Leadership is a paradox. It isn’t just about being in a position of power giving orders to others, or even being the most knowledgeable person in the room. Leadership is much deeper than that. In fact, there are many different types of leadership. Leadership is both a position and a mindset. It’s a role you take on in certain situations and an attitude you bring to everything you do. Whether you’re leading teammates on the field, staff members in an office or students in a classroom, your ability to lead can have a tremendous impact on those around you. But it isn’t always easy to strike that balance between being assertive and collaborative, directive and participatory. Understanding the different facets of leadership can help you find your own unique groove as a leader at any stage of your career.
A leader is a person who influences change and growth in others.
You’ve probably heard all of the buzzwords that go along with the typical “leadership” definition—charismatic, assertive, persuasive, etc. And while those traits are all important, they don’t fully capture what it means to be a leader. In its most basic definition, leadership is about facilitating change, either in yourself or others. Although the word “facilitate” might not sound overly aggressive or ambitious, it is actually a pretty powerful word. It means that you have the ability to make things happen, create momentum and foster new ideas. Real leaders can make positive change happen—in themselves, in their teams, and in their organizations. The people you lead and the people who lead you can be anyone from your manager to your spouse or children. Ideally, everyone in your life is looking for ways to learn and grow, and a good leader knows how to help them do that.
Leadership is about helping people grow and develop.
There are lots of reasons why people might follow your lead, but at the end of the day, the only real goal of leadership is helping others to grow and develop. At the end of the day, the only real goal of leadership is helping others to grow and develop. A good leader is a mentor and a coach who helps teammates and colleagues navigate challenges, solve problems, and find success. A great leader also recognizes the fact that being part of a team is a two-way street. At any given moment, you might be thriving and growing as part of a team, and at other times, you might be struggling and trying to find your way. A great leader is aware of that and is ready to help you in any way they can at any given moment.
A leader is someone who knows how to inspire change by creating an environment where people want to be part of something bigger than themselves.
The best definition of leadership I’ve ever read came from a book called ” Leadership for the 21st Century” by Barbara Kellerman. As she describes it, a leader is someone who knows how to inspire change by creating an environment where other people want to be part of something bigger than themselves. A leader knows how to inspire change by creating an environment where other people want to be part of something bigger than themselves. A leader is someone who can inspire others to take action, to feel fully included and hopeful about the future, and reach their fullest potential. A great leader knows how to create an environment where people feel supported and valued, so they can make their best contributions. A good leader listens to their team members, helps them to feel safe enough to be themselves, and inspires them to reach their highest potential. A great leader does these things, and also keeps their eye on the bigger picture—the goals, dreams, and aspirations of the entire organization—so that everyone’s best efforts are working towards achieving something meaningful.
The paradox of leadership
The paradox of leadership is that you have to be both assertive and collaborative, directive and participatory, and confident and open to new ideas. A real leader knows how to do all of these things—and more. A real leader knows how to do all of these things—and more. They know how to inspire confidence and elicit buy-in. Leadership isn’t about getting people to do what you want them to do. It’s about helping them want to do what they need to do. A great leader knows how to inspire their team members to do their best work, and also how to give them the support they need when they’re struggling or experiencing challenges so they can find their way through and come out on the other end a stronger and better person.
At the end of the day, the best leaders are the ones who know how to inspire change in themselves and others. They know how to listen to their team members, help them to feel safe enough to be themselves, and inspire them to reach their highest potential. A real leader is both assertive and collaborative, directive and participatory, confident and open to new ideas.