What is Leadership?

In a nutshell - it's a relationship!

The leader-follower relationship is a reciprocal one - without loyal followers, there can be no leaders! Just as the behaviour of the leader affects the way the followers act, follower behaviour has an impact on the actions and reactions of the leader.

Good leaders can accomplish little without good followers.  The days when leadership was deemed to be the exclusive role of a select few - and followers were told to "just do as you are told" - are long gone.

Appointment to a formal leadership position may come from above, but confirmation in the role must come from below - a leader cannot lead if no one will follow!

Leadership is not a mystical quality possessed by a rare few!  Nor is it a privileged position.  Rather it is a set of behaviours.  And these behaviours can be learned.

So what do good leaders do? Leadership is largely about vision, influence and drive.

Exemplary leaders at all levels will demonstrate:

  • Vision - they think and communicate strategically.
  • Influence – they build robust and healthy relationships with their followers, peers and superiors.
  • Drive – they know how to balance their use of the accelerator and brake in their desire to see the vision implemented the vision with good momentum.

Some questions to reflect on:

  1. Am I relating well with my followers? What do I need to do to build more health into my workplace relationships?
  2. Have I got a compelling vision for our team or organisation that I share about regularly?
  3. Do we have the balance right between relationship and action?


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