An analysis of the role of leadership and its participation as a factor in the business outcome could not be absent from the research environment of the general reflection that develops here regarding the operation of companies. It is a fact of course that for many leadership is confused with management. Before attempting to approach and clarify the term, we must point out that effective leadership, in any case, is crucial for the future development of organizations, especially at a time when globalization requires increasing reserves of talent to meet the international needs of the business. Leading companies seem to have a greater understanding of this need compared to smaller organizations.
The importance of leadership is also confirmed by the particularly large number of scientists who have tried to define its meaning. From the plethora of definitions, I have chosen two that express me personally but also adequately describe the term for such a primary approach. The definition given by the Professor of Linguistics Babiniotis (1998) presents leadership as “the exercise of power and leadership role within a group”, while according to Professor Bourantas (2001) “leadership is the process of influencing the attitudes and behavior of a small or a large, formal or informal group of people by one person (leader) in such a way that they voluntarily, willingly and with the appropriate cooperation try to achieve goals resulting from the mission of the team with the greatest possible efficiency”.
I think we can very easily understand the above if we use as an example Walt Disney’s vision: “To make people happy”. Just four words, decades ago, are enough to accurately express the meaning of the most basic component for the success of the role/task of the leader. It is called to create a simple and clear vision that expresses the members of the team and want to realize it. From the leadership/coordination models identified by theorists, the so-called “democratic” appears to be highly desirable, realistic, and effective. According to this, the leader in every decision takes seriously the views and suggestions of his associates, advises them on actions and decisions, and encourages their participation. Additionally here we need to refer to the experts Vroom and Yetton, who argue that effective leadership/coordination style is determined by seven factors: a) the importance of the decision, b) the information that the leader has about the problem, c) the correct definition of the problem, d) the importance of consensus, e) the degree of acceptance of the decision by the partners, f) the degree of acceptance of the goals of the organization by the participants, the various solutions they prefer for the problem. Among the various leadership models, the “democratic” one – combined with the commitment to achieving the group’s goals – brings the best results. However, the exact model of coordination that will be chosen may be effective for one case and not for another. The leader/coordinator, that is, should evaluate each situation and choose the most appropriate way of coordination. Therefore, each coordinator must have the ability to be flexible, so that he can change his style based on the characteristics of the people, the project, the environment, etc.
Of the much-discussed key characteristics of a successful leader, I will highlight three here, which in my opinion are considered particularly important. The first refers to the need for the leader to believe in the value of each of the team members. Two schools of Management and Leadership are positioned on this issue. One considers that people are lazy, avoid work and seek to deceive their boss. The other argues that people see work as normal and with the right guidance and opportunity they can excel in whatever they do. There is in fact no dilemma as to which view is correct. If the leader believes in the first, then it will be verified, because he himself with his behavior will cause it. But if he embraces the second, he will soon see that the team will surprise him. Another feature is the leader’s attitude towards the conflicts that arise. Team members should be encouraged to take a stand on conflicts. When a conflict arises, employees are required to express an opinion and take responsibility for it. Finally, the leader must act fairly and with absolute integrity. It is wrong to be carried away by personal likes and to create “groups” within the works environment. It is also extremely important that he keeps his word at all costs and does not show fickle behavior.
Concluding the general theoretical part of our approach, we conclude that when teams perform above expectations, this is due both to the great potential of their members and to their capable leader. Business executives are called upon to take on this role of leader and to coordinate their team members in order to achieve the desired result. But in order to be effective leaders, they must properly develop their skills and follow methods that will contribute to the smooth running of the work with the corresponding desired results.
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