July 23, 2024

Leadership comes with rank or position. Only those in authority can lead.
These are common concepts of leadership among many of us. Concepts which I do not stick to. As a high school teacher, oftentimes, I don’t assign leaders when I give group work to my class because based on my observations, leaders are always given the bulk of the work and when the required output failed, members would often throw the blame at the leader even if the members did not actually do anything to help. If given the chance to choose their groupmates, most students will choose to be with a person who is active, intelligent, hardworking, or simply someone who can finish the task. I tell them that everybody is a leader and that everyone should care about what is going on with their task or output.
The classroom is a good training ground for children to develop their leadership skills. Many children like to be elected as classroom officers because they assume the role of a leader. When the teacher is out and someone has to take charge of the room – to list the names of those who are noisy, transferring seats, going out, etc. – many volunteer to do the task because they will become the leader, a person in authority.
In the community, people retain the same concept of leadership – we rely too much on government officials that we sometimes fail to see that we also have a part in the community. Some even blame their misfortunes on the government even if they don’t do something to get out of the situation they are in. For instance, we often hear people complaining about the garbage problem, but sadly, these people who complain are even the ones who do not segregate their wastes.
Leadership does not only come with rank or position. We can lead even if we don’t hold any position or office. We can start leading with ourselves.
To me, a leader should be a follower first to be able to lead others to the right path. I believe that the higher one goes (in terms of rank or position) the more that he or she should go down. In an organization, for example, those who have the power to create and implement rules or orders should be the ones who follow these rules before anyone else. They should know what is happening in all the levels of their organization for them to create more effective rules. A true leader cares; he/she can sacrifice for the benefit of all.
In her study, “Leadership and its impact on supervision being an effective supervisor” Catherine Campbell contrasted a leader and a supervisor or manager. She said that a leader’s focus is leading people while a supervisor’s or manager’s focus is managing work. A leader seeks truth; a supervisor or manager establishes truth. A leader is concerned with what is right; a supervisor/manager is concerned with being right. A leader has passion; a supervisor or manager has control. A leader wants achievement; a supervisor or manager wants result. A leader gives credit; a manager or supervisor takes credit.
A leader is not a boss. A leader has followers, but a boss has subordinates, or sometimes, even slaves. Anyone can lead; you don’t have to be a boss to make others follow what you do.
I still believe in the cliché that a good leader is a good follower. As a leader, you should be the number one follower of the rules you implement because if they see you following the rules and policies you implement, they will imitate what you do. All leaders have the potential to be good supervisors, however, not all supervisors are guaranteed to be effective leaders.
Still, according to Campbell, “When a person is deciding whether to respect you as a leader, greater emphasis is placed on their observation as opposed to your personal attributes…” People observe what you do as a leader. Sometimes, people’s perception towards you as an ordinary employee changes when you are promoted to a higher position.
People follow you as a leader out of respect; people should not be made to obey orders out of fear. — Anna Grace M. Cabanilla