Leadership Definitions



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Leadership > Best Practices > Leadership Definitions

Leadership Definitions
boussafi, Management Consultant, Qatar, Member
Leadership has been described as "The process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task."
Definitions more inclusive of followers have also emerged:
Alan Keith stated that, "Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen..
Tom Demarco says that leadership needs to be distinguished from posturing.

Leadership Definition
James Brekhus, Student (University), United States, Member
Leadership is the utilization of resources at your disposal for proper execution of organizational goals and in a manner that includes the empowerment of those required to perform such duties.

Defining Leadership
Leadership is the innate ability to inspire, persuade, and direct a group of people or an organization to achieve goals in a sustainable fashion.

Leadership Definition
Myers, United Kingdom, Member
Leadership is the projection of personal character and personality to inspire individuals or groups, (by providing purpose, direction, and motivation), to accomplish the objective and to improve the overall organization.

Leadership Definition
Thomas N. Meriwether, Professor, United States, Member
Leadership is the interactive process of a leader influencing the behavior and mental processes of followers so as to accomplish the goals desired by the leader.

Leadership Definition
Richard S. Dillard
If 'leader' is a title given by those who choose to follow, leadership is... renewable energy judiciously and ethically applied for moving upward and outward with passion, patience, and perseverance to create (and share) extraordinary value for (and with) others.

Leadership Definition
David Wilson, Manager, Canada, Premium Member
Leadership is knowing when to push, pull, lift, and carry the followers. Real leadership is knowing when to do these things, but also knowing when to leave.

What is Leadership?
Kushvaha, Manager, India, Member
Leadership is an extensive process of leading living beings. One who has ability to envision and rightly connect this vision with its people, and finally achieves it through them, is a leader. This extraordinary quality of anyone is called leadership.

What is Leadership?
JOSPHAT HANJARI MWAMUTSI, Management Consultant, Kenya, Member
Many definitions have been written and said by leaders and scholars. It satisfies to add that leadership is about directing people by creating vision and strategy and keeping an eye on the horizon. Create an alignment of culture and values to be shared by all and help others grow by reducing boundaries. Create relationships based on inspirational power and motivation. Act as coach, facilitator servant and connect followers emotionally with open mind. Be a good listener and communicator. Leadership is about change, therefore good character will bring about the change and the culture of integrity.

Nurdin Perdana, Teacher, Indonesia, Member
Leadership is how to do the best for all.

Who Really is a Leader in the Corporate World?
Kushvaha, Manager, India, Member
After long thinking and deliberation it is my opinion that a real leader is the competition in the market, not the CEO of a firm. Competition is the only force which leads our way to innovation and compels organizations to meeting the subsequent market changes, then CEO/board wakes up ensuring to beat competition. So, the real leadership comes from competition not from the CEO.

Leadership Definition
Jeanette Norman, Management Consultant, Australia, Member
Modern leadership is the ability to inspire the trust, faith and confidence of the team through personal competence, character and capacity, thereby achieving the desired results of either the leader or the organisation.

Practicing Leadership Fundamantals
Joy Tio, Student (Other), Philippines, Member
So many definitions of leadership have been formulated. I am pretty sure these definitions have been memorized, analyzed, and discussed a hundred times over.
Yet, I still have to see many MBA graduates practice the leadership fundamentals they have learned. There is always the disconnect between the textbook and the organization. Transfer of learning seems difficult to achieve.

Leadership is Positional Power
Robert J. Yeldell, Coach, United States, Member
Leadership is positional power. As power, leadership can be exerted in a positive or negative direction and it can be exercised by an individual or a group. We should be clear that as power, leadership can cause change or it can also cause the status quo to be maintained.

Is Leadership Position Power?
Michael D. Moore, Entrepreneur, United States, Member
Leaders can use position power but position power does not make a leader. Many time the leader emerges as a charismatic choice among a business unit.

Leadership is Positional Power
Robert J. Yeldell, Coach, United States, Member
Michael, you are correct when thinking "leadership" versus "management". A manager can exercise position power and not be an effective "leader". This is particularly pointed out in Hofstede's " research on how cultural dimensions affect organizations. His work on "power distance" specifically speaks to this.

Leadership Definition
Rosa, Financial Consultant, Australia, Member
Robert, I agree that leadership when wielded equates to power seized, this can be through a variety of 'styles', and context also plays a great role in the impact. As you said, maintaining status quo also means the expending of energy in that direction.
My definition, as a choice, a philosophy would be that leadership needs to be both visionary, towards a direction, a clearly defined (personal) or organizational objective/mission. This vision can be achieved through the use of 'personal style', charismatic, powerful, challenging, etc...

Extra Element Leadership Definition
Robert J. Yeldell, Coach, United States, Member
Rosa, how true you are in identifying the importance of vision in the role of a leader. Another element that I have found critical, particularly in transformative leaders, is their ability to be a "leaven" (Ed: ~catalyst) - bringing an altering or transforming element to the organization. I find that being a leaven, when combined with the ability to bring a vision, serves to energize the organization toward innovative thinking.

Vision and Leadership
Rosa, Financial Consultant, Australia, Member
Robert, I like to remember when working with people on leadership issues, that everyone has a different style, and personality profile. The vision of a perceiver (using the Myers Briggs Typology Indicator) will often be more global, leading to further and further 'innovations'. These often need the balancing of the judging element, which prefers to close a subject, put the ideas into boxes and finalize the conceptual process.
It is these elements in vision and the balancing of personality types and their limitations and "promise" which can greatly impact the outcome of "visionary leadership".
From my experience it's the "translation" of the vision and the “transformation” into the required style of the participants, taking into consideration personality typology (as well as using visual, auditory and kinesthetic language to communicate the vision increases effectiveness. What do you think about personality types and communication styles? Do transformative leaders have a particular style from your experience?

Vision and Leadership
Robert J. Yeldell, Coach, United States, Member
Rosa, understanding and recognizing personality types can clearly have an impact on "leading". Both at the individual level and the organizational level.
Understanding the personality type of those you lead is very helpful. It also plays a major role in the organizational context you are leading in.
I have experienced that the most effective transformational leader is often the "NT" - the visionary and skeptic.
However, to be most effective, the leader must adapt his/her personality profile to the context he/she is leading in.

Components/Characteristics of Leadership
Andrew Blaine, Business Consultant, South Africa, Member
Most of the above mentioned definitions address various aspects/characteristics associated with business leadership.
It is, in my opinion, best to describe leadership by what it achieves and how it does so. What do you think?

Leadership is the Art of Influence
Bill Boynton, Teacher, United States, Member
Leadership is the ability to provide Influence, first within themselves and then through others.
Leaders do this through habits of ethical and sensitive behaviors, that are strengthened through the ability to listen with the intent to understand.

Leadership and Service
Toyin Babs-Enoch, Entrepreneur, Nigeria, Member
Leadership is the opportunity to be of service irrespective of, or also as a result of, one's ability or position required to achieve the particular task or challenge facing a group of people.
Leadership can be temporal as in cases like disaster management where the lowest in social status may end up being in a better state of mind to co-ordinate.
Leadership can also be permanent as observed in structured organization where leadership is based on rank and experience.

Leadership Definition
Rusli Abd.Hamid, Teacher, Malaysia, Member
Leadership is an influence relationship between leaders and followers who intend to achieve results and shared purposes.

What is Leadership? Leadership Defined
demilade, Student (University), Nigeria, Member
In my opinion, leadership is not what most people view it as. I have learnt from experience in some leadership positions that leadership is sometimes misconceived.
Leadership is seen by most as the opportunity to dominate others or forward their own personal agendas, but sadly, that is not what true leadership is about.
Leadership is about carrying those that follow you, along with you; it is about making those that follow you even better than they were before you started leading them.
Leadership entails sacrifice; sacrificing some of those wants of yours for the needs of others.
A leader does not just want to achieve his/ her own goals, but that of his/her followers as well.
Someone once told me this: 'A leader, instead of telling you to 'go', says: 'let's go'. He or she is therefor a team player.
All in all, a leader is that person that helps you become a better person by showing you the way, by example.

Leadership Definition
DIPEOLU IBRAHIM, Student (University), United Kingdom, Member
Leadership involves using all available resources at your disposal to cause an effect setting your followers to operate at the same resonance, both the leader and the followers working toward achieving the aims and objectives of the organisation such that barriers for self development on the part of the followers are removed.

What is Leadership, Leadership Definition
SATISH PANDE, Business Consultant, India, Member
Leadership is an ability to take responsibility to guide and nurture others, providing the assurance of confidence and competence.

Leadership Definition: A PULL Process to Move People to a Worthy Mission
Javier Elenes, Business Consultant, Mexico, Member
LEADERSHIP is a PULL process to move people to a worthy mission.
The leader creates a PULL effect (opposite to the traditional manager who establishes a PUSH process (sets a goal, measures results versus the goal, rewards/punishes the good/bad job done).

The acid test of a leader: A leader is a leader only if he has followers. The followers will follow the leader if they perceive that:
1. The leader wants our well being.
2. The leader looks like a capable leader.
3. What the Leader says is worthy to be pursued.

Therefore the key questions are:
1. Is reaching the mission good for the members of the team too?
2. Do you always have a plan B and C?
3. Did you state and communicate a worthy mission?
If so, you are generating MotivAction (yes motivAction, meaning Motives to Action).

Our Leadership Definition
Gregory Johnson, Coach, United States, Premium Member
Such a broad area of professionalism where the specific definition is nearly impossible to synchronize.
Leadership by our definition is the commitment to PREPAREDNESS. Anyone in a leadership position should first think about and engage in the preparation to SERVE through others toward a common outcome.
So Preparation and Service are the key elements to successful and authentic leadership.

What is Leadership
Dumisani, Manager, South Africa, Member
Leadership is the ability to influence someone to a direction known by you and prepared for those who are wolking with you.


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