South-Western - Management  
Effective Leadership: What are the Requisites?
Topic Leadership
Key Words Leadership traits, authority, delegation, leadership style
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News Story

There is a difference between a good leader who inspires and motivates people and a manager who just hands out assignments. True leaders inspire confidence and enthusiasm in the people who work for them. A boss seldom takes the time to talk with workers while a leader will go out of his or her way to greet them and ask them what they need.

An effective leader needs to know how to foster trust. One way to create trusting relationships is through effective delegation. A good leader knows how to create a productive team spirit through sharing tasks. To delegate effectively, a leader must:

  • State clear goals.
  • Define responsibility.
  • Identify resources.
  • Establish controls.
  • Motivate.
Effective leaders also share these important qualities:
  • Do what they expect others to do.
  • Realize that they will never be able to solve all problems by themselves.
  • Look for answers by applying the principles of good management.
Some leadership roadblocks include:
  • Not making clear the difference between orders and suggestions.
  • Being fair to a fault.
  • Overlooking extra effort.
  • Underplaying their own importance.
Some perceptions of working conditions that influence people’s ability to perform on the job include:
  • People understand what is expected of them in their work assignments.
  • People feel their work is truly appreciated.
  • People feel that the company is responsive to their needs.
  • People are treated as if they are capable of good work and not viewed with suspicion.
All managers are not necessarily leaders. Here are some differences between leaders and managers:
  • The typical manager accepts responsibility, while the true leader looks for it.
  • The typical manager demands respect, while the true leader gains it through achievement.
  • The typical manager meets requirements, while the true leader does better than what is required.
  • The typical manager protects himself or herself at all costs, while the true leader fights for subordinates even at personal cost.
  • The typical manager accommodates requests from superiors, while the true leader suggests ways to improve operations.

Questions
1.

The article explains the differences between a manager or supervisor and a true leader. If you had to sum up the difference between a leader and a manager in one sentence, what sentence would you choose? What is a leader able to accomplish that a manager cannot?

2.

Say that as you are reading the description of the leader vs. manager, you find yourself putting more checks in the management box than in the leadership box when considering your own behaviors. What are three things that you can do to take steps toward being a better leader?

3.

The article spends some time on the steps to effective delegation. Why is delegation included in an article about being an effective leader? What are two things that managers can do in order to delegate more effectively?

4.

Some people believe that leadership is a trait that you are either born with or you are not. What are your thoughts? Do you agree that some people are just born leaders? Be prepared to discuss your thoughts in class.

Source “Effective Leadership: What are the Requisites?” Supervision, Feb. 2007, v68 i2 p. 18(4).
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