Need and Functions of Leadership
Leadership means to direct a person or a group, that is, to fulfil its vital role in the completion of a task and to give direction to everyone. Through leadership, a person works to show direction to someone based on his skills, abilities, experience and his intellectual level.
Leaders and their leadership skills play a significant role in the growth & development of any organization. Leadership relates to the process of influencing the behaviour of people in a manner that they strive enthusiastically and voluntarily towards the accomplishment of group goals.
A good leader shows the right direction to other people. He should possess the ability to maintain good interpersonal relations with the followers/subordinates and motivate them to help in attaining the organizational objectives.
Functions of Leadership
Leadership is the ability to influence the behaviour of others towards the attainment of common goals. Leadership is also considered a process wherein a leader directs the followers to achieve shared aims. Effective leadership is important for productive and efficient outcomes of teamwork. There are different styles of leadership with relatively common functions.
The primary functions of a leader during their leadership are as follows:
1. Policy Making: The major function of a leader is to make a policy for the smooth running of the work by the followers. The policy includes principles and rules for operating the machinery of teamwork. It also defines the course of action for the effective delivery of contributions by the disciples. It is the function of the leader to devise a working mechanism for the followers by considering various aspects of the nature of the work so that the common goals can easily and adequately be achieved
2. Organizing: Another function of a leader is to organize the followers into a group to handle the tasks collectively. This function is important for enhancing the productivity of teamwork. Every person in a team has certain abilities. It is very important to bring all the people together to make the best of their abilities. The leader brings together the followers to unite their abilities to achieve the major task effectively.
3. Planning goals and strategies: The leader sets goals, and plans strategies to achieve these goals. The planning includes time planning, cost planning, and human resource planning. The purpose is to make a roadmap for the followers to keep them on the right track and guide them on how and when to utilize the resources to achieve goals.
4. Mobilization: The important function of a leader is mobilization to engage followers in work. Once a plan is made, the followers need to execute the planned strategies. It requires a leader to help the followers to initiate and engage in the work to achieve the goals in planned time and resources. The leader encourages the followers to keep them going throughout the entire process of goals accomplished.
5. Direction and Guidance: A leader acts as a guide who gives direction to the followers and keeps them on track to move in the right direction The follower may face certain difficulties in the process of accomplishing certain tasks where they need the guidance their leader The leader offers constant guidance to the followers to help them make the best of their efforts
6. Motivation: A leader is a continuous source of motivation for followers. The leader motivates the followers to keep them going for a long. The leader motivates them to raise their spirit toward the attainment of the goals. The leader may also design various rewards.
7. Problem-Solving: The leader solves the problems that occur at various stages. Some appreciation certificates, allowances and benefits for the motivation of followers’ problems are expected while some are unexpected. The leader has answers and alternative strategic plans for expected as well as unexpected complex situations. The leader is always ready to face challenging situations.
8. Group Representation: A leader serves as a representative of his followers. The group of followers needs to have a representative to represent them while interacting with other groups and people.
9. Controlling internal relationships – Arbitration and Mediation: For a good working environment, there should be good relationships among the followers. However sometimes due to differences among the followers, some mutual conflicts may arise between the followers which need to be resolved. The leader must work as a mediator to resolve these conflicts among followers and to help them reach a mutual agreement.
10. Controlling rewards and penalties: The followers receive various benefits or face penalties based on their performance. The purpose of these rewards and penalties is to motivate followers or to refrain the followers from irresponsible behaviour. The leader controls the awards and penalties based on the efficiency and productivity of the followers.
11. Role Model: A leader is a role model for his follower. The leader possesses all the qualities and capabilities needed for tackling various challenges. He has the perseverance to keep going until the objectives are achieved. Due to these qualities, he serves as a source of inspiration for his followers. A leader is viewed as their ideal personality by the followers
12. Devising an ideology: An ideology is a set of ideas, beliefs and opinions which reflect the crux of an endeavour. The followers require an ideology to follow. Without an ideology, an endeavour is meaningless. The leaders devise the best ideology depending upon the nature of endeavour undertaken by the followers and the goals to achieve
13. Facilitation: The overall function of a leader is the facilitation of the followers. A leader shapes the behaviours of the followers to facilitate them towards the accomplishment of the planned tasks. The purpose of leadership is not only to direct the followers towards action but also to facilitate the followers in those actions either by guiding or involving personally with the followers in those actions whenever required.
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Need for Leadership
1) Imperfect Organisation Structure:
No organisation structure can provide all kinds of relationships. This describes the presence of informal groups within the structure of a formal organisation. Through effective leadership, the shortcomings of a formal organisation may be fixed and the formal and informal groups may be made to work in unison.
2) Technological, Economic and Social Changes:
In the phase of rapid technological, economic and social changes, the organisation is required to affect suitable changes in its operations and style. For example, in the case of a fall in demand, it may discontinue production of some goods and services, or take up production of alternative goods and services. Only effective leadership can enable it to meet the challenges posed by environmental factors.
3) Internal Imbalance Inspired by Growth:
As an organisation grows in size and complexity, it may develop several irregularities. For example, an increase in organisational activities may lead to an increase in the levels of management, thus adding to the complexity of the organisation structure, and problems of command, coordination and control work at all levels. Only effective leadership can guide the organisation through such situations.
4) Realign Organisation:
Leadership is required to realign the organisation with its customers, and business and to overcome the tendency to become basically obsessed and self-serving.
5) Continuous Improvement:
Leadership is required to achieve continuous improvement of productivity and services for the consumer. These require investment and innovation in education and research, long-range planning and focus on the future.
6) Learning Culture:
When culture becomes dysfunctional, leadership is needed to help the group to forget some of its cultural assumptions and learn new assumptions.