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Jul 25, 2013

Commentary on Effective Leadership

Much has been said already about how Leaders influence the success and failure of an organization. Take for example a CEO who is remiss in his leadership duties and responsibilities. He is certainly not an effective leader, sooner or later the company that he leads will eventually be part of history.

To avoid this disastrous situation the board of directors will eventually decide to fire him. And hire a new CEO who is more than capable of leading the organization to the achievement of its Vision and Mission. The scenario is the same with a Supervisor or a Manager who does not take his leadership seriously. He may not be replaced but his upward career path will be derailed mainly because of his failure to properly exercise effective leadership.

There’s a saying that goes, “Behind a successful man is a woman”. This is the same with this quote about successful organization. “Behind a successful organization is a person who knows how to effectively exercise leadership.”

To be a successful leader we have to make people want to follow us, this is possible by means of leadership by example. A case in point is the Domino blocks, if we stack each domino one after the other, then we pull the first domino in front each dominos will follow the movement of the first domino no matter how long. That’s leadership by example. In like manner once a leader leads by example he is assured that his followers will follow him.

Another mode to make your subordinates follow you is by means of Charismatic Leadership. He is a leader who combines Referent Power and Expert Power plus Leadership by example. Charismatic Leadership is the use by a leader of his personal abilities and talents.

It is a must for leaders that they know how to exercise Transformational Leadership. The leader creates awareness about rewards, encourages his subordinates and sometimes rebukes them. So that they will be forced to look at the big picture and that is no other than the future of the organization and their welfare too.  It focuses on what the leader accomplishes through his subordinates rather than his personal characteristics. 

There are three original leadership styles: Democratic, Autocratic and Free-Reign. A Democratic leader is open to the ideas of his subordinates most especially during matters of decision making. He listens to their inputs but at the end of the day he still has the final say. An Autocratic leader is someone who tells his subordinates what he wants done. He will decide what he wants no matter the opposing views of those around him.  Often times this kind of leadership style is counter productive because it conveys negative impression upon the leader. It tells us that the leader is not open to the suggestion of his subordinates. But there are selective instances that this kind of leadership is also effective. The last leadership style is Free Reign; here the leader allows the subordinates to make the decisions themselves. They are given the freedom to decide with very little or no intervention from the manager of leader. 

We therefore have to conclude that for leaders to be effective. They must know when to appropriately use each leadership style depending on the need of the situation. _ Marino J. Dasmarinas