What Is Leadership?

Leadership is something that is talked about a lot.  Yet at the same time there are huge differences of opinion in what leadership is.  In fact a Google search on this term will reveal around 1,110,000,000 results.


One of the great things I heard from someone I use to work with is that leadership is often hard to define but is really obvious when you see it.


So what’s my take?


Leadership is about providing a clear direction. Everyone wants to have clarity about what the organisation is trying to achieve. As a leader your challenge is to provide that clarity.


Leadership is about creating the culture or putting it another way defining what the organisation stands for and wants to have a reputation for.  Sometimes people talk in terms of setting the tone


Leadership is about getting the engagement and support of others.  No matter how good you are personally there is always going to be a cap on how far you can go without the support of others.  If you cannot get people on board it is always going to be difficult to deliver.


Leadership is about being willing to make the tough calls even when you know that this might be unpopular or cause some turmoil in the short term.


Leadership is about getting the balance right between listening, taking views and being explicit when there is a need for this type of leadership.


Leadership is about supporting people and help them to grow and develop and even make mistakes and learn from them.


Leadership is about making the right choices when there are conflicting demands on people and expectations.


Leadership is about building relationships with a diverse range of expertise with people from different professions and backgrounds.


Leadership is about staying connected to those on the front line and making it easy to communicate on what is happening and any concerns.


Leadership is about encouraging people to do their very best and achieve their potential without applying undue pressure.


Leadership is about offering solutions when there are problems or issues.

Leadership is about creating the conditions to enable people to perform at their very best.


Leadership is about building teams that strive to do the very best they can.


So that is my list.  What else would you add based on your own experiences?


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