When we think about leaders and leadership I know I have a hard time defining it, but I know it when I see it. Leaders and leadership to me is portrayed through someone who inspires me and motivates me, either through their words or actions. Leaders are usually associated with accomplishments or heroic efforts, which lends well to being inspirational or motivational for others. That is how I perceive leaders but is that the definition? I did what all good computer geeks do when we want to know something.. I googled ‘leadership’. The definition from Dictionary.com was rather funny!
lead·er·ship [lee-der-ship] noun
1. the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group: He managed to maintain his leadership of the party despite heavy opposition. Synonyms: administration, management, directorship, control, governorship, stewardship, hegemony.
2. ability to lead: As early as sixth grade she displayed remarkable leadership potential. Synonyms: authoritativeness, influence, command, effectiveness; sway, clout.
3. an act or instance of leading; guidance; direction: They prospered under his strong leadership.
4. the leaders of a group: The union leadership agreed to arbitrate.
I think this definition is vague and clinical. What is leadership? Why does this question seem so hard? Maybe there is no real answer because it is up to each individual. I might inspire one person but annoy another. The true test of a leader is to find those key things to identify with a broad range of people and inspire each one on their level. This does not mean a leader has to change who they are or what they stand for when they meet a new person (HINT HINT POLITICIANS) but if they are true to their beliefs and honest about who they are, leaders have a much better opportunity to gain the trust of others.
CEO, The Professional Development Team