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why do we need leaders in society

Michael Hyatt, chairman of Nashville-based Thomas Nelson Publishers and an expert on intentional leadership, has posted an interesting article probing the question, Why do leaders exist? He says the answer is this: Leaders exist to create a shift in reality. Without leaders, things drift along. They go where they want to go, following the path of least resistance. However, when this is not desirable or acceptable you hire, elect, appoint or become a leader. The leader s job is to overcome resistance and make things flow in a different direction. His or her job is to create a different reality. I don t think too many entrepreneurs ask why leaders exist. They know things need to be done they see opportunities for change all around them and they know that nobody else will do it quite the way they do. They take positions of leadership because it s the only way things get done. 1. Identify what needs to change. What is unacceptable about your current environment? What frustrates you? What disappoints you? What needs to change? 2. Determine the outcome you seek. What do you want to create in the place of the status quo? Many people call this vision, and while it may change over time, possibly sooner than you think, it s an essential first step. 3. Decide how you will achieve your outcome. This is what is commonly called strategy. Good leaders pick the course that will produce the results they are after in the most economical way. 4. Create an action plan.

Once you have a vision and strategy, you must craft an action plan with specific milestones and due dates. You have to be able to measure your progress against time and effort. There is another important step that you will have to follow (and repeat again and again) throughout your leadership effort. You must enroll and align your team. When you don t keep their needs firmly in mind, you ll encounter doubt and even resistance. Not because your people are rebellious, lazy, or stupid, says Hyatt, but because you didn t do your job as a leader. Good leaders get things done. Read Hyatt s original blogpost
For a good many academic and professional people, negative attitude towards leadership go deeper than skepticism concerning the leaders integrity. Many have real doubts, not always explicitly formulated, about the necessity of leadership. The doubts are of two kinds. First, many scientific and professional people are accustomed to the kinds of problems that can be solved by expert technical advice or action. It's easy for them to imagine that any social enterprise could be managed in the same way. They envisage a world that does not need leaders, only experts. The notion is based, on of course, upon a false conception of the leader's function. The supplying of technically correct solutions is the least of his responsibilities. There is another kind of queries that academic and professional people raise concerning leadership: Is the very notion of leadership at odds with the ideals of free society?

Is it a throwback of earlier notions of social organizations? These are queries sounds frivolous. We have in fact out grown and rejected several varieties of leadership that have loomed large in the history of mankind. We do not want autocratic leaders who us like inferior beings. We do not leaders, no matter wise or kind, who treat us like minors. But at the same time we were rejecting those forms of leadership, we were evolving forms more suitably to our values. As our best leaders today are not out of place in a free society---- on the contrary, they strengthen our free society. We can have the kind of leaders we want, but we cannot choose to do without them. It is in the nature of social organization that we must have at all levels of our national life, in and out of government---- in business, politics, education and every other field. Since we must have them, it helps considerably if they are gifted in the performance of their appointed task. The sad truth is that the majority of our organizations are badly managed or badly led. And because of that, people within the organizations are frustrated. They are not helped when they could be helped neither are they given the opportunities to fulfil themselves that are clearly possible. In the minds of some, leadership are associated with goals that are distasteful--- power, efficiency etc. But leadership, properly conceived, also serves the individual human goals that our society values so highly, and we shall not achieve those goals without it.

Leaders worthy of the name, regardless of their positions contribute to the continuing definition and articulation of the most cherished values of our society. They offer, in short, moral leadership. So much of our energy has been devoted to tending the machinery of our complex society society that neglected this element of leadership. I am using the word "moral" to refer to the shared values that must undergird any functioning society. The things that makes a number of individuals a society rather than a population or a crowd is the presence of shared attitudes, habits and. values, a shared conception of the enterprise of which they all of a part, shared views of why it is worthwhile for the enterprise to continue and to flourish. Leaders can help in bringing that about,. In fact, it is required that they do so. When leaders lose their credibility or their moral authority, then the society begins to disintegrate. Leaders have a significant role in creating the state of mind that is the society. They can serve as symbols of the moral unity of the society. They can express the values that hold the society together. Most important, they can conceive and articulate goals that lift people out of their petty preoccupations, carry them above the conflicts that tear a society apart, and unite them in the pursuit of objectiveness worthy of their best efforts.

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