During one of my recent conversations with other HR professionals, I realised that one of the hot topics troubling the businesses and especially HR departments today is the definition of “leadership” and the differentiation between good and bad leadership. A simple definition of leadership would be narrowed down to the basic skills of influencing people, supporting others towards the accomplishment of a common organisational task and organizing, guiding, directing others. But is it just that? In my point of view, a leader ismuch more than that. A leader should also take into account organisational needs, individual needs, the culture and structure of a company and create a viable-to-a-specific-company organisational development strategy to enable the workforce fulfill its tasks.
In an effective, resilient and sustainable organisation, which requires hard work and highly-skilled people, people work all together towards the achievement of an overall goal, yet individual goals are not highly visible. In addition to that, what matters the most is the organisation-its profit, its competitive advantage, its resilience, its people- as an overall. Successful companies, nowadays, are knowledge-based, abide by the technological developments and employ innovative, creative and knowledgeable people. All these can be implemented in an environment where a leader engages employees to be like that and guides the organisational workforce towards the new knowledge economy and any new requirements that arise.
In order for a leader to do all the above, there emerges the necessity of helping employees share their ideas and the prerequisite of a culture of encouraging employee participation, involvement and creativity. During all these processes, what should also be examined is the way and means utilised to achieve a leader’s duties. Various leadership approaches can lead to various leadership styles and performance. And here comes the question: “What makes a good and effective leader?”. My perspective is that under all circumstances a good leader is a highly motivational, influential, inspiring and knowledgeable professional who supports employees and creates a culture of knowledge creation and knowledge sharing, encouragement and trust. This is the only way to achieve high levels of productivity and performance effectiveness, high workforce morale -that can lead to personnel generating new ideas and becoming creative- and enhance teamwork and collaboration.
It is not only down to a leader developing specific personal traits, though, in order to lead the path for all the above. A leader has to cope with different situations, different needs, different internal performance drivers. After all, different situations and demands call different leadership styles. Hence, I should probably highlight that each one of the leaders, on a global basis, should firstly research what would be the most appropriate way, in a specific context, to effectively achieve a group’s targets and at the same time to keep each individual motivated, interested and engaged. Effective and highly-performing leaders can then contribute to the achievement of organisational success and promote the integration of key strategic outcomes.