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Gareth Armstrong

Division Head: LP Future Leaders, Leadership Platform

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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 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.

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