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About Leadership


What is leadership?

Leadership is the ability to influence, inspire or motivate others to reach a desired goal or outcome (Dubrin, Daglish & Miller, 2006; Samson & Daft, 2003).

Successful leaders have a clear vision or goal of what is to be achieved, and are able to communicate that vision to others in order to motivate them. (McFayden, 2006). By creating the desire among others to reach the goal, the leader is then able to describe ways to make the vision a reality, and manage people accordingly, to make changes (Dubrin et al, 2006).


Is there a difference between leadership and management?

It is important to realise that there is a difference between leadership and management. Leadership; is about motivation, inspiration and influence, and in many cases it can be viewed as more emotional and challenging than simply managing a group of people. Managing; is about organisation, planning, control and authority. Leadership takes the management process one step further and requires a stronger emotional connection between the two parties (the leader and the group) (Dubrin et al, 2006) Successful leaders have a vision (a clear picture of what they want to achieve), and are able to motivate and inspire people to make that vision achievable. Therefore, managers are more likely to ‘maintain’ an environment, where as good leader are able to ‘change’ an environment if necessary (Dubrin et al, 2006). However, good leaders must also have good management skills in order to succeed. You can have all the ideas and visions in the world, but if you cannot manage people accordingly to make them achievable, through management techniques (such as direction, supervision and monitoring) chances are that you may not be as successful. (Samson & Daft, 2003) As clearly stated by Clutterbuck & Hirst (2002, p. 2) “The reality is that management and leadership are inextricably linked. A truly excellent leader requires good management skills, and the best managers are also leaders to some extent.”


The following diagram offers a summary of the main differences between leadership and management.




(Samson & Daft, 2003, .p.351)


“Leadership is the art of achieving more than the science of management says is possible” Colin Powel, retired US general and Chief of staff

(Cole, 2001, p.625)

Colin Powell

Journal Articles that may be of interest:

“Emotional Intelligence and Effective Leadership” - Benjamin Palmer, Melissa Walls, Zena Burgess, Con Stough



The Impacts of a successful leader…

One of the dominant traits of a successful leader is that they are able to facilitate or initiate change, and inspire people to achieve things they never dreamt to be possible (Dubrin et al, 2006). There are countless examples throughout history that highlight the impact that a successful leader can have on the lives of everyday people, through determination and perseverance.

For example consider Martin Luther King, a truly amazing leader who fought for what he and many others had only dreamt about – a world were there was no racial prejudice or discrimination, with equal rights for black and white people. His efforts and achievements will always be remembered, for the positive changes he was able to create, due to his tremendous courage and leadership skills

(White, 2003).

Martin Luther King

Leaders can sometimes become so powerful and influential that they can initiate changes and actions that are not always positive. They have the capability to become so dominant and persuasive, that followers become submissive and will do anything that they are told because they have so much faith in the leader (Dubrin et al, 2006). For example consider Adolph Hitler, who was able to convince (some say ‘brainwash’) his followers through speeches and use of status and power to commit some of the most awful and barbaric acts humanly possible. He became so powerful, that he literally controlled wether many people lived or died. (, 2007)


To view more information on Hitler please view the following website:


Leadership Roles

Academics have classified nine main roles that are part of leadership:

  1. “Figure Head” – a real life representation of an organisation or group of people
  2. “Spokesperson”- answering inquires of speaking / acting on behalf of a group to keep others informed of events or activities
  3. “Negotiator”-  bargaining and dealing with others to reach compromise or consensus
  4. “Coach”- to encourage and recognise other team members efforts, contributions and achievements
  5. “Team Builder”- to build morale and cohesion
  6. “Team Player” – co-operation and commitment to the group
  7. “Technical Problem Solver”- “serving as a technical expert or advisor”
  8. “Entrepreneur”- encouraging and initiation innovation and ‘out of the square’ thinking
  9. “Strategic planner”- to implement strategic leadership strategy’s

(Dubrin et al, 2006, p. 12)

All these roles combined, are necessary to become a great leader.




Other Websites that may be useful

“What Senior Leaders Do- The Nine Roles of Strategic Leadership”



Clutterbuck, D & Hirst, S. (2002). Leadership communication; a status report.

Journal of Communication Management. 6 (4) p.351 - 354


Cole, K. (2001), Supervision –The theory and practice of first line      management, (2nd ed), NSW ; Pearson Education


Dubrin, A, Daglish, C & Miller, P. (2006). Leadership. (2nd ed). Queensland: John

Wiley & Sons Australia


McFadyen, G. (2006).Leadership. Public Administration Today. 7 (1) p.37-38


Samson, D & Daft, R. (2003). Fundamentals of management. Victoria : Thomson


Sparatacus School Net. (2007). Sparadacus educational ; Adolph Hitler.

Retrieved May 19th, 2007 from


White, J (2003). The time 100; leaders and revolutionaries; Martin Luther King.

Retrieved 19th May 2007 from