TheNature of Leadership
TheNature of Leadership
Leadershipis among the key functions that determine the success of theorganizations. This is because effective leaders are expected todevelop the vision for their organizations and provide the overallguidance to their followers in the process of implementing theorganizational strategic goals (Sadeghi & Pihie, 2012). Theeffectiveness of individual leaders is influenced by their respectiveattributes. In this paper, leadership attributes will be aligned withdifferent ISLLC Standards. In addition, the paper will include asummary of personal leadership attributes and a relevant leadershiptheory.
Table1: A chart for leadership attributes
Exemplary leadership practices
The ISLLC Standard
Model the way (being an example to followers)
Inspire a shared vision (being a visionary leader)
Challenge the process (confidence)
Enable others to act (empowering followers)
Encourage the heart (motivational)
Importanceof the leadership attributes
Modelingthe way or leading by example
Allthe five leadership attributes considered in this paper are importantand make different contributions to the process of leading followersin an effective way. The first attribute is the ability of a leaderto serve as an example, is important because it gives the leader anopportunity to set an unspoken set of standards that help followersunderstand what is wrong and what is right (Council of Chief StateSchool Office (2008). In addition, the practice of modeling the wayhelps leaders translate their intentions into reality, which isaccomplished by acting on the message as well as the concept thatthey teach their followers.
Theattribute of leading by example can be aligned with the ISLLCStandard 5, which holds that a leader would be expected to promotethe success of learners by acting fairly, with integrity, andobserving ethics (CCSSO, 2008). The attribute of serving as anexample, on the other hand, requires leaders to align actions withthe shared values. Both the standard and the attribute emphasize onvalues and ethical standards, which justifies their alignment.
Theattribute of "being a visionary leader" require individualsto envision the future of their organizations and create the idealimage of the way they want the organization to be. Leaders are thenexpected to enlist their followers to contribute to the process ofimplementing the vision (Irving, 2012). They enlist their followersby showing them the exciting possibilities of the anticipated futureof the organization.
Theattribute can be aligned with the ISLLC standard 1, which holds thatan educational leader is expected to promote the success of learnersby facilitating the development, expression, and implementation ofthe vision of learning (CCSSO, 2008). The vision has to be shared,communicated, and supported by followers. Therefore, the fact thatboth the attribute and the standard are aligned requires leaders toplay the role of developing the vision for their organizations andshare that vision with the followers justifies their alignment.
Theprocess of challenging the process requires the leader to becourageous in order to be able to initiate change in theorganization. This attribute is significant because it enablesleaders to search for the available opportunities. Leaders can thenlook for innovative ways of exploiting those opportunities (Irving,2012).
Thisattribute is aligned with the ISLLC Standard 4 because it emphasizeson the functions of data collection as a suitable option fordeveloping mechanisms that can lead to the success of learners(CCSSO, 2008). Similarly, the practice of changing the processrequires the identification of opportunities and development ofinnovative solutions, which can only be achieved if adequateempirical data is available.
Enablingothers to act
Effectiveleaders believe in their followers and seek to empower them by givingthem the skills that they require to accomplish certain tasks. Theseleaders then allocate some roles to their followers and give them theauthority to do them (Irving, 2012). This attribute is importantbecause it provide followers with an opportunity to develop theirskills, which reduces the need for micromanagement since they can dosome tasks without being supervised.
Thisattribute is aligned with the ISLLC Standard 3 because the standardemphasizes on the significance of distributed leadership (CCSSO,2008). The idea of distributed leadership can only be put to practicein a work environment where the leader has enabled followers to actby equipping with the skills, allocating them with some tasks, andgiving them the authority to act.
Thepractice of encouraging the heart involves the motivation offollowers. This is important because motivated followers become moreproductive and demonstrate loyalty to their leaders. In addition,motivated followers tend to be more creative, which gives theorganization an opportunity to develop innovative solutions to clientproblems (Sadeghi & Pihie, 2012). This attribute can be alignedto the ISLLC Standard 2 because the standard requires educationalleaders to establish a motivating environment. This implies that boththe standard and the attribute are based on the notion that amotivating environment can increase the productivity of learners andemployees.
Theother leadership standard: ISLLC Standard 6
TheISLLC Standard 6 does not align with the ISLLC Standard 2, which wasselected for the attribute, “encouraging the heart”. The two failto align because the standard number 2 attribute the success oflearners to internal power that can be harnessed by motivating them(CCSSO, 2008). Standard number 6, on the other hand, attributes thesuccess of learners to external factors, such as legal, economic,social, political, and cultural system. Therefore, leaders who adoptstandard 6 believe that learners can only succeed if these externalfactors are improved in order to provide them a suitable learningenvironment.
Asummary of personal leadership attributes
Thereare three major attributes that make me believe that I am aneffective leader. First, I believe in inspirational motivation, whichI accomplish by inspiring my followers to believe in a given visionand enlisting them to be part of the team that will pursue the dream.Secondly, I focus on empowering my followers by sharing with them therelevant skills that they need to accomplish different tasks. Lastly,consider myself to be an effective communicator, which helps mecommunicate any given vision to followers in an appealing way. Thisreduces the changes of resistance among my followers. Aftersummarizing the three attributes, I believe that my leadership isconsistent with the transformational theory. Transformational theoryholds that leaders should collaborate with their followers in theprocesses of identifying the needs for change, developing the visionthat will guide them in delivering the change, and accompany themduring the implementation of the vision (Sadeghi & Pihie, 2012).This is consistent with my attributes where I involve my followers indeveloping and sharing a vision and then empower them to implementit.
Theleadership attributes adopted by individual leaders determine theireffectiveness in guiding their followers towards the achievement ofthe organization’s vision. Different leadership standards can bealigned with various leadership attributes depending on the keyfunctions that each of them emphasize on. However, all effectiveleaders have some common attributes that include the motivation offollowers and empowering them to take actions. The attributes ofinvolving followers in the process of assessing the need for change,the formulation of a vision, and implementation of the vision is inline with the transformational theory.
Irving,A. (2012). Leadership reflection: A model for effective servantleadership practice: A biblically consistent and researched-basedapproach to leadership. Journalof Biblical Perspectives in Leadership,3 (2), 118-128.
Sadeghi,A. & Pihie, Z. (2012). Transformational leadership and itspredictive effects on leadership effectiveness. InternationalJournal of Business and Social Science,3 (7), 186-197.
TheCouncil of Chief State School Office (2008). EducationalLeadership Policy Standards: ISLLC 2008.Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Office.