The question of whether leaders are born or made is not a new debate. However, for all the debate, no true consensus exists. What most can probably agree upon is that strong leaders have the ability to influence others, but the techniques they use to build that influence varies significantly.
As a Manager, You Need Competent People
If you want to have business success, you need competent staff. This means training leaders is to your advantage. It has been said that great leaders do not generally achieve such status alone. They are almost always surrounded by teams of competent and committed people whom they have mentored and whom they trust.
Leadership Styles Can Be Defined, but It Is You Who Must Choose Among Them
If you are an autocratic leader, you generally motivate employees by establishing confidence in your own individual abilities. In contrast, democratic leaders let employees get involved in the decision-making process. They believe in the wisdom of group decisions and will seldom make a major move without attempting to achieve the consensus of the staff.
If a manager has a proactive style, they generally have highly trained staff and, therefore, feel confident in the staff to make many independent decisions. Charismatic leaders have a vision for the future that they express so vividly they can use vision to motivate employees to excel.
Building Leaders Requires Multiple Styles and Good Intuition
Nathan Bennett, the Associate Dean for faculty and research at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University, has addressed leadership styles and said leadership ability can be found in many places. He stresses leadership doesn’t need to be expensive to be developed, but it—like fine wine—needs to be treated in the right way to be developed. In short, developing leaders will require you develop your ability to interpret what employees need in order to become successful leaders.
As a manager, adjust your style as you feel necessary. At times, you may need to use each style of management or a mix of two. Each potential leader you work to develop will falter at times and excel at other times. Your intuition and a flexibility of style will serve you well. The result you will achieve is a good leader with characteristics you have nurtured.
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