Weigh-in by making a comment at the end. Does the Southwest Region Conference need a manager or leader? Readers would like to know what you think this field needs? Also think about who should be on our short list. Do we have faith in this selected nominating committee or do we need to move from the floor this coming week to start with fresh ideas…meaning a fresh crop to really speak for the people?
Great leaders are able to positively influence people to do what’s necessary to complete a task. Not because a person of authority has instructed them to complete the task, but because the employees wants to complete the task.
In short, the definition we subscribe to is:
“Leadership is effectively influencing others.”
It’s important to note that as our society has evolved, so has our understanding of leadership. In the early 1900’s, leadership was seen as an innate quality.
All of the great ones had it and everyone else admired those superb individuals. Leadership was perceived simply as a quality an individual was born with.
In the 1930’s, leadership was defined as a characteristic one could learn and develop with the assistance of a respected mentor. In 1948, General Omar N. Bradley defined leadership as, “…the art of influencing human behavior through ability to directly influence people and direct them toward a specific goal.”
In 1958, this leadership definition was offered by General Maxwell D. Taylor, “Leadership is the art of influencing and directing men in such a way as to obtain their willing obedience, confidence, respect and loyal cooperation in order to accomplish a mission.” Note the shift in thinking to include the concept of willingness.
Jump ahead to 1986, and General John Wickler’s leadership definition, “the process by which an individual determines direction and influences others to accomplish the mission of the organization.”
It’s true, not only do leaders use their talents and experience to influence others; they also focus only on those activities necessary to achieve a desired outcome.
Leaders help others to believe in the vision, goal or objective. Leaders define the work environment and provide the framework to support their team. Leaders identify the priorities as well as provide the direction for completing tasks on time.
In conclusion, it is important to note that the primary measurement of leadership success is the final outcome or result. Every leader is 100% accountable for the bottom-line results of the team.
Great leaders are the first to give the credit for successful results to the team. These same great leaders are the first to accept the blame personally when the team fails to perform.
In this same spirit, President Harry S. Truman subscribed to the famous leadership definition, “The Buck Stops here!”