The role of the leader is multi-faceted. Leading means showing others the path to follow in a way that motivates them to follow you. Being a leader means taking actions to influence others’ thinking or guide their behavior. Leading involves directing and inspiring performance, and often pioneering as well.
Organizational leadership includes all this and much more. More is expected of leaders in organizational settings, particularly when they operate in hostile or ever-changing environments and when events inside and outside the organization happen very quickly. Sometimes leaders provide as much of a stabilizing influence as they do initiate for forward movement.
A principal role for leaders today involves creating an environment where people can be satisfied, collaborative, and productive. That environment, commonly called the corporate culture, is substantially influenced by the leader’s guidance on how people should work together, how they should treat each other. So, the leader creates an environment that is conducive to positive feelings and high performance.
Leadership is people-oriented. Through role-modeling, the leader sets an example of how to interact. If leaders demonstrate respect for others, others in turn will respect one another. If leaders demonstrate positive emotions like pride, enthusiasm, and excitement about accomplishing goals, followers will manifest similar behaviors.
An organization must have a purpose, and it’s the leader’s job to instill that sense of purpose and mission into each and every member of the team. In addition, leaders show each follower how to bring the organization’s mission to life, how to act productively on the objectives set forth. This focus on mission builds a sense of togetherness, and a powerful results-oriented cohesiveness for the company.