Leadership is the frequently talked about and least understood concept in the management literature. It is a bit difficult to define leadership because there are several ways to define leadership. Experts have tried to define leadership using several aspects like arts, ability, or process. In a simple word Leadership is the ability to influence individuals or groups toward the achievement of goals. It is the ability to develop a vision that motivates others to move with passion towards the common goal. It is defined as the relationship where one person influences others to work together to reach a desired level of achievement.

According to Stephen P. Robbins, “Leadership is the ability to influence a group toward the achievement of goals.”  

According to Stoner, Freeman, and Gilbert, “Managerial leadership as the process of directing and influencing the task-related activities of group members“

Despite the lack of unanimity among experts we can conclude that leadership is the continuous process of influencing the behavior of others to work willingly and enthusiastically for achieving predetermined goals. It involves:

establishing a clear vision.

Sharing the vision with others so that others follow willingly.

Providing knowledge, information, and method to realize the vision.

Coordinating and balancing the conflicting interest of all members and stakeholders.


=Leadership style refers to a leader's behavior. Leadership styles mean the way or art or process by which leaders entice followers to conform with his/her direction. Broadly, leadership styles can be classified into the following five types: 


This is often considered the classical approach. It is one in which the manager retains as much power and decision-making authority as possible. Under the autocratic leadership style, the leader keeps strict, close control over followers. All decision-making powers are centralized in the leader. Leaders do not entertain any suggestions or initiatives from subordinates. Employees are expected to obey orders without receiving any explanations. The motivation environment is produced by creating a structured set of rewards and punishments.


Under this type of leadership, a leader believes in the decentralization of power and invites subordinates into the decision-making process. In a democratic style, the upper management level is responsible for preparing plans, policies, and strategies whereas subordinates are responsible for their implementation. Upper-level management takes suggestions, guidance, and information from subordinates for preparing plan policies and making decisions. This type of structure is suitable for subordinates who are trained, experienced and skilled. It follows two-way communication. The information of instruction and guidance flow from the top level to the subordinates whereas information of suggestions, complaints, problems flow from the lower level.


Participative is a process where subordinates are encouraged to their involvement in the decision-making process. In this leadership, subordinates have opportunities to provide their opinions, views and share knowledge and experiences. It empowers the subordinates who know the actual problem and can contribute to making better decisions. This uses groups, teams, and committees to solve complex problems.

Leaders recognize the values of subordinates and consider them an important component of management. It provides a feeling of self-responsibility, self-control, and accomplishment among the subordinates. Finally, this style provides intrinsic rewards for subordinates and it makes their job more interesting.


It is also called the benevolent autocratic style. The leader works as a father figure, acting as a family head. The leader guides protect and treat subordinates like children. The leader makes provisions for good working conditions and other necessary services. Subordinates are likely to do exactly as they are told. It limits upward communication. However the trust between superior and subordinate remains low.


The laissez-faire leadership style is one in which the leader provides little or no direction and gives employees complete freedom to make decisions concerning the completion of their work. As the leader delegates the tasks to their followers with little or no direction to the followers, it is also known as the "hands-off¨ style or permissive style.  It allows followers a high degree of autonomy and self-rule and the leader provides the followers all materials necessary to accomplish their goals but does not directly participate in decision making unless the followers request their assistance. In short, it is such a style where all authority or power is given to the employees and employees determine goals, make decisions, and resolve problems on their own.


A leader is a person who can transform the dream into reality. A good leader is committed to excellence. The qualities that a good leader must possess are discussed below:

1.  Physically sound

A leader is required to work for long hours. S/he has to work under stress and pressure. So the leader should be physically fit and should have a lot of stamina and vigor for hard work.

2.  Mentally sound:

A leader should be mentally fit to understand what is wrong and what is right and can make the appropriate decisions. A mentally absurd person cannot understand the realities logically.

3.  Knowledge of work:

A leader must have somewhat more knowledge of work than a non-leader so that the follower will follow his/her instruction. Otherwise, nobody will listen to him/her.

4. Openness:

Good leaders can listen to others' ideas, as well as accept new ways of doing things. Openness builds mutual respect and trust between leaders and followers, and it also keeps the team well supplied with new ideas that can further its vision.

5. Confidence:

Confidence means being sure about decisions and not wavering when someone puts questions.  A leader needs to be confident in actions and decisions. This confidence will, in turn, give confidence to those who are looking toward leaders for guidance.

6. Intelligent:

A leader should have a high level of intelligence with a sound educational and technical background. A leader should be able to think logically, analyze the situation accurately and interpret the situation clearly.

7. Maturity:

Good leaders are tolerant of ambiguity and remain calm, composed, and persistent in the main purpose. They are neither crushed by defeat nor over-elected by victory. Storms, emotions, and crises come and go and a good leader takes these as part of the journey and keeps a cool head.

8. Communication skills:

Good leaders are usually great orators and persuaders. They're very comfortable with public speaking and are very inspiring people. Leaders listen more, talk less, smile, use positive body language, praise loudly and blame softly.

9. Enthusiasm

A good leader is enthusiastic about their work. Leaders need to be able to be a source of inspiration and be a motivator towards the required action or cause. Although the responsibilities and roles of a leader may be different, the leader needs to be seen to be part of the team working towards the goal.

10 Trustworthy

Trustworthiness refers to being honest. The leader should be honest, sincere, fair, and reasonable in his dealings with his subordinates.  A trustworthy leader instills a sense of honesty in the people being led. If a leader is not trustworthy, s/he will receive no respect.

11. Empathy

   It is an adage “Stepping into the shoes of others”. Empathy is the ability to understand or feel what other people are experiencing. A leader should understand the problems and complaints of employees and should also have a complete view of the needs and aspirations of the employees. This helps in improving human relations and personal contacts with the employees.

Understanding Individual differences and Psychological contract

Individual Differences

Individual difference is taken from psychology and supported by science as DNA profile is unique and different from person to person. Every individual in the world is different from others. Each person is unique from the day of birth, and individual experiences after birth tend to make people even more different. They are made more different by their personality, skill, aptitude, intelligence, etc. The systematic study of the nature and causes of human variation is known as the study of individual differences. Differences in individuals’ characteristics and qualities determine their behavior and performance. So, managers have to be attentive to understand their dynamics and implication.

Psychological Contract

Organizations are the association of people where people contribute their efforts, skill, ability, loyalty, time, competence in turn organizations provide inducements such as job security, pay, promotion, the opportunity for growth, status, etc. The basic psychological or unwritten agreement between the employees’ contribution and inducement provided by the organization is called a psychological contract. It is an emotional relationship between employee and employer.

According to Griffin and Moorehead, “ Psychological the contract is a person’s overall set of expectations regarding what he or she will contribute to the organization and what the organization will provide in return.”

According to Rousseau, “Psychological contract are individuals’ beliefs shaped by the organization regarding the exchange between the individual and their organization.”

So, a psychological contract is an unwritten agreement that deals with understandings, beliefs, and commitments that exist between an employee and employer.

There are two types of psychological contract:


The short term, narrow, specific and limited promises or obligations between employees and employers is called transactional psychological contract.


The long term and extensive promises or obligation regarding the employment relationship between employee and employer is called a relational psychological contract.


1.When the psychological contract is honored by all parties, it provides the following advantages or benefits:

2.It promotes loyalty between both parties i.e. employee and employer.

3.It leads to empathy i.e. ability to understand between each other.

4.It fosters the open and free communication between the parties involved in the contract.

5.The psychological contract makes the relationship smooth and fosters employees’ satisfaction.


1.It is a redundant and complicated concept. It goes beyond other psychological constructs such as job satisfaction and organizational commitment.

2.There is written agreement in psychological contract, so, it can be doubtful.

3.Violation of psychological contract clearly carries out the view of broken promises.

4.It can’t address the expectations of all employees.

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