Leadership – What is it?

                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.



Lori Buresh          

CEO, The Professional Development Team



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  1. #1 by Judith Ross Morrs on March 20, 2012 - 11:08 am

    It’s probably not in any dictionary, but I think another definition of leadership is…Lori Buresh!

  2. #2 by Wayne on April 9, 2012 - 9:32 am

    After many years in the work force, I have, for myself boiled down the meaning of leadership into a simple statement. It is somewhat stark, but for those of us that require simplicity this is it.
    ” The word Manipulation is a negative, that implies a somewhat evil caste. There is however, a positive to it, and that is Leadership. Leadership, is the ablility to move groups in a positive direction, to achieve a positive outcome. Manipulation is the ablity to lead that same group to the negative. People can be moved by the Manipulation of strong willed individuals for good or ill. It is up to the independent mind to see the difference.” That’s a Wayne quote. glad the new direction is going well!


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