Leadership is an ability to bring people over to the things, skills and possibilities which you offer them as their guide and protector. If you want to be a leader, a man who attracts good people, you need to know that self-perfection is a key moment in leadership. If you want to become a leader, you must constantly improve your skills. All the great leaders cultivate their abilities till they become really skillful and experienced people. I believe that leadership is a great challenge in life.
There are three basic styles of management: authoritarian, democratic and liberal. The surveys show that collectives, where the democratic style of management prevails, are constantly increasing their labour effectiveness; on the contrary, collectives under the liberal and authoritarian styles of management show the decline of efficiency.
The new style of management in modern companies shows, that the removal of dictatorial authority leads to phenomenal results. Such companies as Bill Gates’ Microsoft are proud of the “student”ť atmosphere they work in, where indulgence is rather a rule than an exception.
One of the principles of such companies is not to hinder the uniqueness. If you want to get a creative product, it is necessary to create the atmosphere of creation.
Bill Gates says that while his company was growing, he was continually working on the formation of the organization within the organization. He engaged his workers into small groups, cooperating more effectively, as they were not overloaded by an enormous structure slowing down the work. Gates hires best specialists, emphasizing the importance of a strong team, because an average one gives average results, regardless of how well it is managed.
Another Bill Gates’ leadership style feature is giving the employees the time to estimate and think over the tasks, and, at the same time, making his own decisions quickly and strictly sticking to them. There are situations indeed, when it is about the speed. Although thĐµÂ Microsoft Company tries to learn from its own past mistakes, some of its workers describe the corporation as a car having a large accelerator pedal, a small but effective brake pedal, and no rear view mirror at all.
At the same time, the colleagues of the Microsoft founder state that Bill Gates’ style of management could be described by an expression “intellectual severity”ť. The employees of the corporation mark that the personal aspiration of Bill Gates for the permanent competition has strongly influenced the development strategy of Microsoft. It refers not only to the company’s successes, but also to the difficulties in mutual relations with the antimonopoly authorities of the USA and Europe. Microsoft has always aimed at prevailing in all the regional markets, which is, perhaps, the reflection of Gates’ personal principle – to use any skills and capabilities you possess to reach the goal.
It is hard not to admire Bill Gates. Just compare an expelled from a college guy with an inadequate facial expression on the picture of 1978 with the monstre sacre he became in several years, and you can’t help admiring. The roots of the Microsoft Empire are in the obsession, foresight, enterprise talent of one of its founders.
However, if you do not understand that obsession of the success, in the final analysis, leads to the success, then you underestimate one of the major aspects of leadership. I consider the ability to concentrate the major principle of a leader’s activity. I also refer prudence to the leadership style, practiced by Gates, as he is able to predict changes, and by the moment they come, he already has a clear plan of actions.
Another important feature of a leader’s personality in this case is having systems thinking. A leader has, at least at the level of the common sense, to be able to cover a plenty of the vitally meaningful elements and factors, as well as connections between them. Understanding of business and psychological interrelations between company members and their relations with the outside world inevitably makes a leader a strategist. Otherwise the group may not reach its aim at all.
As far as I’m concerned, I would also tend to the democratic style mainly, aiming to address issues collectively, to inform the subordinates about the state of affairs, to react to criticism in a proper way, etc. I would be polite and kind communicating with subordinates, always keep in touch with them, frequently allocate a part of administrative functions to other specialists, and which is very important, trust my workers. I would be demanding, but just. The members of the team would take part in realization of administrative decisions. However, the weak position of such strategy is that it requires much time for decision-making.
Here I should also mark, that strong individual position, as we see it on Gate’s example, can sometimes be a weak point of management. For instance, researches show that 65% of leaders lack the skill of using social psychological approaches. Communicability is not just the ability to express the ideas clearly and consistently.
Besides, when we talk about the features, the person should have to lead the others, we first imagine psychological features of a strong personality. But the psychology of leadership qualities is based not on the leader as such, but rather on people managed by him.
That is why the obligatory leader quality is the ability to perceive the interests of his workers and to make them the basis of his activity. A professional leader will never impose a group some aims or values, not being sure that reaching them will satisfy the necessities of the majority.
Any professional leader should remember: regardless of how psychologically or physically strong he is in comparison to the subordinates, the primary factor in these mutual relations is the group of subordinates. It’s the group who determines whether the leader is the leader, but not vice versa. Therefore, leadership is a life challenge and an art at the same time.