Saturday, March 1, 2014

Defining Leadership

To begin to explore this very important journey we must explain the distinction of leadership. Everyone knows that all leaders start from within.  So first we must start with ourselves.  According to the Oxford Dictionary, leadership is the action of leading a group of people or an organization or the ability to do this.  And, to lead is to cause (a person or animal) to go with one by holding them by the hand, a halter, a rope, etc…while moving forward.   Leadership therefore requires influence, directions and action, so, for leadership to manifest so that others follow, it stands to reason that the leader, or whatever that may be, must first influence themselves, give self-direction and act on that direction.

Another definition of leadership is having the heart of a servant, combined strength and courage of a lion with the kindness and compassion of a lamb.   Leadership is where, how and who you take into your team.  Each of these have specifics, where-your mission and vision, how-your knowledge of the leadership principles and skills and who the people who follow you.  “True leadership must be for the benefit of the follower not for the enrichment of the leaders”, author unknown.  It mimics the concept of doing things for others without expecting recognition.  A true leader does not think about how decisions will benefit them, they think about the impact it will have on others.  Influence is the foundation of leadership and relationships are the foundation for influence.  Leadership is the art of gathering people around a common purpose then inspiring, motivating and mobilizing them to achieve it.  This is where the journey begins.

Robert J Dahl

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