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The word 'leader' is rather prominent these days. What and who is a leader ? The Webster's Dictionary clearly defines a leader as a person of good talent in commanding influence to a group o followers. It also defines a leadership as that ingredient of personality that causes men whether male or female to follow.

A leadership is an influence process. It is the ability to motivate others to do something, believe in something or act in a certain way. The leadership style is the pattern of behaviors used to influence others.

What makes a good leader ? Leaders are people who do the right thing. A leadership provides the vision, so that the management gets things done. Many people have been put in leadership positions but they lack the training, particularly in the non-profit-making organizations or those of public interest. Leadership can be learned. There are may classes of tools for effective leadership.

A leader must have a vision. The leader must state in concrete ideas how programs will work, who will be served, what outcomes are expected from a project, what technology will be used and how the organization will get there.

To articulate the future clearly, the leader should be able to focus. Tell people what you want and expect from them and never waste their time. There are always distractions and personality conflicts but leaders should be able to see beyond them to what it will take to get the job done effectively.

Leaders are also risk-taker. They must learn from their success and failure. This may sound like a cliche but if you do things the way they have always been done and never take a chance, you will always get what you had before. Leaders should always reward risk-taking in others.

A leader must be able to empower others. Teach people how to accomplish a task. Never do it for them even if you can do it faster or better. Part of the empowerment process in an organization is to ensure that the leader listens to everyone's suggestions, incorporate ideas as needed and give credit to those who deserve recognition. Learning to give positive feedback is crucial !

A leader must learn what motivates people and then act accordingly. Bill Gates inspires his employees with both his vision and financial rewards. Praise (tell the folks they have done well), appreciation (a simple 'thank you' regularly will earn the leader the respect), recognition (awards, credit on a report, a letter of commendation) or the truth about problems (being clear about consequences) are all motivators.

It is not surprised that if we look around and observe the leaders of every nation, we can come to term that a leader has a quality that makes people listen. Leaders should have a holding court, which is a kind of quality in them to strike the attention of listeners to turn to them. When they speak, people listen. That is the kind of quality needed.

A good leader is able to change plans or tactics without hesitation the moment the old methods are not working well. An effective leader should be clear-headed, self-confident and sure of himself but always ready to learn. His mental flexibility allows him to be sensitive to the needs of change and on the lookout for the best new methods.

It is only of justice and humanitarianism ground that a leader should have a strong sense of justice, especially seasoned by sympathy. The leader should be warm and direct. this quality is important, especially if the leader is going to touch on the lives of a nation where the people range from the old, young, feeble, weak, educated and uneducated and humans from all walks of life.

The leader of tomorrow is changing from the top-down management style to a friendly approach. Therefore, working together creates the concern for work and productivity that both sides look for.

From paragraph 1 and 2
  1.

(a) What is a leader ?

(b) What type of process must a leader possess ?

    From paragraph 2
  2.

(a) Why must a leader influence his followers ?

(b) What is the leadership style ?

    From paragraph 3
  3.

List a quality of a good leader and state why it is important

    From paragraph 5
  4.

What is meant by being able to focus ? Give two reasons.

    From paragraph 9
  5.

Explain why leaders are important to have a holding court. Answer in your own words.

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Answers
 

1.

(a) A leader is someone who is talented in commanding influence to a group of followers.

(b) An influence process.

 

2.

(a) The leader must influence his followers so that they are motivated to do something, believe in something or act in a certain way and things are accomplished.

(b) It is the pattern of behaviors used to influence others.

 

3.

A good leader must have the vision so that many things can be done.

 

4.

(i) To be able to focus is to ensure that work is done effectively.

(ii) To be able to focus is to ensure that time is not wasted.

(iii) To be able to focus is to overcome all distractions.

 

5.

A leader must have a 'holding court' so as to be able to get his followers to listen to him and that effective measures can be carried out while work is done.

 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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