What are the skills of leadership?

Leadership has been defined as the art of getting others to do (and want to do) something that the leader believes should be (must be) done, involving interpersonal influence, goal-setting and communication (Furnham, 2005). The power wielded by leaders can vary across different types, e.g. coercive (power to punish), reward (power to reward), legitimate (positional power), expert (special skill or knowledge power) and referent (power of a follower’s identification). Leaders can also vary in terms of different styles, ranging from democratic through to autocratic. a good team leader needs to both focus on accomplishing the task and create an enabling performance environment for the development of team member knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Effective leadership processes represent a critical factor in the success of teams in organisations (Zaccaro et al., 2001). In terms of non-technical skills, effective leadership in the workplace helps to achieve safe task completion within a motivated, full-functioning team, through co-ordination and persuasiveness. Even self-managed teams have someone who influences the team, although this may change depending on the situation. In aviation, a leader on an aircraft is defined as ‘a person whose ideas and actions influence the thought and the behaviour of others. Through the use of example and persuasion, and an understanding of the goals and desires of the group, the leader becomes a means of change and influence’ (CAA, 2006: Appendix 7, p. 3). this involves the elements listed in table 6.1, and described in more detail below.

< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >