The House of High Quality Articles for Everyone in the World

Feb 24, 2010

Leadership For Quality

Leadership is a key strategic variable for quality management. A leader organizes, plans, controls, communicates, teaches, advises, and delegates. The existence of a leader implies the existence of a follower. Therefore, the leading involves a power-sharing re­lationship between two or more individuals where the power is distributed unevenly. Leadership is the process by which a leader influences a group to move toward the attainment of super ordinate goals. Super ordinate goals are those goals that pertain to achieving a higher end that benefits not just the individual, but the group.

For followers to have power, leadership must share its power. As a result, leader­ship is about the sharing of power. This power takes many forms:
Power of expertise: Sometimes a leader has special knowledge (or is perceived to have special knowledge). Professors are leaders in the classroom as they have knowledge that they are sharing with the students. This type of power tends to have very narrow parameters in that the followers will follow only within the confines of the leader's expertise.
Reward power: If a leader has rewards that he or she can bestow on subordinates in return for some desirable action, the leader has reward power. This is often the case in the granting of raises, promotions, rewards, recognition, or a variety of other incentives.
Coercive power: If the leader has power to punish the follower for not following rules or guidelines, the leader has coercive power. Such power often results in un­intended responses, such as the follower giving up or circumventing the leader's rule surreptitiously.
Referent power: If a leader is charismatic or charming and is followed because he or she is liked, then the leader has referent power. A case of referent power is the mentor who is admired by his or her protégées who want to be like the mentor. Often, people will follow referent leaders on the basis of reputation alone, imbu­ing the referent leader with qualities the leader may or may not possess.
Legitimate power: As a result of the positions that different people hold within an organization, the manager has the obligation to request things of subordinates, and the subordinates have the duty to comply with the request. Legitimate power comes with the position. It has certain re­sponsibilities and authorities. A newly appointed leader may have to rely on this positional authority in the early part of his or her tenure as a leader.

Four important skills for leaders are:
1- knowledge,
2- Communication,
3-Planning, and
4- Vision