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THE NATURE OF LEADERSHIP

 

Leadership is the process of influencing the activities of an individual or a group toward the achievement of a goal. This definition reflects three elements: the leader, the followers, and the process of influencing goal-directed behaviour.

Leadership versus Management

Management is a broad concept that encompasses activities such as planning, organizing, staffing, and controlling, as well as leading. Leadership, on the other hand, focuses almost exclusively on the "people" aspects of getting a job done - inspiring, motivating, directing, and gaining commitment to organizational activities and goals. Leadership accompanies and complements the management functions, but it has more to do with coping with the dynamic, ever-changing marketplace, with rapid technological innovation, increased foreign competition, and other fluctuating market forces. In short, management influences the brain, while leadership encourages the heart and the spirit. Table 3 highlights some of the basic distinctions between leadership and management

Organizations need both management and leadership, and some leaders can provide both. Others manage but cannot lead, while still others seem born to lead, but cannot manage.

When Fred Smith founded the Federal Express Co., he was acting as a leader. His vision of overnight package delivery represented a quantum leap forward in the industry, and he had to inspire acceptance of and commitment to that vision by all employees, customers, and investors. Now FedEx has grown into a gigantic organization, with hundreds of complex systems. Smith and the company's executives spend much of their time managing these systems in order to provide stability and avoid chaos. Smith still spends time communicating his vision to his workers by emphasizing the need for quality and service to meet the competition.

Understanding leadership requires insight into the possession and use of power. Power refers to a person's capacity to influence the behaviour and attitudes of others. We can think of it as an ability attributed to a person - potential but unused. Bosses can fire employees but seldom do on a regular basis. We can also think of power as attempts to influence someone to do what you want - power in action. A boss actively directing an employee's behaviour represents the use of power.

In either case, power is inherent in a relationship between two people and is based on one's ability to satisfy or deny satisfaction of some need of the other. That ability may be based on a formal contractual relationship between an organization and an individual, called organizational power, or it can be based on an inter­personal relationship between individuals or on one's personal characteristics, called personal power.

1. Which of these statements expresses the main idea of the text?

 

a) Leadership is the process of influencing the activities of an individual or a group toward the achievement of a goal.

b) Leadership focuses almost exclusively on the "people" aspects of getting a job done.



c) Organizations need both management and leadership.

d) Understanding leadership requires insight into the possession and use of power.

 

 

3. Are these statements true or false? Correct the false ones.

 

a) Leading is a function of management.

b) The main function of leadership is to deal with changeable market forces.

c) As a rule, leaders can lead, but cannot manage.

d) Fred Smith failed to inspire all employees to accept his vision of overnight package delivery.

e) Smith and the company's senior managers spend much of their time supervising hundreds of complex systems to provide stability and prevent a mess.

f) An individual’s capacity to influence the behaviour and attitudes of others is called power.

g) Organizational power is based on an inter­personal relationship between individuals.

 

 

4. Answer the questions.

 

What does the term ‘leadership’ denote?

What activities does management involve?

What instruments does leadership use to get a job done?

What important distinctions between leadership and management does Table 3 show?

Why is Fred Smith regarded as a leader?

What things does Fred Smith focus on when communicat­ing his vision to his workers?

Can you exemplify the potential character of power?

In what case can we speak about power in action?

How does organizational power differ from personal power?

 

5. Write a summary of the text.

TEXT 18

 


Date: 2015-01-02; view: 566


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