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SUCCESSFUL VERSUS EFFECTIVE LEADER

According to some experts, the influence of leaders on organisational outcomes


is overrated and romanticized and this results into biased attributions about
leaders. Still, it is largely accepted that leadership is central to a performing
organisation and leaders do contribute to key organisational outcomes. In order
to facilitate successful performance it is important to understand and accurately
measure leadership performance.

It is important to distinguish between performance and effectiveness.


Performance reflects behaviour, while effectiveness implies the assessment of
actual organisational outcomes. So, it becomes important to delineate the
particular behaviours that contribute to key organisational outcomes versus the
actual organisational outcomes. At times, outcomes may be subject to external
factors and beyond the control of the leader and it may not be easy to determine
what exactly is driving a particular outcome.

Leadership effectiveness refers to the ability to influence others and achieve


collective goals, according to Judge, Bono, Ilies, & Gerhardt study. Some
researchers, however, suggest that leadership success ought to be based on the
effectiveness of the team, group, or organisation. But, leadership effectiveness is
“often based on the perceptions of subordinates, peers, or supervisors.
Many studies rely on peer rankings on who emerges as a leader in a given
situation, even though many personality traits have been associated with
leadership emergence For example, extraversion and openness to experience
have been positively associated with leader effectiveness, while neuroticism was
negatively related to leader effectiveness.

The relationships between personality traits and performance outcomes were


stronger for leader emergence than for leader effectiveness. Another related
concept is leadership advancement over a long career span. Early longitudinal
research had suggested that factors such as interpersonal, cognitive, and
administrative skills were related to leader advancement.

While overlap exists among these constructs, some distinction has to be made
between job performance and effectiveness of leadership. By Job performance is
meant contributions of the leader to organi-sational goal accomplishment
(Motowidlo, 2003). Job effectiveness refers to evaluation of the results achieved
by the leader. Effectiveness can be influenced by a variety of external factors,
outside of the leader’s immediate control (Campbell et al., 1993). As such, it may
not be accurate to attribute all the achievement factors to an indivi-dual’s
leadership capabilities. For example, so many CEO’s became achievers only
during the booming spree.

Therefore, while assessing performance, it is appropriate to examine elements


within the leader’s control, such as speci-fic behaviours that facilitate collective
action and goal achievement. Evaluating leadership in such a manner is necessary
for more accurately identifying predictors of leader performance. Likewise,
analysts ought carefully weigh leadership behaviours in order to more clearly
establish the importance of leadership to organi-sational outcomes.

A leader is anyone who influences a group toward obtaining a particular result.


Leadership is not dependent on title or formal authority. Political examples are
Gandhi and Jai Prakash Narayan. An individual who is appointed to a supreme
position has the right to command and enforce obedience by virtue of the
authority of his or her position. Mrs Indira Gandhi was, thus, an effective leader as
Prime Minister.