Leadership

Leadership is like the abominable snowman, often talked about but very rarely seen.

The word leader appeared in the English language in the thirteenth century, whereas the word leadership appeared much later in the early eighteenth century.

The origins of the word lead lie in Old English, Old Saxon and Old German with words such as “laedan”, “ledian” and “leiten” all meaning “to take with one” or “to show the way”; all of these contributed to the verb we use today, “to lead”.

The addition of the suffix “er” to the verb, transforms the verb into a noun, i.e., leader – someone who is “taking people with them” or “showing the way”

The “ship” in leadership, comes from Old English (sciepe) and means, “the state or condition of being something”; used in words such as craftsmanship, friendship, sportsmanship, etc.

This would appear to mean that leadership is “the state or condition of being a leader”.

Any web search into the definition of leadership today will not only show the variety of definitions but also a certain commonality. Most definitions will talk about leadership being a skill or capacity that enables us to influence, inspire and motivate others to achieve results within some kind of organisation, be it formal or informal.

The ongoing Global Leadership & Organisation Behavioural Effectiveness (GLOBE) study, defines leadership as

the ability to influence others to contribute to the realisation of the objectives of the organisation of which they are a member”

At the centre of leadership is one’s ability to influence others; this you can do through ……

  • structured and well thought out arguments; by showing that you have analysed the issue from different angles to form a convincing case – your intellectual ability
  • passion and enthusiasm; by showing empathy & compassion and articulating that you are aware of the impact of the problem on others – your emotional ability
  • looking the part; by showing that you are self-assured & alert, up to the challenge and ready to act – your physical ability
  • beliefs and values; by showing that the issue has meaning for you and that solving the problem impacts your values and is important to you – your spiritual ability

To do this you need to

  • Grow your leadership attitude; the self-confidence to take on the leadership challenge & the self-control to achieve your leadership commitments
  • Build your leadership energy; to ensure that you are physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused & spiritually aligned in order to have the stamina to endure the leadership challenge
  • Raise your leadership awareness to be aware that your determination & discipline does not become stubbornness & dogmatism and that your enthusiasm & accommodation does not become impulsivity & acquiescing

At the heart of your leadership development is your self-development; if you would like to Discover, Develop and Deploy your leadership potential in order to Drive the transformations you are involved in, do not hesitate to contact me.

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