What leadership is not

  • Management
  • Authority
  • Bossiness
  • Charisma
  • Knowledge
  • Expertise
  • Exceptionalism

Leadership can be complimented with these other skills, but it should not be confused with them.

What leadership is

The skill of influencing or guiding others toward a common goal.

Properties of effective leadership

Goals. Defining and communicatng goals and developing ways to achieve those goals. A soccer team owner’s goal may be to get the team to championship. How does she get them there? Does she need to hire a coach? Does she coach the team herself? Does she need to groom one of the players to be a leader to guide the team? There can be a variety of methods to achieve the goal, but the more important part is that there are goals to begin with and that the goals are defined and communicated clearly so the people being led understand the goals and are motivated to achieve them.

Values. Defining and communicating values. Having values binds those being led to each other and to leadership. A soccer team’s values may be to always be improving, which allows the team to be driven enough to improve their own skills to achieve their goals. If some of the team does not value continous improving, the team’s efforts risk becoming inefficient or ineffective, as the expectations each member has of each other becomes unclear and confused. Furthermore, misaligned values also risk the team being alienated from coaches and leadership.


Did you find this helpful? Get updates when I post more like this by subscribing to the Nerd Tower newsletter.