Friday, October 14, 2005

Leadership Definitions

Leadership is an elusive quality that can be hard to define. Here are a few people who have tried...

" ...leadership is like the Abominable Snowman, whose footprints are everywhere but who is nowhere to be seen" Bennis & Nanus: 'Leaders: Strategies for Taking Charge' (1997)

"[There are] almost as many definitions of leadership as there are persons who have attempted to define the concept." Stogdill (1974, p.259)

"A leader is a dealer in hope." Napoleon Bonaparte, French soldier, statesman, revolutionary (1769-1821)

"A leader is best when people barely know that he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worst when they despise him. 'Fail to honour people' they fail to honour you.' But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will all say, 'We did this ourselves.'" Lao Tzu, Chinese founder of Taoism, author (6th Century BC)

"A leader shapes and shares a vision which gives point to the work of others." Charles Handy (1992)

"A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be." Rosalynn Carter, US First Lady (b.1927)

"As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others." Bill Gates

"Be willing to make decisions. That's the most important quality in a good leader." General George S. Patton Jr.

"Leaders are individuals who establish direction for a working group of individuals who gain commitment form these group of members to this direction and who then motivate these members to achieve the direction's outcomes.” Conger, J.A. ‘Learning to Lead’ San Francisco: Jossey-Bass (1992, p18)

"Leaders are those who consistently make effective contributions to social order, and who are expected and perceived to do so.” Hosking (1988, p.153)

"Leadership (according to John Sculley) revolves around vision, ideas, direction, and has more to do with inspiring people as to direction and goals than with day-to-day implementation. A leader must be able to leverage more than his own capabilities. He must be capable of inspiring other people to do things without actually sitting on top of them with a checklist.” Bennis, W. ‘On Becoming a Leader’ Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing, (1989, p.139)

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." John F. Kennedy

"Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy." Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf

"Leadership is a development of a clear and complete system of expectations in order to identify evoke and use the strengths of all resources in the organization the most important of which is people.” Batten, J.D. ‘Tough-minded Leadership’ New York: AMACOM (1989 p. 35)

"Leadership is a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is well communicated, building trust among colleagues, and taking effective action to realize your own leadership potential." Warren Bennis

"Leadership is a process of giving purpose (meaningful direction) to collective effort, and causing willing effort to be expended to achieve purpose.” Jacobs & Jaques (1990, p.281)

"Leadership is a process of influence between a leader and those who are followers.” Hollander (1978, p.1)

"Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal." Northouse (2004, p 3)

"Leadership is an attempt at influencing the activities of followers through the communication process and toward the attainment of some goal or goals.” Donelly, J.H. & Ivancevich, J. M. & Gibson, J.L. ‘Organizations: behavior, structure, processes 5th Ed.’ Plano,TX: Business Publications Inc. (1985 p362.)

"Leadership is an influence process that enable managers to get their people to do willingly what must be done, do well what ought to be done.” Cribbin, J.J. ‘Leadership: strategies for organizational effectiveness’ New York: AMACOM (1981)

"Leadership is defined as the process of influencing the activities of an organized group toward goal achievement.” Rauch & Behling (1984, p.46)

"Leadership is discovering the company's destiny and having the courage to follow it.” JoeJaworski - Organizational Learning Center at MIT.

"Leadership is influence - nothing more, nothing less." John Maxwell, 1998

"Leadership is interpersonal influence, exercised in a situation, and directed, through the communication process, toward the attainment of a specified goal or goals.” Tannenbaum,Weschler & Massarik (1961, p.24)

"Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people, based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good." Joanne Ciulla (1998)

"Leadership is that process in which one person sets the purpose or direction for one or more other persons and gets them to move along together with him or her and with each other in that direction with competence and full commitment.” Jaques E. & Clement, S.D. ‘Executive Leadership: a practical guide to managing complexity’ Cambridge, MA: Carson-Hall & Co. Publishers (1994, p.4)

"Leadership is the accomplishment of a goal through the direction of human assistants. A leader is one who successfully marshals his human collaborators to achieve particular ends.” Prentice, W.C.H. ‘Understanding Leadership’ Harvard Business Review September/October 1961 vol. 39 no. 5 p.143.

"Leadership is the art of influencing others to their maximum performance to accomplish any task, objective or project.” Cohen, W.A. ‘The Art of a Leader’ Englewood Cliffs,NJ: Prentice Hall (1990, p. 9)

"Leadership is the art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspirations.” Kouzes, J.M. & Posner, B.Z. ‘The Leadership Challenge’ San Francisco: Jossey-Bass (1995, p.30)

"Leadership is the behavior of an individual when he is directing the activities of a group toward a shared goal.” Hemphill & Coons (1957, p.7)

"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Warren G. Bennis

"Leadership is the incremental influence that a person has beyond his or her formal authority." (Vecchio, 1988)

"Leadership is the influential increment over and above mechanical compliance with the routine directives of the organization.” Katz & Kahn (1978, p. 528)

"Leadership is the initiation and maintenance of structure in expectation and interaction.” Stogdill (1974, p.411)

"Leadership may be considered as the process (act) of influencing the activities of an organized group in its efforts toward goal setting and goal achievement.” Stogdill, (1950, p.3)

"Leadership requires using power to influence the thoughts and actions of other people.” Zalenik, A. ‘Managers and Leaders: are they different?’, Harvard Business Review March/April 1992 p.126.

"Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall." Stephen R. Covey

"People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. . . . The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives." Theodore Roosevelt

"The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind in others the conviction and will to carry on." Walter Lippman

"The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant and a debtor. That sums up the progress of an artful leader." Max DePree

"The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers." Ralph Nadar

"The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership." Harvey S. Firestone

"The job of the leader is to speak to the possibility." Benjamin Zander, British conductor, management presenter (b.1939)

"The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority." Kenneth Blanchard, US management author, presenter (b.1939)

"The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers." The Drucker Foundation, 1996

"You manage things, you lead people." Admiral Grace Murray Hooper, US naval officer (1906-1992)

“A leader is the person in a group who directs and coordinates task-oriented group activities.” Fiedler (1967)

“Leaders are those who consistently make effective contributions to social order and who are expected and perceived to do so.” Hosking (1988)

“Leadership is a social process in which one individual influences the behaviour of others without the use of threat or violence.” Buchannan and Huczynski (1997, p.606)

“Leadership is about articulating visions, embodying values, and creating the environment within which things can be accomplished.” Richards and Engle (1986)

“Leadership is the ability to step outside the culture to start evolutionary change processes that are more adaptive.” Schein (1992)

“Leadership is the creation of a vision about a desired future state which seeks to enmesh all members of an organisation in its net.” Bryman (1986, p. 6)

“Leadership is the lifting of a man’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a man’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a man’s personality beyond its normal limitations.” Drucker, P. F. (1955)

“Leadership is the process of influencing the activities of an individual or a group in efforts toward goal achievement in a given situation.” Hersey, P. & Blanchard, K. ‘Management of Organizational Behavior’. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall (1988 p. 86)

“Leadership is the process of making sense of what people are doing together so that people will understand and be committed.” Drath & Palus (1994)

“Leadership: the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” Dwight D Eisenhower (1890 - 1969) US Statesman

“One of the hardest tasks of leadership is understanding that you are not what you are, but what you're perceived to be by others.” Edward L. Flom, CEO of the Florida Steel Corporation, in a speech, May 6, 1987.

“Leadership is all hype. We've had three great leaders in this century - Hitler, Stalin and Mao.” Peter Drucker, quoted in Fortune, 21/02/94

“Leadership is an intangible quality with no clear definition. That's probably a good thing, because if the people who were being led knew the definition, they would hunt down their leaders and kill them.” Scott Adams, The Dilbert Principle (1996)

"Leadership: The capacity and will to rally people to a common purpose together with the character that inspires confidence and trust" Field Marshal Montgomery

"A Leader: A person responsible for achieving objectives through others by creating the conditions in which they may be successful and for building and maintaining the team that he or she is a member of." Jeremy Tozer

"Leadership is a purposeful relationship, which occurs episodically among participants, who use their individual skills in influence, to advocate transforming change." (c) Michael S. Kearns, 2005

Seven Strategies to Manage Your Operation More Effectively

By Rama Ramaswami

As the holiday season approaches, it's time to make resolutions for next year -- and this time around, perhaps the wisest resolution you can make, in today's competitive workplace, is to become a better, more effective manager. According to business strategist Chuck Martin, it is vital for overworked managers to learn to keep things in perspective. Although 95% of executives keep a list of things to do during the workday, Martin says, 99% do not complete the tasks on those lists. In a column written for Darwin magazine, Martin offers these seven practical ways to deliver the results that high-profile corporations demand without caving in to pressure or losing work-life balance:

1. Communicate clearly.
You may believe that you are doing so, but the message may not be getting through. Tough management requires an overabundance of communication that is clear, concise, timely, and truthful.

2. Force the hard decisions.
Most executives and managers say their superiors do not deal with tough decisions right away. Managers need to collect all the necessary information available at the time, make the decision, communicate it, and then move on. The toughest decisions involve people, but they still have to be dealt with in a timely manner.

3. Focus on results.
Tough management requires that every person identify exactly the results that matter most and determine the actions that produce those results. This requires focus, working smarter, increasing productivity, and delegating. It also means being more realistic about what results are being demanded and what tools and time frame must be provided to deliver those results.

4. Remain flexible.
Managers today need to be self-organized to be able to change directions quickly. Tough management requires pushing back and saying "no" at times, as well as morphing to be flexible. It also requires stopping something at work and viewing yourself as more of a "virtual enterprise."

5. Prove your value to the company.
It is essential that you align with your company's values so that you can prove your value inside the enterprise. This means accepting even more new challenges and becoming the person everyone turns to for solutions. However, there is a fine line between proving your value and having the organization take advantage of you. Working away from the office and using commuting time can help focus more on what you deliver rather than on number of hours worked.

6. Force collaboration.
Teamwork at every level is required for tough management. This involves new levels of information sharing and a new willingness to learn.

7. Practice tough management without being a tough guy.
You can deliver quantitative results without being brutal to subordinates in the process. Tough management requires executives and managers to pause if the workload and hours worked are getting out of control, potentially causing lost perspective. It means breaking away, improving employee morale, and taking steps to protect talent. It also involves recognizing people for doing a good job and providing what is necessary for them to do their jobs better.