Leadership as an Activity

Ask people to define leaders or leadership and I’m willing to bet they will think of it in terms of people. Figures of authority. Historical figures who have led countries, movements, armies. There is no doubting that the people they mention will have been leaders (good or bad). But it misses the point about leadership. Leadership is not defined by the position or authority one possesses or has been granted. It is better thought of as an ‘activity’. Leadership is evident in the behaviour displayed by people and is measured largely by the extent to which the activity mobilises others to accept responsibility for owning issues, changing conditions and tackling tough challenges. Note, the important point here is about mobilising others. True, leaders can and often do take action and make decisions, but I believe the most significant measure of leadership is the extent to which leaders are able to focus other’s attention on the need to take action. That is the mark of true Leadership. That is what causes real change and alters mindsets, and, very importantly, does not encourage dependence.

I recommend a great read on this topic. Ronald Heifetz who wrote Leadership Without Easy Answers.
If you want to hear a review, have a listen to the attached file which I have recorded. It is less than 15 minutes in duration and will give you more insight to the content of this great book.
Book Review Audio

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