Leadership Qualities & Leadership Skills
Leadership qualities matter in business and in education. Yet the doctoral student can’t find information on leadership. If the discipline isn’t leadership she has to cry for help: What are leadership qualities? Others would like to know too what are the personal qualities of leadership! Business leadership is important. Educational leadership is in demand. But what are leadership qualities and skills?
Interest they have in business or educational leadership. Perhaps also leadership qualities. Knowledge of what is leadership, not. If they see a worker a few times resting who routinely unloads, sorts, stacks, rests, repeats, he is lazy. That’s not good leadership! If leadership qualities or skills are lacking it causes annoyance, loss of production.
Leadership in education or business are acquirable skills.
In Britain there is confusion on what is leadership. The civil service has publications on how to train, e.g., supervisors. Yet even supervision has been considered by the TECs to be an inherent quality, by the ETs with members from the TUC & the CBI not an acquirable skill. Leadership qualities are different than leadership skills.
There are exceptional ‘born leaders’, extraordinary circumstances calling for inherent leadership qualities. But routine business leadership and educational leadership demand only professional acquirable skills.
Leadership qualities are different than leadership skills.
Approaches to administrative leadership differ. Business leadership strategies vary. Educational leadership policies change. So do leadership skills. The value of leadership qualities never change.
Leadership is about people. Good leadership is popularity based. A French emperor calls his soldiers his children, after a defeat again can raise volunteer armies. A popular Scottish preacher gets nominated to US senate.
Leadership qualities are inherent. But leadership skills often suffice. Both involve popularly interesting people.
Popularity aids leadership qualities. It helps leadership skills. So in business or educational leadership.
Leadersip is not charisma alone. Nor is it love, care, perseverance that enables popularity in successful leadership. It is also an interest in understanding the human nature, knowing what motivates. That is the basis of leadership.
A car plant boss praises the night shift’s work, the day shift competes for equal pride, production increases.
A congressional medal, the offer to be Education Secretary, a biographical movie for a Chicago school teacher who enabled exam. success for eleven pupils was because she could get from them what an education authorities’ educational leadership skills couldn’t.
Depending on approaches, business and educational leadership classifications vary. Basically all leadership are of two kinds: leadership and exceptional leadership.
The former is leaderships skills; acquired, ordinarily, routinely at work: e.g., leadership in education, business.
The latter is based on inherent leadership qualities. It is the most rare extraordinary leadership, enhanced by the most exceptional leader’s charisma, communication ability, wit, trustworthiness, with much philosophical, sociological, psychological insight, high logical reasoning ability, the vision, heroic courage, love, care, dedication, passion of rational sensible idealism, sacrifice in time, effort. This ‘moves mountains’; be it leadership in education, culture, religion, politics, business, it reforms: socially and historically visibly, lastingly, memorably changes established culture, life styles, society.
Exceptional leadership, business or educational or other -in one field or more, of historical noteworthiness demands personal qualities, for it begins with popularity that is not coerced but is by virtue of, irrespective of wealth or position, at personal level earned and deserved trust and faith in the genuineness, sincerity of one’s intentions -honesty in intention.
What is routinely at work is skills based leadership. Mostly it is leadership in education or in business, of the kind that acquirable skills are adequate for. It does not demand any exceptional leadership qualities. Acquirable are interested behaviour and competence. Proportionately to one’s degree of interest, basic leadership skills often suffice to function as a professional leader, to lead in one’s field.
On professional leadership many have written. There are commonly agreed basic modern leadership principles generally adequate in any field of average competence.
Leaders with leadership qualities or skills know this: The average employee does like to be so directed as presumes that he generally wishes to avoid responsibility with relatively little or no ambition and dislikes work except to the extent essential for survival with basic security. People have an inherent need in an adult way to exercise their understanding, capacities, skills motivated by incentives also non-economic and culturally varying. This appreciation is a must for effective leadership.
Trustworthiness is one of the personal qualities of leadership that can never be imitated in professional leadership for truly great achievement. But the skilful appearance of trustworthiness succeeds. Usually the only task of professional leadership is obtaining the co-operation of colleagues and employees.
This is best done, by making the organisation’s objects or visions pursued or desired of personal significance to people. That must be based on their values and expectations to generate their energy and enthusiasm. Good leadership on that basis can prepare people for the various controllable and uncontrollable changes, appreciating that leadership attitudes matter above all and must be ‘trust’ based… In the 1990’s England a strike over pay continued after Railtrak agreed: staff discovered that government had secretly sought to influence negotiations.
Trust is the most useful of leadership values. Good leaders’ people feel valued. Job satisfaction enhances performance and productivity and job satisfaction includes feeling valued. This leadership strategy avoids dissatisfaction, increases job satisfaction. Co-operation is based on others feeling valued enough to be trusted.
Information works at two levels: it shows trust and contributes to the leader’s objective others’ valid views.
The value of other’s valid views which free flow of information (or the successful [but risky] appearance of it) enables is not overlooked in good leadership. In, e.g., educational leadership staff’s familiarity with consumer culture, in business leadership workers’ consumer choices reduce the risk of missing the wood for the trees.
In leadership strategies learning from experience by trial & error is unaffordable in the short term. The complexities of long term results necessitate cultured thought.