Define leadership - definitely not a prescriptive, "only one correct answer" kind of question.
Leadership is such an integral part of our lives and it embodies so many different qualities.
So whether you are looking for words of wisdom for a leadership essay or for a speech on leadership - take a look below.
You may find a few of the universal leadership qualities or famous leadership quotes that strike a chord with you ... that resonate with you - leadership qualities and traits that you feel individuals or organization should aspire to as leadership examples.
Leadership ... those innate qualities that are hard to define and even harder to create parameters for. Leadership does embody being principled, leading by example and inspiring people to be the best that they can be - to be their best for the world.
But how or why is an individual considered to be a leader?
Perhaps the answer lies in not only one or two identifiable personality traits, but in the combination of leadership qualities or traits that are generally seen or have been seen, to a lesser or greater degree, in leaders throughout the ages.
Leaders need to inspire people to take action, to move towards a particular goal or vision and to do so willingly, almost of their own volition. And this is no easy task!
How do you encourage, motivate and inspire others to move from where they are to where they need to be?
How do you create the sense of conviction and the willingness to venture into new territories, new technologies, to uphold tough and often not very popular decisions?
The answer, through the ages, seems to point to the general deduction that constructive and positive leaders exemplify the clarity to envisage an idea, a goal, a purpose or an aim.
They then set high standards for themselves and remain true to their vision and its inherent principled decisions (even in the face of adversity), while at the same time being flexible by empowering individuals to feel worthy and competent enough to actualize achieving the common vision through their own initiatives.
Leaders are then, by implication, facilitators of activities, actions and creative thinking, rather than prescriptive directors of activity.
Effective leaders will have the empathy to see things from the perspective of the people that their vision or decisions will ultimately have an impact on; they will constantly adapt to changing situations and environments and they will exemplify high levels of emotional intelligence, interpersonal and intra-personal skills.
It is not merely enough to be a visionary, an idealist or an intellectual to define leadership.
All of these creative and leadership ideals need to be tempered and molded with practical and realistic expectations - a forward thinking plan of action.
Leaders need to remain ever focused on what needs to be accomplished and they then give individuals or groups the support that they need to achieve these goals, even when mistakes are made.
A willingness to take action and to venture forward needs to be nurtured (as opposed to inculcating a fear of failure and a reticence to think laterally and "out of the box") - definitely not qualities easily developed through excessive management and manipulation.
John Quincy Adams said, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more - then you are a leader."
Perhaps if you uphold your integrity, if you remain dedicated to your purpose, if you have the knowledge and skills and the ultimate sense of conviction and the determination to accept nothing less than success and if you inspire others to want to work towards your ideal - perhaps then you too are a leader!
Define leadership - no definitive answer and perhaps more and more in the eye of the beholder? You decide!