How do you define Leadership?
Leadership has been interpreted by different people
in different ways.
Instead of depending on a dictionary definition of leadership, let us work
out a definition based on our experiences. Lets have a look at one of the most
widely accepted leadership definition :
A good leader is one who has made a lasting impact on people who he is not commanding.
He might have amassed a fortune starting from scratch like William Gates II, or he might have created awareness in people about conservation like Jane Goodall. Anyone who can influence people can be called a leader.
You know the answer.....So what is the common denominator for such people?
A good old saying goes like this.
A good leader is like a fine cocktail, a good mixture of diverse qualities.
Let us take a moment to go through these qualities. Leadership defined is not
equal to leadership accomplished. Knowing is not the same as doing, but it is the
first step towards doing.
Leadership Definition as per the Old World
If you look at middle level managers, principals of a college or a Govt.
official from the old school, you may end up with a different definition of
leadership. It may go something like "A Leader should have a loud and commanding
voice, he should have moustache and people should not dare look into his eyes
Load of bull........
It may not be your idea and it is definitely not mine. But there still a lot
of people think this way. With the progress of the world, the definition of a
leader may refine but the core concept will always stay the same.
The primary definition that we are focusing on is based on one's ability to influence. There are more areas on which a leader can be defined though. The ability to adapt and be flexible is one of the most coveted, off late.
There are also abilities of giving a vision, building motivation and more. Let's
try and see if we can get some more definitions up here because more you have,
more flexible you will be.
"Leadership is the creation and fulfillment of worthwhile opportunities by
honorable means" - Herb Rubenstein
idea of leadership is based on a new theory called ethical
leadership. Herb emphasizes on teaching people what to do rather than what not
to do while he brings out the reason for the word ethical in front of
"The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers."
This is more of the old school of leadership, but it does give us perspective to contrast with.
"leadership is influence - nothing more, nothing less." - John C Maxwell
My heart goes with this one. if you look at history, most of the leaders
emerged rather than being crowned or elected. They rose to power and often they
did not even have a title. The best example of this can be Mahatma Gandhi. The
term mahatma was given by the people. He did not hold a high position in any
party but, all looked up to for guidance and leadership.
History is filled with such leaders. this is not a historical website, so
let's get back to our quest for leadership.