Nowadays it is very important to understand the function of leadership because leaders play a major role in our society. Leaders can “shape our life”. They manage business and define the character of our society. They are at the head of any government action or policy. The behavior of leaders is highly appreciated by other people who are ready to follow its course. As the nature of our society has changed due to the rapid development of new technologies, growth of information base, global markets and product demands, traditional management also requires appropriate changes. Our society needs a new type of leader such as “CEO, a team leader, a coach”. (Fairholm 7)
According to the data taken from the leadership literature, there are three types of organizational behavior of leaders: directive, transactional and transformational.
The first mode of influence others is the most powerful and denoted absolute submission. Transactional mode of influence denotes the exchange between the leader and the subordinate, when each of them gets something from the other in return for something else. This type of mode of influence is not very popular because it enables the leader to develop a quid pro quo relationship with the subordinates. Transformational mode of influence makes it possible to establish a vision for a better future and to inspire the followers. This type of leader will be able to stimulate serious changes in the attitudes and values of the followers. (Aronson)
Although all the above mentioned types of organizational behavior of leaders influence their work and their function, each experienced leader can give his own ideas concerning the leadership perspective.
Raymond Shulstad whose experience of the successful leader is about 40 years argues that successful leadership is connected with “the performance of talented, industrious people and teamwork”. In his article Perspectives on leadership and Management, he states that leadership style depends on the personal philosophical beliefs. He shares his thoughts with readers and states that “a deep sense of confidence in people” plays an important role for the leader. The power of positive attitude is also very important for the effective leader. According to Raymond Shulstad’s opinion, effective leadership must include the following elements: concern for people, effective communication, positive attitude. Moreover, he states that any effective leader should know the organization’s direction, its major goals and strategies. He also states that the leader should be proactive. He should encourage other people to follow his example. (Shulstad)
The author of another article which title is A Leadership Perspective, Gen Duuane Cassidy also represents his ideas concerning the leadership perspective.
He writes that “the development of future leaders is a vital task for our society”. He is sure that successful leader should pay attention to the following characteristics:
As the life of Duuane Cassidy is closely connected with Air Force, he is sure that true leaders integrity is one of the most important characteristics for the military men. The leader should be competent. He should admit and correct all his mistakes. People should trust their leaders. They should know that the leader is always acting in the interests of his followers.
The other important characteristics of the leader is selflessness. The author of the article argues that only selfless leader can make others follow him. The leader should “put his personal desires second and to a higher cause or to other people”. Leaders should not think about their own satisfaction and comfort. This fact plays an important role not only in the military organization but also in any business organization. Leaders should always have time to listen to the problems of other people.
One more significant “trademark” of the successful leader is energy. Gen Duuane Cassidy has always been a leader in his military organization and 34 years of his experience helped him to make good conclusions concerning the leadership perspective. He states that leadership is a rather hard work. It is very difficult to motivate other people, to develop effective plans which should be executed in a proper way, to take care of people around and to be responsible for all the tasks. All the leaders should “exhibit unbounded amounts of energy”. They have always a lot of work to do. (Cassidy)
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that leadership plays an important role in any sphere of activity because only leaders can make correct decisions and initiate other people. It is known that Sun Tzu in his book The Art Of War represented five major characteristics of leadership: credibility, intelligence, discipline, humanness, and courage. I think that it is very difficult to find accurate description of leadership perspective because each leader can add something new. However, I am sure that any successful leader should respect other people and try to set a good example.