Monday Minute: What Is Leadership?

Over the next couple of weeks our Monday Minute articles will focus on leadership and managing people within your organisation. Today let’s begin with explaining what leadership is and what it involves. “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” – Bill Gates

Definition Of Leadership

Leadership has been described as "a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task". For example, some understand a leader simply as somebody whom people follow, or as somebody who guides or directs others while others define leadership as "organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal".

What Leadership Involves

Studies of leadership have produced theories involving traits, situational interaction, function, behaviour, power, vision and values, charisma, and intelligence, among others. Very often leadership is described as a process that involves: 1. Establishing a clear vision, 2. Sharing that vision with others so that they will follow willingly, 3. Providing information, knowledge, methods to realise that vision, and 4. Coordinating and balancing conflicting interests of members and stakeholders. A leader steps up in times of crisis, and is able to think and act creatively in difficult situations. Unlike management, leadership cannot be taught, although it may be learned and enhanced through coaching and mentoring.

What questions do you have?

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