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What is leadership?


What is leadership?

Whether you have interest in leadership or not, the purpose of this article is to help you understand good leadership and help you make an informed decision before you move into leadership, if you so choose.  

Leadership is not short or quick or easy.  It is work.  A lot of work.  

It is dedication to serving others and doing so because you care for others, not because you expect anything other than the people who you are responsible for raising their game, increasing productivity, and improving their lives.  It is rewarding and it is challenging.  It may be something you decide you want to do after reading more.  It may be something you decide you don’t want to do.  

Both decisions are okay.  

Leadership is simply a decision.  One that only you can make.  Remember though, once you make this decision, it is a long-term commitment, not something you should “try out.”  Other lives and careers depend on good leaders.  So, if you decide to lead, lead.  

Let’s start with a simple question, what is leadership?  Leadership is one of those words that gets assigned many meanings that are not really the actual definition or meaning of the word.

Leadership is simply “the action of leading a group of people.” 

Interestingly, leadership is a simple word. But the root word “lead” is the one with many definitions.

So what does “lead” mean?

  1. To cause a person to go with one by holding them by the hand. (guide the way)
  2. Be a reason or motive for someone. (motivate)
  3. Be in charge or command of. (organize, plan, and direct)
  4. Have the first place in a competition. (win)
  5. Have or experience. (a way of life)

So, when we talk about leading a group of people. We are talking about doing the following five (5) activities:

  1. Guide the way
  2. Motivate
  3. Organize, Plan, and Direct
  4. Win/Succeed
  5. Allowing those around you to experience a way of life.

Many people think of leadership as this “thing” you either do, know, are born with, or are “good at.” The fact is that leadership starts on the first day of your career.  You guide the way for yourself and for those around you from the start of your career through to the end.