In this article we present you different visions about leadership, and the importance of it’s characteristics
Leadership certainly is seen as important for several organizations, and it’s recognized as a powerful tool to command people within an organization, but certainly it’s defined within a romantic vision of what a leader represents.
Overall, romantic vision of leadership is based on
Let’s take a look at those.
“We don't just follow a leader because that leader has got the great personality, the great characteristic. We tend to follow them because they represent, perhaps, a group of us.”
Rudolph Sohm saw that from the beginning the principle of sovereignty in Christianity is of an authoritarian monarchical nature, rather than perhaps a more shared idea.
Max Weber saw and predicted the idea of this person whose qualities, their aspects of who they were, their specific will, their power, the personality, would lead people to a better way.
This notion of the charismatic, of their force of will being imposed or influencing others, became quite an important aspect of his view and all subsequent views on leadership. But later on he said charisma is actually not subject to rules.
It's not subject to the sorts of things that we would put into authority. Charisma he saw as being really about the wisdom of the individual.
But that wasn’t enough. It wasn't enough to have wisdom, it was important for the leader to be seen to have wisdom by their followers. It was not enough to just do great things that their followers needed to see them as being great and doing great things. That they were meeting the situational need of the leaders at the time.
We don't just follow a leader because that leader has got the great personality, the great characteristic. We tend to follow them because they represent, perhaps, a group of us.
We might follow a leader because they're taking action to advance my group's goals. We might follow a leader because they make the group matter, they help us to build our self-esteem about who we are and what we do in the world. We might also follow a leader because they help our group succeed.
It's really about whether we think that person is appropriate in terms of our group, whether it's one of us, whether they're like us, whether they're helping us, whether they're helping us to achieve.
“Leadership, then, is seen as fundamentally an aspect of group processes. Power is very much, then, a process of group processes, rather than an individual characteristic of the leader.”
The authority idea came from one of two places.
Authority was either a traditional authority that was one that came from custom. So it might be, for instance, kings had traditional authority from custom.
Or it may be legal irrational authority. And legal irrational authority is one which is met by impersonal rules that didn't really take into account the ideas, or needs, or situations of the followers. It was more about making sure that those rules were met for the bureaucratic needs.
Does a leader depend on power, or does a leader produce power?
This new model says, once you get into a group, and once you start having influence over group, and once you have a number of people who start to follow you, which allows you to get further resources. The idea is that you get more power the more you get a relationship with your group.
Leadership, then, is seen as fundamentally an aspect of group processes. Power is very much, then, a process of group processes, rather than an individual characteristic of the leader.
“Influence is seen as a group process. And the idea here is that we're influenced based on what we understand is the context and what we understand of the social reality that we face.”
If you want to be influential, then it's not enough just to have a set of persuasive skills, great oratory and so on. Those are important skills, but you also need to apply those to a situation where you are perceived to be one of us, where you are perceived to be somebody who has the same sense of social reality as the group you're trying to persuade. That is, the leader who is going to be most influential needs to be one of us.
A leader is not just somebody who is in control or an authority of the group.
A leader-- if they're going to have influence, if they're going to be effective-- has to be known as what's called Product-typical of the group. That is, people could look at the leader and say he or she is who we are. They're similar to us; they have the same sorts of collective goals, the same sorts of norms of behavior.
Any theory of leadership needs to be non-individualistic. That is, it needs to talk about leadership, not just leaders.
Leadership needs to be context sensitive. That is, we need to have a leadership that helps us to understand when leaders will come and go, depending on the context that followers and leaders see themselves in.
Leadership needs to be perspective sensitive. Good leadership is not determined by competent management, skilled decision making, or accepted authority. It’s determined by the perspective of the followers of the group you want to lead.
“Leadership: Identity, Influence and Power” - Randal Tame, Macquarie Graduate School of Management
Inés Álvarez - Tuugo Blog Team - Law School student - Universidad Católica del Uruguay “Dámaso Antonio Larrañaga”
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