What is the Definition of Leadership?
What is the definition of leadership? If you asked 10 people this question you will probably get 10 different answers. Below are several definitions of leadership.
- The action of leading a group of people or an organization.
- The state or position of being a leader.
Synonyms: guidance - lead - direction - management - command
Leadership definitions (2):
1. The activity of leading a group of people or an organization or the ability to do this.
- establishing a clear vision,
- sharing that vision with others so that they will follow willingly,
- providing the information, knowledge and methods to realize that vision, and
- coordinating and balancing the conflicting interests of all members and stakeholders.
A leader steps up in times of crisis, and is able to think and act creatively in difficult situations. Unlike management, leadership cannot be taught, although it may be learned and enhanced through coaching or mentoring. Someone with great leadership skills today is Bill Gates who, despite early failures, with continued passion and innovation has driven Microsoft and the software industry to success.
2. The individuals who are the leaders in an organization, regarded collectively.
Leadership has been described as “a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task". Other in-depth definitions of leadership have also emerged.
Leadership is "organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal". The leader may or may not have any formal authority. Studies of leadership have produced theories involving traits, situational interaction, function, behavior, power, vision and values, charisma, and intelligence, among others. Somebody whom people follow: somebody who guides or directs others.
So what is leadership?
So what is the definition of leadership? Influence, no more, no less…as John C. Maxwell (1993) states in his book Developing the Leader Within You What is leadership? Remove for a moment the moral issues behind it, and there is only one definition: Leadership is the ability to obtain followers. (p. 1) To paraphrase a proverb…If you think you are leading, and no one is following, you are only taking a walk.
Look at how you influence people around you and make a commitment to develop the ability to encourage, lead and inspire them.
Definition of leadership in English:
leadershipSee synonyms for leadership
Translate leadership into Spanish
1The action of leading a group of people or an organization.
‘different styles of leadership’
- ‘But the leader can still govern well through his or her leadership style or ability.’
- ‘The report singled out the quality of teaching, leadership and management within the school.’
- ‘It said a different style of leadership was required, and that it was the right time for a change.’
- ‘Teenage clubs would be formed in schools to tackle teenage angst and improve leadership qualities.’
- ‘The survival of a president to provide national leadership is essential to national unity and strong public will.’
- ‘But at the same time he wanted leaders to exercise strong moral leadership.’
- ‘The board will provide leadership on national issues that impact our members.’
- ‘The Greens have been pleased to work with the Government to provide leadership on transport issues.’
- ‘In recent years, the 64 year-old mother of six took a pivotal community leadership role, promoting reconciliation.’
- ‘I ask the Minister why on earth we need good leadership training and planning to be included in legislation.’
- ‘We were a very young team that needed some veteran leadership.’
- ‘So we should welcome and push for a leadership election campaign as soon as it's feasible.’
- ‘Her presentation topics have included functional piano, contemporary piano literature and leadership skills.’
- ‘His maturity and leadership skills are an asset for the club's young offense.’
- ‘He's also facilitated the promotion of a number of people to leadership positions.’
- ‘She believes her leadership style is characterized by fairness, integrity and hard work.’
- ‘Without the proper leadership training, these soldiers are being set up for failure.’
- ‘This Government is in a unique position to show leadership in bilingualism.’
- ‘There are only two people in a position to provide such leadership.’
- ‘Until your party can offer leadership and be seen to do something principled, you will never reduce your minority.’
guidance, direction, authority, control, management, superintendence, supervisionView synonyms
- 1.1The state or position of being a leader.
‘the leadership of the party’
- ‘Under his leadership, the village gradually developed into an era of full prosperity.’
- ‘It was no coincidence that the golden age of British television happened under his leadership.’
- ‘Under his leadership, the Church became immersed in the political struggle against apartheid.’
- ‘People appointed to positions of leadership should not crave power for its own sake.’
- ‘Under his leadership, the Foundation has raised more funds this past year than ever before.’
- ‘Under her leadership the small department of radiology increased to involve five other radiologists.’
- ‘Under his leadership the school was a place of academic freedom and tolerance.’
- ‘I'm also motivated by seeing others succeed under my leadership or with my support.’
- ‘The most diverse range of extreme nationalist groups joined together under their leadership.’
- ‘Under his leadership, cancer networks have started to make a real difference.’
- ‘She began to organise these women under her leadership in providing food and temporary shelter.’
- ‘What we have in our society is that we like to apportion blame to those in positions of leadership.’
- ‘As a liberal, as a progressive, he had risen to a position of leadership in society.’
- ‘More often than not, they assumed a position of leadership within the malebonds, along with the alpha husband.’
- ‘He supported chartism, though withdrew from a position of leadership in 1839.’
- ‘The recent bungled challenge to his leadership has been damaging to him and the party.’
- ‘That also is a very bad way to start off one's leadership in the Labor Party.’
- ‘In 1976 Wilson announced his resignation and Callaghan beat Michael Foot to assume the party leadership and prime ministership.’
- ‘He resigned the party leadership after the 1972 defeat but remained another 10 years in parliament.’
- ‘Martin will likely call an election some time after assuming leadership of the country.’
headship, directorship, direction, governorship, governance, administration, jurisdiction, captaincy, superintendency, control, ascendancy, rule, command, power, mastery, domination, dominion, premiership, sovereigntyView synonyms
- 1.2treated as singular or pluralThe leaders of an organization, country, etc.
‘a change of leadership had become desirable’
- ‘The linkage between a tight ruling circle and the military coupled with oil revenues in the successive regimes created authoritarian leaderships.’
- ‘Facing those dangers, we can expect no solution from the bureaucratised workers' states and the leaderships that rule over them.’
- ‘He emphasized that the political and administrative leaderships would be clearly distinguished.’
- ‘He described the key to initial success as being the existence of a good working relationship between the respective administrative leaderships.’
- ‘Local leaderships and administrators everywhere were expected to work in the local language, which implied a lesser role for Russians outside the Russian Republic.’
- ‘The growing support for the protests panicked the government and union leaderships, who began to look for a way to shut down the campaign.’
- ‘Still, he made the reservation that he did not attend the talks between the leaderships of the two parliamentary groups and was not authorised to discuss the matter.’
- ‘Their employment was directly controlled by the top military and political leaderships.’
- ‘But owing to the erosion of the leaderships ' support bases, these countries entered a vacuum, resulting in regression on all fronts.’
- ‘An upright, strong, willful political leadership is the need of the hour.’
- ‘I propose a purge of the Democratic party leadership.’
- ‘The difficulty with this advice is that it assumes minimally responsible leadership at the federal level.’
- ‘He accused the union leadership of collaborating with management in disciplining casual workers and transferring them.’
- ‘If the union leadership decides to call a strike, Act 46 requires them to give 48 hours notice.’
- ‘Don't expect anything better than last season's first-round exit, though, unless the veteran leadership comes through.’
- ‘Clearly, the leadership does not understand the need to court public opinion in a democracy.’
- ‘I am rather asserting that the laity feels that church leadership does not know what it is talking about.’
- ‘He charged that leadership at the highest levels of the academy implicitly endorses Christianity.’
- ‘The leadership seemed to become increasingly aware that it needed economic reforms.’
- ‘As do an abundance of fellow Americans, I support my country's leadership.’
The New Oxford Dictionary of English defines leadership as: ‘the action of leading a group of people or an organization'; ‘the state or position of being a leader' (NODE, 2001).
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines leadership as ‘the office or position of a leader, the capacity to lead, and the act or instance of leading' (Merriam-Webster, 2007).
According to Dwight D Eisenhower (1988) "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."
Bass (1990, p.19) defines leadership as ‘an interaction between two or more members of a group that often involves a structuring or restructuring of the situation and the perceptions and expectations of members'.
Gardner (1990, p.1) defines leadership as ‘the process of persuasion or example by which an individual (or leadership team) induces a group to pursue objectives held by the leader and his or her followers'.
Kouzes and Posner (1995) identify leadership as a learnable set of practices.
Many others have defined leadership in terms of behaviors, traits, competencies, activities and results of leaders. Bennis (1994, p.1) notes that "To an extent, leadership is like beauty; it's hard to define, but you know it when you see it".
Dictionary leadership definition
This shows grade level based on the word's complexity.
[ lee-der-ship ]
/ ˈli dərˌʃɪp /
the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group: He managed to maintain his leadership of the party despite heavy opposition.
ability to lead: As early as sixth grade she displayed remarkable leadership potential.
an act or instance of leading; guidance; direction: They prospered under his strong leadership.
the leaders of a group: The union leadership agreed to arbitrate.
OTHER WORDS FOR leadership
1administration, management, directorship, control, governorship, stewardship, hegemony.
2authoritativeness, influence, command, effectiveness; sway, clout.
See synonyms for leadership on Thesaurus.com
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Origin of leadership
First recorded in 1815–25; leader + -ship
Words nearby leadership
leader, leader block, leader board, leader cable, leader head, leadership, leadfoot, leadfooted, lead-free, lead glass, lead glaze
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
Words related to leadership
control, direction, management, power, influence, administration, authority, initiative, command, skill, foresight, capacity, preeminence, conveyance, supremacy, domination, superiority, hegemony, sway, primacy
How to use leadership in a sentence
Finally, the United States should also reassert international leadership on energy innovation.
To confront the climate crisis, the US should launch a National Energy Innovation Mission|Amy Nordrum|September 15, 2020|MIT Technology Review
That assessment, requested by the agency’s previous secretary, didn’t sit well with the new leadership.
What to make of the DHS whistleblower’s shocking complaint|Alex Ward|September 11, 2020|Vox
Top miner BHP Group installed Mike Henry as its new CEO in January, while leadership transitions are seen looming at both Anglo American Plc and Glencore Plc.
The CEO of mining giant Rio Tinto is forced out following the destruction of an ancient archeological site|Bernhard Warner|September 11, 2020|Fortune
According to Ma, without that level of government control, a universal testing scheme needs public trust in local leadership.
Hong Kong’s citywide COVID-19 testing has become a barometer of public trust|eamonbarrett|September 9, 2020|Fortune
Ole Miss linebacker MoMo Sanogo asked in a call with conference leadership before the SEC announced its plan to go forward with games this fall.
Football Is Coming To Three Of The Power Five Conferences. COVID-19 Is Already There.|Josh Planos|September 8, 2020|FiveThirtyEight
In the 90s, it kept gay men out of leadership roles in the Boy Scouts of America.
Freaking Out About Age Gaps in Gay Relationships Is Homophobic|Samantha Allen|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Several Republicans won primaries in 2014 by running as ideologically pure conservatives who wanted new leadership in the House.
Kamikaze Congress Prepares to Strike Boehner|Ben Jacobs|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
In contrast, Boehner's leadership team filed into his ceremonial office and greeted the teary newly-elected Speaker with hugs.
Democrats Accidentally Save Boehner From Republican Coup|Ben Jacobs, Jackie Kucinich|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Police have unions, for one, and those unions influence the elections of their civilian leadership.
A Veteran’s View: NYC Cold War Between Cops and City Hall|Matt Gallagher|December 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But millions of rules result in perpetual error, and, as a terminal side effect, make leadership and accomplishment illegal.
Red Tape Is Strangling Good Samaritans|Philip K. Howard|December 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Since the outbreak of the war New York has assumed a position of leadership in international banking.
Readings in Money and Banking|Chester Arthur Phillips
The courage and persistent hard work of the settlers and the leadership of Captain John Smith were invaluable.
Hallowed Heritage: The Life of Virginia|Dorothy M. Torpey
At his death the band divided, different members taking a leadership.
The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States|Martin R. Delany
Side by side with tribal and national consolidation went on the growth in leadership.
Man And His Ancestor|Charles Morris
But a party meeting was called on the 9th of July, and Sir Henry was unanimously confirmed in the leadership.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 5, Slice 2|Various
British Dictionary definitions for leadership
the position or function of a leader
the period during which a person occupies the position of leaderduring her leadership very little was achieved
- the ability to lead
- (as modifier)leadership qualities
the leaders as a group of a party, union, etcthe union leadership is now very reactionary
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Without removing a member from her cozy anus, I got up, on bent legs, dragging her hips up behind me. Oksana was automatically, and immediately, put cancer, and I hovered over her in the pose of a jockey. Sergei understood my hint instantly, and burst into our couple with Oksana, like a Cossack from an ambush on a zealous horse.
Dashingly, swiftly, suddenly, and with a saber bald. I stopped moving, waiting for him to take his place.
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That I don't understand anything. I wanted to explain to her the illogicality of her indignation, but stopped in time. After all, I was dealing with a woman, albeit a young one, but a woman. And they have their own logic. - What else could I do.