I realised whilst walking to a bus stop last week that to define leadership means more than grouping in levels of influencing or brackets of qualities but something more. Some of the greatest leaders of all time have been people who didn't necessarily exhibit strong ethical boundaries or were 'good' people.
So what if anything defines great leaders?
While I was walking to the bus stop a young lady got up to signal a bus driver but this was no ordinary bus-hailing. The men around her moved away and with a stern look in her eyes she pointed a single finger out towards the bus to signal the driver. There was no swinging of the hand frantically to persuade the bus driver to pull over or a frantic upheaval of bags, jackets and other female related objects. She didn't act flustered or sporadic but kept calm and with complete authority pointed her finger to achieve her goal. I even stopped and gave her space to walk out onto the path as I walked by.
So do strength and authority define leadership?
John Maxwell once said that leadership was simply influence, nothing more and nothing less. This is probably the most accepted definition of leadership as its broad but also when everything is pulled back leaders are those who can influence others. However as leaders we must be aware of this definition and further application to what influence doesas its an active element to be explored.
> influences people to move in a certain direction.
> Helps to shape the identity of the people being influenced.
> Makes people want to be around you.
> Makes people want to be lead by you.
> Helps to breathe qualities into team members.
> Challenges people to grow into the potential they deserve.
This of course is not comprehensive but a start to how we can define what a leader is. We will be adding to this and developing the ideas of what leadership is with a special emphasis on leadership characteristics.
For more definition look through our site on more fantastic leadership topics and define leadership. Have a look below at some of our leadership definitions and articles.
In this section we look at what it takes to define what is leadership. Through looking at how others have defined what it is through to the complexity of how anyone could ever adequately use a phrase to define it.
In this section we look at a formulated list of leadership qualities which help define the qualities we need to possess to be great leaders. Qualities are things which define leadership and the inner abilities of leadership.
Management versus leadership explores the differences between the two styles of overseeing people and positions. Explore the contentions and be further enlightened on what defines leadership.
A cultural architect is a leader whose influence is so great that they can effect change in a culture. Whether it be a business, organization or culture generally these individuals have some brilliant leadership qualities and should be studied to extract the meat of how we can all go about seeing this change.
When you investigate the concepts of leadership you will find there is a dynamic synergy between the way in which you see it and the way your team sees it. Together, if aligned correctly you will see more success in your leadership ability and more growth will be evident.
Here we look at important aspects of good and honest leadership. In a corrupt world it is difficult to identify moral leadership, therefore we outline some important leadership characteristics which we feel define what good ethical leaders should exhibit.
The importance of controlling your team environment is second to none. I've known huge successes and huge failures here, even when you're not particularly looking at the environment and culture of your team, it is being formed. So, make sure that it's being formed in a really specific and positive way.
There are many attributes of leadership which are explored very well in this site but which combination will help you as a total leader? A leader who has a real set of leadership skills to compliment them throughout all the areas of leading and managing?
We're often asked what the core characteristics of leadership are and how people can develop these in their own lives. Here we outline the top 6 leadership characteristics to empower and strengthen your leading ability.
We can't stress enough how important it is to have strong foundations of leadership theory, but learn in this article how to bond the theory and practice together for greater success than you're seeing right now.
Some of the best leaders throughout history have given history-making speeches which still influence us today. Read this article to explore their ability and communication skills to see how this will further define leadership.
There are a few female leaders in the world today, but not many. Why are most of the CEO's and business leaders male? What makes a great female leader? Here we look at some of the answers to those questions.