Leadership is a quality or trait that every individual possesses, but not necessarily uses. It is the process whereby one or several individuals influence others toward the attainment of a goal. Some leaders themselves described leadership in the following ways.
My definition of a leader . . . is a man who can persuade people to do what they don't want to do, or do what they're too lazy to do, and like it.
Harry S. Truman, 1884-1972, Thirty-third President of the United States, Miller, More Plan Speaking
Leadership is the ability of a superior to influence the behavior of a subordinate or group and persuade them to follow a particular course of action.
To measure leadership more specifically, one may assess the extent of influence on the followers, that is, the amount of leading. Within an organizational context this means financially valuing productivity. Effective leaders generate higher productivity, lower costs, and more opportunities than ineffective leaders. Effective leaders create results, attain goal, and realize vision and other objectives more quickly and at a higher level of quality than ineffective leaders.
Many associate leadership with one person leading. Four things stand out in this respect. First, to lead involves influencing others. Second, where there are leaders there are followers. Third, leaders seem to come to the fore when there is a crisis or special problem. In other words, they often become visible when an innovative response is needed. Fourth, leaders are people who have a clear idea of what they want to achieve and why. Thus, leaders are people who are able to think and act creatively in non-routine situations – and who set out to influence the actions, beliefs and feelings of others. In this sense being a ‘leader’ is personal. It flows from an individual’s qualities and actions. However, it is also often linked to some other role such as manager or expert. But it’s important to remember... [continues]
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