choices were successful, because he conditioned his the way he processed information, choices, and expectations.

Lakshmi mittal

Mittal Steel is a global steel producer with operations in 14 countries.Mittal pioneered the development of integrated mini-mills and the use of direct reduced iron or "DRI" 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.

There are many steel companies throughout the world, but Mittal does things completely different than the competition. His prices are competitive, his steel is stronger, and he's able to reliably ship his product anywhere in the world. This way of doing business helps to keep his company growing and generating massive revenue because of his good leadership style.

Mittal was awarded Fortune magazine's "European Businessman of the Year 2004" and also "Steelmaker of the Year" in 1996 by New Steel, and the "Willy Korf Steel Vision Award" in 1998, for outstanding vision, entrepreneurship, leadership and success in global steel development from 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 favoring Mittal. It was announced later that he donated £2 million to the Labour Party.Also conducting charitable activity at his home town in 2010, Forbes magazine listed Mittal the world's fifth richest person with personal wealth of US$28.7 billion. His wealth has grown by over US$9 billion compared to 2009 and is up 3 places in the Forbes ranking.

Today his main focus is on eastern Europe, where the steel industries are still being privatised. In 2001, he notoriously enlisted the help of Tony Blair to buy Ispat Sidex in Romania, beating French rival Usinor - which later became part of Arcelor - in the process.Lakshmi mittal get the milestone through his good leadership skill.

Part B

Poor Communication 

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.

Other leaders may say one thing with their words and another with their actions-frequently referred to as "do what I say, not what I do". Such discrepancies between words and actions raise questions as to the leader's integrity and more importantly, his or her credibility within the organization.

Sometimes a leader may decide to keep things secret, feeling that he or she is unable to trust his or her staff. Some leaders may decide that their position is dependent upon their knowledge, and that they therefore cannot share any knowledge with others for fear of making themselves obsolete.

In some organizations, decisions on personnel movements are made by a group of senior managers who are tasked with observing all employees throughout the organization, comparing their strengths and weaknesses and their suitability for any positions which may become available. The information gathered by this group is carefully guarded-restricted to the group members themselves and the senior figured within the Human Resources department.

Such a secretive policy on succession planning leads to an uneven distribution of knowledge throughout the organization, to resentment from staff who feel they have been hard done by, and on more than one occasion when a corporate restructure came around, to the best and brightest leaving the organization because they either had no idea how much they were valued, or they had received inside information that they had been overlooked for promotion for ridiculous reasons.

Office politics

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.

This complete lack of communication is broken only when either:

office politics dictate that it would be beneficial for an individual to "leak" some information from the group; or

An individual within the HR department tells one of their friends about the group's assessments because it's a juicy piece of gossip.

The most significant mindset difference was the 'rational systems' view of the avoidance group and the 'human systems' view of the two active political groups.

There is also a major mindset difference between the two active political groups. There is the win-lose, non ethical, upward focus, self interest, competitive, personal gain mindset of the negative politics group, versus the win-win, ethical, organization focus, enlightened self interest, collaborative, best interests of the business mindset of the positive politics group.

The positive politics group have the higher innovation success rates and higher success factor indicators in terms of performance, and promotion. They are more likely to be viewed as leaders than the other two groups.

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 behaviour.

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.

Team work

Teamwork is essential for competing in today's global arena, where individual perfection is not as desirable as a high level of collective performance. In knowledge based enterprises, teams are the norm rather than the exception. A critical feature of these teams is that they have a significant degree of empowerment, or decision-making authority. There are many different kinds of teams: top management teams, focused task forces, self-directed teams, concurrent engineering teams, product/service development and/or launch teams, quality improvement teams, and so on.

First, you should always make your expectations of your team members clear. You can accomplish this with a thorough and detailed job description followed by personal discussions for clarification. Secondly, when delegating, always empower each team member. Make sure to give the team member the authority to make and carry out decisions that are required. Furthermore, always support and back up the decisions made by the team member. If you disagree with their decision, instead of chastising or reprimanding, coach the employee and help them to understand your reasoning.

Politically correct language

Most organizations are unaware of their culture as it pertains to ethics. Most employees would ask their leadership to define ethical behavior, and today's leadership would avoid such a question or give what they perceive is a politically correct answer. Dr. Ergun Caner (2004) said that, "If something is politically correct it is usually morally corrupt". What he meant is, we are so obsessed with the correct response that we allow corruption to exist that may have an impact on others to avoid personal implication. so as a leader one should be careful when addressing groups or talking about others,uselanguage that would not cause any individual of any demographic(social or cultural) to feel excluded, offended or diminished.


Leadership is a necessary part of any organization, and managers who combine leadership skills with management traits offer organizations enhanced productivity and better long-term prospects than those managers who are not leaders. However, the line between leader and manager is ill-defined: leaders are not necessarily good managers, and managers do not always possess leadership characteristics. Both leaders and managers are required in successful organizations. Leaders provide the long-term vision for the organization, while managers possess the talent for putting that vision into concrete action and managing day-to-day activities that accomplish that action. The type of leadership that succeeds in any organization is, to some degree, determined by the organizational culture in which the company operates.