The subject matter of leadership and management to humankind dates back to as long as when humankind realized communization as a better well of leaving. This has been made necessary by the need for a unified direction to a group of people; hence, a need made necessary for leadership. In this context, leadership may be said to be a process of socially influencing or aiding and supporting another individual or a group for the realization of a general task. By the definition, there is an exclusive suggestion of followership. Leadership basically should provide an opportunity for individuals to contribute to a common goal through integration and maximization of collectible resources and management of same. However, in recent days, much of what is considered to be leadership is basically a glorification of management as in a sincere sense leadership should be expressed most of the time for the benefit of followership and at self’s expense.
Management can be said to involve directing people as ahead where they are subordinates- the only exception to this may be when the management is only acquired as an honor or a title without the fundamental powers of a manager accrued to it. Management differs significantly from leadership in the sense that a true leader drives a team of followers not subordinates; whereas a manager does the direct opposite. A leader’s ability to influence followers for a proactive exhibition of actions, which may be demanding for the realization of positive outcomes, is fundamentally critical for leadership. This paper will enable us to clearly define leadership and management from a global perspective and itemize the necessary tools for assessing, evaluating, and enhancing purpose-driven leadership/management. The paper will further attempt to analyze ten different leaders through the assessment tools and evaluate findings from data, appropriately.
Qualities of Purpose-defined Leadership
Leadership that is driven by purpose is expected to elementarily have a clear sense of direction of what to achieve and an equally firm grasp on the procedural path of achieving success. In any case, it is demanded more than a leader should just have a vision; purpose-driven leadership must shape the vision and ensure necessary actions for actualizing same. According to Norman:
“Good leadership creates a vision, articulates the vision, passionately owns the vision and relentlessly drives it to completion” (Norman, 2009).
From the point of view of Norman, it is necessary for the success of leadership that a leader should communicate vision/visions in such simple and friendly terms which would compel followership to buy into such visions. This also emphasizes that the effectiveness of leadership must be followed by an equal discipline which would bring about visionary and single-minded pursuit toward achieving goals Buchholz (1989). The following qualities are therefore necessary of a purpose-driven leader:
- Assertiveness; and
- Sense of humor.
These would be discussed briefly.
This could be said to be the unification of an individual’s inner/core values and the expression of outward actions. The individual could be trusted based on the fact that he/she is consistent without veering from inner/core values no matter the cost or consequences that could be compelling. Purpose-driven leadership needs to possess followership’s trust and as such needs integrity-display. This according to Madsen & Shafritz could be achieved through:
“Honest dealings, predictable reactions, well-controlled emotions, and an absence of tantrums and harsh outbursts are all signs of integrity. A leader who is centered in integrity will be more approachable by followers” (Madsen & Shafritz, 1990).
Dedication has been defined as follows:
“…spending whatever time or energy which is necessary to accomplish the task at hand” (Genfan 2001).
Leadership has to inspire dedication exemplary by ensuring the completion of the next steps towards the realization of defined visions. This must be preceded by articulated set examples.
This entails providing credits where it may be necessary. Genfan (2001) notes that leadership that is magnanimous makes sure that resources are at the disposal for actualizing goals for an institution or a community that is been led. The purpose-driven leader would personalize the responsibility for the prevention of failure of the project by being completely committed to a course. The result of leadership being magnanimous is that the leaders feel they are not tricked but are rather a part of the community or institution, as the case may be. As a hallmark-of-effective-leadership, the leader must endeavor to spread fames and taking blames rather!
Studies have revealed that leadership that is driven by humility identifies that it is not a gold-god over the lead (Francis, 1991); as humility in leadership makes the leadership non-self-effacing but instead, the leadership attempts evaluating individuals. In the view of Kouzes:
“Leaders with humility also understand that their status does not make them a god. Mahatma Gandhi is a role model for Indian leaders, and he pursued a ‘follower-centric’ leadership role” (Kouzes, 2010).
This entails the ability to accept fresh ideas; these ideas may not necessarily be customary of day-to-day thoughts. The leadership would be able to place judgments on hold and in the cause, attend to the ideas of other persons on the subject matter in check, and may equally employ the thoughts of others in doing things more friendly. According Bennis:
“Openness builds mutual respect and trust between leaders and followers, and it also keeps the team well supplied with new ideas that can further its vision” (Bennis, 1997).
This entails (in terms of leadership) the capacity of leadership to think away from the ordinary thought of ordinary people- to escape the box of constrains by providing workable solutions. Creativity makes available the capacity for the leader to have an insight of a subject in a different positive direction. This could be enhanced by asking of necessary, yet simple questions such as ‘what if…?’ and ‘what impact…?’
This has been discussed by Bennis as follow:
Fairness means dealing with others consistently and justly. A leader must check all the facts and hear everyone out before passing judgment. He or she must avoid leaping to conclusions based on incomplete evidence. When people feel they that are being treated fairly, they reward a leader with loyalty and dedication (Bennis, 1997).
Equally, Bennis has noted the following about assertiveness as a good quality of leadership:
Assertiveness is not the same as aggressiveness. Rather, it is the ability to clearly state what one expects so that there will be no misunderstandings. A leader must be assertive to get the desired results. Along with assertiveness comes the responsibility to clearly understand what followers expect from their leader (Bennis, 1997).
A number of leaders do encounter confrontations in an effort to strike demanded assertiveness amounts. Hence, underassertive/overassertive could likely be one of leadership’s most pronounced weaknesses.
Sense of Humor
This is very significant for relieving tension as well as boredom and enabling the diffusion of hostile attitude. It promotes energy in the followers and forms the basic provisions for controlling the work-environment. In Kouzes’s words:
“Humor fosters good camaraderie” (Kouzes, 2010).
Traits which are intrinsic and outward of an individual have nothing to do with the individual’s ability to be a good or bad leader as it is to any individual’s disposal to acquire acceptable leadership qualities.
Leadership vs Management
Table 1 below presents leadership/management differences, which perhaps are illustrated by characterization. There is, indeed, a huge gap to both ends of the presented scale which has been consistently overlooked by many.
Leadership Assessment Tools
A leadership assessment tool is presented in Appendix 1. This will be used in analyzing ten (10) different leaders, globally. The leaders to be analyzed include: Barack Obama; Hu Jintao; Nicolas Sarkozy; Ben Bernanke; Jean-Claude Trichet; Masaaki Shirakawa; Gordon Brown; Angela Merkel; Vladimir Putin; and Abdulla Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.
- Barrack Obama: Examined using the Leadership-Assessment-Tools (LAT) from Appendix 1; United States’ forty-fourth president, Barack Obama is an extremely intelligent leader with very remarkable achievements. The present has clear visions for changing the situations of failing events and turning them around. He scored 95.42% and placed number one from the test-of-conducted.
- Hu Jintao: He is the president of China with a remarkable record of successes in economy- he scores 87.10% from the LAT and places second among the selected ten world leaders.
- Nicolas Sarkozy: The twenty-third president of French scores 85.89% from the assessment in terms of performance and places third.
The following score less than 7o% from the LAT and are place in order of their grading: Ben Bernanke (an American economist); Jean-Claude Trichet (President of the European Central Bank); Masaaki Shirakawa (Governor of the Bank of Japan); Gordon Brown (Prime Minister of the UK); Angela Merkel (chancellor of Germany); Vladimir Putin (the second President of Russia); and Abdulla Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (the King of Saudi Arabia).
Bennis, W. (1997). Learning to Lead. New York: Addison-Wesley.
Buchholz, R. (1989). Fundamental Concepts and Problems in Business Ethics. In.
Francis, D. (1991). Prevent Trouble by Improving Ethics. London: Christian Monitor.
Genfan, P. (2001). Leadership and Management; what is the Difference? Ibadan: University Press.
Kouzes, J. (2010). The Leadership Challenge. CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Madsen, P & Shafritz, J. (Eds.). (1990). Essentials of Business Leadership. New York: Penguin Books.
Norman, P. (2009). Parental Empathy: Parenthood. New York: Little Brown.
The following management assessment tool has been put together by
- Providing Direction (A High Performance Leader ensures that each individual, and the collective team, understands their unique role in the business and its impact today and in to the future)
- I have made it clear to my team why this business unit exists and how it fits into the total organizational picture
- I have helped my team to develop and focus on our team objectives
- I have helped the individuals in my team to develop and focus on their personal objectives
- I have a long-term strategic focus for this business unit, while still being able to provide direction for day-to-day issues
- I have made sure that each team member is clear about the results s/he needs to deliver and how they are expected to I ensure each person receives prompt feedback on how well s/he is doing
- I ensure the entire team gets prompt feedback on how well we are doing as a team
- I have ensured that each person knows who is responsible for doing what by when
- I ensure that we work persistently toward agreed-upon goals despite opposition, distractions, and setbacks
- Problem Solving/Making Decisions/ Taking Action (Solving Problems, Making Decisions and Taking Action in a way that empowers both self and the team is a critical skill of a High Performance Leader)
- I make sure that any agreed upon action plans are actually implemented
- I have demonstrated that I make good decisions under pressure, even with incomplete information
- I will modify plans as necessary with changing conditions, rather than stubbornly staying with an original plan
- I ask good questions and search for answers from anyone who may be able to help
- I am confident to let people know when I don’t have the answers
- Support/Reliability (It is important for people who work with you to be confident that you support them and you can be relied upon)
- When conflict or other difficulties arise I support team members to address them constructively
- When things go wrong I focus on co-operation and assistance rather than looking to lay blame
- I treat people fairly when they make a mistake
- I ensure that the team’s work is generally evenly balanced and each person feels supported when they hit a peak busy time
- I can be relied upon to do what I have promised or agreed to do
- I do not leave a trail of problems behind me due to lack of attention to detail
- I focus on people and results, not just results
- I encourage people to make decisions, rather than make decisions for them
- Once a person makes a decision I support them in that decision, regardless of the outcome
- Team Involvement (To enable people to perform at the best it is important that they feel involved in the running of the business and they have a say in how their daily life is run)
- I ensure that the team has enough time to come together to plan, have quality discussions and make good decisions about their work
- I facilitate meetings so that they are well run and we feel that the time has been well spent
- I ensure that people have the information they need so they can make good decisions
- I ensure that everyone contributes during meetings and that people are not ignored or that a few dominate
- I make it safe for people to voice their opinion even if it is different from my own
- I welcome/encourage new ideas and am willing to try new things
- I seek input from team members about matters that affect them
- I keep team members informed of and give plenty of warning about, changes that is coming up.
- Recognition (Leaders cannot always impact the financial reward of team members, but they are able to acknowledge people’s effort)
- I celebrate the successes of the team
- I regularly acknowledge the work that individuals have done and their contribution to the team
- I reward hard work and dedication to excellence
- People who work with me know that I value the work they do
- I consistently make heroes of the people I work with.
- Interpersonal (There are qualities/characteristics that can enable a Leader to be highly successful or derailed)
- I treat people with courtesy and consideration
- I handle pressure well
- I seek feedback on my performance
- I am more concerned about the team’s goals than my personal goals and ambitions
- I truly trust the people that work with me
- I set high standards of performance for me
- I am a good listener
- I am never arrogant (i.e. devalue the contribution of others)
- I never show bullying behavior, even when in a pressured environment
- I freely admit my mistakes
- I tell people the truth rather than what they want to hear
- I quickly gain the trust and respect of others
- I have a good sense of humor
- I never leave behind a trail of bruised people
- I make it easy for people to give me feedback on my attitudes and behavior, even when it stings
- I never act like a Victim blaming others/situations for my results
- I never become hostile or moody when things are not going my way
- I put people at easy quickly and help them to feel comfortable with me
- I am confident, yet modest
- I communicate concisely and clearly (verbally and written)
- Culture Building (A High Performance Workplace is one in which people look forward to coming to work and feel good to be a part of)
- I helped our team to develop a clear set of values and principles of how we interact with each other
- I guide the team in how to apply/live the values and principles we have developed
- I pitch in and help, wherever it is needed
- I am happy to share leadership with others in the team, no matter their job position
- I discourage discourteous, sarcastic, insulting negative and be-littleing talk in the team
- When implementing change, I explain it fully, answer questions and listen carefully to the concerns of the people involved
- I have created an environment where it is safe to have vigorous debate, and people are not ostracized, by me or their team-mates for having opinions different from the rest of the group
- Because of my style our team is friendly, relaxed and energetic
- I help people to feel a sense of ownership about their work and that they are part of doing/creating something important
- I celebrate the diversity of people within the team, rather than trying to get everyone to think/act like me
- I never show a Them/Us attitude (between front-line and management teams)
- I am fair and do not play favorites
- I always talk and act positively about our environment
- I have created an environment that is positive and uplifting
- I am as committed to my team’s success as I am to my personal success
- I have a successful strategy for dealing with difficult people
- Coach/Influencer (An important part of any Leader’s role is the ability to coach and influence others to bring out both their very best performance and co-operation)
- I encourage the individual development and personal growth (not just technical skills) of each person in my team
- I influence and guide people rather than use my positional power to get things done
- I am skilful at coaching rather than taking over and doing myself
- I understand the personal work preferences (likes and dislikes) of each person in the team
- I lead by positive example
- I am patient in allowing people a chance to learn, grow and develop
- I move quickly in confronting an employee whose performance is below standard
- I deal effectively with people who are negative in the workplace
- I do not allow myself or others to make excuses for lousy work
- I settle problems with others without alienating them
- I am able to gain support and co-operation from others outside this business unit e.g. my peers from other work units
- I work to understand other people’s perspective rather than judging them
- I relate well to all kinds of individuals – from front-line to senior executives
- I treat others with respect and maintain their self-esteem
- I ensure we obtain the resources (e.g. finance, time etc) we need to do our job well
- I manage up well, and have a positive relationship with my senior leadership
- I easily attract superior people to work with me
- Personal Power (If you are not taking care of yourself no-one else will. A Leader can only perform at high levels if they have a strong sense of who they are and what makes them feel alive)
- I have a rewarding life outside of work
- I am focused on my personal growth
- I feel healthy, alive and vital
- I have committed to paper my personal Honor Code and I use it to make both daily and important decisions in my life
- Emotionally I feel strong and healthy
- I don’t take on additional workloads unless I am fully caught up with my own work
- I have a good work/life balance
- I think about and evaluate requests before I respond
- I do not do adrenaline – i.e my life is not run as a crisis zone!