The 5 leadership myths.

Essay by sabrina_rammUniversity, Bachelor's November 2003

download word file, 13 pages 4.6

2.1 Leadership is a rare skill.

2.1.1 Analysis of the concept

A definition of what leadership is will help in analysing this concept, Daft (2002:5) states "Leadership is an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes and outcomes that reflect their shared purpose." Effective leadership is all about creating this shared purpose and vision. The shift from the old paradigm to the new paradigm (appendix 1) reflects the shift from rational management to the leadership approach.

So the main question is, is leadership a rare skill? There are so many leaders and leadership roles in the today's society, so the fact leadership is a rare skill seems an odd concept, but are they leaders, or managers? The two are often confused.

Management is the "attainment of organisational goals in an effective and efficient manner through planning, organising, staffing, directing and controlling organisational resources." (Daft 2002:15) The problem is that there are too many people managing and too few leading, as shown by the Management-Leadership mix (Appendix 2) where there exist too many people with a combination of strong management skills and weak leadership skills.

This ties in with the saying "over managed and under led." (Bennis and Nanus1986:21) The key challenge however is said to, obtain the correct combination of leadership and management, and use them both to balance each other. According to Daft (2002:15) managers already possess the abilities and qualities needed to be effective leaders, so if they can adapt their skills, then leaders would be plentiful. Many leaders are stuck in the practises of the old paradigm or industrial era that valued control and stability, and not moving into the new paradigm and reality of the 21st century which requires empowerment and the achievement of collaboration. Bennis and Nanus (1986: 12) sum...