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June 6, 2007 / David Lindner

What is leadership?

John Maxwell always says “If you think you’re leading, yet no one is following you, then you’re only taking a walk.” He also says that leadership is influence.

So at its core, leadership is using your influence over someone to get them to follow you.

I would like to define leadership, and come up with a simple way to grasp the whole concept of leadership. Any helpers?

Additions to what leaderhsip is:

Leaders delay their emotions.
Leaders give credit for accomplishments to the team and take blame for failures personally.
Leaders are aware of their own stregths and weakness and work on them.
Leaders communicate with their followers.

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2 Comments

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  1. Michael Cheuk / Jun 7 2007 6:14 am

    I’m still a beginner when it comes to learning about leadership, so I don’t feel qualified to give a simple definition. But here are some descriptions of a leader that I’ve found to be helpful. They are taken from Edwin H. Friedman’s book, “A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix” (Seabury Books, 2007).

    “A leader must separate his or her own emotional being from that of his or her followers while still remaining connected” (p.18).

    A leader is “that person generally turned out to be the one who could express himself or herself with the least amount of blaming and the one who had the greatest capacity to take responsibility for his or her own emotional being and destiny” (p. 19).

    “… before any technique or data could be effective, leaders had to be willing to face their own selves” (p. 21).

    Just some thoughts to get the conversation going!

  2. Moosemusicman / Jun 7 2007 10:05 am

    Thanks for the help on defining leadership. Maxwell talks about delaying emotions. Sounds like what you’re talking about.

    He also talks about giving all the credit to the team for accomplishments and taking all the blame personally for failures.

    I’m currently reading practicing greatness by Reggie McNeal, and he’s talking about self-awareness, and how leaders must know themselves extremely well so that they can know what they need to work on.

    Great insight. Thanks Michael.

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