What is leadership? This is an important question at any point in your education or career. It’s not a pleasant situation to be on the receiving end of poor educators or management. So, let’s take a closer look at what leadership really is, and some examples to emulate.

Wikipedia’s definition of leadership is “a process of social influence in which a person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”. Three things stick out to me about this definition of leadership:

1) Leadership as a PROCESS, indicating some level of effort and a narrowing down of what works as opposed to what doesn’t work

2) The element of cooperation which I believe to be best fostered through a genuine sense of comradery and trust

3) Nowhere in this definition is some sort of official authority figure or title singled out, implying that anyone can display leadership, no matter what your status. Anyone can be given authority, but being an effective, respected, and valued leader takes so much more.

To keep the conversation going, here are some excellent resources on leadership and what it should look like. What are your thoughts and experiences regarding leadership?

Ted Talk: Simon Sinek: “Why good leaders make you feel safe” https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_why_good_leaders_make_you_feel_safe

Forbes: Kevin Kruse: “What is leadership?”                                                                                                             http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2013/04/09/what-is-leadership/

Edgeworkleadership.com: “Out of the Cave—The making of Leaders in Plato’s Republic” http://www.edgeworkleadership.com/LeadersinPlato