Essay by squirrelyosis August 2004

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

Leadership is one of the most important positions not only in business but in our daily lives. These leaders are there to guide us in the right direction. It could be a boss setting goals for the business or a parent setting guidelines for their child to abide by. Either way these leaders are looked up to for guidance and relied upon heavily in the journey for success.

Leadership is the ability to guide, direct or influence people (Encarta). Leadership, as a process, shapes the goals of a group or organization, motivates behavior toward the achievement of those goals, and helps define group or organizational culture. It is primarily a process of influence.

Leadership is a dynamic or changing process in the sense that, while influence is always present, the persons exercising that influence may change. The source of influence depends upon the situation and upon the individual's skills and abilities to this situation, also known as expert power.

For example, if a particular individual has the expertise that is required to solve a problem, then that individual may be assumed to have some degree of influence over others because of their expertise. Leaders may influence others through other sources of power. Such as legitimate power where a manager gains authority from his or her position in the business, reward power where the manager has the ability to give or withhold rewards, coercive power where the manager has the ability to punish others, and last referent power where a manager's power comes from the respect of coworkers.

How individual leaders or managers exert this power comes in two major forms. These types of leaders are transformational and transactional. A transactional leader motivates employees by bargaining with them. This is achieved by two techniques; contingent rewards, which is the classic work...