What is leadership? 10 ways to define it

leadership development consulting

What is leadership? Each of us thinks we have an idea of what it means to be a good leader, but when it comes to defining the concept, it’s not that easy. For some, leadership is motivation, for others it means results, for others it means inspiration.

In any case, we can define leadership based on some common elements on which we all agree. Here are the 10 ways to define the art of leadership:

1. Vision

Being a leader means having a vision and sharing it with others. It is only by inspiring others that we can share a common goal to which the efforts and dedication of the entire team can be directed. What is your vision?

2. Motivation

The leader knows how to motivate better than anyone else, this is one of his main functions as a person in charge of people. Through motivation, the leader channels the energy and professional potential of his or her co-workers to achieve objectives.

3. Serve

The leader is at the service of the team, not the other way around. Group members must be able to count on and feel the support of their leader, have the tools they need to do their work properly, have their efforts recognized and know that there is a caring person to correct bad habits. All this is part of a leadership that serves his team, not the other way around.

4. Empathy

One of the essential qualities of a leader that leads to success is emotional intelligence, the ability – often innate – that leaders have to put themselves in the shoes of others, understand their concerns and find solutions to problems. Leaders know the secrets of their business, and that’s why they can be empathetic to customers and team members: this empathy helps inspire and build relationships that lead to success.

5. Creativity

The definition of leadership is also related to creativity. Good leaders are able to create an environment that encourages all members of their team to develop their skills and imagination, so that they contribute to the common project and the company’s vision by bringing their personal touch. If you want to lead successfully, respect the creativity of others, and learn from the people around you. Surely their ideas have more positive than negative sides.

6. Requirement

A good leader sets the bar very high for his team because he wants to achieve the objectives and get the best out of his team. Only a demanding leader will achieve great results. Beyond this requirement, the leader must know how to listen, to know the needs of his colleagues, so that he can then offer them the time and resources necessary for them to do their job well, and therefore, to accomplish what is asked of them.

7. Leading

The leader must be in the lead to lead and guide his team throughout the process until the goal is achieved. But in addition to this “vanguard”, leaders also know when they need to take a step back so that it is their team that takes the initiative. In this way, they are able to offer their team the opportunity to develop personally and professionally. Pure management focuses on tasks, authentic leadership, people.

8. Teaming up as a team

True leadership seeks to work as a team to achieve a common goal. People management is one of the most difficult tasks leaders face. Thanks to the positive attitude that good leaders need, and the trust they place in their colleagues at work, people achieve better results. Team leaders know how to take responsibility when something is not going well, and how to reward the group after a job well done.

9. Assume risks

The leader is responsible for assuming risks that others are not willing to assume. He has enough self-confidence to make a decision, and if he is wrong, the leader must have the courage to correct, assume his fault and take the right direction, without making the team feel guilty. Good leaders know how to be ahead of their time, they see opportunities where others do not, and they know how to convey the illusion of their vision to try to make it a reality.

10. Improve

True leadership seeks continuous improvement. Leaders can transform the individuals on their team into true champions, people who have improved their abilities and succeeded in developing skills through the influence of their leader.

In short, the definition of leadership has nothing to do with hierarchy or the position of people in the company, nor does it have anything to do with imposing opinions but rather with listening to those who know. Leadership is the attitude of people who are looking for something different, who are committed to achieving a goal and who can convey their conviction to others through illusion and optimism to achieve a common goal.

Published by Dave John

Decade of work experience in leadership consulting with strong focus on talent acquisition & assessment across different industries and geographies.

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