Define Leadership. What is it, really?

Define Leadership

How do you define Leadership?

It’s an important question to answer if you want to lead effectively. Yet, it’s also not the easiest of questions to answer.

Every leader has his or her own definition of leadership. This shapes how they work with their teams. You need to have one too if you wish to build high-performing teams.

So where do you start? This article will examine some of the most common definitions of leadership.

Define Leadership #1 – Leadership is the Creation of Strong Workplace Cultures

Many leaders make the mistake of thinking they exist to give orders.How do you Define Leadership

The role includes much more than setting tasks for your team. You must provide oversight, and demonstrate trust in your team members’ abilities. However, you must also create a positive workplace culture.

This will ensure that your team achieves results.

A great company culture creates positive workplace behaviours. Your team members will benefit from high levels of motivation. Furthermore, they will have the confidence to take on any tasks you assign to them.

Great leaders agree with this definition as well. CultureIQ recently carried out a survey questioning 579 people. They found that 73% of leaders believe that their organisation’s workplace culture sets them apart from their competition.

Define Leadership #2 – Leadership Means Positivity

No business will enjoy clear sailing throughout its entire existence. Leaders face constant challenges if they want to ensure their organisations can survive. At times, a relationship with a good client may come to an end, and sometimes, your organisation may lose one of its most talented employees.Thumbs Up For Leadership

Those who take a negative approach and focus on the problem may fail to come up with the solutions needed for such challenges.

As a result, you could define leadership as the ability to stay positive in the face of adversity. Great leaders can remove the emotion from difficult situations. This allows them to make choices that benefit their organisations. Instead of wallowing in negativity, a good leader will confront difficult situations head-on. Through it all, they’ll maintain a positive attitude and remain focused on solutions.

Define Leadership #3 – Leadership is Learning More about Others

At Great Managers we say, being a manager is all about results, and you can only get results through people.  In other words, great leaders understand that their organisation’s successes come down to the people working with them. As a result, they learn as much about individual team members as possible. If you do this, you can find out what motivates each team member. Furthermore, you’ll develop a greater understanding of their strengths. As a result, you become more effective at assigning tasks.

Being a manager is all about results, and you can only get results through your people.Thoughts on Leadership

The key to this definition is that it highlights the importance of building up those around you. Your team members’ successes are also your organisation’s successes. However, an individual cannot succeed if his or her leader does not understand them.

As a leader, you must provide development opportunities. Furthermore, these opportunities must align with the goals of both the organisation and the employee. Recognise and praise your team members when they achieve the results you want. However, remember to use every failure as a learning opportunity.

Define Leadership #4 – Leadership is Building for the Future

No great leaders act alone. They understand that their burdens are easier to carry when they share the load with others. In assigning more responsibilities to others, leaders create influential figures within their organisations. These people will be able to carry things forward when the leader is gone.Building Leadership

Building for the future involves a combination of two key tasks:

Recruiting for cultural fit (not just experience and qualifications)
Nurturing the talent within the organisation

Completing one task without the other may set your business up for future failure. Having neither almost guarantees that the organisation will struggle when you leave.

You should hire the right people, and then build them up. Your aim is to nurture employees so they have the potential to enjoy even greater success than you. Building for the future requires you to understand that you are not competing with the other people in your organisation. Instead, you’re all working together to achieve common goals.

What to Do Next

These four definitions of leadership each have validity. In fact, many would argue that the true definition of leadership encompasses everything that we’ve covered here.

We want you to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does my team achieve the results my organisation needs?
  • Have I got full control of my organisation’s culture?
  • Are there people in my workplace who could take over when I’m gone?

You need help if you answer “no” to any of these questions.

Join our next free webinar and you’ll learn how great managers put these leadership definitions into action.