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Definition of a Leader

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The question was posted by Charlotte on 25/04/2023 21:02:55

Hi there, I am new to Trainers Library so firstly hello :)

I am evolving my Leadership Development programme and would love to get peoples views on the question 'What is leadership'. There are so many definitions / ideas available I thought it would be fascinating to get the groups thoughts.

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For me leadership is the ability to inspire, motivate, and guide a group of individuals or an organisation towards a common goal or vision. It should involve setting a clear direction, making decisions, and taking action to achieve objectives while empowering and supporting other to do the same. For me also it is important to remember that leadership is no limited to formal positions of authority but can be demonstrated by anyone who influences and inspires others to achieve their full potential. Some of the key skills I would highlight would be - communication - problem-solving - decision-making - emotional intelligence - relationship building - teamwork - building a positive & inclusive work environment.
I discuss with students how Leadership is one of most studied & least understood topic in social sciences & its unsurprising that a wide-ranging & path breaking review of leadership once said: ?There are almost as many definitions of leadership as there are persons who have attempted to define the concept.? (Stogdill, 1974, p. 259) and whilst written a while ago, this still seems pertinent to me. For example, although the command and control, heroic great leader is oft criticised as is the notion that leaders are 'born', popular culture & the media still focus on individuals, PMs, the queen, Branson, Musk, Bezos, celebrities such as Beyonce, Oprah...does this suggest we seem unable to break that obsession with the great leader or individual as the embodiment of leadership?

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