Writer and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” In one brief statement, Emerson sums up the importance of leadership and how leaders can help others achieve great things. Leadership isn’t about holding authority over someone else. It’s about positively influencing people to reach new heights. Aspiring to become a great leader is important because it helps people realize their potential and develop new skills. Additionally, those without a leader often have no direction and face stagnation.
With 77 percent of corporations experiencing noticeable leadership gaps, the need for effective business leaders is greater than ever. Closing this chasm requires executives and those in leadership roles to dig deeper than simply answering the question, “What is leadership?”
To learn the importance of leadership skills, it’s crucial to look at the styles of leadership many people employ. Then a more detailed answer about leadership and its impact can form. Once a person knows the leadership style that works best for them, they can more effectively lead others, resulting in better performances and an improvement in overall job satisfaction for everyone.
Leadership Styles Used in the Workplace
Leadership styles come in different forms depending on the person and the situation. These leadership skills and traits inform how a leader acts and develops relationships with those around them. When looking at the importance of leadership, four leadership styles come to the forefront. Let’s take a look at each of them below.
A leader who uses the transactional style influences behavior and performance by giving out rewards and punishments. This style focuses on other people’s performance through more surface-level incentives. For instance, rewards can be anything from pay raises to additional paid time off to even an Employee of the Month award.
The transformational style goes beyond simple rewards and instead reaches people internally. It still encourages better performance, but it does so by motivating people to look past their moment-to-moment self-interest. This helps followers do what’s best for them and the company in the long term. Those deploying this style, along with its skills, also connect team members to the organization they work for and communicate how their contributions lead to business success.
The entrepreneurial leadership style looks at the big picture and prevents people from getting bogged down in pessimism. This is one of the most important leadership qualities because leaders treat problems as opportunities, not obstacles. The entrepreneurial style also focuses on collaboration and stressing shared values.
Servant leadership generates influence and creates followers by serving others. This style looks to fulfill individual, organizational, and communal needs. Those practicing servant leadership aren’t motivated by ideas of wealth or power. They lead in this manner because they have a desire to help other people. Because of this, servant leaders have the potential and leadership skills to positively impact many lives.
Why Is Leadership Important?
Leadership is important because it inspires, motivates, and sets an example for people to accomplish positive changes in the world. Leaders establish a vision, provide a plan of action, and build strong relationships with their followers. As a result, they guide people to accomplish incredible feats together.
The significance of leadership is demonstrated in several ways below.
1. Leaders Introduce Changes
Change doesn’t just happen naturally. If it did, the world wouldn’t need leaders. For change to occur, executives need to direct their teams on what actions will drive the most impact. As Steve Jobs explained, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” By leading the charge, management can indicate why a change has to happen and what the next steps are.
2. Leaders Help People Fulfill Needs
Effective leadership establishes a personal connection with others. That includes helping people fulfill their needs. If someone believes that a leader truly understands their feelings and concerns, they are more likely to follow them. With that comes increased confidence and feelings of security.
3. Leaders Resolve Conflicts
Another reflection of the importance of leadership is the ability to solve conflicts as they arise. Leaders will listen to concerns and address them quickly. Helping people feel like they’re heard can head off future problems. Furthermore, by engaging in conflict resolution skills, leaders also gain insight into the challenges people face. With this, leadership points employees toward effective solutions while showing their team they truly listen.
4. Leaders Provide Guidance
Guidance isn’t about simply telling people what to do. For good leaders, it’s about explaining how to do something. Sometimes, people need additional help, and leaders must be willing to take the necessary steps to do so. This is done by setting an example. For instance, if people see leaders doing it, they’ll want to follow suit.
5. Leaders Establish a Vision
At the same time, some people need help understanding why they do something. Leaders can use their skills to step in and show them the vision for the organization. In other words, leaders place tasks and responsibilities in the proper context for people. With this direction, they can know where they fit in the grand scheme of things.
6. Leaders Improve Morale
The importance of leadership extends to morale. Findings from SurveyMonkey show that 43 percent of people say they feel more confident when they’re appreciated. Good leaders show appreciation for the work people do that makes progress toward organizational goals. As the survey results show, this leads to more confidence. When management makes sure to praise and recognize people regularly, morale will steadily improve among all workers. In this way, others can see the significance of leadership.
7. Leaders Create Positive Work Environments
The way a work environment feels shows the importance of an effective leader as well. When executives, directors, and managers are positive and encouraging, people will feel right at home and ready to contribute. Leaders work to ensure work environments remain uplifting and comfortable, even if the work is done remotely.
Demonstrate the Importance of Leadership Qualities
Business leadership and management establish the tone of the company, guiding team members on how to think, act, and behave. This requires constant adaptation as different needs arise and the business landscape changes. As college basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski explains, “Leadership is an ever-evolving position.” In addition to this, leaders also inspire others to transform their lives. Through this, they show the importance of leaders in organizations.
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