Leadership – Characteristics and Tasks of a Leader

Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. The leader is the inspiration and director of the action. He is the person in the group that possesses the combination of personality and leadership skills that makes others want to follow his direction.


Definition of Leadership

  1. Peter Drucker defined leader as someone who has followers
  2. In the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John Maxwell sums up his definition of leadership as “leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less.”
  3. Warren Bennis’ definition of leadership is focused much more on the individual capability of the leader. He defined leadership as a function of knowing oneself, having a vision that is well communicated, building trust among colleagues, and taking effective action to realize one’s own leadership potential

Tasks of a Leader

  • Development of team work and a congenial work climate conductive to efficient performance
  • Serve as link between the group and top management
  • Provides counseling and guidance to the members of the team
  • Ensures timeliness of performance
  • Makes judicious use of authority to stimulate positive interactions and responses from team members
  • Extracts maximum contribution from the team members towards goals fulfillment through participative decision making, improved efficiency, delegation and effective communication

Characteristics of Leadership

  • Interpersonal Skills: Leaders are able to use their interpersonal skills to work through difficult relationships, and keep the peace in their departments.
  • Communication Skills: Leader must be good speakers and listeners. Through their words they can help keep the workforce motivated and committed
  • Values: Leader must value the diversity of a workforce, and understand that a diverse group of employees will bring a broader perspective to the organization. They must treat followers with the respect
  • Organizational Consciousness: The leader must understand what the organization wants to achieve, and know how it can be accomplished. He create networks within the organization to help their groups get work done
  • Confidence: Leaders need to carry themselves with confidence, and should not be afraid to take ownership for both popular and unpopular decisions
  • Flexibility: Leader must be flexible, and adapt their leadership style to meet the demands of the current work environment.
  • Creativity Skills: Leader must demonstrate creativity skills to develop innovative solutions to old problems. Creative leaders are able to translate technical information into solutions that are understood by everyone
  • Achieving Results: The leader a big role in achieving the goals of the organization. Through his leadership skills, he maintain a high level of performance in their organizations, and is able to help keep their workforce motivated even when faced with a seemingly impossible situation.

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