Leadership is the process of influencing or directing the behavior of other people towards the achievement of a common goal or objective. A leader should be able to influence others to get things done in a standard that is higher than normal. Power on the other hand is the ability of an individual to control or influence the choices of other people towards achieving a certain objective. (Dowding, 1996, pp. 23-25) Leaders possess these powers to be able to lead. The authority to control other people’s decisions or choices brings about leadership.
Power Source, Leadership, and Influences
There are several sources of power that give the leader the authority or the mandate to control and influence others, they include, the Delegated authority which is awarded through the democratic channel, ascribed power which is through assumed abilities, Expertise power that is through one unique ability, Persuasion, Knowledge which can either be granted or withheld as the common saying that knowledge is power, Money or financial influence is also a source of power and domination or submissiveness in the case of a relationship among others.
Regardless of the source of power, the leader has the full responsibility to lead according to his or her powers. The leaders’ motive to lead depends entirely on the leader’s ability to lead. A potential leader must have the basic qualities of a leader which are inborn, inherent, or learned through the environment and social interaction in the community. Good leaders must be good followers and must be able to achieve set goals as well as show individual commitment to the set goals and enhance group cohesion and motivate a change of organizational culture.
The leader’s attributes are very essential in leadership, the leader’s inner personal qualities must constitute the desire to lead others. The leadership attributes include skills, motives, values, traits, behavior, and habits.
Good leaders should have the motive, be ready to learn more as they should know that what they know is little than what they are about to learn in leading others. Leaders should not widen the gap between them and their followers and they should therefore seek advice and encourage opinions from their peers, followers, and even other leaders.
Leading people is not a style that is followed like a guide or a recipe, but it is a way of understanding the form of an organization. Leadership also comes in many forms and it is the ultimate role of the leader to use the powers available to him for the change of an organization or a community into a better place. The leadership styles are not rigid and they can be adjusted by the change-oriented leader.
Power can make significant changes in different areas but the results depend on both the leader’s potentiality to produce these changes which can be positive or negative. The four areas that power can cause significant changes include politics, organizations, social structures as well as traditional cultures. Power can be applied to generate some changes in the political settings of the country which influences other important sectors such as the economy of the given country. In organizations, the prosperity of the organization and the increase in productivity are dependent on how the powers are used in the organization. (Dowding, 1996, pp. 27-56) In the traditional role of power which is granted by the virtue of expertise, the powers can be used to change the beliefs of others in the case of a medicine man.
The most important quality of a leader is the extraordinary performance that leads to extraordinary results in an organization. The best result serves as a motivator to the followers or the people one is leading. People have always ascribed leadership to the people they have seen and they feel they can cause a change in achieving their goals. (Conner, 1998, pp. 57-65)
A person with a personality that exhibits leadership potentials must posses’ values and motives in his leadership. Such a person leaves a legacy in their leadership that is remembered by people throughout generations. The former United Nations Secretary-General Honorable Kofi Annan is one of such leaders who have portrayed their leadership attributes to change the World. He has over the years been able to lead a very complicated union and throughout his leadership, he has been credited for the positive changes in several states in the political field. The crisis in the horn of Africa, Darfur and Sierra Leon, and the recent political conflicts that hit Kenya came to an end, and peace was established under his leadership ability.
My leadership can be from the emulation of Koffi Annan and the former South African president, Nelson Mandela who have shown the great potentiality to lead and to bring peace in the world. As a leader, I can only make people realize their goals and live better in the case of political leadership. The organization also requires a person who is strong in character and result oriented.
Aldrich, R. and Wotherspoon, G. (2001). Who’s Who in Contemporary Gay & Lesbian History, New York: Rouledge, pp.145-178.
Dowding, K. (1996). Power, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 23-59.
French, J. and Raven, B. (2003). The Bases of Social Power, London: University of Michigan, pp. 23-134.
Beer, M. and Eisenstat, B. (1999). Why Change programs don’t Produce Change, London: Harvard University Business Review, pp. 45-78.
Conner, D. (1998). Managing at the speed of Change, New York: Randon House, pp. 56-123.