List of essays on ‘Leadership’ for class 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Leadership’ especially written for school and college students.

Essay on Leadership

Essay Contents:

  1. Essay on the Introduction to Leadership
  2. Essay on the Definition of Leadership
  3. Essay on the Importance/Need of Leadership
  4. Essay on the Characteristics of Leadership
  5. Essay on the Functions of Leadership
  6. Essay on the Qualities and Functions of a Leader
  7. Essay on the Types of Leadership

Essay on Leadership for School, College and Competitive Exams

Essay on Leadership # 1. Introduction to Leadership:

Since the origin of civilization, it has been observed that the success in any activity ranging from battleground to run a country and ranging from running a small-scale industry to managing an MNC is not possible without an effective leadership. Leadership in itself is very broad term. Unlike the past days when the leadership meant by ruling the people, in today’s dynamic world it has taken entirely different meaning.

It comprises from motivating the employees to their problem solving and its scope has even widened enough to take care of their well-being. Leadership is a way of focusing and motivating a group to enable them to achieve their aims. It also involves being accountable and responsible for the group as a whole.


Leadership is a complex process by which a person influences the behaviour of others to work willingly, responsibly and enthusiastically for achieving the predetermined goals. Leadership involves motivating the group members to set aside their individual concerns for a period of time and work towards a common goal that is important for the welfare of a group.

It is a process in which leader is responsible for the all the trust, both economically and emotionally, that the workers and the promoters of an organization keep on him. Leaders are not born, but made. In order to become a good leader, one must have the experience, knowledge, will-power, patience, and most importantly the skill to convince others.

Essay on Leadership # 2. Definition of Leadership:

Leadership is concerned with influencing the activities of an individual or group for achievement of a goal.

Some of the important definitions of leadership are given below:


Leadership is the ability of a manager to induce subordinates to work with confidence and zeal.


Leadership is the art of influencing and directing people in such a way that will win their obedience, confidence, respect and loyal co-operation in achieving common objectives.



Leadership is a process of influence between a leader and those who are followers.


Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.



Leadership is an attempt at influencing the activities of followers through the communication process and toward the attainment of some goal or goals.

From the above definitions, it can be concluded that leadership involves a process by which a manager guides and influences the work of its sub-ordinates. The main task of leadership is to direct and unite the efforts of the individuals or group towards the achievement of a common goal.

Essay on Leadership # 3. Importance/Need of Leadership:

Leadership plays an important role in the success of any organization. The effective leadership is the life-blood for the survival of an organization. Leadership is one of the most important skills that a person should have.

This skill is especially important to those in the business field. In order for organization to run and continue to generate profits, the leaders should be able to delegate tasks well and perform their other duties as the heads of the organization.


Leadership is a complex process by which a person influences the behaviour of others to work willingly, responsibly and enthusiastically for achieving the predetermined goals.

The importance of leadership can be understood from the following:

i. It Motivates Employees:

A good leader motivates employees for better and higher performance. Motivation helps in getting work done, realizing the objectives, inspiring group efforts and getting cooperation and wholehearted support from the employees for accomplishment of organizational goals.

ii. It Creates Confidence:

A good leader creates confidence in his followers by directing them, giving them advice and ensuring through them good results in the organization.

iii. It Builds Morale:


Leadership helps in increasing the morale of the employees, which results in higher productivity and stability in the orga­nization.

Essay on Leadership # 4. Characteristics of Leadership:

Some of the characteristics of good leadership are:

i. Leadership is a continuous process of influencing behaviour of the people.

ii. It is not a general but a situational activity i.e., this activity is performed differently in different situations.


iii. Leadership aligns the goals of the organization with the interests of its employees.

iv. It is a two way process in which respect, trust and commitment flows from up to down i.e., from leader to followers and vice versa.

v. In this activity the directions are not laid and implemented forcibly, but the followers obey them with their heartiest consent.

vi. It is not an isolated function but this process also has internal and external variables, which affect its performance.

vii. It is also a quality attained by an individual to get the work done from his followers with their willingness.

viii. It is a skill or an art not science.


ix. In leadership, importance is given to other ideas and actions are done accordingly.

Essay on Leadership # 5. Functions of Leadership:

The leadership functions of the managers are closely related with his managerial functions. The functions are different as well as overlapping in some ways. The leader working as manager has to set the group goal, make plans, motivate and inspire subordinates, supervise performance but has to perform several other functions as leader of the group. Leadership functions are related to goal achievement and to the maintenance and strengthening of the group.

Some of the important functions of leadership are as follows:

i To Develop Team Work.

ii. To Act as a Representative of the Work-group.

iii. To Act as a Counselor of the People at Work.


iv. Time Management.

v. Proper use of Power.

i. To Develop Team Work:

The first basic function of the leader is to develop his work-group as a team. The responsibility of a leader is to create a friendly work-environment by keeping a close view of his subordinates competence, needs and potential abilities.

ii. To Act as a Representative of the Work-group:

The second function of leader is to act as a representative of the work group. The leader of a work-group acts as a link between the group and top management.

The leader is expected to communicate the problems and grievances of his subordinates to top management in desired circumstances.

iii. To Act at a Counselor of the People at Work:

The third function of leader is to act as a counselor of the people at work. The leader is expected to guide and advise the concerned subordinate when he is facing problems in connection with their performance at the work.

iv. Time Management:


The fourth important function of leader is time management. The function of leader is to check the timeliness completion at different stages of work and also ensuring quality and efficiency of work performed by the group.

v. Proper Use of Power:

The fifth most important function of leader is the proper use of power. The leader should be intelligent and observant enough to exercise his power in relation to his subordinates in different ways as per the needs of the situation.

Essay on Leadership # 6. Qualities and Functions of a Leader:

A leader is such a person who has aggressiveness in speech and action, love for the employees, and who can handle pressure under different circumstances, a person who is always ready to fight for the rights of employee and accepted by the top management and workers as well.

A leader gains respect in just the way a regular person does. A leader is useless without followers. It is the followers who make a person as a leader. So, a person may be manger if he just enjoys the position but a true leader if workers wish to work under his guidance and motivation.

Qualities of a Good Leader:

Leaders are people like others, but their distinctive qualities make them different.

Either, born or made, a good leader must have following qualities:


1. Dedication:

A good leader should be truly dedicated towards the task he takes in his hand. He demarcates a proper difference between his professional and personal life. The aim should always be to perform better than the last time, whilst staying focused on the very goal.

2. Mental Toughness:

A good leader should remain mentally tough, calm and composed even in the bad times.

3. Empathy:

It is the ability to imagine oneself in another’s place and understand the other’s feelings, desires, ideas, and actions. So, the empathic sense will help the leader to understand the position of his subordinates.


4. Strength of Character:

The character of a leader should be so high that his subordinates follow him with full respect i.e., he should lead the people by setting an example.

5. Maturity:

The maturity level of leader should be high enough to take the important decisions with full emotional stability.

6. Communication Skills:

Effective communication skills are undoubtedly the most important quality in a leader to excel in any field. The leader shouldn’t just have ideas, but should also sport the means of communicating these ideas across the table in an effective manner.

7. Competency:

A person thriving to become a good leader should be competent enough to take on any odds. Decision making matters, and decisions should be purely based on rational thinking instead of emotions. Giving up is a sign of weak leadership, which doesn’t just affect the individual but also tends to hamper the morale of the team.

8. Honesty:

One of the most valuable assets of a leader is honesty. The leader has to be honest to himself; his team as well as his goals.

9. Courageous:

A successful person is the one who takes a calculated risk where others back off. The leader should be courageous enough to identify opportunities and strike gold whenever possible.

10. Goal Oriented:

A good leader needs to be a good visionary. He should be able to set long- term goals and more importantly implement all the measures required to achieve these goals.

11. Inspiring:

A good leader motivates his followers and team to achieve the next best thing. He should be inspiring, in fact a person worth idolizing for his team. His words as well as his actions have to motivate the people around him.

12. Broad Minded:

Being broad-minded can help the leader to keep calm even in rough times. He should be open for ideas and suggestions, even if they come from his juniors. Unnecessary hassles and ego problems should be strictly avoided.

13. Consistency:

Consistency is yet another important leadership trait, which makes the person, stand out in the crowd. Once in a while profits don’t matter to an organization as much as long-term gains do. Consistency for a significant period can ensure these long-term gains.

14. Common Sense:

A good leader must have common sense to understand the common activities around him.

15. Creativity:

A good leader should be creative and innovative so as to device the newer and easier ways of working.

16. Visionary:

The vision of a good leader should be very clear, far and strong.

17. Humour:

Although not one of the popular leadership characteristics, humour is perhaps by far the best way to relive stress.

Functions of a Leader:

The basic function/objective of leader is to ensure that the group accomplishes its goals.

A leader has to perform the following functions:

1. Policy Maker:

The primary function of leader is to establish group goals and policies in accordance with broader policies and organizational goals.

2. Planner:

Leaders plan with a time perspective and develop a methodology for implementation, including use of human and physical resources. Participation of team members in the planning process facilitates smooth implementation.

3. Executive:

An important responsibility of leaders is to coordinate the activities of the various groups and individuals in their team.

4. Expert:

Leaders are expected to be experts in their areas of specialization and their job, so as to enhance the ability and effectiveness of group members.

5. Controller:

Leaders control group activities and interpersonal relations within the group so that the goals of the organization can be achieved effectively.

6. Ideal Role Model:

Depending on the situation, leaders sometimes have to portray themselves as ideal role models for the group members to follow.

7. Motivate:

The leader has to motivate the members enabling them to work as a group.

8. Group Cohesiveness:

The leader has to maintain the integrity of the group by understanding the nature of his subordinates and resolving any kind of conflict or disagreements if arise due to some reason.

9. Acting as Mediator:

The leader should provide and maintain the healthy work culture in organization by acting as a mediator between the workers and the management.

10. Providing Overall Directions:

The leader has to understand the potential of his workers and allocate them duties and direct them accordingly.

11. Selection of Right Strategy:

The leader should be able to understand the work, which he wants to perform from his members and select the right strategies amongst the strategies proposed by top management for the beneficial of both the parties.

12. People Development:

The leader should develop the existing group in accordance with the advancements in the company by arranging the required trainings and skill development programmes.

13. Problem Solving:

A leader has to device the mechanisms like problem redressal in the company for satisfying the immediate needs of the members.

Essay on Leadership # 7. Types of Leadership:

In the past several decades, management experts have undergone a revolution in how they classify leadership. They have gone from a very classical autocratic approach to a very creative, participative approach.

Leadership styles can be classified as under:

i. Autocratic or Authoritarian Leadership Style.

ii. Democratic Leadership Style.

iii. Laissez-faire or Free-rain Leadership Style.

iv. Bureaucratic Leadership Style.

i. Autocratic or Authoritarian Leadership:

The autocratic leadership style is also known as the directive style of leadership. In a system of autocratic leadership, one person has control over all of the workers or followers. The leader typically tells their subordinates what to do, how exactly to do it and what is expected of them and specifying conditions for good performance and deadlines. The leader is in complete control and no one is permitted to make any suggestions or offer any opinions, no matter how it may benefit the group. There is also a clear division between the leader and the followers. This style is sometimes said as negative way of managing.

Salient Features of Autocratic Leadership Style:

a. Leader retains as much power and decision-making authority as possible.

b. The leader does not consult employees, nor are they allowed to give any input.

c. The leader simply relies on threats and punishment to influence employees.

d. Leader decides the work and work companion i.e., team to accomplish.

e. Some task without taking care of the interest of his subordinates.

f. In this type communication is one way.

g. It is negative type of leadership style, as the workers remained informed about any happening around them, so, they feel insecure and remain afraid of the leader.

h. In this type the leader does not trust employees.

i. In this type there is tighter control and supervision over the subordinates.

j. Employees are expected to obey orders without receiving any explanations.


a. Decision-making is fast, as the manager does not consult anyone,

b. Clear-cut authority and responsibility can be delegated to the subordinates,

c. All the secrets remain leak proof,

d. No misuse of power can be there.

e. Due to the fear of punishments the employees remain disciplined and devoted towards the tasks allocated to them.


a. Workers get frustrated, feel less motivated, uninformed all the time. It directly affects the productivity of the organization.

b. It increases absenteeism and more labor turnover, as workers dislike their leader.

c. In this style, very less fresh ideas evolve, as the people lose the sense of participation.

d. There is lack of confidence amongst the workers, which will indirectly affect the overall effectiveness of the company.

When to use Autocratic Leadership Style:

Yet, autocratic leadership is not totally bad. In some situations, it is the most effective style to use.

These situations include:

a. New, untrained employees who do not know which tasks to perform or which procedures to follow.

b. Effective supervision can be provided only through detailed orders and instructions.

c. Employees do not respond to any other leadership style.

d. There are high-volume production needs on a daily basis.

e. There is limited time in which to make a decision.

f. A manager’s power is challenged by an employee.

g. The area was poorly managed.

h. Work needs to be coordinated with another department or organization.

When not to use Autocratic Leadership Style:

The autocratic leadership style should not be used when:

a. Employees become tense, fearful, or resentful.

b. Employees expect to have their opinions heard.

c. Employees begin depending on their leader to make all their decisions.

d. There is low employee morale, high turnover and absenteeism and work stoppage.

ii. Democratic Leadership Style:

Also known as participative leadership, democratic leadership style is the most common form of leadership practiced in the corporate world. A democratic leader, rather than taking autocratic decisions, seeks to involve other people in the process. In this type of style, leader allows other people to get involved in the decision making process. The end decision is still made by the leader, but only after respecting and taking into consideration the ideas of the other people.

Salient Features of the Democratic Leadership Style:

a. Each employee gets a chance to participate in decision-making.

b. Leader develops plans to help employees evaluate their own performance.

c. Encourages employees to grow on the job and be promoted.

d. Recognition and encouragement for the achievement of employees.


a. The participants stay highly motivated resulting in high productivity,

b. The knowledge and experience of group members can be used in decision-­making.

c. Members may feel more committed to group goals and less resistant to managerial actions.

d. Individual abilities can be developed through participation.

e. Two-way communications that is from the group members to the leader and also from the leader to the members will increase the clarity on both sides.


a. Individuals ‘may dominate the participation or make disruptive contribution.

b. This approach can be very time consuming for the leader because of the use of two-way communication.

c. Compromise can result in actions that are not the most effective.

d. Conflicts may be resolved by making the least offensive decision not the most effective.

e. Situation can develop where responsibilities are not clear-cut.

f. Participation may be viewed as a sign of inefficiency on part of a leader. Subordinates may view leader as incompetent to handle the job responsibilities.

When to use Democratic Leadership Style:

The democratic leadership style is most effective when:

a. Used with highly skilled or experienced employees or when implement­ing operational changes.

b. The leader wants to keep employees informed about matters that affect them.

c. The leader wants employees to share in decision-making and problem- solving duties.

d. The leader wants to provide opportunities for employees to develop a high sense of personal growth and job satisfaction.

e. Changes must be made that affect employees or groups of employees.

f. Leader wants to encourage team building and participation.

When not to use Democratic Leadership Style:

Democratic leadership is ineffective when:

a. There is not enough time to get everyone’s input,

b. It’s easier and more cost-effective for the manager to make the decision,

c. The business can’t afford mistakes,

d. The manager feels threatened by this type of leadership,

e. Employee safety is a critical concern.

iii. Laissez-Faire or Free-Rein Leadership:

The laissez-faire leadership style is also known as the delegative style. In this style leader provides little or no direction and gives employees as much freedom as possible. The laissez-faire style is to minimize the leader’s involvement in decision-making, and hence allowing people to make their own decisions, although they may still be responsible for the outcome. Researchers found that workers under laissez-faire leadership were the least productive of all three groups.

Salient Features of the Laissez-Faire Leadership Style:

a. No active participation of leader.

b. Delegative leaders offer little or no guidance to group members and leave decision-making up to group members.

c. It often leads to poorly defined roles and a lack of motivation.


a. Highly productive if subordinates are extremely competent and responsible.

b. High job satisfaction and morale.

c. Scope of development for followers.

d. No negative feelings in the group.


a. Little or no control over the followers so chances of misuse of freedom remains.

b. The free rein leader can easily misjudge people and delegate to them projects and give them freedom which is beyond their technical capacity thus creating failure experiences or high states of anxiety which damage results and especially morale.

c. Chances of error and making mistakes increases due to lack of monitoring, over confidence and lack of guidance.

d. There’s nobody responsible to take the credit or blame in cases of success or failure.

When to use Laissez-Faire Leadership Style:

This is an effective style to use when:

a. Employees are highly skilled, experienced, and educated.

b. Employees have pride in their work and the drive to do it successfully on their own.

c. Outside experts, such as staff specialists or consultants are being used.

d. Employees are trustworthy and experienced.

When not to use Laissez-Faire Leadership Style:

This style is ineffective when:

a. It makes employees feel insecure at the unavailability of a manager.

b. The manager cannot provide regular feedback to let employees know how well they are doing.

c. Managers are unable to thank employees for their good work.

d. The manager doesn’t understand his or her responsibilities and is hoping the employees can cover for him or her.

iv. Bureaucratic Leadership Style:

In this type of style, bureaucratic leaders like to stick exactly to the book and don’t focus too much on team building or inspiring others to work towards a goal. The bureaucratic leadership style is concerned with ensuring workers follow rules and procedures accurately and consistently. The bureaucratic manager is really more of a police officer than a leader who enforces the rules.

Salient features of the Bureaucratic Leadership Style:

a. Leaders impose strict and systematic discipline on the people and demand business like conduct in the workplace.

b. People are promoted based on their ability to conform to the rules of the office.

c. Bureaucratic systems usually gradually develop over a long period of time, and hence are more commonly found in large and old businesses.


a. Increased safety of employees by enforcing health and safety rules at dangerous workplaces.

b. Quality work by enforcing the rules via the bureaucratic leadership style.

c. Ultimate control over employees, which helps to cut costs or improve productivity.


a. This style dehumanizes the business i.e., it has the effect of removing all the enjoyment.

b. This style can lead to intense office politics and arrogant leaders.

c. Rule based culture hinders creativity and encourages workers to simply perform puppet-like work.

d. There is poor communication in this type of style.

When to use Bureaucratic Leadership Style:

This style can be effective when:

a. Employees are performing routine tasks over and over.

b. Employees need to understand certain standards or procedures.

c. Employees are working with dangerous or delicate equipment that requires a definite set of procedures to operate.

d. Safety or security training is being conducted

e. Employees are performing tasks that require handling cash.

When not to use Bureaucratic Leadership Style:

This style is ineffective when:

a. Work habits form that is hard to break, especially if they are no longer useful.

b. Employees lose their interest in their jobs and in their fellow workers.

c. Employees do only what is expected of them.