What is ‘Leadership’

Leadership is the ability of a company’s management to set and achieve challenging goals, take swift and decisive action, outperform the competition, and inspire others to perform well. It is tough to place a value on leadership or other qualitative aspects of a company, compared to quantitative metrics that are commonly tracked and much easier to compare between companies. Individuals with strong leadership skills in the business world often rise to executive positions such as CEO, COO, CFO, president and chairman.

Explaining ‘Leadership’

Leadership provides direction for a company. Employees need to know the direction in which they are headed and who to follow to reach the destination. Leadership involves showing workers how to effectively perform their responsibilities and regularly supervising the completion of their tasks. Leadership is also about setting a positive example for staff to follow, by being excited about the work, being motivated to learn new things, and helping out as needed in both individual and team activities.

Characteristics of Effective Leadership

Effective leadership includes strong character. Leaders exhibit honesty, integrity, trustworthiness and ethics. Leaders act in line with how they speak, and earn the right to be responsible for others’ success in the company.

Example of Leadership

Jack Welch exhibited leadership as chief executive officer (CEO) of General Electric Co. from 1981 to 2001. He played an integral part in 600 acquisitions in emerging markets and increased GE’s market value from $12 billion to $505 billion. Because things are constantly changing, Welch insisted everyone at GE embrace change. To continue evolving company operations and producing greater output, managers and employees had to continuously reinvent themselves and their work.

Further Reading

  • The intraorganizational power struggle: Rise of finance personnel to top leadership in large corporations, 1919-1979 – www.jstor.org [PDF]
  • Enhancement of the accountability of public sectors through integrity system, internal control system and leadership practices: A review study – www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
  • LatCrit educational leadership and advocacy: Struggling over whiteness as property in Texas school finance – www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
  • The mediating role of leadership styles on the organizational citizenship behavior and innovativeness relationship – dergipark.org.tr [PDF]
  • Leadership challenges facing nonprofit human service organizations in a post-recession era – www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
  • Achieving academic leadership through teaching mathematical methods in economics and finance – www.atlantis-press.com [PDF]
  • Leadership, psychological well‐being, and organizational outcomes – www.oxfordhandbooks.com [PDF]