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What is Leadership?

Apr 16, 2021

What is ‘leadership’ anyway?

For all the time I spend thinking about it, I have to admit that I don’t have a pithy definition of it.

Merriam-Webster defines leadership as the “capacity to lead”.

So not helpful.

The three M-W amigos go on to define what it means to lead as “to guide on a way especially by going in advance”.

Better but still not scratching my itch.

Despite its impact on organizational performance and the welfare of workers everywhere, leadership is a tough thing to define.

Perhaps that’s why it’s so hard to do well.

I’ve read over 100 definitions of leadership, and while I won’t attempt to offer up a string of words that attempts to capture it completely, I can share that it encompasses these major elements:

> Common purpose
> Better tomorrow
> Direction
> Authenticity
> Motivating others
> Serving others
> Developing others
> Giving resources
> Achieving goals
> Removing obstacles

Having thought about it further, I’ve come to the conclusion that the most important definition of leadership is your own.

YOU are the leader, after all.