Follow the leader, leader, leader. Follow the leader. That’s the lyrics to a popular soca song. But is it wise to always follow a leader? What if the leader is heading in the wrong direction? It’s our decision to follow or not.
Pulling from studies, Leadership is considered a trait. Each individual brings certain inherent qualities that influence the way he or she leads. Some leaders are confident, some are decisive, and others are outgoing and sociable. Renowned leadership theorist Northouse, often stressed that leadership as a trait follows the argument that leaders are born and not made. Leadership is complex and includes many dimensions. For some people, leadership is a trait or ability; whereas for others, it is a skill or behavior; and for some, leadership is a relationship.
Leadership is an ability; a person who has the capacity to lead is considered a leader. Leadership is also a skill that is conceptualized as a competency developed to accomplish a task effectively. Skilled leaders are competent people who know the means and methods for carrying out their responsibilities.
Leadership is also a behavior that is observable. When someone leads, that individual’s leadership behavior becomes visible which means that we can see it clearly.
Leadership is a relationship that is centered on the communication and collaboration between leaders and followers rather than on the unique qualities of the leader. This means working with and through people. A leader affects and is affected by followers. Both leaders and followers are affected in turn by the situation that surrounds them.
Suffice it to say that many organizations in our society are filled with misplaced leaders. If leadership is studied and discussed in newspapers and numerous other settings, one would think that it is simple and that leaders occupy the right places in business, clubs, institutions, politics and more. Not so. Look around you. Can you observe any leaders who are misplaced? If so, can anything be done about it?