Monday, November 19, 2012

Leadership as Influence or Manipulation

Leadership can be defined as influencing someone or an organization to do something that you want them to do. Generally we think of leadership as desirable. But doesn’t this definition smack of the kind of influence that is more like manipulation for one’s own ends?

Here is where the definition of situational leadership comes into play. When it comes to leadership, Influence must include the reasons for leading others and the ultimate goal. If you influence others to reach a result that is beneficial both for you and for them, this is the kind of leadership where both parties win. If leadership is used to influence others for your own benefit but the result is detrimental to them or to the organization, this is manipulation where the result is a win-lose.

Leadership in win-win situations is an admirable trait and it can be exercised regardless of one’s position in a hierarchy. The only prerequisites for leadership opportunities should be one’s expertise in the field of influence and their ability to relate to others effectively.

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