Table of Contents

2017 Month : October Volume : 3 Issue : 4 Page : 168-173


Col. Dr. Mathews Grace George1

1Professor, Department of Science and Humanities, Sri Vellappally Natesan College of Engineering, Mavelikara.

Corresponding Author:
Col. Dr. Mathews Grace George,
Grace Cottage,
Valiakulangara PO,



Leadership is an elusive concept, difficult of definition and the definitions offered by different writers in the field differ considerably. The term is sometimes used to refer, to an attribute of a person, as in the phrase, ‘his leadership was exemplary’, but is more usefully employed to refer to a social process involving influence, motivation and persuasion. The ability of the leader to motivate his subordinates is a most important attribute and can be termed as “the heart of leadership”. Building confidence in subordinates and inspiring them to become leaders themselves and being part of planning and decision making is to be studied and successfully utilised. Inculcating a sense of belonging among subordinates by extending a genuine concern is most essential for the present leadership of organisations. Retention of best employees in the organisation is required to be made effective with a justified compensation and other fringe benefits. Needs of the subordinates is to be materialised, their grievances if any to be resolved in time. The use of various relevant techniques contributing to an effective leadership should be considered in the organisations.



Leadership, Motivation, Confidence, Decision Making, Communication, Planning, Compensation, Retention of Best Employees.


There is no single style of leadership that works. But there are basic principles of leadership that all effective leaders apply regardless of their personal style of leadership. How can leaders bring about change? The increase in the rate of change in the business environment requires the adoption new leadership styles. When the situation is relatively stable the need to arouse enthusiasm, to energise people, to persuade them to give up cherished ideas and working practices is less than when there is a strong requirement for change, particularly a radical change. They do it by gaining the commitment of their constituents. Leaders convince their constituents to support plans for change because of its benefits that allow them to do so. In other words, employees must be convinced that when they back an initiative for change, it will benefit them tangibly, or their salary-even if their things don’t happen in right way. They are not going to support a plan for change just because the leader happens to think it is a good idea. Wise leaders also don’t use threats-“Either you do what I say or you are fired”. The negative, fear-oriented approach never achieves as much over the long-term as a consensus building, enthusiastic approach to transforming an organisation. To succeed as a leader, one need to seize the opportunities, which are fine to change those things, rather than working twice as hard on changing something that isn’t yet ready for change.

If one wishes to distinguish leadership from management or administration, one can argue that leaders create and change cultures, while managers and administrators live with Them. If you focus on things that are very difficult to change, you may just end up causing disruption and lose momentum

or cause a revolution. One can’t be too far in front of the troops. One may know what is likely to happen and what has to be done, but if one is too far ahead of the ranks, one is in trouble. One has to move the group along so that its members generally agree with what is happening. On the other hand, the leader can use a situation in which real danger is present to accomplish a great deal in a short time.


Review of Literature

A survey for the available literature on leadership and motivation revealed the fact that motivation of employees is an apt tool required to be followed effectively by the leaders of our organisations. Effective leadership rendered by the leaders is the pivot for the success of the organisations. The literature on leadership is more extensive than impressive. An attempt is made to review the existing literature on the subject for getting the concepts more clear. There are various other studies which are related to the concepts, which are not included here, due to fear of elaboration and redundancy in terms of the basic underlying thought having been mentioned.

According to Professor Kenneth Clark (1994), leadership is an activity or set of activities, observable to others that occur in a group, organisation or institution involving a leader and followers who willingly subscribe to common purposes and work together to achieve them.

Handy (1992) attributes the growing interest in leadership in recent years to an underlying change in the way we think about organisations. He suggests that in the past we thought of organisations as pieces of engineering, ‘flawed pieces maybe that capable in theory of perfectibility’. Organisations, thus, were things to be designed, planned and managed. Their effectiveness was to do with control systems and feedback loops.

Sayles (1993) argues for a less dramatic view of leadership than the conventional picture of the charismatic person able to galvanise followers into action with a compelling vision of a worthwhile goal. He presents the cause for the ‘working leader’: the person who makes the organisation work to maximum effect. He answers the challenge, ‘Can that be leadership? Isn’t that simply what management is all about? Is that so remarkable as to be called leadership?’ with unequivocal, ‘Yes!’ In his view organisations cannot function effectively without middle managers who can exercise leadership. Leadership skills are needed to overcome the inherent contradictions, bureaucracy and centrifugal tendencies of organisations. ‘Almost nothing works without a working leader.’

According to Dubin (1970), motivation could be defined as “The complex forces that are starting and keeping a person at work in an organisation. Motivation is something that moves the person to action, and continues him in the course already initiated”.

In the words of Dalton E. McFarland (1974), “Motivation is the way in which one urges, desires, aspires, strives or needs direction, controls or explains the behaviour of human being”. Motivation has very close relationship with the behaviour. It explains how and why the human behaviour is caused. It is a form of tension occurring within the individuals, with resulting behaviour aimed at reducing, eliminating or diverting the tension.

According to Craig Pinder (1964), “Work motivation is a set of energetic forces that originate both within as well as beyond an individual’s being, to initiate work-related behaviour, and to determine its form, direction, intensity and duration”.

According to Mammoria (1974), the management of men is a challenging task because of the dynamic nature of the people. No two persons are similar in mental abilities, traditions, sentiments and behaviour. They differ widely also as groups and are subject to many varied influences.

Medalia and Miller (1955) observed that human relations leadership tends to influence group effectiveness.



The study is exploratory in nature and hence designed as an empirical based on survey of literature and through personal interactions with concerned personalities at various levels and various organisations. The study by involving subordinates has been able to incorporate a 360-degree viewpoint of the effect of leadership styles in any organisations. The data of the study were collected from both the primary and secondary sources. The secondary data were collected from various books, journals, research articles, study reports, working papers, seminar reports and from records maintained by various organisations.


Importance of Motivation

The term ‘motivation’ has its origin in the Latin word “movere” which means to ‘to move’. Motivation refers to a dynamic driving force, which emanates from within. It is an “inner striving condition which activates or moves an individual into action and continues him in the course of action enthusiastically”. Motivation could be defined as an inner state that activates, energises or moves behaviour towards goals. The unsatisfied need of a person is the beginning of the motivation process. The unsatisfied need results in tension within the individual and motivates him to search for the ways to relieve the tension, and compels or develops certain goals for him. Rensis Likert has termed motivation as the “core of management”. Motivation is an important function performed by manager for actuating the people to work for the accomplishment of organisational objectives. John W. Gardner, the author of several books on leadership, believes that the ability to motivate is the leader’s most important attribute. He calls it “the heart of leadership”. Effective leaders not only motivate people to act but also build confidence in their subordinates and inspire them to become leaders themselves. Traditional incentives such as pay and promotion are effective, but John Gardner thinks, people work best when they really believe what they are doing and feel part of what is going on. Today, when job movement is much more prevalent, people feel less connected with an organisation because it can merge any day with another organisation. Organisations are, in general, much bigger than they have been in the past. This causes a loss of identity and feelings of alienation among employees. It’s more difficult, but still possible to use non-rational incentives in such an environment, and the effort is worth it in terms of the objectives of the organisation.


Motivate Individuals

Marcus Buckingham, speaking at Wharton Leadership Conference in June 2005, explained the notions of motivation he developed. He said good managers and leaders differ from bad managers and leaders in one basic subject; bad managers play checkers, while good managers play chess. Marcus said that, “The good manager knows that not all employees work in the same way”. They know that if they are to achieve success, they must put their employees in a situation where they will be able to use their strengths. Great managers know that they don’t have ten sales people working for them-they have ten individuals work for them. A great manager is brilliant at spotting the unique difference that separates each person and then capitalising on them. Understanding the wants and needs of individuals can be extended to groups of individuals in the hands of wise leaders who have intuition and empathy. They can use the non-rational incentives to cause all sorts of positive behaviour in groups that they would like to encourage. This can go all the way from inviting the employee of the month to have dinner with the president, to being recognised in the corporate magazine awards of one sort or another.


Build Confidence in the Future

Marcus Buckingham asserted that the main responsibility of a leader “is to rally people for the better future. If you are a leader you better be unflinchingly, unfailingly optimise. No matter how bleak his or her mood, nothing can undermine a leader’s belief that things can get better, and must get better. He believes either brings this to the table or you don’t. In addition to bring optimistic outputs, great leaders need a strong ego to motivate an employee. “If you are going to lead, you better have deep-seated belief that you should be at the helm”. Buckingham said,” virtually nothing about a leader is humble. I am not saying they are arrogant, but their claims are big”. He believes that successful leaders find “universal truths” to rally their followers. These truths stem from the basic human needs, fears and desires that unite all people, across the cultures.

One example of these truths is fear of the unknown. We all share a fear of the unknown. “The problem for the modern day leader of course, is that you traffic in the future. The best way to turn anxiety into confidence is this; ‘Be clear’. Clarity is the antidote to anxiety. If you do nothing else as a leader, be clear. You do a lot worse than pick just a few areas you want to take action on right now”.

Build Confidence in Your People

Confidence is something the followers must have. It’s debilitating if they don’t. A person who lacks confidence will be merely a cog in the machine that does whatever he or she is told and completely lacks initiative. You want people who can take appropriate decisions at their level and are not waiting to be told what to do in every case. “He can, who thinks he can”. The value of having a team of people who are not afraid to take positions, who are not afraid to make appropriate decisions in their area, who can have confidence that they are in a position to make the best decisions, is immeasurable. It’s powerful. If you put that together with a positive, forward thinking attitude, you have got a winning combination.

A loss of confidence in any individual or an organisation is a sure way to produce underachievement. Nothing is more deliberating to an organisation than people who are filled with pessimism, malcontents who have a lack of confidence in themselves and the organisation. You need to bring out the ultimate human potential in the individuals in the organisation, and that has to be done with motivation, praise, communication, high expectations, respect and confidence overload with a good dose of realism. If people can’t do the job, you have to fire them. You have to look out for the total organisation, and everybody has to be able to carry their weight. But while they are there, you need to get the most you can out of their potential, and that is much better achieved by high expectations and praise than constant criticism where the glass is half-full, rather than half-empty. They want to be in an organisation where when going gets tough, the tough gets going. They want to be in an organisation where that’s not a problem, it’s an opportunity.


Bring Workers into Planning

It is believed that the human beings are entirely constituted by their social relationships. This belief rendered him and his successors incapable of recognising the distinctiveness and independence of the individual person. The original feeling of democratic socialism, that freedom must be guaranteed to all people in all walks of life, has time and again come up. The right of the people to have self-determination regarding work, the right of the society to participate in decision-making with regards to economic development and effective checks on power-all these exclude the monopoly of the state over the means of production as well as arbitrariness of private ownership. People need to feel that in addition to what is going on, they are being listened to, that their job is important, and that decisions just don’t get dumped on them without anyone explaining why. You need to make them part of the process of determining how their area moves forward. Thus, it would be foolhardy for a board of directors to come up with a strategic plan for the organisation. What directors must do is to ask the management to come up with a strategic plan that they can approve. If management comes with the plan, the managers are going to feel part of the process and commit and believe that it is “their plan”, not the board’s plan. This process shouldn’t stop with the top management; it should go all the way down the line.

It is required to demonstrate a genuine concern about the lives of the employees inside and outside the organisation by the leader. Leader should take initiative to inculcate a sense of belonging within the followers or employees and a feeling of ownness towards the organisation. This leads to participation of the employee in his profession and in turn results in them being a part of concerned managerial decision. Leader can also increase employee involvement by observing closely employee performance and behaviour, in order to discover their strengths and make them aware of their real aspirations. Some might object and say, “that could take a lot of time”. If the process is well organised, that time it takes will be more than paid for in the quality of the plan that is realised by people who know what’s going on at their level. They can come up with better ways to change things than someone peering down from the ivory tower of the executive office. Many times, down in the organisation, people talk about a new decision that is absolutely wrong, that they believe was put together by some idiot in the executive office who didn’t really understand what was going on. It happens all the time and is debilitating to an organisation. It fosters an, “us versus them” attitude.


Communication in Person

Leaders can fine-tune loyalty levels by keeping their work force informed about business goals. Opening the channels of communication involves thoughtfully listening to staff contributions and explaining the rationale behind various decisions. The ability to know a person is the starting point in dealing with them; and the communication skill plays an important role in this ability. John Gardner, a new age management guru, emphasises the importance of communication and he observed, “If I had to name a single all-purpose instrument of leadership, it would be communication. Leadership rises and falls on communication”. Most of the strained and fractured relations can be traced to the mutual breakdown of communication between individuals. One starts seeing the uglier side of others, which leads to alienation. The ability to communicate, on the other hand, puts relations on even keel, by removing misperceptions and misunderstandings. Communication is absolutely essential to all parts of the organisation so that people feel that they know what is going on, what is going to happen, and hopefully, that they have some input into their own destiny. Some leaders believe that this can be done solely by way of memo and house organ. These are important means, but leader also has to go out as much as possible and do this in person. The benefits of the leader spending a good amount of time out in the line organisation interacting with people and listening to their thoughts are very significant. And the fact that the leader has to take the time to be there is critical to the people’s morale.


Respect Dissent

Most leaders have a strong intuition that allows them to sense and cope with dissent. On the surface, it might appear that dissent can potentially undermine leadership by challenging the leader’s authority that need not always be the case though, according to recent research by Michael Roberto, author of Why Great Leaders don’t take yes for an Answer? “Conflict alone does not lead to better decisions”. Robert notes, “Leaders also need to build consensus in their organisations. Consensus-does not mean unanimity, widespread agreement on all facets of a decision, or complete approval by a majority of organisation leaders, should make decisions. Consensus does mean that people have agreed to cooperate in the implementation of a decision. They have accepted the final choice, even though they may not be completely satisfied with it”.

Head Off Turf Battles

Instead of moving decision making to the operating units, people often are hampered by the turf consciousness that builds up in certain bureaucratic organisations including some academic institutions. It’s not a case of what is best for the organisation; it is a matter of who has the right to make the decision. The approach of saying that, in effect we worked for him was a de-motivator in doing my job, and if I had used the same mentality in dealing with others in my organisation. I would have de-motivated them too. How many executive offices look at operating units as their customers?


Keep the Executive Office Lean

Today, in some organisations that are highly centralised, decision making gets moved more and more to the corporate offices. This is often a mistake when more and more decision making should be taking place in the divisions. The only real way to guard against this problem is to keep a lean executive office. As a part of the impulse to argument the executive office, there is a tendency to overpay executive office people and underpay the line staff. If you look at those who are contributing to your revenues and profits, who are meeting the customers, who are in charge of developing the people, you will almost invariably come up with line managers.


Tie Pay to the Strategic Plan

After discussing non-rational incentives, it is now the time to end with a very rational motivator, pay. It is a very important part of motivating workers. Today, pay and promotion are used more frequently to motivate employees than maintaining a secure long-run relationship with the company in which the employee feels a part of what’s going on. However, pay has unfortunately become tied more and more to a percentage figure of profit in an organisation. Profits are important, but they are only one element of RAID goals to be achieved in most strategic plans. And in the long-run, the overall strategic goals are more important than short-term profits.

An effective incentive pay system has to be tied to the overall strategic plan. If you give one person responsibility for the strategic plan and someone else responsibility for the pay system, and they are not connected, who do you think is going to win? Obviously, it will be the person with the pay system. It doesn’t take people long to figure out how the organisation decides how much to pay people and gravitate to a behaviour necessary to meet the incentive. If the incentive is purely profit, you are going to find that a lot of either things, especially investments for long-term growth will get short-changed. And if you continually push hard enough on the profit button, you may even find that some of the numbers seem to get distorted in order to “make the plan”.


Retain the Best People

One of the most important benefits of motivating your workers is to retain your best people. Marcus Buckingham, in another book co-author Curt Coffman, titled “First Break All the Rules”: “What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently”, argued that the companies don’t just compete to sell products and services; they also compete to have the best employees in highly competitive markets. Although Human Resource Departments historically have focused on developing attractive pay packages to hire and retain their most talented employees, this may not be enough. “Today, more than ever before, if a company is bleeding people, it is bleeding value”.

One reviewer of Marcus Buckingham and Coffman’s book neatly summarised their argument: “A company can offer employees generous compensation, benefits and wonderful perks such as health clubs, day care centres and still lose the best workers. What many otherwise excellent companies miss is that one mediocre manager can wreak havoc in even the best organisation and send the most talented employees running the exits”. So yes, motivation is the heart of leadership, and effective leaders not only motivate people to act but also build confidence in their subordinates and inspire them to become leaders themselves. Essentially every study has supported the fact than non-rational incentives are at least important as, if not more important than traditional pay. Even in this new day of people being devoted more to their marketability than company loyalty, non-rational motivators do work, just as top leaders/managers know how to get more accomplished by teams of people than those who are not adept at motivating. One can lose sight of the great advantage you could have when a motivated organisation enjoys what they are doing, believes in what they are doing, and are doing it in an environment of integrity and leadership, and in a culture that they enjoy working in.


Basic Principles of Successful Leadership

Regardless of the kind of organisation, a leader must master and take adequate measures to apply the basic principles that lead to a successful leadership desired by the organisation. The findings of this study are the implementation of these basic principles on ground for attaining desired results. These basic principles are enumerated below:

  • A leader at all times must embody a personal integrity, which is the foundation of leadership. Followers want to believe that their leader is unshakably fair in public and in private.
  • A leader serves as a symbol and is perceived by followers to be on a different plane from the rest of the organisation. Thus, the leader is constrained in what behaviour is appropriate and not appropriate. He or she can only go so far in being, “One of the boys”.
  • In today’s global market place, leaders need to foster innovation at all levels of the organisation, and that means listening to employees/workers and giving them ample latitude to experiment, make mistakes, and seek new products and services that will complete in a constantly changing competitive landscape.
  • A leader must give considerable thought and careful execution to the whole area of rational and intangible rewards in relation to motivation of followers. For example, it is critical to the execution of a strategic plan that the compensation system to be tied to the plan and not exclusively to earnings per share or the budget.
  • A leader must build confidence among the followers. Like teachers, a leader must communicate high expectations and then ensure that followers develop confidence that they can meet those expectations. They can who think they can.
  • A leader must communicate the leader’s goals to the entire organisation-ideally in person, but at least in writing in his or her own words-since communication is crucial to an effective organisation.
  • A leader can’t get too far in front of the troops in leading without risking failure to achieve the leader’s goals. A leader will always be ahead in thinking, but the group must be brought along so that members understand what is happening and why or the leader may be faced with disconnect between the leader’s goals and those that the members are willing to accept.
  • In normal times, a leader should make faster progress taking opportunities that are ready for change rather than trying to take on areas that the leader knows will be more resisted. Later these resistance areas could be more conducive to change.
  • A leader applies basically the same principles of leadership regardless of context, but the style of execution is a very different content. That is, execution in leadership is to a great extent about the context.
  • A leader mobilises followers by finding out their goals, desires, wants, and needs and makes them believe that the leader is truly trying to help them to achieve these aspirations. At the same time, in order to achieve the goals of the organisation, the leader must bridge the individual goals of the followers and the overall goals that are incorporated in, for example, a strategic plan.
  • A leader’s ultimate goal is to release the human potential of the followers. This will benefit not only the followers but also the overall organisation.
  • In times of crisis, a leader must step out ahead of the followers and make the difficult decisions without consensus and at times even without adequate explanation in order to resolve the threat to the organisation.
  • A leader’s most important and essential attribute is good judgement. This is innate and really can’t be taught although it can be matured with experience.
  • Leadership is the main differentiator in performance in most environments. People think that formulas, slick marketing, being first, the latest management tool, programs such as Six Sigma, and so on are the key differentiators in an organisation. These other areas matter, but leadership alone is the key differentiator between organisations that succeed and those that fail.



An effective leadership can be achieved by tactfully implementing the salient aspects mentioned below-

  • Take adequate measures to motivate the workers if they are to realise the organisation’s long-term strategic goals. The value of having a team of people who are not afraid to take positions, who are not afraid to make appropriate decisions in their area, who have confidence that they are in a position to make the best decisions, is measurable. It’s powerful. Blending of a positive, forward-thinking attitude will definitely fetch a winning combination.
  • The needs and goals of the individuals in the organisation are to be studied in depth and analysed. Leader is required to take steps for materialising the needs and goals of the followers. These needs are to be considered in empathetically.
  • Measures should be adopted to achieve the confidence of the followers. The future of the organisation is based on the confidence level exhibited by the followers. Need to establish a transparent relationship to build confidence.
  • Participative style of functioning pays high dividends to the organisation. Adequate motivation processes create a culture of belongingness among the workers and bring them to contribute in planning and decision making process in an organisation. Each worker should feel that he is a stakeholder and should contribute more for the excellent function of the organisation.
  • Communication in person and efforts are to be taken to clear doubts and clarification if any. It is most essential to establish a one-to-one communication system for an active participation by the workers.
  • Decision making at every level should be decentralised. Confidence level of the workers at ground level is to be developed for attaining better output. It is advisable to have a lean executive office for monitoring and mentoring the subordinates.
  • Recognise and understand the requirements of the organisation and implement methods for making right decisions to suit the needs and tastes of the subordinates. Adequate measures to take prompt decision which is always appreciated by the subordinates are necessary. Decision should never be a de-motivation factor to the subordinates.
  • Take adequate measures to the problems, grievances and suggestions of subordinates. Respect dissent and listen to it carefully before making decisions.
  • Create environment of genuine concern about the subordinates and the subordinates should feel and experience the same. Build confidence in your people by positive rather than negative means.
  • Steps to be taken to motivate the employees and secure a long run relationship with the organisation in which the employee feels a part of what’s going on. Tie pay to the strategic plan, not just the quarterly profit figure.
  • The qualified and experienced employees are leaving the organisation, prematurely and seeking employment in other organisation. Employee’s turnover is presently experienced in a higher rate. Hence, it is essential to retain more of the best people by motivating them by non-rational as well as rational means. It is recommended to take adequate measures for retaining the employees by encouraging or attracting the best employees by improving the service conditions and the benefits.



To lead with boldness and élan is the most challenging, exciting and joyous role an individual can perform. A leader’s prime role is to lead people for a cause or a mission. A leader, in the process of leading, injects pride, trust, esprit-de-corps, cohesion, confidence and happiness in the group he leads. The interference of unhealthy environmental influences has to be controlled for good. The ability to use courage to decide and act without hankering for rewards of fear of failure should be the outcome of an effective leadership. Inculcate a sense of belonging within the employees and a feeling of “ownness” towards the organisation. Employees are to be made confident that their welfare would mainly be in the hands of the leader. There are only two demands from leadership. One, that position does not confer privileges; it entails responsibilities. The other is personal integrity of a leader which entails congruence between words and deeds, between behaviour and professional values. A new sense of responsibility should be developed with the techniques enumerated above and both leaders and employees must be governed by it.



  1. Adair J, The skills of leadership, Aldershot: Gower, 1984.
  2. Clark KE, Clark MB, Choosing to lead, Greensboro, Leadership Press, 1994.
  3. McFarland DE, Management principles and practices, New York: Macmillan, 1974.
  4. Gardner H, Leading Minds, London: Harper Collins, 1996.
  5. Good managers focus on employees’ strengths, not weakness. Knowledge@wharton, June 29, 2005.
  6. Handy C. The language of leadership, In Syrett M, Hogg C, ed. Frontiers of leadership, Oxford: Blackwell; 7-12, 1992.
  7. High price companies for mediocre managers. Knowledge@wharton, March1, 2000.
  8. Kotter JP, The leadership factor, New York: Free Press, 1988.
  9. Mammoria, C.B, Personal management, 12th edn, Himalaya Publishing Company, 1974.
  10. Mathews GG, Sreeranganadhan K, Management styles in industries of Kerala, New Delhi: Serials Publications, 2012.
  11. Medalia NZ, Miller DC. Human relations leadership and the association of morale and efficiency in groups, A controlled study with small military units. Social Press, 33(4), 253-273, 1955.
  12. Robert M, Why great leader’s doesn’t take yes for an answer, Chapter 1, Wharton School Publishing, 2005.
  13. Likert R, New pattern of management, New York: McGraw Hill, 1961.
  14. Dubin R, Human relations in administration. New Delhi: Prentice Hall of India, p. 53, 1970.
  15. Sayles LR, The working leader, New York: The Free Press, 1993.
  16. Van Seters DA, Field RHG. The evolution of leadership theory. Journal of Organisational Change Management,  3(3), 29-45, 1990.

Videos :


Download Download [ PDF ] Download[ ABSTRACT ] Email Send to a friend