Human Resources South Africa



January 25
10:08 2011

Leadership Performance
Practitioners and researchers generally recognize and accept that leadership is important and research confirms that leaders do contribute to key organizational outcomes. In order to measure successful performance in the organization it is extremely important to understand and accurately measure leadership performance.
Generally Leadership Performance refers to the expectation that an individual must contribute towards organizational success, the leader’s performance depends on the ability and motivation of that employee to perform the job.  As there is no overall definition of leadership performance, many distinct concepts are often joined together to form an umbrella of leadership performance which includes effectiveness, advancement and emergence. For example leadership performance may be used to measure the career success of the individual leader, the performance of the group or organization, or even the emergence of the leader. Every one of these different measures can be considered separate so while these aspects may be related, they all have different outcomes and their addition should depend on the applied research focus.

Two types of activities that leaders must perform are task leadership and social leadership. Task leadership involves completing the goals of the group which is successfully getting the work of the group done. The task leader provides various tasks like giving suggestions, offers opinions and provides information to the group. For completing a specific task the leader controls, shapes, directs and organizes the group. On the other hand social leadership is concerned with the emotional and interpersonal portion of group interaction. The social leader main tasks involves keeping the group running smoothly and harmoniously, is concerned about people’s feelings, uses humor to relieve tension and tries to encourage group cohesiveness. The researcher feels if you mix these two types together with some ambition to succeed you will have a fairly good leader.

A person who is a leader has the ability to influence a group of people towards a specific goal and it is not at all dependent on title or formal authority. Leaders are recognized with certain characteristics like caring for others, clear communication and a commitment to never give up. When an individual is appointed to a managerial position they get the right to command and put into effect discipline by the authority of his position. However, the individual has to possess sufficient personal attributes in order to match up to there authority because their authority is only potentially available to them. When an individual has an authority position and does not have adequate personal competence, that person may be tested by an emergent leader who can then challenge his authority role in the organization and reduce their role to that of a figurehead.  However it follows that whoever wields a personal influence and power over other individuals can only legitimize this by gaining a formal position in the hierarchy of the organization with equal authority.  To have the ability to get others to willingly follow you defines leadership and an organization needs leaders at every level.

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