Today, I would like to talk about leadership what does it really mean, what it really is and why is it so important. Leadership is a topic that is touched in many companies and is taught to many students as a separate course in many universities regardless of the chosen programme, mainly in business of course. Why do companies and university invest so much time, efforts and energy on this matter? Simply because being a leader and the concept of leadership is often underestimated or even worse taken for granted.  Sometimes, leadership is perceived as a trait that everyone has - some think that it can be taught, others that it is either a quality that you are born with or not. Personally, I think Leadership can be taught and comes to us with experience, the time enhances the qualities of a leader that we may already have within us.

Lately, I have been observant to different leadership styles that surround me, and it has come to my attention that the importance of being a good leader has faded away. In a working environment, as a leader you should be able to delegate the work to the right people. However, even if you know how to delegate well, there is still a chance that too much delegating may come across to the employees that one is not able to make a decision or take a stand. A Leader should be able to make a firm choice, regardless if some people do not believe it is the right choice at the time. This brings me to the second important characteristic, a Leader should inspire, motivate and simply lead the employees to work towards the same idea or project, especially in a working environment. 

Vision: Having a vision is crucial. Communicating your vision to your employees is even more vital than anything else. The employees need to know what is the vision for the future. How do you as a leader envision the next couple of years? This also allows people to see if they fit in within the environment. If one employee doesn't share the same ideology or the same vision as the leader, chances of collaboration are sadly minimal.

Conflict resolution: A Leader should be able to identify a conflict within his/her team and know what approach to chose. A Leader should be able to listen and at least out of courtesy show that the employee is heard and advise on how best to solve the issue. 

Sadly, we often come across leaders without a vision and without the ability to listen. No wonder, there are issues within companies under numerous layers of bureaucracy. 

Moreover, a leader should set an example to his/her employees. I am true believer that attitudes, behaviours and work ethic are set from the top. If your leadership style is powered by fear, then most likely your employees are in fear of you and impose fear on each other to get the work done. Consequently, resulting in long hours and low health system. If your leadership style is powered by the slogan "there is always a tomorrow" , most likely the work is never completed at your company, as people truly believe that there is always a tomorrow, hence the work never goes forward. 

Of course, there is no one leadership style that is perfect. Perhaps it is a combination of different styles that works best. The thing is that, next time we are about to lead a team, we should probably take a minute and think about it. What do we really want to send as a message to our employees, colleagues, friends? How do we want to come across? In my honest opinion, no leader is a great leader without his/her people. Your people can either help you up or drag you down.  Just think about it.

Published by Karina Saakyan