How We Define Leadership
Our working definition of Leadership is inspired by pioneers in the fields of Leadership Education, Adult Development, Management Systems and Organizational Behavior, Psychology and Philosophy.
This is in contrast to the common (noun) translation of a leader as "boss". It is also in contrast to the idea that to lead one must have and use their authority. Leadership can happen with or without authority, and is most often desired by those who are subject to authority structures. This is why we can identify lack of leadership within the management of organizations.
Ronald Heifetz, author of Adaptive Leadership, pioneered Leadership Education as a field of study separate to management theory and organizational behavior. In a 1988 INC article, Heifetz, the King Hussein bin Talal Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership, Founding Director of the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, explains:
"I define leadership as an activity, not as a set of personality characteristics. So what I'm interested in is developing people's capacity to perform a particular activity, and I call this activity "leadership." And the activity of leadership I define as the mobilization of the resources of a people or of an organization to make progress on the difficult problems it faces.
Notice that I am not talking about routine problems; I don't think they require leadership. I'm talking about difficult problems. In those situations, someone exercising leadership is orchestrating the process of getting factions with competing definitions of the problem to start learning from one another."
See the full article here: https://www.inc.com/magazine/19881001/5990.html
David A. Davila
Leadership Development Coach
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.