I like using practical examples so we can relate to our day to day life. I want us to define the following first;

*What is leadership?

*Who is a leader?

*what is the difference in being a leader and a manager? 

Leadership is influence, A leader is an individual who exercises positive influence  upon others. Leadership is the act of controlling, the power and ability to oversee, coordinate people. It can also be the ability to influence people. A leader is a person who has been called to serve people in order to bring out the best in them. 

Leadership is the ability to be an example (either positive or negative) that people will follow. Leadership implies the occupation of position and the performance of a role which mobilizes the followers to voluntarily bring out their best in the pursuit of generally established goals. Leadership is not just occupying a position but also performance of roles. Leadership is the readiness or willingness to embrace  responsibility no matter the price tag on it. Leadership is the *act* of *organising a group of persons* in one mass towards achieving a vision, goal in a specific direction. Leadership is about showing people/group how to do, what to do, when to do and giving reasons why they should be done. Leadership is about being an example. 

Now a leader is the person with the mantle of leadership. A leader executes; Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right. A leader creates an inspiring vision of the future. Motivates and inspires people to engage with that vision. Manages delivery of the vision, Coaches and builds a team, so that it is more effective at achieving the vision.

A leader does the right thing and that’s because a leader is meant to be a positive influence not just any kind of influence while a manger continues from where the leader stops. A manager works according to laid down rules while the leader brings about the rules. 


Being effective/ having an impact can only be done by doing the RIGHT thing and that is one of the criteria for leadership. Imagine having a group leadership who sleeps a lot, eats a lot, is lazy, gives up fast, gets angry at little things, is jealous etc. What do you think you can get out of being under such a person? Leadership is not just about giving command, Leadership is both a research area and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual organization to “lead” or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations.

“Leadership is a holistic spectrum that can arise from: 

(1) higher levels of physical power, need to display power and control others, force superiority, ability to generate fear, or group member’s need for a powerful group protector (Primal Leadership),

(2) superior mental energies, superior motivational forces, perceivable in communication and behavior,  lack of fear, courage, determination (Psychoenergetic Leadership

(3) higher abilities in specialized tasks (micro leadership)

(4) higher ability in managing the execution of a task (Project Leadership), and

(5) higher level of values, wisdom, and spirituality (Spiritual Leadership), where any Leader derives its Leadership from a unique mix of one or more of the former factors”

There are Theories governing leadership

Early western trait 

The search for the characteristics or traits of leaders has continued for centuries. Philosophical writings from Plato’s have explored the question “What qualities distinguish an individual as a leader?

Underlying this search was the early recognition of the importance of leadership and the assumption that leadership is rooted in the characteristics that certain individuals possess. This idea that leadership is based on individual attributes is known as the “trait theory of leadership” Galton’s hereditary Genius (1869) examined leadership qualities in the families of powerful men. After showing that the numbers of eminent relatives dropped off when his focus moved from first-degree to second-degree relatives, Galton concluded that leadership was inherited. In other words, leaders were born, not developed. Both of these notable works lent great initial support for the notion that leadership is rooted in characteristics of a leader.

Public-Spirited leadership could be nurtured by identifying young people with “moral force of character and instincts to lead”, and educating them in contexts (such as the collegiate environment of the university and this shows us the importance of education in the life of a leader. 


This theory prompted researchers to take a drastically different view of the driving forces behind leadership. In reviewing the extant literature, Stogdill and Mann found that while some traits were common across a number of studies, the overall evidence suggested that persons who are leaders in one situation may not necessarily be leaders in other situations. Subsequently, leadership was no longer characterized as an enduring individual trait, as situational approaches

Situational approaches posited that individuals can be effective in certain situations, but not others. The focus then shifted away from traits of leaders to an investigation of the leader behaviors that were effective. This approach dominated much of the leadership theory and research for the next few decades. Individuals can and do emerge as leaders across a variety of situations and tasks. 

Significant relationships exist between leadership emergence and such individual traits as:



Openness to experience

A leader should be able to control his subject and also be able to accept Corrections. 

I have seen “leaders” who will make a mistake and instead of accepting their mistake they will either blame it on another person or they will look for an excuse to give as the reason for the mistake.

Talking about positive reinforcement 

Positive reinforcement occurs when a positive stimulus is presented in response to a future behavior, increasing the likelihood of that behavior in the team. 

A manager can at times call a leader to order when he is going astray.

The following is an example of how positive reinforcement can be used in a business setting. Assume praise is a positive reinforcement for a particular employee. This employee does not show up to work on time every day. The manager of this employee decides to praise the employee for showing up on time every day the employee actually shows up to work on time. As a result, the employee comes to work on time more often because the employee likes to be praised. In this example, praise (the stimulus) is a positive reinforcement for this employee because the employee arrives at work on time (the behavior) more frequently after being praised for showing up to work on time.

The use of positive reinforcement is a successful and growing technique used by leaders to motivate and attain desired behaviors from subordinates. techniques such as the use of praise are inexpensive, providing higher performance for lower costs.

A leader is called to lead people (followers),so for a leader to lead his followers, he must be able to lead himself. how?

Another theory that addresses a specific aspect of the leadership process is the leaders member exchange (LMX) theory which evolved from an earlier theory called the vertical dyad linkage (VDL) model. Both of these models focus on the interaction between leaders and individual followers. Similar to the transactional approach, this interaction is viewed as a fair exchange whereby the leader provides certain benefits such as task guidance, advice, support, and/or significant rewards and the followers reciprocate by giving the leader respect, cooperation, commitment to the task and good performance. However, LMX recognizes that leaders and individual followers will vary in the type of exchange that develops between them LMX theorized that the type of exchanges between the leader and specific followers can lead to the creation of in-groups and out-groups. In-group members are said to have high-quality exchanges with the leader, while out-group members have low-quality exchanges with the leader.

Leadership can be perceived as an act driven by emotions, with emotions entwined with the social influence process. In an organization, the leader’s mood has some effects on his/her group. These can be described in three levels:

The mood of individual group members. Group members with leaders in a positive mood experience more positive mood than do group members with leaders in a negative mood. 

The Tone of the leader

And the mood of the leader

Effective leadership can be achieved when there is a proper flow between a leader and his subjects. Most times the subjects don’t want to hurt the leader. Leadership is not just about the application of force or position or drafted commands. 

There are lots more but time won’t permit. 

What’s the difference between a leader and a CEO? 

Answer: A CEO is the highest ranking executive in a company, and their primary responsibilities include making major corporate decisions, managing the overall operations and resources of a company, and acting as the main point of communication between the board of directors and corporate operations.

While leadership does not have to only deal with an organization but also with groups and individuals showing them the right path to take through obvious examples. Its like being a role model.

FACILITATOR: Winifred Enika (Valuex Network Member)

COMPILED BY: Valuex Information Management Department

© *_Explanetworks_


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