Leadership means different things to different people around the world, and different things in different situations. To a child a leader might be a heroic character, always over coming evil and helping to better the world. For a teenager this may be an explorer, surviving more realistic danger in the jungle, leading their crew to safety combining both knowledge and strength. Young adults in college or graduate students may admire an executive, who has developed their own business and holds a lot of wealth and power that they have created for themselves. While older adults may tend to see people who hold political power, who are pursuing a passionate and personal cause, as leaders. The role of a leader and the skills that quality for the make of a good leader tends to alter in our heads as we get older and understand ethics, behavior, and power.
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“Leaders help themselves and others to do the right things. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new. Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to “win” as a team or an organization; and it is dynamic, exciting, and inspiring.” . While leaders set the direction, they must also use management skills to guide their people to the right destination, in a smooth and efficient way.
“According to the idea of transformational leadership, an effective leader is a person who does the following: Creates an inspiring vision of the future, motivates and inspires people to engage with that vision, manages delivery of the vision, coaches and builds a team, so that it is more effective at achieving the vision.”
“Leadership expert James McGregor Burns introduced the concept of transformational leadership in his 1978 book, “Leadership.” He defined transformational leadership as a process where “leaders and their followers raise one another to higher levels of morality and motivation.”. “In business, a vision is a realistic, convincing and attractive depiction of where you want to be in the future. Vision provides direction, sets priorities, and provides a marker, so that you can tell that you’ve achieved what you wanted to achieve.” ( ). To create a vision, leaders should focus on an organization’s strengths. Leaders should think about how their company is likely to grow, and how their competitors may act due to changes. Look at how they can innovate, shape their businesses and their strategies to succeed in future marketplaces. And they test their visions with appropriate market research, and by assessing key risks that may be a factor for failure. “Leaders must make them compelling and convincing. A compelling vision is one that people can see, feel, understand, and embrace. Effective leaders provide strong mental images of what they are trying to achieve and are able to explain their vision in ways that people can relate to.
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Vision provides the foundation for leadership; But its leaders’ ability to motivate and inspire people that helps them create that vision. “For example, when you start a new project, you will probably have lots of enthusiasm for it, so it’s often easy to win support for it at the beginning. However, it can be difficult to find ways to keep your vision inspiring after the initial enthusiasm fades, especially if the team or organization needs to make significant changes in the way that it does things. Leaders recognize this, and they work hard throughout the project to connect their vision with people’s individual needs, goals and aspirations.” ( ). Ways to help ensure motivation include complimenting and showing appreciation when small task get finished, communicate with staff a clear vision, showing staff the progress made or result in hard work, or even joining the staff in the workload to show equality.
“Leaders must ensure that the work needed to deliver the vision is properly managed – either by themselves, or by a dedicated manager or team of managers to whom the leader delegates this responsibility – and they need to ensure that their vision is delivered successfully.” A leader also needs to make sure they manage change effectively. This helps to ensure that the changes needed to deliver the vision are implemented, with the support and backing of the staff affected.
Individual and team development are important activities carried out by leaders. A leader will ensure that the team members have the necessary skills and abilities to do their job and achieve the vision. “They do this by giving and receiving feedback regularly, and by training and coaching people to improve individual and team performance. Leadership also includes looking for leadership potential in others. By developing leadership skills within your team, you create an environment where you can continue success in the long term.”
The word “ethics” derived from the Greek word ethos which can mean custom or habit. Ethics is a system of moral principle; can involve questioning of right and wrong behavior. A person’s ethics can affect how they make decisions and lead their lives. “Ethics is concerned with what is good for individuals and society and is also described as moral philosophy.”
The relationship between leadership and ethics. No matter what style of leadership a manager, teacher, or parent possesses, there are ethical behaviors to consider in the relationship between the leaders and the people they influence. A true measure of leadership is the ethical influence the leader has on their followers. “An ethical leader is one that considers positive and negative views and the rights of everyone involved, as well as ensuring that decisions are made in an ethical manner and members are held accountable. The ethical actions of a leader enhance his or her credibility and integrity, which causes followers to trust. Employees, students, and children establish faith in their leader’s decision making and the choices the leader makes by listening to and watching what they do.”
Leadership can be hard to define and it means different things to different people. In the transformational leadership model, leaders set direction and help themselves and others to do the right thing to move forward. To do this they create an inspiring vision, and then motivate and inspire others to reach that vision. They also manage delivery of the vision, either directly or indirectly, and build and coach their teams to make them ever stronger. Ethics are our rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad; in the business world this may mean producing a quality product or not stealing money. Your ethics can alter the skills its takes to grow and become a great leader; just as when a leader can lose sight of their ethics when given a tough decision or much power. Leadership and ethics go hand and hand, and if used properly can help you manifest your vision into reality.
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