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JLBC: PURE LEADERSHIP


JLBC: PURE LEADERSHIP

DEFINITIONS

“In politics, leadership generally refers to the exercise of influence.”

– Harvard leadership professor Ronald Heifetz.

Although influence is essential, how does this definition differ from “popularity” or being “destructive”?

“The office or position of a leader”

– Merriam-Webster dictionary.

This one does not indicate that leadership involves any activity or relationships with others as if one person sitting in an office with “Leader” on the door is a good description of leadership.

JLBC Cadets “Leaders inducing followers to act for certain goals that represent the values and the motivations ... of both leaders and followers.”

– Iconic leadership author James MacGregor Burns.

“Inducing” makes it seem like a leader is putting others in a coma and

implies a one-way relationship.

“A leader is anyone willing to help.”

–Harvard professor Margaret Wheatley.

While this is very inclusive, it does not appear to be any different from the definition of a friend and makes no distinction between the role of the leader and team members/followers.

Essentially, it is helpful to begin with, a definition of leadership that separates it from other things so that we have a common language and understanding from which to move forward.

The definition offered below is the product of my Master’s thesis, which analyses dozens of studies and reports of “leadership” and “leader” before concluding with this:

Leadership is the process of leaders collaborating meaningfully and progressively with team members to realize a shared vision.

“Process” means that it is not only a position (the lone leader sitting in an office) or relationship (leaders and team members who have distinct roles but may not do anything) but a two-way, ongoing interaction that necessarily involves leaders and team members working together.

“Collaborating” means that team members contribute voluntarily and meaningfully; they are not treated as brainless followers (or overlooked by only speaking of the leader).

“Progressively” is the progress toward the shared vision due to a strategy.

“Shared vision” means that leadership necessarily involves change. Management, by contrast, is about making the current situation more efficient, whereas leadership is about achieving something new – changing one’s environment and growing together simultaneously.

CONTENT SHEET

Leadership has been described as the most discussed and

least understood phenomenon.

This is partly attributable to the fact that there is

no universally- accepted definition.

DEFINITION

Leadership is the process of leaders collaborating meaningfully and progressively with team members to realize a shared vision.

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