Effective Leadership as Tool For Achieving Organisational Goals

 Effective Leadership as Tool For Achieving Organisational Goals (A Case Study Of N.N.P.C.)

Effective Leadership is a topic of great concern to managers, employers, and the general public. Good leadership is essential to government, to business and to countless group and organizations that shapes the way which lives works and play. Many managers believe that leadership is the major determinant of organizational success. This belief can be seen in the thousands of naira spent annually by individual companies on leadership programmes.

Government has been wrecked in some countries due to bed leadership. There are such comments as “He is a very effective leader”, “the company failed because it lacked effective leadership”, “the country lacked effective leadership”, “and leadership makes the differences between success and failure”.

In the achievement of organisational goals and objectives of any organisation, an effective leadership or leader is obviously an important ingredient. The follower acts as a compliment to the leader in the achievement of the organizational goals of any organisation. If there is no effective leader, most organizational goals and objectives may not be adequately realised.

When leaders who are professionals in their respective fields are involved in the management to a company, the impact on their achievement is easily noticeable. This becomes a dynamic force in most sectors of our economy today and emphasis on the crucial native of effective leadership.

In commerce, similar attempts are directed towards appointing leaders who will be able to run the organization effectively and efficiently for the achievement of Organisational goals. Leadership increasingly becomes under great pressure from the followers and from the environments.

With the presence of effective leadership, there are efficient and effective management of government enterprises to perform up to expectations. Like most other tools for achieving organizational goals effective leadership is faced with some constraints which prevent some enterprises from achieving their normal goals ad objectives. Also, most management is not even aware of the exact constraints to the effective leadership. The exigency of the situation created by effective leadership encourages research on the issue of “EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP AS A TOOL FOR ACHIEVING ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS”. The dream of improving government enterprises can only be achieved through effective and efficient leadership and it is an account of this that this work is embarked upon.

As a result of this, NNPC as government owned enterprises has therefore been selected as a case study for this research. This work when completed is expected to help companies whether in the Oil sector or non oil sector, private or government owned to understand and manipulate effective leadership in achieving organizational goals.

Statement of the Research Problems

There are so many problems that hinder the NNPC for the achievement of the organizational aims and objectives. These problems are PLANNING. This is regarded as one of the crucial element/aspect of the administrative functions of the chief executives. This concerns working out in broad outline, the things that must be done in an organization and also involves the forecasting of the future and making preparation to meet it. Planning constitutes problem in the leadership of NNPC for the achievement of its organizational goals. The political interference in the business of NNPC does not allow for effective planning of the business.

STAFFING: Is concerned with the personnel function of devising efficient and effective system of recruitment, training and providing favourable condition for work. NNPC does not have proper staffing personnel as being effected by the activities of politicians. The leader of NNPC appoints unqualified personnel’s to fill some important or key post in the NNPC management who has nothing to contribute to the growth and development of corporation.

DIRECTING: It involves making appropriate decisions and seeing that such decisions are embodiment in order and instructions in an away to ensure effective and efficient enterprise aimed at achieving predetermined goals of an organization. Due to unqualified personnel seen in the management and leadership of NNPC, giving direction or directives becomes difficult as communication is hard to pass through because of the lack of experiences in the office. This is a bane to the development of NNPC.

BUDGETING: This function of chief executive forms the hallmark of his position because; administration cannot be separated from finance. This task is concerned with accounting and costing of financial management. It can be seen that no sectors or ministry even government owned business is free from corruption. NNPC is filled with corrupt practice which hinder it function as result of its bad leaderships which has assumed a great dimensions in the business of NNPC. Some of this problems based on the research are

  1. Is effective leadership the only dependent variable for achieving organizational goals and objective?
  2. Is the success of an organisations a large extent tightly dependent on the quality of it leadership?
  3. How is the possibility of achieving the goals and, objectives of NNPC through its leadership?
  4. Does it mean that without the help of an efficient and effective leader an organisation cannot achieve its pre-determined goals and objectives? The identification, examination and analysis of effective leadership as they operate in NNPC have led to our work.

Objective of the Study

The aim of this research is to determine through empirical investigation and analysis those factor considered as:

  1. Tools for achieving organizational aims and objectives. It is also the objective of this study to examine the following points.
  2.  That effective leadership in the work place is a function of many variables which collectively help the leader to contribute towards the attainment of the organizational aims and objectives.
  3. To assist the relationship between the executive and subordinates. The result of the evaluation will help in the solution of the research problem.
  4. To untold the roles played by effective and efficient leadership in achieving organisational aims and objectives.

Significance of the Study

Proper evaluation of effective leadership as a tool for achieving organisational goals and objectives and the findings resulting from the efforts shall undoubtedly and the company or enterprise involved to do better and the result of the study could also provide basis for improvement of government and private enterprises.

The company involved can employ the techniques more effectively to ensure optional result. The out-come of this study is also expected to contribute to the expansion of his total knowledge base in this aspect of study.

Another aspect is that this study will offer a basis for tuture researcher who shall find and use this study as a reference material when analyzing other issues related to this.

Scope of the Study

This study examines the role played by effective leadership in the achievement of organisational aims and objectives. It is limited to cover the port-Harcourt Zone, which is divided in two sectors; they are the zonal office of Moscow-Road and the Retinary at Eleme field. It also raises some problems encountered in the causes of the study and more solutions to them which will improve the achievement of organisational goals and objectives of NNPC.

Hypothesis Formulation

In pursuance of the objectives of the research, the following hypothesis as regards the position of the research are regards the position of the research are formulated.

  1. Achieving the organisational goals is dependent on effective leadership.
  2. The policy types of board help the organisation to achieve their goals.
  3. Staff dedication and loyalty yields programs for NNPC.

Method of the Research

The research design for this study has the following elements:

Data collection methods used was obtained through personal interviews conducted during the preliminary stages of the study.

There was the organisation of planned observation of office Management performance and also data obtained from information bulletin of NNPC. The type f interview conducted is the unstructured openended type.

Secondary data also supplemented the primary data and they were from a review of journals of NNPC standard text books related to the topic and internal secondary data from document on the company history.

The research instrument used was personal interviews conducted during the preliminary stages of the study and this involves the researcher:

(i) Discussing with the leaders or executives of the company and interacting with subordinates in NNPC Port-Harcourt as one of the simple areas.

Theoretical Framework

In carrying a research work of this nature, the use of theoretical frame is imperative. This work is based on the theory of communication (cybernatics)

In a popular parlance, communication can be said to be a conversation between one person or group of persons and another on a given particular subject. It can take place among organisations, institutions or parties through represented by people. Communication is ever present among nations and even international organizations especially during diplomatic bargaining and even business transactions. The great impact that communication has in contemporary era had brought about the assertion that the world today is a “global village” as a result of communication. A known communication theorist Karl, Deutsch (1963) stated that “it deals with information which can be analysed, and which reaches organs of decision making in any given political system”.

Relating communication theory (cybernetics) to NNPC management, one can see vividly that information, directives, order passes from the group managing director of NNPC down to the various departments like the marketing department of the company. This is done to achieve the aims and objective of the co-operation.

Another is the system theory. The NNPC as a co-=operation is made up of several systems and subsystems just like the international system in constant relationship. We can understand NNPC by looking at system theory or analysis. A system is made up of several organs in constant interaction (or element). The system work to maintain stability and any break down on any part of the system disrupts normal process of functioning. The different organs that made up the system have their special roles and they work to up hold the stability of the system. This kind of stability in the system is what we call HOEMEOSTASIS. And every aspect of the system work towards the achievement of a goal for example, the human body system.

With the above illustrated examples, the NNPC is like a system made up of various departments like marketing department, distribution department, production department and so on.

Every of the above afore said department is like a sub system working under the system which is the NNPC. Each of them plays an important role in the NNPC and any disruption of normal process of functioning within the departments can effects the co-operation business of production of fuel, gas kerosene etc.

Again is group theory for example, a group is set up (persons) by a constituted authority to look into a conflict with first of all knowing the immediate cause of the problem. A group is also persons which have leaders that are assigned a specific responsibility or responsibilities to do. This group shared this responsibility into smaller part for performance. Each group performs their task with the zeal of bringing them together to form a particular purpose.

The NNPC as cooperation is made up of many groups like the group of persons that can be found in distribution, production and marketing. All is to achieve the production, distribution and the marketing of the products through out the country and out side the country. The production group cannot do the job alone neither can the distribution nor the marketing do the job alone. It requires a collective responsibility or effort to attain the aims and objective of NNPC THROUGH EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT.

Operational Definition of the Terms:

In order to avoid confusion in this work, some basic terms on which our discussion are predicted are defined or given clarification as used in this work.

  1. Government Owned Enterprises: This is the same as state owned enterprises. These are enterprises established and run by the government, according to Ukw (1986, p.16) they are “the whole range of business in which government has a controlling interest.
  2. Organizational Structure: Macfarlan (1970, p.103) defined organizational structure as “the pattern of network of relationship between the various positions and the position holders”. He further maintained that both formal and informal organizations posses structure, the former being defined by executive decision and the informal developing out of interactions and sentiment of particular individuals comprising the organizations.
  3. Efficiency: The degree of effectiveness with which something is done or of the persons who does it. Technically, it could also be defined as the ratio of the work done to the work needed.
  4. Effectiveness: This can be generally looked upon as the extent to which organization realizes its goals and objectives.
  5. Leadership: This refers to ability to influence a group towards the achievement of goals. It is the activity of influencing people to strive willingly for group objectives.
  6. Motivation: This refers to anything that moves or extends to move a person to course of action. Motivation releases stimuli which creates drives, which is in turn reinforced by the offer of reward of one kind or another.
  7. Morale: This refers to favourable attitudes on the part of a member or members of a group towards its goals and leadership.  “It is a social device for efficiently accomplishing some stated purposes though group means.

Limitation of the Study.

In this research work, there is no doubt that some problem was encountered which affected the progress of the research. It was difficult to get permission to be allowed to collect data from the corporation. Several trips were made to NNPC port-Hacourt Zonal Office Moscow Road to get permission from the public relation office.

Some workers declined and other reluctant to discuss information needed with reason that it is against their ethnic. Also, there was problem of cost which I managed to up date from different sources. However, most of the other problems were reduced by the presentation of my identity card, letter of identification from my school, my being friendly with them as well as explaining the aim of the research.


  1. Balogun M.J (1987 p.16) Management Efficiency in The Public sectors Patterns And Problems In Nigeria: Methvan And Co. Ltd London
  2. 2.          Macfarland D.T (1970 p.103) Management Principles and Practices New York: Macmillian Publishing inco.
  3. 3.          Landan M. (1986 p.48) The Use of functional Analysis in American Political Science in Social research New York: Macmillian Publishing Inco.
  4. 4.          Ukwu U.I (1985 p.58) Management of National Development: essay on Public Management in Nigeria Enugu: Institute of Dev. Studies University of Nig.
  5. 5.          Ukwu U.I OP Cit 16.
  6. 6.          Vernia S.P (1957 p.177) Modern Political Theory (2nd edition) New York Dechi: Vikas Publication ching house.

Review of Literature

According to Skkitz, et al (1959, page 53), “one of the simple ways of establishing efforts in an inquiry is to review and build upon the already done work by others” and articles relevant to the subjects. This study, the review of literature is organized and discussed under the following heading:

The concept of leadership.

Attributes of one ideal leader.

Types of leaders.

The Concept of Leadership.

The concept of leadership has occupied the efforts of many writers. Leadership is seen and understood to mean various things to different people depending on their point of view.

Some see leadership as “the capacity to inspire and mobilize masses of people”. This is a broad definition given by Author M. Schelesinger(1988 page.20) jnr. And this concern governance of the state but for the purpose of this study, emphases will be place on the narrow definition of leadership since it is concerned with leadership in a industrial set-up.

Raph M. Stodis et al (1976 page.15) defined leadership as “the process of directing and influencing the task related activities of group members”. Jame A.F Stoner (1990 page.21) defined it as a process of influencing one or more people in a position way so that the task determined by the goals and objective in an organization are accomplished.

Schwartz (1976 page.14) defined leadership as “the art of inspiring subordinates, to perform their duties willingly and enthusiastically between their leaders and subordinates, the goal being the task accomplished and this must be achieved with the constraints imposed by higher management. Some as matter of fact see leadership position as a means to an end while others see it as an end itself.

It includes guiding, directing, controlling, organizing and delegating. These definitions have many things in common. These are the objectives or the goals to be attained through resources which includes both human and material, also it is left to the person that occupies the leadership position of an organization or department to influence his subordinates to put in their maximum efforts after being supported with necessary things, tools and encouragement in other to accomplished the objective of the organization.

According to Kootz O Donne (1986 page.661), leadership is simply defined as influence of the art or process of influencing people so that they will strive willingly towards the achievement of group goals.

This concept can be enlarged to imply not only willingness to work but also willingness to work with zeal and confidence. Zeal reflects ardor, intensity, earnestness and technical ability. To lead is to guide conduct, direct and proceed. Leaders act to help a group achieve its goals and objectives with maximum application of its capacities. They do not stand behind a group to push and to produce rather the people themselves before the group as they facilitates progress and inspire the group to accomplish organizational goals.

In effect, it does not refer to the chief executive or general manager or those at the apex of the organizational hierarchy but it also embraces such caliber of people as from supervisor to the chief executives.

This is because, these categories of workers perform general function aimed at achieving the goals of an organization through directing other junior workers below them in the organizational hierarchy.

Scoff and Rochester (1984 page. 39) captured this view when argued that if you are called a supervisor, you are responsible for getting things done economically through the efforts of your people in jobs that do not have the label of managers even though they are near bottom of an organizational chart. They are all job that require some management ability to be done properly. The central issue in management leadership is achievement of organizational goals. Leaders in general among other things, usually concern its self with all kind of efforts at examining and identifying some basic or significant ways in which economic benefits could be achieved. Infact, economic performance is the essence of business of NNPC and must be considered at the top of its priority.

Katz and Kahn (1989page. 24) proposed that leadership as applied to formally organized enterprises is “the influential increment over and above mechanical compliance with routine directives of the organization. An organizational role may encompass definite objectives and plans in order to achieve them.

They maintained that organizational design should be supplemented with information necessary for persons to perform their role in view of the changing environment and organizing the fact that every role is apart of an open social system which responds to change by being aware of the dynamic of an organized enterprises and interpreting them to those working in it and their various behaviour pattern

The idea of leadership as an influential increment is made special necessary by the fact that all enterprises are open system and that people have varying drives, attitudes and desires. Author, by recongnising leading as a major function of managers supports the idea that an increment influence is needed beyond these portions of people role that can be defined through effective planning, organizing, staffing and controlling. From the above cited works the productivity of workers is determined by how effective they are managed. It also determined whether the goals of the enterprises will be achieved. Since work need to be performed and resource to perform them is work of all categories, it therefore, means that works has to be organized in a way to make people work most effectively. The plans, offices, equipment and other government enterprises are unproductive except for all human efforts and directives of all management tasks. Also managing the human component is very important because it depends on how well is done in any situation of life; the leader is the pivot around which every other factors in the organization revolves. The ideal leader is a spring of inspiration to his followers.

Wess Roberts (1983 page.4) in his work, the leadership  secrets of Atella confirms this idea by seeing it as “the action of others in carrying out one purposes of the organization at varying levels of authority and with accountability for both success and failed endeviour”. The concept of leadership should be exemplary conduct.

In words of George Imayin, Assistant Director and Head Management Development Lagos, A leader is defined as a “person who can influence other people more than they can influence him”.

According to George R. Terry (1981 page.2) leadership is activity of influencing people to strive willingly for group objectives”.

Leadership is the ability to influence a group towards the achievement of a goal. It is the activity of influencing people to strive willingly for group objectives. The definition has several key elements. First, leadership is a process of influence. A person can not be a leader without being influential. Secondly, leadership involves interactions between two or more people. It takes place when one person (leader) influences the actions of others (followers). Finally, it involves a concept of shared objectives and goals. When a leader attempts to influence other people, he has a certain goals in mind. His leadership is then judged by how well his goals have been achieved. Leadership is a reciprocal process between a leader and follower. A leader is some one who has follower, a people who can elicit extra ordinary performance from subordinates. An exemplary leader is also very important. He is an invaluable asset to his organization in the sense that the success of an organization so a large extent is highly dependent on the quality of its leaders. Effective leadership in the work place is function of many variables which collectively help the leader to contribute towards the attainment of the organization’s goals.

How does a leader go about influencing the subordinates to achieve the organizations perceived goals? We shall look at Orukutan and Oladipo’s classification of leadership styles. They are:

  1. Autocratic: An autocratic leader is often called a dictator. He dishes out instructions without taking into consideration the view and feelings of his subordinates. He sees the organization’s goals settings as his exclusive right with minimal subordinate involvement and often times does not even involves his   subordinates in the organization’s decision making process. In terms of status, he stands out clearly as the boss and there is usually little difficulty in identifying him.

Subordinates may “SHIVER IN THEIR BOOTS” in responds to his calls. Such leader utilizes negative sanctions and develops a sense of fear in subordinates. Often his goals and instructions meet subordinates anger and unwillingness to co-operate. Orukotan and Oladipo warn that this type of leadership style hinders interpersonal relationship between the head and his subordinates and also between the different administration structures.

  1. Democratic: This is the opposite of an autocratic leader. A democratic leader allows full participation of people in an organization. He operates what is known as open door policy. He allows the participation of his subordinates in the organization’s decision making process. He does not only recognise the personal work of his organization members but also goes an extra mile to be committed to their welfare and feelings. Rather than constantly telling them, he is frequently asking them. Their ideas and suggestion are valued and consultation with them may be used to secure their contribution. The democratic leader handles people properly and carefully. Orukotan and Oladipo opined that “if people are properly handled most people will put in their best, but if not, they may react in such a way that may make life difficult for the head”. In democratic leadership, the leader plays an active role in stimulating group thinking and developing a solution or reaching a decision.
  2. Laissez-faire or free-rein leader on the other hand goes a

Step farther and turns an entire problem or project over to subordinates.

Subordinates may be asking to get objectives and develop plans for achieving them. In one approach, it is characterized by the absence of any active leadership by the formal designed leader. Although, Laissez-faire leaser is the lackadaisical type with and I don’t care attitude. He does not care about his responsibilities. He is the type that even though he is working for the organization, he is actually against the achievement of the organizational goal. He makes the accomplishment for the company objectives difficult. He lacks commitment and achieves very little. Experts say that most of the Laissez-faire leaders are those born with silver spoon in their mouth. They never worked to be where they are appointed by virtue of birth.

  1. Idiocratic: This is a leader appointed because of his number of years in service in the organization without possessing the pre-requisite knowledge and expertise which that position demands.

He is cleaver at deciding people and easing makes friends with subordinates whom he ingeniously pretends to love or like. By his familiarity, with the subordinates, Orukotan and Oladipo say “he is able to know ability of individuals and use each accordingly so as to achieve the objectives of the system.

One weakness, that is common in the Nigerian system whether public or private is that the leadership does not give the young energetic workforce the opportunity to exercise their knowledge. This is because the older is often considered wiser but it is not all old people who are wise. From the work cited above, all the style of leadership are base on a blend of two factors, concern for people and concern for output. The most effective style being the one which has high concern for output with equal high concern for people.

A leader who does not have the essential characteristics of leading by example is not a leader.

Leadership, is not necessarily charisma, the world most charismatic individuals caused more problem than any one else. Rather a leader is a person who is able to extract genuine and apprehended respect and loyalty from his followers and his subordinates.  A leader can not be regarded as a lever or brilliant if he lacks the essential qualities that can make him influence his subordinates and associate. You have to get work hard and are punctual to work before you can get subordinates to do the same.

Attributes of the Ideal Leader:

Imayin gave four important attributes of the ideal leader which in addition to exemplary conduct will guarantee him success in his position. They include-know the job, good inter personal skills, maturity and emotional stamina, intelligence.

  1. Know the job: A good leader must know the job. He must have sufficient information abut the job and a broad view of the organization. A leader who knows the job facilitates the success of the organization.
  2. Good inter personal skills: The ideal leader must have a very good inter personal skills. A good leader should be able to communicate effectively with the staff and clients. Also he should be accessible and friendly.
  3. Maturity and emotional stamina: An ideal leader must be matured and posses emotional stamina. He must be self motivated person who should be able to resolve crisis between and among his staff or subordinates. A leader should show interest in the personal affairs of his subordinates and give assistance where possible but his familiarity is excessive, it may become difficult to enforce discipline when there is need for it.
  4. Intelligence: In addition, the ideal leader should be intelligent and charismatic. Intelligent is not only in terms of education because a collage drop out could hold sway where a second degree holder would fumble and wobble.

From the ideal proffered by Orukotan and Oladipo with regard to leaders and leadership style, they are intact indispensable attitudes which a leader must posses. Also the extent to which any profit oriented organization achieves its set goals depends entirely on those persons who make up that organization. As Liket put it, “all the activities of any enterprise are determined by the persons who make up that institution’. Leadership or the act of leading does not operate in a vacuum because all those saddled with the responsibility of co-coordinating the various resources towards the realization of the pre-determined objectives are functional parts of the management process. They are the principal dynamic force that stimulates, motivates and coordinates the organization in the accomplishment of its objectives.

Merton gave a finishing touch to this ideal by regarding leadership “as an inter personal relation in which the concept of goal attainment was stresses and gave recognition to the fact that leadership serve a continuing function in a group”.

Chin-Ningchn, author of the national best seller also gave his own view.

His ideal or view is that “leadership is a state of mind, what you do yourself, not what you do to others.

According to him, the type of leader you are depends largely on your personality or disposition.

Types of Leaders

Kung Mind in his matter piece art of war listed six different types of leader which could broaden your knowledge on the ever important concepts of leadership.

  1. The wise leader: A good leader must be wise. He must also be self constrained, strong and humble in manner.
  2. The courage leader: For a leader to succeed, he must be courageous. He should more courageous as challenges become bigger.
  3. The virtous leader: The virtuous leader is never concerned about his personal interest. He also guides his subordinates with virtuous heart.
  4. The great leader: The great leader treats a proficient individual with great respect. He has the capacity to accept criticism and suggestion. He is tolerant, yet firm. He is also courageous and brave and skilled in strategies.
  5. The compassionate leader: He knows the difficulties of his subordinates and appreciates their devotions. He also guides his subordinates with virtous heart and supervises them with strict standards.

In correlation to the type of leader, early leadership scholars identify qualities of a leader. This pervades all activities of leadership. Some writers have sub-divided some while others fuse two functions in one.

Some of the types of Attila on leadership qualities are reproduced below with slight modification.

  1. Courage: A leader must have courage. He must be

Fearless and have the fortitude to carry out assignment given t him. He must be ready to accept the risk of leadership. A leader must be long suffering in his duties and must have the courage to act with confidence and to excel in times of certainty or danger.

  1. Accountability: This is fundamental to leadership. A leader must be able to give account of any responsibility he is charged with. Supervisors must never leap praise or lay blame on others for what they themselves achieved of failed to achieve no matter how glorious or grave the consequences.
  2. Credibility: A leader must be credible. His word and actions must be believable to subordinates and friends even foes. He must be trusted to have the intelligence and integrity to provide correct information.
  3. Empathy: A leader must develop empathy and appreciation for and an understanding of the values of subordinates and supervisors alike but empathy must be not to be confused with sympathy.
  4. Tenacity: The Yielding drive to accomplish assignment is a desirable and essential quality of a leader.
  5. A leader must have an instinct desire to win: A leader without a sense of competitiveness is a weak-one and easily overcome by the slightest change. One important thing must be bear in mind that the concept of leadership, attributes and types of leaders all aims at the accomplishment of the goals and objectives of any organization. Today, one of the most common fact of cite is that all animals have leaders. All kinds of creature, not just human leaders, dogs, insects, elephant, lions, baboons, birds, and so on have leaders.

In primates, for example, baboons, the leaders are usually the male who makes most of the decision and get his choice of foods, male and so on.

Also, when the group is invaded or threatened, the leader plans for deffence or attack. Diverse group like political parties, prison inmates, and armed robbery; and so on has some one who emerges as the final authority on what to do.

Generally, the leader has no little or no but it is clear who the leader is. For example, in a street gang, a person may become the leader after demonstrating that he can fight harder than other members of the group or if he is more ruthless in executive and planning of their operations. Most informal groups usually choose their leaser in the same way without an actual vote of members.

The individual who speaks out, display the most confidence and whose ideals are compatible with the groups, ends up emerging as the leader. In informal organization, as was mentioned earlier, leaders are not elected by Parishioners, but are appointed for example, in the Catholic Church, leaders are not elected by the Parishioners but are appointed by the Parishioners, establishment of the church. Also, a corporation managing director is appointed by the board. He or she is not elected by the personnel who make up the organization. Additionally, leaders do emerge during crises such as war depression and so on.

When people fall threatened, they are willing to follow some    one who appears to protect them and return condition to normalcy. Example is Winston church Hill of Great Britain who emerged as his country leader or during the Second World War in 1945.

Odumejuru Ojukwu also emerged as the leaders of the defunct Biafra during last civil war in Nigeria. Their being effective is not within the scope of this paper but still remain typical leaders wow emerged during the time of crisis among others.

Leadership appears in social science literature with three main meaning, Katz and Kahn (1978 page.4) identified them as: the attitude of position, the characteristics of a person and as a category of behaviour. Leadership however, is a complex concept, more intuitively understood rather than rigorously definable. It has been subjected to a variety of definitions in behavioural science, there is yet to emerge a universally accepted definition. A classification of 130 sub-definitions by Morris and Seaman, show that leadership has been variously equated with the importance of one’s position(status), esteem or focus of attention and engagement in leadership acts (Morris and Seaman 1950).

Leadership according to Szilagy, (1981 p.46) is a process involving two or more people in which one attempt to influence the others behaviour towards enthusiastically accomplishment of goal. Ukeje and Okorie (1990 p.116) defined leadership as a process of influencing, directing and coordinating the activities of other people in organization, towards the achievement of the goal of the organization. Leadership is an influence process. It involves exercise of influence on the part of the leader over the behaviour of one or more people Feldman (1986 page.440).

To Middlemist and Hitt (1981 p.405), leadership is the process of providing, directing and influencing individuals or groups, to achieve goals. Leadership is indeed an attempt act interpersonal influence, directing through communication process towards the attainment of some goals Fleischmann, (1973 p.116).

According to Stodgil (1950 p. 446) considered leadership as the process of influencing activities of an organized group towards goals settling and goal attainment. From the foregoing definition of leadership, a few basic ideas about the concept of leadership become very evident.

  1. Leadership involves other people-followers or subordinates, thus there can be no leader without followers.
  2. Leadership involves the use of influence process in relation to the subordinates which has to be with motivation and mobilization.
  3. Leadership process involves an equal distribution of powers among leader and group members.
  4. Leadership is a process i.e. an on going activity engaged in by certain individuals in an organization.
  5. Leadership focuses on the accomplishment of goals. This means that the outcome of the leadership process is some form of goals accomplishment.

Leadership characteristically, motivates or inspires other to active, hence leadership must be capable of motivating members of the followers towards goals achievement and organizational activities in such a way that the individuals and organization energies be effectively directed towards the leaders desired ends. Okpata (2001 p. 83), it is very important to note that it is inconceivable to think of leadership without human organization first, leadership therefore is absolutely essential for the survival of group organization. This is because in absence of organization and leadership in society, anarchism will be order of life Obiukwu (1958 p. 146). In organizational leadership, a leader may achieve his power by birth, election or seizure, there may be formal recognition of the leader hence leadership can be formal or informal.

Formal leadership is often associated with complex human organization. This views agrees with Robert Michael’s that ‘masses are in capable of taking part in decision making process and therefore desire strong leadership’. In every group where there is a leader, that leader has the responsibility of motivating and coordinating the efforts of the groups towards predetermined goals. It follows from above idea that leadership process relies on communication and motivation within an organization, relationship depends participating on leadership, and leadership is but a matter of personality vested with authority and role. Therefore to have or achieve effective leadership, an organization like NNPC must first of all contain a group of persons created by it and not admitted members or follower ship.

Approaches to Leadership Effectiveness

There are three distinct and broad theories or approaches to the study of effective leadership, identified through research during the last fifty years, they include:

  1. Trait-centred approach
  2. personal-behaviour approach and
  3. situational or contingency approach

The Trait-Centred Approach

The trait-centred approach is based in the beliefs that leaders are born not made. It is referred to as the “great man approach to the study of leadership. In this approach traditional notion leadership, credited effective leader will supernatural powers. This a leader was seen as a person gifted by nature with certain qualities such as intelligence, courage, persuasiveness, was believed that a man who lacked these qualities would not be effective leader. In view of these traits considered fore effective leadership early researchers, sought to identify traits that were common and unique to effective leaders and:

  1. To compare the trait of those who emerged as effective leader with that of those who did not and, to
  2. Compare the trait of effective leaders with those of ineffective leaders. Stomer (1978 p. 117) and from room (1985 p. 661). These attempts, according to Agboini for et al (1995 p 41) were generally not very fruitful; as different researches ended up with different list, with very few traits in common hence Gibb had to conclude that a leader is not a parson characterized by any particular consistent set of personality traits. However, most researchers’ base on the trait approach was designed to identify intellectual, emotional and physical characteristics for successful or effective leaders; hence it is advisable that leaders should reflect or personify the quality expected in their groups or organizations to succeed.

Furthermore, in the trait-centred approach, efforts were concentrated on identifying the natural traits attributable to effective leaders. Nwachukwu (1988 p.206) considered such traits as intelligence appearance, (physical attributes), knowledge, judgment initiatives honesty truthfulness, open minded, courage, perseverance, social skills, age and socio-economic background. Admittedly, the key to effective leadership is by identify the personality traits of leader, however, analysis of effective leadership by this approach is therefore to compare these traits, as enumerated above to  find uniqueness of communality in the traits of effective leaders are that of non-effective.

Personal Behaviour Approach

The general dissatisfaction with the traits approach couple with the approach inability to establish whether personality  or general characteristics have been identified and accepted among scholars  as influencing effective leaders, constituted a search for the second historic approach to the study of leadership unlike the trait approach which attempts to describe leadership on the basis of what leaders are leadership behaviour approach seek to explain leadership in terms of what they do is interested in exploring the relation ship which exist between behavior and work group performance. Again the behavioral approach sought the “one best” style of leadership that would be effective in all situation and ignored situational factor.

However, the examination of this approach is premise on realizing that an individual rarely fits perfectly into any specific behaviour pattern. The personal behaviour approach believes that leaders behaviour and the style in which he relates to the other people, affects his effectiveness. This approach centers on what leaders do and how they carry out their task. In other to identify what leaders do as entrenched in this approach, three generalizations emerged according to Hoy and Miskel (1982 p. 105). They are:

  1. More effective leaders tend to have relationship with others. Subordinates that are supportive and enhance the follower, sense of self esteem.
  2. More effective leaders use group rather than person to perform method of supervision and decision making.
  3. More effective leader tends to high performance goal; two areas (major) of leadership behaviour emerged in this approach.

(a)        The people oriented and

(b)       The position based or task oriented leadership style.

Lewin Lipitt and white in their study, categorized these two behavioural oriented, of a leader as democratic, autocratic and laissez-fair which all centre on the technique of decision making.

Finally, a particular pattern of leadership behaviour is related to the degree of authority with the amount of autonomy granted to subordinates.

Situational Approach

In this approach, it is believe that the performance of a leader is usually associated with the situation in which he finds himself. The approach attempts to identify any distinctive characteristics of the situation to which leader’s behaviour can be attributed. The situationalist therefore believes that leaders are not born but are party made by circumstances in which they operate. This approach does not deny the important are only with respect to specific situation and the characteristics of the followers, hence the fact about this approach is in its recognition that leaders who is effective in one situation, may not be effective in a different setting or environment.

The assumption of this approach calls attention to the necessity specifies one situation al variables and performance criteria and these variables include: factors in the leader, factors in the followers and factors in the situation. Another factor in the assumption of this approach is that leadership effectiveness is not based on stereotyped of changing leadership style and therefore depends on matching the approach style to a specific situation.

Contingency Model of Leadership Effectiveness

Professor Fred Fielder’s model of leadership effectiveness identified two basic leadership orientations: the task oriented leader and the relationship oriented leader. Put differently leaders effective style depends on:

  1. His position power.
  2. The task structured and
  3. The leader-member relation.

This model believe that different types of situation requires different styles of leadership and situation determines whether a leader can exert influence in his group or not, hence the above element is a factor of situation and style adopted by the leader.

Position-Power as element of leadership style refers to the authority, which is vested in the leader by virtue of his leadership position in a group. For Fred Fielder, a leader with a high position-power has a greater opportunity to leader effectively, than one with low position-power. Task situation here describes the task to be performed, which is defined in terms of the steps needed to perform it, the clarity of the goals to be attained, the multiplicity of alternative solutions, and the absoluteness, and specificity of the solutions. Leader-member relation refers to the personal relationship between the leader and the members of the group. The relationship may be good, when example, the group accepts the leader, and when the relationship is one of trust, friendliness and cooperation. The leader personality and behaviour rather than the organization or structure determines these elements. Fred Fielder therefore conceptualizes leadership effectiveness structure in terms of good-achievement as group morsel. The interaction between these elements implies that no one leadership style is likely to be effective in all situations.

Gap in Knowledge

A leader is therefore considered effective to the extent he achieve the goals required of his position, he is not judged by observable leadership style but in terms of achievement of the expected goals. Leadership effectiveness is also a personal character. Leadership effectiveness has an objective dimension accomplishment of organizational goal, and a subjective dimension perceptual evaluation of significant reference.

This perception evaluation includes opinion held judgment mode by subordinates peers and superiors. Leadership effectiveness drives its strength from the willingness of the followers to be influenced to work willingly with zeal towards the achievement of goals. It also calls for decisions that will facilitate well inter personal relation between the subordinates and super ordinate interactions.

Although there is no approach or style of leadership is considered effective on its own, however, an effective leader may need to adopt different styles, depending on the characteristics of the group and the situation in which he operates. Situational factors that could affect leadership effectiveness include; the size f the organization, the degree of centralization, the complexity of willingness of the followers, organization and the task to be performed.

Furthermore, leader rational decision-making approach is another factor for leadership effectiveness and this depends on the extent to which the leader is an effective decision maker. The logic of this assumption implies inter personal relation between the leader and the subordinates help to achieve group of objectives. To achieve effectiveness in decision making process; leaders must be situationally sensitive to the implication of approaches to permit reality and objectivity in organization relation and that if decision making must achieve effective result in managerial leadership, it must be participative and not restrictive nor authoritative.

Finally, effective leadership is also predicated on leader’s ability to enhance his subordinate’s motivation to perform, job satisfaction and acceptance of the leader. Leadership effectiveness is therefore a function of many variables, ranging from the leaders trait, personal behaviour and leader’s perception of the task situation in relation to the friendly disposition between him and his subordinates or followers.


  1. Arthur M. (1988 p.20) Democracy and Leadership New Alternative. New York Swctzanlar And Ptzer
  2. Ekpeyong D.B. (1987 p.14) Issues in Public Sectors Management in Nigeria: Macmillian Publishers Co. Lagos, Nigeria.
  3. Gregory C. (1997 p 40) Organisations Basic Problems And Principles And Theories. Enugu: John Jecob Publisher Co. Nigeria.
  4. James A. F (1990 p.12) Alternatives to the study of Administration: 2nd Edition London Press Book.
  5. Katz And Kahn (1989 p. 20) Leadership Role in Public Sector Management: Heinerman Pub. London.
  6. Kootz O.N (1986 p.26) Managerial Success in Industry 3rd Edition: Oxford University Press.
  7. Okpata F.O (2004 p.83) Public Administration in Nigeria Theories And Practices: Cheston Agency Ltd Enugu.


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One Comment on “Effective Leadership as Tool For Achieving Organisational Goals”

  1. The Alkaline Way says:

    It’s hard to come by educated people for this subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!


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