Explanation of the driving process

Leadership is a complex and dynamic process and relationship that is formed over time between a leader and a follower or between a leader and a group of followers who depend on each other to achieve a common goal. The following figure shows that this working relationship consists of several main elements: the leader, the followers, the context (attitude), the leadership process itself, and finally the results. Each element interacts with and influences the others, and whatever outcomes (such as trust between leader and follower) influence future interactions. When any of these elements changes, so does the leadership process.

Operation Driving (Copyright Rice University, OpenStax, Creative Commons License (CC-BY 4.0))


Leaders are people who take responsibility for or direct the activities of others, and are often seen as the focus or organizer of the group’s activities. That is, they are the people who define the plan of action of the group so that it can move forward to achieve the desired goals. Leaders provide the group with what is needed to maintain the group’s cohesion and accomplish the task at hand, whether that support they provide is moral (psychological) or material (resources or equipment). We’ll talk about a leader’s “special personality” later in our articles when we explain trait theory in leadership.

The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by music director Alan Gilbert, addressed a special thank you in the United Nations General Assembly Hall to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in recognition of his 10-year tenure. Gilbert is the official conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.


The follower is not an inert component of the leadership process; Edwin Hollander, after many years of studying the concept of leadership, pointed out that the follower is the most important component of any leadership process. The subordinate is the one who understands the situation and identifies the requirements that the leader must meet, and the subordinate is the one who rejects or accepts leadership actions by waiving his authority and acquiescing to the leader in order for this leader to reduce the ambiguity associated with the task, clarify the situation to the subordinate, and organize the work of the follower in order to achieve desired goal.

The follower’s personality and willingness to comply determine the effectiveness of a leadership style. For example, individuals with an internal locus of control are more responsive to participatory leadership than individuals with an external locus of control, and individuals with an autocratic personality tend to be more receptive to directive leadership. We can say that followers’ expectations and performance requirements determine what a leader must do in order to be an effective leader.

Note: Individuals with an internal locus of control believe that events in their lives are primarily the result of their actions, while individuals with an external locus of control believe that these events are controlled by external factors that the individual cannot influence.

The strength of a follower’s self-concept is related to the leadership process as well, as individuals with high self-esteem tend to have a strong sense of self-efficacy; That is, they have a general belief that they can succeed in difficult situations, so they often have a strong drive for achievement and persistence in overcoming adversity and overcoming difficulties and challenges. Additionally, followers with high self-esteem tend to respond to participatory leadership style. In contrast, individuals with low self-esteem who question their own competence and ability to succeed in difficult situations do better under supportive leadership; Having support and assistance helps them deal with the stress, frustration and anxiety that often arise when tasks are challenging. It should be noted that followers who are unwilling to comply, as a result of their inability to perform what is required or lack of motivation and commitment, it is better to use the directional leadership style with them.

Follower behavior also fundamentally influences the actions leaders take. For example, high-performing followers push their leaders to be more considerate and less of the guidance they give them. In contrast, underperforming followers cause their leaders to be less sympathetic and more use of coaching and control.


Context refers to the situation surrounding the leader and followers. Different situations impose different response requirements on the group and its members; Not all situations are the same, and they usually have multiple angles. We will now only look at context in terms of the tasks and work environment facing the group, and we will explain the relationship between context and leadership in more detail later in our series articles. There are many factors associated with the tasks, such as: Is the task structured and consists of a set of steps or not? Are the group’s goals clear or vague? Are the goals agreed upon or not? Is there a reference that explains how to perform the tasks? Is the task boring, annoying, or intrinsically satisfying? Is the work environment simple or complex, static or changing? These factors result in different contexts and all influence the leadership process. Each places on the leader and followers a different set of requirements and responsibilities.

driving process

The process of leadership is not affected by what comes out of the leader (the person who occupies a central role in the group) alone; Rather, this process depends on a complex, interactive and dynamic working relationship between the leader and the followers, and this leadership relationship is formed over time in order to maintain the cohesion of the group and accomplish the required task. This means that part of the leadership process involves the reciprocal relationship between leader and follower; The leader works to meet the group’s requirements, and the group, in turn, obeys, respects, and appreciates the leader. It is known that leadership requires the leader to exercise his influence and authority over the followers, but at the same time it requires the followers to surrender their authority and obedience to the leader. The bottom line is that the leader affects the followers and is influenced by them, just as the context affects the leader and the followers and is influenced by them.


The process of leadership that occurs between leader, follower, and context has a number of consequences. There are two important group-level outcomes:

Have the group cohesion requirements been met? Is there friendliness and harmony among the group members? Do they have common rules and values? Have they established a good working relationship with each other? Were the requirements of individuals fulfilled and that was reflected in their interaction, motivation, performance, satisfaction, affiliation, trust and adherence to their membership in the group? Were the requirements of the task performed by the group fulfilled? Was this also reflected on individuals’ interaction, motivation, performance, satisfaction, affiliation, trust, and adherence to their group membership?

Leader-member exchange (LMX) theory was developed to explain the interactions that occur during the leadership process. This theory sheds light on the consequences associated with the process of leadership, and indicates that leadership consists of the binary relationships between the leader and his followers. The leader-follower relationship often arises and develops rapidly and then remains relatively stable over time, and the quality of this relationship is determined by the extent of mutual trust, loyalty, support, respect, and commitment among the elements of the group. The high or low quality relationships that develop between the leader and his followers result in an in-group and an out-group.

In-group members are the main actors, with individuals with high-quality relationships often having higher levels of performance, commitment, and satisfaction than individuals with low-quality relationships. In addition, it was found that similarity of views and openness to others lead to the formation of a high quality relationship between the leader and members within the group.

The nature of the leadership process varies greatly depending on the nature of the leader, followers, situation and context, so it can be said that leadership is a function that arises from the interaction between leader, follower, and context. For example, the context for the leader of a group of assembly line workers is different from that for the leader of a self-managed production team and for the leading scientists working in a research lab, meaning that leadership styles that work in the first context may fail miserably. in the other two contexts.

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Possessing a pioneering spirit

How does a startup find the right leader?

By their nature, startups require innovative, creative minds in order to bring new products and services to market. In addition to building a brand and establishing a good reputation for products, the leader has to build the relationships and processes that will contribute to the company’s success, or else you will be at risk of closing early. It is known that leading any company is accompanied by a set of challenges, but the biggest challenge for leaders is managing and leading startups and promoting them to global markets, and this requires the leader to make a double effort.

How important is leadership for startups? We will show this through the story of the four founders of the now-defunct Pretty Young Professionals, or PYP. PYP is a website that was set up to be a source of information for young professionals, but who would have thought that this new venture created by four young professionals would eventually lead to hurt feelings and threats of legal action!

In 2010, Catherine Menchow, Amanda Buchou, Caroline Gunn and Alex Kavolakos decided to create their own website, and Mincho was chosen as CEO. But there was turmoil over Mincho’s powers and the final form, characteristics and functioning of the site, and goals regarding joint leadership and the company’s path and plan of action were obliterated when there were changes in authority, passwords were changed and legal proceedings began in June of 2011, which left Menchu ​​and Cavolakos The company was finalized in August of the same year.

When the legal disputes between the founders of the PYP ended, Alex Kavolakos and Catherine Minshaw tried to start over, joined by Melissa McCreary. But this time they put together a leadership plan, rather than being overly optimistic. Mincho was appointed chief executive of the new company, which they called “The Daily Muse,” Kavolakos became chief operating officer, and McCreary served as editor-in-chief. The three organizations have assigned staff positions based on their strengths and personalities, not leaving things to luck or personal preference. Kavolakos and McCreary agreed that Mincho’s extroverted personality and self-confidence make her a perfect fit to be the company’s CEO.

No specific trait is a reliable indicator of one’s ability to lead a startup from an idea until it achieves great success, but a survey of a number of successful entrepreneurs revealed some common traits. David Barbash, a partner at Boston-based law firm Postnak Blankstein & Lund LLP, points out that the personality of a leader is an important factor. “You may have great technology, but if you’re not a good communicator, you may still be This technology is locked in the lab.” A startup needs a confident leader who is ready to face the challenges of the future. In addition, Michelle Randall, director of Enriching Leadership International, noted that CEOs of startup companies should be prepared to raise the necessary funds and not hesitate to seek help from investors, and Peter Shankman, entrepreneur and angel investor, stated that leaders should Be prepared to make difficult decisions, even if the situation requires drastic action.

Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk attributes his success to a number of factors, and he is considered an angel investor and a pre-eminent social media marketer. Since its inception, Gary has used YouTube to market his products, which has increased his sales value from $3 million to $60 million a year. According to Gary, good leaders understand the need to respond quickly and flexibly to changes in labor markets, that they should not impose their authority on them, that their arrogance should not have a foothold in their future plans, that they respect others, believe in their abilities, have a solid work ethic, and are willing to put in long hours at work. They love what they do, not for the benefits. Gary has also stated that he loves technology, is not intimidated by it, is fond of today’s youth and is optimistic about the future of humanity.

Leading a startup requires not only a few simple administrative procedures; Rather, it requires that the right leader be in the right company at the right time, which means that the leader has the right management skills along with flexibility and motivation so that he can withstand challenges and move forward on the right track.

A translation – and adapted – of the chapter The Leadership Process from the book Principles of Management

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