Gareth Armstrong

Division Head: LP Future Leaders, Leadership Platform

This conversation is closed.

Please define: Leadership.

During my time analysing, writing about, and assisting with the development of leadership, I have heard many, many people attempt to define it. There are so many books on leadership, so many "authorities" and "experts", yet we can't seem to agree on a definition.

Shall we attempt to do so today? :)

Closing Statement from Gareth Armstrong

Hello everyone,

Thank you all for your input.

My conclusion - I feel like we are going to struggle if we are unable to speak a "common leadership language"...if we cannot define leadership, how can we multiply leadership within ourselves and others?

I hope that as you have reflected on how to define it, you have further clarified in your mind where you can further improve as a leader be it in your home, community, or professional environment.

Your comments have assisted me in this way and others. Thank you again.

Sincerely and with warmest regards,


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    Jan 25 2013: Creating an environment where people can thrive and excel.
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    Jan 27 2013: At a recent "leadership seminar" Ernest Shackleton was presented as "a role model for leadership as one who, in extreme circumstances, kept his team together in an incredible polar survival story". (

    He proved leadership without having entrepreneurship skills, basically all his business ventures failed:
    "Away from his expeditions, Shackleton's life was generally restless and unfulfilled. In his search for rapid pathways to wealth and security he launched many business ventures and other money-making schemes, none of which prospered. His financial affairs were generally muddled; he died heavily in debt."
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    Lejan .

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    Jan 31 2013: Is this to be seen with or without paychecks at the end of the month for those who 'follow'? ;o)
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    Jan 29 2013: Leaders give. Givers get.
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    Jan 27 2013: Leadership is the wisdom that channels human resources towards the attainment of individual and societal goals.
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    Jan 26 2013: Ability of inspiring , influencing people to achieve / exceed
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    Jan 25 2013: The act of guiding one or more people to a collective success.
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    Jan 25 2013: As you are interested in definitions of leadership, you may find interesting this review of the varied definitions that people have put forward and the authors attempt to integrate them.
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    Feb 1 2013: Good leaders don’t lead followers but instead they lead by example, inspire others and coordinates/officiates others in a united goal.
  • Feb 1 2013: leadership is a shared vision. paint the picture. clear the trail. sing the song. dance the dance. people follow when there is joy peace love and understanding.
  • Jan 30 2013: Leadership is the ability to motivate a group of people to act in their collective best interest.
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    Jan 28 2013: A leader has a vision. Leaders see a problem that needs to be fixed or a goal that needs to be achieved. It may be something that no one else sees or simply something that no one else wants to tackle. Whatever it is, it is the focus of the leader's attention and they attack it with a single-minded determination.
  • Jan 27 2013: You are all missing a very important part of this entire discussion - ie you all start with a world view that all leadership is good. Arguably Hitler was a great leader but also a disaster. Missing from this discussion is efficiency versus effectiveness. Hitler was efficient but not effective - ie he was good at leading but led in the wrong direction.

    The correct "direction" is ultimately the one that is best for all stakeholders, with stakeholders being defined very broadly.

    Would you rather have a good leader going in the wrong direction or a poor leader going in the right direction? I would rather have the latter - ie errors of omission rather than errors of commission.

    Wiith this in mind a discussion of good leadership should center on how do you get leaders that can discern or sense the correct direction to lead.
  • Jan 26 2013: The best form of leadership is essentially teaching.

    It is teaching people the objectives, and the means to those objectives, that are in the peoples' best interest. The people will then willingly, vigorously and enthusiastically pursue those objectives. This has the appearance of following a leader, but only because the leader was pursuing the interests of the people.
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    Gail .

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    Jan 26 2013: Leadership is context dependent. In our current culture, it is the ability to convey confidence and understanding while articulating a clear view of and avenue toward an objective(s). In another culture, its the ability to be the best "you" that you can be and lead by example. It doesn't require an outside objective. The first requires the existence of sheeple (followers). The second, the opposite.
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    Jan 26 2013: I think leader is one who truly understands the potential of his fellow team mates and help them to achieve what they desire to and what they ought to.
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    Jan 26 2013: G'day Gareth

    Leadership is when someone takes charge over others or circumstances & leads not necessarily by example but by knowing what they are doing. A good leader will have good communicative skills with everyone below & higher in stature than them & is able to be impartial to any given event or person.