Leadership as Influence

My definition

Leadership is demonstrating behaviors that influence others to want to act with passion to support the achievement of mutual goals.

The key components of this definition include:

  • Demonstrating behaviors that influence others, which requires the leaders to be self-aware and aware of others.
  • Act with passion, which requires that the mission to be accomplished is worthy of the followers passion.
  • The goals must be mutual, not just dictated by the leader.

This definition can be applied whether the leadership is being applied in an organization with formal authority or in the community where there is no authority but still a requirement that things get done.

In an organizational environment the leader must, in most cases, be a good manager and know how to effectively navigate within the organizational culture. This leader must be able to take actions and provide advice that makes the path to success as fluid as possible for the followers. In this environment there is no leadership without management.

Those of us that are in the leadership development business must understand that our responsibility is multi-dimensional. The full scope of what leaders do and how they do it must be defined and demonstrated.

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