The leadership process is not widely studied or understood. But like any profession, it is involved and for optimum effectiveness, it requires a structured plan and approach. The leadership process can most easily be understood if is broken down into three key ideas: analysis, definition, and achievement.
In the first phase of the leadership process, or the analysis, the leader needs to do some thinking. Imagine a situation where a person who is not a leader, wishes to enter a group and then to lead it. Imagine if the person enters the group, and acts powerful and dominant, in an attempt to be selected for the leadership position. By acting differently than all other members of the group, this person has actually set himself or herself apart from other members of the group. The group is likely to not select this person as a leader, and may in fact, not even accept this person as a group member. Now imagine that another person who enters the group, but instead acts like all of the other group members. Imagine this other person then learns about group objectives, norms and discusses ideas with them. After thinking about group issues, and analyzing potential solutions, this other person can then propose things to the group that are more likely to align with group interests. This other person is more likely to be selected as a group leader. Thoughtful analysis plays a key role in the first phase of the leadership process.
In the second phase of the leadership process, or the definition, the leader needs to declare some ideas to the group. As part of declaring ideas, the leader needs to: define the group, define their role within the group, and their similarity to the group. Also, the leader needs to experiment and test the group by proposing some ideas. Hopefully, the analysis was done well and the ideas proposed with align with the interests of the group. Lastly, the leader needs to create a mission or vision.
In the third phase of the leadership process, or the achievement, the leader needs to achieve some results for the group. It is insufficient to simply motivate a group towards a goal, but there must be tangible results after group effort has been expended. Motivation will not last forever. The leader will need to produce and achieve.
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