What is leadership? It is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal (Northouse, 2007, p3). Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership knowledge and skills (Jago, 1982). They use the traits we are born with to help influence our actions. This is called Trait Leadership (Jago, 1982). While leadership is learned, the skills and knowledge processed by the leader can be influenced by his or her actions, attributes or traits such as beliefs, values, ethics and or character. Knowledge and skills contribute directly to the process of leadership, while the other attributes give the leader certain characteristics that make him or her unique. (http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadcon.html, Concepts of Leadership, 2012).
People are born with their own DNA sequence and genetic makeup, along with their own personality traits that they will use to build on who they will become in life. Besides, the traits we are born with there are those that we learn both through life lessons and in school. The combination of both will help decide whether a person will be a leader (good or bad) or if they will become a follower. A good leader strives daily to learn new ways to help those around them to become better at what they do whether it is a family member, a student, or an employee.
A good leader does not just lead from a distance taking credit for others work and ideas. A good leader uses their knowledge, skills and traits to serve the family, school, organizations, or group and the people in them to make the lives of their employees, organizations, groups and families a better unit. They do this by taking both the traits they are born with, i.e. intelligence, conscientiousness, etc., and the traits that they have learned and combined them together so that they can lead, teach, encourage and motivate for the best possible outcome on all sides. Using a combination of both set of traits helps a leader to characterize and relate to humanity helping them be better serve those around them.
These leaders range in qualities high in integrity, honesty, humility, courage, commitment, passion, confidence, wisdom, determination, compassion, and sensitivity. They typically have a good sense of understanding of relationships and how to make them work for all involved. They are able to adjust to different styles so as to make a situation easier on those being taught or lead to a stronger commitment to the organization involved.
To be a good and effective leader one must be willing to use both those traits they are born with and those that they have learned. Always being willing to learn new styles and ideas of leadership they not only help whatever group or organizations they are in grow. But they also help the individual people to become stronger and happier.
http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadcon.html, Concepts of Leadership, 2012
Jago, A.G. (1982). Leadership: Perspectives in theory and research.
Management Science, 28(3), 315-336
Northouse, G. (2007). Leadership theory and practice. (3rd ed.) Thousand Oak, London, New Delhe, Sage Publications, Inc.