Essay by ksenia2005College, UndergraduateB, July 2009

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Another important issue in workplace effectiveness is leadership. Effective individuals understand the differences between a leader and a supervisor. They know the qualities of a leader and are able to recognize these qualities in themselves or in others. They also understand the qualities of an effective supervisor and the value they afford to organizations.

LeadershipLeadership is the ability to influence others in a positive way. Leaders can inspire followers through direction, encouragement, sensitivity, consideration, and support to accept challenges and achieve goals that may be viewed as difficult to achieve.

Leaders see and can get the best out of others, helping them develop a sense of personal and professional accomplishment. They are adept at matching the individual strengths of the people they supervise to the tasks and jobs to which they are well suited.

Unfortunately, we often look at leaders as individuals who are "in charge" of us and tell us what to do.

Those who do this hold a position of power over us as our supervisors, but they may not be true "leaders."Leaders or Supervisors?There are differences between leaders and supervisors:LeadersoLeaders may either be appointed or emerge from within a group.

oLeaders can influence others to perform beyond the actions dictated by formal authority.

SupervisorsoSupervisors are appointed by organizations.

oSupervisors have legitimate power to reward and punish their employees.

oThe ability of a supervisor to influence employees is based on the formal authority inherent in their positions.

Can Supervisors be Leaders and vice-versa?oNot all supervisors can be leaders. To be a leader, supervisors have to have the ability to influence others and get them to commit to organizational goals. They also have to be able to see the potential in people and get them to see it as well.

oHowever, leadership ability is definitely a plus for supervisors.