Such a simple question, but let’s start with what leadership is not…
Leadership has nothing to do with seniority or one’s position in the hierarchy of a company. Too many talks about a company’s leadership referring to the senior-most executives in the organization. They are just that, senior executives. Leadership doesn’t automatically happen when you reach a certain pay grade.
Leadership has nothing to do with titles. Similar to the point above, just because you have a C-level title, doesn’t automatically make you a “leader.” Say the word “leader” and most people think of a domineering, take-charge charismatic individual. We often think of icons from history like General Patton or President Lincoln. But leadership isn’t an adjective. We don’t need extroverted charismatic traits to practice leadership. And those with charisma don’t automatically lead.
I guess technically a leader could use social influence to just organize the efforts of others, but leadership is about maximizing the effort. It’s not, “Hey everyone, let’s line up and get to the top of that hill someday.” But rather, “Hey, see that hill? Let’s see how fast we can get to the top…and I’ll buy the first round for anyone who can beat me up there.”
So what do you think? Is this how you would define leadership?