What is Leadership?

Although it is not easy to define, what is leadership?

According to Nicholas Murray Butler (1862-1947), Nobel Peace Prize recipient and President of Columbia University from 1902 to 1945, There are three kinds of people in the world...

those who don’t know what’s happening...

those who watch what’s happening, and...

those who make things happen!

The one characteristic common to all leaders is the ability to make things happen!

Leadership is not manipulation - manipulation is based in deception and has a low opinion of the led.

Leadership is not dictation - Dictation is based in force and also has a low opinion of the led.

What is leadership?... the ability to motivate people to act decisively to accomplish their own and mutually desired results.

The secret to success as a leader is to find and understand a real problem then solve it, and to find and understand a real need then fill it.

9 Leadership Traits

Traits are characteristic acts, thoughts, and feelings which become habitual and instinctive and thereby define "what is leadership."

1. Enthusiasm.  This includes optimism and hope, because no pessimist ever made a great leader.

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity; the optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.

An optimist laughs to forget; a pessimist forgets to laugh.

A leader is an optimist - he/she thinks positively.

2. Trustworthiness.  A Christian leader is honest and transparent in his or her dealings and relationships.

A leader must be worthy of following.  She or he must have integrity and be a woman or man of her or his word.

3. Discipline.  A leader is able to lead others because he or she has conquered self and has been conquered by Christ.

The leader will work while others waste time.
The leader will study while others sleep.
The leader will pray while others play.

4. Confidence.  If a leader does not believe in herself or himself, no one else will.

The great golfer Gary Player has said he has a plaque in his home that states “God loathes mediocrity."  A little tongue in cheek, I wonder if God sometimes would like to say to us: "If you are going to keep company with me, don’t embarrass me.!”

5. Decisiveness.  When he or she has all the facts, a leader makes swift and clear decisions.

He or she resists procrastination and vacillation for he or she knows that indecision in the time of emergency destroys the ability to lead.

6. Courage.  This is the capacity to "hang in there" 5 minutes longer.

God’s leaders hear his word: “Be of good courage.”  They know and experience fear, but they refuse to give in to it.

7. Humor.  A leader has the ability to see the bright, the funny, and the strange side of life.

She or he knows the value of a contagious smile.

8. Loyalty. The leader must be loyal to those he or she leads just as they must be loyal to him or her.

Loyalty does not make you a leader, but disloyalty will prevent you from becoming a leader!

9. Unselfishness.  The leader forgets her or his own needs in the interests of others.

Self-preservation is the first law of nature.
Self-development is the first law of success.
Self-sacrifice is the first law of leadership.

What is Leadership...
Some Conclusions

Leadership is learned... leaders are made, not born... therefore; we must learn the techniques and develop the traits of leadership if we would lead!

Emulating someone else is not enough... we must know our weaknesses, evaluate our hindrances to change, and develop strengths of leadership.

People are more important than policy... unless your policy grows out of filling people’s real needs, it is not a leadership policy. Our goals must never arise out of our policy but out of meeting the real needs of people.

What is Leadership...
Execution of Vision

Thomas Edison (1847-1931) is best remembered for the invention of the practical electric light bulb.

Edison also understood the questions “what is leadership?”

He said: "Vision without execution is hallucination.”

For best results a leader must manage well.

Good management consists of three things:

1. Setting goals and objectives

2. Determining the best way of accomplishing them

3. Evaluation of whether they are accomplished

These are necessities of good management.

Good leadership and management operate on the assumption that the clearer the idea one has of what he or she is trying to accomplish, the greater the chances of accomplishing it.

Progress can only be measured in terms of what one is trying to progress toward... progress is measured by whether we are fulfilling our purpose.

Conclusion: Leadership is applied through management.

What are the 10 ingredients of successful execution of leadership management?

Leadership Library

Leaders are made not born. You can learn the principles and cultivate the skills of successful leadership.

Here are some of the leadership resources that have personally helped me over the years to become a better and more effective leader in business, Christian ministry, and higher education.

The views expressed in any of these resources do not reflect the opinions of Free-Online-Bible-Study.Org and Teach the Nations, Inc.

Return from What is Leadership? to Biblical Leadership.

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