Leadership Skills for Kids

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Leadership Skills for Kids
Leadership skills for kids are meant to mold children into ideal leaders; to guide, inspire and help others grow. Here is how a strong foundation of leadership can be established.
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They say, childhood is the best time to inculcate leadership skills. However, here is no secret method for grooming your child to take up the responsibility of leadership. If you want your child to turn into a good leader in his adulthood, here are some values that need to be taught in order to nurture leadership skills in your kids.

Seven Basic Values for Leadership

"Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others." - Barbara Bush

Serving Others

While most will have you believe that true leadership lies in 'managing' people and delegating work, the virtue of good leadership skills lie in service. In leading a team or organization, a leader is serving his people, which is something he must always remember.

Teach children to put the needs of the people they lead before their own, and that, no job is too small for them to do. It is in understanding what goes into getting a certain task done, that they are in the best position to manage it.

"A person doing his or her best becomes a natural leader, just by example." - Joe DiMaggio

Becoming an Idol

As a leader, if you want your people to learn something, the best way to do this is through your example. One of the most important life lessons that will in turn make kids good leaders is that, they must learn to do unto others as they would have others do unto them.

"Talkers have always ruled. They will continue to rule. The smart thing is to join them." - Bruce Barton

Effectively Communicating

In order to be a potent leader, one must be a good communicator. Words can be very powerful in inspiring people and effectuating action or change. A good leader clearly communicates goals or plans to his team.

Teach your children to say what they mean or want done clearly, so that others may understand. Another very crucial aspect of leadership skills for children is listening. If one fails to listen and understand, then he fails as a leader. Teach kids to listen twice as much as they speak.

"Every team needs a hero, and every hero needs a team." - Anonymous


For any big task to get accomplished, a group of people need to work as a team. Teach children that many hands make the load lighter. Teach them to allow others to share the burden (which in turn will make those individuals responsible), instead of trying to do everything themselves.

Also teach them to appreciate and utilize all the different abilities and experiences each person brings to the group. And lastly, it is the leader's job to ensure that people work in harmony, and that the job gets done as smoothly as possible.

"Success is just a decision away." - Anonymous

Decision Making

You must teach your child to make his or her own decisions early in life, irrespective of the consequences. This is because, a good leader is always looked upon as a good and quick decision maker. People do not want leaders who hesitate or get uncomfortable while making decisions.

Inculcate into your child the habit of making his decisions which will through trial and error, make him a good leader who makes quick decisions. Teaching your child to play the game of chess is a good way to develop this skill.

"The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people half way." - Henry Boye


A good leader is one who works well with others. As a leader, you will have to work along with many different kinds of people, some will be temperamentally difficult, while others may have opposing points of view.

Teach children to allow room for differences and respect other's point of view. Effective leadership qualities include the ability to give and take while working with others. There is a thin line of difference between a good leader and a dictator. To be a leader, one must be able to compromise and negotiate, keeping the bigger picture in mind. For this, you will need to teach your kids to accept their mistakes.

"Failing to plan is planning to fail." - Winston Churchill

Forecasting and Planning

A good leader must be able to think about the future with imagination and wisdom. Always keeping the values of the team in mind while ensuring that all efforts are towards achieving the singular goal. To accomplish these goals, the ability to plan strategically is an asset to any leader.

Teach children how to draw out a plan of action, right down to the smallest detail. For children, large tasks can seem overwhelming, thus they need to be taught how to break them down into sections.

Imparting leadership skills is one the best gifts that you can give to your child. It will make him independent, responsible and diplomatic in the long run.

Education is an important aspect of human life. How we receive and translate it into our daily way of life is quite largely dependent upon the way it gets passed on. Educational leadership has been studied over years to address long-standing concern of students, educators, and society as a whole. As the need to understand which style of leadership will work best, alone or in combination, it is imperative to understand these types individually in regards to their methods and what they offer.

Styles of Leadership in Education

With an eye for reform, many educationists have either supported or criticized certain leadership styles, however, which style suits and works best is subjected to a matter of opinion. Educational leadership styles are based on the understanding that certain characteristics, such as physical energy and/or social interaction play a part in the way education is imparted. Effective leadership is about strengthening the performance of education leaders, primarily the educators, to improve student achievement. Hence, effective leadership is crucial for teachers and students to enhance performance at the highest level. 

There is no denying the fact, that there is no single best way to lead and inspire in the field of education. Each educator, as well as schools, view leadership strategies differently, as certain situations, features and actions seem far more favorable than others at different levels and times. Broadly, there are three leadership styles in education, which are used individually or as a versatile combination. They are hierarchical, transformational and facilitative.

Hierarchical: Hierarchical leadership styles are based on the traditional method of education that lays more emphasis in a top-down approach in which all course of action is asserted and carried out with formal authority and has little scope for participatory analysis. Here, the administrative head, namely the principal, carries out all duties of a planner, supervisor, analyst, resource allocator, etc. It is a very straightforward, with major emphasis on efficiency, control and routines. 

Transformational: Transformational styles are based on the concept of working together to put in place a mechanism that will not only reap immediate benefits but future ones too. Although, most decisions are taken individually or by a small group of people, this leadership style opens the door wide for intellectual excitement, motivation through values and a shared vision by participation in leadership activities. A leader who follows transformational leadership fosters a sense of purpose and meaning to unite people for a better cause.

Facilitative: Facilitative styles are very similar to the strategies used in transformational styles, but more democratic as well as interactive in practice. A facilitative educational leader works with the entire management, offering them partnership in preparing for the future, and by promoting collective ideas by being a part of the crowd, rather than being at the center. Empowering the entire education system is the primary goal of the leader practicing facilitative style.

What works best for which institution and how it needs to be, is based on careful strategic planning and consideration of its vision. Ideally, a leader should use strategies and options flexibly to balance both; short-term and long-term goals, and above all, must serve the institutional values. To ensure that leadership style is delivered in the best manner, and the way it has been designed to be imparted by the teachers and perceived by students, policy makers and educational leaders are providing state-of-the art programs for leadership courses that help in learning to do service towards the field of education.

Leadership is the ability of a person to guide people in a group towards achieving a task at hand. There are many leadership qualities that help you to become a good leader. These are certain strengths a person needs to capitalize on to be able to execute effective leadership. So, given below is a list that entails the important strengths of leadership that you need to keep in mind to be a good leader.

Key Strengths for Leadership

Task Execution
There's many a slip between cup and lip. Coming up with a brilliant idea and executing that idea are two completely different things. Bringing an idea to life is lot easier said than done. An idea really comes to life only when it is executed to perfection. Thus, this is one of the most important leadership strengths. For this, you need to be a team player. There is a fine line between having followers that follow you out of respect and having followers that follow because they have no choice. Any kind of discord in the team reflects in the end result and the efficiency of the task performed.

Before you go on to put any kind of strategy into place, you need to understand and envision what you wish to achieve. This is important because the expectations of the entire group will ride on your shoulders. Thus, one of the important strengths is to be a visionary because you need to have a very clear vision about how to go about a task at hand, keeping the long term and short term goals and repercussions in mind. You need to be realistic yet optimistic about the prospects involved in any task and must take into consideration all the risks involved.

Being the leader does not mean that you own the people you work with. Many people tend to get carried away and do not listen to their team members. This can go against them as the team members then tend to lose respect for their leader. Hence, one of the most important strengths is the ability to listen to your teammates. You need to genuinely listen to your team members because they are the only ones that will tell you if you go wrong at any point of time. Furthermore, listening will make sure that you connect with your team members on a personal level, which will improve the performance of your team greatly.

Relationship Building

No two people are alike and hence, even the thinking of no two people will match. Hence, there is always scope for discord and dispute within group members. In such cases, you need to be the peacemaker. You need to be the one who manages to listen to both sides of the story from an unbiased third persons point of view. Furthermore, when an idea is conveyed, be sure to never outrightly rule out any kind of suggestion offered, no matter how irrelevant or unrealistic it may be. This makes it look like the group is following a dictatorship, which in general, brings down the morale of the group. Thus, relationship building within and out of a team is one of the most important strengths that a person needs to keep in mind.

Accept Mistakes

There will be times when as a leader and as a group, you may fail. This will be a hard time for you but you need to understand that you have to be patient. Lashing out at your team members, blaming them for failure will only add to your resentment. If the success is shared, then so must the failure be shared. So in fact, when the team fails, ensure that you take an equal amount of responsibility in the failure. Do not cower to admit defeat because if you do so, then you may lose the respect of your team. So accept your mistake, learn from it and try to improvise as a leader. This will earn you respect and the most loyal team members you can ever hope to find.

Thus, leadership strengths are essential qualities that distinguish a good leader from a bad one. Irrespective of what the saying is, I believe that leaders are made, they are not born and a person can always be a good leader if he capitalizes on the above given list of strengths.

Good leaders are required in all walks of life - right from an organizational setup to run a firm to a political platform to set the national agenda. But how do you to determine who a good leader is, or what is it that makes a leader a good leader.... an exceptional leader? Everybody has an opinion as to what qualities they expect to see in their leaders. A student of management studies would come up with a considerably lengthy list of qualities of a good leader - characteristics which, according to him, make an individual an exceptional leader.

There exist some obvious qualities that make a person a good leader; competitiveness, communication skills, discipline, etc., are a few to name. While these leadership qualities are important, some of the basic qualities of humans - such as honesty and empathy, can also be counted as assets when it comes to leadership. You come across leaders from different walks of life, but you only remember those with whom you tend to connect. This connection is established when one of the striking qualities of that person appeals you. 

Qualities of a Good Leader

Just being a good visionary is a thing of the yesteryears! Today effective leadership includes lot more than just being a good visionary or a good orator. Not to be left out of the discussion on who a good leader is, we decided to compile a list of leadership traits that we would like to see in individuals aspiring to lead us to success and came up with a list of must-have qualities of a leader... a good leader to be precise.

Communication Skills
Effective communication skills undoubtedly top the list of most important leadership traits - irrespective of which field is being taken into consideration. An individual shouldn't just have ideas, but should also sport the means of communicating these ideas across the table in an effective manner. The concept of effective communication is not just restricted to the act of delivering speeches from the stage or addressing a gathering of people, but also include communication with individuals at the grass roots and taking their feedback. As a CEO of the company, you might address several board meetings with people at the managerial level, but ignoring those at the other end of the spectrum is bound to cost you dear.


A person thriving to become a good leader should be competent enough to take on any odds he is likely to face. Decision making matters a lot, but it is important that these decisions are based on rational thinking and not emotions. This is where the person's competency as a leader comes into play. Giving up is a sign of weak leadership, which doesn't just affect the individual but also hampers the morale of the team. Obviously, decisions are to be made by the leader, but not without taking into consideration the opinion of the other people in the unit.

Honesty is one of the most important quality, not just in case of leadership but also in the list of positive traits of human beings. The person has to be honest to himself, his team as well as his goals. Deceit will only call for ire from the team, and that, in turn, will affect the output. The accountability factor makes it all the more important for a person to be honest and set realistic goals in professional life.

Team Player
A leader without his team is as good as a king in a battle without his soldiers. It is but obvious that a team has to stay together as a closely-knit unit, and that is only possible when all the members of a team - including the leader, bond together. In fact, the leader has to play the key role in ensuring that his team doesn't fall out over differences within the members.


Intelligence is bound to reflect on the performance of the leader as well as the team that he is leading. Other than logical thinking and common sense, being updated about the ongoing trends is also a definite advantage - especially when it comes to opportunities of climbing the hierarchy ladder.


Laid-back attitude is meant for losers, not leaders. Discipline in both professional and personal life is one of the best leadership qualities a person can inculcate in himself. More importantly, discipline is also one of the simplest measure to achieve success in various walks of life.

A successful person is the one who takes a calculated risk when everybody else backs off - and that person can make a good leader. The leader should be courageous enough to identify opportunities, and strike gold whenever possible. At the same time, he has to raise the bar and continuously thrive for better. That being said, a good leader should also understand the difference between courage and foolhardiness - and that perhaps is the most important traits of them all.

Goal Oriented
As we all know, a good leader has to be a good visionary. He should be able to set long term goals and, more importantly, implement all the measures required to achieve these goals. In leadership, achievements do matter, and the greater they are the better. But again, as we said earlier, it is very important to set realistic goals - and not give in to temptations, as the latter is a perfect recipe for disaster.


A good leader motivates his followers and team to achieve bigger dreams. He should be inspiring - a person worth idolizing for his team members. Not just his words, but even his actions have to motivate the people around him. The team as a unit is likely to face difficult situations time and again, and that's where the morale boosting ability of the leader would come into picture.

Broad Minded

Being broad minded is as important as being an inspiring force for the team. As a good leader, one has to be open to ideas and suggestions, even when they come from his juniors - which is most likely to be the case. It is very important for him to understand that unnecessary hassles and ego problems are best avoided for the sake of overall success.


A good leader will be highly dedicated to his team and his professional life - but not at the cost of his personal life of course. Even though it's important to draw a line between one's professional and personal life, the onus is on him to make sure that he does justice to both. As an efficient leader, his aim should always be to perform better than the previous occasion, and that without letting the target go out of his sight.

Humor: A Bonus

Although it isn't considered one of the most popular leadership characteristics as such, humor always comes as an added advantage alongside the aforementioned qualities. Being the best way to relieve stress and/or to counter hostility, it comes to our rescue time and again in different situations in life. A good leader should simply know how to use humor to boost the morale of his team and/or solve conflicts within the team members.

Other than all these qualities, the determination to cover that extra mile is also of great help. In the end, it isn't just important to have all these leadership traits if you can't strike the right blend of them all. It is the combination of all these qualities and the individual's efforts that brings out the best in him...... so should we say the leader in him!

Leadership theories in management, have evolved over time into various types, with their own lines of thought. Each theory provides a model of effectively steering an organization. This article discusses pros and cons of various leadership theories and makes a comparison between the ones applied in managing businesses. This includes the three basic theories of business leadership. There exist many more specialized theories that have evolved from the basic principles of these three, which blend leadership and management in to a coherent whole.

Transactional Leadership

The transactional leadership theory is one, which is most widespread and commonly used in most organizations. It is based on transactions or deals made between an employee and an organization or between followers and leaders. A transactional leadership is based on a military like clear chain of command with a 'Carrot and Stick' philosophy. In short, it is a proven method of running an organization wherein, through reward and punishment, things get done. If one is familiar with Maslov's hierarchy of needs, then one will understand that this theory will work with people, whose needs in the bottom half of the pyramid (food, shelter, security), are not satisfied. The basic assumptions of transactional leadership are the following:
Rewards and punishment are the things that motivate people.
A clear chain of command works best in running an organization.
Once employees agree to do a job, they are entirely in the hands of a manager. That is, they cede complete authority to the manager.
Once they cede authority, employees must do as told. An employee must comply to the work demands of the management, in return for which he is adequately rewarded monetarily.
For followers of this model, toeing the line is more important, than expressing their original thoughts.
Pros: This method works in most of the cases, where it's applied, provided the employees are motivated by rewards. It is a proven compliance strategy, which works best if the top most leader in the hierarchy is capable of making most of the important decisions and has a strong personality. 

Cons: A powerful and assertive leader will find the transactional model conducive to his way of running things. However, though he will create great followers, he will stunt their growth as leaders. When people get used to doing just what they are told and only as much they are told, they stop thinking 'out of the box'. Original thinking is not really promoted in this system, because of which, an obedient workforce will be created with a lack of imagination. New leaders will be tough to find from the lower strata of power hierarchy. This leadership model will create a stressful work environment. Productivity will be maintained but innovations and breakthroughs will be tough to find. For businesses focused on channelizing the creative potential of their employees, this isn't a recommended model for adoption. It stifles the creative instinct, creating compliant 'workers', but not innovators. Overbearing leaders who exemplify this model, rarely leave behind any proteges or followers, who have it in them, what it takes to inspire and lead people. 

Transformational Leadership 
Transformational leadership is a more humane theory, as compared to the militaristic transactional theory. It believes in inspiring employees to do great work through example and the force of a leader's personality. This theory believes that people rise higher through positive, than negative motivation. It is a theory which appeals to the higher need of an individual in the Maslov's hierarchy of needs, which is self-actualization. The basic assumptions of this theory are the following:
The prime assumption is, that people will willingly follow a leader who inspires them.
The vision and passion of one man can transform his followers and together they can achieve great things.
Energy and enthusiasm are the tonics that get things done.
Nurturing original thought and expression is important.
Challenges bring out the best out of people.
The forces of great ideas, creativity and inspiration are more potent than any other material lure.
Pros: This effective leadership model will create an enthusiastic work atmosphere and it will drive the organization with innovations. The fact that people are working through self motivation, will certainly guarantee higher output and efficiency. It will naturally develop future leaders from the lot of followers. People will work for the leader, even if the monetary and other benefits offered are lesser, as they will be inspired by his vision. Legacy of transformational leaders creates a line of mentor-proteges, that lead innovative waves in businesses. 

Cons: This theory is totally based on the ability of the leader, to inspire the work force to put their best in. Leaders of organizations may not have the force of character to achieve that. 

Situational Leadership
This is a leadership theory which says that neither a transactional leadership model, nor a transformational model of leadership will work in all situations and all the time. The philosophy of a leader should be flexible enough to adapt to situations and changing times. We need a mixture of transactional and transformational leadership techniques to get the job done. The basic idea behind this theory is that one must adapt strategy with changing conditions.

Pros: The situational leadership model adopts the best from the transactional and transformational models and so, is better suited for a world which constantly puts new leadership challenges. There may be some followers on whom the transactional theory will work and some who could be motivated by transformational theory methods. A mixture of both techniques will work better. Every individual has a unique psyche, with a blend of talents, gifts, inhibition and insecurities. Some may be introverts or extroverts, while some may be in between these two polarizations. To bring out the best out of everyone, a leader must handle every one of them, according to their level of motivation and avoid using the same strategy towards everyone. Some need a nudge, some need rough treatment, some need constant encouragement and some need their egos to be deflated. A transformational leader is a good people person and instinctively senses the degree of motivation every team member needs. 

Cons: With constantly changing strategies with time, a leader will find it difficult to implement new strategies on the go. A long term vision may elude him due to constant changes. 

These leadership styles must be studied by every individual, who dreams of building an organization and leading people. The greatest resource of any organization is its people. Where people are

The leadership activities enable them to handle challenges and thereby make them responsible. College students can develop their inherent leadership qualities through these activities. Leaders are known for their ability to face challenges; it is therefore, necessary to arrange programs and activities which push the participants to their limits or at least test them to some extent. The activities mentioned below should enable students to take challenges, acquire new skills and bring about positive changes in their personality.

Different Leadership Activities
*click to enlarge image

Community Service

Role Playing
Event Planning

Leadership is one thing that cannot be taught. It has to be developed all by ourselves. These days, efforts to provide leadership training in order to develop leadership skills of students are made by many universities and colleges. One should however, understand that adversity is a factor that helps in the rise of leaders. Even if we take a look at profiles of great leaders, it becomes clear that they have fought through difficult and mind-boggling situations. One should therefore, pose challenges before individuals for leadership development. The activities mentioned below are few such interesting tasks used for motivating individuals and allowing them to develop their inherent leadership qualities.

Role Playing
In this leadership program, participants have to play roles of different kinds of leaders. One can make use of different scenarios in order to play these roles. Participants will have to play roles of leaders who embody the personalities like self-absorbed, blamer, paternalistic, know-it-all, lecturer, etc. Participants will first have to understand the nature or behavioral traits of different types of leaders and then play their roles. The activity of role-playing creates a playful atmosphere in which different facets of leadership can be studied. For example, an act in which a leader dealing with an employee who has arrived late to office is commonly used for this activity. In this activity, different people can play roles of different types of leaders in the same scenario. Such an activity help us understand how leaders with different personality types react to a certain situation.

Event Planning

Planning an event in the college and executing it properly requires you to possess many different skills. The first thing that students would need is the courage to handle a real-time event all by themselves. Completing the activity without any or minimal hitches should be the participant's target. In the process of event planning and its execution, you learn to manage the time properly. For completing a particular task, you also need to keep in mind the budget and available resources. Leadership and management skills can be developed in the process of event planning.

Community Project Work

The 'Youth Community Service' projects help in the development of leadership qualities and also make college students aware of their social responsibility. The activity of handling different responsibilities raises the confidence of students by teaching them how to delegate the work properly. It is therefore, one of the leadership activities for college students which draws them out of their comfort zones.

Participating in Debates

A good leader is expected to possess excellent communication skills along with qualities like time management, delegating tasks, etc. Organizing debates on current issues provides food for the brain and it also requires the students to research the topic thoroughly. Presenting a topic and providing valid reasons in its support is the main job of those participating in a debate. In this activity, the ability to communicate your views and thoughts in a proper manner is highly important. Heads of companies meet people from various backgrounds. Explaining to them (clients included) the goals of a company, the way of working, etc. is very important. The activity of debate should therefore, be of great help for future leaders in developing their communication skills. Participating in debates prepares a person to understand different views on a particular topic. It requires patience to listen to the counter-arguments and respond to them. Debate is thus, an activity which helps the participant to understand a problem from different perspectives.

Choose Your Quote

For this activity, you'll have to write down few leadership quotes on a whiteboard. The participants have to choose one quote each from the list. Each of the participants have to explain what they found appealing in their respective quotes. The underlying meaning of the quote being chosen should be elaborated in detail. If two or more participants choose a single quote then they can share their different perspectives on a single thought (quote). This activity can bring to the fore some interesting and innovative ideas pertaining to leadership development.

The activities presented in this article can be of great help to students in developing the skills needed for becoming a good leader. Even if a person possesses the required qualities and attributes needed for leadership, he/she needs a medium to demonstrate them; the activities mentioned above act as a medium for the same. Participating in these activities also has a positive effect on the overall personality and not just the leadership traits of the participants.

By Shashank Nakate
Last Updated: 3/21/2012
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Legitimate power is one of the several types of power that a person assumes or inherits, when he plays the role of a leader. 

What is Power?

Having power is the ability to influence outcomes and achieve goals, outside your realm of direct control, not necessarily through your own efforts. In simple words, to have power is to have whatever it takes to get things done. The nature of power is such that it gravitates to one who wants and is willing to do what it takes to get it. Power can be usurped, won over or given. In short power is the ability to influence the world around you. 

What is Legitimacy?

Having legitimacy or being legitimate is doing something according to law. The law being a code of conduct accepted and decided by unanimous majority or authority. Legitimacy is a tricky concept and when it comes to having legitimate power, it becomes even more dicey as we shall see in the example below.

What is Legitimate Power in Leadership?

Legitimate power is the authority that a leader exercises by default, due to his position in an organization. A leader is essentially distinguished from a follower, due to the greater rights and responsibilities he has, compared to others. The additional rights that power bestows on him, distinguishes him from followers. 

Of course, in a large organization, there is a power structure and every leader has some higher authority to answer to, unless he lies at the very apex of the power pyramid. Legitimate power can be a relative concept due to the very nature of power which I talked about earlier. It flows towards the one who readily takes it. In the sense that a leader may exercise more power than his limits, by accepting additional responsibility from his seniors. 

Also, a leader may exercise power, lesser than the limits of legitimate boundaries, by deputizing his jobs to people who fall under his command, in the power structure. Be it business, educational, corporate or any organizational leadership, it's always good to have a clear idea of what is the extent of legitimate power that can be exercised at every level of the hierarchy. That way, the organization runs smoothly and there is lesser friction, compared to a situation where people forget what their legitimate powers are and they abuse it. To sum up, legitimate power is the set of rights which a leader inherits as a result of his position in a power structure. 

Example of Legitimate Power Exercised

Let us consider the case of armed forces of a country. In no other organization is the chain of command and power structure so well-defined and strictly implemented. So this organization is an excellent example of legitimate power exercised. In the army or any of the defense forces in any country, a soldier of senior rank, who is a commanding officer, literally has absolute control over the soldiers under his command. 

This is a consequence of legitimate power that he possesses due to his rank in the chain of command. The granting of such powers at every level in the chain of command is important if the army has to clinically achieve its goal and orders are followed to the word. If legitimate power of armed forces is not exercised properly, the chain of command will be in disarray. That way, compared to the army, what is called 'civilian life' is much more comfortable and the limits of power are not that well-defined or exercised. 

The army is a good example of legitimate power exercised. It is also the prime example of the use of illegitimate power. How is it so? Let us see. When a military general pulls off a coup and takes over a government, its illegitimate power being exercised in all it glory! This 'army coup' phenomenon has been repeated countless times in history. The modus operandi of the dictatorial regime, that emerges after a coup, is to conveniently alter the constitution of that country, to justify their action and concentrate absolute power in the hands of the coup leader. This is also an example of illegitimate power exercised and then legitimized. The nature of power is such that there are only a few, who fail to be seduced by it. Absolute power, always corrupts absolutely. A quote by Abraham Lincoln puts the nature of power in perspective
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/legitimate-power-in-leadership.html
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/leadership-activities-for-college-students.html

Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/leadership-theories-pros-and-cons.html

Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/leadership-qualities-of-a-good-leader.html

Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/leadership-strengths.html

Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/types-of-leadership-styles-in-education.html
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Leadership Styles

How about implementing the different leadership styles in your personal as well as your professional life to be successful?
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"Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others." - Jack Welch

A leader can be simply defined as a person who rules or guides or inspires others to achieve a common set of goals. This definition effectively underlines the three main types of leadership styles in management, viz. authoritarian, participative and delegative, which will be covered in this article. To achieve the set goals, various leadership attributes and styles come into play. From Adolf Hitler to Mahatma Gandhi to Warren Buffet, there are as many styles of leadership as there are leaders which would make the whole aspect terribly confusing. Fortunately, psychologists have developed useful and simple ways to describe the main styles of leadership. This helps the aspiring leaders to understand which style is best suitable for them.

Different Styles of Leadership

Leadership style is the manner and approach of providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people. Kurt Lewin along with his colleagues identified the three main types of leadership which are widely accepted today.

Authoritarian Leadership

This approach is widely considered to be the classical approach, where the leader has absolute power over his workers or team. Also known as the autocratic leadership style, here the employees have no say whatsoever in the decisions made. All the decisions are taken by the leaders and the employees are expected to follow the orders without any suggestions or questions. All the decisions regarding the various questions like what, who, when, how, where are taken by the leaders.

There is no scope for the employees to give suggestions or use their creativity under this leadership style. This type of leadership style tends to make employees discontented and unhappy as they are not allowed to use their decision making skills and abilities. It also leads to high levels of absenteeism and employee turnover. Hence, this leadership style in business should be rarely used. It is appropriate to use this leadership style only when decisions have to be taken quickly, when there's no need for input, and when team agreement isn't necessary for a successful outcome or when the job to be done is routine and unskilled. A leader can be successful only if he can wisely decide when to and when not to use this leadership style.

Participative Leadership
In participative leadership style, the leader involves his team in the decision making process, though the authority for taking the final decision rests with the leader. The leader may take the decision as per his opinion or may take the decision as per the consensus in the group. Also called the democratic leadership style, this style is highly appreciated by the employees as their creativity is called for and used. This type of leadership style is normally used when the leader has a part of the information, and the employees have the other part. The leader is not expected to know everything and that is where the role of the employees come into picture.

The knowledge and skills of the employees are utilized optimally in this type of leadership style. This leadership style leads to a feeling of job satisfaction in the employees as their suggestions and creativity is valued. Though one of the most effective leadership styles, it should not be used if the decision has to be cost and time effective. Sometimes, different ideas and perspectives from different people may lead to confusion and delay in decision making.

Delegative Leadership
In this leadership style, the employees are allowed to make the decisions without any interference from the leader. However, the leader remains responsible for the outcome of the decisions made by his employees. This type of leadership style is best suitable when the employees are highly motivated and skilled and have proved their mettle previously. 

Understanding and confidence are the two main leadership attributes that the leader must possess to be successful in this leadership style. These kinds of employees may resent interference as they possess the best of knowledge and skills, and interference may lead to degradation in performance. This leadership style should only be used if the leader has utmost confidence in his employees and on his own leadership qualities. This leadership style has to be used wisely because if the employees are not capable of good decision making, then it can lead to disastrous consequences.

From his experiments, Lewin found out that amongst the different leadership styles, democratic was the most effective. But it can be said that, without making this a rule, a good leader is one who uses all the three styles depending upon the demands of the situation.
By Aparna Umbarje
Published: 10/25/2010
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/leadership-styles.html

Leadership Styles and Examples

The following article offers an in depth knowledge of the different kinds of leadership styles, along with few examples. Read on to know about the authoritarian, participative and delegative styles of leadership.
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"The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been." ~ Henry Kissinger 

A leader is a person who motivates and guides his subordinates, so that they perform to the best of their ability, to achieve a given set of goals. All leaders have their own way of getting things done by the people working under them. These ways are referred to as the different leadership styles in business language. Some leaders prefer that their team members merely follow and do what they have planned for them, while others believe in the theory "Two brains are better than one." and seek inputs from their entire team before taking important decisions. To make the different styles clearer, below is each of them explained along with examples. 

An autocratic leader is the one who believes in taking all the important decisions himself. It is the leader who decides how the work has to be done and by whom. Once the decision has been made, there is no scope of any change. The subordinates simply carry on with the works assigned to them. They are not allowed to give any input regarding how they should do their work or conduct daily activities. Every detail is pre-decided by the leader himself. In case some changes in the work schedule have to be made, they are made by the leader without consulting any one else. 

Autocratic leadership style works well if the leader is competent and knowledgeable enough to decide about each and everything. Authoritative is considered one of the most effective leadership styles in case there is some emergency and quick decisions need to be taken. If there is no time left for discussion or weighing various options, then this type of leadership gives the best results. Authoritarian leadership style examples can be found in the real world in people like Bill Gates and John F Kennedy. Bill Gates followed the authoritarian style and steered Microsoft towards unbelievable success. According to Bill Gates, he had a vision when he took reins of the company and then used all the resources available to make that vision a reality. His success can be judged from the way personal computers industry has advanced in America today. 

Participative leadership style involves the leader taking into consideration the opinions of some of his employees before arriving at the final decision. This style earns the leader immense respect and loyalty among his subordinates, as they feel that their opinions matter too. This leadership style is useful for the leader as he gets to see a given situation from all directions, before deciding on the final course of action. It works really well in situations when the leader does not know everything and he relies on his subordinate's knowledge for taking decisions. The biggest advantage of this leadership and management style is, that it helps in ascertaining and identifying future leaders among the subordinates. Also, it keeps a team's spirit and morale high, as the team members feel that their opinions are valued by their leader. 

Here's an example - An advertising manager approaches his team members on how to promote a particular product of a company. The team members brain storm over the issue, some suggest print media, others suggest direct mails to the prospective clients. The participative leader takes all these suggestions, weighs their pros and cons and then takes the final decision after considering his team members' opinions. 

A delegative leadership style is very rarely followed in modern organizations today. This gives full freedom to the subordinates while decision-making or doing the tasks at hand, in any given manner they find suitable. This leadership style is mostly followed when the leader places immense faith in each and every member of his team and if he is sure that the team members are capable enough to run things themselves. This style of leadership should however be used very wisely, because if the team members lack decision-making or analyzing skills, it can backfire very badly.

Example - A manager has newly joined a firm. He is still learning how various things function in the organization. In such a situation, he relies on the suggestions and opinions of his team members and lets them do the things the way they are used to, till the time he is able to gain sufficient knowledge and can suggest some more feasible changes.

Here's hoping that these examples will help you to understand the different styles of leadership in a better way. A true leader is the one who makes use of each of these styles, depending upon the demands of the situation.
By Aastha Dogra
Last Updated: 9/26/2011
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/leadership-styles-and-examples.html

Effective Leadership Qualities and Skills

To be a leader takes more than just skill, it's all about playing your cards right at your work place! Here are some essentially effective leadership qualities and skills that can help you shape the future of your organization.
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Have you ever been the kind to always take initiative in various activities or have you been the kind to shy away from being in the limelight? The true essence of leadership lies in your basic personality as well. With increase in work pressures, being a good leader is not only about being excellent at your job but also being the one who develops the skills to manage people well. So, what are the kinds of skills that are needed to be an effective leader? Here, we shall have a quick look at some of the various qualities and skills that can help you tackle various situations with ease.

Having the Right Perspective
Whatever your task may be, it always helps to have the right perspective or approach towards various work-related issues. Knowing about all the nitty-gritties of your work will help you to plan and strategize better. A true leader is able to visualize his/her goals and plans things accordingly. This would also enable proper distribution of tasks and ensure productive results.

Giving Constructive Feedback

Effective leadership skills are not just about showing your superiority in things, rather it would be a wise idea for you to give constant feedback to your colleagues or sub-ordinates. Being very meticulous about your approach would help you achieve your targets with ease. Always ensure you praise when the job is well done and criticize when needed, gently. If you wish for any job to be well done, you need to approach the matter professionally. Ranting and raving about issues would only put you in a bad light. However, you might achieve better results from your juniors if you tackle the matter professionally. Another very important point that is often overlooked is the fact that it is optimally important to take feedback from your team as well. Remember, upward feedback will only direct you towards what you need to do to become a better leader and how you should go about offering the best interests to your teammates.

Possessing the Right Spirit!

An effective leader needs to lead and set an example, and also cause many to emulate him/her. By having the right approach and spirit towards work, you can motivate others to be equally energized about work. When the schedule is tough, be a little firm about things. When your team has done excellently, you can loosen up slightly and create a happy atmosphere to make everyone feel at ease. This would only help you to have better working conditions. When you have a happy set of people working for the organization, you will achieve all the targets and get productive results. Also, be honest! Do what you say and say what you do. If you feel that you will be unable to deliver something to the client within a specific date, then say it truthfully. Do not promise promotions or raises to your employees if you will be unable to give it to them. This will only increase frustration levels within a team. Honesty is a very helpful tool to keep a team together and make the full use of it.

Setting Goals

Always set goals for yourself and your team. This would help you to keep things in check and streamline things in the workplace. With the right perspective towards things, you can set short-term goals that would help you to assess situations and implement the required changes in the organization. There can be nothing better than working for an organization that has a complete streamlined function about various work-related issues. However, always set goals that a re realistic and achievable, in keeping with the goals of the organization. Otherwise, hard work, energies, resources and time will all be wasted. If there appear to be glitches that hinder the process of achieving these goals, be considerate and work towards eliminating the hindrances and do not focus on blaming your team.

Delegating Responsibilities

An effective leader is one who can delegate tasks to the right people. Knowing and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your team would help you to manage things efficiently. Learn to tap the potential skills and distribute tasks accordingly. Give authority to deserving people and ensure they help other teammates to perform better. Remember, the way you make decisions will have direct effects on exactly how efficiently the team works and of course the eventual output. Make sound decisions with precision and here only objectivity can give you clarity.

Creating an Enjoyable Atmosphere

Effective leadership qualities are not only about setting an example or handling tasks at work. One should also learn to identify problem areas at work and handle them to create an enjoyable atmosphere that's conducive for work. An effective leader will develop the right skills required to maintain a healthy and happy atmosphere at work!

These were some qualities and skills. With the right thought process, you can successfully implement these at work and achieve fruitful results. And as they say, it is never too late to inculcate good values and habits.

By Kashmira Lad
Last Updated: 3/8/2012
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/effective-leadership-qualities-and-skills.html

Qualities of a Good Leader

The article is aimed at discussing what are the qualities of a good leader. The 10 qualities of a good leader discussed in this article describe and elaborate on the time-tested traits which need to be developed by leaders.
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The word leader can simply be defined as a person who leads his supporters/subjects. There are many qualities which a leader should possess; however, one of the most important qualities of a good leader is the courage to handle unexpected situations. It is necessary to understand that courage not only helps in tackling difficult situations, but also makes the team believe in their leader. Let understand more about the characteristics of a good leader through following paragraphs.

Qualities of Good Leadership

The topic of whether leaders are born, or one can develop leadership qualities, is a matter of debate. Yes, there are few people who possess leadership attributes that are more developed and refined than that of others. However, one should keep in mind that it is always possible to develop the inherent qualities. Let us understand about what are qualities of a good leader through following points.

Empathy is one of the most important qualities of a good leader. It is of the important leadership traits useful in understanding the mindset of team members. A leader understands problems of his team and takes action to solve them in a timely manner.
Confidence, one of the important qualities of a leader is needed for, and inspiring leadership. A person who is confident about his goals, helps establish trust and motivates his team to give the best efforts.
Leadership is tested in times of crisis; therefore, patience is considered as one of the important attributes of a leader. Keeping one's head, in times of difficulty, proves to be of great help in surviving a crisis. Patience is therefore, a necessary trait in handling critical situations faced by leaders in day-to-day life.
The ability to communicate is an important leadership quality. The adjective, 'effective' is often used in relation to communication. This is because, just droning on an on about a particular idea won't help. Conveying the core idea (about the topic being communicated) to the listeners, develops their interest. A precise and to-the-point kinda communication is necessary for leaders to deal with their employees effectively.
Honesty, the quality/idea which is part of many great quotes/quotations may sound too heavy/idealistic in terms of actual implementation. However, one should keep in mind that any business/organization cannot run for a long time on a weak foundation of immorality, or unethical practices. Honesty should therefore, rank at the topmost position in leadership qualities list.
Risk is a crucial factor which plays an important role in businesses, or any of the ventures. Leaders have to be smart enough to take calculated risks. Even if we take a look at achievements of leaders in the past, it can be understood that nothing great can be achieved without taking risks. Thus risk-taking is one of the important leadership techniques.
Broad-mindedness is a quality similar to empathy. Accommodating, 'assimilating'/reflecting upon thoughts and suggestions of fellow employees and implementing the relevant ones requires a broad-mind; it is also a sign of mature leadership.
It is necessary to stay competent in whatever job we perform. Leaders have to inspire and motivate people in order to maintain the enthusiasm levels and for staying goal-oriented.
Maintaining discipline in day-to-day functioning of organizations is very important. Lack of discipline results from a careless attitude. Leaders though, have to be empathetic and understanding towards their employees, any kind of undisciplined behavior should not be tolerated. A disciplined workforce saves a lot of time and money as well.
A person who stays accountable for what he does, can make a lot of progress in his professional, as well as personal life. Those leaders who are not afraid of taking responsibility for their decisions create a positive atmosphere and the goodwill serves in their business for a long time. The 10 qualities of a good leader mentioned above are very important for development of leadership in any field.
There are many more qualities of a good leader than those mentioned above. However, those mentioned above, are the most important. A person from any field, may it be a business, political organization, should incorporate these qualities in order to become a 'good' leader.
By Shashank Nakate
Published: 9/21/2010
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/qualities-of-a-good-leader.html

Leadership Styles and Qualities

Leadership Styles

The truth is that while there are many different leadership styles, a good leader is one who can use a different style or quality depending on the situation and who has mastered the necessaryinterpersonal skills that need to be applied.

According to the Wall Street Journal , there are six leadership styles that leaders should cultivate and apply depending on any particular situation:

leadership styles and qualities

  • The Coaching leader: The leader who works as a Coach is the leader who works with individuals, taking them aside and showing them how they can improve themselves. This leader is encouraging and knows how to identify areas in which his or her employees need help.

  • The Affiliative leader: Leaders that follow this style will give great importance to teamwork and team building. They will strive for harmony within the group and to build effective networks in the organization. This type of leader will be especially useful when their is an issue of low morale or lack of trust in the organization. The challenge here is to not compromise on quality of job performance.

  • The Democratic leader: When the next steps that an organization must take are unclear, it can help to bring in a Democratic Leadership. This type of leader will use input from the team’s individual and collective skill set and acumen to work out the best decisions going forward. This might be an ineffective leadership style if swiftness in decision-making is required.

  • The Pacesetting leader: This is the type of leader who has high standards for him or herself and expects the same from others in the organization. This type of leader will not settle for less. The leader must manage these expectations astutely, however, and offer positive reinforcement along the way or may have to deal with low morale if team members cannot keep up with these expectations.

  • The Visionary leader: This is someone who has big but realistic dreams for an organization. It’s the perfect leader for a drastic organizational change. He or she can motivate followers by coming up with new and exciting ideas when it looks like the organization is loosing steam or it is clearly in need of a new direction. This type of leader must know how to inspire and not be quick to give up on the vision.

  • The Commanding leader: Proceed with caution with this one! Unless you’re in the military, this kind of leadership can be highly ineffective. Because this style involves hardly any positive feedback at all, low morale is almost certain. This style may only have applications in extreme situations (see Authoritative Leaders, below).

Other Styles of Leadership: Authoritative, Participative, and Delegative Leader

These three types of leadership styles were identified by Kurt Lewin (often referred to as the Father of Modern Psychology) and his research group in a 1939 leadership study, according to psychology writer Kendra Cherry. These types of leadership styles are among the most referenced in business leadership today.

authoritative leader_man yelling

Authoritative Leaders are those who dictate what must be done without any input from the group. However, they provide clear directions to their followers so their followers know exactly what is to be done and when it is to be done. Authoritative leadership is most effective in emergency situations where panic might take over and high stakes are at play. For instance, this is the style often used by the army’s leaders at wartime.

Participative Leaders offer expectations to their followers, but they take input from the followers when making decisions. They encourage followers to give their opinions and ideas for how tasks should be accomplished. According to Lewin, Partivipative leaders are the most effective and are more likely to receive creative work from their followers.

Delegative Leaders are those who do not offer much guidance, but instead allow their followers to make many of the necessary decisions. Similarly, Cherry writes that Delegative leadership is sometimes effective when a leader has a group of experts to lead.

There are many more styles of leadership but these are some of the most popular.

Still, what’s important to remember is that a good leader is one who makes the leadership situation his or hers by using different styles and techniques as the situation calls for it, and who holds the necessary accumen of interpersonal skills to succeed in attaining goals.


Leadership Qualities

effective leadershipAn effective leader is someone who has a certain level of influence over a group of people.

It does not matter if the leader is an office manager, executive or the president of a civic organization, the leader has to posses certain skills and qualities while maintaining a level of assertiveness.

The one important aspect to remember is a good leader does not need a title to identify him or her as a leader. All that person has to do is have the ability to influence others for a common goal.

It takes a certain kind of person to be effective in a leadership role. There are certain skills and qualities involved and sometimes they can be learned, but there is a certain foundation necessary on which to build those skills.

There are certain skills and qualities that make a person an effective leader and include:

  • Easy to Work With: An effective leader has to be easy to work with. Others have to feel comfortable approaching the leader with ideas and solutions to problems. A good leader will always entertain the ideas of others and implement them whenever possible.

  • Has a Mission, a Vision and Specific Goals: This gives direction to the leader. After all, you can’t hit a target if you can’t see it.

  • Has Well-Honed Interpersonal Skills: Without the ability to interact positively with others, engage them and make their team trust them, someone cannot truly become a leader.

  • Committed to Self-Improvement: Good leaders are self motivated and take personal responsibility to always build on the skill set they have and maintain their skill set through personal development.

  • Able to Delegate Responsibilities: One of the faults some leaders take on is the “I’ll do it myself” attitude. That works only in theory, but in practice it can end in disaster. A good leader will identify the strengths of others and assign responsibility accordingly. Sharing the work will always be the best and most effective way to achieve a goal.

  • Has Excellent Organizational skills: Being organized is the hallmark of an effective leader. Keeping a schedule and working in a timely manner is only achieved when responsibilities are delegated and executed in a timely manner. Documenting tasks and the effort involved will keep the team on track and moving in a positive direction. Being organized also means being able to adapt to change without upsetting the work flow and making the necessary changes to achieve the same goal.

  • Knows How To Facilitate Teamwork: An effective leader will always endorse teamwork and set an example for others to follow. When everyone works together for the common good, tasks are easier to execute and follow through is more effective. Teamwork makes sure the work is evenly spread out, and everyone can work in an efficient manner.

  • Has a Good Sense of Humor: A sense of humor is an absolute must for all leaders. Nothing in life is serious all the time and to make any project manageable, keeping the funny side in view will keep tension at bay and the level of production high.


What's Your Child's Leadership Style

By: Maeve Rich

There are a variety of leadership styles, encompassing different methods of motivating and inspiring people. Finding the leadership style that suits your child can help them to be the most effective leader possible. Become familiar with the following leadership styles so that you can help your child determine what his leadership style is and how to make the most of it.

Authoritarian Leadership
This type of leadership (also known as "autocratic") clearly separates the leader from the rest of the group. The leader makes decisions without consulting those she is leading. This can be effective in a situation where there isn't time to consult different viewpoints, but the leader is often seen as controlling. Signs that your child may be an authoritarian leader include her having a tendency to be in charge. She may make decisions for her and her friends without asking for their opinions-and they will usually follow her.

Participative Leadership
This is more commonly known as "democratic," and it is generally the most effective leadership style. With participative leadership, the leader consults with those she is leading but eventually makes the final decision. If your child is a participative leader, she is probably a fair person who wants to make others happy but recognizes that ultimately she may have to make decisions for the good of the group.

Delegative Leadership
Delegative leadership (also known as "laissez-faire," meaning "let it be") is best executed in a situation where the followers are as or more knowledgeable than the leader. A delegative leader doesn't make final decisions; instead, her followers do. This style of leadership can lead to chaos and is the least desirable of the leadership styles. A delegative leader may not be confident in her abilities to lead and rely heavily on the opinions of others. She may not be able to voice her opinion as final say, even when she should.

Charismatic Leadership
A charismatic leader is someone who leads by motivating and inspiring people. Her followers are generally enthusiastic but may not have confidence that they can succeed without her. In order for charismatic leadership to work, the leader must commit to fulfilling promises and projects. If your child is able to motivate her friends on enthusiasm alone and follows through on tasks, chances are she'll make a good charismatic leader.

Transformational Leadership
This is similar to charismatic leadership in that the leader is often good at motivating those she is leading. Rather than complete tasks themselves, a transformational leader tends to delegate work to others and spends a lot of time communicating. This is an effective leadership style but usually needs to be backed up by those who can focus on details and execution. You may be able to recognize the skills of a transformational leader if she gets caught up in her ideas and their possibilities but needs a little help to successfully pull off her plans.


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