Leadership is the action of leading employees to achieve goals.
It plays an important role in employee performance and productivity. Learn about how leaders influence employee behavior in this lesson.
What is Leadership?
Have you ever wondered what the magic is behind a successful organization? In this lesson, we will uncover the importance of good leadership and the role it plays in the success of an organization. Leadership is the action of leading people in an organization towards achieving goals. Leaders do this by influencing employee behaviors in several ways. A leader sets a clear vision for the organization, motivates employees, guides employees through the work process and builds morale.
Leadership in Organizations
Setting a clear vision means influencing employees to understand and accept the future state of the organization. A unit of young soldiers may not believe in a particular mission ordered by their commanding officer. A good leader will influence the soldiers to perform their duties by explaining the vision and the importance of their role in the outcome. The soldiers will be more apt to follow.Motivating employees means to find out enough about the needs and wants of employees, giving them what they need and providing praise for a job well done.
Being far from home is lonely for a young soldier. A good leader knows this and will communicate with his unit to learn more about their needs and wants. It may be as simple as giving the soldiers a sweet treat for their efforts.When guiding employees, it is important to define their role in the work process and provide them with tools needed to perform and participate in their efforts along the way. Some military maneuvers are difficult.
Often, orders are to perform tasks that involve intricate details, like explaining how to dig a tunnel past enemy lines. A good leader will explain the tasks, provide the digging tools, direct the work and be available to assist the soldiers if they run into a problem.Building morale involves pulling everyone together to work towards a common goal. Let’s face it – fighting in a war is stressful. Soldiers are often placed in high-stress situations. This can cause the unit to lose their focus or, worse yet, shut down emotionally.
A good leader will let the soldiers know how much their work is appreciated. A simple gesture like throwing an impromptu party to recognize the unit’s small victories can reignite the soldiers’ spirits.
A Leader’s Role
A leader’s role in an organization can be formally assigned by his or her position, like manager or department head, and it can also be informally assumed by an employee who possesses a certain charisma that attracts others to follow.A formal leadership role is an officially assigned position given to someone based on his or her ability to perform the job.
It generally involves organizing and directing people to perform tasks, like the job of commanding officer (CO) in the military. The CO holds the highest level of authority over his unit. He is in charge of everything, from deciding how to fight the enemy to overseeing the day-to-day tasks of his soldiers.
An informal leadership role is an unofficial role a person takes on based on his or her charismatic influence over a group of people. A person, based on his or her personality traits, assumes this role. A soldier with no formal authority may convince the others to move to safer ground or to use force on the enemy because he believes this is in their best interest. This emergent leader gains followers because he builds a good relationship with the other soldiers. They trust him. They feel confident that the risk in moving locations will pay off for the unit.
Leadership is the action of leading employees to achieve goals. It plays an important role in employee performance and productivity. A good leader:
- Sets a clear vision by influencing employees to understand and accept the future state of the organization
- Motivates employees by finding out enough about their needs and wants, giving them what they need and providing praise for a job well done
- Guides employees by defining their role in the work process, providing them with the tools needed to perform and participating in their effort along the way
- Builds morale by pulling everyone together to work towards a common goal
A leader can take on two different roles. A formal leader is an officially assigned position given to someone based on his or her ability to perform the job. An informal leadership takes on an unofficial role, and the role is based on his or her charismatic influence over a group of people.
After watching this lesson, you should be able to:
- Describe the role leadership plays in the success of an organization
- Identify effective actions for leading employees to achieve goals, including building morale, guiding employees, motivating employees, and setting a clear vision
- Analyze goal oriented situations to determine effective leadership actions
- Compare and contrast formal and informal leadership