Discussion on Leadership

  • Connor
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Connor created the topic: Discussion on Leadership

Read this quotation with scrutiny.

“Leaders are not, as we are often led to think, people who go along with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see, whether anyone is following them. ‘Leadership qualities’ are not the qualities that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do without them. They include, at the very least, courage, endurance, patience, humor, flexibility, resourcefulness, stubbornness, a keen sense of reality, and the ability to keep a cool and clear head, even when things are going badly. True leaders, in short, do not make people into followers, but into other leaders.”
- John Holt

House Rules: The only rules are Paradox, Humor, and Change.
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  • Kol Drake
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Kol Drake replied the topic: Discussion on Leadership

per Kevin Kruse, FORBES magazine, 2013

DEFINITION: Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.

Notice key elements of this definition:

* Leadership stems from social influence, not authority or power

* Leadership requires others, and that implies they don’t need to be “direct reports”

* No mention of personality traits, attributes, or even a title; there are many styles, many paths, to effective leadership

* It includes a goal, not influence with no intended outcome

Lastly, what makes this definition so different from many of the academic definitions out there is the inclusion of “maximizes the efforts”.

I guess technically a leader could use social influence to just organize the efforts of others, but I think leadership is about maximizing the effort. It’s not, “Hey everyone, let’s line up and get to the top of that hill someday.” But rather, “Hey, see that hill? Let’s see how fast we can get to the top…and I’ll buy the first round for anyone who can beat me up there.” So what do you think of my definition of leadership? Social influence, others, maximize effort, towards a goal.

* * * * *
Just about everyone has their personal definition for 'what makes a leader' and what 'leadership' is/means.
Guess that's why there are so many books on sale to tell us about it.
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Connor replied the topic: Discussion on Leadership

From Tao Te Ching 17. The Master doesn’t talk, he acts. When his work is done, the people say, “Amazing: we did it, all by ourselves!”

House Rules: The only rules are Paradox, Humor, and Change.
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Jax replied the topic: Discussion on Leadership

What I find hinders me is when I try to pull people along with me. It ends up dragging me back and slowing me down, which isn't helpful! Yes, sometimes people can be given a hand to come along, but it can't be constant. I think I'm finally learning that.
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Nick replied the topic: Discussion on Leadership

Connor wrote: Read this quotation with scrutiny.

“Leaders are not, as we are often led to think, people who go along with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see, whether anyone is following them. ‘Leadership qualities’ are not the qualities that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do without them. They include, at the very least, courage, endurance, patience, humor, flexibility, resourcefulness, stubbornness, a keen sense of reality, and the ability to keep a cool and clear head, even when things are going badly. True leaders, in short, do not make people into followers, but into other leaders.”
- John Holt


I like this quote for parts of it, but it is very incomplete. Leadership qualities can't include flexibility and stubbornness. They are contradictory by themselves, they need qualifiers. When are they flexible, when are they stubborn. It ends with a great line which isn't really the end of this thought but more the start of a new one, "True leaders, in short, do not make people into followers, but into other leaders.”

The Toastmasters High Performance Leadership manual is a great reference for leadership qualities. It outlines the difference between leading and managing, formal authority (title) and earned authority (recognition), and command and service. To lead is to serve, through helping and enabling others. Service Leadership has six dimensions in which one can measure their qualities: vision and values, direction, persuasion, support, development, and appreciation.

The quote by John Holt is mostly about the Vision and Values and Direction while ignoring the other dimensions, which are all about looking over your shoulder at who is behind you and what they are doing. The last line is like an opening to the other dimensions.

"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err."

--Mahatma Gandhi
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