Lessonly’s Leadership Definition
There is a wide range of effective leadership articles ranging from long articles to 500-word essays on leadership. However, here’s Lessonly’s ultimate guide on what leadership is.
What is Leadership?
The term “leadership” brings to mind different images. For instance, in a business setting, you could use the term to describe executives responsible for developing the company’s strategy. On the other hand, it could also refer to a political leader pursuing a worthy cause.
This proves that leadership is different for everyone. In fact, a search for the “definition of leadership” on Google generates more than 1 billion results! However, various definitions share the same concept: Leadership is the ability to influence and direct a group of people to accomplish a certain objective.
Contrary to how most people perceive it, leadership has nothing to do with a person’s hierarchy or stature. So, what is a leadership role? The definition of a good leader is one who develops and maintains a positive attitude and passes it on to others, thus effectively mobilizing them towards a common goal.
5 Characteristics of a Good Leader
To be an effective leader, you should possess a set of characteristics that will help you communicate your leadership vision to others. The ultimate leadership qualities list has 5 primary characteristics of effective leadership. These include:
- The ability to communicate clearly
- Self-motivation and confidence
- Good listening skills
In most cases, the leadership qualities definition largely depend on individual abilities and the existing frameworks.
7 Definitions of Leadership
Below are various definitions of leadership by different authors. Each of them is considered an effective leadership definition.
- Gary Wills: “The leader is one who mobilizes others toward a goal shared by leaders and followers. … Leaders, followers, and goals make up the three equally necessary supports for leadership.” Leadership is all about helping subordinates and those who follow you realize their potential.
- U.S. Airforce: “Leadership is the art of influencing and directing people in such a way that will win their obedience, confidence, respect, and loyal cooperation in achieving common objectives.” As a leader, you need to mentor and coach others in a way that commands respect and confidence in the vision you put forth.
- Bill Gates: “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” Can you picture a scenario where an executive brews some coffee for his subordinates? In the future, we are bound to see more servant leaders.
- Peter Drucker: “The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers.” In essence, leadership assumes that there has to be a group of people who share your vision and willingly follow you.
- John Maxwell: “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” John Maxwell’s definition does away with hierarchy and authority and instead focuses on the ability to influence.
- Jack Welch: “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” Leaders need to grow continually. However, they have a responsibility to train and grow those who follow them.
- Brene Brown: “I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.” Among the most critical leadership qualities and responsibilities is the ability to challenge and empower others to help them overcome their limitations.