The Confusion About Leadership

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We are not really sure what leadership is and what it involves.  We have difficulty nailing it down.

When I start my leadership seminars, I call S-Factor Leadership, I have my participants take ninety seconds to write down single syllable words they think of when they think of the idea of concept of leadership.

Then, I divide them up into groups or three or four and ask them to compare their list.  The goal is to find out how many groups had written down the same word—how many matches there were.  I’ve been doing this exercise for about seven years, and to date I have had almost no matches—maybe one or two along the way. That means out of the hundreds of managers who have done this exercise virtually no one agreed on what leadership is.

It appears the word leadership is a garbage-can word, you can throw a lot of things into it.   It means different things to different people.  If I have someone who has been in the military for example, what goes on in their minds as they think of leadership may be a whole different thing that goes through the minds of us who have never been…..  What then, is leadership? Let me state that I’m not going to give a definition.  It’s too confining.  Leadership is a lot of things—characteristics and qualities.  That’s what we’re going to focus on.

There are good leaders and there are bad leaders, but mostly there are leaders with good qualities and bad qualities mixed in together.

We need to focus on the good qualities and get rid of the bad qualities. Let’s start that journey….

(pgs. 2-3, Leadership Qualities People Crave, John Elzinga. )


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