Leadership Definition: What Is Leadership? Let's Define Leadership

• Are you asking 'What is leadership?' and therefore ...
• ... looking for a leadership definition?
• Here, you'll find several!

• As an expert in the field ...
• I also wanted to share my own definition of leadership ...
• Even if it is a bit controversial. :-)


What Is Leadership? Give It a Thought!

What is leadership? How should we define leadership? What are the traits and characteristics of a good leader?
These are all very important questions to get answers to, for today the people of the world need authentic, conscious leadership more than ever.

When you can answer the questions of 'What is leadership?' or 'How should I define leadership?' and 'What are the traits and characteristics of a good leader?' then you are already making yourself conscious in this very important area.

And there we are, ahead or ourselves, having pointed to one of the most important characteristics of a good leader ...

Leadership Definition: What Is Leadership? Let's Define Leadership

Knowing Yourself and Understanding Others - Being a Conscious Leader

One of the primary traits of a good leader is awareness. Consciousness. Knowing your business and having an inkling about how life works. Knowing you who and what you are, and who and what other people are.

If you don't know your business - and a bit about life, too, how will you lead anybody anywhere? If you don't know and understand yourself, how can you set an example - and how can you possibly hope to know and understand those whom you lead?

Generally speaking a leader has to function at a higher level of consciousness than those whom he leads.

(This is one of the reasons why you will find leadership articles here on this website which is dedicated to inducing consciousness in the areas of personal development, self improvement and spirituality).

Leadership Definition: What Is Leadership? Let's Define Leadership

What Is Leadership: A Few Famous Folks' Definition of Leadership

Some (like management guru Peter Drucker) say it has to do with getting people to follow you, which would mean that primarily charismatic people are leaders.

Others (like Christian author John C. Maxwell) say it is simply influence, which would mean that we are almost all leaders to some degree.

Still others (like MIT professor Edgar H. Schein) focus on the ability to 'think outside the box' and create positive change. Schein claims that “Leadership is the ability to step outside the culture … to start evolutionary change processes that are more adaptive.”

Yet others, like professor of communication at Western Michigan University Peter G. Northouse manage to get both the process, group and goal aspects into their definition. Northouse writes, "Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal."

Yet still others (like leadership scholar Warren G. Bennis) focus on the characteristics and traits of a good leader stating that, "Leadership is a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is well communicated, building trust among colleagues, and taking effective action to realize your own leadership potential."

Leadership Definition: What Is Leadership? Let's Define Leadership

The personal Development Guy's Leadership Definition

Well, on the question of 'What is leadership?' I am more or less in line with Mr. Northouse and Mr. Bennis. Only, I go a bit further. The way I see it:

True leadership is a set of skills and traits, including love, that allow an individual to create and maintain a positive vision to the benefit of many and, particularly by example, transmit that vision in a convincing way to those who would follow, plus empower the followers to contribute efficiently so that in collaboration they can make that vision come true.
~ Soren Lauritzen, the Personal Development Guy ~

So, what is different about my leadership definition?

Well, first off, it includes the word love; secondly it focuses on the benefit of the many; thirdly, it mentions collaboration; and fourthly it stresses the necessity for the leader to empower his or her followers.

Let's look briefly at each of these leadership qualities that go beyond what is normally associated with what makes a good leader.

What Is Leadership? Love!

Well, first off, when I define leadership I include the word love, which I happen to think is an extremely important leadership value (but one which many managers and leaders seem oddly scared of).

Making a vision come true is an act of creation, and when you want to create nothing is better than love. An artist who hates creating art rarely creates anything worthwhile, or indeed anything at all. An artist who loves creating art, on the other hand ...

So in my opinion leadership and love go hand in hand. To be a good leader you need to love what you do. You need to love the vision you have. You even need to love the people you lead.

If you do, you aren't just on to something good, you are on to something great!

What Is Leadership? Altruism! (While Benefitting the Leader, Too)

Secondly, my definition of leadership focuses on the benefit of the many.

The whole point of one person leading others is that this is supposed to be beneficial to all involved. If it isn't, then why be involved in the first place?

And please note that I write beneficial to 'all involved'. This includes the leader. Of course there are benefits to being the leader. Just like there are benefits to not being the leader.

What Is Leadership? Collaboration!

Thirdly, my leadership definition mentions collaboration - as opposed to e.g. competition among colleagues.

With the advent of information technology the modern world is getting both smaller and more complex. The higher the degree of complexity, the more need there is for collaboration.

Furthermore the market for many things is getting bigger as it moves from being local or even national to being global. Actually, I might take myself as an example here.

I deal in high-level information about personal development, primarily via the Internet. The Internet spans the Globe and the international audience for high quality information such as what I am presenting on this website is huge. Unbelievably big.

Focusing on high-level personal development information makes me one of just a few providers.

The funny thing is that more people get on the Internet every day, all over the world. This means that the market, which is already unbelievably big, is growing. In a market like that there is more than enough for everybody.

Ergo: I have no competitors, only colleagues. No need to fight when collaboration is ever so much more efficient and beneficial to all.

What Is Leadership? Empowerment!

Fourthly and finally, when I answer the question 'what is leadership?' I stress the necessity for the leader to empower his or her followers.

Giving your followers the tools, the space and the responsibility that they need to bring forth their best capabilities is a very important part of leadership.

Again, I might briefly use myself as an example. In the self improvement article Empowerment Theory I propose a new theory on the cutting edge of Western psychology and Eastern spirituality, personal development and philosophy. I spent a decade putting it together and now I just put it out there, for all to read.

The main reason I do this is to empower as many people as I can, as quickly as I can.

But, in time, what may also happen is that I become a sort of leader in that field.

Not because I particularly want to, and not for personal gain either, but simply because I put this coherent theory together and therefore I am the person in the world who understands it the best and knows the most about it.

As I succeed in helping more people with this empowerment theory, more people will come to this website looking for information on personal development and self help. This website will become one of the most important websites - one of the leading websites - on empowerment theory, personal development and self help.

Leadership Definition: What Is Leadership? Let's Define Leadership

A Note About Me (the Personal Development Guy)

At this point, near the end of this leadership article, I might just briefly mention my own credentials in the field of leadership:

I am a Master of Business Administration and I worked with business leadership coaching as an executive coach in the corporate world for a decade before I turned self employed and continued that work on my own, part time.

So I have decided that I am entitled to my own opinion on this, even if it is controversial. :-)

Leadership Definition: What Is Leadership? Let's Define Leadership

What is Leadership: Final Words

So, after all these inspirational words, are you able to define leadership for yourself now?

Do you know if perhaps you have it in you to be a leader?

Do you know if you even want to be a leader?

If you can't or won't be a leader yourself, do you now feel that you know what to look for in your own leaders?

If you are already a leader, has this leadership article made you think?

If so, then this leadership article has served its purpose. :-)

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