We all know someone whom people naturally tend to follow

We all know someone whom people naturally tend to follow. Called natural born leaders, these individuals, through some innate intangible character traits have the magic ability to get people to follow their vision and direction. Can leadership be learned? What is leadership exactly?

Define Leadership

While there are numerous definitions of leadership what it boils down to is a leader effects directed change through a group of people that have given that person their complete trust. The leader earns the trust of his followers based on several character traits that foster the trust. So to answer the question, what is leadership is a bit more complicated than a simple single sentence definition.  

Leadership vs. Management

Are a leader and a manager synonymous?  Not necessarily. While a manager can be a leader, not all leaders are managers. And the definition of a manager is quite different from our working definition of a leader. A manager tends to work to preserve the status quo. Think of your manager at work. She usually is there to make sure the assigned work gets done. She does not foster change and can sometimes work to prevent change so as not to upset routine. A leader promotes change and moves his followers in a distinct direction. A true leader listens to the ideas and opinions of his followers and happily embraces them. Managers are rarely pleased to listen to underlings’ ideas. Instead a manger is focused on production and not imagination.

Can You Learn Leadership

Sure there are people out there with natural leadership abilities. But now that you have an idea of what is leadership you also know that leadership can be learned.  You can be a top-notch leader by gaining both knowledge and experience in the field you wish to lead. And by maintaining your integrity and working to be open and fair minded to your followers you will find leadership is not such a difficult trait to acquire after all.

The Followers

Do not fail to forget that leadership is a group effort. A leader cannot lead without followers. So followers must be included in your definition of leadership.  Becoming a good leader is not a personal effort. You cannot become an effective leader on your own. Remember an effective leader garners the trust of his followers and to earn that trust you must behave with openness, fairness and be an inspiration to those around you. A great way to answer that question, what is leadership is to look at one of the world’s greatest leaders. Martin Luther King Jr. using examples of non-violence and inspiring words of equality changed the segregation laws of the United States and changed the future of black people in America. He was not a manager or anyone’s boss.  He was a simple man with a vision who possesses integrity, honesty and the ability to inspire people.

Leadership is the ability to inspire and move a group of people towards a unified goal. Leadership is the ability to garner trust and faith from a group of people through acts of integrity, honesty and fair-mindedness. Leadership can be innate or learned. Anyone can become an effective leader with a little hard work.

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