Essay by pricepUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2004

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Leadership can be defined in several different ways. There is the technical definition,

defined as "The office or capacity of a leader." However a practical definition is

leadership being much more than a position, but rather a state of mind and character.

An individual can be the CEO of a major corporation, and still not be a leader.

Leadership is not only what you do, but also how you do it. Followership can also be

defined in several ways, the technical definition, defined as "The capacitiy or

willingness to follow a leader." Followership, like leadership, has a much more

practical definition as well, the will to follow is only one type of followership, an

individual can be someone's follower and not realize it. In truth, everyone follows

everyone else, because every action a person takes causes a reaction. For example,

in the prison system personnel is taught that if an inmate holds you hostage, you

"follow his lead" to protect yourself.

In that scenario, you are the follower and he is the

leader because his actions dictate your actions. Thus, everyone is a follower, no

matter where they stand.

Continuous change also demands a lot from individuals as leaders, and has

become a continuous learning process. It is because of this that contemporary

leadership competencies connected to creativeness, innovation, renewal and self-

management are useful.

The traditional and modern leadership theories differ in one fairly discreet way.

The means of understanding entirely that, basically, everyone is a follower, but not

everyone is a leader. No matter how high up the chain of command one goes, there is

always a step higher, a leader is following no matter where his position is. This comes

from following his people, the ones who are following him. A leader is a follower

because, not only does he have to follow anybody above him in the hierarchy, but he

also follows the same people that he is leading. A follower, however, does not have to

be a leader. In comparison of modern and traditional leadership, the bridge between

the two is communication. With adequate communication, the leader can tell his

followers what he wants, and the followers can show him what they need him to do for

them. Communication is the key to both leadership and followership.

Some sources of power and politics involve the interpersonal power of expert,

reward, position coercive and referent power, it also involves corporate sources of

power as quality of management; quality of product or service; innovativeness; value

as a long term investment; financial soundness; ability to attract, develop, and keep

talented people; community and environmental responsibilities; and use of corporate

assets. The Power Dependency Map is useful to diagnose power because it yields

considerable insight into bargaining strategies between the individual, the organization

they may represent and the constituents involved. The outcomes of negotiations are

determined, in part, by the perceived power balance between the parties involved. The

empowerment process is sharing power with others through decentralized structures,

roles and responsibilities and through delegating work with authority. It is beneficial in

the work situation because it distinguishes the agent that has the capability to give

power, and in the event of a mistake made it is assumed that it is these institutional

agent who lead the action, or control and define the terms of the interaction.