Leadership is nothing but an individual’s standard of excellence and success that is unique to each individual and is beyond age, gender, race and religious boundaries, ethnic and cultural borders, or any other variables. In Current Business Environment, each individual employee is motivated and encouraged to act like a leader, by taking responsibilities towards their role. (Ivancevich, (2007))
A Leader is a person who leads the path of successful achievement of common goals. He is the one who first opens himself up for any kind of risks or problems that may arise in moving the path that all of them are headed towards. Good Leaders are not Born, they are made (Posner). In the work environment, there are leaders, in schools there are leaders and in other different sectors of the society. A leader is a goal getter and a pacesetter. A leader is responsible for the lead a group or an organization to its success point, this means a leader must be trustworthy. A leader inspires the people he leads and the society in general. A leader brings about positive change in the lives of people and creates a legacy to their world. A leader has the responsibility to lead and build a team or a group, develops an attainable vision for the group and make sure that the vision comes to fulfillment. A leader creates a benchmark for others to follow, this is because everyone looks up to their leader for direction, and in a situation where a leader fails to direct them in the right direction there is a very high tendency for failure.
The Concepts that make a person a Leader are as below:
As a Leader, a person needs to show courageous attitude. If he fears to take any action, he cannot expect his followers to do things in a manner that will help the company move towards their achievement of goals. They have to challenge the adversities and embrace new opportunities that come in the way of growth, innovate and improve on the performances of theirs as well as their followers. Leaders do not wait for fate to smile upon them. (Kotter, 1990)They take risks, experiment on things and create new products, services or processes. They move forwards despite making mistakes and facing failures. They learn from each of their mistakes and failures. A leader should be very courageous and confident about himself or herself. This is the important quality of a leader because the people or followers that a leader is leading needs to be sure that they can put their trust and hope in the person leading them.
Leaders are very competitive yet they bring out the best from all their followers. Dreams don’t turn into reality through actions of one single person. Dreams become a reality when the whole universe works towards the achievement of the dream. This is possible when a leader improves competition among his followers in giving out their best. When talking about competence we talk about ability. A leader should have the ability to make a success out of anything that looks like failure. A leader should be able to map out a strategy for success both in the work environment and in the personal lives of the people he or she is leading.
A Leader is always confident about their abilities, and make those extraordinary things happen. They have personal faith in their dreams and visions. They create the future. They have to make other people work towards common goals and make them speak in their language. Leadership is not one-way communication. It is two-way communication. They have to involve their followers and bring out the Leaders even in the followers so that each one is encouraged to be a leader in their own way. A leader should be confident in whatever he is doing, he should be firm and smart in all his dealings. His followers need to see in him the trait of confidence for them to feel safe and secure. You can’t lead a group of people when you are not confident about yourself.
A Leader is recognized by their behavior and not by their title. In Nepali context, A Leader is recognized by the number of the title they possess and by the amount of popularity they have. But in a current business scenario all over the world, a Leader is someone who has clarity in their vision and mission and has clear explanation to all their actions. They stand up for their beliefs and also make their beliefs stand up for them. A leader is a person with clear vision who know the different ways and strategies he or she is going to attain that vision. A leader is focused and goal oriented, he is success driven and does not believe in failures. He knows that if he fails this also means that all the people under him have failed so he is focused on his vision and mission for success.
Leaders coach and empower those around them and bring out the best of contributions from each of their followers. Leaders strengthen everyone’s capacity to deliver the promises they make and give out their best. They make people strong, committed and capable of facing anything in order to deliver the best outcome. Leaders are expected to deliver the results that feel a sense of power and personalized ownership. They encourage their team and work towards the achievement of the common Organizational goal (Northouse, 2007). They become the models of their behavior they expect of others. They must be clear about their guiding principles. Team development and growth is the primary function of a leader. A leader should ensure that all members of his team are practically involved in different tasks and activities done in the team. This is to ensure that each team member acquires knowledge, skills, and ability to do their job successfully.
They must be the role model for all their subordinates and follow strict principles and traits. Their character must not be negatively judged. They have to be positive and show appreciation to others who give out innovation, perform their best and celebrate victories and values. Encouragement of others in performing their best must be their value. Recognition of competencies must be one-to-one with many people and also they have to recognize the efficiency of their followers and bring it to the notice of the organization. A leader should have admirable character traits. He should not be quick to anger, should be able to accept criticism and take corrections even from the people he is leading. He should have good listening ears and be able to refer solutions to the worries or complaints of his followers.
Key elements to strengthen the practice of Leadership:
- Leaders must model the way for others to follow.(Zeitchik, 2012)
- They must be an inspiration to shared vision of the group
- They must challenge the process to help others learn from the mistakes and failures and achieve success
- They must enable others to act by giving the best Coach
- They must encourage the heart by believing in the abilities of the followers
Nepali Context of Leadership:
Leadership in Nepal has been judged by the number of titles a person owns, or the number of people who flatter about him, the number of interviews he faces and a number of times he appears in the newspaper or on television. Nepali Leaders are not judged by Performance. They follow a style where there is a significant gap between a leader and his follower.
In Nepal, Leadership is not the one about credibility and consistency. It is about making noise and getting noticed. Hence, the Leadership of Dr. Ram Shreshta of Dhulikel Hospital, who created one of the finest Institution in 15 years, is not recognized. It is individuals like Dr. Ram Shreshta that helps society move in a very successful manner. But they go unnoticed due to the fact that Nepali Culture accepts Leadership with a desire for publicity and not the genuine Leadership quality.
The concept of leadership in Nepal has been greatly flawed and misused. Leadership positions are not hereditary but in Nepal, leadership positions have been mismanaged and misrepresented. There are different sectors in Nepal whereby a man in a leadership position hands over that position to his son when he wants to leave the position or a woman who is a leader of a rotary club hands the leadership position to her daughter when she is about leaving the position.
People in Nepal needs to understand that leadership is not about titles or about how popular the person his, leadership is not about seating in the front seat of a crowd of people. It is about the positive change a person can bring to the society and to the country. It is about economic and human development.
Leadership is not about fame or popularity. Leadership is about becoming a role model and leading a path of success. Leadership is well defined by the level of confidence, character, courage, and the ability to lead a path of achievement of organizational common goals. It is about making all people coordinate and brings out the best of themselves.
Being a leader is the greatest and the most important responsibility anyone can handle. As a leader, you dictate the fate and living standard of another person (your followers), so it is imperative that a leader should be up and do at every given time because any failure of a leader will definitely affect his/her followers. The leader serves their followers, it is about serving the people that you’re meant to guide. It is not about showing off. A leader should understand that the followers are as important as a leader because where there are no followers, there is also no leader.
The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations, 6th Edition by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner
Ivancevich, J., Konopaske, R., Matteson, M. (2007). Organizational Behavior and Management. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Kotter, J.P. (1990). A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs From Management. New York: Free Press.
Northouse, G. (2007). Leadership Theory and Practice. (3rd ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Zeitchik, S. (2012). 10 Ways to Define Leadership. Business News Daily.