Leadership: Its Meaning and Importance

Introduction: A leader is essential in any organization or team. Leadership is a quality that is not possessed by everyone. However, it does come naturally to some people.

Meaning of Leadership

Leadership, as the name suggest, is the art of leading a group of individuals. Leadership is an activity which involves inspiring subordinates to work hard and perform their best to attain a previously set goal.

When a person has the power to lead or direct other people, he is said to be having leadership abilities. The characteristics of leaders are unique and that is what makes them a good leader.

Leadership means:

  • the ability in any person to instruct or lead a group or organization,
  • the activity that involves leading and directing a group of people,
  • the ability to channel other people`s talents effectively to accomplish a set goal,
  • having a vision to lead a team of members or a complete organization towards its mission.

A good leader has the ability to lead a crowd with him, giving them direction in an efficient and concise fashion. Leadership traits have many attributes, management being one of the key ingredients of it. Leadership does not make anyone a ruler; it makes a leader out of a person. The difference between a ruler and a leader is fundamental, the former commands people to get work done while the latter leads people by example to get things done.

Leaders do not step back due to minor failures. They turn their failures into success. They always work with a team and as a team. Leadership does not just mean to sit back and watch the show of your subordinates; it means to actively participate in any work. Good leaders always “lead by example”.

If one does not have the innate leadership quality, it can always be polished and mentored over time. However, a born leader always outperforms a trained one. Leadership requires an intangible spark which takes a man towards his goal. Man management is the most critical and important management skill required in leadership.

Importance of Leadership:

  1. Gives directions and makes the road-map to success: A leader is essential to lead any work/project towards its successful completion by constantly monitoring his/her team. A person with good leadership skills directs his team towards the road to success. Leaders have a vision that they follow, and the vision always leads them towards success.
  2. Necessary to channelize talent: No work gets done without proper guidance. A team of workers may be extremely talented but will not be able to yield output if their talents aren’t channelized the right way. It is important to channelize efforts of a team and drive them towards the set target. A team functions haphazardly without a visionary leader. A good leader is a primary requirement for each and every team. Leadership is that soft skill, which cannot be avoided and whose absence creates a void in any team.
  3. Ability to conquer: It is not enough to just set your goal and target in any work you do. It is of utmost importance to be able to conquer that goal as well. Leadership skills help you with the “conquer part”. Anyone and everyone can work towards a set goal, but futile efforts in an unorganized manner may not lead to achieving that goal. A strong leader possesses the ability to conquer targets and face challenges. Their leadership skill aids them in conquering their goals, time and again.
  4. Prepare a plan towards any set goal: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This is exactly the fate of a team without an appropriate leader, who meticulously helps his/her team plan their work on a long term as well as short term basis.
  5. Sailing through tough times: When everyone gives up in a difficult situation, a leader steps forward. It is not in a leader to call it quits. They push their team and motivate them to keep them going in tough times. Giving up is not the attitude of a good leader. Leadership demands a tough attitude because “when the going gets tough, then the tough gets going”. Any task remains incomplete without a challenge. Easy work does not give you big results and a leader knows that. They always foresee the humps and challenges in their work much before and prepare their team accordingly.
  6. Ensures discipline and timely execution of work: Discipline is an important attribute of leaders. Business, politics and wars are won because of leadership and discipline. Discipline is important in planning and management in a life of a leader. Leadership requires giving shape to ideas, making concrete plans and striving for their proper and timely execution. All these cannot be done without discipline. A leader ensures that he and his team are discipline to achieve their goals.
  7. Open new doors: Leadership opens doors which were never thought of before. A leader always has a plan B. A leader should not give up when the tried and