What Is Leadership?

Many definitions of leadership have been offered, but most definitions emphasize the concept of influence. Thus, leadership is the process whereby one person influences other members toward a goal. More specifically,

Leadership is an attempt at influencing the activities of followers to willingly cooperate through the communication process and toward the attainment of some goal or goals
Edwin A. Fleishman - "Twenty Years of Consideration and Structure"

This definition implies that leadership involves the use of influence and that all relationships can involve leadership. The source of the influence may be formal, such as that provided by the possession of managerial rank in an organization, or may provide leadership with such formal designation (informal leader). A second element in the definition involves the importance of the communication process.


The Manager And Leadership

It is important to distinguish between leadership and management , two concepts that are frequently confused. Leadership is not a synonym for management: it is a higher order of capability. For example, Warenn Bennis noted that:

To survive in the twentyfirst century, we are going to need a new generation of leaders leaders, not managers. The distinction is an important one. Leaders conquer the context the volatile, turbulent, ambiguous surroundings that sometimes seem to conspire against us and will surely suffocate us if we let them while managers surrender to it.
Warren G. Bennis, "Managing The Dream: Leadership in the 21st Century,"



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