Distinguished Professor of Business Administration and Founding Chairman of The Leadership Institute at USC, Warren Bennis, in his classic On Becoming A Leader, says, “Leadership is like beauty; it’s hard to define, but you know it when you see it.” I tend to agree with Mr. Bennis. Leadership in action is hard to miss, and equally hard to ignore. You know it when you see it.
But when it comes to who is a leader, or what is exactly is leadership? there remains confusion. For example, a person’s position or title is not what makes them a leader. Rather, it’s their influence–an influence which is based on character, competence, confidence, courage, and clarity is what makes for a leader and their leadership effectiveness.
In other words, effective leadership is not coerce. No, it is generated through inspiration. Others are inspired to follow someone they trust and who knows where they are going. This is the stuff of great leadership.
You know it when you see it.