What is a leader?

We explain what a leader is and the types of leaders according to Max Weber. In addition, the characteristics of a true leader.

  1. What is a leader?

The word leader comes from the English leader . Leaders are defined as people capable of guiding and influencing other people or groups of people , and that they also recognize it as such.

There are those who classify leaders according to certain characteristics they possess. In the first place it is important to distinguish natural from institutionalized leaders . The first are those that arise from groups of people naturally and the rest decide to recognize their role as leader and respect it as such. On the other hand there are institutionalized, they have their position legitimately. This can cover different positions, be they political, spiritual, as educators, among others.

Another way to classify leaders is in positive and negative . An example of the latter are authoritarian leaders. They are characterized by being dominant and abusing their power. They also impose what are the issues to be addressed. Nor do they allow the free expression of the rest of their classmates. The opposite case to this type of leaders are those that allow the rest of the group to give their opinion and allow for better relations between the different members of the group.

  1. Types of leaders according to Max Weber

Political leader
A political leader is elected by the people through elections. 

The sociologist Max Weber defined three ideal types of leaders:

  • In the first place is what he calls legal. These types of leaders access their leadership role through elections, that is, they are elected by other people. These are usually identified with political leaders.
  • The second type is the traditional calling leader. This gets its role thanks to inheritance or custom, an example of such leaders are for example the kings.
  • The last type of leader is what he calls charismatic. These people are characterized by having the virtue of the charism, which is expressed in different ways and at different times . An example of these could be the leaders of the nineteenth century in Argentina.
  1. How is a true leader?

A leader has the capacity for action, is dedicated to guiding and articulating the work of others.

Normally true and good leaders are usually associated with role models . A true leader must be characterized by being an honest person, with the ability to work with different people, with the ability to express their opinions and ideas, and try to encourage others to express their own positions. They are usually people who think strategically and in the future. Another of the qualities that allows you to stand out as a leader is charisma, this virtue allows you to attract other people and call them to the desired action.

When they are leading teams they try to link the tasks of others, making them fulfill their responsibilities . For this they try to motivate their peers, mobilize them and interest them in what is their responsibility. A true leader is a good driver from the example. This feature allows you to get the respect of others.

In addition, leaders are characterized by emerging at times that are really necessary . On the other hand they try to constantly improve themselves, which allows them to grow in various aspects, especially from a personal point of view. Another quality is its capacity for action, not only is it dedicated to guiding and articulating the work and activities of others, it also acts on its own, knowing their abilities and weaknesses, but they always take the risk to obtain better results.

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