The one thing that differentiates humans from animals is the ability to reason and make intelligent decisions. From the beginning of the history of mankind, an individual or group of individuals have had to step up and become the decision makers or leaders of the group. The greatest and the worst civilizations in human history were defined by the decisions of the leadership of each society. The ability of the leader to influence others is the key to the success of every organization or working environment that one could become a part of. Every member, from the CEO to the janitor, should have the same vision of the leader and be compelled to make the vision reality. The leader should make everyone feel like they are an integral part of the organization and are empowered to achieve excellence. This paper defines what a leader is and what makes a good leader. It explores the positive principles of charismatic, visionary, transactional, and transformational leadership. It explains the importance of team leadership.
Robbins and Coulter (2002) defines a leader as "someone who can influence others and who has managerial authority and leadership as "the process of influencing a group towards the achievement of goals " (p. 458). Early leadership research generally focused on leadership traits that would attempt to differentiate a leader from a non-leader. Researchers identified personal drive, which is a high effort level and a high desire for achievement, job-relevant knowledge, intelligence, self-confidence, honest, integrity, and a desire to lead as traits of successful leaders. .
Robbins and Coulter (2002) states that early researchers identified three leadership styles. An autocratic style leader was one who would centralize authority, dictate work methods, make unilateral decisions and limit employee participation. A democratic style leader was one who involved employees in decision making, delegated authority, encouraged participation in deciding work methods and goals and used feedback to coach employees.