With apologies to Shakespeare, we might say that “some are born leaders, some achieve leadership, and some have leadership thrust upon them”. But what exactly is a leader? A leader can be defined fairly simply as ‘a person who leads or commands a group, organisation or country’. This definition is broad, and could include both formal and informal roles—that is, both appointed leaders and those who emerge spontaneously in response to events. Top Leadership Books.
Organisations and families with particularly controlling leaders, by contrast, tend to be fairly dysfunctional. Leadership, therefore, is in practice fairly fluid: leaders are made by circumstances. The crucial issue is that people are prepared to follow them at the right moment. There is more about this in our page on People also struggle with the concept of how being a leader is different from being a manager.
This is a fairly delicate distinction, and many leaders are also managers (and vice versa). Perhaps the key difference is that leaders are expected to create and communicate a compelling vision, often associated with change. Managers, on the other hand, are perhaps more often associated with maintaining the status quo.
Developing Leadership Many people wonder if leadership can really be taught. People with vested interests (academics and those offering leadership training or literature of some sort) are convinced that it can. Many successful leaders, however, have never had any formal training. For them leadership is a state of mind, and it is their personalities and traits that make them successful leaders.
There is no question that some people are intrinsically more drawn towards leadership roles than others. However, it would be nonsense to suggest—although this has been mooted in the past—that only people with certain physical or personal traits could lead. For example, it has clearly been proven that being male, or being tall, does not of itself make someone a better leader, although many leaders are both male and tall.
It seems most likely that leadership requires certain skills. Some people will acquire these more easily than others. You can of course learn about effective leadership skills and practices but being able to implement them yourself may require an altogether different set of skills and attitudes. The question “Can leadership be taught?” has no simple answer and we do not want to argue for one side or the other, but rather keep an open mind on the subject and provide information about the skills good leaders need.
Leadership Styles One of the most important aspects of leadership is that not every leader is the same. Of course we have all heard jokes about ‘mushroom’ leadership (keep them in the dark and feed them manure) and ‘seagulls’ (swoop in, squawk, and drop unpleasant things on people) but, joking aside, there are many different styles of leadership.
In the US as many as 55 million people work as freelancers (35% of the working population) contributing $1. 4 trillion to the economy. It is predicted that freelancers will soon become the workforce majority. India, Canada, Australia and New Zealand also have large self-employed and freelance economies. For more about working for yourself, and how to develop the skills required, see our pages on Entrepreneurship, Self-Employment and Freelancing.
It takes you through self-employment in easy steps, helping you to ensure that your business has more chance of success. The Skills You Need Guide to Self-Employment and Running Your Own Business is the guide no new or aspiring entrepreneur can afford to be without! Based on our popular self-employment and entrepreneurship content.
The skills outlined here are perhaps the most important, but others may also be helpful. Top Ten Leadership Qualities. The best leaders know that they still have much to learn, and continue to try to develop a wide range of skills all the time. Browse our A-Z list of Leadership Skills for more ideas.
“If we have more questions than answers and show vulnerability, we’re taking the first step to understanding,” she told us in 2019. Think Again, Give and Take, and Originals author Adam Grant says good leaders think like scientists, using a skill he calls rethinking. And, in The Infinite Game Simon Sinek shares his 5 qualities of a leader with an "infinite mindset" - one who's in it for the long haul.
They understand their primary responsibility is to create an environment in which people can work at their natural best. Top 3 Leadership Qualities. “You’re responsible for the people who are responsible for the results.” They view the other players in their industry "as Worthy Rivals, not just as competitors" and they learn from them.