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In Search of the Definition of Leadership

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.

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In Search of the Definition of Leadership

In Search of the Definition of Leadership

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

inc.com

3

Key Ideas

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Characteristics Of Authentic Leaders
Characteristics Of Authentic Leaders
  • Rejecting the idea of adopting a different persona.
  • Being self-aware and knowing their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Focusing on delivering results, particularly in the long t...
Measuring Leadership

An authentic leader inspires trust and loyalty in employees and has the ability to influence others and contribute to an organization's success. And all that can be learned and assessed.

Challenges To Authentic Leadership

Critics believe that authentic leadership can promote rigidity in those who use it as an excuse for not evolving their ideas following new challenges, experiences and insights.

Critics also say that authentic leadership's belief in presenting one's true self, and not a persona, can prevent someone from being an effective leader. 

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.

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Great Leaders

Knowledge, smarts and vision are characteristic of a great leader. Add to these the ability to identify and monitor emotions (your own and others) and to manage relationships. 

Qual...

Self-Awareness
  • Realistic self-confidence: You recognize your own abilities and shortcomings; you operate from competence and know when to rely on someone else.
  • Emotional insight: You are aware of your own feelings. You can identify the cause of the emotions to help you manage them.
Self-Management
  • Resilience: You know how to stay calm under pressure and can recover quickly from upsets. 
  • Emotional balance: You can control any distressful feelings without blowing up at people.
  • Self-motivation: You keep moving toward long-term goals despite setbacks.

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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. 

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What's to gain for Leaders through storytelling?
  • Can keep a consistent focus on the vision of the company
  • affirm faith in the near term intent of the leadership, 
  • strengthen brand loyalty,&nbs...
Two considerations when employing storytelling.
  • Invest in a highly competent Director of Communication.
  • Be central in choosing stories.
  • Personally convey your vision in compelling stories.
John C. Maxwell

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” 

John C. Maxwell
Passion is an essential element for success

A leader will never be able to motivate his team if he or she is not full of passion concerning the work that is done. It is the number one quality for success.

Only those with vision and passion can build up a passionate team. Passion brings out more positivity, honesty, reliability, and professionalism, in the leader and subordinates, and those are the building blocks of leadership.

Robin S. Sharma
Robin S. Sharma

“Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.”

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Leadership Development

Leadership development is viewed as a current and future priority. Despite efforts to produce and nurture new leaders, only 7 percent of senior managers think that their companies develop global le...

Overlooking context

Many training initiatives assume that the same group of skills or leadership styles are suitable without considering the strategy or organizational culture of a company.

An excellent leader in one situation does not necessarily perform well in another. Focusing on context means equipping leaders with two or three competencies that will make a distinction to performance, rather than a list of leadership standards that is of no specific benefit.

Separate reflection from real work

Companies face a challenge when it comes to planning the program's curriculum.  Adults typically retain only 10 percent of what they hear in classroom lectures, but nearly two-thirds when they learn by doing. 

The answer seems straightforward: tie leadership development to real on-the-job projects. While it is not easy to create opportunities that simultaneously address high-priority needs, companies should strive to make every major business project a leadership-development opportunity as well.

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Authentic leadership

Is a management style in which leaders are genuine, self-aware, and transparent. 

An authentic leader is able to inspire loyalty and trust in her employees by consistently display...

Components of Authentic Leadership
  • Self-Awareness: be aware of your trengths, weaknesses, and values and displaying them to your team.
  • Relational Transparency: remain genuine, straightforward, and honest with your team. Display the behavior you hope to see in your employees.
  • Balanced Processing: stick to your values when making decisions, but remain open to discussions and alternatve options.
  • Doing the right thing: focus on doing the right thing for the long-term success of the business, not yours.
3 ways to practie self-awareness as a leader
  • Seek feedback from the environment;
  • Use self-reflection to better understand your behavior;
  • Practice regular self-observation to stay aware of your feelings at all times.
  • The servant-leader
    The servant-leader

    Servant leadership is a very social leadership style.

    While traditional leadership is about the accumulating, hoarding and exercising (which often degenerates into abusing) of power by...

    Servant leadership as a powerful management style
    Research consistently reveals:
    • Servant leadership has a significant effect on employee commitment to a supervisor.
    • Servant leadership and employee satisfaction are strongly correlated.
    10 traits of servant leaders
    • Self-awareness. It helps to view situations from a holistic position rather than being self-centred.
    • Empathy. People need to be accepted for their special one-of-a-kind spirits.
    • Listening and reflecting upon what your team says is essential to the growth of the servant-leader.
    • Healing. Many people walk around with a variety of hurts. Good servant-leaders endeavour to support those with whom they come in contact.
    • Foresight. Seeks to understand the lessons from the past, the realities of the present, and the possible outcome of a decision for the future.
    • Conceptualisation. Visualising the big picture and thinking beyond day-to-day realities.
    • Relying on persuasion rather than hierarchical dominance.
    • Stewardship. It requires a commitment to serving the needs of others first and taking responsibility for the actions and results of your team.
    • Team growth. Commitment to the personal growth of every individual.
    • Community building. Human beings have an innate need to belong to a “tribe” of some kind.

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