Business leadership development plays an integral part in the metamorphosis of a good manager into a great one. Many believe the terms leadership and management to be synonymous, though nothing could be farther from the truth. They are as different as night from day, and a good leader might not make a good manager and vice versa.
However, business leadership development planning can be used to improve the capability of managers to lead and become competent in dealing with people and persuasion rather than position and power. A good leader will have followers as distinct from the subordinates of managers, yet the two need not be mutually exclusive: A good manager can become a good leader, and the development of leadership will not only enhance your ability to lead people and organizations, but also to lead yourself.
Leading oneself is a concept that many find difficult to visualize, but to lead others you must first be able to successfully lead your own life. You must be aware of your strengths and weaknesses, possess self-confidence, but also display humility and not only accept criticism but learn from your successes and failures. You need people to follow you, and not only motivate teams to get things done that need to be done, but also get them to want to do what has to be done. To persuade rather than to order, and to lead them to want to do the right things rather than to do things right.
Although a business needs both management and leadership, it is sometimes necessary to focus more on one than on the other. A business might have a good management structure but little leadership, so will tend to stagnate over time. On the other hand it might have plenty of leadership and energy behind it, but because of poor management is unable to convert that leadership energy into results.
As previously stated, then, business leadership and management are not mutually exclusive, and not only does a business need both but a leadership development program can be used to combine good management skills with good leadership capabilities. Leadership can be learned. The concept of the 'born leader' is outdated, and leadership can be defined as forms of behavior in terms of skills that can be learned. Leadership development involves changing a candidate's behavior to acquire these skills, and achieve competence in leadership.
Being a good manager is not a prerequisite for a good leader, but neither is it a drawback, and the same person can possess both leadership and management skills. That is because both are learned and not innate in a person's character, so that managers can be developed by their businesses or corporations into leaders. In fact, the best managers are also good leaders.
Nevertheless, good leaders have often been found to possess a higher than average drive and more than the normal share of positive qualities. These traits are also frequently found in good managers, although the competencies needed for leadership can be taught by means of a well designed leadership development program.
Waiting for a leader to emerge naturally is neither economical nor desirable, and certainly not an effective way of planning the leadership structure of a business. If we take a military example, more leaders come out of a military academy than are promoted on the field by virtue of displaying strong leadership potential.
Good leaders should communicate well with those they are leading. Their thoughts and perceptions can help others to follow them. They should also have a positive and confident attitude and be able to instill their confidence in others. With that confidence should also come commitment, and leaders should be able to commit to their actions - committing with confidence breeds confidence in others.
It has also been said that leaders should have high moral standards because people will not follow those they do not respect. Furthermore, good leaders do more than just supervise or manage their teams: they feel a sense of responsibility, and in return the team members know that their leader cares for them and cares for the business. This renders it easier for people to follow rather than be led.
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