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Leadership Definition

One very simple but effective leadership definition, which I personally like a lot is the one put forward by Northouse (2001) in his transformational leadership paper…

“leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.”

The Oxford English dictionary defines leadership as…

“the action of leading a group of people or an organization, or the ability to do this.”

leadership definition

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Wikipedia defines it as…

“organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal.”

Another favourite of mine comes from the management and leadership guru Peter Drucker and while it’s not exactly a definition it does explain what leadership is all about in one short, simple but effective sentence…

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

Other Leadership Definitions

“Persons who, by word and / or personal example, markedly influence the behaviours, thoughts, and / or feelings of a significant number of their fellow human beings.” – Gardner

“A leader is a man who has the ability to get other people to do what they don’t want to do and like it.” – Harry Truman

“A great leader must be an educator, bridging the gap between the vision and the familiar.”

“All leadership takes place through the communication of ideas to the minds of others.” – Charles Cooley

“The capacity and the will to rally men and women in a common purpose, and the character to inspire confidence.” Bernard Montgomery

One of the most effective types of leadership is said to be transformational leadership please click the following for a transformational leadership definition.


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