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Personal and Social values of Effective Leadership

Personal and Social values of Effective Leadership

Leadership is popularly defined as the process of managing and directing the affairs or activities of people towards actualizing a common goal. It is the mobilization, deployment and direction of resources_ human and capital_ to achieve a specific objective.

Gould and Kolb (1964) defined leadership as the occupancy of a position of authority and the active performance of the associated role of mobilizing more or less organised, concerted and voluntary efforts to achieve a common goal.

Leadership is often imagined in the context of politics whereby a person or a few individuals have the power or authority to influence the decisions or the actions of the greater number of people. However, effective leadership goes beyond this; it includes the ability to allow the people to also influence policy decision for the collective or common good.

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Leadership rest on some specific values. Leadership character entails those qualities or features expected to be seen in a leader which if absent often result in leadership crisis. These values are categorized herein as the personal and the social values of effective leadership.

First, the personal values of effective leadership include important moral values like honesty, selflessness, simplicity, diligence and self control. The leader must be diligent, honest, disciplined and sincere in dispensing his/her duties. The leader cannot afford to do otherwise as he’s setting examples and patterns for the followers. Also, his style of leading must include the consciousness that he’s constantly under scrutiny and people often see and know more than they are assumed to see or know.

Failure to uphold sound moral values invariably exposes the leader to distractions and can cause him to lose his credibility or respect with the people. In other words, absence of good personal values in the leader inspires an air of distrust and lack of confidence in the followers.

Another personal value of an effective leader is proactiveness. As against moral values discussed earlier, being proactive is about strategic competence. Effective leadership is about making things happen, contingent upon the context. Therefore, the leader must be able to quickly recognise and utilize opportunities even amidst chaos or threats. Also, the leader must be willing and able to create a conducive and enabling environment for others to path.

On the other hand, the social values of effective leadership include virtues such as empathy, care, tolerance, equality and fairness towards the followers. The leader must understand the emotional state of his followers and must be concerned about their welfare or needs. The leader must be able to keep good rapport with his followers and must respect their rights and opinions. In this case, the leader’s communication skills which include both speaking and listening skills are very instrumental to organising the followers.

Effective communication enhances an inspiring or motivated atmosphere. When the leader is able to clearly communicate rewards and responsibilities with regard to the common goal, the followers are inspired to work hand-in-hand with the leader to achieve the common goal.

In summary, leadership is about managing people, directing their activities and utilizing the available resources to achieve the greatest happiness of the people. This requires the leader to be a person of unquestionable character and sound judgement.

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