What is Leadership?

visual courtesy www.govloop.com
visual courtesy http://www.govloop.com

Leadership—the Merriam-Webster dictionary describes this noun as:

  • a position as a leader of a group, organization, etc.
  • the time when a person holds the position of leader
  • the power or ability to lead other people

What is leadership, anyway?

Being part of change (in my day job) and having two sets of teams– one a direct report team and the other a cross-functional peer group–I wanted to understand the role of a leader and the specific leadership qualities that I would need to bring to both the teams in order to ensure enagement as well as delivery achievement.

Whilst looking for some quick tips, in my archive, I came across the following article which, in my opinion, sums up the essence of leadership and provides clarity on what is expected from a leader:

What is leadership, anyway?

Quoting author Kevin Kruse:

“So what is leadership?

DEFINITION: Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.”

The reason I’m sharing this with you, my readers, is because of the oft mistaken approach to leadership. More often than not we approach leadership based on our ‘position power’ that we are empowered with. That, in itself, is a huge mistake!

As the author succinctly puts it, Leadership is about:

  • Social influence NOT authority or power
  • To be a leader you need others (i.e. followers) and not positional ‘direct reports’
  • Being an effective leader is all about being authentic. Being you and not ‘playing a role’.
  • Having a clearly defined goal that is achieved through influencing other for the intended outcome NOT going through the motions of influencing.

If you’ve liked this post and you feel this has been helpful, do share your tips on leadership.