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The making of a leader – do you have what it takes?

The making of a leader – do you have what it takes?

Leadership means different things to different people and is impacted by both the application (organisational, political, military etc.) and the execution (the personality of the leader). Regardless, the role always involves making logical and sometimes difficult decisions.

The Business Dictionary defines a leader as “a person that holds a dominant or superior position within their field and is able to exercise a high degree of control or influence over others”. While this may be the official definition, there is so much more to a leadership role such as motivating followers and helping them to move forward. Some argue that leadership is not an act, but rather a process. A good leader set goals and equips their followers with the knowledge and skills needed to meet these goals.

Types of leadership styles

Every leader needs to develop a leadership style of their own. There are many different leadership styles that have been identified and studied over the years. We have summarised the three most common leaderships styles below:

Autocratic leadership

The leader is the only one in charge and prefers to make decisions on their own without the influence of others. Once a decision has been made and communicated to subordinates, the autocratic leader expects the task to be completed within the required time frame.

Democratic leadership

Democratic leaders encourage subordinates to share their ideas and take part in the decision-making process. Unlike the autocratic leadership style, a democratic leader encourages their subordinates to contribute. Democratic leadership is one of the most preferred leadership styles.

Transformational leadership

Unlike other leadership styles, this leadership style encourages change and improvement in organisations and groups. The transformational leader encourages followers to exceed expectations and achieve more than was originally intended. These leaders tend to have more committed and more satisfied followers

The five qualities of a great leader

Often, when an individual doesn’t display stereotypical leadership qualities, like being outspoken, they are not regarded as a potential leader. The truth is that all leaders are different. No one is born with leadership qualities. Rather it is a skill that can be learnt.

Here are five leadership qualities that we can all work on refining in order to become better leaders:

  • Confidence: True leaders are confident and can think beyond the boundaries of their current situation.
  • Focus: A good leader is organised and can stay focused on the task at hand.
  • Positivity: A good leader has the ability to transfer their positivity to their followers and in so doing, energise them.
  • Decisiveness: A good leader is capable of making difficult decisions in order to make it through a tough situation.
  • Honesty: A good leader is honest. This gains them trust and respect from their followers.

Becoming a leader

Do you have the qualities of a great leader? Why not develop your leadership skills by enrolling for our online short course on “Developing your leadership style”? This course explores leadership for 21st Century organisations and how adaptive leadership is increasingly changing the structure of leadership in our current climate. By completing this course, you will gain the knowledge and key practical skills to develop your own effective leadership style in your given context.

Need more information? Visit the IMM Graduate School short course website, call us on 0861 466 476 or submit an enquiry to find out more.

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