What is leadership?
According to Wikipedia:
Leadership is stated as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.” Definitions more inclusive of followers have also emerged.
Alan Keith of Genentech stated that, “Leadership is ultimately about creating a way for people to contribute to making something extraordinary happen.” Tom DeMarco says that leadership needs to be distinguished from posturing.
I ask this question because last week I had a run in with the leaders of an organization I belong too. Without getting into details, because I don’t want to name names, I found that the current leadership in this organization is not good leadership. Granted, the leadership changes every year and some years you will have bad leadership.
Let’s look at the qualities of a good leader:
The leadership qualities that are required to make a good leader can vary in different companies, teams and situations.
This can be illustrated in both art and modern leadership models. For example, the fact that leadership qualities are dependent on context is demonstrated in the play The Admirable Crichton and the film Twelve O’Clock High.
In “The Admirable Crichton”, written in 1902, the Lord and butler swap their roles as leader and servant as the situation changes. On a desert island, the butler’s practical skills are essential for survival, whereas the Lord’s knowledge of English politics is of no value.
In the film “Twelve O’Clock High”, produced in 1949, as a squadron starts to suffer increasing losses during the war, the leader’s people-oriented approach starts to fail. He is replaced by a dictatorial bully who turns the squadron round and restores their pride (in a modern setting, such leadership behaviour would often be regarded as unacceptable).
So when you are making your choices about leadership keep these things in mind.
By John Barney