What is Leadership?

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Leadership is a difficult word to define and according to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary leadership is the “office or position of a leader” (Miriam-Webster, 2010). This definition is definitely not one that I would ascribe to when discussing leadership. My definition of leadership is “the ability someone has to motivate and empower others to achieve a goal.” Some may add to this definition, others may discard it altogether and have a completely different definition. In the end, leadership takes on many different forms depending on who is doing the defining and we end up asking ourselves, what is leadership and why do we care? J. Thomas Wren (1995) put together a book to help leaders define leadership for themselves. The Leader’s Companion is a compellation of essays that give those leaders among us guidance towards being successful at leadership. Yet, Wren (1995) also gives us the hard truth about being a successful leader. As Gardner (1990) notes in his article The Cry for Leadership, “leaders have a hard time leading” (p. 5) because leadership is dispersed in many different ways around society. Gardner also (1990) points out that “Citizens must understand the possibilities and limitations of leadership” (p. 6) and goes on to argue that leaders are made; most of what leaders know about leading is actually learned and not innate. I am on the fence about this concept; I do not think that someone will actually wake up one day and all of a sudden become a great leader. I believe there is a lot to learn about being a leader; however, I also believe some people are more natural at being leaders than others. This becomes more evident in children when you see them on the playground. There will be a small number of childre... ... middle of paper ... ...fall into place once a good leader is found. Works Cited Burns, J. M. (1978). The crisis of leadership. In J.T. Wren (Ed.), The leaders companion: Insights on leadership through the ages (pp. 8-10). New York, NY: The Free Press. Couto, R.A. (1992). Defining a citizen leader. In J.T. Wren (Ed.), The leaders companion: Insights on leadership through the ages (pp. 11-17). New York, NY: The Free Press Gardner, J. W. (1990). The cry for leadership. In J.T. Wren (Ed.), The leaders companion: Insights on leadership through the ages (pp. 8-10). New York, NY: The Free Press. Leadership. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leadership Tucker, A. (2010). Leadership part two [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://mymoodle.tru.ca/course/view.php?id=964

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