In Search of the Definition of Leadership - Deepstash

deepstash

Beta

Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

In Search of the Definition of Leadership

https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/in-search-of-the-definition-of-leadership.html

inc.com

In Search of the Definition of Leadership
Lead Last week, Travis Bradberry (co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and fellow Inc. columnist) started a fascinating and profound conversation on LinkedIn. (You can read the original article here.) What makes someone a leader, anyway? As Bradberry and his co-author Kevin Kruse admit, despite the plethora of books on leadership (some written by them), it's a rare thing to pause and actually define the quality.

3

Key Ideas

Save all ideas

Defining a leader

Defining a leader

It is difficult to define the quality of a leader. To say that a leader is someone who has followers is too simple. A captain may have soldiers who follow orders, but it makes a captain a commander, not a leader. To say that leadership is influence is too reduced. A robber with a gun has "influence" over his victim, but the source of influence is missing.

It is easier to assert what leadership is not: Its not fancy titles, a position in hierarchy, or even management.

143 SAVES

152 READS

VIEW

Examining another definition

Bradberry and Kruse define leadership as a process of social influence which maximizes the efforts of others toward the achievement of a greater good. But even this definition is too narrow.

  • Some leaders influence others not for the greater good: Adolf Hitler is an example of leading millions, but his leadership was wicked and barbaric. Following the wrong leader can lead to terrible consequences.
  • Leadership “maximizes the efforts of others”: Leadership alone cannot achieve this goal, for individual efforts depend on many factors. People may feel like they live in the shadow of leaders and may find their expectations unfair.

However, leadership can work towards increasing the efforts of others.

132 SAVES

119 READS

A new definition of leadership

Leadership is a process of social influence that works to increase the efforts of others in pursuit of a common goal.

What most do agree with is that good leaders don't wait for a title. They simply lead, and others naturally follow them.

137 SAVES

149 READS

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Exercising Integrity

Not every leader is benevolent. Many leaders have insight, initiative, influence, and impact but their lives and legacies are tainted by a lack of integrity.

A great leader must have a lif...

Being Impactful

The measure of leadership is the impact they have on their followers. How much of a difference they make.

They’re either instrumental in creating real lasting change, or they’re not leaders. They’re just entertainers.

Exerting Influence

An authentic leader draws people and compels them to act with his vision and values. He also gives off a positive vibe and is good at persuading others to his point of view.

2 more ideas

Leadership literature

Leadership failures in government, business, and nonprofits have created a demand for leadership studies and literature.

Unfortunately, these materials describe u...

The morality tale

Leadership has become a kind of morality tale: Leaders are supposed to be authentic and truthful, paying attention to their employees' well-being and building trust.

Oversimplification

The moral framing of leadership does not consider the real complexities and difficulties that leaders face.

Sometimes, being pragmatic necessitates doing seemingly bad things to achieve good results. This means that leaders may have to act in strategic misrepresentation, contrary to their own feelings.

Charismatic Leadership Style

Max Weber defined charisma as “[a] certain quality of an individual personality, by virtue of which he is set apart from ordinary men and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at ...

History of charismatic leadership

  • In medieval times, leadership was mostly based on tradition. Most people never met their leaders and leadership was legitimized by the divine right of kings - charisma was not needed.
  • The 19th and the 20th century were full of charismatic leaders. Technological (newspaper, radio, and TV) allowed leaders to transport their charisma over long distances.
  • Our current globalized world and access to social media have led to another rise in charismatic leaders. On Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, many people support leaders solely based on their charisma.

Dangers of charismatic leadership

Most of the dangers of the charismatic movement relate to this power.

  • Charismatic leaders lose support more quickly than other types of leaders.
  • They have to clearly be the best person for the job at hand – always and in any situation. This is why they often engage in a cult of personality and become resistant to criticism.
  • Things that charismatic leaders do to maintain their power are precisely the things that diminish it when their business, country, or other undertaking encounters problems.
  • When charismatic leaders use their position to motivate their followers to do things they would not normally do, the followers often feel betrayed once they suspect that they might not get the expected payoff. 
  • They often eventually take the praise of their followers too seriously and show narcissistic traits. They consider criticism as disobedience and expect total loyalty.