We look to our workplace leaders to inspire and motivate.  Annually, the mission and vision statements for our organizations may be reset by those in leadership and executive positions.  Are all leaders the same? Interchangeable?  Is there a certain set of skills and qualities that are defined, expected and by which leaders are measured?   When one leader exits and is replaced, will there by synergy between the leadership styles.  After reviewing several resources, the definition of leadership is as varied as the leaders themselves, and the industries they lead.   To illustrate, we pulled together an unscientific list of definitions readily available.

True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not the enrichment of the leaders.”
   |     Robert Townsend, Film Director, Actor   |

One example resource defined the term leadership as “the action of leading a group of people or an organization”,

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Business Dictionary

According to the Business Dictionary, the definition includes the following:

1. The individuals who are the leaders in an organization, regarded collectively.
2. The activity of leading a group of people or an organization or the ability to do this


Merriam Webster

According to Merriam Webster, the simplified explanation of the term “leadership”, highlights the following:

: a position as a leader of a group, organization, etc.

  • : the time when a person holds the position of leader

  • : the power or ability to lead other people


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Business News Daily

Business News Daily has defined  more than 25 different definitions and examples of the term leadership.  They surveyed 30 recognized leaders and asked their definition of a leader.  One of my personal favorites is:

“Leadership means using one’s influence to help guide others in successfully achieving a goal without desire for recognition, without worry of what others think and with awareness of issues, internal or external, that might change the results sought.”

– Marie Hansen, dean of the college of business, Husson University

According to Kevin Kruse’s interpretation,  the term is defined as the following:

“Leadership is a process of social influence which maximizes efforts of others towards achievement of a goal.”

Kevin takes it a step farther and defines a list of what term “leadership” does not include, and effectively dispels some commonly held expectations.

The 9 Traits That Define Great Leadership

This article describes several key traits of great leaders, including:

“…the truly inspiring leader: someone who communicates clearly, concisely, and often, and by doing so motivates everyone to give his or her best …”


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