12 Features/Characteristics of Leadership in Management

Features of Leadership

Leadership in management is a dynamic force that shapes organizational success. It involves influencing individuals to willingly contribute towards achieving shared objectives. Let’s explore the 12 key features of leadership that define this crucial aspect of management.

Influence Ability

At its core, leadership is about the capacity of an individual to influence others. This goes beyond formal authority, requiring a leader to guide, inspire, and direct the behavior of followers toward the accomplishment of organizational goals. This influence is not coercive but voluntary, relying on the ability to garner trust and respect.

Leader and Follower Relationship

Leadership hinges on the leader-follower relationship. A leader guides, influences, and directs, while followers willingly adhere to their guidance. The essence lies in this dynamic, where leaders inspire trust and respect, creating a collaborative environment. This interplay defines the cooperative synergy required for achieving shared organizational goals.

Relational Basis

Leadership doesn’t thrive in isolation; it emerges within relationships. It exists when two or more people interact, with one providing direction and influence – the leader – and others willingly following. This relational basis underscores the importance of effective communication, trust-building, and understanding in the leadership dynamic.

Behavioral Change Aim

A distinctive feature of leadership is its goal to initiate behavioral changes in others. It’s not just about maintaining the status quo but actively steering individuals towards growth and development. Leaders employ various strategies, including motivation, guidance, and setting examples, to bring about positive changes in the attitudes and actions of their followers.

Interpersonal Relations

Leadership is inherently tied to interpersonal relationships. The connection between leaders and followers is not merely transactional; it involves empathy, understanding, and effective communication. Leaders who excel in interpersonal skills can build rapport, creating an environment where individuals feel valued and understood.

Organizational Goal Alignment

The focal point of leadership is aligning individual and collective efforts with the organizational goals. A leader serves as a guide, ensuring that the actions of the team are directed towards the common objectives of the organization. This alignment is essential for synergy and efficient utilization of resources.

Continuous Nature

Leadership is not a one-time event; it’s an ongoing process. Effective leaders recognize that their role extends beyond occasional decision-making or direction-setting. They engage consistently with their team, adapting their strategies to meet evolving challenges and opportunities, thus ensuring sustained organizational success.

Read More: McKinsey 7S Model

Situational Sensitivity

Successful leadership requires adaptability to varying situations. What works in one context may not be as effective in another. Leaders must be attuned to the nuances of different circumstances – considering organizational culture, team dynamics, and external factors – and adjust their approach accordingly. This situational sensitivity enhances the leader’s effectiveness in guiding their team.


While leadership involves authority, it transcends mere positional power. A leader’s influence is not solely derived from their formal position within the organizational hierarchy. Instead, it emanates from personal qualities, expertise, and the ability to inspire trust. Effective leaders understand the balance between using authority and earning respect through their actions.

Inspiring Employees

An integral aspect of leadership is its role in inspiring employees. Beyond task delegation, leaders motivate individuals to go above and beyond in their contributions. This inspiration is not based on coercion but stems from a shared vision, clear communication, and a supportive organizational culture that recognizes and rewards achievements.

Read More: Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model

Psychological Support

Leadership extends beyond professional realms into providing psychological support. Leaders recognize the individual needs and aspirations of their team members. By maintaining personal connections, showing empathy, and offering encouragement, leaders create an environment where employees feel valued and supported in their personal and professional growth.

Change Implementation

Change is inevitable in any organization, and leaders play a pivotal role in its successful implementation. Whether it’s introducing new processes, technologies, or organizational structures, leaders must guide their teams through the transition. Effective communication, transparency, and involvement in the change process are key features of leadership in managing organizational transformations.

Conflict Resolution

Conflicts are an inherent part of any workplace, and leadership involves skillful resolution. Leaders act as mediators, promoting a positive work environment by addressing disagreements and fostering collaboration. By emphasizing common goals and facilitating open communication, leaders contribute to the overall cohesion and effectiveness of the team.

Hence, these are the 12 key features/ characteristics of leadership in management.

Read More: Lewin’s Change Model – 3 Stages

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